Takayama Autumn Festival - 12 Days
FROM USD $6,199
Escorted Group Tour: Autumn in Japan is simply spectacular, as the country transforms into stunning hues of yellow, orange and red. Take in the highlights of Japan during this beautiful season and witness the festivities of the colourful Takayama Autumn Festival on this special departure.
Upon arrival you will be met at Tokyo Narita Airport by your local tour guide and transferred to your hotel by shuttle bus. You will also be supplied with an IC Card, with 3000 yen worth of credit, which will allow you to travel on buses, subways and over-ground railways in Tokyo and around the country. Overnight - Tokyo
Today enjoy a full day of guided sightseeing in Japan’s buzzing capital city. We will start the day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building; rising up above the city we will be able to admire views from the tower's lofty heights. Next we will visit Meiji shrine, one of Tokyo’s most formal shrines, followed by a tour of the Harajuku shopping area. In the afternoon we will explore the Hamarikyu gardens where we will enjoy a break in a local tea house. Later we will take a Sumida River Bus to the historic Asakusa area, where we will visit the Sensoji temple and explore Nakamise dori. Overnight - Tokyo
Takayama Autumn Festival - 12 Days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Day 3: Nikko Day Trip
Breakfast – Tokyo – Nikko – Tokyo. We take a day trip to Nikko today, a small town that has long found itself as a centre for Buddhist and Shinto worship. Here we will visit the World Heritage sights of Tosho-gu - Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine, and also see the Shonkyo bridge. Set amidst beautiful natural scenery, Nikko is always a favourite day trip from Tokyo. Overnight - Tokyo
Day 4: Matsumoto
Breakfast – Tokyo – Matsumoto. Today a direct express train will take us to Matsumoto, from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, with a journey time of around two and a half hours. The train will take us through the suburbs of Tokyo before reaching the open countryside with paddy fields, rivers, lakes and the Japanese Alps (so remember to keep your eye out for Mount Fuji!). Upon arrival in Matsumoto we will head to its historic castle. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight - Matsumoto (B)
Day 5: Takayama Autumn Festival
Breakfast – Matsumoto – Takayama. This morning a private coach will take us on a two hour journey through the picturesque Japanese Alps to Takayama, a delightful town in the heart of the Hida Mountains. It just so happens that our tour perfectly coincides with the revelry of the Takayama Autumn Festival, which sees the streets of this small town burst into a kaleidoscope of colour every year. Lucky us!
Here we will witness a huge procession of festival floats pass through the streets, accompanied by hundreds of locals in colourful traditional dress. These ornately decorated floats will feature intricate mechanical dolls, which move and dance to the rhythm of music under the control of skilled puppeteers hidden within the floats. This popular autumn festival sees locals and travellers alike flock to this procession, creating a exciting festive atmosphere throughout the town. Overnight - Takayama (B)
Day 6: Hida Folk Village
Today we will head to the outskirts of town to the fascinating Hida folk village, where old farm houses from across the region have been brought together and rebuilt on a hillside overlooking the town. This is a wonderful time to relax, explore and check out some local craft displays. We will head back into town later. Overnight - Takayama (B)
Day 7: Takayama to Kyoto
Breakfast – Takayama – Kyoto. Leaving Takayama behind, this morning we will travel on to Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital and the cultural centre of the nation. Upon arrival in Kyoto we will enjoy a tasty evening meal in a local restaurant. Overnight - Kyoto (B, D)
Day 8: Sightseeing & Afternoon Tea
Today enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Kyoto, and no need to worry about getting tired – we will have a private coach at our disposal to drive us from place to place! There is no fixed itinerary for the morning, so we are free to explore the city as we wish. Some key highlights of Kyoto include Kinkakuji - the city's famous Golden Pavilion zen temple which is decorated with gold leaf and stands over a tranquil pond. And from Kikakuji, there is Kiyomizu Dera Temple in the east – an impressive wooden structure perched on a hillside surrounded by woodland and looks out across the city.
In the afternoon we will visit Ochaya Tomikku, a traditional tea house in the Gion Geisha district. Here we will enjoy Green tea and a Japanese cake or a drink and snacks in the company of a Geisha or Maiko (young Geisha). The Geisha will demonstrate a traditional dance and we will be given an introduction of the life of a Geisha in Kyoto. You will then be able to take photographs and pose questions to the Geisha as well, for a brief glimpse into this usually hidden world.
Overnight - Kyoto (B)
Day 9: Day trip from Kyoto
You are free to spend today doing whatever takes your fancy. Why not use your included Japan Rail Pass to make a day trip to Hiroshima, Nara or perhaps Osaka – Japan’s second city. Alternatively, stay in Kyoto and discover all this fascinating city has to offer. (B)
Day 10: Kyoto to Hakone
Breakfast – Kyoto – Hakone. Today a bullet train will take us to Hakone National Park, in the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji, where we will spend the day exploring the local area. Here you will have access to unlimited travel on nearly all the local modes of transport here – from mountain buses and railway to cable cars and funicular railways, thanks to your Hakone Free Pass card. We will also pay a visit to the Hakone Open Air Museum, an impressive outdoor sculpture garden. (B)
Day 11: Hakone to Tokyo
Breakfast – Hakone – Tokyo. We will start today with a visit to Owakudani volcanic valley - home to active sulphur vents and hot springs, and a cruise across Lake Ashi – if the weather permits we may even get a clear view of Mt Fuji.
Later we will begin our train journey back to Tokyo, where we will be staying in Shinjuku, one of the most modern districts in the city. Today is a great opportunity to do any last minute shopping or sightseeing before our tour comes to an end tomorrow. Overnight - Tokyo (B)
Day 12: Goodbye Japan!
Today our tour comes to an end! Transfer to Narita International Airport by shared shuttle bus for onward travel. (B)