Japan honeymoon tour on a shoestring

“A great value tailor made, 12 night honeymoon itinerary in Japan, on Honshu Island, taking in ryokans, volcanoes, ancient and new. Using public transport.”

Highlights

Tokyo | Hakone National Park | Bullet train journeys | Nakasendo Walking Trail | Kiso Valley | Tsumago | Kyoto | Mount Koya | Osaka

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Tsumago, the jewel of the Kiso Valley, was once a post town on the old Nakasendo highway linking the ancient capital of Kyoto with Matsumoto. Today the village is notable for the residents’ efforts to preserve the town’s Edo Period ambiance. Power lines are hidden away and cars banned from the main roads during the daytime so that the beautiful, traditional buildings and flag-stone streets can be seen in their true glory – and that’s why we recommend this destination to our clients.

Small guest houses are family run and are run in tune with their environmental surroundings (along the lines of simplicity and tradition). On this itinerary you’ll stay in a tiny family-run minshuku in the center of Tsumago run by the ever hospitable Mrs Daikichi. The best way to reach the accommodation is from neighbouring Magome village – from here it’s a three hour walk along the old Nakasendo samurai trail through unspoiled farmland and tea fields. Slowing down to appreciate the Kiso Valley on foot offers an unrivalled insight into everyday life in the Japanese countryside. Full details of the walking trail will be in your complimentary Info-Pack.

Travel is by train and on foot where possible, minimising carbon emissions as much as possible.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Buddhism (and Shintoism) is the backbone of Japanese society and we’re keen to offer our clients the chance to stay in Buddhist temple lodgings on Mount Koya. A great opportunity to put tourist money back into this very special community.

At first glance, the lodgings are very similar to any ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). You'll stay in a private room with sliding fusuma doors and sleep on futon mattresses on tatami-matted floors. Some rooms may have en suite bathrooms, although at most shukubo, communal baths (separated into male and female facilities) are common. Heaters are provided in winter which are essential for mountaintop temple stays.

It's at mealtimes that things get a little different. The included breakfast and dinner are shojin ryori - that's strict vegetarian Buddhist cuisine. Ingredients are fresh and simply dressed, making the most of the subtle, natural flavours of the tofu and vegetables. In the early morning guests are invited to join the monks in a morning meditation service, which typically lasts around 30 minutes. You may also view the temple's cultural treasures, halls and gardens.

Many locally-run businesses, accommodation and restaurants are visited along the way - such as an authentic tea house which not ensures money goes into local pockets but also helps visitors to immerse themselves in and gain an understanding of Japanese culture.

Climate

5 Reviews of Japan honeymoon tour on a shoestring

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Dec 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We loved Nijo Castle in Tokyo, also staying at the ryokan in Hakone, the food was fantastic and the area was beautiful!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Early December was a great time to go, not too cold and the leaves were just turning color on the trees. The only problem is that it gets dark by 5pm, so it was dark by the time we reached Otsumago and we just wanted a hot batch and dinner. We had to get the bus early in the morning, so we missed seeing Tsumago.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Taking public transport and staying mostly at Japanese accommodations does help the local people and reduces your carbon footprint. Public transport in
Japan has to be some of the best and most convenient in the world.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Overall we had a fantastic time. With the luggage forwarding and great transport system, Japan is a great destination, but because of the language, we could
not have done it without the extensive directions and information supplied by the operator.

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Hiking the section of the Nakasendo Samurai Trail from Magome to Tsumago was amazing! Walking through really beautiful countryside, listening to the birds and frogs and fortunately not encountering any bears! The tea ceremony in Kyoto was very informative and yet relaxing, as were the hot springs in Hakone.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take advantage of the luggage forwarding service – it’s pretty cheap and makes traveling around much easier and less stressful. Also having the portable wi-fi was invaluable for finding our around and working out which trains to get.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Well we certainly helped the local economy with all the stuff we bought! Many restaurants offered reusable chopsticks. By staying in traditional inns, we felt we supported local people and industries. Public transport is relatively straightforward and good value for money.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Highly enjoyable with a range of locations, food and experiences.
We felt the food in the ryokan in Hakone could have been a little more varied – it was quite heavy on the unidentifiable pickles and salted fish; some fresh fruit would have been welcomed.

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Kyoto as very pitcuresque

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


amazing service from the team

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing vacation

Reviewed on 04 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Walking the old samurai trials was incredible, as well as exploring the many temples and shrines in Kyoto.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This self guided tour was perfect if you like to be free to explore and not be tied to a group, but like to have the support and information to help you find your
way around.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The hotels were all conscious of reducing environmental impact, for example one hotel offered free bottled water to guests who didn't need their room cleaned every day.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing, we loved every moment.

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Japan is a fascinating and exhilerating place to visit.
The cultural differences are marked, and with so many great sights, both traditional and modern, there is so much to see and experience.
The people are very welcoming and really do want you to have the best time possible.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take adavntage of the felxibility offered by the vacation provider but stick with their main ideas/routes. Their experience really helped.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It definitely felt that the majority of our expenditure was focused on Japanese people and businesses. In terms of the environment, Japan is a challenging place with loads of packaging, and turning down bags offered can seem a little uncomfortable sometimes. But get your own chopsticks and carry your own carry bag. Using public transport is very easy, if a little crowded in some of the interchanges.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent, stunning, huge variety of tastes, sights and experiences. We went budget but it was definitely first class!

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