Go back to the past by visiting Takayama, Higashi-Shirakawa and Inuyama, some of the most fascinating places in the heart of Gifu Prefecture. Take a walk on the streets of ancient Japanese villages, taste the flavor of local cuisine, admire the wonderful landscapes surrounding the rice and tea fields and visit one of Japan’s most ancient castle.
Join our tour to meet our wonderful staff and make unforgettable memories by trying out Japanese traditionnal arts! And learn things you can’t learn anywhere else, like the culture of the traditionnal “Satoyama”, literally “mountain village”!
3 days / 2 nights tour
Group from 8* to 15 people
Every month from March to November
*Possibility to book for smaller groups, please contact us in this case
What you will experience on this tour :
- Traditional Japanese Ryokan
- Visit to Inuyama Castle
- Ancient city of Takayama
- Out of the beaten tracks village of Higashi-Shirakawa
- Visit to the shrine of Kanda with Shinto ritual
- Japanese style tea preparation
- Class of “Shodo“Japanese calligraphy
- Rice field farming (if willing to, you can participate!)
- Tea fields exploitation
Useful information :
- Tour beginning meeting point : 11 AM, JR Mino-Ôta Station
- Tour ends at Nagoya Central Station, 4 PM
- Guided tour
- Staff stays with the groupe for the entire duration of the tour
- Languages available for the explanations : English, Italian, Japanese
- Although the meeting point is indicated on the program, we will provide detailed information on how to reach us when you book the tour.
Please contact us for any special request or supplementary information you would like to know
First day : Arrival and Japanese traditionnal experiences
Our trip starts at the JR Mino-Ōta Station, where we meet the other participants and the staff that will accompany us during this trip. To create a good atmosphere we start with eating lunch all together and arrive at our ryokan in Higashi-Shirakawa where we will stay for the 2 nights of this tour.
In the middle of the mountains, Higashi-Shirakawa almost never sees tourists and live from what nature provides them. The biggest economy beeing wood manufacturing and rice and tea cultivation. >> Learn more about this village
The first tradition we want you to experience is the Japanese tea style preparation. By relaxing from your trip and exchanging with the locals you will start feeling the Japanese culture and start your immersion in this totally different, but so interesting world.
Now that you tasted the tea and, maybe you got interested in how it is produced? No worries, we are taking you to the tea fields! And because rice is so important to us Japanese, we follow by an introduction to the rice cultivation. We will show you our 100% organic rice fields and depending on the season you will also be able to experience work in the rice fields! On voluntary basis of course.
At night, to relax from this day full of knowledge, we eat traditionnally cooked chicken at a local restaurant and go back to our ryokan at 7PM to enjoy free time.
13:00 : Arrival in Higashi-Shirakawa and it's beautiful nature. Check-in at the ryokan.
14:00 : Demonstration of Japanese style tea preparation followed by tea tasting
15:00 : Visit to the tea fields : discover the tea teadition from the very beginning
Depending on the season a working experience on the rice fields will be possible. It is of course not mandatory
17:30 : Dinner at the local restaurant based on “key chan”, method of preparing the traditional chicken of the prefecture of Gifu
Second day : Takayama!
Today we are going to Takayama! We eat breakfast at 7AM and go straight to Takayama to enjoy the ancient town. Our english speaking guide, living in Takayama, guides us through this beautiful city and we enjoy what we want for lunch. Take care, it will be difficult to choose what to eat, between all the street food stands and small restaurants serving locals specialities.
Takayama, located in Hida, a region in the north of the Gifu prefecture, is a pulsing city full of life. “木 の 文化” (Ki no Bunka) Wood culture is the key word when visiting. >> Learn more about Takayama
We then start the afternoon with a course of “Shodo”, or Japanese calligraphy. Discover the Japanese writing system and take home your best artworks.
After this, we will let you go back to your favorite places or discover new ones during 2 hours of free time and meat you again for dinner. Today we are eating Hida beef, renowned meat of the prefecture. We go back to our ryokan at 20:30 and enjoy our free evening.
Departure towards Takayama at 8 AM
10:00 : Visit to the ancient district of Takayama
Enjoy Takayama's specialities for lunch! Like this “Gohemochi”, rice cake baked with caramelized with miso.
13:00 : Course of “Shodo” Japanese calligraphy
15:00 to 17:00 : Free time in Takayama
Third day : Last but not least, Inuyama!
As usual, we start early and check-out from the ryokan at 9:30AM. We say goodbye to our beautiful mountain village by experiencing a last aspect of the Japanese culture : the shintoism. W visit the sanctuary of Kanda and assist to an authentic Shinto ceremony.
Then we go to Inuyama and arrive just in time for lunch. We eat our last meal together and go to the castle of Inuyama.
The castle of Inuyama (1440), located in the north of the Aichi prefecture is the oldest castle in Japan. It is one of the four designated national treasures and a UNESCO world heritage festival is hold every year at it feets. >> Learn more about Inuyama
We end our tour at 4PM at Nagoya Central Station. We hope you enjoyed this tour!
Back To The Past : 3-Days Tour To Takayama, Higashi-Shirakawa And Inuyama
The rate includes:
- Pick-Up service at the station upon arrival
- Travel by private bus for the duration of the tour
- 1 lunch and 2 dinners (lunch in Takayama NOT INCLUDED)
- 2 Overnight stays in ryokan/cottage in Higashi-Shirakawa
- European, english speaking tour leader living in Takayama, who supports the japanese staff and will accompagny you throughout the tour. Fluent in Japanese, English and Italian
- Japanese calligraphy lesson
- Shinto ritual at the sanctuary
- Guided tour of the rice and tea fields of Higashi-Shirakawa
- Escort to Nagoya station at the end of the tour
Useful items to bring:
- Repellent spray for insects etc. (Summer)
- Comfortable working clothes, if willing to try the rice camp working experience
Discover our other tours in the heart of Gifu prefecture
Takayama One-Day Tour : Old Town, Shodo, Tea And Much More!
Get to understand the Japanese culture by trying out the most traditional arts and visiting one of the rare cities that has kept the spirit of ancient Japan.
Shirakawa GO And Satoyama Culture One-Day Tour : UNESCO World Heritage, Shodo, Tea And Much More!
Spend one day discovering the tradition of the japanese “Satoyama (里山)“, or mountain village. On the program : UNESCO Site of Shirakawa GO, calligraphy and tea in the beautiful village of Takayama.