Sacred mountains and hidden rivers

  • Duration : 4 days
  • Locations : Japanese Alps - Western Tokyo

A 4-day excursion to the wilderness of the Japanese mountains. In no time at all, starting from Tokyo, you'll be in the Japan of deep forests, deep valleys where pure water cascades down from streams, and where the legendary, centuries-old shrines of the Shinto religion nestle high above. 

Enjoy the benefits of the thermal waters while staying in traditional inns called "ryôkan", where you'll be served delicious local cuisine. Your rental car will take you on short trips interspersed with pleasant hikes along gorges leading to breathtaking viewpoints.

IMPORTANT: If your driving license was issued in France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, or Taiwan, it is not valid in Japan, so you will need a certified Japanese translation, available in option.

4 days / 3 nights itinerary from Tokyo 

  • Departure city : Tokyo
  • Oume
  • Okutama
  • Chichibu
  • Hamura
  • Return city : Tokyo

Please find detailed itinerary information below. 

Note: Departure from Tokyo at 8:00 on day 1 and return at around 17:30 on day 4. 

Why choose this excursion to Japan ? 

  1. Experience traditional Japanese hotels and hot springs "onsen".  
  2. Drive through magnificent natural landscapes dotted with gorges and waterfalls
  3. You'll discover ancient shrines and a beautiful Zen garden away from the crowds.
  4. This excursion will take you to some magnificent panoramas, including a unique view of the Mount Fuji.
  5. The recommendations available in your digital travel guidebook.

Your excursion in detail


  • Day 1 : Mystical mountain

    You depart from Shinjuku station and take a short train ride out of Tokyo

    On arrival an hour later, pick up your rental car and visit the first two sites before lunch at a spa. Relax in the open-air pools and return to your accommodation at the foot of Mount Mitake, where you'll park your car. Then climb to the top of the mountain to admire the mystical beauty of the sanctuary buildings

    You can prolong the pleasure by taking one of the many surrounding trails until sunset. In the evening, enjoy the excellent local cuisine and typical Japanese comfort of your inn in the heart of the old village

  • Day 2 : Nature and crafts

    You leave your hotel and drive to a second valley and a small station parking lot, where you park your car. You'll stroll along a magnificent river and then take a small local train line back to your vehicle. 

    Lunch in a small local restaurant, then head north into the heart of the natural park to discover the vivid colors of a very special plant, if you're lucky enough to come at the right time of year*. 

    You'll discover the ancient and mysterious world of natural silk. You'll then visit a beautiful Buddhist temple in the middle of the mountains in the soft colors of the late day. 

    Finally, you'll enjoy a hot bath in your magnificent inn, while tasting excellent local products cooked with art.

    *during the spring season, from April 15 to May 5.

  • Day 3 : Stone wolves and waterfalls

    Drive deep into the mountains and park your car at the foot of a legendary sanctuary. You can then discover the many buildings of this amazing site, scattered throughout the mountains. 

    After lunch, you'll set off again along a river where you'll catch a glimpse of an impressive dam. You will stop at the start of a sumptuous gorge, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Japan. You can adapt the length of the route to suit you and your physical abilities. 

    Afterwards, relax in a thermal bath and take possession of your traditional tatami-covered room. Here again, a delicious meal based on local products will be on your menu.

  • Day 4 : Zen garden and mout Fuji

    After a hearty breakfast and a short drive, you'll visit a Buddhist temple whose garden is the hidden work of one of the greatest names in 14th-century Zen art

    Once the visit is over, you'll head back to the mountains and the parking lot at the start of a trail along a river with astonishing rocks. After a while, you'll reach the foot of a cable car, which you'll take to the top of the mountain. From here, a last effort of a few minutes will take you to an exceptional 360° panorama of the southern Alps and the famous Mount Fuji

    You'll then head for the "sanctuary of love", take the cable car back for lunch and finally return to the car via the footpath. After around 40 minutes, you'll be able to admire the astonishing station building designed and built by a famous Japanese architect. 

    At the end of your journey, you'll return to the rental agency to hand in your vehicle and take the train back to the Japanese megalopolis...

    Included in your self-guided excursion

  • Accommodation

    - 3 nights in traditional 3-star inns with access to thermal springs

    The base rate includes a twin room.

  • Transportation

    - 4-day car rental starting from Hamura

  • Visit & meals

    - All breakfasts and dinners are included

    Other services

  • Other services

    - 7/7 telephone assistance in English and Japanese bilingual

    - Complete digital travel diary before your departure

  • Not included in the price

    - Optional insurance 

    - Personal expenses including lunches (you will find addresses selected by us in your travel pack) 

    - Entrance fees to museums, gardens or temples 

    - Pocket wifi 

    - Everything not included in the "included in your excursion" section

More information about your trip

Your excursion:

- Please note that at least one person taking part in the trip must have a driving licence valid in their country.

- The prices shown on this page may vary according to the Japanese ¥ exchange rate. 

- Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility. 

- Pets are not accepted. 

- Children aged 3 and over are accepted. Child rates available for ages 3 to 11 inclusive. 

- This program may be subject to changes due to imperatives such as weather conditions or other force majeure events. Please note that due to the current situation, all mentioned information is subject to change or adaptation. 

- In order to benefit from an internet connection, book a pocket wifi or SIM card with Japan Experience. 

- This tour must be booked at least 45 days before the start date of the tour. 

- Your travel documents will be sent to you by email 20 days before your departure.

Your accommodation:

- Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the town and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the cost of the reservation. It generally amounts to ¥200/night/person (about €1.60) but may be a little higher in 4-star hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. 

- Single room: People travelling alone and/or wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. Please note that a single room supplement for an order of more than 2 people will be applied in all accommodation except ryokans (3 and 4*). As this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people. 

- 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, you will be allocated a triple room. 

- Hotel names: The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. 

- In the ryokan, you will sleep on comfortable futons placed on the tatami mat. The room has a private washbasin and WC. As is customary in Japanese ryokan, the onsen bathroom is shared (not mixed) unless you take the "private bathroom in the room" option.

Your transport:

- Car rental takes place in Hamura, at the Hamura Ekimae station. It might be change in case of unavaibility.

- In Japan, most cars are automatic. 

- Costs related to gasoline and possible tolls are not included in the tour price.

- If your driving license was issued in France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, or Taiwan, it is not valid in Japan, so you will need a certified Japanese translation, available as an option.

Your meals:

- All breakfasts and dinners are fully included in the price of your excursion.

- For other meals, you will also find addresses selected by us in your travel diary.

Sacred mountains and hidden rivers


Optional services

* Required fields

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