Traverse the Japanese Alps to the cultural centres of Shirakawago, Takayama and Kanazawa on this immersive tour of Japan

This 13-day tour will take you across the Japanese Alps to discover local culture in Shirakawago, Takayama, and Kanazawa, discovering a side of Japan that many visitors miss.

After a day spent in the vibrant capital, Tokyo, you'll hop on the bullet train to Mount Fuji, where you'll enjoy awe-inspiring views of rural Japan, including the Fuji Five Lakes region below.

You'll immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with a gold leaf workshop, a washi paper-making workshop, and a lesson in making Miso seasoning.

Also on your itinerary is Kyoto, with its famous 'Golden Pavilion' of Kinkakuj, Nara, with its famous resident sika deer, and Osaka, where you'll sail along the Yodogawa River and discover its many excellent restaurants.

Other highlights include a trip to the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle, a glimpse of Buddhist life in Koya-San, and tours of the historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa.

New Year sale: Save £400pp and partner flies for free (for two-person bookings; for solo bookings, there is no solo supplement). Book by 29 February 2024. Terms apply please call our reservations team for details.
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Price includes

  • Return international flights
  • Fully Inclusive touring as detailed in the itinerary with guides and entrance fees
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • 11 nights in three and four-star accommodation
  • The Art of Gold Leaf Making workshop
  • Join a miso-making class at an old wooden Miso House
  • Go on a tour of Tokyo and enjoy a dinner cruise in Tokyo Bay
  • Boat trip on tranquil Lake Ashi and ascend Komagatake Ropeway to admire Mount Fuji
  • Explore Osaka, Tokyo, Koya-San, Kyoto and Matsumoto
  • Explore Matsumoto Castle, Osaka Castle and Nara Park
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago
  • Try Washi paper making and origami
  • Take a short cruise along the Yodogawa River
  • Experience a speedy bullet train
  • Domestic transportation
  • Complimentary Airport Lounge Pass exclusively for our readers

Availability

From
Sat, Sat, Oct 12, 2024
To
Thu, Thu, Oct 24, 2024
Duration
13 Days
Price per person
£6,490*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing, subject to availability and based on 12 October 2024 departure date. Other departure dates are available, please call to enquire. Price includes limited-time saving of £400pp on bookings made by 29 February 2024 and one free flight on two-person bookings; waiving of solo supplement on solo bookings. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £1,540. Deposit required. Airport lounge pass, only for outbound travel from London Heathrow. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded) and Wendy Wu Tours Ltd.

From
Thu, Thu, Mar 20, 2025
To
Tue, Tue, Apr 1, 2025
Duration
13 Days
Price per person
£6,990*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing, subject to availability and based on 20 March 2025 departure date. Other departure dates are available, please call to enquire. Price includes limited-time saving of £400pp on bookings made by 29 February 2024 and one free flight on two-person bookings; waiving of solo supplement on solo bookings. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £1,540. Deposit required. Airport lounge pass, only for outbound travel from London Heathrow. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded) and Wendy Wu Tours Ltd.

Call now to book 02039932958
Quote ref: WWJAPAN
Got any questions about this trip? Send us an enquiry

Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Depart from the UK
    Tokyo, Japan

    Today you'll begin your adventure, flying overnight to Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

  2. Day
    2
    Arrive in Tokyo
    Tokyo, Japan

    On arrival in Tokyo this morning, you'll be met by your English-speaking representative before transferring to your hotel, where you'll have the rest of the day at leisure to settle in and relax.

  3. Day
    3
    Explore Tokyo
    Tokyo, Japan

    Today you'll head out to discover Tokyo, Japan's capital and the ultimate 24-hour city. Despite its shiny modernity, behind the high-tech frontage, you'll discover plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore.

    Your tour begins at the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree, the world's tallest tower, before taking you through the old district of Asakusa. Stop to seek out the tranquillity of the ancient Buddhist Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest. You'll then drive by the Imperial Palace Plaza and take a stroll through the classical landscapes of Hamarikyu Gardens.

    Later this evening, you'll enjoy a relaxed dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay, taking in excellent city vistas as you dine.

  4. Day
    4
    Mount Fuji
    Mount Fuji, Japan

    Following breakfast at the hotel, you'll begin a memorable day trip to see one of the world's most iconic peaks, the majestic Mount Fuji.

    You'll take the super-fast bullet train to Odawara, where you'll first enjoy a boat trip on tranquil Lake Ashi to take in spectacular panoramas of this beautiful area from the water.

    Then it's time to venture up the Komagatake Ropeway and ascend over 2,000 metres up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station and take in the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes area below.

  5. Day
    5
    Matsumoto Castle
    Matsumoto, Japan

    This morning, after breakfast, you'll transfer to Matsumoto and explore the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. This is one of the best-preserved of Japan's historic castles, one of five castles designated as 'National Treasures of Japan' and the oldest five-tiered, six-story castle tower left in the country.

    While here, you'll also visit a traditional Miso House to learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning, a staple of the country's cuisine.

    After your miso-making class, it's time to travel onwards to Takayama, nestled high in the scenic mountainous Hida region, also known as the Japanese Alps.

  6. Day
    6
    Explore Takayama
    Takayama, Japan,

    Today you'll spend some time exploring pretty Takayama, where the narrow streets of its Sanmachi Suji historic district are lined with wooden merchants' houses from the Edo Period, as well as many small museums.

    Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market and wander past some of the lovely traditional houses. You'll also visit several of the excellent local museums - including the Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and Takayama Jinya

    To end your day, enjoy some free time in Kamisannomachi Street, where there are several traditional restaurants, shops and breweries to explore.

  7. Day
    7
    Shirakawago and Kanazawa
    Shirakawago, Japan,

    Get a glimpse of rural Japan today at the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago, famous for its farmhouses built in the unique gassho-zukuri architectural style. Gassho-zukuri means "built like hands in prayer", a nod to the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs which look like the hands of Buddhist monks together in prayer. These steep roofs are designed to withstand the heavy snow that falls in this region in winter.

    After your visit, you'll continue to Gokayama to try your hand at washi paper making, then travel to Kanazawa and meander through the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.

  8. Day
    8
    Kanazawa and Kyoto
    Kanazawa, Japan

    Begin today with a workshop to learn the process of making gold leaf, an ancient Japanese art where a lump of gold is beaten until it is only 1/10,000 mm thick. Kanazawa and its surrounding areas produce more than 99% of all gold leaf in Japan, which is used in temples, shrines and many traditional crafts.

    After your gold leaf workshop, you'll take a stroll through the traditional Higashi Chaya Teahouse District, visiting Ochaya Shima - a historical geisha house.

    Later, you'll travel to Kyoto. The capital of Japan for 1,000 years, today Kyoto is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens.

  9. Day
    9
    Kyoto
    Kyoto, Japan

    Today you'll explore Kyoto, discovering some of its most iconic sights. The day begins with a visit to Ryoanji, the 'temple of the peaceful dragon', originally an aristocrat's villa during the Heian Period and now home to Japan's most famous rock garden.

    You'll also see the famous Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, a dazzling building whose two top floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

    In the afternoon, you'll head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse and try your hand at origami before enjoying the age-old rituals of a tea ceremony with a tea master.

  10. Day
    10
    Nara
    Nara, Japan

    Today's visit is to Inari Shrine in Fushimi-ku, with its incredible 10,000 vermilion torii gates. The gates of this famous Shinto shrine straddle trails leading into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.

    After exploring this site, you'll continue to Nara, a relaxed and charming town virtually untouched by modernity. Nara is home to to many archetypal pieces of early art and architecture, and you can spend some time strolling through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple, meeting the resident sika deer en-route. You'll then explore Isuien, an ornate garden which has been well preserved since it was first built in the Meiji era.

  11. Day
    11
    Koyasan
    Koya-San, Japan

    Start today with a visit to the holy mountain of Koyasan, home to over 100 monasteries nestled in a valley enclosed by peaks said to resemble a lotus flower. Arguably the most sacred mountain in all of Japan, Koyasan is the heart of Shingon Buddhism and the resting place of Japan's best-known Buddhists, known as both Kukai and Kobo Daishi.

    You'll then have the chance to wander around Okunoin - a vast cemetery of 200,000 stupas and enjoy the tranquillity and spectacular views as you discover Kongobuji Temple and the Garan Temple Complex.

    After today's excursions, you'll continue your journey to Osaka.

  12. Day
    12
    Osaka
    Osaka, Japan

    Begin your day by exploring Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles, situated right in the heart of the city and surrounded by a lovely park. Originally constructed in the 1580s, the castle has an observation platform where you can enjoy sprawling city views and a museum with a restored golden tea room and artefacts including Samurai costumes.

    Next, take a short cruise along the Yodogawa River and stroll through Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample delicious local delicacies for lunch. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this fascinating city at your own pace.

  13. Day
    13
    Departure
    Osaka, Japan

    Today you'll check out of your hotel in Osaka and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Brought to you by

TS Tours as agent for Wendy Wu
This tour is operated solely by TS Tours
Our travel partner TS Tours, which specialises in bespoke and expert-led tours, is working in partnership with Wendy Wu Tours Ltd, the UK's leading touring specialist, offering extraordinary tours to Japan, China and the Far East, Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, The Middle East, Central Asia, South America and Europe.

For general information, click here.

To view TS Tours as agent for Wendy Wu’s supplier’s terms and conditions click here.

This tour is protected by the following:

Availability

From
Sat, Sat, Oct 12, 2024
To
Thu, Thu, Oct 24, 2024
Duration
13 Days
Price per person
£6,490*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing, subject to availability and based on 12 October 2024 departure date. Other departure dates are available, please call to enquire. Price includes limited-time saving of £400pp on bookings made by 29 February 2024 and one free flight on two-person bookings; waiving of solo supplement on solo bookings. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £1,540. Deposit required. Airport lounge pass, only for outbound travel from London Heathrow. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded) and Wendy Wu Tours Ltd.

From
Thu, Thu, Mar 20, 2025
To
Tue, Tue, Apr 1, 2025
Duration
13 Days
Price per person
£6,990*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing, subject to availability and based on 20 March 2025 departure date. Other departure dates are available, please call to enquire. Price includes limited-time saving of £400pp on bookings made by 29 February 2024 and one free flight on two-person bookings; waiving of solo supplement on solo bookings. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £1,540. Deposit required. Airport lounge pass, only for outbound travel from London Heathrow. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded) and Wendy Wu Tours Ltd.

Call now to book 02039932958
Quote ref: WWJAPAN