• Discover Kanazawa’s Edo-period geisha quarter
  • Enjoy Takayama’s traditional architectural styles
  • Explore Kyoto, with its Zen gardens, majestic palaces, welcoming teahouses, food markets, and artisan districts
  • Enjoy overnights in traditional ryokans, the serene inns that reflect Japanese culture in miniature

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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Temples, Treasures and Teahouses

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Days 1-5: Tokyo / Takayama / Kanazawa

Accommodation: Courtyard Marriott Ginza Hotel; Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan

After visiting Tokyo’s treasures, we head to the mountain town of Takayama, whose ancient heritage is preserved in traditional wooden shrines and temples built by Hida master craftsmen in the Middle Ages. We taste the wares at a 17th century sake brewery and see the craft heritage expressed in thatched gassho-zukuri farmhouses that seem right out of a fairytale.

Days 6-7: Kanazawa

Accommodation: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Set on the coast of Japan, Kanazawa was the seat of the powerful Maeda Clan during the Edo Period. We explore its grand feudal castle and 30-acre garden, designed in the 17th century and one of the finest in Japan. The classical Samurai district at the foot of the castle has ancient Samurai houses lining the narrow streets.

Days 8-14: Kyoto / Koyasan / Osaka

Accommodation: Noku Kyoto; Ekoin Temple; Hatoya Zuihokakau

This lovely thousand-year-old city offers a blend of exquisite gardens, obscure shops, and hidden temples. It is also a center for superb folk arts: delicate silks, lacquerware, porcelain, fans, dolls, ink drawings, and bronzes. We begin with a visit to Ginkaku-ji, or the “Temple of the Silver Pavilion,” and a walk down the cherry-blossom-lined Path of Philosophy. We explore the Sagano and Arashiyama districts, remnants of Kyoto’s rural past with their thatch-roofed houses, welcoming teahouses, rice paddies, and the poet Basho’s hut. In the atmospheric Gion District, teahouses line the streets and on a stroll after sunset, we may see geishas in traditional attire. On Day 10, we ride by cable car up to mountaintop Koyasan Monastery for an overnight in a shukubo (temple lodge). Depart on Day 14 via Osaka.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 9,395

Price Per Day:

$ 671 per day
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,850

Prices are for 2019

$9395 (11-12 members)

$9695 (9-10 members)

$9995 (6-8 members)

Single supplement: $1850

Forced single supplement: $1520

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
Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

  • Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
  • 61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
  • 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
  • 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip ID#: temtrewil

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