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Forgotten Japan

Upon arrival into the metropolitan city of Tokyo, you may find it difficult to imagine the old Japan, once associated with samurai and geisha. A Forgotten Japan tour captures the Japan everybody wants to see; the ancient postal routes linking villages to towns from Tsumago to Magome; the four-hundred year old thatched-roof farm houses in the UNESCO Gokayama in Toyama prefecture; the tea houses and geisha streets in Kanazawa and Kyoto; the castle towns and samurai houses of Matsumoto; and not neglecting the city that never sleeps: Tokyo. This tour of Japan is sure to remind you of the Japan that once was.

Categories: ,
Duration: 14 Nights / 15 Days
Route: Tokyo - Nagano/Jigokudani - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kyoto - (Optional day trips to Hiroshima/Nara) - Tsumago & Magome - Tokyo


Dates: Available all year round
Duration: 14 Nights / 15 Days
Starts: Tokyo
Ends: Tokyo
Route: Tokyo - Nagano/Jigokudani - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kyoto - (Optional day trips to Hiroshima/Nara) - Tsumago & Magome - Tokyo
Tour Type: Self Guided ­­­­­­with local guides in places and Essential Travel Pack
Prices from: From €3,450 / £2,975 / USD3,850 / AUD5,585 per person
Accommodation Category: Standard & Superior Hotels - Prices vary accordingly. Deluxe Plans are quoted on a request basis.


Private Tokyo Guide on Day 2!

After you spend your first day settling in, our local guide in Tokyo will meet you on your second day for a private tour. Whatever your interest, our bubbly guides will show you the best places according to your interests. If you are not sure, then don’t worry. We will give you recommendations with a list of places you shouldn’t miss!

Bullet Trains & Rural ryokan in Kiso Valley

Escape from the big city and start your Forgotten Japan adventure on the super speedy bullet train ‘shinkansen’ heading west to Nagoya.  From here you’ll vear north into the Kiso valley for your first introduction to the ‘real’ Japan! Overnight in a ­traditional Japanese ryokan, feast on a delicious multi-course kaiseki dinner, and soak in the magnificent onsen baths.

Trail the Nakasendo Highway Route, once walked

Once a post route on the old Nakasendo Highway linking Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto, Tsumago has maintained much of its old Edo Period charm. Your time in Tsumago will transport you to a world far beyond modern Japan. The 8km hike through the mountain trail of Magome is well worth the effort on your free day. Whether you walk this route or take the local bus, your visit here will be a memorable one. Perfectly preserved streets selling local foods and crafts with stunning views of the Kiso Valley. You can choose to stay in a well-known ryokan with a top class onsen or a traditional minshiku – depending on your budget. Two nights at either one will guarantee that you’ll experience the most amazing introduction to rural Japan.

Matsumoto: Samurai Swords & Sake Distilleries

From Tsumago you will follow in the footsteps of this Edo trail and make your way to Matsumoto, an alpine city surrounded on all sides by the towering peaks of the Japanese Alps. This small city is most famous for its castle, one of the few remaining original structures in Japan. Capture a sense of how the samurai used to live and fight as you tour Matsumoto’s “Crow Castle”. From here you will continue on by bus, along one of the most scenic routes we know, to the picturesque town of Takayama. Established in the 16th century as the castle town of the Kanamori family, it is now famous for its narrow streets containing well-preserved inns, tea houses, merchant houses, and sake distilleries.

Gokayama: Where the Past is Still the Present

Nestled away in the deep gorge of the Sho River Valley, thirty-three gassho zukuri (thatched farm houses) are protected as national treasures in the historic village of Gokayama. Blanketed in snow during winter and beautifully coloured by cherry blossom trees in spring, these villages have maintained all of their four hundred year old charm. With our local guide to accompany you, you will go on a cultural journey like no other. Spend the morning making soba noodles – a local specialty – to be tried and tested over lunch. Stop off at a local washi paper making factory and try your hand at this ancient craft. All of this, plus a private dance by a local Toyama farmer, whilst you drink hot tea and listen to takes of a time gone by.

Kanazawa's Contemporary Art, Grand Gardens & Sublime Sushi

Kanazawa, also know by many as “little Kyoto”, is a jewel by the sea that can boastsome of the finest seafood options in all of Japan (meaning all of the world). In this lovely town, like a smaller Kyoto, you will find a well-preserved Geisha District (called Higashi-chaya) with original tea and samurai houses on display. It is perhaps more famous for housing one of Japan’s top three gardens, Kenrokuen Garden. This is the perfect place to spend an afternoon strolling among the pretty ponds and beautiful bonsai.  Located next to the garden is the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, also a major attraction if seeking a bit of quirkiness on your trip!

Kyoto - Golden Temples, Serene Gardens& one-of-a-kind Geisha

Kyoto has an astonishing wealth of culturally significant sites with no less than 16 UNESCO World Heritate Sites. We recommend staying at least three nights to get a real sense of Kyoto’s true charm, which you will soon discover by walking the narrow back streets of Gion and visiting the many impressive temples and shrines. You will be assisted by a local guide who will take you around Kyoto and teach you the history of this ancient city. No trip to Kyoto is complete unless you get to meet a real Geisha, up close and personal. This is one of our many treats for you along the way!

The Eclectic Treasures of Tokyo

After ten incredible days traveling through Forgotten Japan you will be ready to return to the bright lights of Tokyo for two final nights before making your way home. Our Essential Travel Pack will make sure you make the most of your time as you visit the fashion capital Ginza, the Imperial Palace gardens, ultra-modern Roppongi Hills (Observatory Tower & museum), parks, busy street crossing at Shibuya and more. If you wish, you will have time to escape the hustle and bustle for one more day trip into a selection of destinations just beyond the city limits.


Tokyo (Two Nights)

Standard: Shinjuku Granbell
Superior: Keio Plaza Hotel
Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Hotel
Super Deluxe: Park Hyatt Tokyo
[Including breakfast, taxes and service charges. Similar standard will be used if above hotels are not available at your time of booking]

Kanabayashi (One Night)

All Categories: Senjugaku Ryokan (Japanese experience)

Takayama (Two Nights)

Standard: Best Western Takayama

Superior: Hoshokaku Ryokan or Hotel Associa (or similar)

Deluxe: Hanaougi Ryokan (or similar)

Kanazawa (One Night)

Standard: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa (or similar)

Superior:  ANA Crowne Plaza (or similar)

Deluxe: Chaya Ryokan (or similar)

Kyoto (Three Nights)

Standard & Superior: Kyoto Machiya (Converted Traditional Townhouse (self-catering)

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Tsumago (Two Nights)

Standard, Superior & Deluxe: Hotel Kisoji

[Room categories in hotel will differ depending on your tour category]

Tokyo (Three Nights)

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

Whats included


Airport Transfers (Arrival & departure)Shared Transfers (Door-to-door)Shared Transfers (Door-to-door)Private Transfers (Door-to-door)
14 Nights Accommodation3* Western (8 nights) +  Ryokan (3 nights) + Self-Catering Traditional Townhouse (3 nights)4* Western (8 nights) + Superior Ryokan (3 nights) + Self Catering Traditional Townhouse5* Western (11 nights) + Deluxe Ryokan (3 nights)
Meals14 breakfasts + 3 dinners14 breakfasts + 3 dinners14 breakfasts + 3 dinners
  • Japan Rail Pass (14 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Matsumoto to Takayama Highway Bus One/Way
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Japan Rail Pass (14 day Ordinary)
  • Reserved seats on bullet train journey’s
  • Matsumoto to Takayama Highway Bus One/Way
  • Tokyo City Transport Card
  • Kyoto City Transport Card
  • Local taxi’s in Kyoto and Tokyo on private day tours
  • Japan Rail Pass (14 day Green)
  • 1st Class Reserved seats on all bullet trains
  • Chartered Vehicle from Matsumoto to Takayama
  • Chartered Vehicle in Tokyo (one day)
  • Chartered Vehicle in Kyoto (one day)
  • Local taxi’s in Kanazawa/Tsumago/Magome/Takayama
Tokyo GuidePrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full Day
Kyoto GuidePrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full DayPrivate/Full Day
Authentic Tea CeremonyTea Ceremony at local Kyoto tea housePrivate Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea HousePrivate Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House
Kanazawa Guide
Private/Half Day + Transport
Private/Half Day + Transport
UJT’s Essential Travel PackReceived 2 weeks prior to departureReceived 2 weeks prior to departure Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Per Person Prices from:

Tour CategoryEURGBPUS$AU$
Deluxeon request
Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a Twin or Double Room. Single room supplements apply. Triple room discounts available. Exchange rate fluctuations may lead to price changes. Peak Season Supplements may apply during Cherry Blossom Season, Autumn Leaf Season, National Holiday Weekends inside Japan however we always try our best to get you the best price available. Early booking (up to 12 months preferred) during busy seasons is highly recommended (but not essential) to avoid higher supplements.

How to Book

Step 1: Booking Deposit


By paying your deposit today, you:

  • Fix the price
  • Allow UJT team book all services
  • Can relax a little ……your job is almost done!



Step 2: Book Your Flight

If you need help, ask our team for a quote. arrow

Step 3: Final Payment Due 8 Weeks Prior

Your Essential UJT Travel pack will be couriered to your home address 2 weeks prior.


Step 4: See you in Japan!

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