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Tohoku Trails

Tohoku Trails

12 Nights/13 Days Small Group Tour
Twin/Double: from €6600 / £5,550 / US$6,850 / AU$9,850 (Per Person)

“A tour created to showcase Japan’s ancient samurai, spiritual & farming traditions still living on strongly in the present ”

On Tohoku Trails, enjoy the incredible natural scenery with countless lakes, waterfalls, rivers, native forests, mountain ranges, coastal views, and islands. Learn about the rich samurai and spiritual past and discover how these traditions are kept alive and still practiced in both rural and modern-day Japan. Avoid the crowd of foreign tourists heading south towards Kyoto and join the domestic Japanese tourists traveling north from Tokyo. Only 1% of international visitors go to Tohoku, so the actual experience as a foreign visitor to the region would be akin to what it was like visiting Kyoto 30 years ago before its explosion in popularity with foreign visitors. Whether this is your first time to Japan, or you are a regular repeat visitor, join us in exploring this off-the-beaten-track trail before the rest of world discovers it!!




Day 1: Welcome to Tokyo - 'Izakaya' Evening

Arrive in one of Tokyo’s International Airports (Haneda or Narita).
Our team will take care of you from the moment you exit the arrivals hall where you will be met by our transfer staff on arrival and be taken directly to your Tokyo hotel.
You will have free time in Tokyo until tour orientation in the evening where you will meet your guide. Meeting time is usually 6pm but will be announced in your travel pack.
Enjoy a welcome dinner at local izakaya (included)
Western Style Accommodation:
Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel
(Izakaya Welcome Dinner)


Day 2: Ultra-Luxurious Bullet Train to the north of Honshu & check into a luxurious Ryokan

Breakfast at your hotel

Transfer to Aomori by “Granclass”; Japan’s ultimate luxury bullet train. Enjoy the longest journey of your trip – traversing all the way to the very north of Honshu by the highest class bullet train.

Evening at leisure at your Ryokan


  • Kaiseki Dinner at your Ryokan
  • Granclass car: The ultimate luxury bullet train


Japanese Style Accommodation:

Hoshino Resorts Kai Tsugaru or similar

(Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 3: Full day guided tour to UNESCO native forest & in Aomori city

Breakfast at your hotel
✪ Shirakami Sanchi Forest (UNESCO World Heritage Site)✪
  • Shirakami Sanchi UNESCO World Heritage site Hike (weather permitting). There will be bear bells to ring in Shirakami Sanchi along the hiking paths. Some paths may be closed due to a bear appearance. If guests are worried about bears, they can take a free day in Aomori city instead of going to the national park native forest.
  • Spring highlight will be the Hirosaki castle park Cherry Blossom Festival (depending on timing of trees blossoms)
  • Nebuta Festival (August tours)
  • Tsugaru-han Nebuta Village Museum (April and October tours)


Japanese Style Accommodation:

Hoshino Resorts Kai Tsugaru or similar

(Breakfast & Dinner)


Day 4: Transfer to Kakunodate Samurai Village via a 300 year old Onsen

 Breakfast at your hotel

Transfer to Nyuto-Onsen by Shinkansen & Bus

  • Nyuto-Onsen Experience 

This is the ultimate Onsen experience, and if you left the big cities alarmed at the pace of modern Japanese life, a visit to Nyuto Onsen Tsuruno-yu will reassure you that traditional ways are very much alive and well in Japan.

Short transfer to Kakunodate by Shinkansen or train (Just 10 -20 minutes by either)


  • Viewing Kakunodate Sakura (Cherry blossom) Festival on April Tour (depending on timing of trees blossoming)
  • “Kabazaiku” Craft experience – learn the unique Akita art of cherry blossom bark crafting  

Japanese Style Accommodation:

Tamachi Bukeyashiki Hotel

(Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 5 : Half day tour of Samurai village before traveling to family farm for homestay

 Breakfast at your hotel
✪ Traditional Samurai Residence (half day with local guide) ✪

Today we will visit Kakunodate Original Samurai Residences & Edo Era Merchant district with a private local guide for an interesting walking tour of the area and a local craft experience.

Highlights include:

  • Tour of the authentic samurai residences on Bukeyashiki street

Transfer to Tono village

Walking tour of historical Tono village before transferring to accommodation.

Homestay at a traditional Japanese family farm

  • Farming, picking, cooking experience at a Japanese Farm
  • Stay with a welcoming Japanese farm family

Farm-House Accommodation:

Agriturismo Omori-Ke

(or similar farm homestay pending availability)

(Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 6: Visit UNESCO World Heritage temple & ride a gondola through a river gorge before checking into hotel in Sendai City

Breakfast at your farm

Transfer to Ichinoseki.

✪ Geibiki Gorge River Cruise & Chuson-ji Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) ✪

What to expect:

  • Geibikei Gorge River Cruise
  • Chuson-ji Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site

Transfer to Sendai by Shinkansen (bullet train)

Evening at leisure in Sendai. Join your tour leader for a walk around taking in:

  • Tanabata Big Fireworks Festival (August Tour)
  • Iroha Yokocho (Street Food & Drinks)

Western Style Accommodation:

Richmond Hotel Premier Sendai Eikmae



Day 7: Full day guided tour with a boat cruise on Matsushima bay followed by a hike to a mountain-top temple on Yamadera

 Breakfast at your hotel

✪ Matsushima & Yamadera (full day with local guide)

  • Matsushima Bayside stroll
  • Matsushima Bay boat cruise
  • Yamadera village stroll with guide
  • Yamadera Mountain Temple Hike (1,015 steps up to mountain-top temple – actual hike unaccompanied by guide)


Evening at your leisure in Sendai city.

Suggested evening itinerary:

  • Shopping Opportunity
  • Try the famous Yamagata beef
  • Drinking district in the evening time

Western Style Accommodation:

Richmond Hotel Premier Sendai Eikmae


Day 8: Check into a stunning Ryokan in Aizuwakamatsu

Breakfast at your hotel

Transfer to Aizuwakamatsu station by train

Digital Detox at your Ryokan Retreat :

  • Relax in the Onsen
  • Kaiseki Style Dinner


Ryokan Accommodation:
Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki (or similar)
(Breakfast & Dinner)


Day 9: Samurai castle tour and Japanese archery experience followed by hike around stunning lakes

Breakfast at your Ryokan
✪ Samurai Castle & School, Sake Tasting & Brewery Tour, & Gentle Hike & Rowing Boat

What to Expect:

  • Tsuruga Castle Cherry blossom festival (Spring only, blossoms may or may not be in bloom depending on the seasonal weather)
  • Iimoriyama (Sazaedo temple)
  • Nisshinkan former Samurai School – Traditional Samurai school experience Japanese kyudo (Japanese archery)
  • Visit top Sake brewery (award-winning sake tasting)
  • 4km/2.5miles hike around 5 stunning lakes at Goshikunuma

Transfer to Ouchijuku and check in into Minshuku


Minshiku Accommodation:
Honke Ogiya
(Breakfast & Dinner)


Day 10: Explore historic Ochijuku before a scenic train journey to Nikko

Breakfast at your Minshuku

Morning Stroll at your own leisure

  • Walkthrough the old traditional Japanese village where you can feel old Japanese lifestyles.

 Transfer to Yunokami Onsen Station

  • Dip casually into the foot bath at the station while waiting for your train.

Transfer to Nikko by Aizu Mount Express Train

  • Enjoy the stunning countryside scenery over mountains and rivers from the train

Transfer to your Hotel – Luxury awaits! Brand new Ritz Carlton Nikko.


Super Deluxe Accommodation:
The Ritz Carlton Nikko


Day 11: Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site & back to Tokyo

Breakfast at your hotel

✪ Nikko Sightseeing (UNESCO World Heritage Site) Full Day Sightseeing with Local Guide ✪

What to expect:

  • Observe the impressive Kegon waterfall
  • Soak in the stunning views of Chuzenji lake from the historical Italian & British Embassy Summer Villas that date back to 1896.
  • Visit Nikko Toshogu shrine (UNESCO world heritage site)
  • Stop off for photo opportunities at the beautiful wooden Shinkyo bridge

Your last leg is back to Tokyo (just under a 3-hour journey). More bullet/express trains.

Evening free time at your own leisure in Tokyo

*suggested Tokyo itineraries will be available in your travel pack


5* Western Accommodation:
Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel


Day 12: Tokyo Free Day

Breakfast at your hotel

Enjoy a free day at your own leisure in Tokyo city 

You will have the option to join your tour leader for a hop-on/off the subway system around Tokyo. If you prefer to go alone, your tour leader can provide you with up to date real-time information on where to go and how to go there!

Evening Option:

Farewell Dinner at a local izakaya (pay locally)

4* Western Accommodation:
Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel


Day 13: Tour Ends

Breakfast at your hotel

The Tohoku trails tour comes to an end after breakfast today and you will be provided with an airport transfer service from your hotel. If you would like to stay longer in Tokyo, discuss some post-tour options with your travel consultant. Don’t forget to send us your flight details as soon as you know them. Transfers need to be booked early!


Dates and Prices

Triple Room€6,270 £5,272US$6,510 AU$9,360
Single Room€8,150£7,150US$8,570AU$12,990



Tour Starts:

April 12, 2024

Tour Ends:

April 24, 2024 (Cherry Blossom Season)
Book Now

Tour Starts:

July 31, 2024

Tour Ends:

August 12, 2024 (Summer Tanabata Festival, Nebuta Festival)
Book Now

Tour Starts:

October 01, 2024

Tour Ends:

October 13, 2024 (Michinoku Yosakoi Festival)
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Tokyo (Total 3 Nights)

Shibuya Tokyu Excel Hotel











Aomori (2 Nights)

Hoshino Resorts Kai Tsugaru or similar











Kakunodate (1 Night)

Tamachi Bukeyashiki











Tono (1 Night)

Agriturismo Omori-ke (or similar farm homestay)











Sendai City (2 Nights)

Richmond Hotel Premier Sendai Ekimae











Aizuwakamatsu (1 Night)

Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki (Japanese Style) or similar










Ochijuku (1 Night)

Honke Ogiya (Japanese style)











Nikko (1 Night)

The Ritz Carlton 5* Nikko










Tour Testimonial




Unique Japan Tours
Average rating:  
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Whats Included

12 Nights Accommodation3, 4 & 5* Western (6 nights)

Superior Ryokans with hot springs & kaiseki dinner  (2 nights)

Traditional Minshuku (3 nights)

Farm homestay (1 night)

English Speaking tour leaderFully Escorted (Groups of 6 – 12):

You will be escorted by our friendly English- speaking tour leader who will travel with you from Day 1 to 13. On day 13, your tour leader will say goodbye as you travel to the airport or onwards in Japan solo.

Semi Escorted (Groups of 1 – 5):

If we do not have the minimum numbers to run the tour with a tour leader throughout, don’t worry! We never cancel our scheduled tour dates. Instead of having a full-time tour leader, you will be met in each area by our local assistants on days you don’t have private guides. So you will be given a very private style tour – with no change to the cost!

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 Aomori (including Shirakami Sanchi), Kakunodate, Sendai (including Yamadera & Matsushima), Aizuwakamatsu & Nikko.
Entrance Fees
Included into all sights listed in the itinerary
Cultural Experiences
  • Tokyo Sightseeing such as Asakusa Buddhist Temple visit, Sumida River Cruise, Traditional Japanese gardens
  • Granclass car Shinkane: The ultimate luxury bullet train
  • Hiking in a virgin native forest (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Nebuta festival Museum (April and October tours)
  • Overnight stays in traditional Japanese style accommodation with kaiseki dinner
  • Hirosaki Castle Park in Aomori City
  • Multiple Stunning Onsen / Hot Spring retreats (including the stunning Nyuto-Onsen)
  • Kakunodate samurai village guided tour
  • Tono authentic farm experience
  • Hiraizumi UNESCO World Heritage Site including Chuson-Ji Golden Temple
  • GeiBeiki river gorge gondola boat ride
  • Sendai City shopping & drinking district pub crawl
  • Yamadera Mountain Temple Hike
  • Matsuhima Bay Boat Cruise
  • Tsuruga Samurai Castle & grounds tour
  • Iimoriyama (Sazaedo temple)
  • Visit top Sake brewery (award-winning sake tasting)
  • Goshikinuma crater lake viewing and 4km/2.5miles hike
  • Kyudo Archery and akebeko painting experience at Nisshinkan (former school for Samurai)
  • Explore Ouchijuku Stray Roof Village (preserved 300-year-old traditional Japanese village)
  • Aizu Mount Express Scenic Train Journey
  • Nikko temples and shrines, lakes & waterfalls, etc (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Meals Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 7 evening meals
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • Luggage Forwarding on 2 journeys
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • All Taxes & Accommodation Surcharges
  • Fixed Price Policy
  • Minimum 4 / maximum 12 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)!
  • Tour Leader, Guide or Driver Gratuity – can be arranged among your group (Optional)











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