Tokyo → Kyoto → Yamanouchi  → Tokyo 

Cosmopolitan, spiritual, traditional, relaxing! From the traditional atmosphere of Kyoto to the hot springs of Yamanouchi!  

Recommended period:

End of December – Beginning of January 

Recommended for:

Why Happy new year in Yamanouchi, Japan? 

*We continue below by presenting the recommended itinerary with the mention that it can be modified and personalised according to your own desires.

Day 1 Home → Tokyo 

Nihon e yokoso!

  • You’re boarding the flight to Tokyo.
Day 2 Tokyo

Lively, cosmopolitan and vibrant Tokyo!

  • A day where you get lost in Tokyo or discover it guided by our colleagues. Your list of objectives in exploring the city with crazy energy begins with a “technical” stop at Shinjuku Station to exchange JR vouchers for passes and continues with:
  • Shinjuku;
  • Yoyogi Park;
  • Meiji Jingu – a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife; 
  • Harajuku District – a meeting point of urban fashion trends, between eccentricity and kawaii, with dozens of cafes and clothing stores; 
  • Shibuya District, in the evening – known for the busiest intersection in the world, where over a million people gather daily, home to the well-known statue of the loyal dog Hachiko;
  • Accommodation Tokyo
Day 3 Tokyo → Kyoto 

Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan 

  • After a day full of positive but still overwhelming excitement, you board the shinkansen and head to the former capital of Japan, Kyoto. In winter, this traditional city is quiet, completely different than in spring or autumn when it is visited by thousands of tourists who admire and take walks through temples and gardens, once meant to relax the mind and enlighten the soul. It may be the best place to experience Japanese Zen. Alone or accompanied by our colleagues, for an afternoon in Kyoto we suggest to visit:
  • Ginkakuji – the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple built in 1460, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Higashiyama District with its narrow streets and traditional houses, is one of the best-preserved historical districts of the city. 
  • Kiyomizu-dera – the Pure Water Temple, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a history of over 1200 years, the temple has been burned or destroyed numerous times, but always rebuilt. With original architecture, the temple features a veranda located 13 metres above the ground, from where you can enjoy a unique view. 
  • Gion District – formerly known as the pleasure district, Gion still retains its former charm.
  • Accommodation Kyoto  

Day 4 Kyoto* 

The sound of bamboo leaves before the New Year 

  • Today, you will board a train and continue to discover the definition of Zen through an excursion before the turn of the year in Arashiyama, a picturesque area nestled among the mountains near Kyoto. On the Zen list you will have:
  • Tenryuji Temple with its bamboo forest, whose sound when the wind rustles through the bamboo leaves has been included in Japan’s list of 100 heritage sounds, 
  • Okoshi Sanso Villa and the Sagano Romantic Train
  • New Year’s Eve will be spent in Japanese style with an O-sechi dinner featuring special culinary preparations for the New Year. 
  • After dinner, like much of Kyoto, you can head to one of the popular temples such as Chion In, Nanzen-Ji, Kurodani or Shinyodo Temple to participate in the Joya-No-Kane ceremony. The ceremony involves ringing the sacred bell in hopes of dispelling old karma and ushering in a lucky New Year. At Shinyodo Temple, monks serve warm herbal tea to visitors, and penitents are present in large numbers.
  • Accommodation Kyoto  

*Ideally, this day would be December 31st.

Day 5 Kyoto → Yamanouchi 

Kyoto on the first day of the year 

  • Another morning of exploring Kyoto awaits, starting with the Golden Pavilion Temple – Kinkakuji, followed by a visit to the Ryoanji Temple and the Nishiki Market, known for its local delicacies. 
  • In the afternoon, board the shinkansen to head to the next part of your holiday destination, Yamanouchi, renowned for its hot springs and Japanese macaques.
  • Upon arrival at your accommodation, you can unwind and relax in an onsen bath.
  • Accommodation Yudanaka 
Day 6 Yamanouchi 

Relaxing amidst the mountains  

  • Today, you’ll venture either on foot or by bus to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, renowned for its captivating forest views. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to mingle with Japanese macaques, who often indulge in baths in the park’s natural hot springs, and perhaps capture some memorable photos with them. 
  • Before returning to your accommodation, you might opt to dine at Enza Cafe, a local eatery conveniently situated near the park, offering a perfect spot for a well-deserved break following your encounter with the macaques. 
  • In the evening, you can unwind in the hot springs at the Shibu Onsen resort, an establishment where traditional inns have retained their charmingly nostalgic ambiance.
  • Accommodation Yudanaka
Day 7 Yamanouchi 

Discover the beauty of snow 

  • Today, you’ll head to the Shiga Kogen National Park, where you’ll explore the fantastic slopes of the surrounding mountains. Here, you can enjoy winter on the 19 large slopes of the major resort. You are free to move around all the ski areas by bus or chairlift as you please. Thanks to excellent weather conditions, you’ll be able to appreciate the exceptional snow quality throughout the season, covering the period from mid-November to the end of May. 
  • Evening: visit to the onsen (Yudanaka Onsen)
  • Accommodation Yudanaka  
Day 8 Yamanouchi →Tokyo 

Last day on Planet Tokyo 

  • Relaxing in YamanouchiIn the afternoon, you’ll have a transfer via shinkansen to Tokyo. You can spend this day in Tokyo doing some last-minute shopping or leisurely strolling through the streets of Ginza, the most expensive district in Tokyo. For dinner, we recommend an izakaya, traditional Japanese pubs where people enjoy their evenings by having sake and snacks.
  • Accommodation Tokyo
Day 9 Tokyo → Home

Sayonara, Nihon!

  • Today, you will bid farewell to dear Japan and head to the airport for the flight home.

For this itinerary, you can choose one of our consultancy and services packages!

Ideal for a journey you’ll remember as the most spectacular, well-organized and balanced, we recommend the JBM PREMIUM package, which includes:

Dedicated consultation meetings for crafting the program down to the smallest detail.

All tourist services: flight tickets, accommodation, travel passes, transfers, local guides, restaurant reservations, portable WiFi device.

A personalised travel guidebook with information to guide you throughout the entire experience.

A WhatsApp group where we communicate daily and send you audio information about the next day to ensure you have a smooth journey without any unpleasant events and make the most of your time and the Japanese experience.

A customised itinerary based on your interests and passions.

24/7 consultancy at the destination.