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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.

Tokyo

On arrival, proceed through customs and immigration. Your guide will meet you in the arrival hall at the airport. Your group will gather and then check in to your hotel near the airport. This evening we will have a Group Orientation and a Welcome Dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Welcome Dinner

Kyoto

This morning we send our main luggage ahead by overnight luggage transfer service and travel from Tokyo by Japan’s famous bullet train to Kyoto. You’ll have a chance to pick out an ekiben train bento to enjoy for lunch on the train. On our arrival in Kyoto, we’ll drop our overnight essentials at our hotel before we begin our discovery of Kyoto.

We will walk through some of Kyoto’s geisha districts on our way to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Geisha and maiko are skilled performers of traditional Japanese music and dance and there are few remaining. A number of tea houses remain in the area and traditional machiya abound. We will walk along the beautiful lanes of the Shirakawa area, and the Shirakawa canal. If we are lucky, we may spot a geiko or maiko on their way to an evening appointment. Even if we are not lucky, the beautiful lanes we walk will give you a feeling of walking back in time.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We begin today with a walking tour this morning, where we first visit the Sanjo-ohashi Bridge, the western end of the Nakasendo Trail.

From here, we will travel north to Kurama and enjoy a gentle walk through the Kitayama Mountains from Kurama to Kibune. Then, we visit ancient UNESCO World Heritage shrines that pre-date the founding of the city — Kamigamo and Shimogamo Shrines. The shrines are beloved by Kyoto residents and still retain some of the primeval forest that once covered this area.

Walking distance: 4km / 2.5 miles
Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent
Time required: About 2-3 hours walking

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tsumago

Journey by train from Kyoto to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you board a local bus for the short journey to Magome. Walk over Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns. Spend the night at a family-run minshuku in Tsumago, with a delicious home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast included. After dinner, enjoy a stroll through the village streets in the magical quiet of the evening, wearing the yukata gown supplied by your inn.

Walking distance: 8.3km / 5.2 miles
Elevation gain: 326m / 1,069 feet of ascent and 430m / 1,410 feet of descent
Time required: About 3 hours

Accommodation: Minshuku (family run guesthouse)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our walk on the trail today offers a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri. Or choose the shorter alternative to Nagiso instead. The trail heads through small valleys passing forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, through some of the least-developed scenery on the tour. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima and stay at a lovely onsen ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the town. The ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot spring baths.

Walking distance: 18.4km/ 11.5 miles
Elevation gain: 723m / 2,275 feet of ascent and 644m / 2,112 feet of descent
Time required: About 6 hours
A shorter alternative of 1 hour (3.7km / 2.3 miles) is also possible.

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Narai

Travel the short train journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, the starting point for the hike over the Torii Pass to another juku village, Narai. Explore this atmospheric village before traveling on by train to the castle town of Matsumoto and to your ryokan for the evening.

Walking distance: 8.7km / 5.5 miles
Elevation gain: 344m / 1,128 feet of ascent and 270m / 885 feet of descent
Time required: About 4 hours

Accommodation: Minshuku (family run guesthouse)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tokyo via Matsumoto
This morning, explore the engaging castle town of Matsumoto, visiting Matsumoto castle, which is one of Japan’s best historic castles.

After lunch, head onward to Tokyo by train, which is both the end point of the Nakasendo trail and of our tour. Tonight we stay at a comfortable Japanese-style hotel in the city.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tokyo

Today enjoy a day of sightseeing in Tokyo, beginning in historic Nihonbashi, the Eastern end of the Nakasendo Trail. We then travel to the Asakusa district where we walk through the lively Nakamise shopping street and visit the Buddhist Senso-ji Temple. Asakusa is an old quarter in Tokyo’s shitamachi (low city) which still displays some narrow streets reminiscent of Edo period Tokyo. Its main attraction is Senso-ji, a large Buddhist temple with a five-story pagoda, dating originally from the 7th century and rebuilt after its destruction during World War II. With Asakusa Shrine nearby, the complex serves as the site for several religious festivals throughout the year.

We then travel by Tokyo’s efficient subway system to Meiji Shrine. the serene grounds of the Meiji Jingu shrine, the mausoleum of Emperor Meiji. He was the first Emperor to reside in Tokyo and he became the symbol of modern Japan. This park was created more than 100 years ago and has now become an important green oasis for Tokyoites.

A short walk takes us to bustling Harajuku. Famous as Tokyo’s street fashion district, Harajuku’s heart is Takeshita-dori, its main shopping street, which is lined with boutiques and cafes. The area is known for its street fashion and for leading global style trends. We will then return to our hotel to freshen up before our Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

Our tour ends today after breakfast. We transfer together to our departure airport. Bid a sad farewell to Japan for now and we hope you’ll return one day to explore more!

Meals: Breakfast

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