10 days Tokyo to Tokyo
10-day Japan in Winter Tour
Tour magical Japan in Winter on selected departure dates throughout December and January 2020. Join us on a group tour and unmissable winter adventure across 5 destinations in Japan in just 10 days!
Fewer crowds, crisp white landscapes and Japanese onsens are just a few of the many reasons why winter is the perfect time to travel in Japan.
Our 10-day Japan in Winter tour will take you on a magical winter adventure, from wandering the streets of a historical mountain village to bathing in a traditional Japanese onsen, you’ll immerse yourself into local culture with lots of fun-filled winter activities.
What's included on your trip
All nights are spent in warm and cosy hostels
Epic bilingual Adventure Leaders in each city
Transport within Japan
Lots included & optional activities can be added.
Itinerary & map
Day 1 – Tokyo:
Begin your Japan in Winter group tour with a pre-departure briefing from your Adventure Leader and spend some time getting to know your fellow dragons.
Follow on from your briefing with a visit to the Asakusa District and explore the Sensō-Ji temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple that became independent after WWI. Afterwards, wander the streets of Akihabara, one of the busiest shopping spots in the city. Here, you will find lots of department stores and electronic shops along with venues specifically designed for Manga, anime and video game enthusiasts. As an optional activity, you can enjoy a spot of lunch at one of Tokyo’s maid restaurants, a cosplay theme restaurant where waitresses dress up as maids.
After lunch, soak up incredible views from the top of the Metropolitan Government Building and try your hand at one of Japan’s most beloved sports, baseball.
Why not finish the evening with an optional night out in Golden Gai or a visit to one of Tokyo’s robot shows. Here, you can sit back, enjoy a few drinks and be entertained by dancing robots!
Day 2 – Tokyo:
In the morning, you will head to Ryōgoku to discover Tokyo’s fascinating history at Edo-Tokyo Museum. Then, pay a visit to the Sumo Museum and learn about the history of the sport. Whilst you’re here, why not take part in an optional sumo experience and learn about the art of sumo! For lunch, enjoy the option of tucking into a hearty dish of Chanko Nabe, a hot pot filled with fresh vegetables and lots of protein – traditionally eaten by Sumo wrestlers.
Make your way to Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion district, known for its vibrant colours, trend-setting fashion and edgy vintage stores. If you want to take a break from shopping, you can also take some time to explore Meiji Jingu or enjoy a visit to the Nezu Museum, home to many beautiful artwork pieces originating from Japan, China and Korea.
The next stop will be Shibuya Crossing, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Here, you will find the Hachiko Statue that honours Hachiko, the famously loyal Akita dog. Later, why not take some time to explore the area further and stop by the Cat Café MoCHA to make some furry friends while enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake?
Spend the evening at one of Tokyo’s biggest winter festivals, Winter Illumination. With thousands of twinkling lights, immerse yourself in the magical wonderland of Tokyo’s brightest festival.
Day 3 – Kanazawa:
In the morning hop on a high-speed bullet train and travel to the city of Kanazawa, situated in the picturesque Japanese alps. Upon arrival check into your new hostel and head out for some lunch at Kanazawa’s largest indoor food market. With over 186 different stalls, treat your taste buds and sample some of Kanazawa’s finest seafood and fresh fruit.
Afterwards, travel to the city centre and wander the grounds of Kanazawa Castle, an important castle during the Edo period and once home to various members of the Maeda family. Here, you can learn about the history of the castle and enjoy stunning views of Kenrokuen Garden, a traditional Japanese park that extends over 25 acres.
In the evening visit Higashi Chaya, known as the ‘Eastern Teahouse District’. Take some time to explore the historic streets and admire the beautifully restored teahouses. With lots of restaurants and souvenir craft shops, you can take this opportunity to try some gold leaf ice cream and experience a traditional geisha show.
Day 4 – Takayama:
Time to pack up the backpack, check out of your hostel and travel aboard a bus to Nagamachi, a samurai district that preserves the historic walls, entrance, canals and narrow lanes for the samurai residence who remain in the area.
Afterwards, travel to Takayama, a mountainous city in the Gifu Prefecture and the heart of Japan’s mountain culture. Check into your new hostel and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the wonders of Takayama and soaking up its rustic charm. Or if you’re in the mood to for a bit of competition, you can take part in an optional round of Japanese style archery.
Later, make your way to Dekonari Yokocho for a group dinner with your fellow dragons. After dinner, spend some time meeting some of the locals and enjoy Takayama’s cosy atmosphere with a glass of warm sake, Japan’s signature rice wine.
Day 5 – Takayama:
In the morning head to the village of Shirakawa-Go Ogimachi, a UNESCO world heritage site. From mid-December, snow begins to fall turning this stunning mountainous village into an idyllic winter wonderland. Get up close to the famous thatched-roof houses and observe the old ways of living in the Edo period. After, take part in an optional visit to the Ogimachi-jo observatory and explore the castle ruins.
After returning to Takayama, indulge in a Hida Beef Yakiniku dinner. A winter favourite that combines grilled beef and vegetables served over a bed of rice.
Day 6 – Takayama:
Start the day with a visit to the Asaichi market, one of Japan’s biggest morning markets. For breakfast, choose from an array of fresh green vegetables, fruit and dried foods before heading to Shinhotaka via bus.
Hop on the Shinhotaka Ropeway and soak up the incredible views of the Okhudia Region. Stop off at Shinhotaka Onsen and spend the afternoon bathing in a hot spring pool. Take the time to relax in the hot spring waters and enjoy a crisp white backdrop of the Northern Alps.
After a rejuvenating afternoon, learn about the art of Japanese rice wine during a Sake tasting session at your hostel! You’ll listen to an introduction about how sake is made, the different varieties and top it off with tasting opportunities to truly understand the art.
Day 7 – Kyoto:
Wake up early and hop on a train to your next destination, Kyoto. Upon arrival check into your new hostel and then make your way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which leads into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.
Finish your day with an optional Izakaya dinner, a traditional Japanese dining experience. After, visit Pontocho alley, a quintessential part of Kyoto. Full of lanterns and intimate wood-panelled restaurants – enjoy the atmospheric vibes and look out for geishas wandering past!
Day 8: Kyoto:
You’ll start the day with a two-hour boat trip down the Hozugawa River. In a traditional wooden raft, driven by guides, you’ll cruise through rocky ravines and experience the rush of rapids as you meander through the Arashiyama Hills. Later, you’ll head across to the Iwateyama Monkey Park. It’s a tough climb up, but at the top, you can feed monkeys or simply enjoy the panorama of Kyoto below.
After, you’ll visit the Tenryu-Ji Temple, one of the most important Zen temples. With this, you’ll walk around the temple’s gardens, that was designed in the 14th century and are a real show-stopper. Finally, you’ll hike through Arashiyama’s famous Bamboo Forest.
In the evening, let your hair down and enjoy some Japanese karaoke with the rest of your group!
Day 9 – Osaka:
Spend your last day exploring Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous landmarks as it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century. Take a stroll around the castle that rises above the moat, and don’t forget to check out the 9-level dungeon.
Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to explore more of Osaka on your own. We suggest hitting up Shinsaibashi for the ultimate Japanese shopping experience or visit Arima Onsen, Japan’s oldest hot spring town. With both onsens known to benefit circulation and moisturise the skin, finish your trip feeling relaxed and refreshed.
End the day with a food tour around the streets of Osaka, where you’ll live a local and explore the city’s most delicious eateries. After, enjoy some group drinks with your Adventure Leader and soak up Osaka’s atmospheric nightlife.
Day 10 – Osaka:
Today marks the end of your winter adventure. Take some time to say goodbye to your fellow Dragon Trippers and catch your train back to Tokyo to finish up or continue on your travels!
Our Japan in Winter group tour includes the following features:
• A bilingual, epic Adventure Leader throughout the entire trip
• Transport within Japan
• Accommodation (including hostels)
Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard on our Japan tours. Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available, please contact us for more information.
Our included activities:
• Panoramic city views from the Metropolitan Government building (Tokyo)
• Asakusa district and Sensoji Temple (Tokyo)
• Explore Akihabara (Tokyo)
• Visit the famous Shibuya Cross and Hachiko statue (Tokyo)
• Edo-Tokyo Museum (Tokyo)
• Sumo Museum (Tokyo)
• Batting cage (Tokyo)
• Golden Gai (Tokyo)
• Visit Harajuku shopping district (Tokyo)
• Winter Illumination Tour (Tokyo)
• Lunch at Omicho Market (Kanazawa)
• Kanazawa Castle (Kanazawa)
• Kenrokuen Garden (Kanazawa)
• Visit the Higashi Chaya district (Kyoto)
• Nagamachi Samurai House Area (Takayama)
• Dekonari Yokocho group dinner (Takayama)
• Shirakawa-Go Ogimachi (Takayama)
• Hida Beef Yakiniku dinner (Takayama)
Activities that aren’t included:
• Cat Cafe MoCHA – Basic: ¥200/1o min + plus tax, Unlimited drinks: ¥350 + tax, Cat treats: ¥500 + plus tax (Tokyo)
• Maid Cafe – Entry fee: ¥500/60min excluding tax, food and drink aprox. ¥1500-¥2500 per person (Tokyo)
• Tokyo Sumo District experience £55/£85 (Tokyo)
• Robot Show – much be booked before trip (Tokyo)
• Chanko-Nabe lunch – approx ¥1500-¥2000 per person (Tokyo)
• Japanese Archery – ¥300 yen for 10 arrows (Takayama)
• Ogimachi-jo Castle Ruins Obervatory (Takayama)
• Try Ekiben on the train (Kyoto)
• Izakaya dinner (Kyoto)
• Karaoke – approx. ¥1000-¥1500 per person (Kyoto)
Most of our optional activities can be booked during your trip through your Adventure Leader however there are a couple that are so popular, that they must be booked in advance to guarantee availability. They are listed below:
• Sumo Wrestling Experience and/or Lunch
• Robot Show
To find out more about these activities and to reserve your space, please contact a member of our reservations team.
On this budget Japan tour, accommodation is in hostel dorm rooms as standard. The price of a single room upgrade for the trip is £600 (per person) and a double room upgrade is £500 per person.
We can also arrange for additional accommodation before or after the group tour to allow you to acclimatise to the jet lag or relax after an action packed couple of weeks.
We do not book airport transfers. The best and more affordable way of getting to/from Tokyo’s airports is by public transport. Our sales team can recommend the best way of reaching our hostels depending on the airport you are flying in to.
A deposit is required to make a reservation on our Japan in Winter group tours, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply).
The deposit is 10% of the group tour price (unless stated otherwise). If you book on to our Japan tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
No bookings can be accepted within 40 days of a trip departure date.