Team Travel Kuramoto


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8 Days
Itinerary for Nature and Summer Festivals Lovers

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Nagoya Arrival

    After being welcomed by our private guide, transfer to your accommodation in central Nagoya by private vehicle. Settle in your new environment and relax before you start your Japan adventures the next day.

    Nagoya is Japan’s third-largest city after Tokyo and Osaka. It is located in the centre of Japan, is the capital of Aichi Prefecture, and is the home to the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation.

    Night in Nagoya
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 2 – Nagoya –Toyota factory tour and summer festival

    In the morning, head just outside Nagoya to Toyota city, home of Toyota industries. Join a very interesting tour of the factory and learn about the history of the car company. The Toyota Museum is also a must-see with its incredible collection of vintage cars.

    Returning to Nagoya in the afternoon, visit the Osu Kannon Temple. Underneath Osu Kannon’s main hall is the Shinpukuji Library which contains over 15,000 classic Japanese and Chinese texts. Among these texts are several national treasures and important cultural properties, including the oldest copy of the Kojiki, a chronicle of the early history of Japan including its mythological origins. Next to the temple, you will find the entrance of the Osu shopping street with more than 400 stores and restaurants.

    Finally, in the evening, make your way to Nagoya Castle for the summer festivities. This festival illustrates the atmosphere of Japanese festivals in the olden days, primarily using the chochin (paper lanterns) that are used during the Obon holidays. You will enjoy Bon (summer traditional dancing), a beer garden, and fair booths.

    Night: Nagoya
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 3 – Transfer to Nagashima and Nabananosato illuminations

    Checkout from and transfer to Nagashima resort. Nagashima Spa land/resort is an exciting resort that combines the thrill of roller coasters with the relaxation of a spa. Spend the day screaming on the roller coasters, and the late afternoon relaxing in the hot springs.

    In the evening, a private car will take you to one the region’s best summer attractions:

    The Nabana No Sato Illuminations. Nabananosato is one of Japan’s largest illumination displays at Nabana no Sato Flower Park. Each year millions of LED bulbs transform the gardens into a twinkling wonderland complete with vibrant light tunnels, animated light shows, and stunning water reflections.

    Night: Nagashima Resort
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 4 –Transfer to Matsumoto

    Today you will transfer to the Japanese Alps, more precisely to Matsumoto. After hotel check-in, visit the city at your leisure.

    Some suggested highlights are:

    Matsumoto Castle is also known as the “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior and is one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan’s original castles. It is a “hirajiro” – a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain. Matsumoto Castle is unique for having both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep.

    Just across a small bridge on the way to Matsumoto Castle, Nawate Street is a row of small shops with a subtle but recurring frog theme. The banks of the river once echoed with the voices of frogs. Kaeru, the Japanese word for “frog” can also mean “to return home.”

    Aside from a variety of snack shops and a “Sweet” little cafe/bakery (which has been around since 1923), the street also has plenty of little knick-knack shops and souvenirs. A number of shops allow you to make your own unique item to take home.

    If the timing is right, partake in the Matsumoto Taiko Festival. This is a daytime event held right on the doorstep of Matsumoto Castle (admission is free!). Taiko clubs and performers from all over Japan come to perform here, ranging from elementary school student clubs to professional groups. Here you can see not only traditional taiko songs from different regions but also more contemporary artistic performances and impressive show-like performances by the pro-drummers.

    Night: Matsumoto
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 5 – Norikura and Kamikochi walk

    There is no better way to escape the heat of summer than to head to nature. Today you will embark on a 2-day trip to the Norikura highlands and Kamikochi National Park.

    After a local train and bus ride, you will find yourself at Suzuran-bashi.

    First stop of the day is Zengoro waterfalls. From the observation deck, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the 21.5m high waterfall with Mt. Norikura in the background. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of a beautiful rainbow overarching the waterfall.

    From the waterfall, walk a little further to the Ushidome Pond. Feast your eyes on this picture-perfect scenery, complete with a majestic backdrop of the Japanese Alps.After lunch, take the Alpico bus and arrive at Norikura Mountain Peak bus stop (a.k.a Tatamidaira), the highest bus stop in Japan and start exploring Mao mountain. After exploring the area, take the same bus and make your way down to Kamikochi. The Kamikochi area was designated as the Chubu Sangaku National Park in 1934. In order to maintain the pristine nature, private cars are banned from entering the area and access is only possible via buses or taxis. On your way to the hotel, Visit Taisho Pond, Tashiro Pond and Tashiro Wetlands. The walk takes about 45 minutes and you’re in for a treat!

    Night: Kamikochi
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 6 – Kamikochi National Park visit

    Before you start your day across Kamikochi National Park, pack a Bento (lunch box) from your hotel and head to the hiking trail (suitable for beginners).

    The very scenic trail will take you through the Kappa Bridge and Azusa river, to Dakesawa wetlands and the Hotaka shrine. Stop and enjoy your lunch by the Myojin pond before you come full circle, as you make a slow trek back to the other side of Kappa Bridge. Enjoy the glorious scenery and bounty of nature as you go along.

    Night: Kamikochi
    Inclusions: Accommodation and Breakfast

    Day 7 – Transfer to Takayama

    Meet your guide and then take the Alpico bus and head to Takayama in the morning. Old traditions are alive and well in Takayama. Beside the narrow streets of Takayama, you’ll stumble upon wooden houses built in the Edo period. In fact, the entire old town area remains beautifully preserved, making it one of the best places to visit in Japan for history lovers.

    A beautiful traditional Japanese style building, the Takayama Jinya used to serve as Takayama’s government office during the Edo Period, when the city stood under the direct control of the shogun due to its valuable timber resources.

    The Kusakabe Heritage House is one of Takayama’s oldest merchant homes open to the public. The original home was destroyed by fire in 1875 and the one that exists now is a reproduction made in 1879. As a Meiji-era private residence, it was designated as an important cultural property, and has been re-opened as a folk-crafts museum.

    Sanmachi Street survives in a particularly well-preserved state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.

    Matsuri no mori Museum showcases the key aspects of the Takayama Festival, which takes place for two days each spring and autumn. The festival is known as one of Japan’s three most beautiful, along with Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri.

    Night: Takayama
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 8 – Return to Nagoya – End of the tour

    Check-out from your accommodation and take the express train back to Nagoya.
    From Nagoya, you can either head to Osaka and take an international flight back home, or continue to another destination within Japan.

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

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