Mt.Fuji, Japanese Alps and historic towns - 9 days


Who visit Japan for the first time often start by heading for Tokyo and Kyoto. Those two cities are only 2 hours away from Shinkansen and although it finds numerous of extraordinary places to enjoy there, too many are forgotten.

Here we focus on hidden places off the famous great cities, introducing the original Japanese urban scenery. In this tour, you will discover places where people mostly do not use to stay; places like Matsumoto, Hida Takayama, Shirakawa-go, and other towns keep the appearance of the old times. Those towns boast a traditional culture and atmosphere and a unique charm different from Kyoto but any less beautiful.

In many cases, tourists may be satisfied with seeing Mt. Fuji only through the window of the Shinkansen without thinking of a stay in its vicinity. In this itinerary, you will be able to enjoy numerous places of interest all around Mt. Fuji by spending a night near Lake Kawaguchi. You will stay also at Kanazawa, an ancient town with an increasing popularity.
This tour is perfect for who come to Japan for the first time but also for who is more accustomed.


This tour can be customized. If you would like to change it, please select your date of departure on the schedule at the bottom of this page and fill in the request form.


 Other Suggested Itineraries
 Contact us here


- Travel to Japan with Peak Experience -

9
From ¥228,000

Overview


Who visit Japan for the first time often start by heading for Tokyo and Kyoto. Those two cities are only 2 hours away from Shinkansen and although it finds numerous of extraordinary places to enjoy there, too many are forgotten.

Here we focus on hidden places off the famous great cities, introducing the original Japanese urban scenery. In this tour, you will discover places where people mostly do not use to stay; places like Matsumoto, Hida Takayama, Shirakawa-go, and other towns keep the appearance of the old times. Those towns boast a traditional culture and atmosphere and a unique charm different from Kyoto but any less beautiful.

In many cases, tourists may be satisfied with seeing Mt. Fuji only through the window of the Shinkansen without thinking of a stay in its vicinity. In this itinerary, you will be able to enjoy numerous places of interest all around Mt. Fuji by spending a night near Lake Kawaguchi. You will stay also at Kanazawa, an ancient town with an increasing popularity.
This tour is perfect for who come to Japan for the first time but also for who is more accustomed.


This tour can be customized. If you would like to change it, please select your date of departure on the schedule at the bottom of this page and fill in the request form.


 Other Suggested Itineraries
 Contact us here


- Travel to Japan with Peak Experience -

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

★Kawagoe ~Historic and cultural town~
Only 30 minutes from Tokyo, the small town “Kawagoe” is the perfect place to pass one pleasant day and learning about the architecture of the old capital of Japan having the name of Edo (from 1603 to 1867). One of the very representative streets in the ancient atmosphere is the street of warehouses, “Kurazukuri no machinami” in Japanese, a lane of the traditional buildings, of which the solid construction being fire proof (there was a big fire in Kawagoe a few centuries ago). You would see the old bell tower in wood “Toki no kane”, “the bell of the time”, and you might go to the famous “Kashiya Yokocho”, the street of sweets. In order to know further about the interior of the traditional Japanese houses, it is recommended to make a visit to the Honmaru Goten of Kawagoe castle surrounded by magnificent gardens.
 
★Nagatoro in Chichibu area
The little town of Nagatoro is located in the Chichibu district, in the centre of the prefecture of Saitama, in the north of Tokyo. It is easily accessible from Tokyo and you could find the beauty of nature in Japanese countryside, along the bank of Arakawa river, surrounded by mountains and forests. Being beautiful in each season, but it is especially appreciated in autumn, as we say in Japanese, “Kôyô”, the autumn coloured foliage. In spring time, around mid-April, it is fantastic to visit Nagatoro which has been classed among top 100 best sites of Japan for cherry blossoms.
  
★Yayoi Kusama Museum
Yayoi Kusama has been the leading runner of the Japanese contemporary art as her famous work:"Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli's Field" and "pumpkin sculptures". If you want to appreciate her works, "YAYOI KUSAMA MUSEUM" in Shinjuku is the place to visit.
Not only her works are on permanent exhibit, but also rotating exhibits are held several times in a year. The museum provides an opportunity that visitors can feel the breeze of the represented artist of the Japanese contemporary art.  
Tickets are not available on the door, all tickets must be purchased in advance only through the museum’s website. 
Entry is timed and only valid for a specific 90 minute time-slot.

Day 1 : Tokyo

Free time in Tokyo

[List of popular tourist sites in Tokyo]

* Tōkyō Sky Tree (television broadcasting tower with a reachable Tembō Deck at 350m and Tembō Galleria at 450m of height)

* Exploration of Yanaka (the old town of Tōkyō) and the Ueno area (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno park)

* Asakusa area (Sensōji temple, Nakamisedōri)

* Exploring Shinjuku area’s skyscraper street (Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building and more). Riding up to the 45th floor of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building will give you the chance to see what is probably the most beautiful view of the Tōkyō landscape.

* In the vicinity of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building, there is the Park Hyatt Tōkyō hotel, used as the movie location in the famous movie "Lost in Translation" by the director Sofia Coppola.

* Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Imperial Garden)

* Meiji imperial Shintō shrine

* Exploring Shibuya area (Omotesandō avenue, high-end boutique shopping streets, rows of modern buildings, Prada boutique Aoyama and many more)

* Harajuku, the fashion mecca for young people and new fashion trends (Takeshita street)

* Nezu Institute of Fine Arts

* Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (Ukiyoe color prints)

* Odaiba area: stroll through the Odaiba beachfront park – along with the beach in the vicinity, there is also the Statue of Liberty of Odaiba that you'll be able to view.

* Visit to the Japanese TV channel "Fuji Television" building (famous for its spherical observation deck)

* Stroll through the Palette Town,  a group of shopping and commercial facilities that include Venus Fort, a shopping mall that resembles beautiful streets from 18th century Europe (with a ceiling that changes colors approximately every 2 hours), Toyota Mega Web, a hands-on car theme park, Tokyo Leisure Land, an indoor amusement facility, Zepp Tokyo, a concert hall, and one of the world's largest Ferris wheels.

* Visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Odaiba district where it’s possible to see the performance of ASIMO robot - one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world.

* Exploring Roppongi district – Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower, Mori Art Museum, Suntory Museum of Art, Tōkyō Midtown etc. It is also worth mentioning that you can see the Tōkyō Tower clearly from here. Near the Tōkyō Tower, there is a luxurious restaurant "Tōkyō Tōfuya Ukai" with a beautiful Japanese garden setting that might be worth visiting.

* Exploration of Ginza area.

 

Overnight in Tokyo



Click here to discover our 1~3 days tours departing from Tokyo.

Hôtel at Tokyo

Day 2 : Tokyo - Mt. Fuji / Lake Kawaguchi area

Itinerary of day 2 

Departure from Tokyo station or Shinjuku station -   Lake Kawaguchi : * Free visit at Mt. Fuji/ lake Kawaguchi area - Overnight at Lake Kawaguchi  (: Hotel or Ryokan with view on Mt. Fuji) 


*Our suggestions : 
-  Arakurayama Sengen Park (Picture of the front page of the "michelin green guide japan")
- Ropeway with panoramic view on Mt.Fuji
- Cruise onLake Kawaguchi
- Biking or walking at Fuji/  lake Kawaguchi area
- Oshinohakkai ( 8 springs of Mt.Fuji )
- Fuji sengen shrine
- Sake brewery 
- 5 lakes of Fuji 
- The wind cave and ice cave 
- Visit ot the 5th station of Mt Fuji trail ( April -November)
- Several Museums around lake Kawaguchi


Overnight at a hotel with a view of Mt.Fuji  in lake Kawaguchi area.
**Please note that the view of Mount Fuji is not guaranteed.

Arakurayama Sengen park

This observation point on Mt. Fuji became famous being selected by the famous french guidebook "Guide Vert Michelin". It is located half-way up of the Arakurayama mountain and offer a stunning view both on Mt Fuji and a 5 floors pagoda and cherry trees. It is the perfect place known worldwide to take beautiful pictures. 
There you will have to climb 398 steps but it definitely worth it because the view from the top is unforgettable. 

 



Oshinohakkai ~ 8 springs of Mt Fuji  ~
 

Oshinohakkai means the springs of the Oshino-mura village where it finds 8 pounds. It is one of the steps on the former pilgrims who headed to Mount Fuji and is listed in the world heritage as “Element of Fujisan, sacred place and artistic source of inspiration”. The springs originate from the snow melt of Fuji filtered by underground lava before emerging 20 years later. Therefore, the pound is full of clearwater where you can see fishes swim. Moreover, when you look at the pounds with Mt Fuji on the back and the traditional thatch roof houses all around, you face a pure and bucolic scenery . Take your time and enjoy Oshino-mura for lunch. We recommend also to taste Yomogidango (rice cake cooked with artemisia) that you can buy in the souvenirs shops and enjoy while you stroll in the village.



Sake brewery

Treat yourself to the Japan's flavour in a sake brewery ! You will learn a lot about its making, and discover old photographs. After seeing its making, you will have the opportunity to taste 2 or 3 kinds of sake, and learn about how to compare it. You can bring back with you the tasting glass as a souvenir and the bottle of your choice, available in the souvenir shop.

Cycling around Lake Kawaguchi


Rent a bike and go around lake Kawaguchiko is highly recommended !
Kawagushiko is less of 20km of circumference, so it is easy to enjoy a pleasant a half-day stroll.
If you wish to go a step further, you could find caves. (reachable by bus).
The Oishi park : Located on the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi, let’s enjoy the seasonal flora with the lake and Mt. Fuji in the background.
From mid to late October, you will have the pleasure to admire the wonderful Japanese autumn leaves called Koyo.

 

The wind cavern:

It is a cave listed as natural monument of the country.
The cave’s temperature is cool throughout the year and compared with a natural fridge.


The ice cave of Narusawa :

It is also listed as national monument. 
You can go around this mysterious cave entirely covered with ice.
※The ice pillars are not shaped yet during autumn. 

Lake Motosu :
 

It is one of the 5 lakes which surround Mt Fuji, as Lake Kawaguchi.
You will see the same view of Mount Fuji as the one which is drawn on the 1000 yen bill.
From Lake Kawaguchi, you can take a bus to lake Motosu.

Hotel with a view of Mt.Fuji
breakfast, dinner

Day 3 : Lake Kawaguchi - Matsumoto

Itinerary of the day 3

Hotel - Kawaguchiko sta. -  <3 hours by express train>  -
 Matsumoto : free visit [Matsumoto castle, Matsumoto art museum, Kaichi School Museum, exotic streets]  - Overnight at Matsumoto

 

Matsumoto ~ historic town with a black castle ~
 
During Edo period, Matsumoto was the most affluent town of Nagano Prefecture. Located in an isolated place into the mountains, it was spared from the war and maintains its cultural and historic heritage and above all, its majestic and well preserved castle.


《Matsumoto-jo》 (Matsumoto castle)
In Japan, there are 12 castles which maintain their original appearances whose 5 are registered as national treasures. Among these are Himeji, Hinoke, Inuyama, Matsue and Matsumoto castles.
The dungeon and the moats surrounding the castle are beautiful and could be compared to those of Himeji Castle. Unlike Himeji castle and many castles in Japan, Matsumoto castle is painted in black that is why it is called “Karasu jo” (The crow castle). A red bridge beautifies the 6 floors high dungeon, surrounded by the moats. If you visit the interior of the castle,  you will see the impressive defensive structure and ancient arsenal.


《Nakamachi dori》(Nakamachi street)
Nakamachi street is well known for its black and white wall called “Namako-kabe” and keeps the ancient Edo atmosphere. Formerly, sake brewers and kimono weavers created this walls and warehouses to avoid fires. Nowadays, the warehouses became folk art items shops, and coffee shops preserving the ancient ambiance.

《Nawate-dori》(Nawate street)
Like Nakamachi street (Nakamachi-dori), the ancient Edo appearance of Nawate attracts many visitors. You will find many items in relation to the frog, the emblem of Matsumoto for more than 40 years. There are also many antique shops, bakeries and restaurants. Also stands Yohashira Shrine, known as a true spiritual sanctuary where it is possible to make wishes.

《Matsumoto-shi Bijutsukan》( Matsumoto art museum)
Matsumoto is the birthplace of the artist Yayoi Kusama, known for his “Naoshima pumpkins” and many others works of art kept in Matsumoto museum. In front of the museum stands the big “Maboroshi no Hana” work of art. You will certainly notice that many of Kusama works are exposed but you will also have the opportunity to admire the work of many other artists who was born in Matsumoto.  

 
Hotel in Matsumoto
breakfast

Day 4 : Matsumoto - Kamikochi

Itinerary of the day 4

Hotel - leaving for Kamikochi in the morning ー <<2hours>>  Kamikochi : free visit and walking in Kamikochi area [e.g. Tashiro pond, Taisho pond, Kappabashi bridge, Myojin pond, Hodaka okumiya shrine  etc.] - Overnight in Kamikochi

 

Kamikochi

From Matsumoto, located in Nagano Prefecture, you could go to Kamikochi in about 1h40 by train and by bus. The valley is located into the Hida mountain range (northern japanese alps) 1500 meters high. Among the mountainous sightseeing in Japan, Kamikochi is one of the most popular with Mount Fuji. Many tourists from Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya come to Kamikochi during summer holidays, or in autumn during autumn leaves to admire the outstanding landscapes. During high season, it takes about 4 or 5 hours to access Kamikochi, and many people arrive at noon, peak time of the day. However, if you come directly from Matsumoto, you could arrive earlier, and avoid the crowd.  Kamikochi is full of moderate level paths to hike, so it attracts many visitors. Azusagawa river rises at mount Yarigatake, emblematic mountain of the northern japanese alps, and lets you enjoy a beautiful hike on its shore.
Usually, you could start the hike from Taisho-ike (Taisho pond; which appeared after a volcanic eruption), and enjoy a walk on a flat pathway and its stunning scenery along the river.

  


The Kappabashi bridge crosses Azuka-gawa river facing Mount Myojin-dake, and behind you stands Mount Yake-dake. Here you could find hotels, souvenirs shops, restaurants, and also the bus terminal. It is the departure point for excursions in Kamikochi. Usually you could walk from Taisho-ike to Kappabashi bridge, but you could also continue the stroll to a beautiful and mysterious place, the Myojin pond located farther away. Myojin pond appeared after a landslide which created a natural dam on Azusagawa river. This pond is today the Hodaka jinja Okumiya sanctuary (Hodaka Okumiya shrine), guardian of the northern japanese alps, devoted to mount Oku Hodaka, one of the highest mountains of Japan and the highest among northern japanese alps mountains. Myojin pond has its source at mount Myojin and its water is so pure that it has become a true sacred place of Kamikochi.
 
Hotel in Kamikochi
breakfast, dinner

Day 5 : Matsumoto - Takayama

Itinerary of the day 5

Hotel - leaving for Takayama in the morning or around noon ー <<1h30>>  Takayama : free visit at Takayama area [e.g. Takayama matsuri kaikan (Takayama festival center), Takayama jinya (historical government house), Takayama historic district,  Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village, Hida-Furukawa historic town ( known for the animated film " Your name.")   etc.] - Overnight at Takayama

 

Takayama ~ The little Kyoto of Hida ~
 

The superficie of Takayama is large as Tokyo but most of the land is mountainous so the inhabitable area is limited and the town counts about  90 000 inhabitants. A large section of the population is located in the center of the city not far from Takayama station. The place is situated west of Hida mountain chain (Northern japanese alps) including the city of Hida, Gero and Shirakawa-go. Into this wide area, the center of Takayama is called “Hida-Takayama”. Takayama developed being a transit of the route from Nagoya to Hokuriku, but snow falls and a lack of infrastructures have limited modern life. Consequently, the town preserved the old atmosphere of Edo period with its ancient merchant houses. It is registered in the area of conservation of traditional building. Formerly, Takayama was the starting point for mountaineer who headed for different trails and summits, but its beauty became well-known by word of mouth and it is today a great tourist site. Takayama is a provincial town but it was also a former land that belonged to the shogun Tokugawa, so the cultural asset regarding Edo period is important. The city is adorned with elegance, adding a touch of grace to the landscape. It is also called “little Kyoto” and is nowadays a well-visited site.

Tradition and Culture in Hida Takayama

As mentioned above, Takayama preserves the Edo period traditions, having been spared from modern life. Thanks to the rich natural resources, the Hida region developed the wood processing industry. The craftsmen are named “Hida no Takumi” (Hida’s craftsmen) due to their virtue of technical excellence. They were very pleased and popular in all fields and everytime. Hida pieces of furniture are today well-known worldwide. Pieces of art as “Ichi-i-itto-bori” sculptures and lacquered furnitures named “Shunkei-nuri”confirm their exceptional skills.     

“Hida Takayama Matsuri” festival takes place in spring and summer. You will find plenty of carpentry woodworking demonstration and the making of parade floats (Yatai). Takayama-matsuri is one of the 3 great festivals of Hikiyama including Gion-Matsuri (Kyoto) and Chichibu-Yomatsuri (Saitama). In 2016, it had been registered in the UNESCO  immaterial and cultural heritage in the Yama Hoko Gyoji section (japanese festival that includes float parade to pray the god and protect people from natural disaster. These are made thanks to the effort of communities in each town where the parade takes place). A dozen of those parade 2 times a year, and they are all different. Each one has its unique appearance and a very detailed framework. Mechanical dolls are also placed on the float. Because of their beauty and their sharpness, these are called “Ugoku Yomeimon” (beautiful moving Yomei gate). The old floats are preserved in the Takayama matsuri kaikan (Takayama festival center) and it really worth a visit.

Hida-Furukawa
Taking the train for 30 minutes  from Takayama station to the north, you will arrive to Hida-Furukawa station. After Takayama has become a well-known destination, HIda-Furukawa was rarely mentioned, but thanks to the success of the animated movie “your name” (Kimi no na wa in Japanese) in 2016 which shows the main station and the town of Furukawa, this place has become really famous.  The town of Hida-Furukawa is not big as Takayama, but there is plenty of charmly strolls to enjoy. Due to a fire at the beginning of the XXth century, the old houses have been destroyed, but by means of the reconstruction efforts of the administrative services and every single person, the town was rebuilt with the same ancient atmosphere.  They avoided the construction of big hotels and kept a beautiful and simple style with a perfect harmony. It is highly recommended to stroll around Shirakabe Dozo Gai district, where you will see thousands of carps in a canal surrounded by a beautiful wall called Namako Kabe. For anyone who loves japanese sake, it could be recommended to discover the very good sake of Hida which is made with the natural water that comes from the north of the Japanese alps. In Furukawa, there is also a float festival that is registered on the list of the immaterial and cultural heritage. There are 9 floats in this festival that would seem like a small number in comparison with the Takayama festival, but it is no less majestic. There is also an other event that is called Okoshi-Daiko during which hundreds of men wearing a fundoshi (a kind of traditional japanese underwear) carry big or small drums while walking and "fighting" in the streets. This is one of the well-known “naked-festivals” in Japan. So you could enjoy seeing this beautiful floats and drummers fight during the festival Furukawa Matsuri Kaikan.
Hotel in Takayama
breakfast

Day 6 : Takayama - Shirakawago

Itinerary of the day 6

Hotel - leaving for Takayama in the morning → Visit free in Takayama throughout the morning. Departure for Shirakawa-go early in the afternoon. - overnight at Shirakawago : World Heritage site

*Accomodation at Shirakawago is Minshuku style with traditional Shirakawago's architechure
 

Shirakawa-go

In the region of Hida, Shirakawa-go Ogimachi village in Gifu prefecture, Gokayama Ainokura village and Suganuma village in Toyama prefecture are registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. 
Shirakawa-go is the biggest village among those 3 villages, and it is 2/3 of the World Heritage part, and there are 60 houses in total.

In Japanese, it is not simply "the village of the World Heritage", but it is registered under the name of "the village of Gassho style". The "Gassho" is  the very unique thatched roofs of this region of World Heritage site.

Gassho style is one of the Japanese construction style and it is used for heavy snowfall region, and it is built by the combination of the logs alternately, steeply sloaped, thatched roofs that meet a high roof, which looks that "bringing the hands together to pray to the gods" which is "Gassho" in Japanese.
The design of the steaply sloaped roof is for that the snow piled up on the roof would easily sliding down.
The large garret created by those roofs was used for the shelves to raise silkworms. The sericultural industry is the principal industry in this region.
By the development of the sericultural industry, the roof was made higher and steeper to increase the space.
The roof is made without one single nail, and it is fixed by ropes but tough and flexible structure. The exposure of the house and the position of the window are fully calculated. This rational style of architecture is made by wisdom of ancestors. 
The thatched roof maintains for 30-40years, but it is damaged by wind, rain and snow, so it is necessary to repair one or twice per year.
Changing the thatched roof is a great task so that all residents used to come to work together.

  

In the end of the 19th century, there were around 2,000 houses of Gassho style, but nevertheless, this style of architecture was exceptional and rare in Japan.
By the depopulation and by the constructions of the dams, many people left the villages, but as this region is located in the heavy snowfall area and
without the sufficient transportation facilities, the villages have been isolated from cities, and for this reason, some part of the villages were being maintained until today.
In due course, the actions of concerving the original and unique villages and rural landscape are started inside and outside of the villages, and finally, in 1994, they are registered as the 4th World Cultural Heritage site in Japan.
Today, it became a famed tourist spot but as the number of the souvenir stores and restaurants are increased, it is concerned that the original scenery of pastoral and calm mountain villages is vanishing.
Minshuku at Shirakawa-go
breakfast, dinner

Day 7 : Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa

Itinerary of the day 7

Minshuku in shirakawa-go - Departure for Kanazawa in the morning. Free visit in Kanazawa [ Kanazawa castle park, Kenrokuen garden, Myoryu-ji temple (Ninja-dera), Ohmicho market, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Seison-kaku ( local lord's mansion house), Old samurai district and geisha districts etc.] - Overnight at Kanazawa


 


Kanazawa

 
Kanazawa is the capital of the prefecture Ishikawa in Hokuriku region, and it has been developped as a castle town of the biggest daimyo (feudal lord) in Edo period, and its population was big after 3cities as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

Known as "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), people and feudal lords admired its prosperity and even though the city is out from principal roades, the original graceful city has been founded.
Kaga has not been involved and damaged by wars, and by the Second World War, the classic and charming beauty remains.
Moreover, successive lords of the Domain encouraged the cultural activities, various traditional cultures are succeded until today.


《Kenroku-en》
Kenroku-en is known as one of the 3 best parks in Japan, a circuit style garden classed 3-star in the Michelin guide. 
In each season, the park shows beautiful various beauty; the cherry blossom in spring, fresh green leaves in summer, red and yellow leaves in autumn, and Yukitsuri in winter (the technique for the protection of the trees for avoiding snow damage) and off course, a variety of flowers are worth to see in the garden.

Kenroku-en belongs to the Kanazawa castle, and it is located in a low hill, but there are many ponds and the warterways, trees and objets d'art make a magnificent harmony in the garden. 
 

《21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art》
This museum features the contemporary arts after 1980 and the up-and coming artists' artworks are on exhibition.
As they are contemporary arts, perhaps the name of artists are not yet famous, but they will be well known, so that this is the  investiments for the future.
For example, the unit of the architects SAANA who won the Golden Lion prize for the most significant work in the international architecture exhibition of the Venice Biennale constructed the unique circular design and elegant galleries one floor under ground and one floor above ground.

Now SANAA is in charge of the design for the renovation of the old department store in Paris, La Samaritaine de Paris.

《Ninja Temple》
Myoryuji is the official name of this temple, but it is called as the Ninja Temple because of many trap doors and secret passageways inside.
The temple has no relation with the historical ninja who spies and assasins, but this architecture has been made because of the history of the domain of Kaga.
The domain of Kaga was called as "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), and the very wealthy and powerful feudral clan so that they have been watched out by the central gouvernment the Tokugawa Shogunate.
However, they could not officialy protect them by the gouvernement, so that they built the temple with fully function of protection secretly for the emergency of atacks. 

The visit tour must be pre-booked in advance, and the guide will show you the traps inside of the temple.
 

《Higashi & Nishi Chaya District, Kazue-machi & Naga-machi Chaya District and Samurai residence》
Without beein involved into the wars, this region maintains classic and peaceful streets of Edo period unti today.
They have been influenced by the elegant culture of Kyoto because of the location, and the entertainment district with luxury restaurants with Maiko and Geisha was developped along the river Saigawa. 
Especially, Higashi Chaya District and Kazue-machi Chaya District are designated as the Nation's Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings.
And in Nagamachi, the beautiful earthen walls of upper and middle classes samurai's residences and pavements will drive you in the ancient classical period.
 

《Seison-kaku》
Seison-kaku is specified in the Nation's Important Cultural Properties and built in 1863, in the transition period from Edo to Meiji, very turbulent time of Japan.
It is built by the lord of Kaga for the retirement of his mother, so that we can find his careful attention for the parent in the elegance of the construction.

The ground floor is buit in Shoinzukuri style (the traditional style of Japanese residential architecture) of feudal lord, and the 1st flor is in the style of Sukiyazukuri which is based of a Japanese tea ceremony building. Each room has been decorated in own theme.
We can find the modern oxidental touch which was very modern at that time into the traditional construction and these aspects make the special charm of the building.
 

《The park of Kanazawa castle》
The Kanazawa castle is the residence of Kaga Domain "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), the family of Maeda.
What we see today is the renovated one in the end of 20th century, and the most of the original part of the castle has been burnt in the end of 18th century. In 19th century, it was used as military facilities of the army, and it was used as the campus of the university after the Second World War.
The main building of the castle is not restored, but the central raised platform and the main gate, and positions and constructions of the facilities are historicaly re-produced.
Especially the technique of stone walls are very high and you can find the stone walls of different style and different period, so that this castle is also called as "the museum of stone walls".
 
Hotel in Kanazawa
breakfast

Day 8 : Kanazawa - Kyoto

Itinerary of the day 8
 
Hotel - Visit free in Kanazawa in the morning - *departure for Kyoto by express train in the afternoon. -Overnight in Kyoto.
 
*You can choose the departure time for Kyoto. Please inform us your preferred departure time. 
breakfast

Day 9 : Kyoto

*If you wish to add your stay in Kyoto, please fill in your request on our inquiry form.

[List of popular tourist sites in Kyoto]

* Kinkakuji Buddhist temple (lit. "Temple of the Golden Pavilion")

* Ryōanji temple’s rock garden

* Daitokuji Buddhist temple

* Nijō castle

* Heian Shintō shrine/Heian Shintō shrine gardens

* Ginkakuji (lit. "Temple of the Silver Pavilion")

* Tetsugaku no Michi (lit. Path of Philosophy)

* Kyōto National Museum

* Kiyomizu Buddhist temple (although it is possible to visit it, it is currently going through some repair work)

* Rengeōin Buddhist temple (also known as Sanjūsangendō temple)

* Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka historic districts

* Zenrinji Buddhist temple (also known as Eikandō temple)

* Nanzenji Buddhist temple

* Nanzenin Buddhist temple's precinct

* Exploration of Gion district (known as the Geisha streets)

* Traditional Tea Ceremony experience

* Fushimi Inari Grand Shintō shrine

* Tōfuku Buddhist temple

* Byōdōin Buddhist temple's "Phoenix hall" (Hōōdō hall)
 



Click here to discover our tours starting from Kyoto.

Accomodation is not included *Please ask us for the extra nights.
breakfast

Possible to customize as your wish

This is a original tour made by our travel designers.

If you wish to add a few activities or some guided tours, or if you need the help of an assistant, please get in touch. 
We can also recommend some sightseeing or give you information about the local cuisine and popular activities to enjoy.


This tour can be customized. If you would like to change it, please select your date of departure on the schedule at the bottom of this page and fill in the request form.


 Other Suggested Itineraries
 Contact us here

 

Where to Go

Itinerary

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

★Kawagoe ~Historic and cultural town~
Only 30 minutes from Tokyo, the small town “Kawagoe” is the perfect place to pass one pleasant day and learning about the architecture of the old capital of Japan having the name of Edo (from 1603 to 1867). One of the very representative streets in the ancient atmosphere is the street of warehouses, “Kurazukuri no machinami” in Japanese, a lane of the traditional buildings, of which the solid construction being fire proof (there was a big fire in Kawagoe a few centuries ago). You would see the old bell tower in wood “Toki no kane”, “the bell of the time”, and you might go to the famous “Kashiya Yokocho”, the street of sweets. In order to know further about the interior of the traditional Japanese houses, it is recommended to make a visit to the Honmaru Goten of Kawagoe castle surrounded by magnificent gardens.
 
★Nagatoro in Chichibu area
The little town of Nagatoro is located in the Chichibu district, in the centre of the prefecture of Saitama, in the north of Tokyo. It is easily accessible from Tokyo and you could find the beauty of nature in Japanese countryside, along the bank of Arakawa river, surrounded by mountains and forests. Being beautiful in each season, but it is especially appreciated in autumn, as we say in Japanese, “Kôyô”, the autumn coloured foliage. In spring time, around mid-April, it is fantastic to visit Nagatoro which has been classed among top 100 best sites of Japan for cherry blossoms.
  
★Yayoi Kusama Museum
Yayoi Kusama has been the leading runner of the Japanese contemporary art as her famous work:"Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli's Field" and "pumpkin sculptures". If you want to appreciate her works, "YAYOI KUSAMA MUSEUM" in Shinjuku is the place to visit.
Not only her works are on permanent exhibit, but also rotating exhibits are held several times in a year. The museum provides an opportunity that visitors can feel the breeze of the represented artist of the Japanese contemporary art.  
Tickets are not available on the door, all tickets must be purchased in advance only through the museum’s website. 
Entry is timed and only valid for a specific 90 minute time-slot.

Day 1 : Tokyo

Free time in Tokyo

[List of popular tourist sites in Tokyo]

* Tōkyō Sky Tree (television broadcasting tower with a reachable Tembō Deck at 350m and Tembō Galleria at 450m of height)

* Exploration of Yanaka (the old town of Tōkyō) and the Ueno area (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno park)

* Asakusa area (Sensōji temple, Nakamisedōri)

* Exploring Shinjuku area’s skyscraper street (Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building and more). Riding up to the 45th floor of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building will give you the chance to see what is probably the most beautiful view of the Tōkyō landscape.

* In the vicinity of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building, there is the Park Hyatt Tōkyō hotel, used as the movie location in the famous movie "Lost in Translation" by the director Sofia Coppola.

* Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Imperial Garden)

* Meiji imperial Shintō shrine

* Exploring Shibuya area (Omotesandō avenue, high-end boutique shopping streets, rows of modern buildings, Prada boutique Aoyama and many more)

* Harajuku, the fashion mecca for young people and new fashion trends (Takeshita street)

* Nezu Institute of Fine Arts

* Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (Ukiyoe color prints)

* Odaiba area: stroll through the Odaiba beachfront park – along with the beach in the vicinity, there is also the Statue of Liberty of Odaiba that you'll be able to view.

* Visit to the Japanese TV channel "Fuji Television" building (famous for its spherical observation deck)

* Stroll through the Palette Town,  a group of shopping and commercial facilities that include Venus Fort, a shopping mall that resembles beautiful streets from 18th century Europe (with a ceiling that changes colors approximately every 2 hours), Toyota Mega Web, a hands-on car theme park, Tokyo Leisure Land, an indoor amusement facility, Zepp Tokyo, a concert hall, and one of the world's largest Ferris wheels.

* Visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Odaiba district where it’s possible to see the performance of ASIMO robot - one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world.

* Exploring Roppongi district – Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower, Mori Art Museum, Suntory Museum of Art, Tōkyō Midtown etc. It is also worth mentioning that you can see the Tōkyō Tower clearly from here. Near the Tōkyō Tower, there is a luxurious restaurant "Tōkyō Tōfuya Ukai" with a beautiful Japanese garden setting that might be worth visiting.

* Exploration of Ginza area.

 

Overnight in Tokyo



Click here to discover our 1~3 days tours departing from Tokyo.

Hôtel at Tokyo

Day 2 : Tokyo - Mt. Fuji / Lake Kawaguchi area

Itinerary of day 2 

Departure from Tokyo station or Shinjuku station -   Lake Kawaguchi : * Free visit at Mt. Fuji/ lake Kawaguchi area - Overnight at Lake Kawaguchi  (: Hotel or Ryokan with view on Mt. Fuji) 


*Our suggestions : 
-  Arakurayama Sengen Park (Picture of the front page of the "michelin green guide japan")
- Ropeway with panoramic view on Mt.Fuji
- Cruise onLake Kawaguchi
- Biking or walking at Fuji/  lake Kawaguchi area
- Oshinohakkai ( 8 springs of Mt.Fuji )
- Fuji sengen shrine
- Sake brewery 
- 5 lakes of Fuji 
- The wind cave and ice cave 
- Visit ot the 5th station of Mt Fuji trail ( April -November)
- Several Museums around lake Kawaguchi


Overnight at a hotel with a view of Mt.Fuji  in lake Kawaguchi area.
**Please note that the view of Mount Fuji is not guaranteed.

Arakurayama Sengen park

This observation point on Mt. Fuji became famous being selected by the famous french guidebook "Guide Vert Michelin". It is located half-way up of the Arakurayama mountain and offer a stunning view both on Mt Fuji and a 5 floors pagoda and cherry trees. It is the perfect place known worldwide to take beautiful pictures. 
There you will have to climb 398 steps but it definitely worth it because the view from the top is unforgettable. 

 



Oshinohakkai ~ 8 springs of Mt Fuji  ~
 

Oshinohakkai means the springs of the Oshino-mura village where it finds 8 pounds. It is one of the steps on the former pilgrims who headed to Mount Fuji and is listed in the world heritage as “Element of Fujisan, sacred place and artistic source of inspiration”. The springs originate from the snow melt of Fuji filtered by underground lava before emerging 20 years later. Therefore, the pound is full of clearwater where you can see fishes swim. Moreover, when you look at the pounds with Mt Fuji on the back and the traditional thatch roof houses all around, you face a pure and bucolic scenery . Take your time and enjoy Oshino-mura for lunch. We recommend also to taste Yomogidango (rice cake cooked with artemisia) that you can buy in the souvenirs shops and enjoy while you stroll in the village.



Sake brewery

Treat yourself to the Japan's flavour in a sake brewery ! You will learn a lot about its making, and discover old photographs. After seeing its making, you will have the opportunity to taste 2 or 3 kinds of sake, and learn about how to compare it. You can bring back with you the tasting glass as a souvenir and the bottle of your choice, available in the souvenir shop.

Cycling around Lake Kawaguchi


Rent a bike and go around lake Kawaguchiko is highly recommended !
Kawagushiko is less of 20km of circumference, so it is easy to enjoy a pleasant a half-day stroll.
If you wish to go a step further, you could find caves. (reachable by bus).
The Oishi park : Located on the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi, let’s enjoy the seasonal flora with the lake and Mt. Fuji in the background.
From mid to late October, you will have the pleasure to admire the wonderful Japanese autumn leaves called Koyo.

 

The wind cavern:

It is a cave listed as natural monument of the country.
The cave’s temperature is cool throughout the year and compared with a natural fridge.


The ice cave of Narusawa :

It is also listed as national monument. 
You can go around this mysterious cave entirely covered with ice.
※The ice pillars are not shaped yet during autumn. 

Lake Motosu :
 

It is one of the 5 lakes which surround Mt Fuji, as Lake Kawaguchi.
You will see the same view of Mount Fuji as the one which is drawn on the 1000 yen bill.
From Lake Kawaguchi, you can take a bus to lake Motosu.

Hotel with a view of Mt.Fuji
breakfast, dinner

Day 3 : Lake Kawaguchi - Matsumoto

Itinerary of the day 3

Hotel - Kawaguchiko sta. -  <3 hours by express train>  -
 Matsumoto : free visit [Matsumoto castle, Matsumoto art museum, Kaichi School Museum, exotic streets]  - Overnight at Matsumoto

 

Matsumoto ~ historic town with a black castle ~
 
During Edo period, Matsumoto was the most affluent town of Nagano Prefecture. Located in an isolated place into the mountains, it was spared from the war and maintains its cultural and historic heritage and above all, its majestic and well preserved castle.


《Matsumoto-jo》 (Matsumoto castle)
In Japan, there are 12 castles which maintain their original appearances whose 5 are registered as national treasures. Among these are Himeji, Hinoke, Inuyama, Matsue and Matsumoto castles.
The dungeon and the moats surrounding the castle are beautiful and could be compared to those of Himeji Castle. Unlike Himeji castle and many castles in Japan, Matsumoto castle is painted in black that is why it is called “Karasu jo” (The crow castle). A red bridge beautifies the 6 floors high dungeon, surrounded by the moats. If you visit the interior of the castle,  you will see the impressive defensive structure and ancient arsenal.


《Nakamachi dori》(Nakamachi street)
Nakamachi street is well known for its black and white wall called “Namako-kabe” and keeps the ancient Edo atmosphere. Formerly, sake brewers and kimono weavers created this walls and warehouses to avoid fires. Nowadays, the warehouses became folk art items shops, and coffee shops preserving the ancient ambiance.

《Nawate-dori》(Nawate street)
Like Nakamachi street (Nakamachi-dori), the ancient Edo appearance of Nawate attracts many visitors. You will find many items in relation to the frog, the emblem of Matsumoto for more than 40 years. There are also many antique shops, bakeries and restaurants. Also stands Yohashira Shrine, known as a true spiritual sanctuary where it is possible to make wishes.

《Matsumoto-shi Bijutsukan》( Matsumoto art museum)
Matsumoto is the birthplace of the artist Yayoi Kusama, known for his “Naoshima pumpkins” and many others works of art kept in Matsumoto museum. In front of the museum stands the big “Maboroshi no Hana” work of art. You will certainly notice that many of Kusama works are exposed but you will also have the opportunity to admire the work of many other artists who was born in Matsumoto.  

 
Hotel in Matsumoto
breakfast

Day 4 : Matsumoto - Kamikochi

Itinerary of the day 4

Hotel - leaving for Kamikochi in the morning ー <<2hours>>  Kamikochi : free visit and walking in Kamikochi area [e.g. Tashiro pond, Taisho pond, Kappabashi bridge, Myojin pond, Hodaka okumiya shrine  etc.] - Overnight in Kamikochi

 

Kamikochi

From Matsumoto, located in Nagano Prefecture, you could go to Kamikochi in about 1h40 by train and by bus. The valley is located into the Hida mountain range (northern japanese alps) 1500 meters high. Among the mountainous sightseeing in Japan, Kamikochi is one of the most popular with Mount Fuji. Many tourists from Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya come to Kamikochi during summer holidays, or in autumn during autumn leaves to admire the outstanding landscapes. During high season, it takes about 4 or 5 hours to access Kamikochi, and many people arrive at noon, peak time of the day. However, if you come directly from Matsumoto, you could arrive earlier, and avoid the crowd.  Kamikochi is full of moderate level paths to hike, so it attracts many visitors. Azusagawa river rises at mount Yarigatake, emblematic mountain of the northern japanese alps, and lets you enjoy a beautiful hike on its shore.
Usually, you could start the hike from Taisho-ike (Taisho pond; which appeared after a volcanic eruption), and enjoy a walk on a flat pathway and its stunning scenery along the river.

  


The Kappabashi bridge crosses Azuka-gawa river facing Mount Myojin-dake, and behind you stands Mount Yake-dake. Here you could find hotels, souvenirs shops, restaurants, and also the bus terminal. It is the departure point for excursions in Kamikochi. Usually you could walk from Taisho-ike to Kappabashi bridge, but you could also continue the stroll to a beautiful and mysterious place, the Myojin pond located farther away. Myojin pond appeared after a landslide which created a natural dam on Azusagawa river. This pond is today the Hodaka jinja Okumiya sanctuary (Hodaka Okumiya shrine), guardian of the northern japanese alps, devoted to mount Oku Hodaka, one of the highest mountains of Japan and the highest among northern japanese alps mountains. Myojin pond has its source at mount Myojin and its water is so pure that it has become a true sacred place of Kamikochi.
 
Hotel in Kamikochi
breakfast, dinner

Day 5 : Matsumoto - Takayama

Itinerary of the day 5

Hotel - leaving for Takayama in the morning or around noon ー <<1h30>>  Takayama : free visit at Takayama area [e.g. Takayama matsuri kaikan (Takayama festival center), Takayama jinya (historical government house), Takayama historic district,  Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village, Hida-Furukawa historic town ( known for the animated film " Your name.")   etc.] - Overnight at Takayama

 

Takayama ~ The little Kyoto of Hida ~
 

The superficie of Takayama is large as Tokyo but most of the land is mountainous so the inhabitable area is limited and the town counts about  90 000 inhabitants. A large section of the population is located in the center of the city not far from Takayama station. The place is situated west of Hida mountain chain (Northern japanese alps) including the city of Hida, Gero and Shirakawa-go. Into this wide area, the center of Takayama is called “Hida-Takayama”. Takayama developed being a transit of the route from Nagoya to Hokuriku, but snow falls and a lack of infrastructures have limited modern life. Consequently, the town preserved the old atmosphere of Edo period with its ancient merchant houses. It is registered in the area of conservation of traditional building. Formerly, Takayama was the starting point for mountaineer who headed for different trails and summits, but its beauty became well-known by word of mouth and it is today a great tourist site. Takayama is a provincial town but it was also a former land that belonged to the shogun Tokugawa, so the cultural asset regarding Edo period is important. The city is adorned with elegance, adding a touch of grace to the landscape. It is also called “little Kyoto” and is nowadays a well-visited site.

Tradition and Culture in Hida Takayama

As mentioned above, Takayama preserves the Edo period traditions, having been spared from modern life. Thanks to the rich natural resources, the Hida region developed the wood processing industry. The craftsmen are named “Hida no Takumi” (Hida’s craftsmen) due to their virtue of technical excellence. They were very pleased and popular in all fields and everytime. Hida pieces of furniture are today well-known worldwide. Pieces of art as “Ichi-i-itto-bori” sculptures and lacquered furnitures named “Shunkei-nuri”confirm their exceptional skills.     

“Hida Takayama Matsuri” festival takes place in spring and summer. You will find plenty of carpentry woodworking demonstration and the making of parade floats (Yatai). Takayama-matsuri is one of the 3 great festivals of Hikiyama including Gion-Matsuri (Kyoto) and Chichibu-Yomatsuri (Saitama). In 2016, it had been registered in the UNESCO  immaterial and cultural heritage in the Yama Hoko Gyoji section (japanese festival that includes float parade to pray the god and protect people from natural disaster. These are made thanks to the effort of communities in each town where the parade takes place). A dozen of those parade 2 times a year, and they are all different. Each one has its unique appearance and a very detailed framework. Mechanical dolls are also placed on the float. Because of their beauty and their sharpness, these are called “Ugoku Yomeimon” (beautiful moving Yomei gate). The old floats are preserved in the Takayama matsuri kaikan (Takayama festival center) and it really worth a visit.

Hida-Furukawa
Taking the train for 30 minutes  from Takayama station to the north, you will arrive to Hida-Furukawa station. After Takayama has become a well-known destination, HIda-Furukawa was rarely mentioned, but thanks to the success of the animated movie “your name” (Kimi no na wa in Japanese) in 2016 which shows the main station and the town of Furukawa, this place has become really famous.  The town of Hida-Furukawa is not big as Takayama, but there is plenty of charmly strolls to enjoy. Due to a fire at the beginning of the XXth century, the old houses have been destroyed, but by means of the reconstruction efforts of the administrative services and every single person, the town was rebuilt with the same ancient atmosphere.  They avoided the construction of big hotels and kept a beautiful and simple style with a perfect harmony. It is highly recommended to stroll around Shirakabe Dozo Gai district, where you will see thousands of carps in a canal surrounded by a beautiful wall called Namako Kabe. For anyone who loves japanese sake, it could be recommended to discover the very good sake of Hida which is made with the natural water that comes from the north of the Japanese alps. In Furukawa, there is also a float festival that is registered on the list of the immaterial and cultural heritage. There are 9 floats in this festival that would seem like a small number in comparison with the Takayama festival, but it is no less majestic. There is also an other event that is called Okoshi-Daiko during which hundreds of men wearing a fundoshi (a kind of traditional japanese underwear) carry big or small drums while walking and "fighting" in the streets. This is one of the well-known “naked-festivals” in Japan. So you could enjoy seeing this beautiful floats and drummers fight during the festival Furukawa Matsuri Kaikan.
Hotel in Takayama
breakfast

Day 6 : Takayama - Shirakawago

Itinerary of the day 6

Hotel - leaving for Takayama in the morning → Visit free in Takayama throughout the morning. Departure for Shirakawa-go early in the afternoon. - overnight at Shirakawago : World Heritage site

*Accomodation at Shirakawago is Minshuku style with traditional Shirakawago's architechure
 

Shirakawa-go

In the region of Hida, Shirakawa-go Ogimachi village in Gifu prefecture, Gokayama Ainokura village and Suganuma village in Toyama prefecture are registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. 
Shirakawa-go is the biggest village among those 3 villages, and it is 2/3 of the World Heritage part, and there are 60 houses in total.

In Japanese, it is not simply "the village of the World Heritage", but it is registered under the name of "the village of Gassho style". The "Gassho" is  the very unique thatched roofs of this region of World Heritage site.

Gassho style is one of the Japanese construction style and it is used for heavy snowfall region, and it is built by the combination of the logs alternately, steeply sloaped, thatched roofs that meet a high roof, which looks that "bringing the hands together to pray to the gods" which is "Gassho" in Japanese.
The design of the steaply sloaped roof is for that the snow piled up on the roof would easily sliding down.
The large garret created by those roofs was used for the shelves to raise silkworms. The sericultural industry is the principal industry in this region.
By the development of the sericultural industry, the roof was made higher and steeper to increase the space.
The roof is made without one single nail, and it is fixed by ropes but tough and flexible structure. The exposure of the house and the position of the window are fully calculated. This rational style of architecture is made by wisdom of ancestors. 
The thatched roof maintains for 30-40years, but it is damaged by wind, rain and snow, so it is necessary to repair one or twice per year.
Changing the thatched roof is a great task so that all residents used to come to work together.

  

In the end of the 19th century, there were around 2,000 houses of Gassho style, but nevertheless, this style of architecture was exceptional and rare in Japan.
By the depopulation and by the constructions of the dams, many people left the villages, but as this region is located in the heavy snowfall area and
without the sufficient transportation facilities, the villages have been isolated from cities, and for this reason, some part of the villages were being maintained until today.
In due course, the actions of concerving the original and unique villages and rural landscape are started inside and outside of the villages, and finally, in 1994, they are registered as the 4th World Cultural Heritage site in Japan.
Today, it became a famed tourist spot but as the number of the souvenir stores and restaurants are increased, it is concerned that the original scenery of pastoral and calm mountain villages is vanishing.
Minshuku at Shirakawa-go
breakfast, dinner

Day 7 : Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa

Itinerary of the day 7

Minshuku in shirakawa-go - Departure for Kanazawa in the morning. Free visit in Kanazawa [ Kanazawa castle park, Kenrokuen garden, Myoryu-ji temple (Ninja-dera), Ohmicho market, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Seison-kaku ( local lord's mansion house), Old samurai district and geisha districts etc.] - Overnight at Kanazawa


 


Kanazawa

 
Kanazawa is the capital of the prefecture Ishikawa in Hokuriku region, and it has been developped as a castle town of the biggest daimyo (feudal lord) in Edo period, and its population was big after 3cities as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

Known as "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), people and feudal lords admired its prosperity and even though the city is out from principal roades, the original graceful city has been founded.
Kaga has not been involved and damaged by wars, and by the Second World War, the classic and charming beauty remains.
Moreover, successive lords of the Domain encouraged the cultural activities, various traditional cultures are succeded until today.


《Kenroku-en》
Kenroku-en is known as one of the 3 best parks in Japan, a circuit style garden classed 3-star in the Michelin guide. 
In each season, the park shows beautiful various beauty; the cherry blossom in spring, fresh green leaves in summer, red and yellow leaves in autumn, and Yukitsuri in winter (the technique for the protection of the trees for avoiding snow damage) and off course, a variety of flowers are worth to see in the garden.

Kenroku-en belongs to the Kanazawa castle, and it is located in a low hill, but there are many ponds and the warterways, trees and objets d'art make a magnificent harmony in the garden. 
 

《21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art》
This museum features the contemporary arts after 1980 and the up-and coming artists' artworks are on exhibition.
As they are contemporary arts, perhaps the name of artists are not yet famous, but they will be well known, so that this is the  investiments for the future.
For example, the unit of the architects SAANA who won the Golden Lion prize for the most significant work in the international architecture exhibition of the Venice Biennale constructed the unique circular design and elegant galleries one floor under ground and one floor above ground.

Now SANAA is in charge of the design for the renovation of the old department store in Paris, La Samaritaine de Paris.

《Ninja Temple》
Myoryuji is the official name of this temple, but it is called as the Ninja Temple because of many trap doors and secret passageways inside.
The temple has no relation with the historical ninja who spies and assasins, but this architecture has been made because of the history of the domain of Kaga.
The domain of Kaga was called as "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), and the very wealthy and powerful feudral clan so that they have been watched out by the central gouvernment the Tokugawa Shogunate.
However, they could not officialy protect them by the gouvernement, so that they built the temple with fully function of protection secretly for the emergency of atacks. 

The visit tour must be pre-booked in advance, and the guide will show you the traps inside of the temple.
 

《Higashi & Nishi Chaya District, Kazue-machi & Naga-machi Chaya District and Samurai residence》
Without beein involved into the wars, this region maintains classic and peaceful streets of Edo period unti today.
They have been influenced by the elegant culture of Kyoto because of the location, and the entertainment district with luxury restaurants with Maiko and Geisha was developped along the river Saigawa. 
Especially, Higashi Chaya District and Kazue-machi Chaya District are designated as the Nation's Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings.
And in Nagamachi, the beautiful earthen walls of upper and middle classes samurai's residences and pavements will drive you in the ancient classical period.
 

《Seison-kaku》
Seison-kaku is specified in the Nation's Important Cultural Properties and built in 1863, in the transition period from Edo to Meiji, very turbulent time of Japan.
It is built by the lord of Kaga for the retirement of his mother, so that we can find his careful attention for the parent in the elegance of the construction.

The ground floor is buit in Shoinzukuri style (the traditional style of Japanese residential architecture) of feudal lord, and the 1st flor is in the style of Sukiyazukuri which is based of a Japanese tea ceremony building. Each room has been decorated in own theme.
We can find the modern oxidental touch which was very modern at that time into the traditional construction and these aspects make the special charm of the building.
 

《The park of Kanazawa castle》
The Kanazawa castle is the residence of Kaga Domain "Kaga Hyakuman koku" (the wealthy Kaga Domain with a net worth of 1 million koku of rice), the family of Maeda.
What we see today is the renovated one in the end of 20th century, and the most of the original part of the castle has been burnt in the end of 18th century. In 19th century, it was used as military facilities of the army, and it was used as the campus of the university after the Second World War.
The main building of the castle is not restored, but the central raised platform and the main gate, and positions and constructions of the facilities are historicaly re-produced.
Especially the technique of stone walls are very high and you can find the stone walls of different style and different period, so that this castle is also called as "the museum of stone walls".
 
Hotel in Kanazawa
breakfast

Day 8 : Kanazawa - Kyoto

Itinerary of the day 8
 
Hotel - Visit free in Kanazawa in the morning - *departure for Kyoto by express train in the afternoon. -Overnight in Kyoto.
 
*You can choose the departure time for Kyoto. Please inform us your preferred departure time. 
breakfast

Day 9 : Kyoto

*If you wish to add your stay in Kyoto, please fill in your request on our inquiry form.

[List of popular tourist sites in Kyoto]

* Kinkakuji Buddhist temple (lit. "Temple of the Golden Pavilion")

* Ryōanji temple’s rock garden

* Daitokuji Buddhist temple

* Nijō castle

* Heian Shintō shrine/Heian Shintō shrine gardens

* Ginkakuji (lit. "Temple of the Silver Pavilion")

* Tetsugaku no Michi (lit. Path of Philosophy)

* Kyōto National Museum

* Kiyomizu Buddhist temple (although it is possible to visit it, it is currently going through some repair work)

* Rengeōin Buddhist temple (also known as Sanjūsangendō temple)

* Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka historic districts

* Zenrinji Buddhist temple (also known as Eikandō temple)

* Nanzenji Buddhist temple

* Nanzenin Buddhist temple's precinct

* Exploration of Gion district (known as the Geisha streets)

* Traditional Tea Ceremony experience

* Fushimi Inari Grand Shintō shrine

* Tōfuku Buddhist temple

* Byōdōin Buddhist temple's "Phoenix hall" (Hōōdō hall)
 



Click here to discover our tours starting from Kyoto.

Accomodation is not included *Please ask us for the extra nights.
breakfast

Possible to customize as your wish

This is a original tour made by our travel designers.

If you wish to add a few activities or some guided tours, or if you need the help of an assistant, please get in touch. 
We can also recommend some sightseeing or give you information about the local cuisine and popular activities to enjoy.


This tour can be customized. If you would like to change it, please select your date of departure on the schedule at the bottom of this page and fill in the request form.


 Other Suggested Itineraries
 Contact us here

 
Important to know
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult

  • Please inform us, at the time of booking, about the participation of any person with reduced mobility or suffering from any  condition requiring special needs during the trip.

  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.

  • You are responsible for your own navigation and arrival at the hotels as per the Tour itinerary. If you wish to change the itinerary once the Tour has started e.g. change of hotel or add on extra nights then this is entirely your own undertaking as are any additional charges incurred.

  • Our company is responsible for providing the services in the tour description according to the local standard and the accurate description of services offered in its literature. In case of traffic congestion or any other uncontrollable reasons that affect the tour schedule and lead to delay in time, schedule change or visit cancellation etc., our company will not take any responsibility, please be noted in advance.

  • All the bookings must be confirmed not later than 30 days before departure.

Additional informations
  • You have the possibility to stay in a wide range of accommodation types in order to immerse yourself in our culture. Please refer to  “Accommodation

  • Please note that you will take public transport during the trip. Please refer to “Transportation

  • Your main luggage will not be transferred from hotel to hotel.  It is recommended to send your luggage at each hotel to next hotel or the hotel 2days after if your luggage is huge enough. 

  • A moderate amount of walking is involved / This itinerary includes hiking paths; please wear comfortable walking shoes.

  • Please refer to “Travel information” about any useful information.

  • Pictures are used for illustrative purpose only.

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Dec.

Nagano

-0.5 0.2 3.7 10.8 17.4 18.8 25.1 24.9 19.8 14.3 6.8 1.0

Kamikochi
 
-0.6 0.8 4.8 10.4 16.3 20.4 24.4 25.1 20.6 14.0 7.8 2.6

Takayama

-1.4 -0.9 2.9 9.6 15.1 19.4 23.0 24.1 19.7 12.9 6.6 1.4

Kanazawa

4.5 4.4 7.2 13.6 18.9 20.3 27.2 27.3 22.4 17.1 10.9 5.6
Included
  • Orientation with our staff on the day before departure
  • Detailed itinerary and our recommendations

  • Customer support between your trip

  • The breakfasts and the meals mentioned in the itinerary  : 8 breakfasts, 3 dinners

  • Every transport mentioned in the itinerary

  • accommodation for 8nights
    :1night at Tokyo, 1 night at lake Kawaguchi with a view of Mt.Fuji, 1night at Matsumoto, 1night at Kamikochi, 1night at Takayama, 1night at Shirakawa-go (Minshuku), 1night at Kanazawa, 1night at Kyoto

       *Regarding the accomodation at Shirakawa-go, it will be Minshuku style.

  • Rental Portable WiFi (Optional) *Possiblity to get and back at the airport where you arrive and leave. please contact us for the rental fee.
*Tour price for children is available. The tour price for the groupe who share the rooms by more than 3 people can be also negotiable. Please ask us about further information on the reservation form.
Not included
  • Tour leader

  • The international flights

  • The insurances

  • The personal expenses

  • The meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Transport to Jigokudani wild snow monkey park 

  • The entrance fees and the activities.

    *Please ask us for the extra nights before or/and after the tour.

Dates & Prices

Please select & click on the date below to make a reservation / inquiry.
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