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PO Box 3026 Asquith NSW 2077

Journey through the Heartland of Japan 20 Days

Journey through the Heartland of Japan 20 Days

20 days self-guided trip, you will experience a mix of ancient and modern elements - gardens, history, food, art, architecture and landscapes. The trip starts in the north, known as Tohoku region in Japan, you will travel south through Japan's mountainous heartland by train, staying in off -the beaten- track places and regional towns visiting beautiful castles, temples, historic villages, hot springs and significant gardens and galleries, going where the locals go. Enjoy country hospitality, timeless rural landscapes and serene ancient culture - this will be a very special trip.


Tour StartsTour EndsPrice
Twin ShareSingle
Journey through the Heartland of Japan 20 Days
Tour StartsAomori Tour EndsKyoto Twin ShareJPY 428,000 SingleN/A

Duration :

19 Nights 20 Days

Visit :

Kuroishi - Hirosaki - Akita - Kakunodate - Nyuto Onsen - Hiraizumi - Aizu Wakamatsu - Ouchijuku - Nikko - Obuse - Kanazawa - Takayama - Kyoto

Includes :

19 Nights accommodation, 9 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners, 21 Days Ordinary JR Pass, Private transfer from Aomori airport to accommodation on Day 1, Half day English speak assistant in Kuroishi on Day 2, Half day walking tour to Ouchijuku on Day 9, 2 Days Nikko World Heritage Pass on Day 10 & 11, 2.5 Hour English guide tour in Hida Furukawa on Day 16, 7 hours walking tour in Kyoto on Day 19, Welcome Suica (charged 1,000 yen), International SIM card (5GB), Day by day detailed itinerary and Maps

Exclusions :

Local transport (Bus, private train company, taxi etc), Any entrance fees (temple, shrine, museum etc), Your own drink during the meals, Travel Insurance, International Air Ticket, Luggage forwarding service

Departure Dates



Day 1 (Meals : None)
Welcome to Aomori | Aomori Airport - Kuroishi
Welcome to Aomori! Meet & Greet with tour guide at the Domestic Arrival Lobby in Aomori Airport. The guide will takes you to Kuroishi (about 40 min). Please refer to your tour handbook for more information. Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.
Hotel : Pitt Inn Farm
Day 2 (Meals : B)
Kuroishi - Hirosaki
In the morning, our English speak assistant takes you to Kuroishi to enjoy the old street call "Komise" selected one of the best 100 streets in Japan, features an arcaded shopping area with traditional structures remaining from the Edo Period. There are few Sake brewery as well.

In the afternoon, we recommend travelling to Hirosaki on your own. Hirosaki castle and Fujita Garden are Highlight. One of Japan's most spectacular cherry blossom spots typically from late April to early May. Don't forget to try "Apple Pie"!!

Hotel : Pitt Inn Farm
Day 3 (Meals : B)
Kuoroishi - Akita
Travel from Kuroishi to Akita by joyful Train call "Resort Shirakami" (about 5.5 hours)

"Resort Shirakami" is a popular train with grand view of the Sea of Japan, running from Hirosaki, Aomori along the Gono Line to Akita. The floor of coach is designed higher than usual and windows are very wide, so you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. When the train runs around scenic area such as Senjojiki Coast, it will slow down and give announcement for viewpoint. Onboard events like performance of Kataribe [storyteller of legend or folktales] with Tsugaru dialect and Tsugaru-jamisen are offered for passenger enjoyment.

Rest in the afternoon in Akita, you can visit to Senshu Park & Akita Museum of Art.

Hotel : Richmond Hotel Akita Ekimae or similar
Day 4 (Meals : None)
Akita - Kakunodate
Travel from Akita to Kakunodate by bullet train (45 min).

Our destination today is the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Kakunodate, which was once home to 80 samurai families.

Hotel : Bukeyashiki hotel or similar
Day 5 (Meals : B/D)
Kakunodate - Nyuto Onsen
Travel from Kakunodate to Nyuto Onsen by bullet train & bus (about 60 min).

The spas in the Nyuto area were built in the 1600's for the use of local samurai and some original thatched roof buildings still stand. Your evening meal will be a selection of local seasonal dishes.

This is a unique experience stepping back in time, staying in a remote mineral hot-springs spa.

Hotel : Taenoyu or similar
Day 6 (Meals : B/D)
Nyuto Onsen
Enjoy plenty of mountain and forest scenery, hiking trails are also found in the area.
Hotel : Taenoyu or similar
Day 7 (Meals : B)
Nyuto Onsen - Hiraizumi
Travel from Nyuto Onsen to Hiraizumi by Bus, Bullet, JR train (about 3 hours).

Travel to another UNESCO site today - Hiraizumi. 900 years ago this town was an important cultural and economic hub of the north, but its fortunes fell in a classic tale of betrayal and revenge during feudal wars. You will visit the magnificent remaining buildings of Hiraizumi's golden age.

Hotel : Hotel Sunroute Ichinoseki or similar
Day 8 (Meals : None)
Hiraizumi - Aizu Wakamatsu
Travel from Hiraizumi to Aizu Wakamatsu by bullet train, JR train (about 3 hours).

Moving further down the spine of Japan's central chain of mountains and valleys, your destination is the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu, once home to a powerful clan of the north, the Matsudaira.

You will visit the castle and the old town including a sake brewery.

Hotel : Century Hotel Aizu Wakamatsu or similar
Day 9 (Meals : None)
Aizu Wakamatsu - Ouchijuku
Day trip from Aizu Wakamatsu to Ouchijuku by Aizu Railway, Taxi (60 min).

Your samurai self-guided tour continues today through the heartland of Tohoku, to the post-town of Ouchijuku. This picturesque village was a checkpoint and travellers' stop in feudal times when the shogunate restricted movement of citizens. It retains the thatched-roof houses and unpaved street of the Edo period and is famous for soba noodles which is good for your lunch.

Hotel : Century Hotel Aizu Wakamatsu or similar
Day 10 (Meals : None)
Aizu Wakamatsu - Nikko
Travel from Aizu Wakamatsu to Nikko by JR train, bullet train (about 3 hours).

Today you experience the magnificence of the 17th Century Tokugawa Shogunate when you approach Nikko through an ancient cedar avenue, glimpse the sacred red bridge marking the entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage listed mausoleum and stroll through this vast complex set in a mountain forest. Nikko is stunning and lives up to its reputation of a saying in Japan - "Don't say 'kekko' (magnificent) until you've seen Nikko".

Hotel : Nikko Station Hotel or similar
Day 11 (Meals : B)
Today, you can enjoy walk along Nikko Kaido (Nikko Road Cedar Path).

After contribution to the Nikko Toshogu Shrine as an approach to the shrine in the Edo period, about 50,000 cedar trees were planted over about 20 years. Currently, about 12,500 trees remain, and the path extending over 35.41km is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest tree-lined road in the world.

Or travel to Kegon waterfall where has the almost 100 meter tall Waterfall is the most famous of Nikko's many beautiful waterfalls. In fact, it is even ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful falls.

Hotel : Nikko Station Hotel or similar
Day 12 (Meals : B)
Nikko - Obuse
Travel to Obuse by JR train, bullet train, Nagaden Railway (about 4.5 hour).

Take long train journey up into the central Alps to the town of Obuse. Your accommodation tonight is very special - a series of connected restored town houses in the heart of the old village, transformed into a boutique hotel.

Hotel : Masuichi Kyakuden or similar Kyakuden or similar
Day 13 (Meals : B)
Explore the charming mountain town of Obuse where you can visit a gallery of works by the woodblock print master Hokusai, famous for the 'Great Wave' artwork. Obuse is a pretty town with interesting shops, historic buildings and a sake brewery - very photogenic and great for wandering.
Hotel : Masuichi Kyakuden or similar Kyakuden or similar
Day 14 (Meals : B)
Obuse - Kanazawa
Travel from Obuse to Kanazawa by Nagaden Railway, bullet train (about 2 hour).

Today you travel to Kanazawa, a lovely city on the northern plains of the Alps. Kanazawa has a strong cultural identity, historically shielded from wars by the mountains, and wealthy from its fertile and expansive rice-fields. Kanazawa will be home for two nights, giving you time to visit its famous garden, Kenrokuen and adjacent castle.

Hotel : Hotel Kanazawa or similar
Day 15 (Meals : None)
More delights of Kanazawa a wait you today, you can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Omicho market, Higashi Chaya area, Nagamachi Samurai house area.
Hotel : Hotel Kanazawa or similar
Day 16 (Meals : None)
Kanazawa - Takayama
Travel from Kanazawa to Takayama by Bullet train, JR train (about 2 hour).

You are back on the train today, travelling through very pretty rural landscapes to the town of Hida-Furukawa, where you will enjoy a walking tour of the old merchant town along canals. This is a special walking tour through the town to show you how the ingredients are produced. Visit a local sake brewery, miso shop, rice shop, tofu shop etc where you can talk to the store owners and workers to see how they produce the goods.

After the tour, you move on only a couple of stops by train to your destination of Takayama, a well-preserved rural town of atmospheric old architecture, shrines and shops, which you can explore in the afternoon and evening.

Hotel : Best Western Hotel Takayama or similar
Day 17 (Meals : None)
This morning you can visit to the morning market and the old streets. Takayama is famous for its traditional and contemporary craft - woodworking, metalwork and textiles - and there is good shopping here.
Hotel : Best Western Hotel Takayama or similar
Day 18 (Meals : None)
Takayama - Kyoto
You enjoy your last mountain landscapes today as you travel by train down through the valleys of Gifu prefecture to Nagoya, where you transfer to the bullet train for the last leg of your journey to Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital.
Hotel : Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo or similar
Day 19 (Meals : None)
In order to closely feel the local atmosphere of Kyoto, our walking tours use public transportation to experience the everyday life of Kyoto. During the 7-hour tour, your private guide will show you around the city covering four major must-see spots taking the appropriate amount of time for each. Visit Bamboo grove in the Arashiyama area, Rock Garden at Ryoanji Temple, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle or the Nishiki food market.
Hotel : Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo or similar
Day 20 (Meals : None)
Tour end
Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan.
Hotel : N/A


Tour Operator :
AWL Pitt Australia Pty Ltd
Participants :
Minimum 1
Hotels :
15 nights Western, 2 nights Japanese-style hotel with hot-springs and 2 nights Japanese farm guest house.
Meals :
9 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners
Tour Type :
Tour Season :
Departures :
Any day Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: Golden Week (29 April - 05 May), and O-bon (09 - 17 August). Please enquire for availability and pricing if your trip falls within those dates.
International Flight :
We offer the option of purchasing air inclusive tour packages, or land only tour packages, giving our customers the freedom to source their own flights. However, we are always more than happy to arrange your flights.


Japan Package

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C/O Kinokuniya Bookstores
The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

Japan Package

C/O Kinokuniya Bookstores
The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

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