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The Northern Trail featuring Sado Island 2019/2020

The Northern Trail featuring Sado Island 2019/2020

13 Nights/14 Days Fully Escorted Small Group Tour

€4,500 / £4,100 / US$5,250 / AU$7,400 (Per Person sharing twin, double or triple room)
€5,500 / £4,950 / US$6,400 / AU$9,000 (Single room throughout)
If you are willing to share a room with a fellow traveller of same gender, let us know. We will do our best to match you with a suitable room-mate.

A unique summer tour packed with adventure, natural beauty, festival fun, and local interaction, suitable for first-time visitors and seasoned Japan travellers alike. Hit your groove at the Earth Celebration of the world-famous Kodo drummers. Hike the breathtaking Japan Alps. Visit one of Japan’s oldest castles in Matsumoto. Experience ultra-modern Tokyo and the ancient capital of Kyoto.


The Northern Trail (featuring Sado Island) - Video Overview

Day 1: Arrive to Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo on your scheduled flight where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.
Meet your group in the hotel lobby for orientation and your welcome dinner at a local Izakaya (all-you-can-eat-and drink!)

Day 2 & 3: Tokyo Sightseeing & Day at leisure

After breakfast, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a full day of sightseeing in Tokyo with one of our local guides, including:
  • Tsukuji Fish Market & Outer Shopping Streets
  • Hamarikyu Garden
  • Asakusa Sensouji Temple & Shopping Street
  • Lunch in local restaurant (pay locally)
  • Meiji-Jingu Shrine
  • Shibuya’s Scramble Junction

Evening at leisure in Tokyo


Day 4: Tokyo -> Sado Island

After breakfast we will travel to Niigata prefecture by bullet train and catch the ferry to Sado Island.
Sado Island is surrounded by 280km of coastline making it the perfect paradise for chilling by the beach & relaxation.
Unwind in the evening and enjoy dinner at your Japanese-style minshuku.

Day 5, 6 & 7: Sado Island Earth Celebrations

After breakfast, we will spend the day celebrating Sado Earth Festival!
Earth Celebration is like no no other festival; traditional arts and crafts, live performances by some of Japan’s best kept secrets, incredible nature, meeting and dancing with locals, workshops and more. Kodo performances are undoubtedly the highlight. Book your Kodo workshop early to avoid disappointment!

Day 8: Toyama - Matsumoto

After breakfast, we head to Matsumoto to walk the Kurobe Alpine Route through the Japanese Alps.

Day 9: Matsumoto - Kyoto

Our adventures continue today to Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan. It won’t matter how many times you’ve been to Japan, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Day 10: Kyoto day at leisure

Today you will have a well-deserved day off in Kyoto. You will have the option of visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima Island and your guide will be more than happy to help you if you wish to spend the day somewhere else.

Day 11: Kyoto Guided Tour

After breakfast, we will enjoy the picture-postcard beauty of Japan’s old capital with our guide
Some of our favourite sights to visit on our guided tour are:

– Nijo Castle
– Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavillion)
– Yasaka Shrine (on foot – walk through)
– Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

HIGHLIGHT: Authentic Tea Ceremony experience at a Kyoto Tea House

Day 12: Tour Ends

After breakfast your tour comes to an end. You will be transferred to Kansai International Airport for your scheduled flight.

Prefer to spend longer in Japan?? Speak to our team for post-tour extensions!



The B Akasaka (or similar)

Located centrally with lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping on its doorstep. Wakling distance to popular subway stations making it an easy place to base yourself for seeing the whole of Tokyo.

Minshiku on Sado Island

Minshuku are Japanese style bed and breakfasts, which are usually family operated. They offer visitors a good opportunity to meet a a local family and experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle.
Like in a ryokan, guests stay in Japanese style rooms, sleep on a futon and have the opportunity to take a Japanese bath.

Unazuki Kokusai Hotel (or similar)

Unazuki, most recognised for its rich hot spring source, is a small area located in the Japanese Alps, along the Kurabe Alpine Route. This hotel offers guests the choice of indoor/outdoor onsens as well as an indoor heated pool. Rooms are Japanese in design and the hotel itself is your typical resort style hotel where the main focus is on onsen and high quality Japanese cuisine.

Ace Inn Matsumoto (or similar)

Only a 1-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Train Station, Ace Inn offers massages and a simple free breakfast buffet with fruit and fresh bread. Rooms have an LCD TV with video-on-demand system and Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Each compact, air-conditioned room at Ace Inn Matsumoto includes a wood desk, a mini-fridge and an electric kettle with green tea. Sleepwear, slippers and free toiletries are provided in the en suite bathroom. Matsumoto Castle and the historic Nawate Street are both a 15-minute walk away, while Matsumoto Clock Museum is a 10-minute walk. Kaiundo Shohu-An is a 10-minute drive. A coin launderette is available on the 8th floor, and luggage can be left at the 24-hour reception. Food and snack vending machines as well as fax/photocopying services and dry cleaning are on offer.

Hotel Vista Hachijohguchi (or similar)

Located just opposite Kyoto station (hachijougushi exit), Hotel Vista is a relatively new hotel in Kyoto with fresh, clean rooms equipped with standard facilities. Nearby are plenty of restaurants, shops, a large shopping mall (Aeon), and Kyoto station which is home to thousands of stores underground. Being based at the Vista will make your stay in Kyoto very convenient and easy to access to/from the shinkansen tracks.


Prices & Inclusions

Accommodation6/7 Nights Western (3-star & 4-star), 3/4 Nights in traditional style Ryokan with hot springs & Kaiseki dinner (total 10 nights)
English Speaking AssistantsEnglish Speaking assistants throughout your journey
TransfersAll transfers required for your tour as well as arrival & departure airport transfers to & from Tokyo hotel
Private Tour GuidesLocal English speaking tour guides in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gokayama, Takayama, and Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
Entrance Fees
Included into all sights listed in itinerary including 3 day Earth celebration
Cultural ExperiencesTokyo city sightseeing day & night, Sado Island 3 Day Earth Celebration Festival, Taiko Drumming (or other music), Workshops, (bookseparately, Japanese Alps Trekking, Matsumoto Castle & Wood Block Museum, Kyoto World Heritage temples, Authentic Tea Ceremony Kyoto, Optional Day trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island (using your rail pass/self-guided)
Meals Breakfast daily, 3 evening meals
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • All Taxes & Accommodation Surcharges
  • Fixed Price Policy
  • Minimum 6 / maximum 16 people
  • No hidden Costs!!
This package does not include:
  • International Flights [Arrange own flights into and out of Tokyo’s Haneda or Narita Airports – Always check the arrival date on your flight e.g. if flying from Europe/US, you will arrive into Tokyo the following day (depending on airline you use)]
  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary. Generally, you can expect to pay 1,000yen for lunches and anything from 2,500yen for your evening meals.
  • Beverages consumed at any meal (Water served freely)
  • Baggage Handling (You are requested to carry your own bags so be careful when packing! Your tour leader will help you arrange luggage forwarding on some journeys by the reliable ‘Takkyubin Service’)
  • Tour Leader, Guide or Driver Gratuity – can be arranged among your group (Optional)

Enquire about this tour

Have a few questions before booking your tour to Japan? Please fill out this form and one of our Japan travel consultants will get right back to you.

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