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.
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 Osaka in no time at all. Safe travels on the next part of your journey!
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.
Quaint Yamashiro Onsen, about an hour from Kanazawa, is a place famed for hot springs dating back 1,300 years, and nowhere is this history better experienced than at Beniya Mukayu, a traditional ryokan whose Zen-like quality ensures a uniquely memorable experience. Each of the ryokan’s 17 rooms has the minimalist feel of a traditional ryokan, as well as a private open-air bath overlooking a well-manicured Japanese garden. A stay at Beniya Mukayu is a holistic experience; from tea ceremonies with the ryokan’s owner to yoga sessions with his wife, your stay can be a cultivated lesson in Japan’s many methods of relaxation. Other highlights include a spa with medicinal and traditional treatments, as well as traditional kaiseki dining. From Kanazawa, Beniya Mukayu is a one-hour drive or a 30-minute express train ride followed by a 15-minute car ride.
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.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
Choose somewhere you’d like to visit, something you’re interested in, and when you’re planning to travel and we’ll suggest sample itineraries to inspire your bespoke journey.
As the major travel hubs in Japan look to reopenRemote Lands speaks to Alex Porteous of Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto on how travel has changed.Read More
Whether it’s the wilds of Tohoku or the hot springs of Ishikawa, Japan has a wealth of experiences for your wellbeing.Read More
Cheerleaders, history, balloons — watching baseball in Japan is a whole new way to see the game.Read More
The guntû is a small blue crab considered a delicacy in the Seto Inland Sea area of Japan, but the tasty little crustacean is also a floating five-star ryokan, one of the most exclusive venues in East Asia.Read More
Here is a small selection of the kind words our guests have said about us, as well as features by journalists and travel writers.
You are invited to Remote Lands’ signature Aman Jet Expeditions, in partnership with our friends at Aman. These are small group journeys designed for people who usually travel independently.