These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.
These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.
Explore the must-see sights and enjoy the hassle-free trip to Japan at an affordable price. Our most cost-effective way to see the highlights of Japan while staying in budget-friendly accommodations. If you would like to have a quick stop to sample the must-see sights of Japan, or plan to explore Japan on your own but would like to take a short trip to learn about Japan before your self-guided journeys. These are the tours for you.
Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.
The price is per person, based on twin or triple room occupancy
For single travelers, this tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour
Prices are excluding international flights
Single room types are rooms for
single room occupants.
One person will be occupying the hotel room throughout the tour.
Twin room types are rooms set for two people who will occupy one room, but will have two separate beds.
A double room is a room that has one bed for two people to share.
A triple room is one room where three people may share the same room. It has three separate beds.
Japanese Style Room
A Japanese-style room traditionally does not have a western-style bed, it is a tatami floor room with futon bedding. However, if you prefer a western-style bed, you may request one though we cannot guarantee it.
Please note: If you would like to request neighboring rooms next to your traveling companions, you and your traveling companions must have the same room types in order to be next to each other. For example, if you have requested a double room, but your traveling companions have requested a twin, or triple room, then neighboring rooms cannot be accommodated. However, if both you and your traveling companions match in room type, then neighboring rooms will likely be arranged for your convenience.
If you have ever wished you could enjoy Japan's gorgeous autumn leaves and the exquisite beauty of cherry blossoms together at once, this tour has what you are looking for. The town of Obara features a unique and dazzling sight: cherry blossoms in full bloom, with a background of bright autumn leaves, in a scene that brings the beauties of autumn and spring together in one place. The town's Shikizakura, or "four-seasons cherry trees" bloom twice a year: first in spring at the usual t... View More
If you have ever wished you could enjoy Japan's
gorgeous autumn leaves and the exquisite beauty of
cherry blossoms together at once, this tour has what
are looking for. The town of Obara features a unique
dazzling sight: cherry blossoms in full bloom, with a
background of bright autumn leaves, in a scene that
brings the beauties of autumn and spring together in
place. The town's Shikizakura, or "four-seasons cherry
trees" bloom twice a year: first in spring at the usual
and then once again in fall, for a marvelous scene
two opposite seasons collide. Over ten thousand of the
Shikizakura trees begin to bloom around late October,
reaching their best from mid to late November. On this
tour, we take full advantage of the season to enjoy this
rare, incredibly beautiful fantasy scene.
This tour begins in Hokkaido, where we will visit Otaru, Sapporo, Shiraoi, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, Shikabecho, and Hakodate. Then we proceed to Aomori by crossing the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, via the undersea train tunnel. Next we will visit to Lake Towada, Japan's third deepest lake. A volcanic crater lake 44km in circumference and nature walk along the creek through Oirase Gorge. Then we head to Morioka and Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. After that we will visit Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of pine tree covered small islands, where we explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. Allow yourself to also explore the wonderfully ornate temples and shrines which have been designated as World Heritage sites in Nikko. We then proceed to Kegon Waterfall situated in Lake Chuzenji, it is one of Japan's three most beautiful waterfalls.
Next we will continue our journey to one of the busiest city in the world. Let's enjoy a fully guided tour in Tokyo. Visit Tokyo's cultural landmarks, fashionable neighborhoods and diverse shopping districts. Learn how to make your own sushi with a professional sushi chef and savor your delicious creations. Explore attractions like the Asakusa district with an atmosphere of old Tokyo, Japan's largest and busiest fish market, drive by the historical Imperial Palace, and take in the view from the record-breaking Tokyo Skytree’s main observation deck.
Then proceed to the Mt Fuji-Hakone national park. See how impressive Mother Nature is when you are there. Visit the Obara Shikizakura Festival to see both the fiery red and orange autumn leaves and the soft pink cherry blossoms en route to Takayama, located amongst the Japanese Alps. Due to their remote location, these places are beautifully preserved and developed their own culture that is unique from the rest of Japan. Visit the charming village of Shirakawa-go and understand what gassho- zukuri architectural style is. You'll also have a chance to visit the beautiful, but often overlooked by Western tourists, city of Kanazawa. Here, you'll visit the Kenrokuen Garden (one of Japan's top three gardens) and see what six attributes make a perfect landscape.
We will then continue our journey and spend two days in the ancient city of Kyoto, where you will have exclusive access to the city's gardens, temples, castle, shrine and specialty shops. Follow up you will get the opportunity to experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko), and stroll the beautiful Arashiyama, the outskirt of Kyoto, famous for its beautiful autumn leaves. At Nara, be inspired by the intricate architecture and towering monuments including the Great Buddha statue. You'll understand why this city is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Japan. From there, proceed to Osaka for last minute shopping.
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All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.
We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure.
Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.
For arrivals at New Chitose Airport (CTS), this tour starts in Sapporo and ends in Osaka, with departures at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX).
Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.
Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
Welcome to Sapporo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
In the morning we will travel to Otaru, renowned for its canals and glassblowing in Kitaichi Garasukan. During the first half of the 20th century, the Otaru Canal was a vital part of the city's busy harbor. The canal allowed large vessels to be unloaded onto smaller ones, then transported to local warehouses. Although the canal became obsolete when modern dock facilities allowed for the direct unloading of large vessels, the canal remains an integral part of the city's history and culture. As part of a citizen's movement in the 1980s, the canal was beautifully restored and former warehouses have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, museums, and shops. Next, we will visit glass workshops and Music Box Museum in Sakaimachi Street. In the afternoon, we will visit Sapporo city. The tour includes a visit to the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park, where you can stroll along the promenade. The next stop is Susukino, Hokkaido's largest entertainment district. In the evening is for you to enjoy your free time.
In the morning our tour of Sapporo continues with a visit to the Historical Village of Hokkaido, you can view architecture from the Meiji and Taisho periods when Japan experienced rapid expansion. From there we will visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, dedicated to all things beer. Sapporo is Japan's oldest brewery and exports its beer throughout the world. Then, we will visit the Upopoy National Ainu Museum, a newer museum facility that celebrates the cultural heritage of the native Ainu people, including exhibits on Ainu language, culture, history, crafts, music, and dance. In the afternoon, we will stop at Hokkaido's most famous hot spring resort, Noboribetsu Onsen. Our group will spend some time in Jigokudani, or "Hell's Valley", the main source of the town's hot spring water. Visitors can experience the area's hot steam vents, picturesque walking trails, and a sulfurous pond known as Oyunuma. Tonight, we will stay in a traditional Japanese style hotel in Noboribetsu, where you can unwind in a soothing hot spring (onsen) bath.
After breakfast, we will head to Lake Toya and take the Usuzan Ropeway to the observation deck and have a panoramic view of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan. From Lake Toya, we head to Hakodate, along the way we stop at Shikabe-cho and attend a fun and easy cooking experience with Hama no Kasan at a local Japanese home. Hakodate was one of the first Treaty Ports in Japan which opened up to world trade in 1854, so there are many preserved buildings around the area from that time. We will continue our tour to visit Goryokaku Pentagonal Fort, built in 1868 and the only structure of its kind in Japan. The surrounding moat and defensive grounds are now a city park and gardens. In the evening, we will take a ropeway ride up to Mt Hakodate from where we can look down upon the twinkling lights that surround Hakodate Bay. The view from the mountain are spectacular and it's listed as Japan's three best night view alongside with the view from Nagasaki's Mount Inasa and Kobe's Mount Rokko.
Today we will travel across the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by train via the undersea train tunnel, before arriving to Aomori. We will visit the Nebuta Warasse, a well done museum about the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori. Then we will visit Japan's third deepest lake - Lake Towada, a volcanic crater lake 44 km in circumference. We will go for a nature walk along the creek through Oirase Gorge. Over a dozen waterfalls cascade down into the stream all along its length from the walls of the gorge.The stream flows along the floor of the Oirase Gorge, winding among trees which a lush green in spring and summer and turn brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange from late October through early November.
In the morning we proceed to Morioka for a visit to the Morioka Castle Ruins, considered one of the most popular autumn leaves viewing spots in Tohoku area. Then, you will have the chance to try one of the Morioka’s most famous eating experiences: Wanko Soba. This is not so much a dish as it is an eating challenge. Many locals get competitive and strive to eat over 100 bowls of soba in one sitting! But don’t worry, there’s no shame in sitting back and enjoying the flavor. After lunch, visit to Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and to stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. Hiraizumi is now listed as a World Heritage site and is home to Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) within Chusonji Temple, which attempts to re-create an ideal Buddhism world. As such, it is host to an ensemble of exquisite "culture of gold" remnants from the brand of Buddhism that developed independently in the Tohoku region far away from the cultural center of Kyoto in the late Heian era of the 11th century. UNESCO has recognized this area as being a globally rare example of local culture to manifest on such a high level in the transitional period from the ancient era to the medieval period. Tonight we will stay in Matsushima where we will have dinner in the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be visiting Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of small islands covered in pine trees where we will explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. Matsushima is famous for being one of Japan's three most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate. The bay is dotted by over 200 small islands covered by pine trees. We will enjoy the best way to view the islands by boarding one of the sightseeing boats. After your cruise, we will stop by the Matsushima Fish Market, with fresh seafood of the highest quality. Be sure to visit the restaurants to try the famous Miyagi Oysters, known for their creamy and slightly nutty flavor. Many of the restaurants even offer all-you-can-eat oysters! We will then visit Godaido which overlooks the bay and has become a symbol of Matsushima. Godaido was enshrined by the same priest who founded the nearby Zuiganji temple – one of Tohoku’s most famous Zen temples – Date Masamune. At Zuiganji, you will be able to see golden sliding doors known as fusuma featured inside the temple.
After a Japanese breakfast at the ryokan, we will start a tour of Nikko. The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries been closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns. We will visit the lavishly decorated Toshogu Shrine set in a grove of magnificent ancient Japanese cedars. Then, visit Futarasan-Shrine and the Rinnoji complex of Buddhist temples founded in 766 BC by the Buddhist hermit Shoto. Next is a visit to the Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Waterfall. The almost 100 meter tall Kegon 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, along with Nachi Waterfall in Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Waterfall in Ibaraki Prefecture. In the evening, we will proceed to Tokyo for a night stay before your return flight on the next day.
Today you will have a free day in Tokyo. Tokyo is Japan's most well known and populated city. From pop culture or historic temples to relaxation or shopping, there is no shortage of things to do here! You are free to plan your own route or we are happy to provide suggestions. Tokyo is well known for its culinary diversity so we recommend that you take this opportunity to explore and find yourself some great eats! Lunch and dinner are not included today so you will be free to choose from the wide range Tokyo has to offer.
Today, you will visit Tsukiji Outer Market – a bustling
outdoor street market known
for its fresh and delicious seafood, produce, and
kitchenware. From there, we drive
by the Imperial Palace, which offers splendid views of
the meticulously maintained
front lawn and garden areas, the moat, and the old
stone walls. Next, enjoy a fun
and simple Sushi-Making Experience, where you can
enjoy creating your own
sushi, and eating it afterwards! Then, we visit Tokyo’s
oldest temple complex –
Asakusa Sensoji Temple, featuring the Kaminarimon
Gate, in which hangs an
enormous red lantern. Leading up to the temple is
Nakamise Street, which is lined
with shops selling all manner of Japanese souvenirs. At
the end of the day, we
ascend Tokyo Skytree to the observation deck, which
offers a panoramic 360-
degree view of the Tokyo cityscape.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
We will depart from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. Next, we will travel to Hakone, which is among Japan's most popular hot- spring resorts, and view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will take a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakundani. Most of the area around Owakundani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Now, you can experience hot springs and hot rivers there, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakundani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather. Next, take a Shinkansen bullet train ride for experience, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzaiji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Today we will head to Obara and visit the Obara Shikizakura Festival. Obara is the only place in Japan where you can see both the fiery red and orange autumn leaves and the soft pink cherry blossom at the same time. Shikizakura are a special kind of cherry tree that bloom twice a year: once in spring, and again just as the autumn leaves are at their best. At Obara Shikizakura Festival, we are able to enjoy this rare, incredibly beautiful, and fantastic scene. Then, we will continue on to Takayama. This city is located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to its remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and thus has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. We'll explore the old town of Takayama. Along the way you'll notice the huge cedar balls hanging from the eaves of several shops - these indicate that the shops are sake. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, the only traditional local government office in existence and a fine example of a miniature palace containing offices, an interrogation room with torture devices and a 440- year old rice granary.
This morning we'll enjoy the lively city market before heading to the World Heritage-listed rural area of Shirakawa-go. Shirakawa-go is home of the UNESCO designated gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri translates to "prayer hands", in which the roofs resemble hands in prayer. Visitors can see great views of Ogimachi Village from the Shiroyama Viewpoint. We will also tour the Gassho-zukuri Minkaen, an open air museum of farmhouses and other structures. From Shirakawa-go, we will depart to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. The name Kenrokuen literally means a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two- legged stone lantern that is iconic of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. We will then continue to Kyoto, a historical city that was spared from air raids and saved from the atomic bomb during World War II for its cultural and historical value.
After breakfast, we begin our tour of Kyoto – the center of Japan’s traditional culture. We first go to the Arashiyama district to see Tenryuji Temple. Tenryuji is most famous for its Zen Garden, which has been carefully maintained for centuries using the technique of “borrowed scenery” to create a breathtaking landscape. We continue from there to the Sagano Bamboo Forest, where towering stalks of bamboo packed close together create an otherworldly feeling of mystery and awe as you walk the path through the center. This area is also famous for their colorful autumn leaves. Next, we go to Kinkakuji Temple (also called the Golden Pavilion), which is one of Kyoto’s most coveted sights. Shimmering walls wrapped in gold leaf are reflected in the Mirror Pond below; look carefully to see the dainty phoenix sitting on the roof. Then experience a traditional Green Tea Ceremony – an elegant ritual of hospitality once accorded only to the social elite. The experience is made even more special as it is hosted by an elegant Maiko (an apprentice Geisha). After, tour Kiyomizu Temple, also known as the Temple of Pure Water, a celebrated landmark famed for its iconic three-story pagoda, large wooden stage offering a spectacular view, and trio of sacred springs pouring from the base of the main hall. We end our day in the Gion Geisha District, a heritage district where stone-paved streets are lined with exclusive ochaya (teahouses). While admiring the old- fashioned buildings, the fortunate visitor may spot Geisha or Maiko (Geisha apprentices) walking between these establishments.
Today, we travel to Fushimi Inari Shrine – the chief shrine of the thousands throughout the country dedicated to Inari, the Shinto deity of economic prosperity, rice, and foxes. What sets this shrine apart is the sight of thousands of bright vermillion “torii” gates that form long pathways through the forest covering sacred Mount Inari. Next, we will travel to the ancient city of Nara, where we will visit one of Japan’s most famous temples and an icon of the city: Todaiji Temple, which is home to the Great Buddha of Nara – a massive, seated image of Rushana-butsu, known as the “Cosmic Buddha”. Outside the temple, spend some time with the friendly wild deer of Nara Deer Park. These adorable creatures are largely accustomed to interacting with people, and some have even learned to bow when asking for the special deer crackers, which can be bought around the park. We go from there to Osaka to visit the colorful, neon-lit entertainment district of Dotonbori. This area is popularly known for being the heart of Osaka’s food culture. Osaka is known as the city of “Kuidaore” or “to eat until you drop”, and you will find Dotonbori to be filled with numerous eateries underneath large, eye-catching billboards, including the famed Glico “Running Man”. Lastly, make your way to Shinsaibashi, the largest shopping district in Osaka. Originally established during the Edo period, this historic district is now home to various modern retailers including jewelers, trendy boutiques, western clothing and footwear stores, even traditional kimono tailors.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
NOTE 3: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.
NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Otaru is a small harbor city in Hokkaido near Sapporo. There are various activities in Otaru, including food (especially seafood), sightseeing and shopping. There are many hills, including the very steep slope called Jigoku-Zaka, thus is a popular location for skiing and other sports. Otaru beer is also well known in Hokkaido, places like the Otaru Soko No. 1 Brewery is a popular place for beer lovers. The Otaru Canal is a very popular place for tourist to gather. The Otaru Canal is also one of the locations of the Snow Light Path Festival held every February, where the area is decorated in lights and small snow statues. Tourist can visit the various glass workshops and shop for famous Otaru glassware or even make their glassware. The Music Box Museum is one of the most popular destinations in Otaru, guests can explore the sea of music boxes in this Museum.
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
The Otaru Canal was employed by businesses to transport their merchandise to warehouses with smaller ships since the bigger ships could not directly unload their goods to their destinations. However, eventually there was no use for the smaller vessels when the facilities were modernized, making the use of canals less necessary. Now the area is a tourist attraction, during the day people take leisurely walks about the scenic route where there are museums, restaurants, and shops. Furthermore, Otaru Canal is the main site of the Snow Light Path Festival which is celebrated annually during February as a winter festival.
Otaru's famous blown glass factory.
The glass made in Otaru is refined and is made in many workshops that also offer hands-on experience for guests who take interest in making their own glassware for a fee. Otaru is located in the prefecture of Hokkaido, neighboring the city of Sapporo. Aside from glass workshops, there are also many cafés, restaurants, and other shops that also allow guests to admire and purchase their artistic glass.
A unique museum about Music Box.
Among the many shops found on Sakaimichi Street is the Otaru Music Box Museum. It not only displays various objects, but also sells a wide range of music boxes, some of which are more elaborate than others; some move and others light up along with their melody. Midst the various types of music boxes are some made from glass, wood, or even traditional Japanese fabric, some are fashioned after sushi or Western-themed concepts. These music boxes also carry different songs according to a collection that the establishment has at their disposable.
Located in Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo was once a dense forest with wildlife that included bears, deer, and wolves until its construction started in 1871. A man named Shima Yoshitake began the city’s development which eventually led to the current North American form it has as a grid-like system layout. Consequently, the northern and southern parts of the city are divided by the main boulevard called O-dori, which runs through the center of the city. Sapporo is known mostly for its beer, beer museum, dairy products, and its annual snow festival every February. One of the oldest standing structures established is the Sapporo Clock Tower, introduced by the North Americans, is now employed as a history museum. Dr. William Clark, a scholar from America, became one of the founders that established educational policies at the Sapporo Agricultural College. Later, this same college became the University of Hokkaido.
The symbol of Sapporo.
The Sapporo Clock Tower is a museum and a symbol of Sapporo’s city. Once used as a drill house for physical education and military training for the students in the Agricultural College, it now holds small displays of the origins of Sapporo’s development and local history. The clock itself was bought in 1881 from Boston, Massachusetts. Its appearance now consists of red roofs and white walls that stand out to people passing by this historical monument. It was once the tallest building when it was constructed, but is now overshadowed by the taller business buildings around it.
Pleasant public park in the city center.
Located in the center of Sapporo, running from east to west is Odori Park. It was supposed to be the main street separating Sapporo north from south as a fire break, but now represents the area holding the annual Snow Festival events. It has 92 types of trees and many flowerbeds, enough to attract tourists and locals for a relaxing time in its vicinity. For guests wishing for good views and photographs, there is the Sapporo TV Tower’s observation deck available to the public for a fee. The deck is especially popular during the Snow Festival’s events held every February.
Sapporo's entertainment district.
Nightlife plans for guests in Sapporo might include activities like hitting the pachinko machines, nightclubs, bars, karaoke, and restaurants. If that is the case, it will probably lead them to Sapporo’s biggest entertainment neighborhood, Susukino, which is similar to Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red light district. As such, it should not come as a surprise that expenses might run a little higher here than in other parts of the city. Susukino is one of the sites that hosts the annual Snow Festival held every February in Sapporo. Genghis Khan nabe, or Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho are local foods recommended to all.
Open air museum about Hokkaido.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido is a restored area based of what remained from the Meiji era and Taisho era. It is now an open-air museum with shops, households, and horse-drawn trams that run through the village. It displays various buildings and shops that were once constructed during Hokkaido’s growing development, including 60 different buildings from all over this northern island. It is also a place where many who lost their positions in the Edo Shogunate went to start their lives anew, especially samurai. It is located in the suburbs of Sapporo. It consists residential, mountainous, fishing, and agricultural zones.
Museum of the Sapporo Beer Breweries.
Sapporo is considered the birthplace of beer in Japan since it started manufacturing beer in the Meiji Period. The building for the Sapporo Beer Museum was originally used as the Sapporo Sugar Company around 1890. Then, it was employed as a location for the cleaning process of barley leaves that were used to make beer in 1965. Finally, it was made into a brewery and, then, the museum that now has two neighboring beer gardens. There are tasting lounges and tours offered at the Sapporo Beer Museum for a fee, though there are few signs containing English for foreign guests.
Shiraoi is a small town in Hokkaido Prefecture. Though officially established in the mid-1800s by the lords of Sendai during the feudal era, this coastal town’s history goes back even further as a former settlement of the native Ainu. In recognition of this dual heritage, the town has constructed the Ainu Museum, which celebrates the language, history, culture, and legacy of the Ainu, through various exhibits and demonstrations for nearly every aspect of daily Ainu life. The museum apparently has collected over five thousand various folk items related to the Ainu people. Shiraoi is also noted for its beautiful nature, especially Lake Kuttara, which, according to Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, is one of Japan’s clearest lakes. Shiraoi wagyu beef is a famous local product, with local farms of black Japanese cattle scattered around the nearby countryside.
A replacement facility for the old “Porotokan” Ainu Museum, this newer exhibit space works to further expand visitors’ understanding of the Ainu People.
Initially opened in 1990, the Porotokan Ainu Museum was dedicated to cataloging, preserving, and teaching the history and culture of the original native peoples of Hokkaido: the Ainu people. In 2018, however, the Porotokan closed down in order to clear the way for the new and expanded National Ainu Museum. This newer museum’s philosophy is based on the ideals of multicultural coexistence and presents various exhibits divided into six separate Ainu-centered themes: history, language, lifestyle, livelihood, worldview, and trade with other peoples. The museum is one building in a larger facility called Upopoy (“singing in a large group” in Ainu language). This facility includes, in addition to the museum, a National Park near Lake Poroto, and a Memorial Site for deceased Ainu.
Noboribetsu is located in southwestern Hokkaido along the southern coast of Hokkaido. Noboribestu is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is located in southwestern Hokkaido. This place is known throughout Hokkaido and hosts Hokkaido’s best-known hot spring resort. Surrounding the area is a forest and if visitors wish to, they can travel to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are numerous outdoor activities within the park which include hiking, hot springs, camping, boat tours on the lakes, canoeing, and many other activities. Noboribetsu is also home to the famous Noboribestu Jigokudani. The Jigokudani (or known as “Hell Valley”) is just above the town, this valley is the number one destination for nature lovers making a visit to Noboribestu.
Hell valley - displaying volcanic activities.
There are many hot springs in Japan, one of which is located in Hokkaido with the name of Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley.” The very characteristics of the valley itself justify the name given to the location. Other physical features of the valley include its crater foundation that is more than a kilometer and half all around.
Lake Toya is located southwest of Sapporo, at the center of the lake are four islands called Nakajima. On the island called O-shima, which is the largest of the four islands, is the Toyako Forest Museum. Kannon-jima used to enshrine a sculpture of Kannon, Goddess of Mercy, from the Edo Period, but now there is just the temple in its place. Benten-jima is connected to Kannon-jima by a sandbank called Toppmoshiri. Benzaiten, Goddess of everything that flows like music, time, water, speech, rivers and knowledge, is enshrined on the island. Manju-jima is off limits to casual visitors because it is known for having many vipers thus it is called “Snake Island.” Another thing you can do around Lake Toya is rent out bicycles and pass by sculptures surrounding the lake shore.
A young volcano standing next to Usuzan.
Showa Shinzan Mountain is known as one of the youngest mountains in Japan. The young mountain rose from what once was a field of wheat in the years 1943 until 1945. Before it stopped growing in 1945, a nearby postmaster recorded the frequent earthquakes leading up to Showa Shinzan’s current form. Eventually, his records were turned in and are now placed on display for visitors to read at the Mimatsu Memorial Museum. Visitors planning on observing Showa Shinzan in a different angle can ride the Usuzan Ropeway and have a bird’s eye view of the young mountain.
A volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years.
Mount Usu, Japan’s most active volcano. The unusual thing with Mount Usu is that it does not spew out tons of lava, but instead forms new landmarks. The rise of volatile magma creates the lava domes as well as the crypto domes. There are several walking trails that can be taken to see the destruction left behind. There are also wrecked houses, confection factory, telephone poles, cars and other buildings that remain there to educate individuals on the destructive power of volcanoes. The trail then leads to the craters where you can still see steam emitting from the fissures.
Shikabe is a town that borders the north of Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. Shikabe is home to the Shikabe Kanketsusen Park, which is a park that has a geyser. There are only a few geysers located in Japan, so this place is a popular destination for visitors to experience. There is a natural hot spring foot bath nearby so people can relax while they wait for the geyser to erupt. Every August the Shikabe Sea and Hot Springs Festival is held in Shikabe. The festival celebrates summer and holds a beautiful fireworks show at night.
Experience making home cooked meals from freshly caught seafood.
The Shikabe Hot Springs Tourism Association has classes available for visitors wishing to learn more about Shikabe cuisine. Guests are able to go out on catch their own fish or shellfish in some of the offered classes. Guests are shown how to prepared the food and cook it in Shikabe style from the locals.
Hakodate is a port city and is the third largest city in Hokkaido. It was one of the first ports to be open to foreign trade and the influences of other countries can be shown in the Motomachi area of the city. The architecture still survives even after the 1934 Great Hakodate Fire, which destroyed over 11,000 buildings and World War II bombings. The night view from Mount Hakodate is one of the top tourist spots people go to and is the symbol of the city. Since Hakodate is a port town there is a place called the morning market where you can buy a plethora of fresh seafood and other delectable items. Hakodate is a city of cultural importance that not only reflects the past, but possibilities of the future. As the gateway to Hokkaido it would be a great place to stop and visit all the sites.
Japan's first Western style fortress.
The Goryokaku Fort was first built over a hundred years ago, this established structure held the magistrate’s office where Hokkaido was administered and was the first western-styled stronghold of its kind in Japan. The fort was not always affiliated to military, once it lost its importance for military self-defense, it was employed as a park in 1910. This area is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in early May because it has more than a thousand trees blooming there each year. An observation tower is also available for public use to view the grounds from above.
One of the Japan's three best night views.
Known as “Lying Cow” for its shape, Mount Hakodate offers one of the best views from its summit some 334 meters high, overlooking both sea and land. The views that can be seen from Mount Hakodate include the peninsulas located south from the summit, the Tsugaru and Shimokita Peninsulas belonging to Aomori Prefecture. In addition to the peninsular views, the night time and daytime views in either direction are popular among the tourists, so tourists need only worry about the observation deck and ropeway operational times when visiting Mount Hakodate.
Aomori is the capital city of the Aomori Prefecture. Before the Seikan Tunnel opened, the main method of traveling to Hokkaido was by ferry departing from Aomori. There is plenty to do in this city, from museums to aquariums, and to the famous Nebuta Festival held every August. The Nebuta Festival is a summer festival held every year at the beginning of August, this festival features large lantern floats, music, drums, and dancers. If the loud festival crowds do not appeal to visitors, then they can visit the many museums like the Aomori Museum of Art or the Aomori Asamushi Aquarium. There is plenty of places to scope out food like the Furukawa Fish Market or Auga Fish Market for the fresh seafood.
The longest railroad tunnel in the world that goes under water.
The Seikan Undersea Tunnel is one of the world’s longest and deepest undersea tunnel in the world. Originally opened for operation in 1988, this long undersea tunnel connects Hokkaido to the rest of mainland Japan by train. Prior to the tunnel, ferries were the most used mode of transportation to travel to Hokkaido.
A well done museum about the Nebuta Matsuri.
Nebuta Wa Rasse is a museum dedicated to the history of the Nebuta Matsuri and allows visitors to see the floats all year round. The museum will displays approximately 300 years of Nebuta festivities on display followed by pictures of floats and the participants of the celebrations. The museum building itself holds floats where visitors can view the details of the huge structures that were used in previous parades, though they change them out every year.
Towada is a city located in the Aomori Prefecture. The local attractions that many visitors come to experience include the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, the Oirase River, or the Towada Art Center. This area is known for its beautiful autumn scenery and colors. Tourist can visit the beautiful Oirase Stream which is ranked as one of the top 100 Soundscapes of Japan. The beautiful Lake Towada is a popular destination and the Matsumi Falls is ranked as one of the top 100 Waterfalls in Japan.
Barely developed caldera lake.
Lake Towada is a large lake located in Towada in the Aomori Prefecture. During autumn, Lake Towada is a popular destination for tourist to experience the beautiful colors of autumn in Japan. Attractions include the Towada Shrine, a small museum of nature, and the sightseeing boats. The ferry cruises on Lake Towada gives visitors a up close view of the beautiful lake.
A picturesque mountain stream.
The Oirase Mountain Stream is located in Towada in the Aomori Prefecture. Visitors can walk the trail that runs along the stream, the trail is about 9 kilometers long (about 5.5 miles) and takes about two to three hours to complete one way. This stream features over a dozen of beautiful waterfalls that can be viewed from the trail, and is a popular destination for nature lovers, especially during the autumn season.
Morioka is the capital of Iwate Prefecture and is known for their various noodle dishes like Wanko Soba. In the background of the city is the active volcano Mount Iwate. One of the best places to see the mountain is from Kaiunbashi Bridge in Morioka. Mount Iwate is considered one of the 100 Most Beautiful Mountains in Japan. Morioka is also famous for the different types of noodles they have like the Wanko Soba, Reimen, and Jajamen.
One of the Tohoku's most popular autumn leaves viewing spots (National Historic Site).
In 1906, the Morioka Castle ruins were open to the public as Iwate Park. The Morioka Castle Site Park is now a popular spot for the cherry blossom and autumn seasons. At its centennial celebration the name of the site changed from Iwate Park to Morioka Castle Site Park to commemorate its history.
Wanko-soba (buckwheat noodles) is the local cuisine of Iwate and is eaten in a very unique and entertaining manner.
Wanko-soba (buckwheat noodles) is the local cuisine of Iwate and is eaten in a very unique and entertaining manner. As soon as you finish the first bowlful, a server flings a fresh ball of noodles into the empty bowl with a wild cry and keeps on filling it until you have had enough! Only about a mouthful of noodles is served each time, so if you are an adult male you should be able to eat about 50-60 bowls. Some say that this tradition stems from when landowners hospitably served their guests until they were full. It is now known throughout Japan as a specialty of Morioka and Hanamaki. The trick to eating a lot is to slurp it down without chewing. National championships are held every year in Morioka and Hanamaki, so if you are confident of your appetite, why not take up the challenge?
Hiraizumi was once the home of the powerful Northern Fujiwara Clan and rivaled Kyoto as a city during the Heian Period. In 2011 Hiraizumi was inscribed as one of Japan’s World Heritage sites. Because of their representation of the Buddhist teachings of Amida, Hiraizumi is a reflection of a world centered on peace and harmony. Hiraizumi is located within the Iwate Prefecture of the northeastern region of Tohoku. It was once part of the ancient Mutsu Province. It was also the place where the Northern Fujiwara Branch thrived for nearly 100 years. For those 100 years Hiraizumi was in a Golden age of economic and political grandeur. Also it served as the capital of Oshu. Visitors can expect to receive a great cultural experience from the many temples and learn some history from this historical site.
Hiraizumi's most famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Iwate Prefecture’s Chusonji Temple was built on the Kanzan Hill, which is why it is also commonly referred to as the Kanzan Chusonji Temple. The grounds originally had many buildings created like pagodas, temples, and halls, however, only two of the buildings remain standing. One of these structures is called Kyozo Hall, which holds Buddhist scripture. The second building is called Konjikido, which is covered in gold and is often compared to the famous golden pavilion located in Kyoto.
Matsushima is famous for having one of the most scenic views in Japan and is located half an hour away from Sendai. Matsushima is located half an hour away from Sendai the largest city in Miyagi Prefecture. It is also a Prefectural National Park on top of being a city. Matsushima has 260 small and large islands located 10 kilometers away from the city, which are covered by pine trees. There are a couple of islands that can be reached by a bridge and is open to the public. Near the pier of Matsushima is the Godaido, a small temple hall, which has become the symbol of the town. Matsushima Bay is one of the top three most scenic places within all of Japan.
One of Japan's three most scenic views.
Matsushima Bay has been known as one of the top most scenic places in all of Japan for many years. Without a doubt the most popular and best way to see the bay is by boat cruises. There are many cruises available for visitors to ride on to experience one of Japan’s best scenic views.
Visit a popular indoor fish market with stalls selling top quality seafood and with restaurants offering all-you-can-eat Miyagi Oysters.
The Matsushima Fish Market is a popular location for guests to enjoy local seafood specialties and shop for all of their seafood needs. Run by a captain who owns 7 large tuna fishing boats, visitors will find several kinds of fresh seafood being sold. As an indoor market, guests will find several stalls selling their products on the first floor, whether it be ingredients to cook with or live fish. Another popular aspect of the market, and Matsushima in general, are the Miyagi Oysters, known for their creamy and slightly nutty flavor. You will also find food vendors at the market, which serve these Miyagi Oysters as an all-you-can-eat treat for a low price. Because the water near Matsushima is rich with nutrients, their seafood is considered to be one of the highest quality in Japan. The market also holds tuna cutting shows every month as well as other events. Be sure to give the fresh tuna or the Miyagi Oysters a try, whether you prefer them raw, steamed, or fried, there is something for everyone. Even if you're not a fan of seafood, there are several other foods offered at the market including rice bowls, sushi, and even ramen.
Small temple hall and symbol of Matsushima.
Godaido serves as a symbol of Matsushima since it is a on an islet of the bay in Miyagi Prefecture, which is known for its cruises and natural scenery. Inside the temple itself are five statues that are presented to the public once every 33 years. The small island is connected a short, red bridge that gives the scenery a particularly attractive elegance to the temple’s surrounding environment. Admission to this temple is free, however it does close in the evenings.
One of Tohoku's most famous Zen temples.
One of the most distinguished temples of the Tohoku region is the Zuiganji Temple. The temple is so notable that it has been received as a national treasure in Japan; particularly special places are the main hall with golden sliding doors, the Kuri of the main hall, the “Gate of Honor”, and the “Inner gates” are some examples. Visitors going to the temple can also visit the museum called Seiryuden, also called the Zuiganji Art Museum, where many artifacts and some temple treasures are displayed, in particular a wooden statue of an armored Date Masamune.
Nikko is a city that developed around the temples that were established in the 8th century. The shrines and temples of Nikko were inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1999 for its breathtaking sceneries, magnificent craftsmanship and cultural impact. The 103 structures and nature surrounding area of Nikko is a World Heritage Site, however the most famous are the Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine and Rinnoji Temple. The Toshogu Shrine is home to the famous carving of the “See no Evil, Hear no Evil and Speak no Evil” monkeys. The Futarasan Shrine was the first Shinto shrine built and is comprised of smaller reliquaries that embody the fusion of man with nature much like the city Nikko itself. The Rinnoji Temple, which was built in 766, provided solitude for monks because of its location deep in the mountains.
Lavish mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Nikko is famous for the Toshogu Shrine, which holds the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the famous founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled for over 200 years (1603-1868). The original resting place for Tokugawa Ieyasu was much simpler in design that it is today. The construction was carried out in accordance to his father’s will by Ieyasu’s son, Hidetaba Tokugawa, in 1617. However, it was later expanded to its modern size by Ieyasu’s grandson, Tokugawa Iemitsu. The dozens of buildings were built with grandiose designs, unique with its brightly- colored carvings of animals and various types of images.
Dedicated to Nikko's sacred mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Futarasan Shrine is situated next to Toshogu Shrine and is dedicated to the three deities of Nikko’s sacred mountains. The shrine is dedicated to the three deities of the sacred mountains in Nikko. This refers to Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro, which are known as the most sacred mountains in the area. When entering the Futarasan Shrine area there is a place to the left of the haiden (offering hall) which can only be accessed by paying a nominal fee. Inside the paid area is a small garden, spring, old sacred trees and a couple of more halls.
Nikko's most important temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Rinnoji Temple is the family temple of the Date Clan, who ruled Sendai for many generations until the Meiji Restoration. The outer appearance of the entrance is not too spectacular, which is odd since Date Masamune favored the Momoyama style. Appearances can be deceiving because once you pass the main hall you will be greeted by Japanese style garden and three story pagoda. Visitors can stroll around the garden taking in the quiet serenity and sit on a few of the benches to relax. The trees, flowers, and plants have been meticulously maintained and the koi adds to the picturesque scenery.
One of Japan's three most beautiful falls.
Kegon Waterfall is listed as one of the three most beautiful falls in Japan along with Nachi Waterfall in Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Waterfall in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is located in Nikko and is the most famous waterfall out of the many in the area. Kegon Waterfall is about 100 meters high and is the only exit for the waters of Lake Chuzenji to exit from. The best time to see the waterfall would be in the autumn season. The surrounding foliage of Kegon Waterfall painted in fall hues is a sight not to miss.
Lake at the foot of Mount Nantai.
Lake Chuzenji is located in the mountains near Nikko at the foot of Mount Nantai and is beautiful around the autumn season. On the eastern side of the lake is a small hot spring town called Chuzenjiko Onsen. From mid to late October the nature around Lake Chuzenji is very attractive. It is around this time that the autumn colors of the trees reach their peak. Since Lake Chuzenji is a scenic body of water there is a hiking trail that goes around the entire area. It is also possible to enjoy the scenery by going on a sightseeing boat that departs from the onsen town.
Tokyo is the number one destination for tourist bound for Japan. It is the number one most populated, the biggest city, and is the capital of Japan. From shopping to sightseeing, this city offers everything that tourist want to see. There are a number of places to see the entire city, tourist can visit the Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower to get a breathtaking view of the city. For shopping, visitors can head to the most popular areas such as Ginza, Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, or Shinjuku. There are also many museums available such as the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Tokyo National Museum. This modern city still has many parks, temples, and shines for anyone interested in a cultural experience.
Visit a famous Japanese market filled with fresh fish and agricultural products, plus delicious dishes.
The outer Tsukiji Fish Market offers a variety of freshly prepared food products and ingredients. Travel in between the different stores and taste a few of their dishes, freshly prepared with some of the best ingredients.
Main residence of the Imperial Family.
The Imperial Palace is located in the center of Tokyo, only a short walk away from Tokyo station. The palace is home to the current Imperial Family. The inner grounds of the palace is not open to the public, except on January 2nd and December 23rd where guests are able to enter and see the current members of the Imperial Family from a balcony. Visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.
Learn how to make and prepare fresh sushi for yourself in Japan.
Take a lesson from an expert and prepare fresh sushi. Experience the difference in the taste of Japanese-grown ingredients. Then, enjoy eating your masterpiece for lunch after completing your sushi lesson.
Buddhist temple with souvenir shopping street, an atmosphere of old Tokyo.
The Sensoji Temple located in Asakusa is one of the most popular Buddhist temples to visit. The temple was built and completed in the year 645 and is Tokyo’s oldest temple. The surrounding area offers shopping for souvenirs and food. The Sanja Festival is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals and is held every May at Asakusa Temple.
World's tallest stand-alone communication tower.
The Tokyo Skytree is Japan’s tallest structure ever built and the world’s second tallest structure ever built at the time of its completion. Located not too far from Asakusa, this 634 meter tall tower is now one of the most popular destinations for visitors. The main observatory is 350 meters high and the second observation deck is 450 meters high and both offer a breathtaking view of the city.
The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters above sea level, and is located more or less in the center of Japan, stretching over Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Its elegant conical form has frequently been depicted in many paintings and literary works since ancient times. Many artists have been captivated by the diverse expressions shown by this mountain depending on the season, or depending on the time of the day, whether in the morning or early evening. It is widely believed that Mt. Fuji is unparalleled worldwide as a mountain that has so frequently been narrated, sung in verse, and drawn.
Great view of the Fuji Five Lakes area below.
Mt. Fuji is a widely-known symbol of Japan. At 3,773 meters, Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain. “Station (gome)” is the unit representing one tenth of the length from the trail entrance to the top.The fifth station Mt. Fuji is the fifth point from the base at the height of 2,305 meter. Being the end of the Fuji Subaru Line toll road and the highest point that general cars can reach. From the observatory you can see below Komitake Shrine, an ancient place for prayer that has been visited by worshippers and disciplinant, and Yamanaka-ko, the largest lake among the five Fuji lakes.
Hakone is located in Kanagawa Prefecture and is only about two hours away from Tokyo. Hakone is park of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is a popular destination for tourist. Hakone is famous in Japan for its hot springs and beautiful natural views. Visitors can go to the many hot spring resorts to relax and unwind or visit the many museums and shrines available. Guests that would appreciate nature more could go to the parks and trails to experience the natural beauty.
An aerial lift that provides nice views of Mount Fuji and Lake Hakone.
One of the most popular ways to get around Hakone is by taking the Hakone Ropeway. The ropeway travels between Sounzan and Togendai. The Hakone Ropeway gives visitors a beautiful view of Hakone and on a clear day, it is possible to get a nice view of Mount Fuji as well.
Sulfurous vapors and warm rivers.
Owakudani is located in Hakone and is an area around a crater where gaseous fumes, hot springs, and hot rivers exist. Just like most of Hakone, on a clear day, it is possible to see Mount Fuji as well. There are hiking trails available for guests, but these trails are difficult for inexperience hikers.
Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country's major cities. Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen and are operated by Japan Railways (JR). The shinkansen network consists of multiple lines, among which the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka) is the oldest and most popular. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Most lines are served by multiple train categories, ranging from the fastest category that stops only at major stations to the slowest category that stops at every station along the way.
High-speed railway at speeds up to 300 km/hr.
The shinkansen (or "bullet train") is a type of high speed train that travels between most of the major cities in Japan. By taking the shinkansen, trips between destinations that might take almost a full day by car can be reached in a few hours. The bullet trains can run up to 320 kilometers per hour (close to 200 miles per hour), and are known to be generally on time, comfortable and safe.
Obara was a village located in Aichi Prefecture, Obara was well known as the home of traditional Japanese "Washi" mulberry paper. Obara Village was created on July 1, 1906 through the merger of the hamlets of Kiyohara, Honjo, Fukuhara and Toyohara. On April 1, 2005, Obara, along with the town of Fujioka (also from Nishikamo District), the towns of Asuke, Asahi and Inabu, and the village of Shimoyama (all from Higashikamo District), was merged into the expanded city of Toyota, and has ceased to exist as an independent municipality. Obara is the only place in Japan where 10,000 rare shikizakura (四季桜, "four- seasons-cherry blossom") cherry trees grow, which bloom twice a year in spring and autumn. These trees are said to have originated in the early 1800s when the samurai physician Fujimoto Genseki was presented with one of those trees from a temple in Nagoya.
The Obara Shikizakura Festival is a marvelous opportunity to enjoy cherry blossoms and autumn leaves together in one place.
Discover the Obara Shikizakura Festival, a special fall festival where the bright fall leaves find a unique pairing with the local variety of cherry blossoms. Known locally as Shikizakara, or “four-seasons cherry tree”, these special trees create a scene as enchanting as any sakura park in Tokyo and as rare as the early-blooming Kawazu cherry. This particular kind of cherry tree blooms twice a year: once in spring with the rest of Japan, and once more in autumn, coming in around the same time as the brilliant autumn leaves. Mid-November in Obara Fureai Park brings a celebration that includes delicious snack food stalls, with taiko drumming and various other events amid a fantastic scene of contrasting colors. Although the park is the center of Obara’s festival scene, over ten thousand Shikizakura trees are planted around town. Their delicate pink petals against the fiery background of the autumn leaves is a stunning and unforgettable scene.
The city of Takayama is located within the Hida mountain region in the Gifu Prefecture. This city is one of the top destinations for tourist wishing to explore a touch of rural Japan. The old town of Takayama is one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved area of historic buildings and houses that date back to the Edo period.
Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers.
Every morning in Takayama there are two morning markets set up for tourist to visit. Both markets are well within walking distance from Takayama station. In front of the Takayama Jinya is the Jinya-Mae Market and along the Miyagawa River in the old town section is the Miyagawa Market. Guests can enjoy shopping for goods such as small crafts, foods, snacks and flowers.
The former local government office.
Located by only a ten minute walk away from Takayama Station is the Takayama Jinya. The Takayama Jinya was once the former local government office until the year 1969, but now has been turned into a museum. Guests can see the various items on display such as past official documents and other historical items in this museum.
Beautifully preserved old town.
One of the most popular attractions for visitors in Takayama is the old town district. Many of the buildings and houses in this area have been preserved since the Edo Period. There are many shops, sake breweries, tea houses, and even some homes open for the public to enjoy.
Shirakawa-Go is located within the Shogawa River Valley and listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Hertiage Site. This popular rural area is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses and some of the farmhouses are up to 250 years old. Many of the villages located here offer plenty of sightseeing and different experiences for guests. Many of the famous farmhouses offer minshuku, or a farmhouse stay where guests can experience an overnight homestay at a gassho-zukuri farmhouse.
Scenery from the Shiroyama Viewpoint overlooking the entire settlement.
Ogimachi Village is part of Shirakawa-Go, which is one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ogimachi is Shirakawa-Go’s largest village and the most popular destination for visitors. One of the most popular attractions available for visitors is the Shiroyama Viewpoint. This place is only about a twenty minute walk from the village center and offers a beautiful view of Ogimachi.
Open air museum about the historic gassho (praying hands) farm houses.
An open air museum that exhibits farmhouses and other structures relocated to Ogimachi in order to save them from destruction
Kanazawa is the capital city of the Ishikawa Prefecture and has many attractions available for visitors to enjoy. Kanazawa was one of Japan’s cities to avoid any bombing runs from air raids during the Second World War, thus hosts a number of historic attractions. Guests can enjoy a number of museums, gardens, temples, shrines, and other interesting districts.
One of the three most famous gardens in Japan.
Located in Kanazawa is the Kenrokuen Garden, which is one of Japan’s most famous and three most beautiful landscape gardens. The garden is especially beautiful during the plum blossom season and cherry blossom season with the different flowers that bloom as well. This garden is also a popular location to view the fall colors during autumn. Nearby are plenty of attractions including restaurants, shops, and the popular Kanazawa Castle.
Kyoto was once the old capital of Japan and is filled with historic temples, shrines, buildings, and other structures. Kyoto is filled with many temples and shrines such as the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Golden Pavilion. It is also home of the Gion Festival, which is the most famous festival in Japan. Kyoto is the number two destination for tourist bound for Japan, and is the number one destination for tourist looking for a full Japanese cultural experience.
Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
Arashiyama is located on the western outskirts of Kyoto and is a well-known destination for both the cherry blossoms and fall colors seasons. North of the famous Togetsukyo Bridge is Sagano, and together they make this place a nice little getaway from temples and shrines to enjoy nature. Popular destinations include the Togetsukyo Bridge and the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama.
Zen Temple in the Arashiyama district (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Located in the Arashiyama district in Kyoto, the Tenryu- Ji Temple is Arashiyama’s most popular temple. The temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The original buildings of Tenryu-Ji Temple was lost many times throughout its history, except for Tenryu-Ji’s garden. The Tenryu-Ji Temple Zen Garden that visitors see today is the original garden and landscape.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors in Arashiyama.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. A nice walking path takes visitors through the groves of bamboos. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is also one of the most famous and photographed places in all of Kyoto and brings many visitors every year during the autumn color season.
Temple building covered in gold (National Special Historic Site).
The famous Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Temple is located in northern Kyoto and is most known for the building covered in gold leaf. This famous building is the number one most popular destination for tourist visiting Kyoto. The Golden Pavilion sits overlooking a large pond and various small attractions and shops are available for visitors.
Experience a live interaction with a maiko. Drink tea, asking her questions, take a photo!
Take the chance of interacting with a maiko while drinking tea, ask her about her profession, training, and lifestyle. What is different between her life and other girls in Japan? Drink a cup of tea with her, and fulfill some of your curiosity, and even take a picture with her.
Temple famous for its large wooden terrace (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The Kiyomizu-Dera Temple is located only 15 minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station to the eastern side of Kyoto. This temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto and is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple features a large wooden terrace that offers a fantastic view of the cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn colors during the fall season with the city of Kyoto in the background.
Kyoto's most famous geisha district.
Located only 20 minutes away by bus from Kyoto Station, is the Gion Geisha District. The Gion Geisha District is one of the most famous and popular destinations for tourist visiting Kyoto. This area is filled with restaurants, teahouses, shops, and other attractions to entertain guests. The machiya merchant houses along with river and the occasional geisha walking around, brings visitors from everywhere to experience everything that this area has to offer.
One of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto.
The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Grand Shrine is located in southern Kyoto and is one of the most famous and visited shrines in Kyoto. This shrine is only five minutes away from Kyoto Station by train, and features over a thousand vermillion colored torii gates that brings many tourist to this shrine every year.
The city of Nara was once known as the first capital established in Japan. Nara is located only less than an hour away from both Kyoto and Osaka. Nara is home to some of Japan’s oldest, largest, and historic temples. The landmark and symbol of Nara is the Todaiji Temple, which was built in the 7th century. One the most popular attractions is Nara Park where visitors come every day to see the wild deer that roam free throughout the park.
One of Japan’s most historic and famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Located north of Nara Park is one of Japan’s most historic and famous temple called the Todai-Ji Temple. This temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple’s main hall named Daibutsuden, is the largest wooden building in the world. It is home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha siting at fifteen meters tall.
Over 1,000 Sika deer roam free.
Located in central Nara is Nara Park, it is one of the most famous and popular parks in Japan. The park is famous and popular because it is home to over one thousand deer. The deer roam freely throughout the park and visitors are able to get up close and feed the deer as well. This park is conveniently located near most of Nara’s main tourist destinations, which include Todai-Ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofuku-Ji Temple, and the Nara National Museum.
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan in terms of size located not too far from Kyoto. This city is one of the top three destinations for tourist visiting Japan after Tokyo and Kyoto. Osaka is the location of the popular Universal Studios Japan, Osaka castle, and Namba. There is plenty to experience in Osaka, from shopping to visiting temples and shrines, Osaka has plenty of destinations to experience Japan.
Shopping, food, and entertainment district, perfect for last minute shopping.
Shinsaibashi is Osaka’s main and most popular shopping center. This crowded area is full of stores that cover everything from clothes to food and entertainment. Nearby this busy shopping center is also the famous entertainment district called Namba. This area also is full of restaurants and shops as well.
Chitose (Day 1)
Western Style Accommodation
Located just a five minute walk from JR Chitoise station and a 10 minute drive from the airport, the hotel offers guests comfort and convenience. The in- house restaurant serves up traditional Japanese dishes. However, if you are in the mood for other cuisines, just step out of the hotel and you will find numerous restaurants and bars where you can indulge with your favorite cuisine or drink.
Sapporo (Day 2)
Western Style Accommodation
This modern luxury hotel and resort, situated in the northernmost major city of Japan, is a landmark for opulence and leisure. Guests will enjoy a location that is just a short walk from the Sapporo Subway Station and an additional six minutes from the JR Sapporo Station. ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo is an ideal choice for guests who want a central location close to public transport links and a vast selection of on- site facilities as well as first class professional service.
Noboribetsu Onsen (Day 3)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Noboribetsu Manseikaku is standing at the entrance of Hokkaido's famous hot-springs Resort, Noboribetsu Onsen and promises the stay in comfort and relaxation. It is the modern style ryokan which offers genuine courtesy services.
Hakodate (Day 4)
Western Style Accommodation
Four Points By Sheraton Hakodate (formerly Loisir Hotel Hakodate) combines top notch accommodation essentials with a fantastic location in Hakodate, Hokkaido. From the grand views offered by its restaurant and bar area, to the warm guestrooms, you won't be disappointed. Step beyond this Hakodate hotel's walls and you will find yourself right in the city centre.
Lake Towada (Day 5)
Western Style Accommodation
Towadako Lake View Hotel is a Western style resort hotel located by the side of Lake Towada and 5 minutes walk from Yasumitai. It is a very calm and gentle resort with views of the lake. The restaurant and the tea lounge also offer a great view of the lake in any season.
Matsushima (Day 6)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Hotel Taikanso is located on the highland overlooking Matsushima bay in the three most famous scenic places in Japan. The largest resort hotel sprawls atop a plateau surrounded by pine- covered hills and offers the best views in town. Matsushima's splendid view are enjoyed from the observatory public bath, open-air bath, lobby and several other locations in the hotel.
Nasu (Day 7)
Western Style Accommodation
Surrounded by a forest and an expansive pasture, this stylish, Northern Italian-style hotel is wrapped in the verdant, peaceful bosom of nature. The baths use water from the hotel's own constant and free-flowing hot spring.
Tokyo (Day 8, Day 9 & Day 10)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is located 3 minutes by foot from Ikebukuro Station, a massive terminal with eight different subway and JR lines. From the station, over 17 round trip buses depart to both Narita and Haneda International Airports each day, assuring convenience for guests arriving by or planning to make a transfer by air. When setting off from the hotel, guests can easily reach popular attractions such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and Ikebukuro Café, a unique space where visitors can play with owls and other animals.
Hamanako Kanzanji Onsen (Day 11)
Japanese Style Accommodation
The Hamanako is a resort hotel that's located on the east side of Lake Hamana and you can enjoy the lake view from all rooms. It was boldly renovated mainly around the lobby in 2012, and re-opened with grand renewal including an open-air bath and a large public bath. The onsen (hot spring) at The Hamanako is an original springhead "Yuto Onsen" which gushes out from 500 meters underground.
Takayama (Day 12)
Hotel Associa Takayama Resort soars on the Takayama
highland at 640 meters above sea level.
You can experience living with nature and have an irreplaceable time. Every room of the hotel has magnificent views of the Northern Japanese Alps. Spa Wing-onsen or Hot Spring Baths features 'Ten'- no-yu or Sky bath (7th floor) and 'bou'-no-yu or Overlooking bath (5th floor). There are ten outdoor baths and two indoor baths which have fine hot spring water of the highlands. Here, you can enjoy a variety of warmth within the Hida Takayama highland hot springs.
Kyoto (Day 13 & Day 14)
Western Style Accommodation
Just 5 minutes from Kyoto Station on the free shuttle, Kyoto Tokyu Hotel features 3 restaurants, a bar and a fitness gym. The modern rooms have Tempur comfort pillows and a satellite LCD TV. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. All rooms are air-conditioned and include a fridge and an electric kettle. Guests are entitled to complimentary access to the on-site fitness centre. All guest rooms are non-smoking, while there is a designated smoking area on site.
Kansai (Day 15)
Western Style Accommodation
Located within the Kansai Airport's Aeroplaza a short walk from both passenger terminal and train station, the Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport combines superb convenience with world-class facilities and the famed hospitality of Nikko Hotels International. With its seafront setting and harmonious design, this is a hotel with the ambience of a resort-yet with direct access to Osaka and the entire Kansai region. The local area also offers a number of attractions, including Rinku Park, Rinku Premium Outlets and Nakami Shrine.
Osaka (Day 15)
Western Style Accommodation
Located in the Umeda city centre, Hotel Elsereine Osaka features stylish accommodation and plenty fresh flowers. This completely non-smoking hotel offers 3 dining options, and comes with a concert hall with a grand piano and a meeting space. JR Osaka Train Station is a 10-minute walk, and the JR Kita-shinchi Train Station is a 5- minute walk away. Universal Studios Japan is a 25-minute train ride away, and Osaka Castle is a 30-minute train ride away from Osaka Hotel Elsereine. Umeda Station is a 10-minute walk away from the property.
PLEASE NOTE: These are the hotels All Japan Tours generally uses on the touring styles and regions shown. There is no guarantee that you will stay in the lodgings listed on the website. We encourage you to check your travel documentation for confirmation of the exact accommodation you will be staying in.
Hokkaido (Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Shikabecho / Hakodate), Tohoku (Seikan Tunnel / Aomori / Towada / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima), Central Japan (Nikko / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Obara / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka)
Other Japan Tours you may interested
Other Japan Tours you may interested