Back Roads of Japan

Back Roads of Japan
Back Roads of Japan
Back Roads of Japan
Back Roads of Japan
Back Roads of Japan
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • G Adventures

From bubbling hot springs and white-sand beaches to ornate temples and metropolitan chaos, Japan is a land of almost mythic beauty and diversity.

Wander off the beaten path away from Japan's big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that takes you to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, there's time before and after to explore Tokyo and Kyoto, making this trip a well-rounded glimpse into Japan's past and present.

Highlights
  • Spot snow monkeys in Nagano
  • Relax in the healing waters of an onsen
  • Explore a 16th-century samurai castle
  • Cycle through the rural town of Hagi
  • Experience a homestay in a traditional Japanese community.
Tottori sand dunes visit
Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine visit
Hagi cycling tour
Zenkoji Temple visit (Nagano)
Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
Accommodation
Hotels (7 nts), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities), homestay (2 nts, multi-share).
Tottori fish market visit
Your G for Good Moment: Hagi Community Homestay, Hagi
Modern Tokyo walking tour
Jigokudani Monkey Park visit (Nagano)
Matsumoto Castle visit
Meals
3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Hagi Community Homestay welcome ceremony
Transport
Bus, bullet train, local train, bicycle, walking.
Meals Included
3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Accommodation
Hotels (7 nts), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities), homestay (2 nts, multi-share).
Fully Guided
CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout.
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Destinations
  • Japan
  • Kyoto
  • Tokyo
  • Matsumoto
  • Nagano
  • Asia
Tour Types
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • Snow Activities
  • Walking
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Canoeing-Kayaking
  • White water rafting
Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive at any time.

There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

Day 2: Tokyo

Take a CEO-led walking tour of eclectic modern Tokyo from the hub of Shinjuku to Shibuya through to Harajuku. The rest of the day is free for exploring more of the city.

Day 3: Tokyo/Nagano

Journey to Nagano, located in the Japanese Alps and host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Discover the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park and watch Japanese snow monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.

Day 4: Nagano

Enjoy a day-trip to quaint Matsumoto and visit one of Japan's most treasured castles. Return to Nagano and explore historic Zenkoji Temple.

Day 5: Nagano/Otsu

Travel to Otsu in Shiga prefecture. Located on the banks of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake, the area is known for the Ogoto Onsens. Settle in and relax with a dip in the healing waters of these Japanese style hot springs, and dine on traditional fare.

Day 6: Otsu/Hagi

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Ryokan this morning before a long travel day. In the early evening, arrive in the quaint city of Hagi, a former castle town that boasts feudal architecture. Take part in a welcome ceremony with the local residents, and meet your host family at a community homestay, a G Adventures for Good project. Get to know each other as you enjoy dinner together.

Day 7: Hagi

Explore rural Hagi on a guided morning cycle, spotting samurai architecture along the way. On return, experience authentic Japanese countryside life by partaking in seasonal activities with the community. Return to your homestay in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner with your host family.

Day 8: Hagi/Tottori

Bid farewell to your host family after enjoying breakfast together. Later, travel to Miho-misumi by train, taking in scenic views along the way. Learn the art of making "washi," a UNESCO-recognized traditional Japanese paper before continuing to the seaside town of Tottori.

Day 9: Tottori/Kyoto

Spend the morning exploring Tottori's scenic sand dunes, some reaching 50m (164 ft) in height. After, visit the local fish market and opt for a fresh seafood lunch. In the late afternoon, travel to Kyoto for two nights in the traditional heart of Japan.

Day 10: Kyoto

Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famed for an impressive 10,000 red torii gates. This afternoon, enjoy free time in this picturesque city. Opt to experience zen gardens, teahouses, shrines, and local gift shops – and maybe even spot a real-life geisha.

Kyoto is home to over 2,000 temples, including some of the most magnificent in the country, dating back centuries. Use free time to continue exploring, the options are endless – the city also boasts museums, castles, and traditional gardens – or opt to visit neighbouring Nara or Osaka. Want to feel like a real Samurai? Pre-book the Samurai Spirit Full Kembu Lesson on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.

Day 11: Kyoto

Depart at any time.

We highly recommend booking post-nights to explore more of this beautiful city.

  • Your G for Good Moment: Hagi Community Homestay, Hagi Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Hands-On Moment: Traditional Paper-making Lesson, Mihomisumi-eki
  • Modern Tokyo walking tour
  • Zenkoji Temple visit (Nagano)
  • Jigokudani Monkey Park visit (Matsumoto)
  • Matsumoto Castle visit
  • Hagi orientation walk
  • Hagi cycling tour
  • Tottori sand dunes visit
  • Tottori fish market visit
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine visit
  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Dates Price Single Availability
27-Mar-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
03-Apr-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
10-Apr-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
24-Apr-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
08-May-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
22-May-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
10-Jul-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
21-Aug-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
11-Sep-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
25-Sep-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
09-Oct-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
16-Oct-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
23-Oct-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
06-Nov-2021 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
11-Dec-2021 for 10 Nights
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-£360

19-Feb-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
05-Mar-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
19-Mar-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
02-Apr-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
16-Apr-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
30-Apr-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
14-May-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
28-May-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
11-Jun-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
16-Jul-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
20-Aug-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
03-Sep-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
17-Sep-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
01-Oct-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
15-Oct-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
29-Oct-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal
17-Dec-2022 for 10 Nights View live deal View live deal

Touring Holidays with G Adventures

Founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is proud to offer the most awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions, all carefully created to appeal to adventure-craving travellers. G Adventures started as a one-man business and is now an award-winning escorted tour operator and the world’s largest adventure travel company of more than 2,200 people in 28 offices around the globe. The team is made up of people who believe in responsible travel and have a desire to create memorable trips that embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to ensure travellers get behind the scenes and experience the real world in an authentic and sustainable manner.

As the small group adventure travel experts, G Adventures is well-known for offering impressive escorted tours in the most fabulous destinations, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Norway, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Antarctica, Canada and Australia. More than 150,000 keen travellers choose a G Adventures tour year on year, resulting from the overabundance of tours and destinations on offer to suit each individual style. You can pretty much travel anywhere with G Adventures and, no matter what kind of traveller you are, the company promises you a tour and a life-changing experience that you will never forget.

Travel styles include active tours, national geographic journeys, marine tours, rail tours, classic tours and family tours. G Adventures also offers wellness tours, 18-to-thirtysomethings tours and local living tours. This means you can enjoy yoga sessions in Thailand, get to know the quirky capital of Iceland or explore the sunny beaches and lush jungles of Central America. Alternatively, you can see southern India by rail, go on an Amazon riverboat adventure or climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain on a Kilimanjaro escorted tour.

One of the nice things about booking a tour with G Adventures is that you don’t lose your deposit if you cancel or delay your trip. Your deposit remains valid until you’re ready to start your adventure, and you can even pass it on to a friend if you wish. Also, G Adventures offers escorted tours under ABTA protection, guarantees every single departure and has staff available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about a tour. On top of all of that, the company can deliver the tour of a lifetime at a fraction of the cost and will pair up single travellers with a roommate of the same sex to avoid charging a single supplement fee.

G Adventures has won numerous awards to date, including Best Escorted Tour Operator, Best Adventure Travel Company and Best Sustainable Tour Operator, to name just a few. You can also rest assured that G Adventures is committed to doing the right thing all the time for not just the staff and travellers but also the people and the places that the team help you to visit. This includes working with small local businesses and entrepreneurs to strengthen their communities and to ensure your travel money stays where you have spent it.

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tour details

This tour is operated by G Adventures

10 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:12 - 15
Suitable For: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Accommodation:Hotels (7 nts), traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities), homestay (2 nts, multi-share).
Difficulty:3 - Average
Meals:3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
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