Japan Alps tailor-made holidays
Japan's alpine backbone is all forested mountains and steaming onsen (hot springs) extending across much of central Honshu, a landscape that is particularly captivating in autumn when the koyo (colourful leaves) turn to shades of russet and gold.
Journey into the three ranges of the Japanese Alps from Tokyo and its surrounds, where snow-capped mountains dot historic towns. Perhaps start with the five curved tiers of Matsumoto’s wooden castle before moving onto rickshaw-trammelled Takayama’s Folk Village and luxurious ryokans. Then, there’s unesco-listed Shirakawago’s 18th-century thatched farmhouses tucked away among the Hida Mountains. Lastly, Kanazawa is the ideal introduction into the geisha world of Japanese gardens.
Skiing can be enjoyed in winter and hiking in summer, in a region that provides a wonderful natural antidote to the neon lights and populated cities elsewhere in Japan. The Japan Alps are also famed for the pink-faced macaques - also known as snow monkeys - which congregate in rotemburo (outdoor hot pools) during the winter months to keep warm, the steam rising all around them and ice clinging to their grey beards and exposed fur.
Top itineraries in Japan Alps
Experience the best Japan has to offer on this 16-day tour, meandering through the modern hi-tech, natural beauty, and the ancient and traditional. Start your tour off in one of the most modern, efficient and largest cities in the world - Tokyo.
Top places to stay in Japan Alps
Where to go in Japan Alps
Slightly off the beaten track, Kanazawa is a small city close to the coast. It was for a time Japan's fourth largest city, known for rice production, weaving and gold leaf, but was somewhat left behind when industrialisation took over.
In the heart of the Hida Mountains lies the beautifully preserved market town of Takayama, a place of narrow streets and shops and teahouses with overhanging roofs and latticed windows.
Winter sports are a popular activity in the area around Nagano, a compact provincial city that hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998; an excellent public transport system and assorted Olympic buildings are the legacy of the Games.
Meet our Japan Alps experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0689Meet the team