Journey with us on A Mystical Odyssey in Bhutan (12 - 18 March '23).

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A Healing Journey in Central Japan

From rich culture to natural wonders, this 12D11N journey showcases the best of Japan’s lesser-known central regions. You’ll visit the scenic Gifu Prefecture, famed for its untouched traditional villages and picturesque mountain ranges, before heading to the coastal region of Hokuriku. Here you will experience hot spring baths and have the opportunity to cycle through some of the best scenery in Japan, passing beaches, rice fields and rural villages along Noto Peninsula’s famed coastline. There will also be time to check out local markets while trying your hand at silk kimono painting and glass blowing.

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1 Arrival in Takayama

Arrive at Nagoya Airport (NGO) or Kyoto. Travel by bullet train. Meet guide and transfer to Takayama. Lunch at a local restaurant. Explore Takayama with our local guide

Day 2 Takayama

Rise early this morning for a visit to the Takayama Morning Market. Meet our guide for a behind the scenes experience in Takayama Old town. Stock up on Hida folk crafts, such as lacquered bowls, wood carvings, and other items at the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum. Finish up the day with a leisurely walk down Kami Sannomachi Street. Take a rickshaw ride. There are many lovely historic buildings in this area and many homes are open to the public, which provide valuable insight into the former living quarters of the local merchants. Maybe you might like to visit Gokayama to learn the art of Japanese paper making.

Day 3 Shirakawago

Set off early in the morning to transfer to Shirakawago. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, the village is home to several dozen well preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. In the afternoon, visit Utsue 48 Waterfalls. Continue your journey with a Dekonaru-za Taiko Performance Show.

Day 4 Kanazawa

Today you’ll visit one of the most famous gardens in Japan - Kenroku-en. Make your way to the only studio in the area where you can see silk kimono patterns being painted. Give it a try yourself. No trip to Japan would be complete without sampling Japanese green tea. Sample a few types at Higashi Chaya Street before going to Wakura Onsen (Hot Springs).

Day 5 Kagaya / Noto Peninsula

Spend the morning at your leisure in Hokuriku's only seaside onsen town, with a 1200-year history. Kagaya has a variety of hot spring baths, including outdoor and open-air baths. Enjoy the fragrance of their hot spring baths and smell of salt-infused air. Why not explore the Ishikawa prefecture further - perhaps cycle through some of the best and most unspoiled scenery in Japan, the Noto Peninsula’s famed coastline passing beaches, rice fields and rural villages.  

Day 6 Wajima

Travel further north to explore Wajima and the intimate picturesque ryokan of Lamp No Yado. This romantic ryokan of 13 rooms is composed of a few charming wooden buildings. Guests can enjoy views of the sea from their rooms, all of which feature tatami flooring and futons, and upgraded rooms have terraces and open-air onsens. Enjoy its carefully crafted seafood dishes, and there is also a small shrine and a Buddhist temple nearby, should guests want a break from luxury lounging.

Day 7 Wajima

Make an excursion to visit the charming city of Wajima, this is the largest city in the north of the peninsula with a humble population of just about 30,000. Wajima is known for its lacquerware, which is on sale at the morning market along with various other goods, seafood, and produce.   If you’re lucky you will catch the autumn street festivals.

Day 8 Kamikochi / Matsumoto

After a hearty breakfast, transfer to Kamikochi. Enjoy exploring Kamikochi and have a delightful lunch before heading to Matsumoto. In the afternoon, visit the Matsumoto castle and end the day with a walking tour in the central area. By around 16:30, check in at hotel and free at leisure.

Day 9 Azumino

Begin your journey with a visit in Daio Wasabi Farm. Enjoy a ride in Azumino Clear Boat. Learn about the Glass making in Azumino Glass Studio. You might want to go on shopping and eat local foods and fruits at Azumino Swiss Village. End the day with a visit to the spacious farm of Horse Land Azumino.

Day 10 Karuizawa

Early this morning, meet your local guide and  transfer to mountainous area of Karuizawa.

Day 11 Mt. Asama / Kyu-Karuizawa

Meet our guide for a private journey to Mt. Asama Magma Stone Park. Continue your excursion and be mesmerized to Shiraito Waterfall and then to Kyu-Usui Pass. Finish your day with a visit to Kyu-karuizawa area. You might also check out the stores in the shopping street of Karuizawa Ginza.

Day 12 Departure from Karuizawa

Transfer by Shinkansen from Karuizawa to Nagoya via Tokyo station. Take this opportunity to explore this interesting city before your international departure. You can choose to spend a night or two here before your return to Singapore.

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at

Back To Japan

Practical Information

Locations covered

Takayama, Shirakawago, Kagaya, Wajima, Kamikochi, Matsumoto, Karuizawa

Recommended months to travel

Central Japan is great for travelling all year round

Level of difficulty


Indicative price

Price Upon Request.

As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

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