Backroads of Japan
11 days from Tokyo to Kyoto
From $ 3229
Duration11 days

Wander off the beaten path away from Japan's big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that takes you to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, and explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, there's time before and after to explore Tokyo and Kyoto, making this trip a well-rounded glimpse into Japan's past and present.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 11 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Starts in: Tokyo
    Physical Grading: Average
  • Ends in: Kyoto
    Ages: 12+
Backroads of Japan - Tour Map


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Day 1: Tokyo
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrive at any time.
Day 2: Tokyo
Take a CEO-led walking tour of eclectic modern Tokyo from the hub of Shinjuku to Shibuya through to Harajuku. The rest of the day is free for exploring more of the city.
Day 3: Tokyo/Nagano
Journey to Nagano, located in the Japanese Alps and host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Discover the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park and watch Japanese snow monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.
Day 4: Nagano
Enjoy a day-trip to quaint Matsumoto and visit one of Japan's most treasured castles. Return to Nagano and explore historic Zenkoji Temple.
Day 5: Nagano/Otsu

Start place: Nagano

Travel to Otsu in Shiga prefecture. Located on the banks of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake, the area is known for the Ogoto hot springs. Settle in and relax with a dip in the healing waters of the onsen and dine on traditional fare.
Meals: D
Day 6: Otsu/Hagi
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the inn this morning before a long travel day. In the evening, arrive in the quaint city of Hagi, a former castle town that boasts feudal architecture.
Meals: B
Day 7: Hagi
Explore rural Hagi on a guided morning cycle and spot samurai architecture along the way. Later, travel to your community homestay, a G Adventures for Good project. Meet your host family and get to know each other as you enjoy dinner together.
Meals: D
Day 8: Hagi/Tottori
Bid farewell to your host family after enjoying breakfast together. Later, travel to Miho-misumi by train, taking in scenic views along the way. Learn the art of making "washi," a UNESCO-recognized traditional Japanese paper before continuing to the seaside town of Tottori.

End place: Tottori

Meals: B
Day 9: Tottori/Kyoto

Start place: Tottori

Spend the morning exploring Tottori's scenic sand dunes, some reaching 50m (164 ft) in height. After, visit the local fish market and opt for a fresh seafood lunch. In the evening, travel to Kyoto for two nights in the traditional heart of Japan.

End place: Kyoto

Day 10: Kyoto

Start place: Kyoto

Kyoto is home to over 2,000 temples, including some of the most magnificent in the country, dating back centuries. Use free time to continue exploring, the options are endless – the city also boasts museums, castles, and traditional gardens – or opt to visit neighbouring Nara or Osaka.
Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famed for an impressive 10,000 red torii gates. This afternoon, enjoy free time in this picturesque city. Opt to experience zen gardens, teahouses, shrines, and local gift shops – and maybe even spot a real-life geisha.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B
Day 11: Kyoto

Start place: Kyoto

We highly recommend booking post-nights to explore more of this beautiful city.
Depart at any time.

End place: Kyoto

Meals: B



  • Your G for Good Moment: Hagi Community Homestay, Hagi Your Hands-On Moment: Traditional Paper-making Lesson, Mihomisumi-eki
  • Modern Tokyo walking tour
  • Zenkoji Temple visit (Nagano)
  • Jigokudani Monkey Park visit (Matsumoto)
  • Matsumoto Castle visit
  • Hagi orientation walk
  • Hagi cycling tour
  • Tottori sand dunes visit
  • Tottori fish market visit
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine visit
  • Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Bus, Bullet train, Local train, Bicycle, Walking
  • Accommodation

    Hotels (8 nts), Traditional inn (1 nt, shared facilities), Homestay (1 nt, multi-share)

Dates & availability: Backroads of Japan

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Sat, 06/22/2019 Finishing Tue, 07/02/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 07/06/2019 Finishing Tue, 07/16/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3599 15 Book
Departing Sat, 07/20/2019 Finishing Tue, 07/30/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 07/27/2019 Finishing Tue, 08/06/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3599 14 Book
Departing Sat, 08/10/2019 Finishing Tue, 08/20/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 08/17/2019 Finishing Tue, 08/27/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 08/24/2019 Finishing Tue, 09/03/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 09/07/2019 Finishing Tue, 09/17/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 09/14/2019 Finishing Tue, 09/24/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book
Departing Sat, 09/21/2019 Finishing Tue, 10/01/2019 Catalog Price $ 3999 Sale Price $ 3999 15 Book

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