Central Japan vacation, small group

“Discover the beauty and traditions of the land of the Samurai, traveling through mountainous central Japan on this 13 day small group tour.”


Tokyo | Japanese Alps | Takayama | Shirakawa-go | Kanazawa | Kenrokuen Garden | Kyoto | Nara | Nankai Railway to Mount Koya | Kumano Kodo pilgrimage site | walk to Grand Hongu Taisha with yamabushi priest | papermaking workshop | Osaka

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?


Check dates, prices & availability

07 Nov 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Nov 2021 departure
The currency converter above works on today’s interbank exchange rate. We do take bookings in a variety of currencies, but the rates are often set months in advance and may therefore differ from those shown above which are for guidance purposes only. Please inquire for details.

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.

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites, which this Japan trip does do. We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable bottles. We understand this is not always possible in countries where tap water is not safe to drink.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
On this particular trip, we travel by train. Japan has an excellent railway system and promoting the use of more environmentally friendly means of transport not only contributes to the upkeep of such transport but also reduces greenhouse emissions to the country you we are visiting. We will embark on train journeys from Tokyo to Takayama (Day 2), Kanazawa to Kyoto (Day 6) and Kumano Kodo to Osaka (Day 12). We will use a variety of bullet and local trains, in addition to private minibuses and local buses, as well as the occasional taxi. Using local transport systems also contributes to the economy of Japan.

We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Japan through visiting many UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Ogimachi Village, Kamo shrines, Nijo Castle and Kumano Kodo Trail. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the ancient traditions and natural ecosystems of Japan.

The Impacts of this Trip

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.

On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.

On this trip, we will stay in a traditional Japanese “Ryoken” or inn. Ryoken’s maintain the traditional way of Japanese living and are normally located in beautiful natural locations near hot springs. The architecture is beautiful with wooden buildings, sliding doors and pointed roofs. Many have gorgeous gardens and the interior houses tatami (reed) mats and low tables. Guests must follow the traditional procedures including wearing slippers indoors, dressing in a kimono and gender segregated onsens.

We also include a number of things on the itinerary which ensure guests immerse themselves in Japanese culture and help give back to the community. For example, we will stay at the Fujiya Ryoken, famous for its seasonal and local food, including Daito, a sweet local fish; we will visit the Gion district to witness the apprentice geisha practise traditional arts of Japanese dance and music; we stay in a Shukubo or Pilgrims’ Lodgings with monks, dine on Buddhist vegetarian food, and witness their morning prayers and explore the vast Okuna-in cemetery. On Day 11 of this Group Tour, we will be guided by a Yamabushi guide, an ascetic priest of the Shugendo faith who will explain the history of the UNESCO Kumano Kodo Trail.


Popular similar vacations

Japan golden route vacation

Japan golden route vacation

9 night classic Japan trip: Tokyo, Fuji, Kyoto

From US $2625 10 days excluding flights

Japan small group holiday, Japan unmasked

Japan small group vacation, Japan unmasked

Whistlestop Japan highlights with an expert tour leader

From £2470 - £2940 14 days excluding flights

Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring

Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring

Japan's classic sights on a shoestring

From US $1463 8 days excluding flights

Japan small group vacation by bullet train

Japan small group vacation by bullet train

Japan's must-see cities and beautiful, rural countryside

From £4130 - £4570 14 days excluding flights