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Quaint Shirakawago

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10 Days Classic Central Honshu

Dominated by the magnificent Japan Alps, peppered with top onsen resorts, old castle- and temple-towns, and quaint old-fashioned villages in remote valleys, Central Honshu offers a fantastic choice of terrain and travel possibilities. Venture beyond the major cities with this 10-day adventure through Central Japan’s most stunning natural and cultural wonders, from glittering Tokyo to Japan's first permanent capital of Nara. In between, you'll visit the grand castle of Matsumoto, enjoy an easy hike in the Japanese Alps, wander through the 16th-century architecture of Takayama, discover the alpine valleys and traditional straw-thatched houses of Shirakawa-go, stroll through the famous gardens of Kanazawa, and explore the streets of Nara's Edo-period merchant district. 

ITINERARY DAY-TO-DAY

1

DAY

TOKYO

Stay at the Palace Hotel just opposite the Imperial Palace gardens.

2

DAY

TOKYO / MATSUMOTO

Take a limited express train to Matsumoto. Explore Matsumoto castle, one of the five castles designated as 'National Treasures of Japan'. Enjoy some free time to explore the Nawate and Nakamachi shopping streets for pottery, lacquerware and wooden crafts. 

3

DAY

MATSUMOTO

Visit Daio wasabi farm that grows some of the highest quality Japanese horseradishes from the sparkling spring waters of the Japanese Alps. Enjoy a tour of Kametaya Sake Brewery that is now with its 6th generation owner followed by the Matsumoto City Museum of Art housing a permanent exhibition of  famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama who was born in Matsumoto. 

4

DAY

MATSUMOTO / KAMIKOCHI / TAKAYAMA

Drive to Kamikochi. Begin your hike from Taishoike Pond towards Yakedake volcano and along the way pass by beautiful rivers and spot wildlife including monkeys! Drive to Takayama.

5

DAY

TAKAYAMA

Walk down the popular Miyagawa morning market for local crafts and snacks before exploring the Kusakabe heritage house for an introduction to the old Takayama lifestyle. Discover the elaborately decorated festival floats at the Takayama Festival Float Museum and learn wagakki, traditional Japanese instruments used in Kabuki and classical Japanese dance. 

6

DAY

TAKAYAMA / SHIRAKAWA-GO / KANAZAWA

Drive to Shirakawa-go, a world heritage site comprising of several villages built in the traditional Gassho-zukuri style. Drive to Kanazawa.

7

DAY

KANAZAWA

Tour the beautiful Kenrokuen landscape garden, commissioned by the powerful Maeda family and later open to the public. Explore Higashichaya old town and Shima Teahouse for a sip of tea and quaint traditional Japanese confectionery, wagashi. Meet master artisans at the exquisite gold leaf production and try your hand at creating your own keepsake.

8

DAY

KANAZAWA / KYOTO / NARA

Explore the old Samurai district of Nagamachi and the Nomura Samurai House, a household that served the Maeda clan during the Edo period. Stop by the Omicho market that has been serving the community for nearly 280 years with shell fish, sea produce and more. Learn how to make authentic tempura dishes using seasonal seafood and vegetables. Take a limited express train to Kyoto followed by a private transfer to Nara.

9

DAY

NARA

Visit the Tanimura Tango Tea Whisk Workshop where you can learn techniques to the traditional tea ceremony and try your hand at creating your own whisk. Explore Todaiji temple built in 752 that once served as the head temple of Buddhism in Japan. Visit the Kobaein artisans who still handcrafts ink sticks used for traditional calligraphy then explore Naramachi, once a merchant district of old Nara.

10

DAY

NARA / KANSAI

Meet the deers, symbols of Nara and explore the Kasuga Grand Shrine with thousands of lanterns donated by devotees. Meet the abbot of Jikoin Temple and learn about tea ceremony etiquette and procedures alongside some traditional sweets. 

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Aurelius Travel Pte Ltd

License No. : 03041

8 Eu Tong Sen Street, 

The Central, 

#21-91, Office 1,

Singapore 059818

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