Skiing in Japan
- Duration : 14 days
- Locations : Tokyo, Nikko, Nagano, Kanazawa, Kyoto
This Japan tour allows you to combine tourism and winter sports.
Visit modern Tokyo, traditional Kyoto, picturesque Kanazawa and natural Nikko. Then 4 days in the ski resort of Nagano, on the tracks of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Also take advantage of this trip to Japan in winter to discover fascinating landscapes, far from the spring crowds!
2 week itinerary
- Tokyo (2 days)
- Nikko (1 day)
- Nagano area (4 days)
- Kanazawa (2 days)
- Kyoto (3 days)
The first and last day are reserved for your arrival and departure from Japan (and for the last bit of souvenir shopping!).
Please find below the itinerary details.
WARNING : The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. On departure, you will have to leave Europe on the day before. The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference. For further details, refer to "More about your trip".
Why this trip to Japan ?
- Tokyo, Nagano, Kanazawa, Kyoto: regions to discover in winter, with a few days of skiing !
- Welcomed at the airport by our team, you will be taken to your hotel in Tokyo by shuttle bus
- Reach Nikko, in the heart of the forest for a stay in a ryokan
- In the Nagano region, 4 days of winter sports await you in the heart of a spa village
- Appreciate the quality of the ski area and the numerous hot springs
- In Kanazawa, spend an afternoon discovering the city with your English-speaking guide
- End your stay in Kyoto where the Zen gardens under the snow will enchant you
- Airport transfers and Japan Rail pass included
- Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
- If necessary, contact our Japanese bilingual English-speaking assistance 24/7
- A number of guided days or other optional activities are available
- Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan.
Your trip in detail
Day 1 : Wake up in Tokyo 東京
Arrival at Tokyo airport (Narita or Haneda).
Welcome to Japan! Yokoso 日本へようこそ！
Reception at the exit from Customs in English by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents.
Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to Tokyo (see details).
Check-in at Hotel B Akasaka Mitsuke or equivalent 3* (rooms available from 3:00pm).
You can pick up your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception desk.
Day 2 : First steps in the capital
What is there to do in Tokyo on the first day?
We advise you to slowly start visiting Tokyo from its western districts:
- Harajuku: the avant-garde district
- Meiji Jingû, the imperial shrine
- Takeshita-Dori: the most famous street in Japan
- Omotesando: Tokyo's Champs-Élysées
- Shibuya and its unmistakable "crossroads"
One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Tokyo (optional, from 9:00 to 17:00).
Day 3 : The big loop
For this second day of visiting Tokyo, we recommend the following "loop".
Start from Tokyo Central Station, with its original architecture, then go to visit:
- Ginza, Tokyo's chic district
- Tsukiji, the small outdoor food market
- Hamarikyu, the Japanese garden between Tokyo's buildings
- Asakusa, a traditional district and place of pilgrimage, accessible by a cruise on the Sumida River
- Sensô-ji Buddhist temple, one of the oldest in the city
- Tokyo Sky Tree reaching a height of 643m, and its panoramic view of Tokyo at sunset
Enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River between Hamarikyu and Asakusa.
Day 4 : The mountain at the gateway to Tokyo
In the morning, have your luggage sent directly to the hotel in the Nagano area (check with the hotel reception, details in your travel diary).
Go to Tokyo station to take the Shinkansen to Nikko. After one change and a total of 1 hour 30 of travel time (all included with your Japan Rail Pass), you will arrive in a valley in the middle of a lush Japanese mountain.
Settle in your ryokan in the heart of the valley (ryokan Kozuchi no Yado Tsurukame Daikichi or equivalent 3*).
In the afternoon, visit Nikko, with its many UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Toshogu and Futarasan - Jinja shrines and the Buddhist temple (Rinno-ji) located in the heart of an outstanding natural setting.
In the evening, traditional Japanese dinner in your ryokan.
Day 5 : Arrival at the resort
Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.
Nikko, go to Iiyama station (3 hours 30, 2 changes, included in your package). From Iiyama, you will take the bus for 30 min to Nozawa Onsen (tickets to be bought on the spot, not included in your offer). All the details in your travel diary.
In the early afternoon, settle into your 3* hotel in Nozawa Onsen, in the heart of this mountain village, near the slopes.
Discover this typical Japanese mountain village and its 13 hot springs (onsen) with free access!
Numerous possibilities for dinner in this lively and very Anglophile resort.
Day 6 : Full steam ahead!
Breakfast at the hotel.
Free day of winter sports. The Nozawa Onsen ski area is one of the largest and most popular winter sports resorts in Japan, with more than 10 metres of snow every year. Twenty lifts and 44 runs spread over 50 kilometres across the whole mountain: a winter paradise for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The largest run starts 10 kilometres from the summit.
Private and group lessons are available in English, as well as off-piste excursions with international guides who will take you deep into the powder of Nozawa.
Optional 2 day lift pass available. Contact us to benefit from our partnerships and book your equipment and ski lessons.
Day 7 : Monkey onsens
Breakfast at the hotel.
For this day, you can continue skiing in the area or visit Nagano, famous for hosting the Winter Olympics and the Zenko-ji temple.
As an option, you can also visit the natural site of Jigokudani with its monkeys playing in the hot springs.
Depart in the early afternoon for an excursion to discover the "snow monkeys" in the Jigokudani Natural Park. During this walk through a forest dotted with hot springs, encounter the many wild Japanese monkeys that lounge in these open air onsen.
Please note: As these monkeys are wild and roam freely, we cannot guarantee their presence on the day of your tour.
Return to Nozawa Onsen around 5pm.
N.B.: Group tour, unguided but accompanied. Minimum 2 adults.
Day 8 : Japanese powder snow
Breakfast at the hotel.
Last day of winter sports. Enjoy it before a final bath in the village's onsens!
Day 9 : Head for the Sea of Japan!
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure by bus (30 min) from Nozawa Onsen to Iiyama Shinkansen station (trip not included in your package, to be purchased from the driver). From this station, take the 1 hour 15 Shinkansen to Kanazawa (direct trip, included in your package). Arrival before noon. Details in your travel diary.
Check-in at Hotel Kaname Inn or equivalent 3* in Kanazawa.
From 2pm onwards, set off to discover Kanazawa! In half a day, discover the best of Kanazawa, "the golden marsh", city of art and history. Your guide will meet you at your hotel. Our guides have been living in Kanazawa for many years and enjoy sharing their experience of the area. They will recommend a good restaurant or inform you about upcoming events and small, authentic neighbourhoods!
At the end of the tour, your guide will be able to recommend the best places to eat out.
Day 10 : Rural & Mountain
Departing from Kanazawa, we recommend a day in a typical village in the Japanese Alps, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Shirakawago!
Leave for Shirakawago by bus (1h15, tickets optional).
Walk through this typical Japanese Alpine village, to visit a minka (traditional Japanese house) or the Myôzenji, the village's Zen temple.
Return to Kanazawa by the same bus in the middle of the afternoon.
You can also choose to stay in Kanazawa, other optional activities are available for the day !
Day 11 : Heading for the old capital
In 2 hours 30, reach Kyoto (direct, included in your package) and check into the Tsugu 京都三条 Hotel or equivalent 3*.
You have 3 days to visit Kyoto.
Start in the afternoon in the historic Gion district near your accommodation :
- Kiyomizu-Dera, the great water temple
- The historical streets of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka
- Kodai-ji, the maple and bamboo temple of Kyoto
Finish off seeing the sunset in Gion.
Day 12 : Gold and Silver Treasures
We recommend the following itinerary for this second day's visit to Kyoto:
- Ryoan-ji Zen Garden
- The Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
- Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
- The bewitching path of philosophy
- The Nanzen-ji temple
One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these symbolic sites (optional, from 9:00 to 17:00).
Day 13 : Between temples and deer
For your last day, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, which is included in your package.
Visit to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan in the 8th century.
- The Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha and its thousands of lanterns
- The Todaiji, its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate
- Kofukuji temple and its beautiful pagoda
Return to Kyoto and stop for sunset at Fushimi Inari, the huge 10,000 torii sanctuary in Kyoto. If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will unveil all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional, return trip from Kyoto).
Day 14 : Sayonara, and see you next time!
Direct transfer to Kansai International Airport (included but not accompanied).
Return flight to Europe.
Do not hesitate to extend your trip by one or more days to Kansai or elsewhere... We will be able to advise you!
- 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to public transport
- 1 night in a 3* ryokan in Nikko, traditional half-board
- 4 night in a 3* hotel in Nozawa Onsen
- 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Kanazawa
- 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Kyoto, close to public transport
The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.
- Airport transfers
- Prepaid public transport card
- Japan Rail Pass for 7 days
Experiences and meals
- Airport welcome
- Traditional dinner and breakfast in the ryokan at Nikko
- Breakfast excluding Tokyo and Kyoto
- Private half day guided tour of Kanazawa
- Unlimited Wi-Fi access with pocket Wi-Fi
- Complete e-travel diary sent 20 days before your departure
- 24/7 telephone assistance in English and bilingual Japanese
Not included in the price of your trip
- Flights Europe <> Japan
- Optional insurance policies
- Personal expenses including meals (breakfast optional)
- Public transport when your transport cards have run out (see details)
- Anything not included in the "included in your tour" section
Your tour :
- The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
- Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Children over 3 years of age are allowed. Rates for children are available for people from 3 to 11 years old inclusive.
- This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
- Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
- Travel diary by email 3 weeks before departure, and other electronic documents
- Paper documents (airport transfer tickets, transport cards) when you arrive at the airport by our airport assistant.
- Your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception upon arrival.
Your accommodation :
- Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
- Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option.
- Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed.
- Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants. Please note that if you request more than two people in a single room, the single room supplement will be applied to all accommodation except for the ryokans (3 and 4*). In fact, as this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms for up to 5 people.
- 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
- In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close.
- Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
- In the ryokan, guests sleep on comfortable futons placed on the tatami mat. The room has a private sink and toilet. As is customary in Japanese ryokan, the onsen bathroom is shared (not mixed) unless you take the "private bathroom in the room" option.
OPTIONAL: Enjoy a private Japanese bathroom (traditional or modern onsen) in your room. This option is recommended for mixed couples, families, people who are modest or have visible tattoos.
The 4* ryokan (see 4* option) have comfortable futons raised on either western beds in a traditional tatami room. The bathrooms and toilets of the 4* ryokans are private.
Your transport :
- Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
- The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan via Tokyo (Narita or Haneda airports) and depart from Kansai airport (KIX, not Itami ITM). On departure, you will have to leave the day before Europe and land at 6:30 p.m. at the most to make the most of the airport services of your circuit (reception and transfer to Tokyo).
The return takes place the same day, taking into account the favorable time difference, with a minimum take-off time at 9 a.m. Do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for clarification on the choice of international flights.
- Airport transfers: The shared limousine bus shuttle leaves from the airport and stops either in front of your hotel or at a stop between 1 and 15 minutes' walk from your hotel. Our airport assistant in Tokyo will drive you to the platform for the airport transfer. Then this transfer to the hotel is done without assistance. If you wish to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception, choose the "Accompanied airport transfer" option. On the way back, the shared shuttle bus leaves from your hotel or very close by to take you directly to the Kansai KIX airport in 1 hour 30.
- Included in your tour is a pre-charged transport prepayment card of ¥ 1,500 (around € 12) (suica or Pasmo brand); and a 7-day Japan Rail Pass. These cards should cover a large part of your trips during the stay. Upon expiry of the 1,500¥ Transport Prepayment Card, or if the line you are travelling on is not covered by your Japan Rail Pass, any travel will be at your own expense by recharging your pre-paid transport card (at vending machines in all stations and metro stations). A metro ticket in Tokyo costs around €2, depending on the length of the journey).
- The Japan Rail Pass is a personal train pass for foreign travellers who wish to visit Japan. This pass allows unlimited travel for 7 consecutive days on all Japan Railways (JR) trains throughout Japan. You will receive a voucher to be exchanged at a JR office when you are welcomed at the airport by our assistant (list of addresses provided in your travel guide). You will be asked to show your passport and fill in a form. During this exchange, you will select the start date of your pass. Once your Pass has been activated, it will be valid for 7 consecutive days from the date chosen. To prevent wasting time when you arrive at the airport, you are requested to exchange your voucher upon arrival in Tokyo City. This is because exchanging it at the airport could delay your airport shuttle. With your Japan Rail Pass in hand, just go to the station, show your pass to the ticket inspector at the entrance gates and board any JR train. Trains in Japan are almost all open seating. If you are worried about not having a seat (on a shinkansen for example), simply go to a ticket office and reserve your seat at no extra charge. The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR and Shinkansen lines in Japan. The following journeys are not covered:
- Travel by metro and bus in the cities (payable by pre-paid transport card, included in your package)
- Transfers from the train station to the hotels (by foot, bus, metro or taxi)
- Travel on private train lines (other than JR)
- Travel on Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (shinkansen)
- Trips made outside the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass
- Japan Rail Pass: It is not necessary to possess a Japan Rail Pass which covers your entire stay. This is only cost-effective if it is used for long journeys between the different stages of your stay (especially in shinkansen) which are very expensive. In large cities like Tokyo, only about ⅓ of public transport is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and getting around is relatively cheap (Tokyo metro tickets: 2€, daily bus pass in Kyoto: 5€). Thus, providing you with a Japan Rail Pass for more than 7 days (14 or 21) would not be cost-effective and, on the contrary, would significantly increase the cost of your trip.
- If a person taking part in the tour is a Japanese national and a resident of Japan, or a foreigner with tax residence in Japan (including a student), then that person is not eligible for the Japan Rail Pass. Please contact us to get the price of the tour without a Japan Rail Pass. They will have to buy the train tickets for the tour directly in Japan. The Kansai Thru Pass is also subject to the same nationality/residency requirements. This is not the case for the Hakone Free pass. If this person is a Japanese citizen but not a resident of Japan, then he/she can benefit from the Japan Rail Pass under certain conditions (see https://www.japan-experience.com/frequently-asked-questions.
Your activities :
- Airport reception is in English. Your airport assistant will be waiting for you at the customs exit holding a sign with the name of the reservation. They will give you your travel documents and take you to your airport transfer. They will not accompany you to Tokyo (this is possible, but optional).
- The half-day guided tour of Kanazawa takes place in the morning or in the afternoon and is private. In English. Any transport is at your own expense. Lunch is not included in the activity.
Your meals :
- Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in your ryokan. Do not hesitate to indicate any dietary requirements you may have, we will pass them on to the ryokan so that they can take them into account when planning the meals. If the ryokan does not take any of these dietary requirements into account, we cannot be held responsible and no compensation will be issued.
- Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option.
Your additional services:
- A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your pocket wifi will be delivered to you on arrival at the first hotel on your tour, in the name of your tour reservation.
- It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
- A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
- A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.
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