[START FROM NAGOYA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour

[START FROM NAGOYA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour


All Year Round


9:00 - Nagoya Area

Meeting Place

Nagoya Station Area


325,700 ~ / groupJPY

[START FROM NAGOYA] Private Takayama & Shirakawa-go Tour

Begin on an adventure into Japan’s historical core with our unique tour of Takayama and Shirakawa-go. These destinations provide a tranquil retreat into the nation’s heritage settings, a world apart from the bustling city life. Takayama, historically a vibrant trade center enriched by its natural resources, today stands as a testament to Japan’s past with its well-preserved old town. Explore through its broad streets and intimate passageways, lined by the pristine waters and historic timber-framed houses that reveal the enduring allure of Japanese craftsmanship.

Shirakawa-go, a picturesque village famed for its gassho-zukuri (thatched-roof houses), embodying the quintessential Japanese countryside. Standing as a living museum of Japan’s rural traditions. For generations, this village has sustained itself through farming and small industries, showcasing Japan’s persistent essence. Shirakawa-go is notable for its extensive array of historic homes, offering a compelling invitation for discovery and exploration.

Embarking on this private tour gives you a comprehensive glimpse into the cultural and architectural wonders of Takayama and Shirakawa-go, ensuring a memorable day immersed in Japan’s heritage.


  • Benefit from the convenience of private hotel pick-up and drop-off service, eliminating the need for arranging transportation and maximizing your time for exploration.
  • Utilize the luggage storage facility on our tour vehicle, allowing you to roam freely without the burden of managing your bags during the tour.
  • Wander through the charming streets of Takayama’s old town, where history comes alive among well-preserved buildings and traditional shops. Allowing you to see into the lifestyle and crafts of a bygone era.
  • Experience the enchantment of Shirakawa-go, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its scenic gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Delve into the village’s traditional way of life with the unique chance to enter one of these famed thatched-roof homes.

Experience the heartland of Japan with this tour, which combines the rich traditions and pristine landscapes of the country. Guided by a knowledgeable English-speaking guide, travelers can enjoy Japan’s natural and cultural treasures at their own pace.


What’s typically included?

Embarking on this one-day tour starting from Nagoya (or any location within 5km of the Nagoya train station) features an immersive walk through the historic old town of Takayama and a guided tour in village of Shirakawa-go. Our private tour vehicles ensure seamless transport throughout your journey. Depending on your plans, this tour can conclude at your accommodation in Takayama, at a chosen location around Kanazawa station or return back to you accommodations in Nagoya.

This one-day tour typically includes:

  • Use of a chartered vehicle with a dedicated driver for the tour.
  • Services of a private, English-speaking guide throughout the day.
  • Transport to Takayama and Shirakawa-go.
  • Entry into one of Shirakawa-go’s iconic Gassho-zukuri style houses.

Opting for a private tour ensures a personalized and intimate experience, letting you and your group delve deep into these remarkable destinations, free from the hustle and distractions often found on larger group tours.

The tour cost is calculated per person (aged of 6 years and over) with infants (under 6 years of age) included free of charge.


Tour Description

The tour begins at 9:00 A.M., where our comfortable tour bus will conveniently pick you up from your chosen location within the Nagoya area. Embark on a scenic 2-hour drive to Takayama, a journey that unfolds through the breathtaking landscapes of central Japan. As you traverse the countryside, you’ll witness the changing scenery, from urban sprawls to the serene beauty of mountainous terrains and lush valleys. This captivating drive not only transitions you from the bustling city to the tranquil settings of rural Japan but also sets the stage for a day filled with exploration and discovery.

Once you arrive, step back in time as you enter the historic heart of Takayama, the Old Town, or ‘Sanmachi.’ Renowned for its preservation of Edo-period streetscapes, this area is a living museum, telling tales of a bygone era when merchants thrived, and the town flourished as a center for high-quality timber and skilled carpenters. The narrow lanes, lined with traditional sake breweries, merchant houses, and artisan shops, offer a glimpse into the bustling life of historic Takayama. Each building and street corner has its own story, contributing to the rich tapestry of history that makes Takayama a unique cultural treasure.

Following your journey through time in Sanmachi, the tour gently guides you to the entrance of the Miyagawa Morning Market. Situated along the serene Miyagawa River, this market has been a focal point of Takayama’s daily life since the Edo period. Here, your guide will share insights into the market’s evolution from its historical roots to its current role as a vibrant community hub where locals and visitors alike gather to buy fresh produce, artisan crafts, and sample local delicacies. The market’s lively atmosphere and the array of goods on offer provide a perfect snapshot of Takayama’s enduring charm and the resilience of its traditions.

After your engaging guided tour, you’ll have an hour of leisure time to further explore and to have lunch by indulging in Takayama’s culinary delights. This break offers the perfect chance to dive into the depths of the Miyagawa Morning Market and wonder through the picturesque lanes of Sanmachi. Uncover the heart of local tastes by sampling locally sourced wagyu beef, and other tradition street foods to the area. This hour is your gateway to experiencing the profound cuisine and lively culture of Takayama.

Once you’ve soaked in the local atmosphere and your exploration comes to a close, regroup with your guide at the market’s entrance, ready to embark on your next adventure to Shirakawa-go. The journey there, approximately an hour long. And on days when the sky is clear, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the mountain ranges that cradle the region. This drive through picturesque landscapes provides a splendid prelude to the wonders awaiting in Shirakawa-go, enhancing your anticipation of the village’s serene beauty.


Arriving in Shirakawa-go marks the start of your tour’s enchanting latter half. Your exploration kicks off at the famed lookout point, where you’re greeted with sweeping views of the entire village. From there, your guide will lead you on a gentle descent through the village’s picturesque rice paddies and charming streets. Throughout your journey in the village, your guide will spotlight essential sights, weaving in tales and facts that illuminate the rich heritage and cultural fabric of this distinctive locale.

This tour also grants you access to one of Shirakawa-go’s renowned gassho-zukuri homes, offering a unique opportunity to closely observe the village’s distinctive architectural tradition. Your exploration of Shirakawa-go will not only reveal the area’s stunning natural landscapes but also delve into its profound cultural roots, promising an unforgettable journey.

Following the guided exploration, you will have about an hour of free time to further discover Shirakawa-go at your own pace. This is the perfect moment to revisit any captivating sites or venture into additional farmhouses that welcome visitors. You might also enjoy sampling the exquisite local snacks found along the main street. Rest assured, your guide will remain nearby, ready to provide answers to any questions or offer recommendations to enhance your exploration.


Finally, at 16:00, you’ll reconvene with your guide to conclude your enriching tour and begin the journey back to Nagoya, with an anticipated travel time of about 2 hours. Weather and traffic permitting, you should expect to reach Nagoya around 18:00, bringing a close to a day filled with discovery.

For guests choosing to end their tour in Kanazawa, plan to arrive there by approximately 18:40, seamlessly transitioning the adventure of the day into your evening.

Additionally, for those who plan on concluding their journey in Takayama, your arrival is scheduled for 17:00, allowing you to reflect on the day’s experiences as you settle into the evening.


9:00Your tour begins with a pickup from your chosen location within the Nagoya area, embarking on a scenic drive to Takayama.
11:00Arrive in Takayama and begin exploring its historic old town, 'Sanmachi.' Discover the area's rich history and culture with your guide, showcasing its Edo-period architecture and local crafts.
12:00Visit the vibrant Miyagawa Morning Market for an introduction to local produce and crafts. Here you will be given an hour of free time. This is also the perfect time for lunch, with recommendations from your guide on the best local eats.
13:00Meet back with your guide and head towards the picturesque village of Shirakawa-go.
14:00Explore Shirakawa-go with your guide, visiting the famous lookout point and walking through the village's iconic thatched-roof houses. Learn about the village's history and cultural significance.
15:00Spend an hour of free time exploring Shirakawa-go at your own pace. Visit more gassho-zukuri houses, enjoy local snacks, or capture the scenic beauty of the village.
16:00Regroup with your guide to start the journey back to Nagoya, concluding your adventure in Japan’s heartland.
18:00Assuming you will be returning to Nagoya expect to arrive at around 19:00. (Weather and traffic permitting)

**Note for alternative drop off locations:
To Kanazawa: For those ending in Kanazawa, anticipate arrival around 18:40.
To Takayama: For guests concluding in Takayama, scheduled arrival at 17:00.



  • Transportation fee to and between all listed destinations and activities on each day of the tour
  • Entry ticket to all locations you visit on the tour
  • Guided walk at each location
  • English-speaking guide


  • Lunch
  • Accommodation

Other Information

  • This tour involves several hours of walking in the outdoors. We recommend that you wear shoes and clothes which are easy to walk in. Please check the weather forecast before you head to the meetup point and prepare an umbrella or rain coat if necessary.
  • In winter the temperatures may drop below freezing, and even during the daytime temperatures may not exceed 1-2 ℃ on some days. Please wear warm clothing and footwear appropriate for snowy and cold conditions. There may also be snow and ice on the road/sidewalk, and so you should take care to not slip by preparing the correct shoes for such conditions.
  • There will be free time at both Takayama and Shirakawa-go for guests to enjoy the locations at their own pace. However, please make sure that you are at the respective meetup points at the time stated by your guide. If you get lost or need assistance, feel free to call the number which is listed on your tour pass, and our staff will assist you immediately.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara