Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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 Takayama, Shirakawa-go, and Yamanaka Onsen.
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.
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.
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 Beniya Mukayu and relaxing in the hot springs this evening.