Self Guided Adventure


Northern Highlights

14 Nights: from US$4056 per person (twin share) Trip Code: NHC

When the famous Haiku poet Matsuo Basho set off on his pilgrimage to the North he was to discover rural Japan, a land of lush landscapes and rich in legend. As you journey through the pilgrimage towns of Tohoku and on to remote Sado Island you'll experience some of the same Japan as the great poet. Read more >

As soon as you start heading north from Tokyo into the Tohoku region you begin leaving the crowds behind. This northern half of Japan's main island is considered off the beaten track even amongst Japanese; a region where the pace of life is slower, the culture richer and the hospitality warmer.

Taking you deep into the mountains and along the wild coasts of this beautiful part of Japan, this itinerary will introduce you to a side of the country that most visitors never get to see.

From the ornate temples and shrines of Nikko National Park to the rugged seascapes and unique culture of remote Sado Island; from an atmospheric overnight stay at a pilgrims' lodging to the ramshackle buildings of Nyuto Onsen; be prepared to see a very different side of Japan to what you've known before.

The past is ever-present in the Tohoku region, and as you tour Kakunodate's samurai district and explore the temples atop Mount Haguro, history can seem to come alive.

Though primarily focussed on rural destinations, this itinerary also includes city stays in Sendai and Tokyo, enabling you to experience the striking contrasts between life in the Japanese countryside and life in some of the world's largest metropolises.

From Sendai you'll have the chance to visit the temple complex of Yamadera, clinging to the side of a cliff - and Matsushima Bay, a collection of scenic islets considered to be one of the top three views of Japan.

This is your chance to explore a rich and enchanting side of Japan rarely visited by tourists.

At a glance

What's Included

What's included

  • 14 nights' accommodation in Japan (seven nights Japanese style)
  • Breakfast every day, eight evening meals and one lunch
  • Airport transfers
  • Transport between destinations unless otherwise specified
  • Nikko Free Pass
  • Morning visit to a sumo stable
  • Manaca transport card with 2,500 yen credit for use on local transport
  • Car hire on Sado Island (Toyota Corolla or similar)
  • Four-hour private guide service in Nikko including entrance fees and lunch
  • Taiko drumming experience
  • Pocket WiFi device
  • Your personalised InsideJapan Info-Pack

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Local transport (buses, subways, taxis) at any destination unless otherwise specified
  • Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums unless otherwise specified
  • Petrol (gas) and tolls for car hire on Sado Island
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the sights and sounds of Tokyo
  • Try your hand at taiko drumming
  • Discover the temples of Nikko with a private guide
  • Watch sumo wrestlers in morning training
  • Relax in a hot spring bath at Nyuto Onsen
  • Drive around Sado Island

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

What, where, when and how...

Northern Highlights - 15 Days - Accommodation

Trip Reviews

(12 month average based on 1 review)

Trip Reviews

(12 month average based on 1 review)

4.0 out of 5 from 1 review Show all Northern Highlights Reviews

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