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Forgotten Japan

Prices from 3,565

Upon arrival into the metropolitan city of Tokyo, you may find it difficult to imagine the old Japan once associated with samurai and geisha. The 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.

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SKU: N/A Category:
Duration: 14 Nights / 15 Days
Route: Tokyo - Nagano/Jigokudani - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kyoto - (Optional day trips to Hiroshima/Nara) - Tsumago & Magome - Tokyo
Forgotten Japan Self Guided Adventures

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Average rating:  
 2 reviews
Wow! What a week

Had a fantastic time. The service was great, food was amazing and overall very enjoyable.

Had a great time!

Had the time of my life. Thanks very much!


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 €3,565 per person (based on two people sharing twin or double room)
Accommodation Category: Standard, Superior Or Deluxe Plans Available. Prices vary accordingly.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo Arrival

Arrive on your own scheduled flight into one of Tokyo’s two airports, Narita or Haneda International Airport. If you have a choice, we usually say Haneda is better as it’s closer to central Tokyo. Eitherway, we will arrange a pick up for you to drop you straight to your hotel. Leave out the hassle on arrival to a new, what will seem, strange place! Watch out for your driver who will hold your name sign up in arrivals hall.

Free time today with lots of ideas in your travel pack on where to go and how to get there!

Accommodation:

Standard: Shinjuku Villa Fontaine (or similar)

Superior: Century Southern Tower (or similar)

Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo (or similar)

Day 2: Tokyo City Guided Tour

After breakfast, our local Tokyo guide will meet and greet you in the hotel lobby. Ready for a full day of exciting new scenery, our guide will come prepared with his/her own suggestions, or, will listen to where or what you want to see/do and take you there. The idea for today is that you travel around Tokyo with a local, like a local! Using the public transport, buying your own lunch/snacks, etc. mainly to familiarize yourself with Japan and what things are. Having our guide with you will speed up some curios notions you will get as well as educate you on what’s what in town! It usually lasts 8 hours but if you need to cut it short (jet lag), there will be no offence taken!

Accommodation:

Standard: Shinjuku Villa Fontaine (or similar)

Superior: Century Southern Tower (or similar)

Deluxe: Hyatt Regency Tokyo (or similar)

Day 3: Tokyo to Nagano (Jigokudani)

After two days of Tokyo, you will start your journey into a Forgotten Japan that this tour so clearly exemplifies. Today will be full of new experiences. From boarding the super fast shinkansen, to meeting the most famous monkeys in the world, before finishing up at the ultimate rural retreat in Kanbayashi or nearby at a local ryokan. Sample your first night of traditional Kaiseki dinner and the relaxing onsen baths.
Dinner & onsen (hot springs/spa) at your hotel

Accommodation: Senjugaku Ryokan (or similar)

Day 4: Jigokudani - Takayama (via Matsumoto)

After a nice early morning soak in the onsen followed by Japanese breakfast, you will continue on to Matsumoto to visit one of Japan’s best preserved Samurai castles. Matsumoto has a life of its own and is worth strolling around to capture this atmosphere.

Later, you will take a local highway bus (although no highways exist on this journey) and be exposed to some of the most magnificent views you will find in Japan. Mountains views with rivers flowing along side the journey make this one a pleasure.

Arrive into Takayama in the early evening. Relax and enjoy walking around the town in the evening. Also a great place for Hida-Beef, considered almost as good as Kobe-beef.

Accommodation:

Standard: Best Western Takayama

Superior: Hoshokaku Ryokan or Hotel Associa (or similar)

Deluxe: Hanaougi Ryokan (or similar)

Day 5: Takayama

Enjoy a day of self-exploration around Takayama. Your travel pack will be packed with ideas on where to go and see today, the first stop being the Takayama Morning Market, and perhaps a brief stop in a back street Sake Distillery? Takayama is quite famous for Sake (rice wine) too!

Accommodation:

Standard: Best Western Takayama

Superior: Hoshokaku Ryokan or Hotel Associa (or similar)

Deluxe: Hanaougi Ryokan (or similar)

Day 6: Takayama - Kanazawa (via Shirakawago)

Today you will move north by bus to Shirakawago, a village filled with 400 year old thatched houses scattered about at the foot of the Hida Mountain range. These houses are still lived in by local traders and families who are only too happy to show off their ancient craftsmanship in this rural life setting.

After lunch, continue on to the city of Kanazawa, also known as ‘Little Kyoto’.

Accommodation:

Standard: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa (or similar)

Superior:  ANA Crowne Plaza (or similar)

Deluxe: Chaya Ryokan (or similar)

Day 7: Kanazawa - Kyoto

Spend this morning visiting the sights in Kanazawa. Probably the most famous of places to see here is one of the Great Three Gardens of Japan – Kenrokuen Garden. Nearby is a modern art museum which, if you like contemporary pieces, you will love this!

In the afternoon, hop on the express train to Kyoto for three nights in the Ancient capital.

Accommodation:

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

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Day 8: Kyoto

Breakfast at your hotel.

Morning sightseeing in Kanazawa.

Transfer from Kanazawa to Kyoto by shinkansen (bullet train).

Accommodation:

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

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

 

Day 9: Kyoto (Optional Day Trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island)

Accommodation:

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

Deluxe: Hotel Granvia (or similar)

Day 10: Kyoto - Tsumago/Magome

Breakfast at your hotel­­­­­­
Free day in Kyoto (Optional day trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima Island using Japan Rail Pass)

Accommodation:

Standard, Superior & Deluxe: Hotel Kisoji

(room categories in hotel will differ depending on your tour category)

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Day 11 - Tsumago - Magome 8km Mountain Walk

Accommodation:

Standard, Superior & Deluxe: Hotel Kisoji

(room categories in hotel will differ depending on your tour category)

Day 12: Tsumago - Tokyo

After breakfast you will start making your way back to the capital Tokyo. The journey will be approx. 5 hours in total using a few different modes of transport – all of which will be outlined and explained in your Essential Travel Pack.

Accommodation:

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

Day 13 - Tokyo Free Day

Today you will be ready for a well deserved break from moving or doing much. Enjoy relaxing / strolling around the area where we base you. Like all days on your itinerary, we will give you options on what to do and where to go, outlined in your Essential Travel Pack.

Accommodation:

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

Day 14: Tokyo

Another free day awaits you today but we will most likely recommend you take one last trip out of town to the port city of Yokohama which is also home to a very lively China town. Kamakura, steeped in history and home to the giant Stone Buddha statue is not too far from here too.

Accommodation:

Standard: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Superior: Park Hotel (or similar)

Deluxe: Imperial Hotel (or similar)

Day 15: Tour Ends

Your airport transfer will pick you up at a time that suits your departing flight. Be sure to tell us your flight details as soon as you know them, in order for us to get the best options available for your journey out of Tokyo!

Sadly, your tour ends today.

Tour Highlights

Traditional Tsumago & Magome

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.

Samurai & Swords in Matsumoto & Takayama

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.

Back to Basics in Gokayama

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.

'Little Kyoto' - Kanazawa

Parts of this lovely town remind us of a smaller Kyoto. Similarly to 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!

Authentic Kyoto

Kyoto has an astonishing wealth of culturally significant sites with sixteen 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.

Stylish 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.

Inclusions and/or Prices

Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Service Standard Superior Deluxe
Airport Transfers (Arrival & departure) Shared Transfers (Door-to-door) Shared Transfers (Door-to-door) Private Transfers (Door-to-door)
14 Nights Accommodation 3* Western (8 nights) +  Ryokan (3 nights) + Self-Catering Traditional Townhouse (3 nights) 4* Western (8 nights) + Superior Ryokan (3 nights) + Self Catering Traditional Townhouse 5* Western (11 nights) + Deluxe Ryokan (3 nights)
Meals 14breakfasts + 3 dinners 14breakfasts + 3 dinners 14breakfasts + 3 dinners
Transport
  • 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 Guide Private/Full Day Private/Full Day Private/Full Day
Kyoto Guide Private/Full Day Private/Full Day Private/Full Day
Authentic Tea Ceremony Tea Ceremony at local Kyoto tea house Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House Private Tea Ceremony + Geisha Meet & Greet at local Kyoto Tea House
Kanazawa Guide
 X
X
Private/Half Day + Transport
UJT’s Essential Travel Pack Received 2 weeks prior to departure Received 2 weeks prior to departure  Received 2 weeks prior to departure

Per Person Prices from:

Tour Category EUR GBP US$ AU$
Standard Twin/Double €3,565 £3,115 $3,875 $5,115
Superior Twin/Double €2,805 £2455 $3,050 $4,030
Deluxe Twin/Double €TBC £TBC $TBC $TBC AUD

Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a Twin or Double Room. Single room supplements apply. Triple room discounts apply. Exchange rate fluctuations may lead to price changes. All prices are based on the market exchange rates of February 2017. 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 in advance) during busy seasons is highly recommended to avoid any supplements. 

How to Book

1. Choose your favourite Self-Guided Tour

Ready to book your Self-Guided Japan Tour now? Then move to Step 2 below.

Need more information or wish to make changes to web tour, fill out the “Got a question?” form below.

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2. Pay deposit*

Paying your deposit today will enable us start your booking process immediately. *Terms and conditions apply .


3. Pay deposit later

If you have more questions and prefer to pay this after seeing a detailed quotation and itinerary, simply fill out the “Got a question?” form below and one of our Japan Travel Consultants will be in touch with you right away and work with you until you are happy with the plans for you and your travel partners.

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4. Tour Confirmation (takes 5-7 working days upon receipt of tour deposit)

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5. Manage your Booking

View your complete travel documents & manage your own booking on your own travel portal, entering details required before travel pack stage.  You may also pay the final balance securely online (or by bank transfer if preferred). No credit card fees apply.

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6. Receive your Essential Travel Pack

Our custom made essential Travel Pack will be sent to your home address (worldwide) 2-3 weeks before your departure date.
If your starting date is less than 2 weeks from booking, you will receive it on arrival in Japan.

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7. See you in Japan!

Customer Reviews

Submit your review
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2
3
4
5
Submit
     
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Create your own review

Average rating:  
 2 reviews
Wow! What a week

Had a fantastic time. The service was great, food was amazing and overall very enjoyable.

Had a great time!

Had the time of my life. Thanks very much!

Got a Question?

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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Total price of this tour

Prices from 3,565 per person

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