The Japan Alps

  • Duration : 18 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Matsumoto,Tsumago,Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Kaga Onsen, Kyoto

This Japan tour takes you to the heart of the Japanese mountains.

A tour in the Japanese Alps means discovering a less touristy, more unspoilt and traditional Japan.

Not forgetting the must-sees: Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Kyoto. Enjoy a guided tour of Matsumoto Castle or a visit to Kyoto's geisha quarter in this tour package.

18 day itinerary from Tokyo to Kyoto, crossing Mount Fuji and the Japanese Alps :

  • Departure city/airport : Tokyo (Narita : NRT or Haneda : HND)
  • Tokyo (3 nights)
  • Kawaguchiko - Mount Fuji (1 nights)
  • Matsumoto and surroudings (3 nights)
  • Tsumago (1 night)
  • Takayama (2 nights)
  • Kanazawa (3 nights)
  • Kaga Onsen (1 night)
  • Kyoto (3 nights)
  • End Return airport : Osaka (Kansai international airport : KIX)

Please find below the itinerary details.

Tour length : 17 nights / 18 days (+ 1 day at the beginning if you leave from Europe)

Indeed, 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.

Example : 

  • Departure from Europe : January 1st
  • Arrival Tokyo (date to be selected in the tour calendar while booking) : January 2nd
  • Return flight from Kansai international airport : January 19th

Interested in this tour but limited to 2 weeks in Japan?

The "Path of the Samurai" and "Zen and Wellness" tours pass through most of the places on this tour in a shorter time frame.

Why this trip to Japan? 

  1. Welcomed at the airport by our team, you will be taken to Tokyo by shuttle bus
  2. Head for Kawaguchiko, in the Five Lakes region below Mount Fuji
  3. In Matsumoto, Sylvain is waiting to take you on a samurai experience at the foot of the castle
  4. Several nights in traditional accommodation (ryokan, minshuku, house) in the Japanese Alps
  5. Continue towards the Sea of Japan, passing through a typical Japanese mountain village
  6. Finish in Kyoto, where a guided tour of the Gion district awaits you at nightfall
  7. Take advantage of your transport passes : Japan Rail Pass, Mount Fuji Pass, Shirakawago bus..
  8. On the final day, a shuttle bus will take you from your accommodation to the airport
  9. Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
  10. If needed, contact our bilingual Japanese/English-speaking assistance team available 7/7
  11. Numerous guided days or other optional activities available 
  12. 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!

    Welcomed out of customs by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents and Pocket WiFi.

    Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to Tokyo (see details).

    This transfer is done in a shared shuttle or bus, with other guests departing for the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers depart between 1.5 and 3 hours after your scheduled flight arrival and stops can be made before your hotel.

    If you would like a private, non-stop transfer directly after the actual arrival of your flight, feel free to take the "Private Taxi from the Airport" option.

    Check-in at Hotel OMO3 Tokyo Akasaka by Hoshino Resorts or same category hotel 3* (rooms available from 3:00pm).

  • 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 : A breathtaking view of Fuji

    We advise that you have your luggage sent to the hotel in Matsumoto (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Kawaguchiko. Reach Tokyo Station and and board a train to Kawaguchiko (3 hours journey, 1 change, all included) The train will gradually leave the Japanese megalopolis behind and head deeper into the valleys of the Mount Fuji region. You will arrive in Kawaguchiko in the late morning.

    Go to your hotel near the station and Lake Kawaguchi to drop off your small bag and explore the Five Lakes region:

    - Pass through the Chureito pagoda, one of the best photo viewpoints on Mount Fuji.

    - See Mount Fuji from the lakes and the many viewpoints in the area.

    - Take the Kachi Kachi Ropeway to see the beautiful panoramic view of the lake on one side and Mount Fuji on the other.

    All transport is included in your Mount Fuji pass.

    The pass also includes many discounts at local attractions, such as the famous Fuji-Q Highland theme park.

    You can also rent a bicycle for half a day to visit Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji.

  • Day 5 : Nature and mountain lakes

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Enjoy Kawaguchiko and its region before leaving in the middle of the afternoon for your next destination in the heart of the Japanese Alps: Matsumoto (3 hours 30 by train, 2 changes, all inclusive).

    Arrive and check into a city centre hotel, between the station and the castle.

  • Day 6 : The Samurai Castle

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Matsumoto has preserved many traces of its prosperity from the feudal period. But the most striking feature of a visit to the town is its imposing castle, known to the Japanese as "the crow" because of its black colour. It is the oldest of its kind in Japan and its keep offers a stunning view in all seasons.

    Matsumoto was also an industrial and commercial city, and has preserved its typical Meiji era workshops in the Nakamichi district.

    Included: Enjoy a private guided tour of Matsumoto city for half a day. Discover the feudal castle, the historical districts... and step into the shoes of a samurai for a morning with Sylvain, Japan Experience guide.

    In English or French.

    Please note that for some trips in peak season, this half-day guided tour in Matsumoto may be replaced by a half-day guided tour in Tokyo or Kyoto.

    2nd night in the hotel in Matsumoto.

  • Day 7 : Mountain air

    There are several choices for this day:

    - Continue visiting Matsumoto, including its famous japanese prints Ukiyo-e museum.

    - Discover a wasabi farm nearby.

    - Go for a day in the region of Nagano, famous for having hosted the Winter Olympic Games, (1 hour by train, included in your package): in the morning, visit the famous Zenko-ji temple then the natural site of Jigokudani with its monkeys that play in the hot springs (optional).

    - Kamikochi, in the summer season, will bring you a breath of fresh air in the middle of the Japanese mountains!

    Last night in your hotel in Matsumoto.

  • Day 8 : Japanese Villages

    In the morning, we advise that you have your luggage sent to the hotel in Takayama (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Tsumago.

    Leave for Tsumago, one of the most beautiful villages in Japan, in the heart of the Kiso Valley.

    The train (2 hours, included in your package) runs through this narrow, densely wooded valley. Halfway along the route, we recommend a stop in the small hidden village of Narai, with beautiful houses dating from the Edo period.

    Upon arrival in Tsumago, you will reach your minshuku accommodation (comfortable family inn, halfway between ryokan and guesthouse) on foot (45 minutes through the mountains) or by bus (10min, bus ticket available from the driver, about €2, details in your travel guide).

    Tsumago is a listed village with traditional architecture. Preserved from modernity, it has preserved its character as a stopover town along the Kyoto - Tokyo road from the Edo period (1603 - 1868): the Nakasendo. A visit to the Honjin (with its delightful moss garden), Wakihonjin and Shiryôkan complexes is particularly interesting and relaxing.

    In the evening, dinner at your hostel.

  • Day 9 : Trekking on the Nakasendo trail

    Breakfast at your hostel.

    Hike along the Nakasendo River to Magome (8km, with major elevation changes: from 420m (Tsumago), to the Magome-Toge pass (800m) and back down to Magome (600m). Allow 3 to 5 hours.). A bus also allows you to reach the pass or go directly to Magome (in 30min, €5, purchase from the driver) to avoid the climb or the whole hike. There is also a luggage transport service with the tourist office.

    After arriving in the small village of Magome at noon and taking a stroll in this picturesque village, you will reach Nakatsugawa station (bus, 25min, €4.50 to be paid to the driver) then Takayama (4 hours, 1 change, all included with your JR Pass).

    Arrive in Takayama in the evening at your comfortable hotel near the station. You will be able to relax after a busy day with your head full of memories.

  • Day 10 : The charm of the Japanese mountains

    Enjoy the charms of Takayama, a medium-sized city and the "capital" of the Japanese Alps, at your own pace. The centuries-old mansions, temples and museums will seduce you.

    We recommend that you visit:

    - The traditional Kusakabe and Yoshijima houses

    - The Yatai Kaikan, where old religious festival floats (matsuri) are on display

    - The picturesque Shôwa-Kan, museum of the 1940s to 1970s

    - The old Sannomachi shopping district

    - The Fuji Folk Art Museum

    2nd night in your hotel in Takayama

  • Day 11 : Head for the Sea of Japan!

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    Departure by train and Shinkansen to Kanazawa in the morning (2 hours, 1 change, all included in your package).

    From noon onwards, you can settle into your traditional Japan Experience house! A Travel Angel will welcome you, show you some unique details and help you to have an unforgettable stay in Kanazawa. You will be able to "live the Japanese way" for a few days, with a space much bigger than a hotel room and a kitchen to prepare good Japanese food!

    In the afternoon, explore Kanazawa, a city between tradition and modernity on the coast of Japan:

    Discover Kanazawa, between the sea in the north and the Japanese Alps:

    - Kenroku-en, Kanazawa's beautiful Japanese garden

    - The Museum of Contemporary Art and its outdoor gallery

    - Omicho, the fish market of the Sea of Japan

    - The Nomura house, residence of the Samurai and its picturesque old quarter

  • Day 12 : Rural & Mountain

    Starting from Kanazawa, we propose a day trip to a typical village in the Japanese Alps, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Shirakawago!

    Leave for Shirakawago by bus (1 hour 15, tickets included in your package).

    Visit a minka (traditional Japanese house) or the Myôzenji, a Zen temple in the village.

    In the middle of the afternoon, return to Kanazawa on the same bus. As an option, you can decide to stay in Shirakawago for one night in a traditional lodging in the village. And don't worry about your luggage: it will remain at the house in Kanazawa that is allocated to you for the 3 nights. You need only the minimum for this unforgettable night!

  • Day 13 : The pearl of Japan

    For this day several options are available to you:

    - Continue visiting Kanazawa (optional, English-speaking guide for one day)

    - Discover the Noto Peninsula's Japanese countryside with one of our guides (optional)

    - Other activities, such as a meal with one of our English-speaking travel angels in Kanazawa

    Final night in your traditional Kanazawa house.

  • Day 14 : Japanese wellness

    Take a leisurely trip to Kaga Onsen (25 minutes by train, included), a spa town in the middle of the Japanese countryside. Kaga Onsen awaits you with its high quality natural waters, discovered 1300 years ago, traditional Japanese craftsmanship and authentic nature walks. It is the ideal place to relax, just dive into one of the baths. In addition, you can enjoy local specialities during dinner at your Mori no Sumika Resort & Spa ryokan or same category hotel 3*.


  • Day 15 : The old capital

    Breakfast at the hotel.

    In 2 hours, reach Kyoto and check into the RAKURO 京都 by THE SHARE HOTELSHotel or same category hotel 3*.

    You have 3 days to visit Kyoto. Start in the afternoon in the historic Gion district near your accommodation.

    We advise you to start your visit to Kyoto slowly by visiting the city centre and the Gion district:

    - 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.

    Meet your guide at 19:00 to start your late stroll around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.

    At the end of this 1 hour 30 walk, your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to eat out!

    Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take photographs in the historic district of Gion.


  • Day 16 : 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 17 : Now for some activity...

    This is your last full day to visit Kyoto, so make the most of our many optional activities:

    - Want to enjoy nature? Check out our cycling activities along the Kamogawa River or hiking in the Takao Gorge!

    - Prefer Japanese arts? tea ceremonies, meditation activities or private visits to secret gardens will seduce you.

    - Looking for Japanese countryside? Let yourself be tempted by a trip to Ohara, or try our flagship activity: on the Tea Road!

    If you wish to visit at your own pace, continue exploring Kyoto's 2000 unique temples, shrines and gardens!

    You can also reach Nara in 50 minutes by train (not included in your package, around 16 € for the round trip, otherwise, get the optional Kansai Thru Pass).

    For your last night, don't forget to enjoy the sunset at Fushimi Inari, the huge 10,000 torii shrine in Kyoto.

  • Day 18 : Sayonara, and see you next time

    Direct transfer to Kansai International Airport (included but not accompanied).

    Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia.

    Do not hesitate to extend your trip by one or more days to Kansai or elsewhere... We will be able to advise you!


    Included in your self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to the metro.

    - 1 night in a 3* hotel in Kawaguchiko

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in Matsumoto, between the station and the castle

    - 1 night in a minshuku in Tsumago, traditional half-board

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel inTakayama

    - 3 nights in a traditional Kanazawa house 

    - 1 night in a ryokan in Kaga Onsen, traditional half-board

    - 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Kyoto, close to the metro.

    The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.

  • Transport

    - Transfer airport -> Tokyo

    - Transfer airport Kyoto -> KIX

    - Prepaid public transport card

    - 2-day Mount Fuji pass 

    - Kanazawa <-> Shirakawago autobus

    - Japan Rail Pass for 14 days


  • Experiences and meals

    - Welcomed at the airport

    Discounts in many tourist sites as Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji

    Half board in Tsumago and Kaga Onsen

    Breakfasts except in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa

    Matsumoto Discovery, half day, with samurai experience

    Welcome to Kanazawa house by a travel angel

    Night Walk in Gion

  • Additional services

    - Unlimited Wi-Fi access with pocket-WiFi

    - Complete e-travel diary 

    - The helpline is available from 8am to 10pm Japanese time, 7 days a week, in English and Japanese. The number will be given to you in your travel pack. It is valid for telephone calls and Whatsapp.

  • Not included in the price of your trip

    - Flights Europe <> Japan

    - Optional insurance polices

    - Personal expenses (including meals and some breakfasts)

    - Public transport when your transport cards have run out (see details)

    - Anything not included in the "included in your tour" section

More about your trip

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 and babies accepted. From 3 to 11 years old a child rate is offered. In each accommodation, a standard adult bed will be offered to them, and a standard seat will be allocated to them in transport. From 0 to 2 years old inclusive, a "baby" rate is offered. This price corresponds to the allocation of a cot in the majority of the accommodation of the chosen circuit. However, we cannot guarantee a baby cot in each accommodation.
  • This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. The order of visits may also be modified. 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 at least 8 days before departure, as well as other electronic documents 
    • Paper documents (airport transfer ticket, transportation card, Japan Rail Pass voucher) and Pocket WiFi upon arrival at the airport by our airport assistant.
  • NB : no ticket for airport transfers to Kansai airport. The reservation is registered in the name of the tour reservation.
  • Note: In very rare cases, mostly in very high season, steps might be reversed. You will be informed in your mini travel-guide. Thanks for your kind understanding.

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. This option is not valid in the Kanazawa traditional accommodation. 
  • 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.

    OPTION only valid for Hakone ryokan : 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.
  • In the minshuku, you will sleep on comfortable futons in tatami rooms. WC and bathrooms are shared. The bath can be privatized on request at reception and subject to availability.
  • Traditional house in Kanazawa : each house has been chosen for its location (transport, shops, temples...) and thus to facilitate your stay. All lodgings have at least one Japanese tatami room and are equipped with a minimum of 3 beds, either in a single western bed (not double) or on a futon. Do not hesitate to specify in your comments that you want to sleep in a western bed.

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 Europe the day before 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 flight is on the same day due to the time difference, with a departure time of 9am at the earliest. Please do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for precision in the choice of international flights.
  • If the flights have been purchased by your care without the intervention of Japan Experience, it is necessary to send us by mail 1 month before your departure your flight information (flight number, airport, date and time of arrival) to allow us 'Organize your welcome and airport transfer.
  • Airport Transfers: The shared limousine bus leaves from the airport and stops either in front of your hotel or at a stop within 1-15 minutes walk from your hotel. Our airport assistant in Tokyo will drive you to the platform to pick up the airport transfer. The transfer to the hotel is unassisted. If you wish to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception, please choose the option "Accompanied Airport Transfer". This transfer is done in a shared shuttle or bus, with other clients leaving for the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers leave between 1.5 and 3 hours after your flight's scheduled arrival and stops can be made before your hotel. If you would like a private, non-stop transfer directly after the actual arrival of your flight, feel free to take the "Private Taxi from the Airport" option. Please note: due to the many changes in flight schedules by the airlines, if the airline notifies you of a change in arrival time less than 72 hours before your departure, and if it exceeds 45 minutes, we cannot guarantee your airport shuttle. You will then have to take a taxi at your own expense, requesting a refund from your airline for abusive schedule changes. The same applies to your return journey: 72 hours before your return flight, we cannot change the shuttle schedule. Similarly, you will have to take a taxi booked with the hotel, at your own expense, with reimbursement procedures with the airline company being the only solution. Japan Experience is not responsible for last minute schedule changes. 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 £10.30 / 14.54$) (suica or Pasmo brand); a transport pass for the Otsuki <-> Kawaguchiko journey and all transport in the Kawaguchiko region (excluding taxi) and a 14-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). 
  • Kanazawa -> Shirakawago -> Kanazawa bus trips are included in your offer.
  • The Mount Fuji Pass should be activated from the voucher you receive electronically at the Otsuki Station ticket office.
  • The Japan Rail Pass is a personal train pass for foreign travellers who wish to visit Japan. This pass allows unlimited travel for 14 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 14 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: £1.71 / 2.42$; Kyoto daily bus card: £4.28 / 5.97$). Thus, providing you with a Japan Rail Pass for more than 14 days (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

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 Kyoto (this is possible, but optional).
  • The half-day guided tour of Matsumoto takes place in the morning, in groups of 12 people maximum, in English. Lunch is not included. Any transport on this morning is at your own expense. Lunch is not included in the activity.
  • An English speaking Travel Angel who is a specialist in Japan will be there to welcome you to your traditional house in Kanazawa. They will give you the keys, explain how the house and its facilities work, give you a tour of the area (tourist sites, supermarkets, bike rental...) and answer all your questions. They will be available throughout your stay in case of any problems or questions.
  • The guided tour of Gion takes place in groups of 12 people maximum,  from 6pm to 7:30/8:00pm. In English. More details on the meeting place in your travel journal. Dinner is not planned but your guide will be able to give you their best spots.

Your meals :

  • Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in your Tsumago and Kaga onsen tour. 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.
  • The traditional Japan Experience houses are equipped for cooking and are located close to supermarkets and markets.

Your additional services:

  • Telephone assistance is available every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in English.
  • A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your Pocket WiFi will be given to you at the airport of arrival.
  • 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.

When you buy, Japan Experience offers you 2 types of protection:

Japan Experience Flex : 

Cancellation insurance before departure under conditions.

Japan Experience Protect :

Pre-departure cancellation insurance under conditions and on-site assistance under conditions. 


Frequently asked questions

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  • The guarantee of the first tour operator specialised exclusively in Japan for 40 years
  • A wide range of products to let you Experience Japan from the inside
  • Competitive prices thanks to a single team in UK, Europe, USA and Japan, with no intermediaries
  • Assistance available in Japan throughout your trip
  • specialised team is available 7 days a week by phone or email
  • The best advice thanks to the 3,500 articles available on our website

The Japan Alps

$2,891 per person - 18 days

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