Excursion to enjoy Japan's spectacular winter scenery and magnificent nature

Winter season along the Mitsuboshi Kaido Three-star Road is a magical time when the already spectacular scenery transforms into a snowy wonderland that evokes memories of the area's rich, cultural traditions along with opportunities to enjoy winter sports and exploration. Whether you enjoy snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, or snow trekking, photogenic locations from mountain peaks and rustic villages, or just relaxing in a soothing hot onsen bath in a private room tucked away in the mountains, this itinerary offers something for everyone.

  • START

    Takayama Station

    50min
  • 1

    Hida Honokidaira Winter Resort

    A ski resort less than an hour from Takayama City

    Hida Honokidaira Winter Resort

    Hida Honokidaira is a charming, medium-sized ski resort with a "local" feel located in the southern region of the Northern Alps. Nestled in a valley surrounded by peaks and mountain scenery, the resort has 4 lifts, 16 courses, and a peak elevation of 1550 meters. Located less than 45 minutes by car from Takayama City, this resort offers a good mix of intermediate and expert terrain. Lift passes are very reasonable, and rentals as well as other amenities are priced at a good value.

    Detail
    40min
  • 2

    Shinhotaka Ropeway

    Spectacular mountain scenery via the Shinhotaka Ropeway

    Shinhotaka Ropeway

    Breathtakingly beautiful, the ropeway whisks travelers high into the mountains with incredible views of the peaks towering over the area. There is a delicious bakery at the third station, which makes for a great snack and coffee break as well as an opportunity to sit down and appreciate the alpine scenery. Outside is an onsen foot bath to rest and soak your tired feet in a beautiful outdoor setting. At the final station, there is a shop, a cafe, and a short walking course which allows visitors to enjoy the outdoors and savor the fresh mountain air while walking admist the conifers. The Shin Hotaka ropeway is a "must do" for anyone travelling along the Mitsuboshi Kaidou!

    Detail
    20min
  • GOAL

    Okuhida Onsengo Hot springs " Yumoto Chohza"

    A rustic retreat at a luxury ryokan

    Okuhida Onsengo Hot springs " Yumoto Chohza"

    Yumoto Choza is an inn which was renovated from the former home of a wealthy farmer, located in the Okuhida Onsen Hot Springs area. The sprawling property contains public and private open air baths for guests to enjoy and robata-style cuisine cooked in an irori fireplace. The huge kaiseki multi-course dinner and breakfast with an array of mountain vegetables will be highlights of your stay here, while the spacious rooms with large windows looking out onto the forest afford you a place to relax comfortably after your meals. The smell of the burning firewood and the sound of the water flowing in the nearby stream adds to the rustic ambiance of this property.

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  • START

    Okuhida Onsengo Hot springs " Yumoto Chohza"

    80min
  • 1

    Subzero Forest

    Subzero Forest

    The Akigami Onsen Ryokan, a solitary, traditional Japanese inn in the mountains, began producing the "Subzero Forest" in 1971, taking advantage of temperatures dipping below negative 10 degrees to create a winter tradition. The ice forest created by spraying water on the trees is blue in the day, and when illuminated at night, visitors will be dazzled by the mystical sight created.

    Detail
    120min
  • GOAL

    Hirase Hot Springs " Tosuke-no-yu Fujiya "

    Enjoy private onsen hot springs and delicious local meals

    Hirase Hot Springs " Tosuke-no-yu Fujiya "

    This intimate ryokan is located just 13 kilometers from the Shirakawa-go World Heritage site in a quiet area. 11 spacious rooms are available in various types: Japanese style, Japanese-Western (with beds), and a Japanese style suite. There are two private outdoor onsen baths for guests as well as indoor and outdoor gender-separated baths. Meals feature typical mountain country-style cuisine of the Hida area, but are prepared in elaborate presentations and served in a private dining room. The friendly and attentive staff guarantee that Fujiya will be one of the fondest memories of your trip.

    Detail
  • START

    Hirase Hot Springs " Tosuke-no-yu Fujiya "

    20min
  • 1

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site " Ogi-machi Castle Ruins Observation Area "

    Bird's eye view of World Heritage site Shirakawa-go

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site  " Ogi-machi Castle Ruins Observation Area "

    The UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go is now famous among visitors to Japan for its perfectly preserved depiction of the architecture and lifestyles of the Japanese people who inhabited the mostly unexplored depths of the mountains in the Hida region. Visitors can spend an entire day exploring this village, shopping for traditional crafts, dining on local mountain style cuisine, or even spending a night or two at one of the several inns. The iconic A-frame thatched roof houses of the entire village are best surveyed from the hillside at the edge of the village at the Ogi-machi Castle Ruins Observation Area. From this scenic spot, you'll have the best overall view of the main street of the village and the wild Sho River running beside it.

    Detail
    5min
  • 2

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site " Myozenji Museum "

    An up-close look at everyday life in old Shirakawa-go

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site " Myozenji Museum "

    The Myozenji Museum occupies the building which formerly housed the monks living at the adjacent Myozenji Temple. The museum now displays everyday items and tools once used by the past residents of the village for farming and producing goods. It is also a wonderful opportunity to interact with the architecture of the traditional buildings, inspecting the details up close and smelling the aromatic smoke of the fires used to repel insects and protect the wood and thatched roof from damage. Be sure to check out Myozenji Temple as well, the only temple and bell tower made with a traditional thatched roof.

    Detail
    3min
  • 3

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site " Triple United Gassho "

    Shirakawa-go's must-visit photo hot spot

    Shirakawa-go World Heritage Site   " Triple United Gassho "

    It's a bit of a detour to visit the "Triple Gassho", three thatched roof buildings that align symmetrically when viewed from a specific angle. With the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains behind them, however, this is one of the best views of Shirakawa-go, and well worth the walk to see them. Note: Please don't enter the rice fields near the Triple United Gassho as they are private property.

    Detail
    45min
  • 4

    World Heritage Ainokura Gassho-style Village

    The peaceful life in a thatched roof village

    World Heritage  Ainokura Gassho-style Village

    Ainokura provides an intimate look at the unique, traditional Japanese architecture of gassho-style thatched roof houses and the lifestyles of the village residents. Set against the backdrop of the Japan Alps, the scenery of Ainokura looks as if it could have been plucked from another century long past. Besides the residents who are still inhabiting several of the traditional houses, there are museums, restaurants, and souvenir shops built in the same gassho-zukuri thatched roof style. Those who wish to experience life in a traditional mountain village can book an inn to spend the night (reservations required in advance).

    Detail
    30min
  • GOAL

    Omaki Onsen Kanko Ryokan

    An exclusive ryokan accessible only by river ferry

    Omaki Onsen Kanko Ryokan

    The journey is literally part of the destination when it comes to Omaki Onsen Kanko Ryokan, which is only accessible to guests via a 30-minute ferry ride up the scenic Shogawa River. The river scenery is breathtaking, but nothing can prepare you for the sight of this exclusive ryokan sitting elegantly on the edge of the water. Guests arriving by boat will be warmly greeted and pampered by the ryokan's attentive staff, given a quick tour of the facilities, and left to relax in their enormous rooms with fantastic views of the river and mountains. Free time can be spent enjoying one or more of the ryokan's soothing onsen hot springs, indoor baths and outdoor rotenburo. Dinner is an exceptionally prepared and presented feast of luxurious local ingredients which might include seafood and mountain vegetables from the Sea of Japan side. This one-of-a-kind ryokan experience will certainly be a memory you will cherish forever.

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