Tailor-Made Holiday

Japan Holiday By Train

Visit Tokyo and Kyoto and travel by train through the Japanese Alps

11 days

from £3,570pp (excluding flights)

Combine the iconic cities of Tokyo and Kyoto with time in the Japanese Alps, bursting with beautiful scenery, traditional villages, hidden valleys and wonderful wildlife.

  • Soak up the buzz in Tokyo and watch the world’s largest tuna auction at Tsukiji fish market
  • Journey through Japan on their super-efficient train network
  • See the mischievous Snow Monkeys taking a geothermal bath
  • Follow in the footsteps of samurais and lords as you hike the old Nakasendo trail
  • Stay in traditional accommodation with tatami matt flooring, futon beds & onsen baths
  • Spend an evening in the company of geisha for a fascinating insight into their magical and secretive world

The Japanese Alps are on the doorstep of the country's major metropolises. Spend five days exploring this area on mountain walks and watching Japanese Macaques play and bathe combined with time in the Metropolis of Tokyo and the charming Kyoto visiting some of the city's 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sights by bicycle.

Making this trip extra special is the fact that all transport is by train, a convenient, relaxing and extremely efficient way to travel. Journeys will include a leg on the Limited Express Hida Wide view train, a wonderfully scenic route winding through majestic mountains & local towns plus the world famous Shinkansen bullet train reaching speeds of up to 300km/h.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3570 £ 725
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Tokyo overnight

Day 2

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.


You will be staying at Conrad Tokyo, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Full Day Sightseeing of Tokyo using Public Transport
Free day to explore Tokyo at your leisure
Visit this fascinating city making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. Start the day with a visit to Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers. Perhaps stop for a cup of steaming macha in a tea house on a small island in the park’s lake, take a boat cruise on the Sumida River. Disembark in Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town and soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

In the afternoon take the subway across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. If time permits, take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands.

Japan is an intriguing blend of the resolutely traditional and the restlessly innovative - and nowhere typifies this more so than Tokyo. Look beyond its futuristic façade and you will discover a different Tokyo, where ancient traditions and customs are quietly maintained. An enthralling and captivating city of many layers, it is an essential place to visit for any keen traveller.


You will be staying at Conrad Tokyo, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Travel from Tokyo to Matsumoto


Visit to Matsumoto Castle
You will have free time to visit Matsumoto Castle - one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is a "hirajiro" - a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain. Matsumoto Castle is unique for having both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep. The castle structures, in combination with their characteristic black wainscoting, give off an air of grandeur and poise. Also visit Nakamachi, a former merchant district full of preserved warehouses turned into restaurants, cafes and shops. We also recommend the Japan Ukiyoe Museum, home to over 100,000 Japanese woodblock prints, making it one of the world's largest private art collections.


Evening Discovering Matsumoto's Sake Bars
Visit some of the bars in Matsumoto and taste the huge variety of Sake. Sake is rice wine and like wine there are many sake's to choose from.


You will be staying at Buena Vista Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Full Day Trip to See Snow Monkeys
Today travel by train and bus to reach Jigokudani Park to see Japan's Snow Monkeys or Japanese Macaques. Jigokudani literally means 'hell's valley' due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, and it is in the baths of this boiling water that the resident Japanese Macaques like to soak. The monkeys live in large social groups, and it can be quite entertaining to watch their interactions. Accustomed to humans, they can be observed from very close quarters and almost completely ignore their human guests. Whilst the monkeys are most numerous during the colder months, they can be observed all year round.

In the late afternoon, head back to Matsumoto for another night in this beautiful castle town. If time permits, make a quick stop in Nagano and visit the historic Zenkoji temple. One of the most visited temples in Japan, Zenkoji was founded 1400 years ago and stores what many believe to be the first Buddhist statue ever brought to Japan.


You will be staying at Buena Vista Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Kiso Valley - Hike the Nakasendo Trail from Tsumago to Magome
This morning, head to the stunning Kiso Valley region (1.5hrs), to follow in the footsteps of samurais and lords while walking a section of the old Nakasendo trail from Tsumago to Magome.

This well maintained section of the trail leads through the countryside and passes right alongside the houses and fields of local residents. The 8km walk takes approximately 3 hours to complete at a leisurely place.


You will be staying at Daikichi Misnhuku, Half board

Day 7

Transfer to the train station

Travel from Tsumago to Takayama


Half Day Visit to the Floating Festival Museum
Visit the Takayama Floating Festival Museum displaying four of the autumn festival’s eleven floats (yatai). The elaborately decorated floats are several hundred years old and beautiful examples of Takayama’s legendary craftsmanship. We also recommend dropping into one of the town's many sake breweries for a tasting.

With its plethora of temples, shrines, festivals, rivers and bridges the mountain town of Takayama has been called a 'little Kyoto'. The region is an agricultural one, and every day the freshest of vegetables and fruit are brought by local farmers to the lively morning market. Many unique traditions have evolved here, and due to the previously inaccessible location of the town high in the Hida alpine region, a remarkable number of them have been preserved. The district called San-machi Suji, the traditional home of Takayama merchants and sake brewers, has been preserved in almost exactly the same way as 200 or 300 years ago. Here, are inns, shops and taverns which trace their history back many generations.


You will be staying at Honjin Hironoya Kachouan, Half board

Day 8

Half Day Trip to Shirakawago
Travel from Takayama along scenic mountainous roads by the Shokawa River to Shirakawago, and glimpse an insight into Japanese rural life. A remote, mountainous region in northern Gifu Prefecture, Shirakawago is famous for its old farmhouses, which were built in an architecture style called gassho-zukuri (or joined hands). Continue to Gokayama village famous for folk songs and dances that have been handed down from generation to generation and to learn about making Gokayama Washi, traditional Japanese paper.


You will be staying at Honjin Hironoya Kachouan, Half board

Day 9

Transfer to the train station

Travel from Takayama to Kyoto


Sightseeing tour
Visit Sanjusangendo, the popular name for Rengeo-in, a temple in eastern Kyoto which is famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and its present structures date from 1266. The main hall, at over 100 metres, is Japan’s longest wooden structure. In its centre sits one large Kannon, flanked on each side by 500 smaller statues, standing in neat rows side by side, each as tall as a human being.

Kyoto is quintessentially Japan. Peaceful temples, lavish gardens, and majestic palaces combine to create a slice of Japan at its purest and most distilled. Witness Geishas darting from one liaison to the next, or amble through one of the famous bamboo thickets. The home of Japanese cuisine and wearing its rich culture on its sleeve, Kyoto is a truly magical city.


Indepth Evening with Geisha
Visit a private restaurant for a traditional multi course dinner in the company of a geisha or geiko as they are known in Kyoto. You will be entertained by a Maiko (apprentice geisha) for approximately 2.5 hours. The maiko will perform traditional dances and with the help of a guide/interpreter, ask questions about the geisha and their fascinating world. This is a special night of wonderful food and traditional entertainment with wonderful photo opportunities.


You will be staying at Hyatt Regency, Kyoto, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Half Day Visit to the Zen Temples and Gardens
Also see the Ryoanji Temple, a Zen temple whose main attraction is its rock garden, the most famous of its kind in Japan. The simple Zen garden consists of nothing but rocks, moss and neatly raked gravel. Finally, see the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji). This is also a Zen temple formally known as Rokuonji. In 1397 construction started on the Golden Pavilion as part of a new residence for the retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Kinkakuji was converted into a Zen temple after Yoshimitsu’s death in 1408. The Golden Pavilion functions as shariden, housing sacred relics of the Buddha and is covered in gold leaf. The present building dates from 1955 as the pavilion was burnt by a fanatic monk in 1950.


You will be staying at Hyatt Regency, Kyoto, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Fly Kyoto to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Conrad Tokyo

Conrad Tokyo

Conrad Tokyo is located opposite a beautiful park and a short distance from the Ginza district, an area renowned for its shopping, dining and entertainment....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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