Japan Winter Highlights
This trip has alternate itineraries available. Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.
Nara Festival Jan Departure Jan 19 to Jan 19

Japan in winter is simply unforgettable. Join this nine-day tour to explore big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, then roam the iconic geisha district in Kanazawa. Visit the Swiss-like village of Shirakawa-go before heading to Kawayu Onsen to enjoy local-style accommodation and the traditional onsens (outdoor hot springs) that make winter tours in this country so fun. Make next winter something special in Japan.

  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AJWJ.C/201412
  • Starts: Tokyo, Japan
  • Finishes: Kyoto, Japan
  • Age requirement: 12 +
You will Visit
  • Tokyo
  • Shirakawa
  • Kanazawa-shi
  • Hongū
  • Osaka
  • Kyoto



Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.


Day 2: Tokyo

Enjoy a morning tour of some of the city's highlights. With a free afternoon, opt to explore more of Tokyo's diverse districts.


Day 3: Tokyo/Shirakawa-go

It's a long travel day to reach the scenic village of Shirakawa-go. View the unique architecture before settling into a local style inn for the night. Enjoy a traditional dinner.


Day 4: Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa

Enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Kanazawa by bus. Wander through the samurai village on a short guided walk and take a guided tour of the Ninja Temple. Opt to visit the impressive 21st Century Museum, the geisha district, or Kenrokuen garden.


Day 5: Kanazawa/Kawayu Onsen

Travel to Kawayu Onsen in the Kii mountains and settle into the traditional inn for the evening. Visit the seninburo onsen, dug into the riverbed, and soak in the natural hot spring. Savour a traditional dinner at the inn.
It's a long, but scenic, travel day to reach the Wakayama prefecture. Kawayu Onsen is known for its large, outdoor onsen bath dug every winter into the river bed.

Dress in the yukata (cotton kimono) provided by the inn and stroll over to the seninburo (large public hot spring) to enjoy an unforgettable soak in the steamy natural hot spring water.


Day 6: Kawayu Onsen/Osaka

Spend a free morning in the area. Opt to walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail or visit the Hongu Taisha Shrine and giant torii gate of Oyu No Hara. Travel to Osaka in the late afternoon and opt for a night out in buzzing Namba.


Day 7: Osaka

Visit the Instant Ramen Museum and create your own instant noodles. Explore this vibrant city with free time, opting to visit Osaka Castle Park or browse Shinsaibashi's trendy shops.
Osaka has heaps to offer including Osaka Castle Park, Shinsaibashi shopping street and Dotombori Bridge. Be sure to try "takoyaki" the city's famous squid snack. Osaka is a unique culinary destination – opt for a group meal of "kushikatsu".


Day 8: Osaka/Kyoto

Continue on to nearby Kyoto and enjoy a morning city tour. With options like a tea ceremony, a traditional costume photo shoot, and visits to temples or museums, there's tons to see and do. In the evening, travel to nearby Nara for the Mountain Burning Festival. Enjoy fireworks, a bonfire, and mountainside burning in Japan's ancient capital. Head back to Kyoto for the night.


Day 9: Kyoto

Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this historic city.

    • Your Wellness Moment: Seninburo Hot Spring Visit, Hongū
    • CEO-led city tour of Tokyo
    • Ninja Temple visit
    • Nagamachi samurai district walk
    • Minshuku stay with traditional meals
    • Orientation walk of Osaka
    • Instant Ramen Museum visit (Osaka)
    • Mountain Burning Festival visit (Nara)
    • CEO-led city tour of Kyoto, including entrance to Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion
    • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
    • Transport to/from all included activities and between all destinations
    • Hotels (6 nts), traditional inn (2 nts)
    • 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    • Train, public bus, subway, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
Why book with us?

Trusted by travellers since 1979

We guarantee to beat any price

Low deposits, Book now. Pay later.

24/7/365 Help on the road

Tour Highlights:
  • Lay eyes on the glitz of Tokyo
  • Combat winter's chill soaking in outdoor onsen spas
  • Sleep in a farmhouse in a snowy village
  • Make your own instant ramen in Osaka
  • Celebrate the season at local festivals (select departures).