From the Alpine peaks of chilly Hokkaido in the north to the coral reefs of Okinawa over 3000 kilometers south, Japan has a collection of greatest hits to send the pulse of any travel enthusiast racing.
Vibrant cities supply plenty of sensory stimuli, but their neon lit pace is offset by a plethora of natural splendor. Towering mountain ranges extend down the country’s spine, offering visual manna and abundant opportunities for exploration of the great outdoors. Iconic Mount Fuji is the country’s highest peak and is easily accessed from Tokyo. Great hiking territory can be found in various locations however.
The awe-inspiring jagged peaks of the northern Alps in Honshu are considered the country’s premier trekking grounds. For post workout respite, meanwhile, traditional ryokan (inns) with onsen (hot springs) are perfect for relaxing aching limbs. Top onsen spots include Kinosaki in Honshu and Dogo in Shikoku.
Delving into Japan’s rich culture and fascinating history is also a must for visitors. Guests can overnight in a temple at famous ancient pilgrimage sites such as Mount Koya. Meanwhile, the country’s most recent past is thrown into focus at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Museum, dedicated to victims of the atomic bomb that decimated the city on August 6, 1945.
For those who see culinary discovery as a top priority for any trip, exquisite regional specialties can be found the length and breadth of the archipelago. Get schooled in the essentials of sushi and sashimi and wait in line for a comforting bowl of ramen noodles.
VILLAGES & VALLEYS, TEMPLES & TOWNS (14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS)
Immerse yourself in Japan’s cultural traditions as you embark on this spectacular tour through the villages, valleys, temples and towns that make Japan such an alluring destination, and experience the country’s stunning architecture and sublime natural landscapes.
- Embrace Japan’s modern energy. Take to the streets of Osaka and Tokyo to experience the fast-paced buzz of big city life in Japan.
- Explore Kamikochi’s scenic trails. Take a nature hike in the Japanese alps, admiring towering mountains, spectacular lakes and lush woodlands.
- Discover Japan’s UNESCO heritage. Visit the unusual thatched houses of Shirakawago, Koyasan’s Buddhist temples and Kyoto’s myriad of historic monuments.
JAPAN CITY TOURS (11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS)
Travel through the land of the rising sun and visit cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. Learn about the country’s rich culture and see the different temples and shrines. Taste the best of culinary Japan and visit important historical castles from the feudal era Japan is famous for.
- Tour the entire country. Visit the most iconic cities and discover their different identities.
- Experience Japan’s history. Travel to cities, villages and gorgeous remnants of the feudal period.
- Discover a different culture. Learn about tea ceremonies and witness Japanese Zen, mirrored in its lakes, temples and everyday life.
HIDA CYCLING TOUR – HALF (SHARED)
Slow down and soak up the beauty of tranquility of Hida. Take a guided bike ride through this charming alpine town, passing traditional houses, clear rivers and photogenic rice fields. Capture scenes of rural Japanese life at every turn while getting a closer look at Japan’s Alpine region.
HALF DAY TOUR: FOOD & CULTURE WALK
Uncover the charm and traditions of Takayama. Take an insightful guided walking tour through the old town and market, exploring the melange of Alpine architecture, historic buildings and incredible customs that make Takayama unique. After all of that walking, refuel with regional specialties washed down with glass of locally-brewed sake.
HALF DAY TOUR: LAKE BIWA MOCHI-MAKING AND FARM VISIT
Experience rural Japan far off the beaten tracks with this great half-day cycling tour with electric bikes. Pedal along the stunning Lake Biwa and marvel at the rural landscape that has been shaped through traditional agriculture for centuries. Get a glimpse of the daily life of farmers and gain an intimate insight as you will be welcomed into a Japanese family home.
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