Dramatic and beautiful mountainous scenery.
Hiking, light walking and serious mountaineering opportunities.
Winter sports on excellent powder snowfall until May.
Hot spring bathing, onsen and traditional accommodation.
Snow monkeys at Yudanaka Onsen.
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Day 1 Tokyo
Arriving in Tokyo, you're met by an airport representative who will provide you with your trip documents and show you to your shuttle to take you to your city centre hotel. Spend the rest of the day resting after your journey or exploring at leisure. A good way to spend your first few hours in Tokyo is to visit the Imperial Palace Gardens or the futuristic man-made island of Odaiba.
Day 2 Tokyo
Your guide will meet you today in the hotel lobby to run through your trip and offer any local advice to you so you can enjoy the country with confidence. In the first section the guide will explain your itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you might have. This can take up to two hours so afterwards head out with your guide to see some of the highlights of the city. Perhaps start with taking a cruise up from the Hamarikyu gardens up to the old district of Asakusa to see the beautiful Sensoji temple.
Day 3 Yudanaka
Your first bullet train journey takes you up into the Japanese Alps and over to the small town of Yudanaka. It's here that you will enjoy your first stay at a traditional inn, or ryokan, with tatami rooms, futon and hot springs for those inclined, all part of this Japanese adventure! You will also get the chance to see the ubiquitous snow monkey (any time of the year but best when there's snow of course!)
Day 4 Yudanaka
Explore Yudanaka's hot springs and watch the snow monkey's bathing in the warm waters. A short train ride away is the artisan town of Obuse famous for its Hokkusai paintings.
Day 5 Kamikochi
Day 6 Kamikochi
Day 7 Matsumoto
Your next stop will be Matsumoto in the Japanese Alps. Here you can explore independently the famous 'Crow Castle' with its black and white exterior, and wander around the city's characterful old merchant district. There's also the excellent Ukiyo-e Museum housing thousands of woodblock print work belonging to the wealthy Sakai family.
Day 8 Murodo
Matsumoto , Murodo
From Matsumoto, set out on the Kurobe alpine route also known as the "Roof of Japan" which sees you travelling across the Northern alps using several means of transport including ropeways and cable cars. You will finish your day of travelling in the remote town of Murodo.
Day 9 Kanazawa
Murodo , Kanazawa
Continue your journey onwards down the other side of the alpine route through Toyama prefecture and on to the charming artisan city of Kanazawa, famous for the gold leaf produced in the area.
Day 10 Kanazawa
Visit the beautiful Kenrokuen garden this morning, one of Japan's top three gardens. Later there's time to explore some more of this interesting and artisan city.
Day 11 Kyoto
Take the limited express train to Kyoto, Japan's cultural heartland. After checking into the hotel, a private guide will take you to see some temples and cultural sites in the city. Afterwards, you will be taken for a tea ceremony in one of the more exclusive temples in the city. Truly a typically-Kyoto and memorable experience.
Day 12 Kyoto
In the morning, head to the brewery Fushimi district just South of Kyoto station for the chance to try some of the local sake and learn about how it is brewed. The exquisite sake in the area is created using the exceptionally clean water from the hills surrounding Kyoto. Spend the rest of the day seeing the Fushimi-Inari shrine close to the breweries.
Day 13 Kyoto
Day 14 Tokyo
Day 15 Return home
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