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The Northern Trail featuring Sado Island

The Northern Trail featuring Sado Island tour has been designed for those looking to escape the major tourist trails and hit the fresh mountain air and fun rural festivals. These northern Japanese towns offer something unique and special and don’t feature on most regular tourist trails. Still including the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, this tour of Japan offers a very different way to experience this beautiful country.

Duration: 13 Nights/14 Days Self-Guided Adventure
Route: Tokyo - Kinugawa Onsen & Nikko - Niigata - Sado Island - Mt. Tateyama - Matsumoto (via Kurobe Alpine Route) - Kyoto

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Self Guided Tours - The Northern Trail featuring Sado Island
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Dates: From Mid-April to End of November
Duration: 13 Nights/14 Days Self-Guided Adventure
Starts: Tokyo
Ends: Kyoto
Route: Tokyo - Kinugawa Onsen & Nikko - Niigata - Sado Island - Mt. Tateyama - Matsumoto (via Kurobe Alpine Route) - Kyoto
Tour Type: Self-guided tour with private and bullet train transfers
Prices from: From €4,680/ £ 4,100/ US $ 5,200/ AU $ 7,600 per person sharing
Accommodation Category: 3*standard /4*superior /5*deluxe

Experiences

Tokyo

Begin your journey in Tokyo. Our local guide will meet you on the second day to help orientate you in this gigantic city and prepare you for what is to come. Take a morning trip to the famous Tsukiji FIsh Market and follow up with a leisurely stroll through Hamarikyu Garden before crossing by train to Asakusa. Here you can get a real sense of old-town Tokyo and also visit one of the capital’s newest attractions – Tokyo Sky Tree –  which towers over the city at 634 meters tall.

The Northern Trail begins and ends in Tokyo where you will be given a brief over view of the cities highlights plus some free time for self-exploration at the end.

Nikko & Kinugawa Onsen

Nikko, for centuries a training centre for Buddhist monks, is home to the mausoleum – built in the 1600s and locatred at Toshogu Shrine – of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Tokugawa established the shogunate that ruled Japan for more than two hundred and fifty years before it came to an end in 1868 with the Meiji Restoration. Nikko National Park is blessed with stunning mountain landscapes, scenic lakes and waterfalls, hot springs, wild monkeys and hiking trails. Just a short distance from Nikko is the hot spring town of Kinugawa where you will spend one night soaking in hot springs and sampling kaiseki dinner at a local ryokan.

Niigata

Famous as the source of Japan’s purest water, Niigata’s rice and sake (rice wine) are widely regarded as the best in the country. Here you will visit a local sake brewery and samurai house bringing you back to Japan’s feudal days. Spend one night in Niigata enjoying a more rural city nightlife at a local izakaya.

Sado Island

Just a few hours by ferry will take you to Sado Island – Japan’s sixth largest island. Spend three nights of digital detox here meeting the locals, exploring the sights, and taking part in local workshops like Taiko drumming. We highly recommend planning your trip around the annual Earth Celebration, a three day music festival featuring the world famous Kodo drummers, held around July/August every year.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

From Sado, you will return to a different port on the mainland and make your way to Tateyama where you will spend your first night along the Kurobe Alpine Route in a mountain lodge. Located in Japan’s Northern Alps, between Toyama and Nagano (Omachi Town), this route is traversed by various means of transportation including mountain buses, cable cars, and ropeways. Along this adventure you will see not only Japan’s most incredible views of wildlife and landscape, but also the world’s highest and most impressive dam, the Kurobe Dam, which stands at 186 meters tall.

Winter Snow Walls & Matsumoto

If you are here during the spring months (mid-April – early June) you will see the famous snow walls measuring up to 20m high either side of you. In the summer and autumn months, enjoy the dramatic colours and stunning backdrops along this route. After a full day trekking through the Japanese Alps you will be looking forward to a relaxing evening in the castle town of Matsumoto.

Kyoto

No tour to Japan is complete without a few days in the ancient capital Kyoto. We will spend three days/nights exploring the side streets, performing an authentic tea ceremony, glaring at Geisha in downtown Gion, visiting the magnificent temples, with one free day thrown in to do your own thing. Use this free day to visit Hiroshima, Himeiji, Miyajima using your Japan rail pass or spend the day relaxing in the bamboo forest in the Arashiyama area.

Accommodation

Tokyo (Three Nights)

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

Nikko (One Night)

Standard and Superior: Nikko Kanaya Hotel
Deluxe: Kai Nikko
Super Deluxe: Ritz Cartlon (opening May 2020)
[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Niigata (One Night)

Standard and Superior: ANA Crown Plaza Hotel
Deluxe and Super Deluxe: Hotel Okura
[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Sado Island (Three Nights)

All guests: Traditional Japanese Minshiku guest house
[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Tateyama (One Night)

All guests: Hotel Tateyama
[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Matsumoto (Two Nights)

Standard: Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu
Superior, Deluxe and Super Deluxe: Kai Alps
[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Kyoto (Three Nights)

Standard: Daiwa Royal Hotel Kyoto
Superior: The Kyoto Century Hotel
Deluxe: The Thousand or The Okura Hotel
Super Deluxe: Ritz Carlton Kyoto, Four Seasons, or Hoshinoya

[Includes breakfast, taxes and service charges.]

Whats included

 

ServiceStandardSuperiorDeluxe
Airport Transfers (Arrival & departure / door to door service)Mini-van or Limousine BusMini-van or Limousine BusPrivate Vehicle
Accommodation3* Western x 8 nights

Standard Ryokan x 1 night

Minshiku x 3 nights

Mountain Lodge x 1 night

4* Western x 8 nights

Superior Ryokan x 1 night

Minshiku x 3 nights

Mountain Lodge x 1 night

5* Western x 8 nights

Deluxe Ryokan x 1 night

Minshiku x 3 nights

Mountain Lodge x 1 night

Meals13 Breakfasts + 4 dinners13 Breakfasts + 4 dinners13 Breakfasts + 4 dinners
Experiences
  • Private Guides for 2 Days for Tokyo & Nikko, and Niigata & Sado Island
  • Full Day Private Guide in Kyoto
  • Shared Authentic Tea Ceremony
  • Sake Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Digital Detox on Sado Island
  • Visit Samurai residence
  • Summer Festivals – Fuji Rock in July or Earth Celebration in August
  • Traverse Kurobe Alpine Route over 2 Days: Mt Tateyama, Snow Wall Corridors, and largest Dam in the world, to name a few highlights!
  • Matsumoto Samurai Castle & Ukiyo Museum
  • Private Guides for 2 Days for Tokyo & Nikko, and Niigata & Sado Island
  • Full Day Private Guide in Kyoto
  • Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet
  • Sake Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Digital Detox on Sado Island
  • Visit Samurai residence
  • Summer Festivals – Fuji Rock in July or Earth Celebration in August
  • Traverse Kurobe Alpine Route over 2 Days: Mt Tateyama, Snow Wall Corridors, and largest Dam in the world, to name a few highlights!
  • Matsumoto Samurai Castle & Ukiyo Museum
  • Private Car and Guides for 2 Days for Tokyo & Nikko, and Niigata & Sado Island
  • Full Day Private Guide in Kyoto
  • Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet
  • Sake Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Digital Detox on Sado Island
  • Visit Samurai residence
  • Summer Festivals – Fuji Rock in July or Earth Celebration in August
  • Traverse Kurobe Alpine Route over 2 Days: Mt Tateyama, Snow Wall Corridors, and largest Dam in the world, to name a few highlights!
  • Matsumoto Samurai Castle & Ukiyo Museum
Transport
  • Reserved seats on necessary bullet trains and express trains in ordinary carriages.
  • Return Ferry Tickets to Sado Island
  • Public Transport Card (top up card)
  • Reserved seats on necessary bullet trains and express trains in 1st class carriages.
  • Return Ferry Tickets to Sado Island
  • Public Transport Card (top up card)
  • Reserved seats on necessary bullet trains and express trains in 1st class carriages.
  • Return Ferry Tickets to Sado Island
  • Public Transport Card (top up card)
UJT’s Essential Travel Pack & Emergency ContactIncluded – 2 weeks prior to departureIncluded – 2 weeks prior to departureIncluded – 2 weeks prior to departure

Per Person Prices from:

Tour CategoryEURGBPUS$AU$
Standard€4,680£4,100$5,200$7,600
SuperiorOn Request
DeluxeOn Request
Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a Twin or Double Room. Single room supplements apply. 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 it is always our aim to keep prices as advertised. To avoid supplements, early booking is recommended.

 

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!

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Step 2: Book Your Flight

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Step 3: Final Payment Due 8 Weeks Prior

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

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Step 4: See you in Japan!

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