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Japanese Alps Adventure

Private Travel | General interest 17 Days & 15 Nights Lead-in price: £4995

Discover the Japanese Alps on this 15-night itinerary, with many mountains, valleys, forests and scenic trails to explore. Visit the alpine region of Kamikochi; journey into the Kiso valley; walk the famed Nakasendo Way; and see the historic Unesco-listed site of Shirakawago village, set beneath the peaks of the Hida mountains. Visits are also included to the temples of Kyoto and the busy metropolis of Tokyo, with a hike up Mount Takao nearby, to escape the busy city.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Hike in the scenic Japanese Alps near Kamikochi
  • Visit Tokyo & climb nearby Mount Takao
  • Walk the historic Nakasendo Way in the Kiso Valley
  • Discover the temples of Kyoto & the gardens of Kanazawa
  • Stay in 4- star accommodation
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Superior Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Tokyo


Day 2: Tokyo

Arrive and transfer to The Park Hotel in Tokyo for a 3-night stay, located close to the Shiodome subway station and only a 10-minute walk from the peaceful Hamarikyu gardens. (N)

Day 3: Tokyo

Full-day private guided city tour using public transport, visiting the Asakusa Kannon temple, Tokyo National Museum’s Japanese gallery, the Imperial East Garden and the tranquil Meiji shrine. (B)

Day 4: Hike on Mount Takao

Today we recommend a self-guided excursion to sacred Mount Takao, part of a range of wooded mountains an hour’s journey from Tokyo. Here there are numerous clearly marked hiking trails up to the summit, taking 2-3 hours. On a clear day you can also enjoy views of Mount Fuji. (B)

Days 5-6: Kanazawa

Morning departure by shinkansen (bullet train) to Kanazawa. Stay 2 nights at the Tokyu Hotel Kanazawa. Spend the following day on a self-guided sightseeing tour, visiting the Kanazawa castle park and the Kenroku-en garden. (B)

Day 7: Shirakawago - Takayama

Take the bus to Shirakawago to see the Unesco-listed gassho-zukuri houses and their unique architectural style. After some time to explore the area, continue by bus to Takayama. Stay for 2 nights at the traditional Tanabe Ryokan, where the owners Mr & Mrs Tanabe are gracious hosts and will do their very best to ensure you have a fabulous stay. (B, D)

Day 8: Takayama

This morning you will be escorted on a food and culture walk around Takayama, an ideal opportunity to sample some of the region’s famed Hida beef, various hoba miso-based products, and the delicious mitarashi dango – rice balls dipped in soy sauce and roasted on skewers. End the morning with a visit to the Harada Sake Brewery and browse the lively Miyakawa Morning Market. (B, D)

Days 9-10: Kamikochi

Travel by bus through the Japanese Alps to Kamikochi, a remote valley carved by the Azusa river with some of Japan’s highest peaks rising on up on either side. Stay 2 nights at the Kamikochi Imperial Hotel, a European-style mountain lodge that has been welcoming guests since 1933. Spend the following day walking in the surrounding mountains, which offer numerous walking trails ranging from easy rambles along the valley to more challenging hikes to the tops of the nearest peaks, with the chance to spot a range of flora, birds and monkeys along the way. (B)

Day 11: Matsumoto

Travel by bus and train to Matsumoto, which is home to a fine feudal castle with the oldest existing donjon (keep) in Japan, as well as an outstanding woodblock-print museum. Stay overnight at the Hotel Buena Vista Matsumoto. (B)

Day 12: Into the Kiso Valley

Travel by train into the Kiso Valley, an area known for its mountains, forests, hot springs and hiking trails, and also for its position on the historic Nakasendo Way, an ancient highway that once linked Kyoto with Tokyo. Stay 2 nights at Komanoyu, a ryokan-style hotel with its own hot spring baths, known as onsen. (B, D)

Day 13: Hiking the Nakasendo Way

Travel by train and bus to the small town of Magome, from where you will begin a gentle hike of 8km along the Nakasendo Way, to Tsumago. The trail is well-signposted and passes through some beautiful countryside. In Tsumago you will have some time to explore the town and wander the flagstone streets lined with traditional buildings, before being met and driven back to your hotel. (B, D)

Day 14: Kyoto

Take the train to Nagoya, then continue by shinkansen (bullet train), to Kyoto. Stay at the Rihga Royal Kyoto Hotel, located near Kyoto station, for 3 nights. This evening, you will be escorted by a local guide through the Gion, Kyoto’s famous Geisha district. (B)

Days 15-16: Kyoto

Full-day private guided city tour using public transport. Recommendations include the Ryoanji temple with its famous zen rock garden and Kinkakuji temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. The following day is at leisure – a trip to the Arashiyama district in the north-west of the city is recommended, a peaceful area of gardens, quiet backstreets and bamboo forests. (B)

Day 17: Fly home

Take a shuttle bus from your hotel to Kansai airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, then board your flight home. (B)

Meal basis

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Locally escorted & self-guided tour

This tour is led in certain destinations en route by a local tour escort, while in others it is self-guided.

Superior tour

This tour is based in 4-star accommodation, with some nights in traditional Japanese inns known as ryokan.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Tailor-made travel

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Private travel in Japan

Please note that tailor-made travel in Japan is unlike travel in any other country in the Far East due to the high costs of vehicle hire, drivers and guides. This means that engaging the services of a private guide and driver on a tailor-made journey is not always feasible and, as a result, sightseeing and travel between cities may involve public transport or shared services that are not exclusive to Cox & Kings. Furthermore, as English is not always spoken in areas away from the main tourist destinations, a degree of independence and self-guiding may be required. A comprehensive information pack is provided before departure, with transport instructions and bilingual timetables, hotel addresses and maps, and a guide for each destination covering a wide range of topics from eating out to enjoying a hot spring bath.

Superior private tour accommodation

  • Tanabe Ryokan
    Tanabe Ryokan

    The Tanabe Ryokan is situated in the old part of Takayama close to the temple area, the morning markets and a short walk from Takayama Station. The ryokan is an excellent place to experience traditional Japanese hospitality, and the gracious hosts Mr and Mrs Tanabe ensure all visitors have a memorable stay. Accommodation is in traditional ryokan-style en suite rooms, with thick futon mats for sleeping, placed directly on the tatami rice straw matted floors. The ryokan has its own communal hot spring baths.

  • The Park Hotel Tokyo
    The Park Hotel Tokyo

    The Park Hotel, a member of the Design Hotels portfolio, occupies the top floors of the Shiodome Media Tower in Tokyo's Minato ward, close to the Shiodome subway station and only a 10-minute walk to the peaceful Hamarikyu gardens. The hotel has a modern, artistic ambience, and is centred around a high atrium with Japanese art on display in the lobby lounge and communal areas. The property features a unique 'Artist in Hotel' project, where a small number of the standard category rooms have been transformed by local artists who have decorated the room walls with their original artwork. These rooms are all different and can be booked on request at an extra cost.

Superior private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £4995 per person

High season from £5995 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
    • The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
    • Local guides and entrance fees where applicable

Destinations on this tour

  • Tokyo

    The huge, energetic and fascinating city of Tokyo has been the capital of Japa...

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  • Kanazawa

    Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture beside the Sea of Japan. Its...

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  • Takayama

    Takayama is located in the heart of the Japanese Alps. It retains much of the...

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  • Kyoto

    Kyoto was Japan’s capital from the 7th century until around the 11th and it is known...

    Read more >
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