Travelling World Heritage Site Nikko and South Tohoku region, 6days

The charms of Japan are not all found only in big cities.  If you visit the country side, there are natural, culture, and nice friendly people who will fascinate you.
Nikko is the wonderful destination from Tokyo for a day trip, and there are so many people going to Toshogu, and the trip ends. However, it is a pity to miss other intesting things.
In this tour, you will stay a night in a hotel and visit shrines and temples of Nikko (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Then, you can explore and pursue your interests about Nikko. Off course we can propose plans to you.
It is a special occasion to leave Tokyo for north, why not go further to reach the region of Tohoku, which is the real pleasure of this trip.
In general, the tourists do not have the chance to go to Ouchijuku where we feel the veritable atmosphere of Edo period, and to walk the streets in Aizu Wakamatsu, and you will see the great view of Matsushima (one of the theree most famous scenic places in Japan) from a boat.
You will bring memories of Japan which are something different from other travellers!

Where to Go

Itenerary

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

Day 1 : Tokyo

Free time of sightseeing inTokyo: very famous Senso-ji temple, Meiji shrine; Shopping streets as Ginza and Omotesando; Short cruise in Tokyo bay.
(Staying in a hotel of Tokyo)
Hotel in Tokyo

Day 2 : Utsunomiya - Nikko

You will meet a tour leader at the lobby of your hotel and go to Tokyo station, then take a Shinkansen to Utsunomiya.

Taking buses from JR Utsunomiya station to Oya History Museum.
Oya-machi (in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture) is a prominent production area of stones in Japan.
This museum is founded on the former stone quarry of over 20,000㎡ looks like a mysterious undergroud temple. 
The traces of pickaxes of middle Edo period will drive you to the past and to the meditation on the precious efforts of people who lived there.

Taking lunch in Utsunomiya, and going to Nikko by train.
You will visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, the shrines and temples of Nikko.
There are 2 shrines and 1 temple in this site where you will find the mountain worship since very ancient period, and Shintoism, and Buddhism arrived in VIIIth century and the integration of those of them all over the place.
Nikko Toshogu shrine is the mausoleum of Ieyasu Tokugawa, who founded Tokugawa Shogunate, is famous with its mignificent construction and elaborate sculptures.
It is one of the best places to appreciate Japanese traditonal arts.
You will enjoy walking around the luxury shrine complex and feel the power of Tokugawa family.

(Stay in a hotel of Nikko.)

Hotel in Nikko
breakfast, dinner

Day 3 : Free day in Nikko

Free day in Nikko. Please find the following recommendations:
*Hiking in Senjogahara Plateau:

75minutes by bus, getting off at Yumoto Onsen station, the hiking will start from this place.
This hinking route is relatively for beginners, and it takes 3 hours to Ryuzunotaki water fall. 
In the wetlands of Senjogahara, there is a street having a good foresight. There are a waterfall and an observatory, they will please the eyes.

*Nikko Edo Village: Time warping to Edo period?!:

In front of Fujiya Tourist Information Centre in front of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, there is a picking-up bus (free of charge) to Nikko Wonderland Edo Village! Once you step into the village, you will find yourself in Edo period.
Why not being the people in Edo period on this occasion? The costume service is not free of charge, but whether you like to be disguised or not, it is a chance to be deeply in Edo period. This may be the good opportunity for understanding the exotism of Japan.

*Kegon Waterfalls and Lake Chuzenji:

In Nikko, if you think that it is indispendable to go to see the Kegon waterfall, we highly recommend you to go to the Lake Chuzenji as well.
To go to the Kegon Waterfall, it takes 40minutes by the bus from the bus terminal of Chuzenji hot spring and 5 minutes of walking. You can go down by lift to the basin of waterfall.
In the Lake Chuzenji, you can enjoy the cruising, or walking around the lake side.
Seeing the Tachiki Kannon statue, and walking to the Futara-San jinjya Chuguji Shrine, known as a power-spot may be interesting, too.

 

*Kanmangafuchi and Tamozawa Goyotei:

If you prefer taking relaxing time, we recommend the nice sightseeing sports inside of the town of Nikko near your hotel.
Kanmangafuchi is known with many Jizos (Jizo: the guardian deity of children) alined. This is a recommended photo shooting spot for your Instagram. We say that the numbers of Jizo are changed each time you count. Please try.
The rapid stream of Daiya river from Kanmangafuchi is famous. 
The streams are known that they blocked Shodo shonin (said that he opened the mountains of Nikko) to enter the mountains. 

Tamozawa Goyotei (Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa) was the constructed for the retreat of the family of emperor in Taisho period.
From the end of Edo period, Meiji period to Taisho Period, there are 3 construction styles can be found in this complex and it is the existing biggest retrait villa.  
You can see the construction techniques and the culture of the emperors in this place.



(Staying in a hotel in Nikko.)

Hotel in Nikko
breakfast, dinner

Day 4 : Ouchijuku - To no Hetsuri - Aizu Wakamatsu

From the station of Tobu Nikko, changing several trains to Ouchijuku.

Ouchijuku is a Shukuba (post station town) developed in 1640 as the 3rd shukuba from the castle Aizu, and it linked between the castle and Shimotsukeno kuni (Imaichi in Nikko today) in length 130km (equivalent of 32-ri: 1-ri is 2.44mile, and the "ri" is the old unit of distance in Japan).
It is classed in the list of the important preservation district of historic buildings, and the state of preservation is good. You may feel as you would stray into the Edo period.

(Lunch: not included into the tour)

In To-no-Hetsuri (tower cliffs overlooking a river), you can enjoy the beauty of the valley.
Over a million of years, the erosion and the weathering are repeated, and the magnificent view as like a tower made by stones was created.
Hetsuri is a local word meaning "dangerous cliff".
It is known as a power spot bringing a good luck and enshrined Kokuso-Bosatsu (statue of Akasagarbha) since IXth century. 
Please try the thrilling suspension bridge!Then you stay in the famous hot spring in Aizu Wakamatsu, the Higashiyama hot spring resort.
In VIIIth century, it is said that the famous priest Gyoki leaded by a 3-legged crow found this hot spring.
This resort is developed in Edo period for the designated hot spring of the Aizu feudal domain. 
Smooth and clear water quality may be easy for the ones who try the hot spring for the first time. The famous water known as one of the 3 best hot spring of Oou (Oou-Sanraku-Kyo) will heel your fatigue of the trip.

(Staying in a hot spring inn of Higashiyama.)
Traditional hot spring inn at Aizu Higashiyama-onsen
breakfast, dinner

Day 5 : Sight seeing in Aizu Wakamatsu town

Aizu Wakamatsu has been an important place for Tohoku region and there are many historical spots. 

The castle of Tsuruga, stood against the fight over 1 month in Boshin War (Japanese civil war between Imperial and Shogunate forces), the place where Byakkotai (the group of young samurai of Aizu) commited suiside, and the Mt. Iimoriyama.... there are many places for the ones who are instested in Japanese history. In the resident of samurai of Aizu (Aizu Buke Yashiki), you will feel the Bushido (the sprit of samurai) of Aizu.

Even if you have not interests in the history, there are many interesting things to do: painting Akabeko (traditional red cow toy) and Okiagari-Koboshi (self standing Daruma doll), or you can try Japanese archery (additional charges needed).

Walking along the Nanokamachi street is also recommended. You can find lacquer ware shops and designed candle shops, sake brewers, and you can feel traditonal Aizu culture.
 

In the afternoon, we go to Sendai, one of the major city in Tohoku region by bus.
Walking through busy streets in Sendai, how about taste the local specialty dish "Gyutan" (sliced thinly and grilled beef tongue) ?

(Staying in a hotel in Sendai.)
Hotel in Sendai
breakfast

Day 6 : Matsushima, one of the 3 most famous scenic places

Leaving Sendai, we shall go to the final destination, Matsushima; one of the 3 most famous scenic places in Japan. This place has been charmed people since long time ago and was praised as a Haiku poetry. Riding an excursion boat, and we will see aroud 260 beautiful islands by cruising.
There are many wonderful places to visit: the greatest Zen temple in Oshu, Zuigan-ji is one of the national treasure, and Godaido hall which was reconstructed by local feudal lord Date Masamune. If you wish to know further about Matsushima, why not going to Oshima as well?
Crossing over the Togetsukyo bridge, it is a holy place once called "the Mt Koya in Oshu". There are sotobas (wooden grave posts) and mysterious tunnels left by priests still maintain the solemn atmosphere of forbidden place until today.Going back to Sendai, and making your luggage, this is the end of this trip.
There are many facultative choices for you. Whether you continue travelling from Sendai to Iwate - Akita - Yamagata, the Tohoku region, or going back to Tokyo, or you can also stay one more day in Sendai and enjoying the walking in the city.

(Trip ended in Sendai)
breakfast

Ideas of activities to enjoy after the tour

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.

  • We need a minimum of 8 people for this tour to start. In the case of individual bookings, it will be confirmed once the participant number sufficient.

  • The tour operator reserves the right to cancel the excursion 30 days before departure date if the number of participants is not sufficient.

  • The tour operator reserves the right to change the itinerary schedules, the same range hotels and transporter without notice.

  • 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
  • Small group tour. Maximum 8 people.

  • 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”.

  • Your main luggage will be transferred from hotel to hotel every several days and it is highly recommended to carry a backpack or a handbag with you personal belongings. Please refer to “Transfer of your luggage”.

  • A moderate amount of walking is involved, 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.

Included
  • Tour leader‘s service every day

  • The breakfasts and the meals mentioned in the itinerary

  • Every transport mentioned in the itinerary

  • Standard grade accommodation (three stars) for 5 nights

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

  • Luggage transfer fees from hotel to hotel.


*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 booking 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.

  • The Gratuities (voluntary).


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

Dates&Price

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

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