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: For the start of the day we head across to
the Asakusa district to visit the oldest temple in Tokyo, Senso-ji. Starting at
the Kaminarimon (Thunder gate) we make our way along Nakamise Street, where for
the past few centuries, stalls and shops sell souvenirs to visitors to the
The temple complex also features the Hozomon gate and a five story pagoda. The
634 meter tall Skytree is also clearly visible from locations around Asakusa.
Our next destination is the expansive Ueno Park. Ueno Park contains several
museums (including Tokyo National Museum), Tokyo Zoo (the main attraction of
which is a giant panda), and the beautiful Tōshō-gū shine that enshrines the
first Shōgun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Finishing our
visit in Ueno we include a walk through the Ameya-Yokochō shopping district of
stalls and small shops located including many under the railway tracks.
Monday 29th October Tokyo to Aomori: Utilising the high-speed
shinkansen we head to the northern part of Honshu (the main island of Japan) for
the seasonal autumn colours. There will be time during the afternoon to
see Wa Rasse, a museum celebrating the summer Nebuta festival, or the floating
car ferry museum in the port area.
Tuesday 30th October Aomori: With a full day available we
journey to the nearby city of Hirosaki to visit the nearby town of Hirosaki,
famous for its castle and park. The main feature of the town is the
castle park with 2600 cherry trees (for the fall colours) and the botanic
Back in Aomori, there is an option to see some of the early history
of Japan at the Sannai Maruyama site covering a village from the Jomon period (13,000BC to 300BC).
A trip to the Sannai site can be combined with the Aomori Art Museum across the
Wednesday 31st October Nikko: Taking the shinkansen to Utsunomia
and the then the local line to Nikko arrive mid-day. 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 Nikko to Togura/Nagano: The morning is reserved
for visits to the famous world heritage
sites including the lavishly decorated Toshugu shrine and Iemitsu mausoleum.
the afternoon take the train across to Nagano prefecture for a stay at a
traditional Japanese inn. Including onsen (mineral spring baths) and local foods
prepared on-site this is an opportunity to sample a smaller/rural location in
Japan. 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 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. Most of our tours include
a day trip to visit the famous "snow monkeys" at 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 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 Takayama: Travel by Shinkansen to Toyama and
then local train into the Japanese Alps 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
Monday 5th November Kanazawa: 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 Shirakawa-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.
Tuesday 6th November Takayama to Hiroshima Completing the scenic
journey through the mountains to Nagoya and then the shinkansen to Hiroshima.
The afternoon is available to visit the Peace Park and Museum in Hiroshima city.
Wednesday 7th 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.
(We have also been including a visit to the Kintai Bridge area at Iwakuni as
part of our recent tours to the area, the activities for the day will depend on
Thursday 8th November Hiroshima to Kyoto: The trip from Hiroshima
takes around two hours with an arrival into Kyoto around mid-day. We begin our sightseeing at Inari Fushimi Shinto
shrine (famous for its 10,000 vermillion torii gates). Given time/inclination we
can visit one of the other nearby attractions in the eastern side of the city
such as Sanjusangendo that has 1,000 hand carved statues, or the Kyoto National
Friday 9th 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.
Saturday 10th 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.
Sunday 11th November Kyoto to Tokyo: Transfer back to Tokyo and
Narita (or Osaka/Kansai, the actual transfer details will depends on the
Late November Autumn Leaf Viewing Tour
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