Japan in Autumn November 2015 Tours
We have designed our November tours to take in the beautiful color offered during the leaf viewing season during the Japanese autumn. With the cooling Japan weather we have included a range of famous, historic and culturally significant sights to showcase the variety and beauty of the country. From the metropolis of Tokyo to the Japanese Alps, these tours allow you to experience a wide variety of what Japan has to offer and there is the flexibility to add days on at either end or to overlap tour dates.
Joining a tour: Patrick and Wendy will normally be available to meet you at the airport and travel with you into Tokyo. If not, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to do this. We have included a tour start date of Friday 6th November, but we can cater for guests arriving at a later date and can adjust the schedule and pricing for you accordingly.
Departing a tour: Activities on a day where you are departing a tour will be adjusted to take into account travel time to the airport. We will assist you with your departure as required.
Late October/Early November: We have a planned excursion to Hokkaido covering the end of October through to the 5th of November. Details and schedule are on our Hokkaido tour page.
Saturday 7th November to Monday 9th November Tokyo: Currently free/unstructured.
Tuesday 10th November Tokyo: Patrick and Wendy are scheduled to meet guests arriving at Narita airport. Options for the day depend on the time of arrival of the tour guests but allow for a group dinner at a nearby restaurant, seeing some of the city (afternoon and/or evening) or just sleep if you are jetlagged.
Wednesday 11th November Tokyo: Visit Asukusa Kaminarimon (thunder gate), Hozomon and pagoda. An array of stalls lines the entrance to this shrine. Either lunch from the food stalls or from a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon visit one or more of the famous neighbourhood areas of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza etc. Or, because we run flexible tours, let us know what you would like to do or see.
Thursday 12th November Tokyo: A visit to Harajuku - not only is this a great shopping area but we may get to see local cosplayers (young people dressed as their favourite anime characters) and entertaining activities in Yoyogi Park. For those wanting a dose of more traditional culture, visit the nearby Meiji Shrine.
Friday 13th November Tokyo: Day trip to Kamakura including the Great Bronze Buddha and Hase Temple.
Saturday 14th November Tokyo to Nikko: Visit the famous shrines at Nikko including the lavishly decorated Toshugu shrine, autumn colours at Shoyoen garden, and Rinnojo temple.
Sunday 15th November Nikko to Sendai: Head north by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Sendai. Then take the local train to Matsushima for a leisurely ferry tour around the bay. Matsushima is one of the 'top three views' in Japan (designated "special places of scenic beauty").
Monday 16th November Sendai to Togura/Nagano: Passing back through Tokyo, head into the mountains for a stay at a traditional Japanese inn including onsen and local foods prepared on-site.
Tuesday 17th November Togura/Nagano: Several options (including relaxing) are available. Explore the local town, the city of Nagano, or visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park.
Wednesday 18th November Togura to Kanazawa: Travel on the newest Shinkansen train line to Kanazawa (''Little Kyoto''). Visit the famous Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa castle. Enjoy local cuisine including fresh sushi and sashimi at the food (and other goods) market.
Thursday 19th November Kanazawa to Kyoto: In the afternoon enjoy sightseeing at Inari Fushimi Shinto shrine (10,000 torii gates) which is spectacular and very easy to get to (right next to a train station). Suggested dinner options while in Kyoto include Japanese pancake (okonomiyaki) or Japanese BBQ restaurants. Visit the beautiful Arashiyama district for viewing the illuminated autumn leaves during the evening and enjoy the view across the Oi River. Also enjoy the nearby Sagano bamboo grove.
Friday 20th November Kyoto: Day trip to the world heritage site at Nara. At Nara there is both Todai-ji temple (with the world's largest bronze Buddha), and Kagusa Shinto shrine. During the evening visit Kodai-ji Temple in Kyoto. The temple complex includes a zen garden, bamboo forest and artisan souvenir shops. It is illuminated in the evenings and provides a view of the city. Access to/from will be via taxi.
Saturday 21st November Kyoto: Shopping at the old covered Nishiki Market, which includes a selection of local food stalls. The Isetan and Takashimaya department stores are also excellent for shopping and both have vast food halls. Other options include a visit to the "Golden Pavilion" Kinkaku-ji. Note: while we have secured some accommodation in Kyoto for this day, because the 21st is both a Saturday and part of a national holiday weekend, acceptable accommodation is no longer available in Kyoto may be arranged for a nearby location..
Sunday 22nd November Kyoto to Hiroshima: Visit Himeji Castle on the way to Hiroshima. Miyajima Island and Itsukushima Shrine, location of the famous "floating" torii gate. This requires a short local train and ferry ride. Ferry tickets are covered by our JR passes.
Monday 23rd November Hiroshima to Takayama: A morning visit to A-dome (atomic bomb dome), Peace Park and Museum complex. Travel by Shinkansen and then local train to the onsen (hot spring) mountain town of Takayama. Explore the town's historic buildings and shops on foot and/or visit the festival floats exhibition hall.
Tuesday 24th November Takayama: Several options (including relaxing) are available. Visit the Shinhotaka ropeway for a trip up the third highest mountain in Japan and/or visit the village of Shirakawa-go with it's unique steep thatched-roofed houses.
Wednesday 25th November Takayama to Tokyo: Transfer back to Tokyo for guests departing via Narita.
Thursday 26th November Tokyo: A day to indulge in souvenir shopping or perhaps a visit to Akihabara to explore one of Tokyo's centres of manga/anime/Japanese pop culture. Store destinations in Akihabara include Gamers, Toranorana and Animate. Lunch at a Maid Café (perhaps Popoure or one of the other themed cafes). Alternatively, tell us what YOU would like to do or see.
Friday 27th November Tokyo: A range of options are available such as a visit to Studio Ghibli or the mega Pokemon Centre. A visit to Shibuya is always fun and a stop at Shibuya109 department store and Mandrake are recommended. Perhaps some karaoke at BigEcho or, because we run flexible tours, let us know what you would like to do or see.
Saturday 28th November Tokyo: Opportunity for a day trip to Ashikaga Flower Park near Tokyo.
Sunday 29th November Tokyo: A visit to Harajuku - not only is this a great shopping area but we may get to see local cosplayers (young people dressed as their favourite anime characters) and entertaining activities in Yoyogi Park. For those wanting a dose of more traditional culture, visit the nearby Meiji Shrine.
Pricing is takes into account the accommodation rates that we expect to be in place at the time of bookings. The actual rates we are able to obtain are lower when booked in advance, and more expensive when booked shortly before the tour commences.
The tour the price for a fifteen day tour (accommodation for fourteen nights) is from Y495,000 per person share twin/double. Shorter or longer duration is also available.
Prices include rail transfers from Narita to Tokyo and 14 day rail pass. Prices generally exclude meals and incidental costs unless specifically included. As a guide for budgeting, Y7,000 per day per person would cover breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a range of tea/coffee, snacks and vending machine drinks during the day.
Please let us know if you would like breakfast included in your hotel bookings and options of twin/double beds. The price of meals is generally not included as Japan offers a huge range of dining options, and our guests are free to choose alternatives. If you would like an all inclusive package covering incidental taxis, entrance fees and meals, please add Y10,000 per person per day to the above prices.
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