Deaf Women Travel – Autumn Japan

14 Days

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October 24, 2023 - November 6, 2023 $4300
6 Available

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Trip Highlights

Walk the Nakesendo, an ancient highway to historic post towns.

Discover Kanazawa with an old castle and the samurai district.

See Japanese colorful autumn leaves in the Northern Alps.

Stay at a traditional Japanese inn with a hot spring onsen.

Trip Summary

Trip Facts

  • Historic and landmark sightseeing, nature walks, adventures & culture immersion
  • JR Railway, Shinkansen, highway bus, Kurobe Pass & public transportation,
  • American Sign language & English
  • Peggy Prosser
  • Medium - walking on pavement and concrete, and on cobblestones, some climbing stairs, standing and using public transportation, hiking on the Nakasendo, Nature walk on snow trails at Murodo, and overnight on high peak (2,500m/8,202ft)

The Japanese have managed to integrate ancient traditions and contemporary technology into their daily lives. With the mix of new and old, this tour has something for everyone. In the best that the Japanese autumn season has to offer, Japan’s autumn foliage is not to be overlooked. It comes in vibrant colors. The foliage creates a picturesque scenery against Japanese old and new architecture.

Highlights of this tour include visiting the mega-city, Tokyo, and major historical and cultural cities in the Tohoku and Chugoku region. The region is best known for its high mountains, rivers, forest, hot springs, and rice paddies. 

Activities in the tour include historic sightseeing, culture immersion, and some outdoor activities like hiking and nature walks. You see historic landmarks, cool skyscrapers, the countryside, mountainous regions, and remote villages.

You visit Nikko with its ancient temples and shrines that are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. And Nagano, with its important temples and shrines. You hike down the Nakasendo, an ancient highway that is over 400 years old. It runs through a deep forest and through the countryside. Along the Nakasendo you stop at the preserved post towns and stay overnight in one of the inns. You visit a wasabi farm in Azumino and learn interesting things about the wasabi plant. The place is scenic with the north alps in the backdrop. The farm has some interesting wasabi theme goods including foods that you may want to try. How about some wasabi ice cream?  Next, you take the Tateyama Kurobe route to cross over the Japanese North Alps. You transverse up 2,500 m (8,202 ft) on various vehicles, stopping at different stations including one station with Japan’s largest dam. You stay overnight at the mountain hut in the Tateyama mountain region. The hut has the highest natural hot spring bath in the world. Your most specular tour may be at Shirakawago, the remote village hidden in a deep mountainous forest. It is famous for its Gassho-zukuri homes. The village is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You go on a leisure walk through the village and enter one of the houses. Your last destination is Kanazawa, a vibrant city with an old castle. Kanazawa is known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums, and handicrafts. You see the Nagamachi, a preserved historic area that was once the residential district for the samurai that served the castle, and the Chaya entertainment district where the Geisha worked and play. You also stroll through the Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s best landscape gardens.

Furthermore, in each city or town, you have opportunities to dine on great autumn harvest foods and taste some of the region’s best-known sake, beer, and whiskey as you enjoy an adventure of natural, cultural, and artistic delights that celebrates the splendor of Japan’s northeast countryside and mountains region.  

Day 01 :

Your guide will greet you at the airport and escorted you to your hotel in Tokyo.  The afternoon and evening are on your own.  Overnight is in Tokyo.

Hotel: The Square Hotel Ginza

Day 02 :

Visit the Ryogoku District where the Sumo wrestlers practice, go up the Skytree for a view of greater Tokyo, tour Kappabashi, Japan’s kitchen town, and walk nearby to Asakusa for the Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa Shrine, and Nakamise-dori.  A welcome lunch of Japanese food is included on the tour.  Overnight is in Tokyo.

Hotel: The Square Hotel Ginza

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 03 :

Day 3: Tokyo 

You visit the Yanaka neighborhood stopping at the Yanaka Ginza, and the Yanaka Cemetery with cherry blossoms. Lunch is at the Deaf-owned ramen shop. In the afternoon you see Shinjuku with the Tokyo Metropolitan building, Harajuku with the Meiji Shrine, and Shibuya with the Hachiko statue and the famous crosswalk. Overnight is in Tokyo.

Hotel: The Square Hotel Ginza

Optional Activity: Deaf social at an Izakaya.  Reservations required. 


You go on a day trip to Nikko to see Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine with the mausoleum of the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Also, you stop to see the Rinnoji Temple with the Shoyoen Garden. The garden is lovely in the autumn season. And you walk down the Kanmangafuchi Abyss lined up with Jiro statues. You return to Tokyo for your last night.  

Hotel: The Square Hotel Ginza


You leave early in the morning on the JR highway bus to Kiso Valley, Magome. You arrive there in the afternoon. There you begin your tour of the village with an introduction about the ancient highway and the post towns.  And you participate in a cultural workshop.  By late afternoon, you check in a Honjin, a traditional post-town type of Japanese inn, and with a local meal.  Overnight is in Magome.

Hotel: (Honjin/Post Town Inn) Magome Chaya

Breakfast, Dinner

You hike on the old Nakasendo highway, walking through a forest, stopping at various landmarks, and into the countryside to Tsumago, the best-preserved post town in Japan. Tsumago retains its old appearance. After lunch, you take a local bus and train to Matsumoto, a castle town with the Japanese Alps in the backdrop.  Overnight is in Matsumoto

Hotel: Matsumoto Mauronichi

Day 7 :

You go on a day trip to see a farm that grows wasabi. The farm is big, scenic and interesting. You learn about the wasabi root. In the afternoon you return to Matsumoto and go on a city tour to see the Nakamachi with preserved merchant warehouses, the Frog street, and Japan’s oldest and most beautiful castle. Overnight is in Matsumoto. 

Hotel: Matsumoto Marunouchi

Optional Dinner: Matsumoto Sukiyaki.  this Japanese dish is prepared and served in the nabemono (hot pot) style. It is kind of sweet and consists of meat which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients.  Eating beef was at one time banned, but people ate beef secretly and it was the dish, Sukiyaki.  Your guide will tell you some history about the sukiyaki meal


You travel to Nagano city, a temple town. There you see one of Japan’s important temples, the Zennoji with the first Buddhist statue ever bought into the country. And you have lunch at the Fujiya Gohonjin that was founded in 1648 and reborn with a new look in 1925. In the afternoon you visit Obuse, a historic town where Hokusai, the renowned ukiyo-e master painted several masterpieces.  You enter a museum to see some of his work.  Overnight is in Nagano City.

Hotel: Hotel JAL City Nagano

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 :

In the morning you travel to the base of the Japanese Alps for the majestic Togakushi shrine with 200 giant cedar trees. Your guide will tell you an interesting legend about the shrine. Also inside the forest with tall cedar trees is the old Togakure Ninja School that showcases training rooms, photos, tools, and weapons used by ninjas. You visit the school and learn some ninja tricks.  Overnight is in Nagano.

Hotel: Hotel JAL City Nagano


You transverse on the Tateyama/Kurobe Route, riding on a variety of vehicles up 2,500m/8,202 ft to a mountainous region. Along the way, you stop at various stations to transfer. Each station has interesting information and scenery. One station has Japan’s largest dam. Your final destination for the day is Murodo, a mountaineering hub with history, a number of huts, hot springs, and beautiful scenery. Overnight is at a mountain hut with the highest hot springs bath in Japan and we think in the world, too.

Hotel: Mikurigaike Onsen Hut

Breakfast, Dinner

You rise early to watch the sunrise. After breakfast, you descend down on different transportations to the Kurobe Gores, a forest with steep cliffs. You hop onto a special train to the gores for the autumn colors. The train stops at different landmarks, some with natural hot springs for your feet. Overnight is in Toyama City.

Hotel: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Toyama Ekimae


You travel by bus to Shirakawa-go, a village with many Gassho-zukuri style homes. The place is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. You up to an observance deck for a panoramic view of the village and then come down to enter one of the houses. A farm-style lunch is included. You have free time to explore the village.  Overnight is in Kanazawa

Hotel: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 :

You go on a city tour of Kanazawa an old castle town. The city boasts many historical attractions such as the Nagamachi samurai residential district and the Chaya entertainment districts. You stroll through the Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s best landscape gardens. In the evening you join a Sayonara dinner.  Overnight is in Kanazawa 

Hotel: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Optional Activity: You can experience the culture of the Japanese tea ceremony at Kanazawa’s oldest tea ceremony room.  Sessions are 40 minutes long, including drinking tea.  Also, the tutorial on making the perfect green tea is interpreted.  Advance Booking Required and with fee. 

Breakfast, Dinner

Time to say sayonara, and be escorted from your hotel to the Shinkansen for your departure at either Narita or Haneda Airport.  Please book a late or red eye flight.


What is included and not included in the tour?

Tour includes

  • Airport transfers arrival & departure
  • Accommodations: (10 nights - mix of 3 or 4-star hotel, 2 nights - Japanese inn with hot springs & dinner, and 1- night, mountain hut with hot springs & dinner)
  • Meals (13 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 4 Dinners)
  • Tateyama Kurobe Route Pass
  • Kurobe Gores tickets
  • Nohi bus (Togakushi & Shirakawago)
  • City Passes (for public transportation)
  • Local/Private train and bus tickets
  • Admission fees to temples, parks, & other sites
  • Tour conductor and guides
  • Concierge & luggage services
  • An electronic handbook with a list of tips, suggestions, and more

Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Flight insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Japan Rail Pass (online yourself)
  • Other transportation not on the itinerary
  • Other meals not on the itinerary
  • Other tour activities not on the itinerary
  • Laundry, WIFI, and other services not included on the tour
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, snacks, and desserts
  • Tips/gratuity
  • Transaction Fees

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