tours@rediscovertours.com +1 248-747-4048

Sample Itinerary

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.

Meet your guide and other group members at the tour hotel in central Tokyo in the evening. There will be a Welcome Dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

Our first full day in Japan will be spent on a walking tour of Tokyo. We begin with the historic Yanaka neighborhood, strolling past small temples, shops, and traditional houses. Continuing to Asakusa, we visit Tokyo’s oldest temple Senso-ji, completed in 645 and approached via the Kaminarimon Gate with its giant red lantern. From Asakusa we board a boat and cruise on the Sumida River to the historic Hamarikyu Garden, with the striking backdrop of gleaming towers in the new Shiodome area.

We board a train this morning for the journey out of Tokyo to Nikko, two hours to the north. The forests and mountains of Nikko have been sacred to the Japanese for 1,200 years, and it was here that in 1617 the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu had himself enshrined at Tosho-gu. These extravagantly ornate buildings are now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites and we will take a guided walking tour of the main shrine structures. Afterwards we relax at our inn situated along a small river valley. We enjoy a sumptuous dinner of Japanese food served by the gracious Ryokan staff.

Walking distance: 5.6km / 3.5 miles
Time required: 2 hours

We travel for two hours on a series of mountain roads to the start of our walk into Oze Marshland. A two-hour hike brings us to the marshland high in the mountains of the Nikko National Park. This beautiful area is a haven for wild flowers and plants. We stay at a friendly mountain lodge next to the Oze-numa Lake.

Walking distance: 9 miles / 14.5km
Elevation gain: 300m / 985 feet ascent; 200m / 655 feet descent
Time required: 4 hours

After an early breakfast, we hike through the Oze Marshland to the Oze-ga-hara area where boardwalks are laid out amongst the marshes. We continue to the northern edge of the marsh, where a bus will take us through a long valley to Okutadani lake and a boat ride to the opposite side. Another short bus ride will bring us to Tochiomata hot spring, where we stay in a lovely traditional Ryokan, enjoying a dip or two in the open-air hot spring baths.

Walking distance: 16km / 10 miles

Elevation gain: 250m / 820 feet ascent; 150m / 490 feet descent
Time required: 6 hours

We take a bus to the nearby town of Koide, transferring to the Shinkansen (Bullet train) for our continuation north, following the picturesque Japan Sea coast for part of the way. Our destination is Dewa Sanzan (literally ‘three peaks of Dewa’), which refers to the three sacred peaks of Haguro-san, Gas-san, and Yudono-san. The lowest of the three, Haguro-san is spiritual home of the Shugendo sect, a mixture of the native Shinto belief and Buddhism. Mountain ascetics known as yamabushi can still be seen with their conch shells, used to call the spirits.

We will also visit Gyokusenji temple. Said to have been founded in 1251 by the Zen monk Ryonen Homyo Zenji. We will take a peaceful moment to enjoy the view of the garden while participating in the tea ceremony. From Gyokusenji we will head to a lovely Shukubo (pilgrims lodgings) where we stay tonight. Dinner is a meal of shojin-ryori, vegetarian Buddhist cuisine.

Walking distance: 2 miles / 3.2km
Elevation gain: ascending the steps to Haguro-san (if we stay in lodgings at the base of the mountain, we will walk on these steps tomorrow instead)
Time required: 1.5 hours

A local bus brings us to the start of our hike on Mount Gas-san.

The highest of the three sacred mountains, Gas-san is covered in deep snow for much of the year. The mountain is officially ‘opened’ each year with a ceremony at the Shinto shrine at the summit, which we will reach following a two and half hour climb. Along the hike there are lovely small ponds formed by the melting snow and an abundance of alpine flowers.

After a picnic lunch, we will retrace our steps down the mountain and head to the entrance of Haguro-san. We will walk up a beautiful staircase of 2,446 stone steps through giant cedars to the summit, At the top, pilgrims in their white coats head for the Dewa Sanzan shrine with its massive thatched roof, which we visit before returning to Shukobo lodging for dinner.

Following dinner there will be an optional visit to a nearby natural hot spring.

Walking distance: 9.5km / 6 miles
Elevation gain: 600m / 2,000 feet ascent; 600m / 2,000 feet descent
Time required: 4.5 hours

This morning we leave the Dewa Sanzan area. Our first stop is Kakunodate, a former feudal town with well-preserved Samurai residences. We walk through the former Samurai quarter, with an opportunity to visit one of the elegant samurai houses, before arriving at the merchants’ area. Lastly we will continue to Nyuto Hot Spring, a hot spring town in which each hot spring has its own unique water source. We check in to our beautiful hot spring ryokan for the night and the evening we will dine around the irori (traditional sunken hearth).

After breakfast, we head off along a path climbing towards Mount Nyuto for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Tazawako to the south. The length of the walk and route will be decided locally based on the weather conditions. Those wishing for a more relaxed day can stay and soak in the hot springs, or try some short walks along the valley floor.

Walking distance: 9.5km / 6 miles
Elevation gain: 600m / 2,000 feet ascent; 600m / 2,000 feet descent
Time required: 5 hours

Today we will travel by road to Tono, famous in Japan for its rich folklore. This rural community set in a broad green valley takes great pride in its folk tales, which feature such characters as the Kappa, child-sized beings that live in or near rivers. The local people have a strong pride in their culture and myths, and have worked hard to preserve them.

In the morning, we rent bicycles and cycle slowly along the quiet country lanes of the wide Tono Valley. Depending on the time of year, we may see rice being harvested. After lunch we will take the local train to Shin-Hanamaki and catch the shinkansen Bullet Train back to Tokyo, arriving early evening.

Cycling distance: 25km / 16 miles
Elevation gain: little ascent or descent
Time required: 2 hours

There will be a free day today in Tokyo, for shopping, visiting a museum, or simply wandering through the city. In the evening there will be a Farewell Dinner with your guide at a local restaurant.

The tour ends today after breakfast. Your guide will be on hand to offer assistance and advice for travelling to the airport if you have homeward flights, or on onward travel if you are extending your stay in Japan.

What Our Customers Have To Say

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.

John Moawad

Classical Japan Tour

It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...

Marina Boyer

North Central Exploration

Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...

Edan Ecker

Shoguns and Samurai

I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...

Our Team Of Local Experts

Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.

Jeff Aasgaard

Tour Sales Director

Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.

Michiyo Kakiuchi

Tour Arrangement Manager

Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.

Izumi Yamauchi

Tour Arrangement team

Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.

Why Rediscover Tours

Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.

Trips Made for You


Your Japan travel expert will create your trip just for you


Your interests and travel style will be front and center when designing your tour


Accommodations will be selected based on your style and we will inform them of all your special meal and physical requirements


Japan Experts


Your Japan expert has lived in Japan or is Japanese


They know the hidden treasures of Japan that you will love and most tourists miss


Most of our team lives in Japan giving them first hand knowledge of the latest trends and experiences for you to enjoy


Finest Guides


Private local guides add a whole new depth to your Japanese tour


We only hire the best guides and review each trip with them insuring excellent experience


Your private guide will listen to you, show you sights of interest and will make on the fly changes to match the weather and crowds


With Confidence


Our office in Japan is here to assist and support you


Rediscover Tours has been organizing travel to Japan since 2000


You will arrive comfortable in the knowledge that all details are taken care of and that our Japan office is just a call away