Back Roads of Japan

Classic, Tokyo to Kyoto

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Wander off the beaten path away from Japan's big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that takes you to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, there's time before and after to explore Tokyo and Kyoto, making this trip a well-rounded glimpse into Japan's past and present.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Hagi Community Homestay, Hagi Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Hands-On Moment: Traditional Paper-making Lesson, Mihomisumi-eki
  • Modern Tokyo walking tour
  • Zenkoji Temple visit (Nagano)
  • Jigokudani Monkey Park visit (Matsumoto)
  • Matsumoto Castle visit
  • Hagi orientation walk
  • Hagi cycling tour
  • Tottori sand dunes visit
  • Tottori fish market visit
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine visit
  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Spot snow monkeys in nagano
  • Relax in the healing waters of an onsen
  • Explore a 16th-century samurai castle
  • Cycle through the rural town of hagi
  • Experience a homestay in a traditional japanese community.

Itinerary

Tokyo Arrive at any time.
Tokyo Take a CEO-led walking tour of eclectic modern Tokyo from the hub of Shinjuku to Shibuya through to Harajuku. The rest of the day is free for exploring more of the city.
Tokyo/Nagano Journey to Nagano, located in the Japanese Alps and host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Discover the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park and watch Japanese snow monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.
Nagano Enjoy a day-trip to quaint Matsumoto and visit one of Japan's most treasured castles. Return to Nagano and explore historic Zenkoji Temple.
Nagano/Otsu Travel to Otsu in Shiga prefecture. Located on the banks of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake, the area is known for the Ogoto Onsens. Settle in and relax with a dip in the healing waters of these Japanese style hot springs, and dine on traditional fare.
Otsu/Hagi Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Ryokan this morning before a long travel day. In the early evening, arrive in the quaint city of Hagi, a former castle town that boasts feudal architecture. Take part in a welcome ceremony with the local residents, and meet your host family at a community homestay, a G Adventures for Good project. Get to know each other as you enjoy dinner together.
Hagi Explore rural Hagi on a guided morning cycle, spotting samurai architecture along the way. On return, experience authentic Japanese countryside life by partaking in seasonal activities with the community. Return to your homestay in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner with your host family.
Hagi/Tottori Bid farewell to your host family after enjoying breakfast together. Later, travel to Miho-misumi by train, taking in scenic views along the way. Learn the art of making "washi," a UNESCO-recognized traditional Japanese paper before continuing to the seaside town of Tottori.
Tottori/Kyoto Spend the morning exploring Tottori's scenic sand dunes, some reaching 50m (164 ft) in height. After, visit the local fish market and opt for a fresh seafood lunch. In the late afternoon, travel to Kyoto for two nights in the traditional heart of Japan.
Kyoto Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famed for an impressive 10,000 red torii gates. This afternoon, enjoy free time in this picturesque city. Opt to experience zen gardens, teahouses, shrines, and local gift shops – and maybe even spot a real-life geisha.
Kyoto Depart at any time.
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