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Trip idea in Japan

Shoguns and Samurai


from £3,030 pp

(ex international flights)


14 days

Enjoy this tour of Japan's remoter villages, which today many remain remarkably well-preserved and evocative of centuries past. Your journey takes you through Japanese history from modern Tokyo, formerly known as Edo, to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years and the repository of much of the countries cultural heritage. From Tokyo you head first to Yudanaka Onsen where the famous “snow monkeys” come to enjoy the natural hot spring baths. Visit one of the best preserved sections in the Kiso Valley, the Nakasendo way; one of a network of ancient highways where the lovely villages of Tsumago and Magome have been immaculately restored. Throughout this tour the elaborate history of Japan comes to life as you explore the castle-town of Matsumoto, admire traditional thatched houses in Shirakawa-go, meander the streets of Takayama, feed wild deer in ancient Nara and stay with monks in atmospheric Mount Koya.

We will tailor this trip to you. Change anything - from excursions to accommodation to places visited.

Create your trip

Day 1 - Tokyo

  • Welcome to your self-guided tour of Japan (with pre-booked travel). What to expect...
  • Shared Arrival transfer from Narita Airport to your hotel in Tokyo - by shared van
  • Welcome to Tokyo

Day 2 - Tokyo

  • A day at leisure in Tokyo

Day 3 - Yudanaka

  • Travel from Tokyo to Yudanaka by JR and Nagano Electric Railway (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Travel from Yudanaka Station to the Snow Monkeys area by public bus (with inn stop) (Self-guided)
  • Suggested Sightseeing: See snow monkeys at Yudanaka Onsen (Self-guided)
Matsumoto, Narai

Day 4 - Matsumoto, Narai

  • Travel from Yudanaka to Matsumoto by train (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Welcome to Matsumoto
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle (Self-guided)
  • Travel from Matsumoto to Narai by train (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • At leisure in Narai
Narai, Tsumago

Day 5 - Narai, Tsumago

  • Morning at leisure in Narai
  • Travel from Narai to Tsumago via train and bus (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Welcome to Tsumago

Day 6 - Takayama

  • Travel from Magome to Takayama (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Welcome to Takayama

Day 7 - Takayama

  • At leisure in Takayama
  • Visit Takayama Festival Float Exhibition Hall (Self-guided)
  • Suggested Sightseeing: Hirata Kinenkan (CLOSED, DO NOT USE)
  • Visit Takayama Jinya (Self-guided)
Takayama, Shirakawago

Day 8 - Takayama, Shirakawago

  • Travel from Takayama to Shirakawa-go by highway bus (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Visit Shirakawa-go (Self-guided)

Day 9 - Koya

  • Travel from Kanazawa to Mount Koya by train then local train (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Discover Mount Koya (Self-guided)
  • Stay with monks at Mount Koya (Self-guided)

Day 10 - Kanazawa

  • Travel from Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa by highway bus (self-guided)
  • Welcome to Kanazawa
  • See Kenrokuen Garden (Self-guided)
  • Visit Kanazawa Castle (Self-guided)
Koya, Kyoto

Day 11 - Koya, Kyoto

  • Morning Prayer Service at Mount Koya
  • Travel from Mount Koya to Kyoto by Nankai train, then train (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Welcome to Kyoto
  • Explore the Gion district of Kyoto (Self-guided)

Day 12 - Kyoto

  • Explore Kyoto with a private guide
Nara, Kyoto

Day 13 - Nara, Kyoto

  • Travel from Kyoto to Nara by JR train (Self-guided) (P2P)
  • Welcome to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan
  • Visit the Kasuga Shrine (Self-guided)
  • Visit Todaiji Temple (Self-guided)
  • Travel from Nara to Kyoto by JR train (Self-guided) (P2P)

Day 14

  • Departure transfer from Kyoto to Kansai International Airport