Escorted tours of Japan

   tel  +44 (0)1424 88 35 70

Home Page


Tours and Dates








About Us



Request info.



How to Book



Contact Us










15 days tour: Tokyo - Yamadera - Tsuruoka - Haguro San - Akita - Kakunodate - 
Lake Tazawa - Hirosaki - Osore San - Hiraizumi - Matsushima - Nikko - Tokyo 

Tour start dates:    5th October 2013

>>> download detailed trip dossier <<<
 client comments for this trip... click here!


For more about The Oriental Caravan in Japan… click here!
        dossier by post/ email      kyushu tour itinerary   shikoku tour itinerary

Stirred to roam 'by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind' the great haiku poet Matsuo Basho set off on foot to explore the remote Tohoku region of Japan. He recorded the events of this five month pilgrimage in his poetic travelogue 'the Narrow Road to the Deep North', one of Japan's best-loved literary classics. On this exciting new journey The Oriental Caravan will follow in Basho's footsteps and then travel even deeper north through a landscape of rugged coastline, volcanic lakes and holy mountains for a glimpse into the interior of a rural Japan rarely seen by western eyes. 

Far from the bustle of Tokyo, the traveller to Tohoku has a rare opportunity to witness the 'real Japan'. We accompany pilgrims as they tour the mountain temples of Dewa San, peer into Japan's feudal past in the Samurai quarters of Kakunodate and the castle towns of Akita and Hirosaki, stroll amidst the great Tokugawa shrines at Nikko and marvel at the snow-capped volcanoes of Iwaki and Iwate. Adding to the magic of the journey are the nights spent in charming and characterful accommodation: mountain-top and lakeside 'shukubo' temple lodgings as well as traditional family run 'ryokan' guesthouses. This off-the-beaten track itinerary - researched by and exclusive to  The Oriental Caravan - saw its first successful departure in April 2003; October 2011 will see the ninth operation of this outstanding trip.

Day 1    -  Tokyo Arrival (Hotel)
Day 2    -  Tokyo Comprehensive tour of Tokyo by foot, metro and boat (Hotel)
Day 3    -  Yamadera   Head north by train via Yamagata to Yamadera. Visit the  Rishaku-ji temple (Ryokan) 
Day 4    -  Tsuruoka Continue to, and spend the afternoon exploring, the small castle town of Tsuruoka. (Hotel)
Day 5    -  Haguro San Walk amidst the cypress forests and ancient temples of Haguro San mountain (Shukubo)
Day 6    -  Akita Along the coastal line by train to Akita (Ryokan)
Day 7    -  Akita Daytrip to the Samurai town of Kakunodate and on to Lake Tazawa. Return to Akita. (Ryokan)
Day 8    -  Hirosaki Explore the castle and temple districts of Hirosaki. (Hotel)
Day 9    -  Osore San Travel along the Shimokita peninsula to Osore San. (Shukubo)
Day 10  -  Hiraizumi To Hiraizumi. Walking tour of this historic town including the impressive Chuson ji temple. (Shukubo) 
Day 11  -  Nikko After a boat journey through the pine-clad islets of Matsushima continue to Nikko (Ryokan)
Day 12  -  Nikko A full day to experience the grandeur of Nikko's Tokugawa shrines in their tranquil wooded setting (Ryokan)
Day 13  -  Tokyo Morning in Nikko. Afternoon return to Tokyo (Hotel)
Day 14  -  Tokyo Free day Tokyo. (Hotel)
Day 15 Caravan concludes

*       *       *


Mode of travel


We make good use of Japan's highly efficient rail network travelling in everything from superfast  bullet trains  to sleepy branch line locomotives. We will also on occasion make use of taxis, local buses and boats. When visiting some sights there is, by the nature of their location, a certain amount of walking involved.



Fortunately for the modern traveller the availability of accommodation in Tohoku has improved greatly since the days of Matsuo Basho and, happily (or possibly sadly!) it is highly unlikely that participants will find themselves having to share a room with Concubines. In terms of charm, hospitality and local character, the places we stay at on this journey are in fact a distinct highlight of the journey. In Tokyo we stay in a comfortable centrally located tourist class hotel. Elsewhere we stay in ryokan (traditional Japanese guesthouses) or occasionally shukubo (temple lodgings). At all places we can expect a friendly welcome and a relaxing stay. As these are traditional Japanese guesthouses we sleep on futon mattresses on tatami matting floor - a system many people find to be more comfortable than sleeping in a western bed. In Tsuruoka depending on group size we may stay in a  small hotel. An optional single supplement for the nights spent in hotels is available at a cost of £238.


At Hirosaki, Yamadera and Haguro San two evening meals and two breakfasts are included. At Hiraizumi breakfast is included. Elsewhere meals are not included but are easily arranged en route according to individual preferences. Often the best and most convenient way is take advantage of the sometimes excellent home-cooking provided by the ryokans. As elsewhere in Japan piscivores will find themselves in paradise, with, especially in coastal areas, some of the finest fish dishes in the world on offer. Vegetarians can still get by though sometimes the choice of meat or fish-free meals is quite limited – at the two shukubo and also at Nikko, however, there is some great gourmet vegetarian food on offer.    

Group size

 minimum 4 - maximum 12


Accompanied throughout by a Japanese-speaking Western tour leader from
The Oriental Caravan


£2495  (excluding international flights)

Price includes...

All accommodation, all transport, meals as indicated, full services of bi-lingual tour leader.

*       *       *

 To reserve a place or for more detailed information about this tour please contact
The Oriental Caravan or CLICK HERE to apply for the Tohoku Tour Dossier.

three_monkeys_nikko.jpg (31449 bytes)

"Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" - Three monkeys, Nikko

back to top


Hit Counter


          Copyright © 2013. The Oriental Caravan. All rights reserved.                              
             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links