Travels

Takayama

4h NE of Kyoto/ Tokyo/ 3h 18from monkey park
Preserved old town dating back to the Edo period. Looks like Ewok town. Near Nagano, souvenir shops, restaurants, sake breweries is like stepping back in time. Some houses are open to the public, exhibiting local crafts and arts, providing a window into understanding the lives of the locals.
TRAVEL: From Tokyo St, get the a Tokaido Shinkansen train (Nozomi - not valid on rail pass but Hikari is) to Nagoya and then transfer to the Wide View Hida Limited Express train for the run to Takayama. By Hikari it takes 4 1/2 hours, but the ride is fully included in the Japan Rail Pass. Takayama is small enough to cover on foot

Mount Fuji

2h West of Tokyo
Japan’s highest mountain 3776m at winter visibility is best. All of the trails have 10 stations, with refreshments, lodging & facilities. Start from the 5th st, 6,000’ – 7,000’. To get there get a bus from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. Erupted 1708 considered dormant. rope car takes you up a summit of a small mountain for some closer views of Mount Fuji. Fuji-Q Highland theme park is near with fast rides.

Jigokudani Monkey Park

3.5h North of Tokyo
Famous hot spring area near Nagano, “Hell’s Valley” surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold forests. It is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys that go to the valley during the winter.

Kumano Kodo - kii-hanto

4h from Kyoto.
Network of pilgrimage trails through the southern Kansai region. The Kodo ("old ways") are a key part of the region's UNESCO designation, and have been in use for over 1000 years.

Kiso Valley

4h West of Tokyo, 2h 11mins of Takayama
Located in Nagano Prefecture, and runs alongside the mountains of the Central Alps. An ancient 70 km trade route called the Kisoji was developed along the valley and served as a very important means of commerce in the area.

Matsumoto Castle

3h NW of Tokyo
1504 AD “Crow Castle” resemblance a bird with outstretched wings. Remains a gateway to the Kita Alps.

Kenroku-en

6h North of Tokyo
Is an old private garden. Along with Kairaku-en and Koraku-en, Kenroku-en is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.