Past to Present Japan

Where else can you find ninth-century temples and robot restaurants in the same neighborhood?  Often portrayed as the ultimate symbol of the Far East, the island nation is a smorgasbord of sights, sounds, smells, and sensory delights. It can be an overwhelming experience to explore it, but it’s obviously an unmissable one. And even if you can’t spend as long there as you’d like, the charm and beauty of Japanese culture will stay with you – especially if you do it right. Welcome to the start of our 9 day journey through the Land of the Rising Sun.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Kyoto

Upon arrival at Kansai Airport, your driver will meet you at the arrival exit point and take you to your Kyoto accommodation by shared shuttle. After arrival, you will have free time to explore Kyoto.

Hotel: Karasuma Kyoto Hotel or similar, 3 nights

Day 2: Kyoto

Today join a morning cycling tour which will begin near Kyoto Station. Cycle through the backstreets of Kyoto city with the English-speaking guide to explore real Kyoto which cannot be accessed by cars. This 15km cycling tour visits Geisha Quarters Miyagawa-cho, Ishibei Koji Alley, the Gion district, Yasaka Shrine, Shirakawa River and Heian-jingu Shrine. The tour will end at Kyoto Station between 12:30 and 13:00. Please note participants on this tour must be between the ages of 12 and 70, and be 155cm in height or taller.  The afternoon is free at leisure where you can explore Kyoto and its many tourist attractions, along with shopping, dining, and entertainment areas.

Day 3: Kyoto

Enjoy a day at leisure in Kyoto. Please collect your train tickets from your hotel reception for the journey to the Nakasendo Trail tomorrow.

Day 4: Kyoto – Magome – Tsumago

Your adventure to Tsumago begins! Start the day by taking the bullet train from Kyoto to Nagoya, followed by a local train to Nakatsugawa. Once in Nakatsugawa head to the Magome Trail entrance by local bus (costs approx. 560 yen). A fantastic suggestion is to arrange a luggage transfer from your Kyoto hotel or Magome information centre (costs between 1,500-2,500 yen). With this service, you can just carry a small backpack with the necessities for 1-2 days. Once you reach the trail entrance, start your 8.3km walk from Magome to Tsumago. It is one of the best preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns. Tonight you will spend the night at a family-run Minshuku in Tsumago, or in the nearby village of Otsumago. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked Japanese dinner and in the evening stroll through Tsumago Village in the magical peace of the evening, wearing a cotton yukata gown supplied by your inn.

Hotel Minshuku Daikichi or similar

Day 5: Tsumago – Kiso-Fukushima

After breakfast at the Minshuku, you will start the longest day of the trail which would take approx. 6 hours. The 18.4km trail is a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri. There is the option to take a shorter 3.7km route to Nagiso instead (approx. 1 hour). The trail ventures through small valleys, and forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar. This goes through some of the least-developed sceneries on the tour.
At the end of the route, transfer to Kiso-Fukushima Station where the Ryokan staff will pick you up. Stay at a lovely Ryokan in a peaceful valley. Relax your body in the natural hot springs and have local specialty dishes for dinner.

Hotel: Komanoyu Ryokan or similar

Day 6: Kiso-Fukushima – Narai

After breakfast, pack up your luggage and continue the hike. This Ryokan also offers a luggage transfer service too if you have yet to use it and would like to offload any luggage to your Tokyo accommodation. The Ryokan staff will drop you off at Kiso-Fukushima Station. From there, start the journey to the Yabuhara Trail which is the starting point for the Torii Pass to Narai. Take the time to explore this atmospheric village before checking in to your family-run inn in the heart of the Narai Village.

Hotel: Oyado Iseya or similar

Day 7: Narai – Tokyo

After breakfast, hike for about 40 minutes to the famous lacquer ware town of Kiso-Hirasawa. There are many shops selling beautifully crafted table ware and furniture. Catch a train from Kiso-Hirasawa Station to Tokyo, arriving mid-afternoon. You have the option to have a break in your journey at Matsumoto to visit Matsumoto Castle (a small additional train fare is required on the spot). This evening check in at your accommodation in Ginza, the famous high-end shopping, dining and entertainment district in Tokyo. You will notice the huge difference between the bright neon metropolis of Tokyo and the old tranquil atmosphere of the Kiso Valley.

Hotel: Hotel Monterey Ginza or similar, 2 nights

Day 8: Tokyo

Enjoy a free day at leisure in Tokyo, the bustling and exciting capital city that never sleeps!

Day 9: Depart Tokyo

Spend part of the day exploring Tokyo a your own leisure, until it is time to depart to Narita or Haneda Airport via shared shuttle.

2018 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Sunday's, Tuesday's, Thursday's & Saturday's from Kyoto:From $2,590.00On Application
Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & air-conditioned vehicle while touring
Rail:Train Ticket: Kyoto / Nakatsugawa - Nojiri / Kiso-Fukushima / Yabuhara - Kiso-Hirasawa / Tokyo
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation
Guide:English speaking guide on Day 2 only
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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