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YUKIGUNI
​EXPERIENCE

Snowshoe the Highlights of Japanese Snow Country
February 20th - February 28th, 2023

This tour is reserved exclusively for members of the: 

            Gold Coast

                   Bushwalkers

              Club Inc

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Experience the outstanding beauty and unique customs of Japan's "yukiguni" snow country on this 9-day, 8-night mid-winter tour that takes in the highlights of central Honshu through snowshoeing and a variety of cultural activities in the mountainous prefectures of Gifu and Nagano. Explore snow-covered landscapes slowly on foot, soak in natural hot spring baths, sample a variety of local cuisine, stay in a temple, and visit some incredible sights; from majestic castles to picturesque thatched-roof villages buried under meters of snow.

IMAGE GALLERY

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*Please note that the currently uploaded images are primarily from the Otari area, which is visited on days 3 to 5. Photos of other areas to be visited during the tour will be added to the gallery shortly.

PRICE INCLUDES

  • LODGING

All lodging for the duration of the tour is included. Rooms may be either Japanese or Western style, depending on customer preference, rates and availability. If planned accommodations are unavailable, bookings will be made at similar accommodations. The price of ¥360,000 per person is based on a minimum of double occupancy, and additional charges may be incurred for those requesting single occupancy.

[ 8 nights from 2/20 - 2/27 ]

  • GROUND TRANSPORTATION

All ground transportation, including train travel to Matsumoto from Tokyo at the start of the tour, return train to Tokyo from Matsumoto at the conclusion of the tour, and travel by private carriage for the duration of the tour is included.

[ 9 days from 2/20 - 2/28 ]

  • DINNERS & BREAKFASTS

All dinners and breakfasts, excluding breakfast on the first and dinner on the final day. Meals will be a mix of those provided by accommodations and several dinners out. We will aim to eat a variety of traditional Japanese dishes, including various local and seasonal specialities. Of course, our priority is also to accommodate all guests' dietary restrictions and individual tastes, so please inform us of any such requests at the time of booking.

8 breakfasts from 2/21 to 2/28 & 8 dinners from 2/20 to 2/27 ]

  • LUNCH (On Days 3 & 9)

The cost of lunch on day 3, described in the itinerary below as a "hot pot lunch served inside a traditional Japanese Kamakura snow shelter" is figured into the tour price. Likewise, the farewell lunch on day 9 at the tour's conclusion is also included.

[ 2 lunches on 2/22 & 2/28 ]

  • SNOWSHOE RENTAL & GUIDED SNOWSHOE WALKS

​Four fully-guided, extended snowshoe hikes around the following areas:

- Utsukushigahara (Matsumoto, Nagano)

- Tsugaike Nature Park (Chubu Sangaku National Park, Otari, Nagano)

- Mt. Inobuse (Hida Takayama, Gifu)

- Kamikochi Valley (Chubu Sangaku National Park, Matsumoto, Nagano)

  • ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS

All other scheduled activities and excursions

- Matsumoto Castle entrance fee

- Onsen baths

- Snow shelter hot pot experience

- Soba making / wooden snowshoe workshop / snow cabbage harvesting

- Gondola & ropeway trip

- Shirakawa-go entrance fees

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Airfare to/from Japan

  • ​Any lodging prior to 2/20 or beyond 2/27

  • Airport transfers

  • Lunches* [other than days 3 and 9], drinks and snacks

  • ​Travel/hiking insurance

GROUP SIZE / GUIDES

  • This tour is led by 2 guides

  • For this tour to operate at the listed price, we require a minimum of 7 persons.  

  • Group size will be limited to a maximum of 10 persons.

  • If you are interested in booking as a private tour for less than 7 people, please contact us for a price quote.

AT-A-GLANCE ITINERARY / HIGHLIGHTS

Feb. 19th

Sunday

Arrival Day

  • Transport to Matsumoto via the Limited Express Azusa (attended by Justin)

  • Meet Paul & commence tour in Matsumoto / sightseeing around the castle

  • Snowshoe pickup / fitting

  • Welcome dinner at a local izakaya

  • Overnight in Matsumoto

Feb. 20th

Monday

Day 1

  • Transport to Matsumoto via the Limited Express Azusa

  • Commence tour in Matsumoto / sightseeing around the castle

  • Snowshoe pickup / fitting

  • Welcome dinner at a local izakaya

  • Overnight in Matsumoto

Feb. 21st

Tuesday

Day 2

  • Transportation to Utsukushigahara

  • Snowshoeing around the broad, scenic summit of Utsukushigahara

  • Overnight with onsen at the top of Utsukushigahara

Feb. 22nd

Wednesday

Day 3

  • Sunrise from the front of the hotel (snowshoeing optional)

  • Scenic drive through the Matsumoto Basin to the small village of Otari

  • Hot pot lunch served inside a traditional Japanese kamakura snow shelter

  • Overnight in a renovated farmhouse in the heart of a small countryside settlement

Feb. 23rd

Thursday

Day 4

  • Experience life in the countryside by participating in a cultural activity such as:

       - Making and eating your own homemade soba noodles

       - Crafting your own pair of traditional wooden snowshoes

 

       - Harvesting a head of cabbage from up to 1 meter under the snow

  • Relax with an onsen bath and/or enjoy some down time

  • Second night in Otari at the same establishment

Feb. 24th

Friday

Day 5

  • Catch the gondola & ropeway up to the top of a local ski resort*

 

  • Spend the day snowshoeing across a high-alpine plateau at the base of the Alps*

  • Onsen stop and transportation onward to the Gifu / Shirakawa-go area

  • Overnight in a hot spring hotel in Shirakawa-go

       (*Destination may be changed due to weather conditions, etc...)

Feb. 25th

Saturday

Day 6

  • Sightseeing around the scenic World Heritage-listed thatched-roof village of Shirakawa-go

  • Transportation to the nearby city of Takayama

  • Explore the city and/or take part in a Buddhist workshop or experience

  • Overnight in a beautiful accommodation set inside a Buddhist temple 

Feb. 26th

Sunday

Day 7

  • Short drive to the trailhead at the outskirts of the city

  • Half-day snowshoe hike up to a summit with 360-degree panoramic views

  • Return to Takayama, downtime and/or sightseeing

  • Second night in Takayama at the same establishment

Feb. 27th

Monday

Day 8

  • Transportation from Takayama to Kamikochi

  • Full-day snowshoe hike into and around the spectacular Kamikochi Valley

  • Overnight at a nearby onsen ryokan tucked away in the mountains

Feb. 28th

Tuesday

Day 9

  • Leisurely morning with time for one last onsen

  • Return by car to Matsumoto with a short stop at a frozen waterfall along the way (conditions permitting)

  • Farewell lunch at a local Japanese restaurant 

  • Train travel back to Tokyo with Justin

MAP

Click on the button below to be redirected to a customized Google map showing the main destinations to be visited on this tour.

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WHAT TO BRING

Click on the button below for a comprehensive, downloadable list (PDF) of required and recommended gear specific to this adventure. 

COMING SOON

ONLINE BOOKING

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​CONTACT US

If you would like to contact us to ask questions, receive more information, or inquire about booking this trip, please either connect with us directly using the chat feature located on the bottom right of your screen, or submit an inquiry through the contact form below.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!