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Japan Autumn Odyssey

12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,845

FIRST-CLASS | SMALL GROUP TOURING: Experience Japan's temples, gardens, and castles in the autumn season. Connect from Kyoto to Tokyo, and tour historic Nara, hike the Nakasendo Trail, and explore the Japanese Alps and Kanazawa along the way. This unforgettable fall vacation has limited space available, so inquire today.

Your 12-day fall vacation through Japan starts in Kyoto, the nation’s most beautiful city, where you’ll tour famous temples and shrines, including Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari Taisha, as well as the bamboo groves of Arashiyama. In nearby Nara, enter the world’s largest wooden building and gaze upon Japan’s largest bronze Buddha statue before you ride the train north to Nagoya to hike a portion of the iconic Nakasendo Trail. Onwards into the Japanese Alps to enjoy the charming mountain atmosphere of Takayama and tour the traditional grass-roofed farmhouses of Shirakawago. In coastal Kanazawa, explore gardens and castles before you ride the shinkansen to Tokyo to spend several days in the world’s largest city and the global icon for technological advancement and urban infrastructure.


At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,845

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Arrive Kyoto

Arrive at Kansai or Itami airport and transfer to your hotel in central Kyoto. The remainder of the day is free to unpack and recover from your flight.

Accommodations: Rihga Gran Kyoto - Standard Room

Duration3 Nights
Day 2

Kyoto & Arashiyama Highlights

Spend the day in the foothills of Northern and Western Kyoto. You will visit Kinkaku-ji, a Zen temple also known as the Golden Pavilion. The top two floors of the building are completely covered in gold leaf. Our guide will lead you through the beautiful gardens and grounds. Then, travel to Arashiyama, the western side of Kyoto. In Arashiyama, visit Tenryu-ji Zen temple with one of the finest gardens in Kyoto as well as the famous verdant bamboo groves. 

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Kyoto & Fushimi Highlights

In the morning visit Fushimi Inari Shrine famous for its thousands of Torii gates that line the mountain trail. The shrine complex spans over the entire Mt. Inari (233m/765ft). On your tour, you will visit the main shrine hall and proceed through the famed vermillion gate tunnel. Walking through the truly unique vermillion gate pathway is a visually stunning experience.

Then visit Eikan-do (Zenrinji) temple for the beautiful autumn foliage and continue to Kiyomizudera temple known for its stunning panoramic views and traditional Japanese architecture. Kiyomizudera is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. After some free time to rest and recharge, gather for the evening tour. We walk along the Gion,  the geisha district. During mid-late November Kyoto has a nighttime autumn illumination event where the autumn trees and buildings are lit up at night providing mesmerizing views.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 4

Kyoto to Nara to Nagoya

Visit the historical city of Nara to explore Todai-ji Temple, home to Japan's largest bronze Buddha statue. The temple is located within Nara Park, called deer park by the locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there. Also visit Kasuga Taisha Shrine, known for its thousands of lanterns. Later in the afternoon we take the bullet train to Nagoya (approx. 50 mins) and check in to our hotel. Nagoya is perfectly positioned as a stopover to access the Nakasendo Trail. 

Accommodation: Hotel Keihan Nagoya - Standard Room

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 5

Nagoya to the Nakasendo Trail to Matsumoto

After breakfast, take a local train and bus to visit the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago post towns. The Nakasendo (path through mountains) was one of the two means of transportation between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo period. Because of restrictions by the shogunate, travelers were almost always forced to make their trips on foot. As a result, "post towns" developed every few kilometers to provide travellers with places to rest. Along the Kiso Valley, a few post towns, particularly Magome and Tsumago have been preserved to look as they once did with stone paths and wooden buildings. The trail is relatively gentle and takes around 2-3 hours to walk (approx. 8 km). There are plenty of rest stops along the way and we’ll have time to enjoy the beautiful vistas and explore the post towns. After the walk, we take the bus and train to Matsumoto where we will stay overnight. 

Accommodation: Matsumoto Marunouchi - Deluxe Room

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Day 6

Matsumoto through the Alps to Takayama

Start your day with Matsumoto Castle which is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. We take a short walk from the castle to Nakamachi-dori, a small section of Matsumoto's town center with streets lined by nicely preserved, old buildings. Then we continue to Takayama by bus, a scenic trip through the Japanese Alps.

This evening we take a walk in the district called San-machi Suji, the traditional home of Takayama’s merchants and sake brewers, which has been preserved in almost exactly the same state as 200 or 300 years ago. Here are inns, shops and taverns which trace their history back many generations. Stop at a sake brewery to sample some sake (time permitting as the shops tend to close early). Takayama’s sake is renowned nation-wide, thanks to the clear water of the surroundings. Also visit Takayama Jinya, the site of a government office where the main building still remains. Tonight we will savor a Hida beef cuisine dinner. Hida beef is the regional type of wagyu beef. 

Accommodation: Takayama Green Hotel - Tenryokaku Standard Room

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 7

Takayama to Shirakawago to Kanazawa

This morning visit Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River in Takayama’s old town. Most stands sell local crafts and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers. Then we depart Takayama by public bus to the Shirakawago region. Your guide will show you around the village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukkuri translates as ‘Praying Hands’, as the farmhouse's steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer, and are designed to withstand the heavy snows which fall in the region. You will be able to look around inside one of these and will see how life in Japan's mountainous region used to be. Continue by bus to Kanazawa and check in to your hotel in Kanazawa for the next two nights. 

Accommodation: Hotel Kanazawa - Plus Room

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Day 8

Kanazawa Highlights

Take a full day tour of Kanazawa. Soak in the historic atmosphere of the Nagamachi Samurai District as you walk the narrow lanes flanked by the traditional residences where the Samurais and their families lived during the Edo period. Visit the restored Nomura Samurai house and its exquisite tiny garden best viewed from the second floor tea room. Take a stroll through Kenrokuen Garden, a large Japanese landscape garden regarded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. The garden invokes all six design elements of spaciousness, seclusion, serenity, subtleness, panoramas and water courses. Also visit the well preserved historic Higashi Chaya Geisha district. The beautiful wooden chayas (tea houses) were the venues where Geishas once entertained nobility and rich merchants. The number of Geishas have dwindled over the years but there still remains a few active tea houses here where Geishas entertain their well off clients. We will also have the opportunity to create your very own gold leaf masterpiece. Gold leaf is made by beating gold into an extremely thin sheet with a thickness of 0.1 to 0.125 millionths of a meter. It is so thin that it will disappear when you rub it with your fingers. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century. 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 9

Kanazawa to Tokyo

This morning visit Omicho market, for a hands-on temari sushi making lesson. Temari sushi is a form of sushi that is shaped like a small ball. Our lesson will be at a Kanazawa machiya house (traditional Kanazawa style house). Eat your own creations for lunch and enjoy a mini-tea matcha green tea ceremony to finish off the lesson.

In the afternoon we take the bullet train to Tokyo (approx. 2.5 hrs).

Accommodation: Hotel Metropolitan Edmont - East Wing Room

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration3 Nights
Day 10

Tokyo Highlights

A full day in Tokyo exploring the city like a Tokyoite, by public transportation. We will visit Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine,  dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Then walk around the trendy high fashion district of Omotesando and Shibuya. After lunch we visit Tokyo's old town area where you can soak in the atmosphere of old Tokyo. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo's oldest temple, and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 10

Tokyo at leisure

Enjoy a free day to further explore Tokyo at your own pace. Your guide will be able to make suggestions on what to see and do. 

In the evening we gather for a farewell dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Depart Tokyo

Sayonara, farewell, our tour concludes today. You will be transferred to Haneda or Narita airport for your departure flight. 

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information



US $

CA $

14 November $5,845 $7,450



  • Meet and Greet on arrival 
  • Airport bus arrival and departure transfers (unguided)
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 11 breakfast, 8 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Public train and bus transportation throughout the tour
  • Services of a full time tour director/guide for the duration of the trip
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing visited
  • Luggage transfers on Day 4 and 9 (1 piece per person)


  • International airfare into Osaka and return from Tokyo
  • Beverages during included lunches and dinners
  • Other meals
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

14 Nov 2023
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