Cedar tree in Toogakushi

【Guided】Hiking through Japanese History
15 days

In the past, there were 2 roads which linked Tokyo and Kyoto. The first one was called Tokaido and followed the river; the second one, the Nakasendo road, crossed the mountains. It took about 2 weeks to reach each town at this time.
Nowadays, Kyoto and Tokyo are easily reachable by taking the shinkansen (the japanese bullet train), in about 2H15.

During your trip, your tour leader will take you to visit temples which made the archipelago's History, to walk in the footsteps of old times travelers and to admire one of the most beautiful castles in Japan. 

You will enjoy unique experiences that will be engraved in your memory forever. 

The hike being quite easy, beginners are welcome ! 
 

The must see places during the itinerary : 

- The majestic Tokyo metropolis
- The major pilgrimage site :  Zenko-ji temple
- The town loved by Hokusai: Obuse
- The mythical village of Togakushi

- The Japanese Alps
- The thatched roofs in UNESCO world heritage's village of Shirakawa-go
- Picturesque villages of Tsumago and Magome
- The black castle in Nagano
- The traditional Kyoto
- The joyfull Osaka

This tour can be modified according to your wishes. If you would like to adapt it, please select your departure date in the calendar below and access to the request form.  


 Contact us here

                                                                                                    - Travel in Japan with Peak Experience Japan -

15
From ¥571,000

Overview

In the past, there were 2 roads which linked Tokyo and Kyoto. The first one was called Tokaido and followed the river; the second one, the Nakasendo road, crossed the mountains. It took about 2 weeks to reach each town at this time.
Nowadays, Kyoto and Tokyo are easily reachable by taking the shinkansen (the japanese bullet train), in about 2H15.

During your trip, your tour leader will take you to visit temples which made the archipelago's History, to walk in the footsteps of old times travelers and to admire one of the most beautiful castles in Japan. 

You will enjoy unique experiences that will be engraved in your memory forever. 

The hike being quite easy, beginners are welcome ! 
 

The must see places during the itinerary : 

- The majestic Tokyo metropolis
- The major pilgrimage site :  Zenko-ji temple
- The town loved by Hokusai: Obuse
- The mythical village of Togakushi

- The Japanese Alps
- The thatched roofs in UNESCO world heritage's village of Shirakawa-go
- Picturesque villages of Tsumago and Magome
- The black castle in Nagano
- The traditional Kyoto
- The joyfull Osaka

This tour can be modified according to your wishes. If you would like to adapt it, please select your departure date in the calendar below and access to the request form.  


 Contact us here

                                                                                                    - Travel in Japan with Peak Experience Japan -

Day 1 : Tokyo

Arrival at Tokyo


Arrival at Tokyo airport, welcome in Japan !  🗾

Your tour leader will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. Do not hesitate to ask him or her for advice to take your first steps in the metropolis and find a good restaurant.

 If you had chosen a Wifi rental during your stay, please note that it is possible to pick it at the airport or at your hotel. 

Check-in at the hotel. 

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)

Day 2 : Tokyo

Let's visit the capital!


Enjoy a comfortable first day of discovery in Tokyo.
Through its most oldets witnesses: buddhists temples and shinto sanctuaries, why not start to familiarize with this dynamic capital by admiring the prominence of red colors at the Sengakuji temple while enjoying their peacefulness, and by discovering the japanese habit of paying your respect at temples?
You will slowly get used to tokyo's busy daily life and will relax into green spaces such as the giant garden of the Meiji-jingu sanctuary.

To do so, follow the guidance of a native or adopted Tokyoite who will tell you the story of an old Japan.
You can choose between the two following excursions inside the city:

  • Tailor-made excursion with a private French-speaking guide
  • Private bike tour (1 day/half day, extra fees)

 You have the possibility to add overnights in Tokyo. Please fill the request form on the booking page. 

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 3 : Tokyo

Enjoy Tokyo modernity 


According to your wishes, we could dive into the past of the former Edo city by exploring the districts of Ya-Ne-Sen and the Ueno district. Or maybe you will be more into discovering the hyper-modernity of the capital and we could head to the famous Shibuya Crossing, then go on to the trendy area of Omotesando and its fancy shops, to eventually end up having dinner in Shinjuku, a mix of skyscrappers and intimate bars.
Tokyo is overflowing with unexpected places that are waiting for you, such as the vast duck-hunting ground of the Hamarikyuu garden or the otaku district of Akihabara.
Don't go to bed too late, you could have a long day tomorrow!

  Click here to discover other suggestions near Tokyo

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 4 : Tokyo - Togakushi

Let's take the shinkansen from Tokyo 


Check-out the hotel.

🚅 It is time to leave Tokyo to reach the unknown Japan and its mysterious and beautiful nature. We will arrive at Nagano where we will visit Zenkoji temple and the beautiful village of Obuse. Then, let's finish the day in Togakushi village

Kanazawa Hokuriku shinkansen, introduced in 2015, is conceived following the connexion between traditional culture and future. This concept is called "Future of Wa".
Its aspect is a combination between two important modelisations regarding high speed operation. Its color is traditional and harmonize with the landscape along the railroad. It is the definition of speed and intrepidity. The interior space is comfortable and fully designed for relaxing. You feel a comfortable and elegant movement. The level of stability is amazing, because despite crossing mountainous areas at a speed of 260 km / h, it minimizes vibrations and makes the trip as comfortable as possible.

Zenko-ji temple : major place of pilgrimage


Zenko-ji is a temple located North of Nagano Prefecture, founded during the 7th century. It prevailed before the division of Buddhism in Japan, and welcome everyone without making any distinctions, accepting women, in contrary to some other recent temples. Consequently, this temple has always been highly visited for centuries. 

Obuse : the town loved by Hokusai


Obuse, located north Nagano Prefecture is a little town with 11, 000 inhabitants. However, Obuse welcomes every years more than 1,2 million of visitors. You will find plenty of museums, ancient temples and little shops to enjoy local pastries. This traditional town is surrounded by a wonderful and peaceful landscape. That is probably why the famous ukiyoe painter Hokusai loved to stay for some time in this peaceful town.

Togakushi ninja village


Lost into the heart of Japanese Alps, in the Nagano Prefecture, Togakushi village is a peaceful place for centuries. Surrounded by hills and mountains, it is a major place of pilgrimage where nature brings wonderful red and oranges colours during the autumn leaves. It is still unknown by foreign tourists although it was a ninja village in the past. 
Let's discover this Historic and mythical place ! 

Shukubo, shrine lodging 


Check-in.

We offer you to spend the night in a shrine lodging, not far from the Historical shinto shrine : Togakushi. 
Known as an ancient sacred place of Mikkyo (esoteric buddhism), it is said that many shinto priests will meet at Togakushi for there training. After the rejection of Buddhism during Meiji era, the priests  turned their accommodation into a place of rest for pilgrims traveling to the Togakushi shrine.
Early in the morning or in the evening, you could experience a shinto ceremony...
For dinner, you will have the chance to enjoy the delicious cooking using ingredients of the surrounding mountains. Do not miss the local meals, the famous Togakushi soba (buckwheat noodles). 

Shukubo in Togakushi
breakfast, dinner

Day 5 : Hike near Togakushi

Spiritual hike into a cedar trees forest 


This little village hides many secrets... The alley which lead to the sanctuary is surrounded by beautiful cedar trees dating back from the 7th century. Moreover, the  Ninjutsu (ninja culture) has a long history in this forest. This hike is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both nature and Japan History. 

We will go on a hike following the five sanctuaries which compose Togakushi shrine. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to visit it. But if you want to take it slow, we will focus on the two main ones: Oku-sha and Kuzuryuu jinja.
Each one has its own particularity of benediction, so if you visit all of them, your destiny should be fabulous !

Oku-sha: the good fortune
Kuzuryuu jinja : marriage, benediction of water
Chuusha : success in studies
Hinomikosha : Knowing of music and dance
Hokosha : Fertility, clear bad spirits

The Okusha sanctuary is located at the top of the mountain. It is recommended to visit all the sanctuaries from the top to the bottom of the mountain. Buses are available to go to Okusha, Chuusha, and Okosha. 

Just next to the entrance of the Okusha sanctuary is the Folkloric Museum of Togakushi, and the ninja museum where still stands an old ninja mansion ! A must see place ! You will have the opportunity to see old relics and valuable items of ninja culture. Then you could take a break near Chuusha sanctuary or walk a bit more to rest on the shores of the Kagami Pond which offers magnificent colors in autumn.
During this day you will breathe the fresh air of Togakushi area. This site is also believed as an important source of energy, surrounded by 400 years cedar trees, for a perfect harmony between your mind and your body.

Shukubo in Togakushi
breakfast, dinner

Day 6 : Nagano - Matsumoto

Let's head for the castle !


Check-out the Shukubo.

 Leave the village of Togakushi by train. 

After this refreshing moment, you will continue your trip to Matsumoto where stands one of the three most beautiful castles of Japan. The city is surrounded by Japanese Alps that gives a unique amosphere.

Check-in at Matsumoto.

Hotel in Matsumoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 7 : Matsumoto - Kamikochi

The beauty of Japanese Alps


Check-out.

Let's hike the Japanese Alps in the Kamikochi valley, to discover the beauty of its landscape as the wonderful Taishoike pound
From the city of Matsumoto, located in Nagano Prefecture, you will reach Kamikochi valley in about 1H40 by train and bus. This valley is located 1500 meters high in the Hida mountains (northern Japanese Alps). 

Among all the mountainous tourism places in Japan, Kamikochi is one of the most popular tourist sites with mount Fuji. 
Many tourists who come from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya use the summer holidays or the autumn to enjoy this majestic area.

Check-in at Kamikochi.

Hotel in Kamikochi (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 8 : Kamikochi - Hirayu - Takayama

The old town of Takayama 


Enjoy a relaxing day by strolling in the Japanese Alps
You could relax at Hirayu onsen (Hot springs), in the middle of the mountains or leave earlier in the morning to discover  the old town of takayama where you will spend the night. 

 From the bus station of Kamikochi, take the bus to Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. The transfert point at Hirayu onsen is a famous hot springs spot.
🚶‍♂From Hirayu onsen bus station, walk 5 minutes to Hirayu no mori where you will find many onsen. 
Then, take the bus to Takayama, a picturesque town called  the little Kyoto of Hida. 

 If you wish to, you can extend your stay in Takayama : please contact us. 
 

Check-in at Takayama, with dinner included.

Hotel in Takayama (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 9 : Shirakawago

Travel in time visiting the village of Shirakawago


Take your time and visit the old town of Takayama. You could also visit the edo village of Shirakawago and its thatch roofs houses, listed at the UNESCO World Heritage.

Hotel in Takayama (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 10 : Magome - Tsumago Hiking (apx.3h)

Back to the Edo era in the village of Magome 


Check-out at the hotel.

You will visit Magome, a village where travelers who came from Kyoto (which was the capital of Japan), used to stay when they were on their road to Tokyo, formerly called Edo. This village, extremely prosperous at the time, fell into poverty after the construction of the railway...until it was rediscovered and restored as it was before; making it a popular place for travelers looking for authenticity and history. This is the same story of another village, Tsumago, where you will hike during the day to enjoy both the tradition and the surrounding nature that connect the two villages.

Absolutely charming with its paved roads and old houses, you will sleep in one of the local inns and feel completely immersed in the traditional Japanese culture!

🥾 From Magome, we will head for Tsumago passing by a mountain trail in the mountains. 

Hiking the ancient road Nakasendo (Magome - Tsumago)


🥾From the 43rd Shukuba, "Magome" to the 42nd, "Tsumago", there are about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles).

Going uphill from Magome, you will arrive at Magome Touge, the highest point of this road. 
You will see a charming building, dating back from the end of the Edo era which becomes a relaxing place where you could enjoy a tea and take a break. 
🏔️ On your way, you will see a beautiful waterfall and a stunning view, and could enjoy hiking this incredible naturel landscape. The cobblestones path make the atmosphere fascinating. 

It takes about 3 hours to go to Tsumago, and as it is a 200 meters drop path to go down, it is adpated to everyone. The trail is not so long and you will be able to admire a beautiful natural scenery while walking on the cobblestones paths  surrounded by the vegetation which emphasize the old atmosphere of this region. 
Moreover, the starting point and the arrival are two charming villages, so very popular among foreigners from many different countries.

Tsumago


As this place is preserved from a very long time, Tsumago is at the first place on the list of the National Heritage of Traditional Buildings, with Shirakawago and Gion streets in Kyoto. In contrary to Magome which has been destroyed by a fire at the beginning of the 20th century, Tsumago keeps the picture of an old Edo town. 

There is a real desire to revive the Magome neighborhood and take positive steps to get more tourists, however Tsumago maintains a quieter and more moderate appearance while keeping the landscape of yesteryear. Here, there are buildings considered cultural property since the Edo era, with also the Kisoji Museum and the Honjin (former housing for the nobles and high class). It is easy to imagine that at that time, samurai, and aristocrats would meet in these places.

N.B. :

- During the trip, we offer to spend the night at Magome or Tsumago, but note that it is also possible to stay in a Minshuku (old style inn) : a Sukuba. Shukuba are little inns where formerly, travelers used to spend the night. Those are rustic but with a traditional atmosphere, so it is possible that there is no bathroom in you room (communal bathroom in this case).  
- It is also possible that the rooms are separated only by fusuma (sliding doors covered with thick paper that serve as partitions in traditional Japanese houses and separate the rooms). However, you will be immersed in the Edo era atmosphere. 
- During your stay, it is possible that the entire group is not in the same accommodation according to their availability and capacity. It may be the same for your guide.

Ryokan or Minshuku at Tsumago or Magome
breakfast, dinner

Day 11: Kyoto

Let's go to Kyoto !


Check-out at the hotel.
You have surely fully enjoyed the luxuriant Japanese nature but we will make a small transition towards modernity, as you are leaving for the gorgeous capital of Kyoto.

You will have to change train in Nagoya. Therefore, if you wsh to, you can take the opportunity to visit the city or simply go straigh to the former capital ! 

Full of wanders, Kyoto offers numerous activities especially when it comes to temples. As you have the whole afternoon free, why don't you explore the traditional district of Gion? Enjoy your evening to explore the Pontocho district where you will find many bars and restaurants.

OUR SUGGESTIONS :

* Buddhist temple Daitokuji 

* Nijō castle

* Shinto sanctuary Heian / Shinto gardens Heian 

* Kyōto National Museum  

* Buddhist temple Kiyomizu  (it is possible to visit it, but it is currently being renovated)

* Buddhist temple Rengeōin (also known as the temple Sanjūsangendō)

* Historical districts of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka

* Buddhist temple Zenrinji (also known as Eikandō temple)

* Discovery of the Gion district (known as the geishas quarter)

* Experiment tea ceremony

* Buddhist temple of Tōfuku 

* Buddhist temple of Byōdōin, Phoenix  (Hōōdō hall)

Click here to learn more about this traditional capital and its suburbs !

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Check-in at your planned accomodation: Enso Ango Hotel .

Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 12 : Kyoto

Discovering the essential spots


We will enjoy this full day in Kyoto to discover its essential tourist attractions such as the Golden Pavillon or the Silver Pavillon. From here, we will be able to walk through the Philosophy path: a lovely stroll next to cherry trees.
Taste the local diversity by eating some soba or udon noddles.
With a full stomach, we can keep on walking until we reach the Nanzenji temple and its mystical atmosphere, at the foot of a mountain.
We also recommend to pay your respect at the astonishing Fushima Inarai Taisha sanctuary and its thousands red portals called torii.
You can also choose to go beyond the wall of this old capital and explore its surroundings. One of our guide could show you around Arashiyama and its bamboo groves; or you could ride a bike around Higashiyama.
A full discovery of the East of Kyoto !

This fateful day has come, you have to let your tour leader go. But don't worry, we know you will be able to make the best out of your last days. 


OUR SUGGESTIONS :

* Ginkakuji ("The Silver Pavillon")

* Tetsugaku no Michi ("The Philosophy path")

*
Buddhist temple Kinkakuji ("The Golden Pavillon")

* Ryōanji rocks's temple

*
Buddhist temples of Nanzenin and Nanzenji   

*
Shinto sanctuary of Fushimi Inari   

* Arashiyama: Togetsukyo bridge, the famous bamboo grove, Okochi Sanso villa , Tenryu-ji temple , Iwatayama...

Click here to discover our suggested trips from Kyoto !

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.
Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 13 : Kyoto

Discovering the nature and beyond


This free day could be the opportunity to get off the beaten track and reconnect with nature.
Do not hesitate to go outside the city until Kurama-Dera where a lovely hike into the mountains will guide you to the temple, from where you will be able to contemplate a hopefully clear view on the mountain.
You could also go for a one-day trip to the very first capital Nara. You will enjoy the company of deers while visiting ancient temples.
You could also explore even more remote places such as the Amanohashidate bridge linking Heaven and Earth or the fishing village of Ine.


 

OUR SUGGESTIONS:

* Kurama temple

* The bridge to heaven of Amanohashidate


* The fishing village of Ine


* Nara: Kofuku-ji temple, Todai-ji temple and the Great Buddha, Kasuga Taisha sanctuary...

 Click here for more details about Nara. 

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 14 : Osaka

Back to the city with the metropolis of Osaka


Check-out. 

Departure by train bound for Osaka at your own time.

Enjoy this thrilling city by walking in Namba quarter, the "American village" of Amerika-mura or the dynamic Shin-Sekai! Osaka is very famous for its gastronomy: seize this opporunity and try to east some takoyaki (octopus ball) or okonomiyaki (savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients in a wheat-flour-based batter)!
Modern city, you will find in Osaka many small shops and big department stores perfect for finding souvenirs, before going home.

Option: Make a Japanese knives by following the instructions of local crafters around Sakai. Click here for more information. Please contact us, if you are interested.

OUR SUGGESTIONS:

* Dotonbori

* Shinsaibashi: the America mura area


* Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

* Buddhist temple Hozenji

* Osaka castle

* District Tsuruhashi : Koreatown

* Aquarium "Kaiyukan"


Click here to discover our suggested itineraries of Osaka!

You can also hire a private English-speaking guide, for an extra fee.
You are free to expand your stay in Osaka. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Check-in at your hotel (planned to be close to the airport, for your comfort). 

Hotel near Kansai airport (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 15 : Departure from the airport

Sayonara Japan!


Check-out.
Take the free shuttle bus of your hotel or ride on a train from a local station, to arrive at Kansai international airport in advance. 

Flight check-in and luggages dropping.

After your lovely holidays, it is time to go home. We hope to see you soon! 👋

If you rented a Pocket WIFI, return it to the WIFI rental service counter, at the station of the airport or directly at Kansai airport.

Where to Go

Itinerary

Day 1 : Tokyo

Arrival at Tokyo


Arrival at Tokyo airport, welcome in Japan !  🗾

Your tour leader will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. Do not hesitate to ask him or her for advice to take your first steps in the metropolis and find a good restaurant.

 If you had chosen a Wifi rental during your stay, please note that it is possible to pick it at the airport or at your hotel. 

Check-in at the hotel. 

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)

Day 2 : Tokyo

Let's visit the capital!


Enjoy a comfortable first day of discovery in Tokyo.
Through its most oldets witnesses: buddhists temples and shinto sanctuaries, why not start to familiarize with this dynamic capital by admiring the prominence of red colors at the Sengakuji temple while enjoying their peacefulness, and by discovering the japanese habit of paying your respect at temples?
You will slowly get used to tokyo's busy daily life and will relax into green spaces such as the giant garden of the Meiji-jingu sanctuary.

To do so, follow the guidance of a native or adopted Tokyoite who will tell you the story of an old Japan.
You can choose between the two following excursions inside the city:

  • Tailor-made excursion with a private French-speaking guide
  • Private bike tour (1 day/half day, extra fees)

 You have the possibility to add overnights in Tokyo. Please fill the request form on the booking page. 

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 3 : Tokyo

Enjoy Tokyo modernity 


According to your wishes, we could dive into the past of the former Edo city by exploring the districts of Ya-Ne-Sen and the Ueno district. Or maybe you will be more into discovering the hyper-modernity of the capital and we could head to the famous Shibuya Crossing, then go on to the trendy area of Omotesando and its fancy shops, to eventually end up having dinner in Shinjuku, a mix of skyscrappers and intimate bars.
Tokyo is overflowing with unexpected places that are waiting for you, such as the vast duck-hunting ground of the Hamarikyuu garden or the otaku district of Akihabara.
Don't go to bed too late, you could have a long day tomorrow!

  Click here to discover other suggestions near Tokyo

Hotel in Tokyo (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 4 : Tokyo - Togakushi

Let's take the shinkansen from Tokyo 


Check-out the hotel.

🚅 It is time to leave Tokyo to reach the unknown Japan and its mysterious and beautiful nature. We will arrive at Nagano where we will visit Zenkoji temple and the beautiful village of Obuse. Then, let's finish the day in Togakushi village

Kanazawa Hokuriku shinkansen, introduced in 2015, is conceived following the connexion between traditional culture and future. This concept is called "Future of Wa".
Its aspect is a combination between two important modelisations regarding high speed operation. Its color is traditional and harmonize with the landscape along the railroad. It is the definition of speed and intrepidity. The interior space is comfortable and fully designed for relaxing. You feel a comfortable and elegant movement. The level of stability is amazing, because despite crossing mountainous areas at a speed of 260 km / h, it minimizes vibrations and makes the trip as comfortable as possible.

Zenko-ji temple : major place of pilgrimage


Zenko-ji is a temple located North of Nagano Prefecture, founded during the 7th century. It prevailed before the division of Buddhism in Japan, and welcome everyone without making any distinctions, accepting women, in contrary to some other recent temples. Consequently, this temple has always been highly visited for centuries. 

Obuse : the town loved by Hokusai


Obuse, located north Nagano Prefecture is a little town with 11, 000 inhabitants. However, Obuse welcomes every years more than 1,2 million of visitors. You will find plenty of museums, ancient temples and little shops to enjoy local pastries. This traditional town is surrounded by a wonderful and peaceful landscape. That is probably why the famous ukiyoe painter Hokusai loved to stay for some time in this peaceful town.

Togakushi ninja village


Lost into the heart of Japanese Alps, in the Nagano Prefecture, Togakushi village is a peaceful place for centuries. Surrounded by hills and mountains, it is a major place of pilgrimage where nature brings wonderful red and oranges colours during the autumn leaves. It is still unknown by foreign tourists although it was a ninja village in the past. 
Let's discover this Historic and mythical place ! 

Shukubo, shrine lodging 


Check-in.

We offer you to spend the night in a shrine lodging, not far from the Historical shinto shrine : Togakushi. 
Known as an ancient sacred place of Mikkyo (esoteric buddhism), it is said that many shinto priests will meet at Togakushi for there training. After the rejection of Buddhism during Meiji era, the priests  turned their accommodation into a place of rest for pilgrims traveling to the Togakushi shrine.
Early in the morning or in the evening, you could experience a shinto ceremony...
For dinner, you will have the chance to enjoy the delicious cooking using ingredients of the surrounding mountains. Do not miss the local meals, the famous Togakushi soba (buckwheat noodles). 

Shukubo in Togakushi
breakfast, dinner

Day 5 : Hike near Togakushi

Spiritual hike into a cedar trees forest 


This little village hides many secrets... The alley which lead to the sanctuary is surrounded by beautiful cedar trees dating back from the 7th century. Moreover, the  Ninjutsu (ninja culture) has a long history in this forest. This hike is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both nature and Japan History. 

We will go on a hike following the five sanctuaries which compose Togakushi shrine. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to visit it. But if you want to take it slow, we will focus on the two main ones: Oku-sha and Kuzuryuu jinja.
Each one has its own particularity of benediction, so if you visit all of them, your destiny should be fabulous !

Oku-sha: the good fortune
Kuzuryuu jinja : marriage, benediction of water
Chuusha : success in studies
Hinomikosha : Knowing of music and dance
Hokosha : Fertility, clear bad spirits

The Okusha sanctuary is located at the top of the mountain. It is recommended to visit all the sanctuaries from the top to the bottom of the mountain. Buses are available to go to Okusha, Chuusha, and Okosha. 

Just next to the entrance of the Okusha sanctuary is the Folkloric Museum of Togakushi, and the ninja museum where still stands an old ninja mansion ! A must see place ! You will have the opportunity to see old relics and valuable items of ninja culture. Then you could take a break near Chuusha sanctuary or walk a bit more to rest on the shores of the Kagami Pond which offers magnificent colors in autumn.
During this day you will breathe the fresh air of Togakushi area. This site is also believed as an important source of energy, surrounded by 400 years cedar trees, for a perfect harmony between your mind and your body.

Shukubo in Togakushi
breakfast, dinner

Day 6 : Nagano - Matsumoto

Let's head for the castle !


Check-out the Shukubo.

 Leave the village of Togakushi by train. 

After this refreshing moment, you will continue your trip to Matsumoto where stands one of the three most beautiful castles of Japan. The city is surrounded by Japanese Alps that gives a unique amosphere.

Check-in at Matsumoto.

Hotel in Matsumoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 7 : Matsumoto - Kamikochi

The beauty of Japanese Alps


Check-out.

Let's hike the Japanese Alps in the Kamikochi valley, to discover the beauty of its landscape as the wonderful Taishoike pound
From the city of Matsumoto, located in Nagano Prefecture, you will reach Kamikochi valley in about 1H40 by train and bus. This valley is located 1500 meters high in the Hida mountains (northern Japanese Alps). 

Among all the mountainous tourism places in Japan, Kamikochi is one of the most popular tourist sites with mount Fuji. 
Many tourists who come from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya use the summer holidays or the autumn to enjoy this majestic area.

Check-in at Kamikochi.

Hotel in Kamikochi (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 8 : Kamikochi - Hirayu - Takayama

The old town of Takayama 


Enjoy a relaxing day by strolling in the Japanese Alps
You could relax at Hirayu onsen (Hot springs), in the middle of the mountains or leave earlier in the morning to discover  the old town of takayama where you will spend the night. 

 From the bus station of Kamikochi, take the bus to Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. The transfert point at Hirayu onsen is a famous hot springs spot.
🚶‍♂From Hirayu onsen bus station, walk 5 minutes to Hirayu no mori where you will find many onsen. 
Then, take the bus to Takayama, a picturesque town called  the little Kyoto of Hida. 

 If you wish to, you can extend your stay in Takayama : please contact us. 
 

Check-in at Takayama, with dinner included.

Hotel in Takayama (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 9 : Shirakawago

Travel in time visiting the village of Shirakawago


Take your time and visit the old town of Takayama. You could also visit the edo village of Shirakawago and its thatch roofs houses, listed at the UNESCO World Heritage.

Hotel in Takayama (☆☆☆)
breakfast, dinner

Day 10 : Magome - Tsumago Hiking (apx.3h)

Back to the Edo era in the village of Magome 


Check-out at the hotel.

You will visit Magome, a village where travelers who came from Kyoto (which was the capital of Japan), used to stay when they were on their road to Tokyo, formerly called Edo. This village, extremely prosperous at the time, fell into poverty after the construction of the railway...until it was rediscovered and restored as it was before; making it a popular place for travelers looking for authenticity and history. This is the same story of another village, Tsumago, where you will hike during the day to enjoy both the tradition and the surrounding nature that connect the two villages.

Absolutely charming with its paved roads and old houses, you will sleep in one of the local inns and feel completely immersed in the traditional Japanese culture!

🥾 From Magome, we will head for Tsumago passing by a mountain trail in the mountains. 

Hiking the ancient road Nakasendo (Magome - Tsumago)


🥾From the 43rd Shukuba, "Magome" to the 42nd, "Tsumago", there are about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles).

Going uphill from Magome, you will arrive at Magome Touge, the highest point of this road. 
You will see a charming building, dating back from the end of the Edo era which becomes a relaxing place where you could enjoy a tea and take a break. 
🏔️ On your way, you will see a beautiful waterfall and a stunning view, and could enjoy hiking this incredible naturel landscape. The cobblestones path make the atmosphere fascinating. 

It takes about 3 hours to go to Tsumago, and as it is a 200 meters drop path to go down, it is adpated to everyone. The trail is not so long and you will be able to admire a beautiful natural scenery while walking on the cobblestones paths  surrounded by the vegetation which emphasize the old atmosphere of this region. 
Moreover, the starting point and the arrival are two charming villages, so very popular among foreigners from many different countries.

Tsumago


As this place is preserved from a very long time, Tsumago is at the first place on the list of the National Heritage of Traditional Buildings, with Shirakawago and Gion streets in Kyoto. In contrary to Magome which has been destroyed by a fire at the beginning of the 20th century, Tsumago keeps the picture of an old Edo town. 

There is a real desire to revive the Magome neighborhood and take positive steps to get more tourists, however Tsumago maintains a quieter and more moderate appearance while keeping the landscape of yesteryear. Here, there are buildings considered cultural property since the Edo era, with also the Kisoji Museum and the Honjin (former housing for the nobles and high class). It is easy to imagine that at that time, samurai, and aristocrats would meet in these places.

N.B. :

- During the trip, we offer to spend the night at Magome or Tsumago, but note that it is also possible to stay in a Minshuku (old style inn) : a Sukuba. Shukuba are little inns where formerly, travelers used to spend the night. Those are rustic but with a traditional atmosphere, so it is possible that there is no bathroom in you room (communal bathroom in this case).  
- It is also possible that the rooms are separated only by fusuma (sliding doors covered with thick paper that serve as partitions in traditional Japanese houses and separate the rooms). However, you will be immersed in the Edo era atmosphere. 
- During your stay, it is possible that the entire group is not in the same accommodation according to their availability and capacity. It may be the same for your guide.

Ryokan or Minshuku at Tsumago or Magome
breakfast, dinner

Day 11: Kyoto

Let's go to Kyoto !


Check-out at the hotel.
You have surely fully enjoyed the luxuriant Japanese nature but we will make a small transition towards modernity, as you are leaving for the gorgeous capital of Kyoto.

You will have to change train in Nagoya. Therefore, if you wsh to, you can take the opportunity to visit the city or simply go straigh to the former capital ! 

Full of wanders, Kyoto offers numerous activities especially when it comes to temples. As you have the whole afternoon free, why don't you explore the traditional district of Gion? Enjoy your evening to explore the Pontocho district where you will find many bars and restaurants.

OUR SUGGESTIONS :

* Buddhist temple Daitokuji 

* Nijō castle

* Shinto sanctuary Heian / Shinto gardens Heian 

* Kyōto National Museum  

* Buddhist temple Kiyomizu  (it is possible to visit it, but it is currently being renovated)

* Buddhist temple Rengeōin (also known as the temple Sanjūsangendō)

* Historical districts of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka

* Buddhist temple Zenrinji (also known as Eikandō temple)

* Discovery of the Gion district (known as the geishas quarter)

* Experiment tea ceremony

* Buddhist temple of Tōfuku 

* Buddhist temple of Byōdōin, Phoenix  (Hōōdō hall)

Click here to learn more about this traditional capital and its suburbs !

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Check-in at your planned accomodation: Enso Ango Hotel .

Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 12 : Kyoto

Discovering the essential spots


We will enjoy this full day in Kyoto to discover its essential tourist attractions such as the Golden Pavillon or the Silver Pavillon. From here, we will be able to walk through the Philosophy path: a lovely stroll next to cherry trees.
Taste the local diversity by eating some soba or udon noddles.
With a full stomach, we can keep on walking until we reach the Nanzenji temple and its mystical atmosphere, at the foot of a mountain.
We also recommend to pay your respect at the astonishing Fushima Inarai Taisha sanctuary and its thousands red portals called torii.
You can also choose to go beyond the wall of this old capital and explore its surroundings. One of our guide could show you around Arashiyama and its bamboo groves; or you could ride a bike around Higashiyama.
A full discovery of the East of Kyoto !

This fateful day has come, you have to let your tour leader go. But don't worry, we know you will be able to make the best out of your last days. 


OUR SUGGESTIONS :

* Ginkakuji ("The Silver Pavillon")

* Tetsugaku no Michi ("The Philosophy path")

*
Buddhist temple Kinkakuji ("The Golden Pavillon")

* Ryōanji rocks's temple

*
Buddhist temples of Nanzenin and Nanzenji   

*
Shinto sanctuary of Fushimi Inari   

* Arashiyama: Togetsukyo bridge, the famous bamboo grove, Okochi Sanso villa , Tenryu-ji temple , Iwatayama...

Click here to discover our suggested trips from Kyoto !

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.
Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 13 : Kyoto

Discovering the nature and beyond


This free day could be the opportunity to get off the beaten track and reconnect with nature.
Do not hesitate to go outside the city until Kurama-Dera where a lovely hike into the mountains will guide you to the temple, from where you will be able to contemplate a hopefully clear view on the mountain.
You could also go for a one-day trip to the very first capital Nara. You will enjoy the company of deers while visiting ancient temples.
You could also explore even more remote places such as the Amanohashidate bridge linking Heaven and Earth or the fishing village of Ine.


 

OUR SUGGESTIONS:

* Kurama temple

* The bridge to heaven of Amanohashidate


* The fishing village of Ine


* Nara: Kofuku-ji temple, Todai-ji temple and the Great Buddha, Kasuga Taisha sanctuary...

 Click here for more details about Nara. 

You are free to expand your stay in Kyoto. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Enso Ango Hotel or Hotel in the center of Kyoto (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 14 : Osaka

Back to the city with the metropolis of Osaka


Check-out. 

Departure by train bound for Osaka at your own time.

Enjoy this thrilling city by walking in Namba quarter, the "American village" of Amerika-mura or the dynamic Shin-Sekai! Osaka is very famous for its gastronomy: seize this opporunity and try to east some takoyaki (octopus ball) or okonomiyaki (savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients in a wheat-flour-based batter)!
Modern city, you will find in Osaka many small shops and big department stores perfect for finding souvenirs, before going home.

Option: Make a Japanese knives by following the instructions of local crafters around Sakai. Click here for more information. Please contact us, if you are interested.

OUR SUGGESTIONS:

* Dotonbori

* Shinsaibashi: the America mura area


* Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

* Buddhist temple Hozenji

* Osaka castle

* District Tsuruhashi : Koreatown

* Aquarium "Kaiyukan"


Click here to discover our suggested itineraries of Osaka!

You can also hire a private English-speaking guide, for an extra fee.
You are free to expand your stay in Osaka. To do so, please fill in the request form.

Check-in at your hotel (planned to be close to the airport, for your comfort). 

Hotel near Kansai airport (☆☆☆)
breakfast

Day 15 : Departure from the airport

Sayonara Japan!


Check-out.
Take the free shuttle bus of your hotel or ride on a train from a local station, to arrive at Kansai international airport in advance. 

Flight check-in and luggages dropping.

After your lovely holidays, it is time to go home. We hope to see you soon! 👋

If you rented a Pocket WIFI, return it to the WIFI rental service counter, at the station of the airport or directly at Kansai airport.

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.

  • 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.

  • Itinerary order is subject to change depending on traffic, weather and operation hours.

  • The price is per person based on the booking of a double or a twin room.

  • 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 we will take public transport during the trip. Please refer to “Transportation

  • Travel to Japan means also the discovery of a fascinating and a varied cuisine. That is why, sometimes during the trip, you will have  freetimes at noon or in the evening to enjoy a wide range of restaurants. You will be surprised by the large number of restaurants in Japan, and their attractive prices. Please refer to  “Meal”.

  • This itinerary includes hiking paths; please wear comfortable walking shoes.

  • Each itinerary includes some free times. You will enjoy a wide range of sightseeing on your own. Please notice that there will be no transportation during free times. All the payments made during free times are at your own expense.

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

  • Please expect an additional price if you are traveling alone. Most of the Ryokan doesn’t have single rooms.

  • Pictures are used for illustrative purpose only.
     


 The average temperatures(Celsius)

 

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May.

June.

july.

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

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

Magome

-1.5 -1.0 3.5 9.4 14.1 18.0 21.5 22.6 18.8 12.5 8.5 1.1
Included
  • We guarantee a full assistance during your trip.
  • The breakfasts and the meals mentioned in the itinerary: 17 breakfasts, 6 dinners.

  • Every transport mentioned in the itinerary

  • Accommodation for 14 nights
    NB: Shukubo style at Togakushi couldn't be classified with stars. Regarding the accomodation at Shukuba, it will be japanese guesthouse style.

  • The visits and the entrance fees in the sites mentioned in the itinerary.

  • The transfer of your luggage from hotel to hotel every two or three days.

  • Detailed itinerary, travel documents and our recommendations.  
  • English speaking tour leader who will guide you for 10 and a half days on the 15 days of your trip


*Tour price for children is available. The tour price for the groupe who share the rooms by more than 3 peaple can be also negotiable.Please ask us about further information on the reservation form.

Not included
  • The international flights

  • The insurances

  • The personal expenses

  • The meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • The transports, the entrance fees and the activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Tips (optional).

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

We also offer you to rent a Wi-fi Pocket during your stay, with an extra fee.

Dates & Prices

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

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