Experience Japan, Chubu




Dive headfirst into Japanese culture, from fine dining and sake-brewing to exploring castles, temples and palaces


Japan is a country that can’t just be seen. It is a country that must be experienced. This tour is all about experiences, touching everything from the ancient to the contemporary.


Volcanic activities

One night


The imperial city

Two nights


The Hidden Village

One night


History and culture

One night


Magnificent mountains

One night


The dazzling metropolis

Three nights

Experience Tradition

Stay at a renovated townhouse and a ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style travellers’ inn, exploring legendary castles, temples and palaces that have played an integral part in Japanese life for centuries.

Experience Culture

Tour Kyoto in a kimono, gaze at ancient and modern Japanese art in Tokyo and sample the delicious national and local cuisine.

Experience Nature

Peer into an active volcano, soar through mountainous vistas on an open trolley-style train, bike through rustic villages and sink deep into naturally heated sand baths.


12 days / 10 nights


Fly into Tokyo Haneda Airport, connecting to Kumamoto


Depart from either of Tokyo’s airports: Narita or Haneda

Perfect for

Lovers of history and culture who prefer to travel as a couple or in a small group and who want to see a new and more natural side of Japan

When to Visit

This tour is at its best between May and September.

Tour fees:

• Two to three passengers: From €5474 / £4592 per person

• Four to five passengers: From €4014 / £3367 per person

• Six to seven passengers: From €3544 / £2973 per person

• Eight to nine passengers: From €2945 / £2470 per person

• 10 to 14 passengers: From €2881 / £2416 per person

• 15 to 19 passengers: From €2710 / £2273 per person

• Single supplement: From €394 / £330 per person

*Based on a departure on the 4th of June.

Optional Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nara tour – From €357 / £299 per person (Minimum: Two people)

• English-speaking guide

• Private car

• Entrance to Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Grand Shrine

• Lunch

Optional Hiroshima tour – From €618 / £518 per person (Minimum: Two people)

• English-speaking guide

• Bullet Train tickets in reserved second-class seats

• Ferry to Miyajima

• Entrance to Itsukushima Shrine and Peace Memorial Museum

• Lunch


• Board: 9 nights at four-star hotels, 1 night in a deluxe ferry cabin

• Meals: Nine hotel breakfasts, one breakfast on the ferry, five lunches, three dinners

• Bullet Train tickets: One journey in reserved second-class seats (Ueda to Tokyo)

• English-speaking guide: Per itinerary (including tip and allowance)

• Entrance and activity fees: Per itinerary

• Local transport: Ferry, private car, and train, all per itinerary

• Luggage delivery


• International and domestic flights

• Drinks

• Certain meals, per itinerary

• Personal expenses

• Other items not mentioned in the itinerary

Please send us inquiry for other departure date for 2022 to 2023

Day 1: The Grand Tour Begins

Your trip begins at London Heathrow Airport, where you will board a flight to Tokyo Haneda. Biostays will handle the specifics, but an overnight journey where you’ll receive dinner on board before getting a good night’s sleep for the duration of the flight is recommended. You can then wake up to a delicious breakfast and disembark feeling refreshed and ready for your adventure to start.

Day 2: Welcome to Japan

  • Once you’ve arrived in Tokyo, you’ll meet with a local member of our team who will guide you through the next leg of your trip. You’ll transfer to the domestic terminal by shuttle bus, and once you’ve checked in, you’ll be briefed about your itinerary over the coming days.
  • Your next flight is a short hop to Kumamoto, a beautiful region in the west, famous for its active volcano, Mount Aso, and the dazzling sea of Amakusa, a clear turquoise stretch of water connecting 120 islands. After lunch on the flight, you’ll arrive to meet a local member of our team who will take you to a private car transfer to your four-star hotel, Crowne Plaza ANA Kumamoto New Sky (or another hotel of similar quality).
  • You can use this evening to relax and unwind before your adventure really begins. Your hotel has food options ranging from fine dining to lighter bites.

Day 3: Shining Kumamoto

  • After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll meet your English-speaking guide for the next two days and be taken on a private tour of Kumamoto itself by car. Your stops will include the extraordinary Kumamoto Castle, one of the finest fortresses in Japan, dating back to the early 1600s, and a stroll through the verdant Suizen-ji Garden, a perfect example of the Japanese style of landscape garden that has been tended since the 17th century.
  • You’ll be driven to Mt. Aso for lunch at the New Kusasenri Observatory restaurant, where you’ll tuck into a traditional Japanese meal as you take in the view of the vast emerald-green grassland plateau that stands in a 27,000-year-old caldera of an extinct volcano. The day continues with a mountain crater tour, where you will be able to look into the active volcano and walk around the surreal lunar landscape of ash and rocks.
  • Afterwards, you’ll be driven to the Beppu Beach Sand Bath for a unique spa experience. The sands at Beppu are heated by water rich in sodium-hydrogen carbonate. You’ll be given a yukata and buried deep into the hot sand, opening your pores and relaxing your muscles. Rinse off in the bubbling onsen nearby, completely refreshed.
  • The local port is just five minutes away, and you’ll board a comfortable overnight ferry bound for Osaka with a delicious buffet served for dinner. Watch the sunset over the mountainous coastline before returning to your deluxe cabin for a good night’s rest.

Day 4: The Imperial Capital

  • Wake up to breakfast aboard the ship, and arrive in Osaka in style before being whisked away to the nearby city of Kyoto which, with Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, traditional architecture, serene gardens and the occasional glimpse of a real geisha is the Japan you’ve been dreaming of. You can choose to try on a 'kimono or yukata', traditional Japanese robes, and if you can you keep them on while you continue your sightseeing for the day! Spend your morning exploring Kiyomizu-dera, an ancient temple that’s one of the most celebrated across Japan. You’ll also explore the Jishu Shrine where, if you can successfully find your way between two stones set 18 meters apart with your eyes closed, you will have luck in love.
  • Next up is a visit to Kifune Shrine, where you’ll eat lunch at a traditional Kyoto-style “kawadoko” restaurant, in which the floor is built over a river - perfect to help cool customers in summer. You’ll then be escorted by private car around the city, exploring Kinkaku-ji Temple - known as the Golden Pavilion because its top two floors are entirely covered in gold leaf.
  • After returning your Kimono, you’ll be whisked to your four- star hotel, the central Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto (or another hotel of similar quality), to bask in the memories of the day. Tonight’s meal is up to you, but there are plenty of fabulous options both at the hotel and in town.

Day 5: Getting to Know Kyoto

  • Day five begins with breakfast at your hotel before a day set aside to explore the abundance of culture that Kyoto has to offer at your own pace. Explore the delights of Nishiki Market, a covered marketplace selling delicious food and traditional crafts, ceramics and textiles, or visit Gion, Kyoto’s hub for artists, theatres and geisha. Lunch and dinner are for you to choose from today, so pick a restaurant from Kyoto’s dizzying array of eateries. Kyoto is especially famed for its tofu and vegetarian cuisine, and for “kaiseki”, Japanese haute cuisine, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
  • If you’d prefer a more structured day, you can choose between two optional mini-tours. The first is to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that thread a network of trails through the grounds, and then to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital was established in the year 710, where you’ll see the Todai-ji Temple, home to Japan's largest bronze Buddha. The second option presents a tour around Hiroshima and Miyajima, with journeys to and from Bullet Train and a lunch of fresh oysters. Here you can visit two World Heritage sites: the Itsukushima Shrine, which is the only shrine in the world built on water, and the Atomic Bomb Dome, standing just meters from the centre of the atomic bomb blast.

Day 6: Classical History in Kanazawa

  • You’ll meet your guide after breakfast, before a short walk to Kyoto Station where you’ll catch the Thunderbird No.9 train to Kanazawa – one of the great centres of Japanese craftsmanship for many centuries. You’ll eat a lunch of fresh-caught seafood on rice at Omicho Market, before a sightseeing trip by private car. You’ll take in the splendid Kenroku-en Gardens – known as one of the three finest classical landscape gardens in Japan, Seisonkaku – a villa built by the local feudal lord for his mother, and Kanazawa Castle Park.
  • Later that afternoon, a hands-on experience is arranged for you to learn how to apply gold leaf, one of the traditional crafts still practised in Kanazawa. You’ll discover this historic art at the hands of an expert craftsman, who will be only too happy to teach you their secrets! Your hotel this evening will be the four-star ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kanazawa or Nikko Kanazawa, where dinner will be laid on.

Day 7: Gorgeous Kurobe

  • After the excitement of yesterday, you’ll enjoy a lie-in and take breakfast at your hotel before a short drive to Kurobe. Take advantage of the all-you-can-eat sushi offering at Hama Sushi Kurobe for lunch, before you catch the scenic Torokko train from Unazuki Station. The open carriages of this trolley train let you feel the breeze on your skin as you journey across high bridges, past towering mountains and over the spectacular Kurobe Gorge.
  • Upon arriving at Keyakidaira, you’ll stroll to the Okukane Bridge, a red- lacquered bridge near the station, and then Hitokui Iwa, the “people- eating crag” that looks like the very rocks are trying to devour you. Back in Unazuki, you’ll check into Entaijiso, a traditional ryokan-style hotel for the evening, for revitalizing hot-spring baths and delicious multi- course kaiseki.

Day 8: Like Hands in Prayer

  • After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be driven to Shirakawa-go, a remote, mountainous region that spans the Shogawa River Valley. Here you’ll get to explore the town and see the “gassho-zukuri”, farmhouses with steep thatched roofs which have roofs that are constructed like hands in prayer. This distinct architectural style has developed over generations to withstand heavy snowfall and provide space to cultivate silkworms in the attic. You’ll even see the Wada House, the most renowned of all the buildings in the village.
  • You’ll eat a delicious lunch in the gasso-style restaurant Irori where you can enjoy a set meal in the traditional Japanese tatami style. Try the Hoba Miso: miso and fresh beancurd grilled on a magnolia leaf, for a delicious twist on a familiar flavour.
  • A quick 60-minute drive and you’ll arrive at the Harada Sake Brewery, which has existed for 166 years and uses spring water from the Hida Mountains to craft exceptional sake. You’ll learn all about the history and tradition of the rice wine that is so popular across Japan, and taste 10 types of sake for yourself.
  • Once you’ve become an expert in all things sake, it’s time to tour the city of Takayama. Stroll through Sanmachi Street, a wonderfully preserved street from the Edo Period. You’ll also visit the Takayama Festival Floats Hall, where the ornate floats from one of Japan’s most beautiful festivals are stored during the year. The 11 floats you’ll see are several hundred years old and stunning examples of the legendary craftsmanship of Takayama.
  • Dinner is up to you this evening, but you'll be spoilt for choice for local restaurants. Try Sen Teppan Yaki & Sushi for delicious local delicacy, for Hida beef, a delicious local delicacy which is one of the finest varieties, meeting every standard in marbling, colour, taste, texture and smell.

Day 9: Bright Lights, Big City

  • Start your day with breakfast at the hotel before hopping on a bicycle for a two-and-a-half-hour tour of the “satoyama”, the land that joins mountains and pastures. You’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide who will share their knowledge of the history, culture and landscape of this scenic place.
  • Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for lunch at a local restaurant of your choosing. Your time in Hida is up and the next leg of your journey begins on the train back to Tokyo. You’ll be driven to Hidafurukawa Station, taking a local service to Toyama where you’ll board a Bullet Train bound for the capital.
  • Tokyo needs no introduction: this thriving metropolis is alive with colour and lights that cut through the dark and illuminate the buzzing nightlife below. You’ll be spending the next three days here, so there’s no rush to see everything at once. You will be checked into your comfortable and stylish four-star hotel, Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (or another hotel of similar quality), and you can get your first taste of the city as you choose one of the extraordinary culinary experiences the city has to offer for dinner.
  • Maybe you’ll head to Omoide Yokocho, an atmospheric, narrow lane filled with 60 hole-in-the-wall restaurants to taste the yakitori, tasty skewers of meat cooked over an open flame. Or choose Tonki to try mouth-watering Tonkatsu, that has been prepared with the same recipe since 1939.

Day 10: Touring the Metropolis

  • After a hearty breakfast in either American or Japanese style, you’ll be met by our English-speaking guide who will take you on a private half-day sightseeing tour in a car. You’ll see the famous Nijubashi Bridge at the Imperial Palace, home to the emperor to this day. You’ll also see the Japanese Parliament Building and have the chance to view the city from above at the Tokyo Tower, which is 13 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower! It’s a stunning view that reaches as far as Mount Fuji on a good day. The tour finishes at Asakusa Kannon, the oldest temple in Tokyo, which has a lot of lunch options right nearby.
  • At the end of the tour, you’re free to explore whatever appeals most to you in Tokyo. There’s no better way to get a feel for the city than by treading its streets yourself, so this afternoon you’ll be free to wander on your own, and perhaps even experience the famously clean and efficient Tokyo Metro.
  • If you’re interested in the history and culture of Japan, you can visit the Tokyo National Museum, which houses the largest collection of Japanese art in the world, or perhaps a stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden to get away from the wonderful madness of the city itself. You could also ramble through Nakamise, a bustling market street where you can find souvenirs, street food and snacks. You’ll be finding your own lunch and dinner again, so take this opportunity to try extraordinary sushi or street food, rich udon soups or delicate desserts and pastries.

Day 11: Capital of the World

  • After breakfast at your hotel, you have another day to catch everything you’d like to see in Tokyo. The options are limitless. From parks, museums, shopping hubs and history, there’s something to suit every traveller.
  • You could visit different neighbourhoods to get a feel for the vast diversity of the city. In Harajuku, you can gaze at the phenomenal outfits, while Nakameguro is the artsy, chilled-out neighbourhood. You could get stuck in some activities, such as learning the traditional art of flower arranging at Sogetsu School of Ikebana or participating in an Origami class at Origami Kaikan.
  • Or, since it’s nearing the end of your trip, why not take the chance to pick up some souvenirs from any of Tokyo’s major shopping hubs, like Ginza or Shinjuku?
  • You’ll have another chance to choose your lunch and your final dinner of the trip, so make sure you choose something special - Japanese barbeque perhaps, or fresh, crisp tempura.

Day 12: Homeward Bound

On your last day in Japan, you’ll have breakfast at your hotel before being driven to Haneda Airport to board your flight to Heathrow.


  • GO CENTRAL JAPAN TOURISM ASSOCIATION is a "DMO officially recognized by the Japanese government" aiming for regional revitalization through the sustainable tourism in the nine central prefectures (Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie, Shiga).
  • We operate the "Japan Travel Navigator" platform, which focuses on tourism content rooted in nature, culture, and experiences unique to Japan, and promote the hotel quality certification system "Sakura Quality." In 2022, Sakura Quality “An ESG Practice” is recognized as an internal set of standards by the GSTC. We will promote educational activities on "accommodations that practice SDGs initiatives".
  • https://shoryudo.go-centraljapan.jp/en/
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