Autumn in Japan is regarded as beyond compare, and it’s hard to argue that sentiment when you see whole mountains transform from summer green to fiery reds and oranges. This journey will take you through Japan’s most significant sights while incorporating places less traveled and the blessings of the autumn season in the best ways.
- Views of renowned gardens in their most brilliant glory
- Classic sights and excursions off the beaten path
- Relaxing soaks in onsen hot springs
- Rides on the speedy shinkansen bullet train
- Travels through the Japanese Alps
*Highlight availability can vary with weather conditions and dates of travel, and is subject to change.
The following tour is an example of what we can offer you as a tour through Japan in its most vibrant days of fall. If interested, feel free to contact us to find out what we can add to this schedule to make it special for you. We look forward to making a custom tour for you!
Day 1 Yokoso and Welcome To JapanOvernight in Kyoto City
After arriving in Japan, you will make your way to the heart of tradition that is Kyoto. Arriving to your accommodation, you can take time to orient yourself with the travels and experiences that await you during the fine autumn weather by reading the custom guidebook we will make for you. Itinerary will be tailored according to your flight schedule.
Days 2 to 4 Kyoto in its Autumn BestOvernights in Kyoto City
Kyoto is the heart of Japanese tradition. It is here where you will stroll streets lined with gorgeous temples, markets filled with traditional culinary delights, and people who exhibit traces of the past in their everyday motions. You will visit the most significant of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites, all the while noting their beauty and form accentuated by Japan’s most vibrantly stunning season. Not to be missed, we will also take you to the city’s renowned and hidden gardens while they are at their peak of their splendor. The mountainside of Arashiyama also beckons you, and you will see it at its most vivid.
Days 5 and 6 Gardens and Color Further WestOvernights in Takamatsu City
Leaving the brilliance of Kyoto, today will be trip by car or train to the city of Takamatsu for a bit of adventure off the well beaten path. If traveling by car, you will drive over the island known as Awajishima, getting the chance to visit the Water Temple, a wonderful work created by the famed architect Tadao Ando. Taking a break there, taking in views of the Seto Inland Sea, you will continue on to the city of Takamatsu. If traveling by train, you will bid farewell to Kyoto, and make your way directly to the city of Takamatsu. Located on the island of Shikoku, an area rarely visited by travelers, Takamatsu offers spectacular gardens of it own with unique characteristics blended into traditional methods. You may also get the special chance to delve into the art of bonsai, visiting dedicated bonsai sculptors, taking time to better understand the craft.
Day 7 Back to the MainlandOvernight in Kurashiki
After your excursion to the island less traveled, you will make your way back by train to the mainland, stopping in the charming town of Kurashiki. Kurashiki is a town transformed. Once a place of merchants and their stores, the white-walled warehouses that once held sellers’ treasures are now home to galleries, cafes, and museums. Taking in scenes from the past as you walk along the sparkling willow tree-lined canal, we hope you will catch your breath before heading onward to the sights that wait ahead.
Day 8 A Taste of Ultra Urban LifeOvernight in Osaka
For contrast, today we take you to the clamorous city of Osaka where outgoing people are likely to strike up a chat with you despite the language, and where you can wander numerous market streets each highlighting their own unique product themes. Autumn colors give way this night to the neon lights of the night district. With numerous bars, restaurants, shops, and haunts open well into the night, you will be sure to experience what makes Osaka so unique from its eastern rival, Tokyo.
Day 9 The Seaside City of ArtsOvernight in Kanazawa
City to city you travel from Osaka to the coastal city of Kanazawa. Though both cities, you will immediately find the differences that make them unique. Kanazawa prides itself on its history of artisanship, compared to most cities that boast a history of battles and wars. The past lives on here with skilled artists in the trades of gold leaf, lacquerware, ceramics, painting, cuisine and a whole host of other talents. Kanazawa is also home to one of the most stunning palatial gardens, not to be missed in the autumn, as many of its trees will grace you with their vibrant foliage. Depending on the timing, you may be in the city in time for its fall illumination of the garden, where you can sit in the garden’s teahouse viewing reflections of red and orange over the pond. Not leaving them out, you will have the chance to explore an old samurai neighborhood, and a geisha district, both known for their romantic scenery.
Day 10 To The Japanese AlpsOvernight in Takayama
Leaving Kanazawa you will head to the mountainous countryside, first visiting the most charming farm village of Shirakawago. Known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you may be surprised to see that it is still a living village with people who hold on to the past while evolving to bring their traditions into the present. Fall is a wonderful time to visit this village of thatched roof houses as the farmers harvest their rice, and as the flowers called cosmos dot the landscape with their soft hues set against the more typical colors of autumn. After exploring Shirakawago you will continue on to the old feudal mountain town of Takayama where you will once again be able to take in atmospheres of past centuries.
Day 11 Fuji Gathering SnowOvernight in Hakone
After visiting Takayama’s morning market, getting a breakfast or snack of the freshest fall, farm fresh delicacies, you will make your way by private car and driver, or rental car to the area of sacred Mount Fuji. You will wind your way through amazing mountain roads offering scenes of outstanding nature. Your first stop will be in the area of Kawaguchiko Lake, visiting a breathtaking museum dedicated to a technique of kimono cloth dyeing that was almost left to history were it not for one artists’ passion. You will then trek onward to the volcanically sculpted land of Hakone, settling into your ryokan inn and readying yourself for a night of relaxation in natural onsen hot springs in an area where, on a clear day, Mount Fuji dominates the landscape with its new dress of white.
Days 12 and 13 Festive Fall TokyoOvernights in Tokyo City
Saying goodbye to more natural scenes, you will make your way to the mega metropolis of Tokyo. Not to be known just as the urban labyrinth it is said to be, Tokyo boasts its own nooks of nature adding dashes of autumn brilliance amongst the gleaming architectural structures of wonder. We will take you to and through the significant sights including Tokyo’s best traditional, pop, and innovative culture, but also introduce you to everyday neighborhoods that harbor what is said to be the real Tokyo. Fall is known for its festivals, and with the small neighborhoods and webs of communities found in this metropolitan maze, you may find yourself suddenly swept in a local affair, celebrating the harvest and coming of winter.
Day 14 Farewell and SayonaraItinerary will be tailored according to your flight schedule.
We wish you pleasant travels as you leave this land of the rising sun in its phase of autumn beauty, bidding farewell to the city of endless wonder. We hope that you are taking with you wonderful memories of the times you had here, and hope that you can return one day to continue your adventure of discovery. Farewell from all of us at Windows to Japan, and sayonara.