Back Roads of Japan
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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.

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Map for Back Roads of Japan


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Tokyo
Arrive at any time.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Otsu/Hagi
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Ryokan this morning before a long travel day. In the late afternoon, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Depart at any time.

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