Central Japan is a region of tall mountain ranges and fast-flowing rivers. It wasn’t until recently that roads reached the remoter villages, and today many remain remarkably well-preserved and evocative of centuries past. Your journey takes you through Japanese history from modern Tokyo, known as Edo during Japan’s period of rule by the Shoguns, to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years and the repository of much of the country's cultural heritage. From Tokyo you head first to Yudanaka Onsen hot spring where the famous “snow monkeys” come to enjoy the natural hot spring baths just like humans. In feudal times people travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo would use the Nakasendo way – the road through the central mountains – one of a network of ancient highways. You will visit one of the best-preserved sections in the Kiso Valley, where the lovely villages of Tsumago and Magome have been immaculately restored.
Please ask for information about tour extensions to the art island of Naoshima, the UNESCO World Heritage of Miyajima Island, and Tomonoura Bay on the Setouchi inland sea or the peaceful, agricultural community of Asuka at a charming Japanese inn or with a local family for a unique homestay experience.