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Highlights
  • Experience the bustle of modern tokyo
  • Visit the zenkoji temple in the japanese alps
  • Discover the snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs
  • Cycle the kibi plains
  • Explore kyoto's temples

Tokyo and Kyoto—the modern and imperial capitals of Japan, respectively—represent the perfect merger of the ancient and the contemporary. On this trip, you’ll thoroughly explore both and everything in between, from traditional villages and miles of rice fields to ancient temples and the stunning vistas of the Japanese Alps. Snow monkeys, geishas, the teeming pedestrian scrambles of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, and the impossibly friendly staff of your traditional ryokan are just a few of the locals you’ll meet and never forget.

Trip Description
Backroads of Japan
 
Countries
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

42,855
G Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 32,586 Great 10,221 Average 4 Disappointing 1 Terrible 4
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8
Backroads of Japan

D

Recommends

Because I recommend seeing and experiencing new things. G adventures provides that opportunity October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My experience was fun, educational, interesting and eye opening. I am grateful for the chance to see a culture so unique and respectful.

Operator G Adventures

M

Recommends

Because I've had great experiences on past G Adventures tours, so I would recommend the company highly despite the fact that this particular tour was a bit of a let down. September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The tour was good, but it left me wanting more. I feel like I haven't seen the parts of Japan that I most love. Perhaps it was my mistake, though, for choosing the wrong tour of Japan. My other issue with this tour was the roommate situation. I did not connect well with the other solo male travelers, so it was tough not having personal space to retire to at the end of a long day of touring. I wish the single room supplement was not such a large additional expense, because the personal space would have been much appreciated on this tour.
Read more

Operator G Adventures

P

Recommends

I had a great time! May 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Great

Operator G Adventures

D

Recommends

Every day was well planned and wonderful. May 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Every day was worthwhile. Masa, that is Masanori Sato, managed to pack each day with some of the top sites of each stop on the itinerary. If I did this on my own, it would have taken twice as long and I would have missed the fun and comradery of the G tour group.
Read more

Operator G Adventures

M

Recommends

Tour guide Yoshi was phenomenal. April 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Awesome.

Operator G Adventures

Itinerary

Day 1 Tokyo

There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 Tokyo

Take a CEO-led walking tour of eclectic modern Tokyo from the hub of Shinjuku to Shibuya through Yoyogi Park and Harajuku. Included Activities: Orientation Walk

Day 3 Tokyo

Enjoy a free day to experience the city or venture out to Mt Fuji.

Day 4 Tokyo/Nagano-shi

Journey to the Japanese Alps and Nagano, host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Visit the historic Zenkoji Temple. Included Activities: Zenkō-ji Temple Transport: Bullet train

Day 5 Nagano-shi/Matsumoto

Matsumoto is a quaint castle town featuring one of Japan's most treasured castles. Included Activities: Jigokudani Monkey Park Visit Transport: Train

Day 6 Matsumoto/Takayama

Visit one of Japan's most treasured castles maintaining it's original wooden interior and stone exterior. Explore the castle where 16th century samurai once roamed. Continue past the mountains, rice fields and traditional homes to Takayama. Discover the traditional Japanese way of life in a family-run guesthouse. Included Activities: Matsumoto Castle Transport: Local bus

Day 7 Takayama (1D)

Visit the ‘Praying Hand’ houses, huge thatched homes and well-preserved Edo samurai era dwellings nestled beneath the mountain peaks. From the Hida No Sato Folk Village to saki tasting at local traditional brewery Takayama offers a great opportunity for exploration. With free time in the afternoon opt to walk a forested trail, go for a bike ride, have a nap on the Tatami mats at the Ryokan or relax in a Japanese Onsen (hot spring) before enjoying a traditional dinner together as a group. Included Activities: Hida no Sato (Hida Minzoku Mura Folk Village) Visit Sake Street Visit

Day 8 Takayama/Kurashiki (1B)

Get a real glimpse of old Japan at Kurashiki, a picturesque town in central Japan which has retained much of its old world charm with beautifully preserved black and white walled merchants’ homes and storehouses. Many of the storehouses have been converted into museums, souvenir stores, boutiques and cafés. Most famous among the museums are the Ohara Museum of Art and the Museum of Folkcraft. Transport: Bullet train

Day 9 Kurashiki

Enjoy a bike tour through the Kibi Plains, surrounded by rice fields and ancient burial grounds. On this scenic ride, glide past shrines and temples and get a glimpse of rural Japanese life. Included Activities: Bicycle Tour of the Kibi Plains

Day 10 Kurashiki/Kyoto

Journey to Kyoto and visit some of the most magnificent temples in the country, dating back centuries. There are said to be 2,000 temples, shrines, palaces, museums and traditional gardens in Kyoto. Included Activities: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Visit Transport: Bullet train

Day 11 Kyoto (1B)

Spend the morning discovering Buddhist, Zen, and Shinto nuances in some the beautiful Kiyomizu Temple (Love Temple) and the breathtaking Chion-in Temple. Opt to explore more zen gardens, palaces, and temples in Kyoto or venture to nearby Osaka. Another option further afield is to visit the peaceful gardens and ancient temples of Nara, home of Japan's largest Buddha. Included Activities: Kiyomizu Temple Visit Chion-in Temple Visit

Day 12 Kyoto (1B)

Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,599

Price Per Day:

$ 300 per person
 
Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Modern Tokyo walking tour
  • Zenkoji Temple visit (Nagano)
  • Jigokudani Monkey Park visit (Matsumoto)
  • Matsumoto Castle visit
  • Hida No Sato folk village visit (Takayama)
  • Sake street visit
  • Kibi Plains bike ride (outside Kurashiki)
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine visit
  • Visits to Kiyomizu and Chion-in temples
  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Meals Included: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Flights & Transport
Only ground transportBus, bullet train, local train, bicycle, walking.On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 15
Max 15, avg 12

Solo Notes

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accomodations
Hotels and traditional guesthouses/onsens (9 nts), traditional inns (2 nts, shared facilities).
Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, many Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderise rooms before check in. Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs. Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room. Please note that some of the traditional Japanese inns used on this tour only offer shared bathing facilities. This means that individual shower stalls will not be available, instead several shower stations are available in an open, same-sex bathing area. Shared bathhouses and onsen (hot springs) are an essential part of Japan’s culture, traditionally serving as a place for men or women to gather, relax, and discuss the days happenings.
Start City
Tokyo
End City
Kyoto
Guides Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

Age Notes

Min. Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Additional Information:

Important Notes

1. Japan Rail Pass Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business visa please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the Rail pass. 2. Tattoos Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Physical Requirements Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information. The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
Rules & Other Requirements Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Trip ID#: gadventure-22802

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