Japan in winter is simply unforgettable. Join this nine-day tour to explore big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, then roam the iconic geisha district in Kanazawa. Visit the Swiss-like village of Shirakawa-go before heading to Kawayu Onsen to enjoy local-style accommodation and the traditional onsens (outdoor hot springs) that make winter tours in this country so fun. Make next winter something special in Japan.
What's Included: Recharge: Seninburo Hot Spring Visit, Hongu. CEO-led city tours of Tokyo. Ninja Temple visit. Nagamachi samurai district walk. Minshuku stay with traditional meals. Orientation walk of Osaka. Instant Ramen Museum visit (Osaka). CEO-led city tour of Kyoto, including entrance to Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion. Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days). Transport to/from all included activities and between all destinations.
Highlights: Lay eyes on the glitz of Tokyo, combat winter's chill soaking in outdoor onsen spas, sleep in a traditional inn and enjoy a local dinner, make your own instant ramen in Osaka, celebrate the season at local festivals (select departures).
Group Size Notes: Max 15, avg 12.
Meals Included: 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Meals: Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.
Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your CEO will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.
Your CEO will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.
Please refer to the Meals Included and Budget Information for information regarding included meals on your trip. Japan's kitchen is at your fingertips!
Transport: Train, public bus, subway, walking.
Minimum Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Physical Grading:3 - Average
➕ Day 1 Tokyo
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
➕ Day 2 Tokyo
Enjoy a morning tour of some of the city's highlights. With a free afternoon, opt to head out of town and view Mt Fuji or explore more of Tokyo's diverse districts.
➕ Day 3 Tokyo/Shirakawa-go (1D)
It's a long travel day to reach the scenic village of Shirakawa-go. View the unique architecture before settling into a local style inn for the night. Enjoy a traditional dinner.
➕ Day 4 Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa (1B)
Enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Kanazawa by bus. Wander through the samurai village on a short guided walk and take a guided tour of the Ninja Temple. Opt to visit the impressive 21st Century Museum, the geisha district, or Kenrokuen garden.
Ninja Temple Visit
Nagamachi Samurai District Walk
➕ Day 5 Kanazawa/Kawayu Onsen (1D)
It's a long, but scenic, travel day to reach the Wakayama prefecture. Kawayu Onsen is known for its large, outdoor onsen bath dug every winter into the river bed.
Dress in the yukata (cotton kimono) provided by the minshuku (inn) and stroll over to the seninburo (large public hot spring) to enjoy an unforgettable soak in the steamy natural hot spring water.
Traditional Minshuku Stay and Meal
Seninburo Hot Spring Visit
➕ Day 6 Kawayu Onsen/Osaka (1B)
Spend a free morning in the area. Opt to walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail or visit the Hongu Taisha Shrine and giant torii gate of Oyu No Hara. Travel to Osaka in the late afternoon and opt for a night out in buzzing Namba.
➕ Day 7 Osaka
Osaka has heaps to offer including Osaka Castle Park, Shinsaibashi shopping street and Dotombori Bridge. Be sure to try "takoyaki" the city's famous squid snack. Osaka is a unique culinary destination ? opt for a group meal of "kushikatsu".
Instant Ramen Museum Visit
➕ Day 8 Osaka/Kyoto
Continue on to nearby Kyoto and enjoy a morning city tour. With options like a tea ceremony, a traditional costume photo shoot, and visits to temples or museums, there's tons to see and do.
➕ Day 9 Kyoto (1B)
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this historic city.