• Spring festival in the ancient mountain village of Takayama, with its well-preserved architecture
  • Traditional tea ceremonies, feudal castles, Japanese ofuro baths, Shinto shrines, Kabuki dance-drama performance
  • Insider’s journey including overnights in classic ryokans and a Zen monastery

Japan is an ancient and enigmatic land, and our insider’s journey reveals a side of it few tourists ever get to see. With Japan expert and beloved Trip Leader Kate Ulberg, who has an extraordinary gift for introducing people to its culture, you’ll delve into romantic Old Kyoto, with its lantern-lit lanes and 2,000 temples, attend a classical Kabuki performance in Tokyo, and head to Takayama in the Japanese Alps for the pageants of the Sanno Matsuri festival, a fabulous spectacle dating from the 17th century. Our visits to artist studios, incredible food markets, and tranquil Zen temples unveils Japan’s unique heritage, and our overnights include ryokans, the serene inns that reflect Japanese culture in miniature, and a special night in a Buddhist monastery perched on a mountaintop.

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  • Only ground transport

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Days 1-6: Osaka / Kyoto

Accommodation: Day 1: Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport; Days 2 to 6(5 nights): Westin Miyako Kyoto

Kyoto’s serene Ryoanji, with its famous Zen Garden, and Nijo Castle, home of the Tokugawa shoguns, reveals Japan’s unique heritage, along with contemplative temples, welcoming teahouses, the poet Basho’s hut, and spring cherry blossoms.

Days 7-8: Koyasan / Nara

Accommodation: Day 7: Henjoko-in Monastery; Day 8: Nara Hotel

We head to Koyasan, riding to the mountaintop monastery by cable car for an overnight in a shukubo, or temple lodge. In Nara, you’ll visit revered 8th century Todaiji Temple and massive Horyuji Temple, a “National Treasure” and vision of old Japan.

Days 9-11: Takayama / Spring Festival / Ogimachi

Accommodation: Hoshokaku

Amid Takayama’s historic merchant houses, witness the processions, ringing bells, and beating drums of the Sanno Matsuri festival. You’ll also head to nearby Ogimachi, a World Heritage Site, whose well-preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouses with distinctive triangular thatch roofs are an enchanting sight right out of a fairytale.

Days 12-14: Tokyo

Accommodation: Courtyard Marriott Ginza Tobu Hotel

In Tokyo, you’ll attend a stirring performance of Kabuki Theater and explore Tsukiji, Tokyo’s famed wholesale fish market, with its stalls of fresh seafood (yummy sushi and sashimi!). Depart on Day 14.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 7,295

Price Per Day:

$ 521 per day
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,450
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in comfortable ryokans and hotels
  • All meals included except lunches and 2 dinners
  • Ground transportation using Japan Rail System
  • Site and entrance fees as part of the itinerary
  • Land transportation as noted
Trip Excludes
  • International airfare, airport transfers
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry, etc.)
Meals Included:

All meals included except lunches and 2 dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Intimate Group - 12 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 12
Max 12
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: temtrewil

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