Autumn Leaf Colors in Japan - November 2018 Tours
Autumn Leaf Colors in Japan - November 2018
We have designed our November tours to take in the beautiful autumn leaf colors
offered during the Japanese leaf viewing season. Many of the cherry trees
that provided beautiful views during spring provide orange hues while the
Japanese maple can provide beautiful red leaves as well as brilliant yellow and
browns. 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 of Japan 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
If you are interested in a visit to Japan in November, consider joining one
of our Japan autumn tours. You can use the contact us form or email us at
Joining a tour:
We 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
Saturday 18th November, but we can generally cater for guests arriving a few
days earlier or later 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.
Early November Schedule
Saturday 27th October Tokyo: We meet you at Narita airport and transfer
to Tokyo. Options for the day depend on your time of arrival but for the
first day we keep the tour fairly low-key including things like dinner at a
local restaurant, seeing some of the city (afternoon and/or evening) or just
sleep if you are jetlagged.
Sunday 28th October 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 Shinjuku, Shibuya or Ginza. This
allows time to see the expansive Shinjuku Gardens, or, because we run flexible
tours, let us know what you would like to do or see.
Monday 29th October Tokyo: A visit to Harajuku (a trend setting shopping area
for the Tokyo youth), and if desired stroll across to the higher-end stores of
Omotesando. For a dose of more traditional culture, the nearby Meiji Shrine is
adjacent to Harajuku.
Tuesday 30th October Friday 4th November Tokyo: A spare day for a day-trip from Tokyo. For example,
visit Kamakura to the south of Tokyo including the Great Bronze Buddha and Hase Temple. Note, depending on the
weather, we can change the order to help get conditions in different locations.
Wednesday 31st October Nikko day trip: Taking the bullet train north
from Tokyo and then the local train to Nikko we visit the famous
world heritage sites including the lavishly decorated Toshugu shrine and Iemitsu
mausoleum. After lunch at a local restaurant and an opportunity to sample
yuba (a local speciality) head to the scenic Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls.
Thursday 1st November: Tokyo to Togura/Nagano: Head into the mountains for a stay
at a traditional Japanese inn including onsen and local foods prepared on-site.
There is a small castle (fort) on the hill behind the ryokan that gives great
views across the valley and mountains around the area. We can also arrange
Geisha entertainment during the evening meal (music and dancing performance).
Friday 2nd November Togura/Nagano: Several options (including relaxing) are
available. Explore the local town, the city of Nagano, or visit the nearby
Matsumoto castle or Jigokudani Monkey Park.
Saturday 3rd November: Togura to Kanazawa: Travel via local train and
then shinkansen to Kanazawa (''Little Kyoto''). After arrival the afternoon has
sufficient time to visit the Omi-cho market, a smaller, friendlier version
of the Tokyo Tsujiki fish market (which is scheduled to move October 2018) and a great
location for a fresh sashimi breakfast. The day is set aside to visit the famous
Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa castle. Additional options include the 21st Museum
of Contemporary art or some of the local temples.
Sunday 4th November Kanazawa to Kyoto: A leisurely start to the day before
taking the train 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.
Monday 5th 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. There are sacred deer roaming the park and excellent
souvenir shops on the walk to Todai-ji.
Tuesday 6th November Kyoto: Start the day by visiting the "golden pavilion" Kinkaku-ji, travel to the north east of the city and then Nijo Castle before
heading to the Heian Shrine and gardens.
During the afternoon head to the Arashiyama district, to view the autumn
leaves during the evening and enjoy the view across the Katsura River. Also enjoy the
nearby Sagano bamboo grove.
An alternative (and probably with less people) is to visit Kodai-ji temple. The
temple complex includes a Zen garden, bamboo forest and artisan souvenir shops.
Kodaiji is illuminated in the evenings and provides a view of the city. Access
to/from will be via taxi.
Wednesday 7th November Kyoto to Hiroshima: Heading south from Kyoto,
take the shinkansen to Hiroshima. The afternoon is available to visit the
Peace Park and Museum in Hiroshima city and the rebuilt Hiroshima Castle (the
castle includes a samurai museum).
Thursday 8th November Hiroshima: A full day in Hiroshima allows
time to visit and explore Miyajima Island and Itsukushima Shrine are the
location of the famous "floating" torii gate, accessed by a short local train
and ferry ride. Depending on fitness and inclination we can use the ropeway and
head to the top of Mount Misen. The walk back down the mountain provides
some good viewing and vantage points.
Friday 9th November Hiroshima to Takayama: Travel by Shinkansen to
Nagoya and then local train to the onsen (hot spring) mountain town of Takayama.
Explore the town's historic buildings and shops on foot. The local specialty is
Hida beef, very good quality and we recommend enjoying it at one of the local bbq restaurants.
Saturday 10th November Takayama: A free morning to explore the town, check the
local markets or visit one of the different museums or temples scattered around
the town. After lunch head to the world heritage site of Shirakaga-go (a half
day bus trip) with its unique steep thatched-roofed houses. The Hida Folk
village provides a different range of historic buildings and could be included
in the morning activities.
Sunday 11th November Takayama to Tokyo: Transfer back to Tokyo and Narita.
Late November Autumn Leaf Viewing Tour (peak season)
Saturday 17th November Tokyo: We meet you at the
airport (Narita or Haneda) and transfer to your hotel in Tokyo. Options
for the day depend on your time of arrival but for the first day we keep the
tour fairly low-key including things like dinner at a local restaurant, seeing some of
the city (afternoon and/or evening) or just sleep if you are jetlagged.
Sunday 18th November Tokyo: Visit Asukusa Kaminarimon (thunder
gate), Hozomon and pagoda. An array
of stalls lines the entrance to this shrine (Nakamise Street) providing a wide
range of souvenirs and snacks on the approach to Sensoji Temple. We can
arrange a kimono photo shoot or an introductory samurai lesson for the
adventurous. In the afternoon visit one or more of the famous
neighbourhood areas of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza. An option for Shinjuku
includes a visit to the Robot Restaurant, (more a cabaret show) before selecting
something delicious for dinner.
Monday 19th November Tokyo to Takayama: Travel
by Shinkansen and then local train to the onsen (hot spring) mountain town of Takayama. Use
the afternoon for a relaxing onsen bath or explore some of this old-style
Tuesday 20th November Takayama: During the morning explore the
town's historic buildings, morning market and shops on foot and/or visit the
festival floats exhibition hall. The afternoon is reserved for a 1/2 day bus tour
that visits the World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go with its old traditional "A
frame" farmhouses. Dinner time is an ideal
opportunity to sample the famous Hida Beef.
Wednesday 21st November Takayama to Kyoto: Taking the WideView Hida
train down the scenic Kiso valley to Nagano and then a short shinkansen ride to
the historic previous capital of Japan. In the afternoon enjoy sightseeing at
Inari Fushimi Shinto shrine (10,000 torii gates).
Thursday 22nd November Kyoto: Visit the beautiful Arashiyama
district for viewing the autumn
leaves and enjoy the view across the Katsura River and the nearby Sagano
bamboo grove. After spending time in Arashiyama, head to
Pavilion" Kinkaku-ji in the north-west of the city. Returning to the
centre of Kyoto exploring the 400 year old covered Nishiki Market.
Friday 23rd November Kyoto: Start the day at Nijo Castle before heading to
the Heian Shrine and gardens. During the evening visit Kodai-ji
temple for the autumn leaf illumination. The temple complex includes a Zen
garden, bamboo forest and interesting artisan shops.
Saturday 24th November Kyoto to Hiroshima: Heading south from
Kyoto, take the shinkansen to Hiroshima. The afternoon is available to
visit the Peace Park and Museum in Hiroshima city and the rebuilt Hiroshima
Castle (the castle includes a samurai museum).
Sunday 25th November Hiroshima: A full day in Hiroshima allows time to
visit and explore Miyajima Island and Itsukushima Shrine
are the location of the famous
"floating" torii gate, accessed by a short local train and ferry ride.
Depending on fitness and inclination we can use the ropeway and head to the top of Mount Misen.
The walk back down the mountain provides some good viewing and vantage points.
Monday 26th November Hiroshima to Osaka: Head to Osaka the second
largest city of Japan. From the hotel it is a short walk across the moat
bridge to visit
the castle and grounds. During the evening head to the Dotonbori
Tuesday 27th November Osaka: Day trip to the world heritage site at
Nara. At Nara there are both Todai-ji temple (with the world's largest
bronze Buddha), and Kagusa Shinto shrine. Sacred deer roam the park and
Wednesday 28th November Osaka to Kanazawa: Completing the trip
across the main island take the "Thunderbird" express train to
Kanazawa. Visit the famous Kenrokuen Garden and
Kanazawa castle. Enjoy local cuisine including fresh sushi and
sashimi at the Omicho food market.
Thursday 29th November December Kanazawa to Togura: Departing from Kanazawa head
back into the Japanese Alps to Nagano transfer to a local train bound for Togura (30 minutes) and check in at
Ryokan Kamesei. Have a private soak in the ryokan's hot spring baths or explore
the neighbourhood before enjoying an especially prepared traditional ryokan
dinner. During dinner we can arrange geisha entertainment of traditional music
and dance. The ryokan accommodations include breakfast and dinner.
Friday 30th November Togura: After breakfast (provided), head to Nagano
station and take the bus to Jigokudani Monkey Park. Depending on the weather it
could be cold (maybe snow). There is a walk of approximately 2km to the "snow
For those not wanting to see the monkeys, we can visit the Togakushi Shrine in the forest to the north-west of Nagano with its impressive tree lined approach.
There is a local cycling tour around Togura and Chikuma for those that want to
stay close to the ryokan. After a day of activity, a soak in the onsen
provides a relaxing option.
Saturday 1st December Togura to Tokyo: Transfer back to Tokyo by
shinkansen. A visit to Harajuku
and the Meiji Shrine, an important focal point of the city commemorating the
Emperor and a significant change in the structure of Japan. The nearby
Takeshita Dori provides an experience in the local youth culture of the city and
the adjacent Omotesando shopping area provides some higher-end brands.
Also in this area is Yoyogi Park, a popular place on Sundays for people to spend
time and provide entertainment.
Sunday 2nd December Tokyo: Last day in Tokyo and transfers back to
Narita or Haneda.
the price for a fifteen day tour (accommodation for fourteen
nights) is JPY595,000 per person share twin/double.
For solo travellers (one person, without a shared room), the cost of
accommodation is unable to be shared, but we have a policy to limit the extra
cost and have priced our tour for a single person at JPY695,000.
The price includes:
- Our tour service, including a dedicated guide for the duration of your
tour. That includes a meet&greet at the airport and transfers to the hotel in
- Accommodation, averaging 4* - 5* properties and usually including
breakfast. We aim to book superior rooms to give additional space
and comfort during your trip.
- Transport, all train travel, subways, and transfers. Taxis are also covered
during the day for our sightseeing as well as the occasional bus connection.
(Not flights to/from Japan.)
- Entrance fees for temples, shrines, castles, parks, gardens, and museums.
These are listed in your agreed tour schedule.
- Evening meals at ryokan (Japanese inn) accommodation are normally
included as well as breakfast. In general, we do not include lunch and
dinner meals because Japan has a huge range of foods and we prefer not to
restrict options, especially when food is a significant part Japan.
Exclusions are generally items such as theatre performances, sporting or
other special events, theme parks, lunch and evening meals, snacks/drinks and
other incidental costs such as hotel room service/laundry.
Bookings and Inquiries
If you are interested in joining this tour, please contact us or email us