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 Village Valleys Temples Towns 

TOUR COST from AUD4,366.00** Per Person Twin Share

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo


Upon your arrival at Tokyo Airport, one of our representatives will meet you and assist you with boarding the right train or shared shuttle to your hotel.


The rest of the day is at leisure.


Overnight in Tokyo


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Narita International Airport (NRT) to Central Tokyo: 1.5 h

Haneda International Airport (HND) to Central Tokyo: 50 min

Day 2: Tokyo


This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to Hamarikyu, a Japanese garden that once served as a private villa of a powerful feudal lord during the Edo period. Its wide collection of seasonal flowers makes it one of the most visited gardens in Tokyo but what makes it more attractive is a teahouse called Nakajima-no-Chaya.


Have a break in the teahouse and a cup of freshly made green tea while your guide shares interesting facts about chado (tea ceremony).


From the park, take the scenic river cruise to Asakusa, a part of Tokyo’s shitamachi or old town. Asakusa is the city’s oldest Geisha district and also home to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. The streets around Senso-ji feature many traditional shops and are a delight to wander through.


The tour ends with a visit to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and a popular venue for traditional Shinto weddings.


The shrine is also home to around 120,000 trees, making one forget that just outside its grounds are two of the city’s popular shopping districts, Harajuku and Omotesando.


Note: The order of this itinerary may change depending on the location of your hotel.


Overnight in Tokyo



Start (guided tour): 09:00

Duration: 8 h

*including pick-up/drop-off and transit times

Day 3: Tokyo – Matsumoto (Self Guided Day)


Travel to Matsumoto, a small castle town surrounded by rice fields, vineyards, wasabi farms, and the great Japan Alps.


Suggested Self-Guide Itinerary:


The afternoon can be spent with a stroll around the city.


Visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the only twelve remaining original castles in Japan. It is well-distinguished for its black exterior, red arch bridge, and a view of Japan Alps in the background.


Right outside the castle grounds is Nakamachi-dori, a historical merchant district line with well-preserved old buildings, including some storehouses characterized by their thick, white-painted walls.


Overnight in Matsumoto


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Tokyo Station to Matsumoto Station: 3 h

Day 4: Matsumoto, Day Trip to Kamikochi (Self Guided Day)


Make an early start and travel to Kamikochi, a popular nature trail in the valleys of Matsumoto. It is known for the pristine Azusa-gawa River and the surrounding Japan Alps.


Start from Taisho-ike Pond, with its mirror-like waters reflecting the Hotaka Mountain Range and Mt. Yakedake, an active volcano that stands at 2,455 meters above sea level.


Continue walking towards the bus terminal, passing by Tashiro Marsh, to secure your seats on the bus departing on your desired time. Restrooms and food stalls are available for a quick break.


Just nearby is Kappa-bashi Bridge, one of the places in Kamikochi that offers the most picturesque views of the area.


From this point, another hour of trekking brings you to Myojin-bashi Bridge, the gateway to Hotaka-jinja Shrine and Myojin-ike Pond. There is a small dining place here called Kamonji-goya that serves grilled freshwater fish and soba.


The trail from Myojin area back to the opposite side of Kappa-bashi is another hour of nature trekking that takes you through the serene woods of this well-protected national park.



  • This is an easy-to-moderate course that can be accomplished in around 4 hours, including short restroom and meal breaks.

  • Kamikochi is only open from mid-April to mid-November, when the roads are not closed due to heavy snow.


Overnight in Matsumoto


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Matsumoto Station to Shin-Shimashima Station: 30 min

Shin-Shimashima Station to Taisho-ike Bus Stop: 1 h

Day 5: Matsumoto – Kiso Valleyi (Self Guided Day)


Start the journey through Nakasendo in Kiso Valley, one of the “Five Routes” that branched off the capital Edo and was controlled by the Tokugawa Shogunate from the 8th century.


Upon arriving in Magome, small carry-on bags can be delivered to any accommodation in Tsumago through the tourist information center (08:30-11:30, from 21st March to 30th November).


The trail that runs from Magome to Tsumago is probably the most popular section of Nakasendo. Exit Nakatsugawa Station and catch the local bus to Magome, one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period. From Magome Bus Stop to Tsumago, the ancient trail can be completed in about 3 hours, including some quick breaks (i.e. restroom, tea/coffee).


Around 2 hours in, emerge to the well-preserved post town of Tsumago. Just like Magome, Tsumago was in its Golden Era during the time when merchants and other noble and prominent people frequently passed through for trade and other formal appointments.


In the latter part of 1970, this small town was classified as a National Designated Architectural Preservation Site, thanks to the collective effort of its locals to preserve most of the remaining historical buildings.


Overnight in Tsumago


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Matsumoto Station to Nakatsugawa Station: 75 min

Nakatsugawa Station to Magome Bus Stop: 30 min


Trekking information (approximation):

Magome-juku to Magome-toge Pass: 2.2 km; 60 min

Magome-toge Pass to Otaki & Metaki Falls: 2.5 km; 50 min

Metaki Falls to Tsumago-juku: 3.3 km; 60 min

Elevation change (approximation):

Magome-juku (beginning of the trail): at 620 m

Magome-toge Pass: at 801 m

Tsumago-juku (latter part of the trail): at 430 m


Option: For guests who prefer to stay at a regular hotel, we recommend Hotel Kisoji in Tsumago (subject to availability; supplementary charges apply).

Day 6: Kiso Valley – Takayama (Self Guided Day)


After an early breakfast, head out to Takayama, a small town nestled high in the Hida Alpine region of Gifu Prefecture. One of the trips is via the limited express train Wide View, which offers one of the most scenic train journeys in Japan.


Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

We recommend strolling in Takayama’s shitamachi, where the streets are lined with century-old merchants’ homes and sake breweries. Stop by one of the breweries for a taste of the local drop or queue for the famous Hida beef sushi in one of the special food stalls.


While in Takayama, experience a stay in a ryokan, the traditional Japanese-style inn furnished with low tables and chairs, sliding shoji doors, and tatami flooring.


Overnight in Takayama


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Tsumago Bus Stop to Nagiso Bus Stop: 10 min

Nagiso Station to Takayama Station: 4 h 15 min

Day 7: Takayama, Day Trip to Shirakawago


Optional Tour (1): Food & Culture Walk

Explore some of the food shops in Takayama with a knowledgeable guide, learning about the town’s colorful history and familiarizing your taste buds with some of the local delicacies. Your walking tour includes visits to a tofu seller, a rakugan shop (traditional Japanese candies), and even a sake brewery (some stores may close in certain days). Food and sake tastings are also included.


Make your way to the designated meeting place, which will also be the disband point after the tour.



Start: 09:30

Duration: 2.5 h


Optional Tour (2): Walking Tour in Hida Furukawa


Spend the next two and a half hours with your guide strolling in Hida-Furukawa, regarded as the twin town of Takayama. Your guide will explain about the history of the town and the culture and lifestyle of the locals.


Today, you will not just learn a thing or two about this humble town but you will also witness how Hida-Furukawa and its people maintain the culture and tradition which can be traced all the way back to the Muromachi era (1337-1573).



Start: 10:00

Duration: 2.5 h


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Takayama Station to Hida-Furukawa Station: 15 min


Travel by bus to Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its gassho-zukuri farmhouses.


Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer," which is represented through the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs. This architectural style developed over many generations – the roofs were constructed without any nails but are intricately designed to withstand large amounts of snow.


These houses are private homes of the locals but some are open to the public, such as Wada House, a legacy left behind by the Wada Family who used to be the richest family and village leader in Ogimachi.


Overnight in Takayama


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Takayama Bus Terminal to Shirakawago Bus Stop: 50 min

Day 8: Takayama – Kyoto (Self Guided Day)


Take one last soak in the onsen before starting the journey to Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto. Kyoto is home to around 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The rest of the day is at leisure.


Overnight in Kyoto


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Takayama Station to Kyoto Station: 3 h

Day 9: Kyoto


Today’s tour starts with a visit to Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was originally built to serve as the private villa of a powerful feudal lord. The main building was completed in early 1600s and has since then been known for its Momoyama-style architecture, decorated sliding doors, and “chirping nightingale” floors.


Next in the list is the serene Ryoan-ji Temple, which is famous for its well-maintained rock garden and known to be the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai Buddhist sect.


Just a short distance from Ryoan-ji is the stunning golden pavilion collectively known as Kinkaku-ji Temple. The temple grounds is relatively smaller than that of most temples and shrines in Kyoto but what is undoubtedly impressive is the pavilion that is completely covered in handmade gold leaves.


A visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple follows later in the day. The view from the 13-meter high building is indeed breathtaking and the fact that this veranda was built without using any nails or joiners is quite unbelievable.


The tour ends with a stroll along the busy streets of Higashiyama district, a collection of narrow alleyways lined with local stores, souvenir shops, small eateries, and even pottery centers.


Note: Kiyomizu-dera Temple is currently undergoing partial renovations.


Overnight in Kyoto



Start (guided tour): 09:00

Duration: 8 h

*including pick-up/drop-off and transit times

Day 10: Kyoto, Day Trip to Nara (Self Guided Day)


In the afternoon, you have the option to go out of town and travel to Nara with your Japan Rail Pass. For 74 years during the 8th century, Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain.


Nara is just a small town, with most of its main tourist spots located around Nara Park, where you can encounter quite a great number of tamed deer. You can visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, and Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.


Overnight in Kyoto


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Kyoto Station to Nara Station: 45 min

Day 11: Kyoto – Koyasan


Home to over 100 temples, Koyasan has been the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect, for over 1,200 years. Koyasan, and its vicinity, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.


The journey to Koyasan is one of the highlights of the visit, with the final ascent being on a cable car, which offers one of the most scenic journeys in Japan, as it winds its way up to the mountains.


Meet the guide at Koyasan Station and spend the afternoon exploring a couple of popular sites that give an insight to Japanese Buddhism.


Visit Kongobu-ji, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism and home to Japan’s largest rock garden. On rare occasions, guests might witness a small group of worshippers led by a monk chanting some scripts in front of the temple.


Continue on to Okuno-in, Japan’s largest cemetery that holds the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi. The classic approach starts from Ichinohashi Bridge and stretches up to 2km, filled with more than 200,000 tombstones that belong to feudal lords, prominent monks, and even well-known Japanese companies. Gokusho Offering Hall, Torodo Hall of Lanterns, and Kobo Daishi’s Mausoleum are located at the end of the trail.


Afterwards, guests are escorted to their shukubo (temple lodge), where the famous Buddhist cuisine is served.


Overnight at Koyasan


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Kyoto Station to Koyasan Station: 3 h



Start (guided tour): upon arrival at Koyasan Station (around 11:30)

Duration: 4 h

*including pick-up/drop-off and transit times

Day 12: Koyasan – Osaka (Self Guided Day)



To have a complete experience of Koyasan, joining the Morning Prayer, which usually starts at 6:00 a.m., is highly recommended. Be immersed in the calming chants of the monks inside the prayer hall (prayers are only in Japanese but some priests provide a simple explanation in English at the end of the ceremony).


Afterwards, proceed to the dining room for a shojin ryori breakfast.


The rest of the morning is free to further explore Koyasan before getting on the trip to Osaka, Japan’s Kitchen Capital. Osaka’s flamboyance, fun-loving people, and amazing food are the highlights of the city.


Suggested Self-Guide Itinerary:


From Namba Station, walk through Osaka’s liveliest and most colorful shopping and dining streets, starting with Doguyasuji, a unique market that sells anything related to food, from pots and other kitchenware to the lifelike plastic food models widely used by restaurants.


Right across it is Sennichimae, a lane filled with small eateries that serve all the Osakan delicacies such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and the famed fugu (blowfish). Aside from the local restaurants, Sennichimae also hosts a couple of game centers and the vibrant Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater, the headquarters of the nationwide Japanese comedy brand, Yoshimoto.


Before reaching the end of Sennichimae, make a quick left turn in one of the narrow alleys to see Hozen-ji Temple, a small village temple dedicated to one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. After offering coins, worshippers splash water on the statue of the deity before praying as a sign of respect.


Right outside the temple grounds and just across the humble yet historical Kamagata Ukiyo-e Museum is Hozenji Yokocho, a short, narrow lane lined with expensive restaurants.


From here, emerge to the very busy Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca which has long-been referred to as Osaka’s former entertainment and pleasure district. A short walk from this street leads to the touristy Ebisubashi with the famous billboard of the Glico Running Man and a view of Dotonbori River.


Overnight in Osaka


Distance and journey time (approximation):

Koyasan Station to Nankai Namba Station: 2 h

Day 13: Departure from Osaka


The rest of the day is at leisure until your departure flight from Kansai International Airport.


Distance and journey time (approximation):

JR Namba Station to Kansai Airport: 50 min

JR Shin-Osaka Station to Kansai Airport: 50 min

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TOUR PRICES :  FROM AUD4,366.00 per person
  • Japan experiences dramatic pricing fluctuations based on Festivals, Domestic holidays and in some instances on weekends. Please consult with your Travel Consultant for exact pricing over a specific date. Reservations during weekends, peak season, and Japanese public holidays will be subject to supplementary charges.



  • Some of the sake breweries in Takayama are closed on some days and the restaurant that sells Hida beef sushi is closed on Tuesdays.

  • Wada House and other gassho-zukuri farmhouses in Shirakawago are closed on some days.

  • The tours in Takayama and in Hida-Furukawa are join-in activities and accept maximum of 8 persons only. Private option can be arranged (supplementary charges apply).

  • Nijo Castle is closed on Tuesdays (or if Tuesday is a National holiday, closed the following day).

  • For safety reasons, some public transport may stop operating in case of unfavorable weather conditions.

  • Please inform your Travel Consultant of any special dietary requirements and/or physical conditions that you may have.

Package includes
  • Hotel accommodation in twin room with daily breakfast (for ryokan, minshuku, and other traditional accommodation, rooms are Japanese-style with futon and meals are half board)

  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

  • English meet and greet at the airport and return transfers to the airport

  • 14-Day Japan Rail Pass in ordinary class, activated on Day 1

  • PASMO Card for local transportation in Tokyo and to/from Koyasan with 5,500 JPY worth of credits

(Note: The pre-charged credit is enough to travel to/from Koyasan. Additional credit will be charged by our guides to cover transportation during guided days. Clients are free to further charge their card should they wish to make use of it during self-guided days).

  • Roundtrip bus tickets on Days 4 (Matsumoto to Kamikochi) and 7 (Takayama to Shirakawago)

  • English-speaking guides for tours on Days 2, 9, and 11 (supplementary charges apply for other languages)

  • All entrance fees and public transportation fees as mentioned in the itinerary on Days 2, 9, and 11

  • Information pack

NOT Included in the tour prices
  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)

  • Some local transport

  • Meals other than mentioned above

  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone, and other expenditures of a personal nature)

  • Travel insurance (we strongly recommend you purchase this, please ask your Aussienet Travel consultant for details of policies available)

  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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