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Takayama and the Noto Peninsula: Japan's Crafts & Countryside

Travel back in time to an era of traditional Japanese life on this nostalgic four-day, three-night tour of the central Japanese countryside. Takayama and the Noto Peninsula are two “must see” regions in Japan, and if you’re the crafty type, you’ll love these places. Set in a beautiful, tranquil, mountainous area, you’ll experience culture in the midst of stunning surroundings. On this tour you’ll also visit Nagoya, Gokayama, and Wakura.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Take a local rickshaw ride, and see the sights of Takayama’s Old Town on three wheels
  • Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri is where you’ll find clever Japanese artists making pottery and weaving straw baskets and hats
  • Spend time at Nagamachi Yuzen-kan and learn how to paint beautiful patterns on traditional Japanese kimonos
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1
Kyoto to Takayama
It’s day one of your Japanese countryside tour, and this morning you will head to Kyoto station to board the Shinkansen bullet train to Nagoya. Hop off and transfer to a limited express train for Takayama - situated in the Japanese Alps. Upon your arrival, visit Yatai Kaikan Hall, home to amazing floats used in the city’s two annual seasonal festivals. Stock up on Hida folk crafts, such as lacquered bowls, wood carvings, and other items at the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum before finishing up the day with a leisurely walk down Kami Sannomachi Street. This street is in the heart of the city’s Old Town area, and if you’re tired from a big day, consider taking a rickshaw ride. There are many lovely historic buildings in this area and many homes are open to the public, which provide valuable insight into the former living quarters of the local merchants. Head to your hotel for a restful night’s sleep.
Day 2

Rise early this morning for a visit to the Takayama Morning Market. Local markets are a great introduction to life in the town, and this one is stocked with vegetables, fruits, and mountain herbs. Next, drive past the majestic Lake Miboro and head to the former Toyama Family Residence. The home was built in 1927 and is representative of the Gassho style. Take notice of the stunning scenery as you arrive at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri, a village of ancient farmhouses. Once you’ve had a good look around here, it’s time to visit Gokayama to learn the art of Japanese paper making. Create your own special sheets of paper using ancient techniques using shredded bark from a mulberry tree. Head back to Takayama and enjoy another relaxing night as day two of your trip draws to a close.

Day 3

Today you’ll visit one of the most famous gardens in Japan-- Kenroku-en. The gardens are home to an impressive 8,700 trees and the oldest fountain in Japan, which is powered by natural pressure. Next, make your way to Nagamachi Yuzen-kan, the only studio in the area where you can see silk kimono patterns being painted. Give it a try yourself’; it’s great fun! No trip to Japan would be complete without sampling Japanese green tea. Sample a few types at Higashi Chaya Street before going to Wakura Onsen (Hot Springs). Check in to your Wakura hotel room to relax this evening.

Day 4
Wakura to Kyoto

Have a relaxing morning on your fourth and final day of this exciting tour in a fabulous area of Japan. Catch a flight and a train and you’ll arrive back to Kyoto in no time at all. Safe travels on the next part of your journey!


Suggested Accommodations



Travelers looking for the experience of staying in a Japanese ryokan - a traditional inn - will be blown away by Wanosato, a luxury ryokan and wilderness retreat just outside of Takayama. Located on a large property with a gentle stream running through it, this hotel will allow guests to totally relax from their day-to-day life or their busy days of traveling, with a relaxing garden and hot tub ready to soothe away any stresses. Breakfast is made to order every day, and in the evening guests can opt to eat at the traditional Japanese restaurant on site, where only the freshest cuisine is served, including 'sansai' (mountain vegetables), 'wasakana' (river fish), Hida beef, and locally-distilled sake. Guests may choose to stay in a standard room or in a multi-room villa with a private garden, perfect for a larger group or family. Guests looking for peace and relaxation, to soak in history and nature, will have a holiday to remember at Wanosato. 



This modern hotel-style ryokan, located minutes from Wakura-Onsen Station in Nanao, Ishikawa, Japan, is housed in several large towers right on the edge of the water, featuring stunning views over Nanao-Nishi Bay and the city. Over 100 years since its establishment, Kagaya has played host to several of Japan’s emperors, enticing royals and travelers alike with its natural hot spring tubs, created from the hot spring that runs through the property. Guests may enjoy delicious meals at the hotel’s restaurant, dining on local noto seafood and local kaga vegetables while taking in a stunning sunset over the bay. All modern comforts available, this hotel feels like a step back in time, to an era of royalty, of chivalry, and of majestic lands. 

Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald loves Japan's beautiful gardens, especially when covered in winter snow. Her favourite? Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa.
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