Self Guided Adventure


Alpine Adventure: Family Driving Holiday

14 Nights: from US$19682 (Per family) Trip Code: FDHC

This self-guided family driving trip lets you independently explore some lesser-known spots around central Japan. From the rugged Noto Peninsula to the majestic Alpine Route, followed by hot springs and adventure in Minakami, this is the perfect itinerary for discovering a different side of Japan. Read more >

While we can't deny that we love to make the most of Japan's efficient public transport network (don't worry, you'll get to ride the sleek Shinkansen bullet trains during this trip!), there's just something about the freedom of piling people and luggage into the back of a car and setting your own schedule on a driving holiday.

In this 15-day driving itinerary your family will start off among the bright lights, skyscrapers, and hidden temples of Tokyo. The capital has more than enough to keep you occupied for weeks, but we've chosen two of our favourite family-friendly activities for you: city cycling and an energetic taiko drumming lesson that combines rhythm and recreation.

From Tokyo you'll speed northwest on the bullet train through the mountains to the garden city of Kanazawa. Easy to get around on foot or retro loop bus, Kanazawa is famous for its sprawling landscape garden Kenrokuen, traditional Higashi-chaya tea district, and contemporary art museum with quirky immersive installations.

Next up, your driving adventure begins. We'll arrange a rental car from Kanazawa, and armed with your complimentary Info-Pack and English sat-nav, you'll set off to explore the rugged Noto Peninsula, a small part of Japan that retains its slow pace of life. Your base will be Wakura Onsen, a bay-side hot spring town in the perfect position for a day trip drive to the northern loop of the peninsula.

From the Noto Peninsula it's an easy drive inland to the start of one of Honshu Island's most scenic routes: the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. This 37km course through the majestic Northern Japan Alps connects Toyama and Nagano Prefectures by means of a smorgasbord of transportation: bus, cable car, funicular railway, ropeway and even on foot. We've included an overnight stay at one of the highest points, Murodo at 2450m, so you can enjoy some gentle walks by day and the unspoilt starts by night.

Once in Nagano you'll pick up rental car number two for the second driving portion of the trip, this time along the most scenic sections of the 350km-long Romantic Road. Along the way you'll stay at Kusatsu Onsen, a hot spring town on the slopes of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane where you can take full advantage of the therapeutic baths. The next stop along the Romantic Road will be the outdoor adventure mecca of Minakami where you can swap cars for canoes and take on the thrills of white-water rafting and canyoning.
After visiting Lake Chuzenji, the highest lake in Japan and home to some lovely walking routes through Nikko National Park, you'll drop off your car and make your way back to the capital on the bullet train for a final day of sightseeing.

Guideline pricing: This trip is priced for a family of four (based on two adults and two teenagers). Please get in touch and we can put together a proposal quote to suit your family.

At a glance

What's Included

What's included

  • Accommodation for 14 nights
  • Car rental for 8 days
  • Breakfast each morning and seven evening meals
  • Airport transfers
  • Manaca transport card with 2,500 yen credit for city transport
  • Two Bullet train journeys
  • PuPuRu Mobile Wi-Fi Device for 15 days
  • Cycling and Taiko drumming activities in Tokyo
  • Two half-day outdoor adventure activities in Minakami
  • Pocket WiFi device
  • Your personalised InsideJapan Tours Info-Pack

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Local transport (buses, subways, taxis) unless otherwise specified
  • Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route ticket
  • Any entrance fees unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding

Trip Highlights

  • Set your own pace on a cross-country driving adventure
  • Experience an adrenaline rush in Minakami
  • Traverse the majestic Northern Alps by ropeway
  • Play your heart out in a taiko drumming class
  • Soak in hot spring baths at a traditional ryokan inn
  • Explore the rugged Noto Peninsula by car

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Alpine Adventure: Family Driving Holiday - 15 Days - Accommodation

Trip Reviews

Other trips you may like