Major cities in Japan

A fascinating culture combining ancestral traditions and unbridled modernity

Major cities in Japan

Price from : Price on request €
Ideal duration : 20 days –
18 nights

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Discover Japan’s great cities on an unforgettable trip, where you can relax in the famous onsen, immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s suburbs, and sample fine, atypical cuisine. This trip offers a unique experience that lets you explore the very essence of Japanese culture, meeting people proud of their heritage, admiring modern and traditional architecture and discovering Japan’s breathtaking landscapes. From the ancient temples of Kyoto to the modernity of Tokyo, from the mountains of Hakone to the hot baths of Beppu, this trip will allow you to discover all the facets of this fascinating country and experience moments of pure magic.

You'll love...

  • Cross the Japanese Alps at top speed
  • Introduction to Zen
  • Relax in Japan’s emblematic Onsen baths
  • Tokyo’s fast-paced neighborhoods
  • Discover a fine and atypical gastronomy

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

Arrival in this bustling city!
Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your chosen hotel to drop off your luggage.

Days 2 to 6: Tokyo

Self-guided tours of Tokyo and its surroundings.
Suggestion: a trip to Hamarikyu, a Japanese garden once used as a private villa by a powerful feudal lord during the Edo period. A collection of seasonal flowers and a tea room make it one of the most visited gardens in Tokyo. From the park, you can take a picturesque river cruise along Asakusa, part of the Shitamachi or Tokyo’s old town. End the day with a visit to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Meij, famous for wedding receptions.
Enjoy a full day exploring this amazing city. Visit the Akihabara electronics district or discover some of Tokyo’s world-renowned museums and art galleries.
Highlights Tower of Winds, Spiral Edifice, TokyoEdo Museum (closed on Mondays), Tokyo International Forum, Odaiba district, Roppongi Hills (commercial and cultural complex), Aoyama Technical College ; but also Asakusa temple, Meiji-jingu Shinto shrine and garden, Nezu Institute of Fine Arts (closed on Mondays), Mori Art Museum (closed on Mondays), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (closed on Mondays), Ginza, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, Ameyoko market and Tsukiji fish market (around 5.30 a.m.).

Day 7: Tokyo / Takayama

Free, unassisted train transfer from Tokyo to Takayama, with your JR Pass. Free afternoon in Takayama to discover the “Little Kyoto” of the Alps. Duration: approx. 6 hours.
Recommendations for visits :
From your ryokan, stroll through the local market at dawn, wander through the wonderfully picturesque streets of Sanmachi Suji, stop off at the magnificent Kusakabe Mingeikan house, discover the Higashiyama Teramachi temple and shrine complex, be seduced by a mechanical puppet show, enter the reconstructed traditional houses of the beautiful open-air museum of Hida Folk Village…

Day 8: Takayama

Day at your disposal.
We recommend a stroll through Takayama’s shitamachi, where the streets are lined with century-old merchants’ houses and sake breweries. Stop off at one of the brasseries for a taste of the local cuisine, or queue up for the famous Hida beef sushi at one of the specialist stands.

Optional excursion: Food & Culture tour and Hida bike ride

Day 9: Takayama – Kyoto

Free, unassisted train transfer from Takayama to Kyoto with your JR pass… approx. 4 hours’ journey. You’ll discover wild landscapes along the way.

Days 10 to 13: Kyoto

Recommendations for visits: The Philosopher’s Path, Ginkaku-ji, Kyomizu-dera, Sanjusangen-do, Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji temples, Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Hall (pottery), Fureai-kan Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (traditional art objects), Hosomi Art Museum (Shinto and Buddhist art), Nomura Museum (paintings, tea ceremony utensils, ceramics), Kampo Museum (traditional arts), Hashimoto Kantetsu Memorial Museum (paintings), Costume Museum, the traditional districts of Gion and Pontocho, the picturesque streets of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka. But also Fuka (specialized for 130 years in the manufacture and sale of fu or wheat gluten), Iriyama Tofu (manufacture and sale of tofu), Nishimura (sale of Ukiyo-e), Ippo-cho (tea store), Nakanishi Toku Shoten (antique dolls) or the temple gardens found throughout the city.

Day 14: Kyoto / Kiitanabe / Yunomine Onsen

Free, unassisted train transfer from Kyoto to Kiitanabe.

Transfer (1h40) by local bus (not included) to Kawayu onsen, a unique hot spring storing its geothermal waters beneath the lovely Ota River.

At this spa, ready-to-use open-air baths are prepared for guests, but it’s possible to dig a separate bath and watch the onsen waters precipitate from the ground. During the coldest months of December, January and February, a 600-square-meter heat bath called Sennin-buro (bath for a thousand people) is built along the river.

Day 15: Kawayu Onsen / Awayu Onsen / Yunomine Onsen

Transfer (10min) by shuttle bus from your ryokan to Hosshinmon-oji. From here, you’ll follow the ancient Kumano roads once used by pilgrims on their way from Kyoto to the three great Kumano shrines. You’ll pass through a forest steeped in mystery and spirituality, with a unique atmosphere. Easy hike (7km / 3h walk with breaks) to the Kumano Hongu Taisha sanctuary, dotted with beautiful viewpoints. Enjoy this place said to be inhabited by Shinto deities. Then local bus to Yunomine onsen, whose history dates back over 1800 years and is considered one of the oldest onsen in Japan.

Day 16: Yunomine Onsen / Kiikatsura

This morning you’ll travel the Kumano River in a traditional boat, just as pilgrims once did between Hongu Taisha and Hayatama Taisha. An excellent way to admire the beauty and feel the spirituality of the surrounding nature, just like the pilgrims of yesteryear. Then, in Singu, visit the Hatayama Taisha, another of the Kii Peninsula’s three sacred shrines. It is dedicated to one of the gods who believed he had discovered Japan. This shrine is one of Japan’s leading pilgrimage destinations, with its religious foundation derived from the ancient cult of Nachi Falls, the country’s largest waterfall.

Within walking distance of the shrine are the Kamikurajinja Shrine and Gotobikiwa Rock, which can be visited before taking the train or bus from Shingu Station to Katsuura, a popular fishing village.

Note: The boat pilgrimage is available from March to November.

Day 17: Kiikatsura / Osaka

— End of your 14-day JRP —

Free, unassisted train transfer from KiiKatsuura to Osaka.

Day 18: Osaka

Free time to explore Osaka.

Recommendations: Osaka Castle and its park, a symbol of its feudal history. The Shin – Sekai district, the “New World” at once youthful, frenetic and old-fashioned, and the Tsutenkaku tower overlooking it. The typical Dotonbori district. Osaka Kaiyukan aquarium. The umeda Sky building, the city’s architectural feat.

Day 19: Osaka

Free time to explore Osaka.

Recommendations: Osaka Castle and its park, a symbol of its feudal history. The Shin – Sekai district, the young, frenetic and old-fashioned “New World”, and the Tsutenkaku tower overlooking it. The typical Dotonbori district. Osaka Kaiyukan aquarium. The umeda Sky building, the city’s architectural feat.

Day 20: Flight Osaka/France

Collective transfer from your hotel to Kansai airport.

Departure according to your return flight.

Further information

On request. Please contact us.

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