Japan Through Local Eyes

A land of stark contrast, Japan possesses a cultural nuance that few travelers come close to deciphering. Fascinating but enigmatic, the traditions and customs of the Land of the Rising Sun can be complex and restrict a true understanding of local people and culture. 

When: Early April How Long: 10 Days/9 Nights Transportation: Train and private driver Tourist Crowd: Very Few and Mostly Japanese

This insightful 10-day itinerary in Japan takes travelers deep inside the fabric of Japanese society with trips to some of the lesser-seen regions of Japan, such as Takayama, Kanazawa, Matsumoto and Kiso Valley, as well as the iconic must-see destinations of Kyoto and Tokyo.

Starting in Tokyo, this insider 10-day itinerary in Japan will view the country from a local’s perspective, using efficient public transportation to see the sites that few foreign travelers know but which locals flock to.

In Tokyo, you’ll explore quirky districts and museums along with iconic sites. Just 3 hours away in Matsumoto, a historical mountain town, you’ll visit the legendary castle and take in the serene countryside.

From Matsumoto you’ll journey to the Kiso Valley and enjoy a 3-hour walk to Takayama along the atmospheric Nakasendo Trail. Once in Takayama, you’ll be immersed in an unchanged, traditional lifestyle and see the area’s characteristic architecture up close. At beautifully preserved Kanazawa, the penultimate stop before Kyoto, you’ll enjoy the ancient culture and traditional Edo Period neighborhoods.

Your insider Japan tour concludes with iconic experiences in Kyoto, including a cooking class on traditional Japanese cuisine, a sake tasting session at a local brewery, and a guided tour of several of Kyoto’s famous World Heritage Sites. 

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