Shibu Onsen in Nagano, Japan

Exploring the Japanese Alps Tour

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Japan

Places Visited

Tokyo, Matsumoto, Magome, Tsumago...

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Suggested Duration

10 Days

You will discover the many faces of the past and present during your 10-day Japan cultural tour. From ultra-modern cities to sleepy villages, you can follow in the footsteps of ancient travelers or plunge into the majesty of technology. Expert guides will lead you on excursions to find authentic accommodations and monkeys lounging in hot springs. Castles, forest trails, and artisan masters will create precious memories in Japan’s Alps.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Spend several nights in ryokans, traditional Japanese inns featuring tatami mats and onsens, thermal hot springs
  • Encounter Japan’s famous snow monkeys relaxing in natural outdoor onsens, thermal hot springs
  • Tour the inside of the Matsumoto Castle, an authentic Edo Period castle, and learn about the history of the Samurai
  • Sample the finest Japanese cuisine, including Hida beef, famous for its melt-in-your-mouth texture
  • Traverse sections of the Nakasendo Trail, as Japanese natives have for centuries
  • Embark on a bicycle tour of Kyoto, enjoying a tour of the manmade and natural splendors at your own pace
  • Visit Takayama's old town to find centuries-old buildings where artisans continue making sake, furniture, and textiles using traditional methods

Detailed Description

You arrive in Tokyo, Japan’s capital and the largest city in the world. To help you navigate this bustling metropolis, an expert guide shows you the city’s best sites while avoiding the crowds of other travelers. From an idyllic teahouse or seat on a riverboat cruise, you soak in the city’s ancient and modern beauty.

Matsumoto is a city of treasures. At Matsumoto Castle, learn about the life of the samurai and the commoners who called feudal Japan home. The castle’s gardens are a lovely sight, made more so by the spring cherry blossoms and colorful fall foliage. While in Matsumoto, you take a day trip to Jigokudani, home to Japan’s famous snow monkeys. There, you can get up close with these amazing creatures.

Magome and Tsumago are two restored cities in the Kiso Valley. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), tens of thousands of travelers stopped there during their journey between Kyoto and Tokyo, then called Edo. Today you follow in these travelers’ footsteps, walking on a restored section of the Nakasendo Trail. When you stop for the night, a ryokan inn and delectable cuisine await you, just as it did for travelers in centuries past.

Takayama is one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan. With an expansive old town, the city is a jewel in the heart of the Japanese Alps. From sake breweries to magnificent museums, Takayama provides an incomparable immersion into Japan’s past. While there, you have the opportunity to sample Hida beef, hailed worldwide for its delicate taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

From Takayama, you take a day trip to Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picturesque is an understatement when describing this immaculate village, where local residents continue practicing the construction techniques handed down over the last 300 years. You can freely wander through the village, learning about everything from house building to silkworm farming.

Kyoto was the birthplace of much of Japan’s culture. Home to innumerable sites, your expert guide shows you the best of these on a leisurely bicycle tour of the city. As you travel between the temples and bamboo groves, it is easy to lose yourself in Kyoto’s natural and manmade wonders.

This tour is perfect for couples, friends, and families. It is best taken in the spring or fall when Japan’s weather is ideal for outdoor touring. 

Starting Price

$5,195 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

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