Two women walking away through a square archway of orange pillars.

Japan Holiday By Train



10 Days

Prices Start from

$5,637pp(ex. flights)

Travel through Japan by train, combining the iconic cities of Tokyo and Kyoto with time in the Japanese Alps, bursting with beautiful scenery, traditional villages, hidden valleys and wonderful wildlife.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Bullet Train, Japan 1

Travel by Train

Journey through Japan on their super-efficient train network.

Takayama 2

The Japanese Alps

Explore the beautifully preserved old towns of Takayama and Shirakawago.

Snow monkey, Japan 3

Snow Monkeys

See the mischievous Snow Monkeys taking a geothermal bath.

Traditional Ryokan Accommodation, Japan 4

A Ryokan Stay

Stay in traditional accommodation with tatami matt flooring, futon beds and onsen baths.

Why we like it

Making this trip extra special is the fact that nearly all transport is by train, a convenient, relaxing and extremely efficient way to travel. The combination of the buzz of Tokyo, the ancient culture of Kyoto plus the mountains and scenery of the Japanese Alps is one of our favourites.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2


  • Day 3

    Tokyo - Matsumoto

  • Day 4 - 5


  • Day 6

    Matsumoto - Takayama

  • Day 7


  • Day 8

    Takayama - Kyoto

  • Day 9


  • Day 10


Day 1


Day 2


Day 3

Tokyo - Matsumoto

Bullet Train, Japan

Journey through Japan on their super-efficient train network.

Day 4 - 5


Snow monkey, Japan

See the mischievous snow monkeys taking a geothermal bath.

Day 6

Matsumoto - Takayama

Day 7



Explore the beautifully preserved old towns of Takayama and Shirakawago.

Day 8

Takayama - Kyoto

Day 9


Traditional Ryokan Accommodation, Japan

Stay in traditional accommodation with tatami matt flooring, futon beds and onsen baths.

Day 10


Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Snow Monkeys, Japanese Alps, Japan
Snow monkeys

Monkey Business

Japan’s Snow Monkeys or Japanese Macaques live in large social groups, and it can be very entertaining to watch their interactions. Accustomed to humans, they can be observed from relatively close quarters and almost completely ignore their human guests. 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 pools of this boiling water that the resident Japanese Macaques like to soak. Whilst the monkeys are most numerous during the colder months, they can be observed all year round.

Narrow paved path leading up between Japanese Houses.
Nakasendo trail

An Optional Add on - The Nakasendo Trail

Extend this suggested holiday and follow in the footsteps of samurais and lords as you hike a section of the Nakasendo trail. Once one of the most important highways in Japan this 530 kilometre route once linked Nara and Kyoto with the then capital city of Edo, now known as Tokyo. Taking up to 11 days to complete the full trail you will follow a short eight kilometre section taking approximately three hours at a leisurely pace. Walk between Tsumago to Magome, a well maintained section of the trail passing through countryside, alongside houses and fields of local residents.

Private onsen in a ryokan in the Japanese Alps with a woodland garden beyond.
Onsen in a ryokan

Ryokan Experience

During this trip you will stay in a traditional Japanese Inn, known as a Ryokan. Offering the chance to immerse yourself in Japanese culture these can range from small family run establishments to luxury boutique options and larger hotels. All offer traditional accommodation with rooms featuring tatami mats, rice paper screens and futon beds. Shoes are removed upon check in and Japanese robes and slippers are provided. Mealtimes are also a very traditional affair with a colourful multi course kaiseki dinners offering the chance to try many local dishes.

A high-end ryokan may have rooms with private onsen (hot spring baths), whereas larger ones offer access to communal baths. Onsen are geothermal heated baths containing mineral rich waters and there are thousands of them throughout the country. Comparable to a hammam in the Middle East these are an ancient and beloved tradition for the Japanese.

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Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Conrad Tokyo £££££

  • Japan
  • City

Conrad Tokyo is located on the 28th floor of a skyscraper, situated opposite a beautiful park and a short distance from the vibrant Ginza district. Communal areas are modern, light and airy with floor to ceiling windows. Rooms are spacious and contemporary with traditional touches and all benefit from the stunning views of either the bay or the city. The hotel also boasts a spa and indoor heated pool which again make the most of the views.

View Property

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A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From $5,637 Per person

When to travel

Japan in January

The weather is generally cool, dry and sunny in many parts of the country. In the north, there is heavy snowfall, making for excellent skiing conditions.

Japan in February

Ski season is in full swing in the north. Winter continues to bring some of the coolest but driest conditions to the rest of the country.

Japan in March

The start of the cherry blossom in southern Japan, as the weather warms. A popular time to visit Japan, especially towards the end of the month.

Japan in April

Perhaps the busiest month, as the cherry blossom spreads northwards across the country. A stunning time, but expect to plan accommodation and excursions in advance.

Japan in May

The cherry blossom reaches the far north of the country around Sapporo at this time, and temperatures are generally warm. It is generally dry in most parts, with vegetation vibrant and lush. It is worth avoiding Golden Week, a national holiday during the first week of May.

Japan in June

Many parts become hot and humid, with the rainy season occurring in Okinawa. A consequence of the rain is that the countryside and most gardens are at their best.

Japan in July

It can get very hot and humid in many parts of the country at this time, making it the perfect time to escape to the mountains. In particular, this time of year has the best conditions for the hike up Mount Fuji.

Japan in August

There are many festivals at this time and locals are on holiday, making it a busy time of year for travel. It is a great time to explore the Sapporo area, with cooler and less humid conditions.

Japan in September

September brings a quieter time for travel, with most locals back at work. The temperatures start to cool off a little, but the humidity generally remains.

Japan in October

The start of autumn for the majority of Japan, showcasing a wonderful array of autumn colours across the countryside. The weather is still pleasantly warm, with less rain.

Japan in November

Across the country, this is the best month to see the beautiful autumn colours. There are fewer visitors, and the temperatures remain mild, especially in the south.

Japan in December

The first couple of weeks of December are some of the quietest times to travel, and you can enjoy the natural thermal hot springs with snow on the ground.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

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