The Japanese Alps | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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The Japanese Alps

PRIVATE/GROUP TOUR - 11 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM $5962+

Private/Group Tour Highlights

  • Melt away and relax at a traditional ryokan, bathing in the glorious natural hot springs
  • Sip on steaming hot matcha while taking in the views of the bustling capital of Tokyo
  • Visit Jigokudani Park to see the famous Snow Monkeys. relaxing in the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground
  • Be immersed in Japanese dining culture as well as learn authentic and popular Japanese foods that are eaten at home and in local restaurants
  • Visit old temples and shrines, one of Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist cemeteries as well as traditional shops selling Japanese paper and sweets, and soak in the atmosphere of pre-war Tokyo.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

When compared to the popular urban destinations, the Japanese alps offer never ending experiences, allowing one to escape from the everyday. From traditional hot springs and wildlife, to local sake brewing, an escape to the Japanese Alps is an unforgettable experience with Yampu! The Japanese Alps encompass three extensive mountain ranges within the main island of Honshu; Hida, Kiso, and the Akaishi Mountains. Within this central region of the island, one can experience traditional Japan with the surrounding Edo period buildings, enthralling mountainous views, and culinary splendor like nowhere else.

After an exhilarating experience in the contemporary urban complex of Tokyo, discover what the outlaying lands have to offer while escaping from the exciting and bustling metropolis. Walk along the tight, shop filled streets of the mountain city of Matsumoto just before visiting the ancient 16th century castle of the same name. Witness the famous Japanese macaques relaxing in their favorite hot springs with an optional excursion to Jigokudani Park and Nagano. Being so near to natural hot springs, it is a must to have a stay at a traditional ryokan, a type of bed and breakfast, where one can truly take part in a Japanese bath, or onsen. Learn about the different architecture stemming from the different regions and their functionality when in Shirakawago village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Take a side step to the city of Kyoto for shopping and trying ones hand in a local cooking class, learning of Japanese cuisine and its high reputation as a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage. After returning to Tokyo, learn of the city’s history with a detailed walking tour of the Old City with buildings and shrines that had been missed during Allied bombings in WWII, preserving a nostalgic atmosphere.

Japan has much to offer with its technological advances, pop culture fascination, and futuristic metropolis aesthetics. Yet, much like many of our destinations, there is much more to behold. With Yampu’s custom trips, Yampu Travelers can of course add more to their experience, such as snowboarding or skiing! Japan is a prime destination for outdoor winter enthusiasts who want to experience some of the best powder conditions in the world. While absorbing all that one can from the typical tourist destinations, Yampu Travelers have the opportunity to venture further and experience more!

Inclusions
Price includes domestic and regional flights within the itinerary; all hotel accommodations including daily continental or buffet breakfast and daily city tax; all transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including entrance fees.

- Accommodation as per above itinerary in twin rooms with daily breakfast included
- Japan Rail Pass valid 7 days in ordinary class, to use from Days 2 to 8
- Hakone Free Pass valid 2 days, to use on Days 9 and 10
- Day 1: shared transfer airport (Narita or Haneda) to hotel
- Day 2: private full day tour of Tokyo including entrance fees
- Day 5: coach ticket Matsumoto – Takayama, dinner at your ryokan
- Day 6: dinner at ryokan
- Day 7: Cooking lesson and dinner (food cooked during the lesson) – reach the cooking class venue on own
- Day 8: private full day tour of Kyoto including entrance fees
- Day 9: dinner at your ryokan
- Day 10: Romance car train ticket Hakone Yumoto – Shinjuku, reserved seat
- Day 11: shared transfer hotel to Narita or Haneda airport
Exclusions

International airfare (unless specifically included), airport departure taxes that must be paid on-site, gratuities, meals not mentioned, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals, early / late check-out, room service, visa fees/services and other personal items or services not mentioned.

TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Meals other than specified as included
- Travel Insurance or expenses of a personal nature (minibar, phone call, laundry, etc.),
- Drinks or personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities
- Any guiding, transfer or service not expressly mentioned in the text are not included in the tour

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Package Price: $5962
Pricing Details

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Arrive in Tokyo!

On arrival at either Narita or Haneda Airport, be met by the provided driver who will assist with the shared transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day will be at leisure.

On arrival at either Narita or Haneda Airport, be met by the provided driver who will assist with the shared transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day will be at leisure.

tokyo-skyline
Day
2

Full Day Walking Tour of Tokyo

Take a day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo's comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world's top fashion brands.
Head across town to Asakusa, Tokyo's old town to soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo's oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take a boat cruise on the Sumida River passing under 12 bridges. Disembark in Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district's futuristic skyscrapers, a great example of how Japan is the land of contrasts. Take a brief stop for a cup of steaming matcha and Japanese sweets in a tea house on a small island in the park's lake.
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Day
3

Transfer to the city of Matsumoto

Ride the train to Matsumoto (3hrs) using the included JR Pass. Enjoy some free time to visit Matsumoto castle and explore the surrounding town, including Nakamachi, a former merchant district full or preserved warehouses turned into restaurants, cafes and shops. Yampu also recommends the Japan Ukiyoe Museum, home to over 100,000 of these famous Japanese woodblock prints, making it one of the world's largest private art collections.

Ride the train to Matsumoto (3hrs) using the included JR Pass. Enjoy some free time to visit Matsumoto castle and explore the surrounding town, including Nakamachi, a former merchant district full or preserved warehouses turned into restaurants, cafes and shops. Yampu also recommends the Japan Ukiyoe Museum, home to over 100,000 of these famous Japanese woodblock prints, making it one of the world's largest private art collections.

japan-matsumoto-temple
Day
4

Day at Leisure with optional excursion to Jigokudani Park and Nagano

Today there are no planned activities, but one may choose to continue exploring Matsumoto, or This morning you can choose to head to Nagano to visit historic Zenkoji temple. One of the most visited temples in Japan, Zenkoji was founded 1400 years ago and stores, what many believe to be the first Buddhist statue ever brought to Japan. Most recently rebuilt in 1707, Zenkoji's main hall has a tunnel in its basement in which visitors are trying to find and touch the "key to paradise" in complete darkness. The key is attached to the wall and grants enlightenment to anybody who touches it. After visiting Zenkoji, continue on by train and bus (not covered by the JR Pass, to be paid directly) to visit Jigokudani Park to see the famous Snow Monkeys. Jigokudani literally means 'hell's valley' due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, and it is in the baths of this boiling water that the resident Japanese Macaques like to soak in on. The monkeys live in large social groups, and it can be quite entertaining to watch their interactions. Accustomed to humans, they can be observed from very close and almost completely ignore their human guests. Whilst the monkeys are most numerous during the colder months, they can be observed all year round. ...read less

Day
5

Travel by coach to Takayama

This afternoon Yampu recommends visiting one of the town's many sake breweries for a taste of the local drop, its high quality due to the area's clean water sources. Tonight, stay in a Japanese style ryokan accommodation with hot spring onsen bath.

This afternoon Yampu recommends visiting one of the town's many sake breweries for a taste of the local drop, its high quality due to the area's clean water sources. Tonight, stay in a Japanese style ryokan accommodation with hot spring onsen bath.

Day
6

Miyagawa morning market

After breakfast one may head up to the Miyagawa morning market with stalls selling local crafts and produce. This is a great opportunity to try some of the region's delicious fruit and vegetables. A short bus ride will take Yampu travelers to Hida No Sato Folk Village, an open air museum exhibiting over 30 typical farmhouses and other traditional buildings from the Hida region. There is also a workshop in the village illustrating how many of Japan's famous handicrafts are made, including wood carving, tie-dying, weaving, and lacquering. In the afternoon one can visit the Takayama Festival Floats museum, displaying floats from the famous Takayama festival, or simply wander through the beautifully preserved old town. One can also make a half day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Shirakawago village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri translates as 'Praying Hands', as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer, and are designed to withstand the heavy snows which fall in the region. ...read less

Day
7

Travel by train to Kyoto

Japanese read more...

Japanese cuisine has such high reputation that it was declared UNESCO Intangible World Heritage. This afternoon Yampu travelers will be able to try their hand at making some of the dishes that made this cuisine so popular in the world. This class is a great way to immerse oneself in Japanese dining culture as well as learn authentic and popular Japanese foods that are eaten at home and in local restaurants. The course consists of two parts. First, cook 2~3 dishes and enjoy them. Then return to the kitchen and learn 2~3 more dishes before eating once more. Enjoy cooking and eating a variety of dishes in cozy atmosphere just like in Izakaya restaurants (Japanese style pubs)! ...read less

chef-food-sushi-california-rolls
Day
8

Walking tour of Kyoto with Nishiki Market

Today, explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto's comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto's most famous temples. Nijo Castle is an ornamental castle, built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and 'chirping' nightingale floors.
Take a walk down Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as Kyoto's Kitchen, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Final stop today is Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13m high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall one can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners.
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japan-kyoto-kinkakuji-temple
Day
9

Shinkansen bullet train to Hakone

Take Japan's world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Hakone (2hr) using the JR Pass. Armed with a Hakone Free Pass, take advantage of the extensive local transport network to explore this stunning region. From switchback trains to cable cars, ropeways to buses and even a pirate ship that will sweep visitors across the volcanic Lake Ashi with views of Mt Fuji. Tonight, stay in a Japanese traditional ryokan, sleeping on futons laid out on tatami mats with included delicious meals and piping hot onsen (hot spring) baths.

Take Japan's world famous Shinkansen bullet train to Hakone (2hr) using the JR Pass. Armed with a Hakone Free Pass, take advantage of the extensive local transport network to explore this stunning region. From switchback trains to cable cars, ropeways to buses and even a pirate ship that will sweep visitors across the volcanic Lake Ashi with views of Mt Fuji. Tonight, stay in a Japanese traditional ryokan, sleeping on futons laid out on tatami mats with included delicious meals and piping hot onsen (hot spring) baths.

Day
10

Train to Tokyo with Old Tokyo walking tour

Take the aptly named Romance Car train back to Tokyo (1.5hrs) Take this afternoon to explore Tokyo's shitamachi (downtown). Our image of Tokyo is usually that of a super-modern metropolis but suburbs like Yanaka, which was miraculously spared the carnage of the Allied bombings in World War II, still preserve a nostalgic atmosphere. Part of its charm today lies in this sense of being hidden. Visit old temples and shrines, one of Tokyo's oldest Buddhist cemeteries as well as traditional shops selling Japanese paper and sweets, and soak in the atmosphere of pre-war Tokyo. Take a look at what life in this area used to be like in the Shitamachi Museum, located in Ueno Park. One of the most popular parks for hanami (cherry blossom parties) in Tokyo, Ueno Park was originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city's largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. The guide will take Yampu Travelers on a stroll to show the many attractions that enrich this large park. Last stop for the day is Ueno's Ameyoko-cho, a busy market street underneath the train lines. Originally the site of a black market after World War Two, this bustling market is the last of its kind in Tokyo, and is filled with shops and stalls selling various products such as fresh fish, dried food and spices. At one of the many open air restaurants under the train tracks, stop for a cold drink and a yakitori (grilled chicken skewer). ...read less

tokyo-japan-tradtional-modern
Day
11

Depart Tokyo

The day is at leisure until the included transfer to the airport.

The day is at leisure until the included transfer to the airport.

Tokyo, Japan

Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Places You'll See

  • shibuya-crossing-tokyo-japan-asia

    Tokyo

    One of the World’s most cutting-edge capitals, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Famous for its cutting edge modernity, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers, it is also home to sprawling parkland, peaceful shrines and temples and lovingly tended gardens. Despite its love affair with manga pop culture, fashion, high-tech trends and conspicuous consumption, below the surface is a city that has its roots in an ancient heritage. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time.

  • matsumoto-castle-japan

    Matsumoto

    Located 3 hours from Tokyo, Matsumoto has flourished as a castle town since the 16th century. In addition to its historical and cultural heritage Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views. Hiking and climbing locations in the mountains are readily accessible by local bus transportation. To the west the Japan Alps rise to heights of 3,000 meters, and are known as “The Roof of Japan”.

  • torii-red-shrine-japan-takayama

    Takayama

    With its plethora of temples, shrines, festivals, rivers and bridges the mountain town of Takayama has been called a “little Kyoto”. The region is an agricultural one, and every day the freshest of vegetables and fruit are brought by local farmers to Takayama’s lively morning market. Many unique traditions have evolved here, and due to the town’s previously inaccessible location high in the Hida alpine region, a remarkable number of them have been preserved. The district called San-machi Suji, the traditional home of Takayama merchants and sake brewers, has been preserved in almost exactly the same state as 200 or 300 years ago. Here, are inns, shops and taverns which trace their history back many generations.

  • japan-kyoto

    Kyoto

    Kyoto is the nation’s former capital, the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868, and is Japan’s seventh largest metropolis. With 2,000 religious buildings as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Kyoto represents the “Japan of old” and beyond the high rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, the real monument to Japan’s historical and cultural past can be found in the city’s narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from elegant function to function.

  • lake-ashi-mt-fuji-torii-red

    Hakone

    Part of Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, Hakone is a prime holiday destination with a splendid view of the famous Mount Fuji, along with many other natural wonders, including 17 delightful hot springs. Walk around the open air museums, or relax and bath in the gorgeous springs and spas offered throughout the area. Explore the stunning area aboard a majestic replica pirate ship, sweeping across the volcanic Lake Ashi.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Tokyo : Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Matsumoto : Tokyu Rei Matsumoto

Takayama : Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan

Kyoto : Vista Premio Kyoto

Hakone : Yutorilo An

5 Star Properties

Tokyo : Shiba Park Hotel

Matsumoto : Buena Vista Matsumoto

Takayama : Koto no Yume

Kyoto : Kyoto Tokyu Hotel

Hakone : Gora Sounkaku Ryokan

Testimonials

Jim, Travel Agent

Traveled July, 2016

An incredible time……

WOW!!!…..

Just had Evelyn on the phone for over an hour and they had an incredible time……

“Very impressed with China and learned a lot! We loved our experience in Tibet. The people are lovely and scenery magnificent. We had very accommodating and thoughtful guides. Very helpful.”

Flights in China were great and no delays, hotels were awesome, guides were wonderful, tours were perfect and even the train worked out. The 8th person on the train was a young Tibetan woman and they felt safe with her in the compartment.

Once again, a total success and very happy clients….

 

Traveled To

Emily K.

Traveled January, 2015

I had such a great time with Yampu

I had such a great time with Yampu, and I would love to travel with them again. My boyfriend and I booked a customized private tour to Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Laos (Luang Prabang), Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh), and Vietnam (Saigon, Hanoi, and Halong Bay.) We both enjoyed every minute of the trip. The guides were all friendly and knowledgeable, the drivers were always punctual, the accommodations were lovely, and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend Yampu to anyone who wants to have a good time on their vacation.

Alicia and Pat

Traveled April, 2016

I can’t say enough about how wonderful our travel consultant was

I just wanted to thank your company for a great tour of Singapore. I made contact with your company at the LA travel show and from there was helped with finalizing the itinerary for our trip. I can’t say enough about how wonderful our travel consultant was with emailing me different options and helping us find the most suitable itinerary for our trip. Our guide in Singapore was exceptional. He is very knowledgeable about Singaporean history and history in general and made us feel quite at home in his country. He also catered to our needs- adjusting the tour to suit our needs. On behalf of my family, we thank your company for making our Singapore trip fun and memorable!

Traveled To

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