Explore Japan on foot
Discover the rich culture of Japan
|Open - Custom Tour|
|10 nights, 11 days|
|Minimum of 2 guests|
|Breakfasts: 10 Dinner: 1|
|Private Local Guide in Kyoto on day 6.
Detailed materials as well as support from our experts in Japan will be available for this independent tour. No tour leader is supplied.
|- Kanazawa and Kenrokuen Garden
- Private Local Guide for a day in Kyoto
- Staying at a Hot Spring Ryokan in Gero
- Day Trip to Nara and Great Buddha
- Shodoshima Island
|Age restrictions: Everyone younger than 20 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.|
Your tour will start in Kanazawa. About 2 weeks before your trip we will send you a personalized tour organizer with detailed directions, itinerary,... The most famous sight in Kanazawa is Kenrokuen Garden which used to be the private garden of the local daimyo (warlord). Today the garden is considered one of the very best in Japan and well worth a few hours of exploration. We also recommend visiting the old old samurai neighborhood and geisha districts feeling history all around you. If time allows then you should add Ninjadera (ninja temple) to learn about ninja and how they protected themselves from capture. The bullet train from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station will take about 2 hours and 15 minutes
After breakfast in Kanazawa, you will take a bus through the Hida mountains to Shirakawa-go in northwest Gifu Prefecture. This quiet village, surrounded by mountains and rice-fields is best known for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri is a traditional building style featuring steep thatched roofs designed to withstand heavy snow. In order to preserve these houses, the whole village of Shirakawa-go was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The bus ride from Kanazawa Station to Shirakawa-go will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Takayama which is often referred to as Little Kyoto as many of its temple and shrines were built by Takayama carpenters. Here you will explore the old Sannomachi Street and the neighborhood. Many of the old houses are museums so you can see how merchants lived in remote Japan.
Just a short train ride from Takayama is Gero Hot Spring. In the poetry of Razan Hayashi, a Confusion master, Gero Hot Spring is mentioned as one of Japan's best three hot spring areas along with Arima and Kusatsu. It is located in the Masudagawa River valley and there are a few hot spring baths along the river that you can enjoy. The train from Takayama to Gero Station will take approximately 45 minutes.
Today you will head to Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. Today, it is in this city that the traditional Japanese ‘high arts’ flourished. Tea ceremony, calligraphy, poetry, philosophy or religion, Kyoto is the number one place to visit. Numerous temples and shrines are located throughout the city and walking along canals, next to traditional wooden houses and through the small streets really gives you an idea of the ancient Japanese imperial culture. Kyoto is also famous for its crafts: textile, kimono and pottery. Although there is very much to see and do in Kyoto, even a short-time visitor can soon get an appreciation of what this ancient capital has to offer. The train from Takayama Station to Kyoto Station will take approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Your private local guide will meet you at your hotel and will show you the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. Your guide will not work from a predetermined itinerary and will show you sights that are interesting to you. They are also very flexible and can make on the fly changes to fit your style, mood, weather and crowds. Possible sights in Kyoto include Higashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Gion, Nishiki Market, Kimono Museum, National Museum, Manga Museum, and many other possible temples, gardens, museums and so on. Only the best local guides can offer this kind of flexibility. Due to the flexible nature of your sightseeing, we do not include transportation, entry fees or meals while you are with your guide. If you have any specific sights you want to visit with your guide please let us know.
Nara is located in the central west of Honshu, the Japanese main island. Formerly known as Heijo-kyo, this city occupies an important position in the history of Japan as the first capital from 710 until 784. During this period, a large number of shrines and temples were erected under the protection of the imperial family and aristocrats. However, when the monks in the surrounding hills started gaining too much influence and eventually tried to seize power, it was decided to move the capital to Heian-kyo, nowadays known as Kyoto. Many of the temples built at the height of Heijo-kyo, like the Todai-ji and Horyuji temples, are currently registered as World Heritage Sites. Both Japanese and foreign tourists visit the city to see these temples, to walk among the free-roaming deer of Nara park, or to visit some of the beautiful scenic mountains surrounding the city. The train from Kyoto Station to Nara Station will take about 45 minutes.
Located in the Seto Inland Sea this consider one of the first islands based on Japanese mythology. The name literally means “small bean island” and today it is known for soy bean and olive production. The island one of the venues for the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival so there are modern art displays all over and is a popular setting for movies and TV dramas. Shodoshima is also known for Kankaei Gorge and the monkey park. The train, bus and ferry from Kyoto Station to Shodoshima take about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Its Mediterranean like weather makes it a perfect destination for people looking to get out of the city. It is also known for Setouchi Triennale which is a modern art festival that happens every three years. Many of the art is still on permanent display but many have limited access in the winter. Please talk to your Japan Expert to design your stay in Shodoshima more in detail.
Hiroshima was the first city to ever experience an atomic bomb that physically destroyed it. The people of Hiroshima, however, rebuilt the city, filling it with charm and history. Hiroshima is also famous for its food, specifically okonomiyaki which is a must-try inexpensive lunch or dinner. While in Hiroshima you can visit the Peace Museum and Park, Shukkeien Garden, or the Hondori Shopping Arcade.
Today will be your last day on this journey. We hope you enjoyed every second of your tour.