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

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


All Year Round



Meeting Place

Kanazawa Station Area


266,700 ~ / groupJPY

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

For travelers looking to explore a more traditional side of Japan, the towns of Shirakawa-go and Takayama offer a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a world that seems far away from the hustle and bustle of major cities. Shirakawa-go is and has always been a quaint village of thatched roof homes, where agriculture and cottage industries thrived for centuries. Nowadays, it has become well known as one of the few remaining villages in Japan that boasts a high number of preserved homes with thatched roofs – many of which are open to the public. On the other hand, once an important economic center based on access to important natural resources, Takayama today has within it a faithfully preserved traditional town center composed of three major avenues and a number of alleyways. With crystal clear water flowing on both sides of the streets, and historical wooden buildings clustered tightly together, you will be witness to the beauty of traditional Japanese architecture. For guests who purchase this private tour, both of these destinations will be within your grasp in a single day. You are free to start your tour from Kanazawa Station or your hotel, and also end the tour in either Kanazawa or Takayama. Guests looking to travel between these cities will therefore be able to make use of this tour for that purpose.


  • Start your tour in Kanazawa and end your tour at or near any of the following points: Takayama Station or Kanazawa Station.
  • Store your luggage on our tour bus during the tour, removing the hassle of sending your luggage to the next destination.
  • Visit Shirakawa-go, the UNESCO World Heritage registered village of thatched roof homes which has become one of the symbols of central Japan. You will also have a chance to enter one of homes which has been opened to the public.
  • Visit the unique and historic Takayama Jinya, once an outpost of the Shogun’s central government. Today, it is open to the public as a place to learn about Takayama’s past.

This tour offers amazing value for travelers looking to get a taste of nature in Japan at their own pace, attended by a knowledgeable English speaking guide. Get a taste of tradition and nature in the heartland of Japan.


What’s typically included?

  • A one-day tour starting from Kanazawa (or any location within 5km of the above cities respective train stations), followed by a guided walk in Shirakawa-go and a trip to the Takayama Jinya. All transport is provided in our private tour vehicles. The tour may end at Takayama Station or Kanazawa Station (or any location with 5km of the above) – you are free to choose. There is also an option to end the tour in Nagoya.

A one-day tour (typically) includes:

  • Private vehicle/driver for the duration of the tour
  • Private English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour
  • Transport to Shirakawa-go
  • Entrance to a Gassho-zukuri, thatched-roof house
  • Transport to Takayama
  • Entrance to the Takayama Jinya

A private tour provides a different atmosphere from offered group tours, as you can truly enjoy this intimate time with your party to enjoy these amazing locations with no interruptions or unexpected happenings.

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

You will first arrive at Shirakawa-go, and start at the famous look-out point from which the whole town of Shirakawa-go may be seen at once. Your guide will then lead you down the road, descending into the rice paddies and quaint streets that make up the village. Next you will be brought through the town of Shirakawa-go and introduced to its highlights. During this time your guide will explain more about the town and answer any questions you may have about the sights you will be seeing. Entry into a gassho-zukuri thatched-roof house is also included in the price of the tour.

Once the guided portion is complete, you will have around 1 hour of free time – if you choose – to explore at your own pace, and revisit places you want a better look at. During this time, you may also eat lunch, enter into those farm houses which allow you to do so, or sample some of the snacks that are sold along the main street. Your guide will be around to answer any questions you may have.

Once this time is up, you will meet your guide at the center of the village. From there, you will begin your journey to Takayama. Taking roughly 1 hour, this drive will not be boring as there is scenery of great beauty just outside the window for almost the whole ride. If you are lucky, you may even spot some pheasants or deer on the way!

The second part of the tour will be a 1-hour guided experience inside the Jinya where your guide will explain about the history of the building and the city of Takayama itself. The Jinya includes both rooms for official business as well as rooms that were used by high-ranking officials for their own relaxation. You will also have a chance to see a beautiful Japanese garden, and experience the simplistic beauty of traditional Japanese design.

The Jinya also houses a number of artifacts, including art, books, and tools, from its heyday in the 17th through 19th centuries. Unlike a visit to a typical museum, at the Takayama Jinya you will be able to enjoy viewing these pieces of history in a building that is as old as the items on display!

Afterwards, you will be heading to the traditional downtown of Takayama, known as the “Sanmachi”, for a 30-minute guided walk, wherein your guide will show you around the area and make sure you don’t miss any scenic views. This portion of the tour will conclude at the entrance to the Miyagawa Morning Market, where your guide will give a brief introduction to the market and its place in Takayama culture. The market is usually a lot less busy in the afternoon but some of the vendors may still be around.

You will then have around 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time, where you may peruse the market, return to the Sanmachi to get a closer look at some of its shops, or head to some local restaurants to enjoy the delicious food of the Hida region. For guests who are interested, there are shops offering local sake for taste testing, and even sushi made with wagyu beef from local ranches!

Finally, you will meet up again with your guide at 17:00 to conclude the tour and start your trip back to Kanazawa, a journey which will take roughly 1 hour. You can expect to be back in Kanazawa around 19:00. Guests who wish to stay in Takayama may of course do so and end the tour in Takayama at 17:00. If you have any specific time constraints, please let your guide know


09:00The tour vehicle will pick you up at 9:00 from Kanazawa Station or your accommodation in Kanazawa
10:10Arrive at Shirakawa-go. Take a walk through the town of Shirakawa-go and enjoy 1 hour+ of guided strolling. Feel free to ask your guide any questions you may have about the town and its history along the way. You will also be able to ascend to the famous viewpoint which overlooks the whole town - and have time to take photos!
11:30Begin your free time, during which you will be able to explore Shirakawa-go at your own pace. Feel free to enter into any buildings that you are allowed to, eat lunch, visit a café, or shop for some souvenirs. Your guide will be available for questions and help during this time.

You also will have time for lunch, so make sure to ask for recommendations for that too (lunch is not included in the price of the tour).
13:00Meet back up in in the center of time at the designated meeting spot and head back to the bus. Then it's time to begin the journey to Takayama through the beautiful mountains and equally gorgeous rivers.
14:00When you arrive in Takayama you will be dropped off near the Takayama Jinya. This will be the start of the second part of the tour and a 1-hour guided experience and an introduction to the history and culture of Takayama and the Hida region.
15:00Leave the Jinya and begin walking the traditional “Sanmachi” district in the heart of Takayama. Led by your knowledgeable tour guide, you will have a chance to see some of the woodwork this region is famous for and take in its scenic streets.
15:30After walking through the Sanmachi, your guide will bring you to the Gyoshinhashi Bridge where you can start the second period of free time. This is the perfect time to visit any of the interesting, cool or delicious shops you saw along way. If you need ideas of places to shop, eat or drink, do not hesitate to ask your guide for recommendations.
17:00Reunite with your guide at the designated meeting point to conclude your tour. Guests who wish to do so will now return to Kanazawa
Guests who want to stay in Takayama may also do so at this point. Both are covered as part of your tour. Your guide will offer any assistance necessary, so feel free to ask them for help.
18:45For guests heading to Kanazawa we hope to arrive back at 18:45 but there is often heavy traffic in and around the city and can be delayed by as much as 20 minutes. For that reason, if you are planning to take a connecting train or bus, be sure to leave plenty of time, just in case.



  • 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 Shirakawa-go and Takayama 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.


I don't want to visit one of the locations on this tour, or want to go to a different location in addition to the listed destinations. Is this possible?
This tour page specifically caters to those who would like this specific itinerary as a way to see Takayama and Shirakawa-go in an efficient manner.If you would like to change this itinerary, please use our website to make a private tour inquiry which includes the details of what you would like in your tour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
I’d like to be dropped-off at a different location from where the tour begins. Is that possible?
Yes! This tour is designed to allow for multiple pick-up points in Kanazawa and drop-off options in Takayama, the 2 major travel hubs in Central Japan. You may also choose any location within 5km of the above listed points.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible or suitable for mobility-impaired guests?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. The tour requires a significant amount of walking that is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. There will be walking in both cities and small towns, and for guests visiting Takayama Jinya, there will be some small flights of stairs. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle with the conditions. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options.
I would like to join this tour from Tokyo/Nagano. Is that possible?
Yes, it is possible to do so!

For those coming from Tokyo, please ride the Shinkansen departing Tokyo Station at 6:16 A.M., to arrive in Kanazawa at 8:43.

For those leaving from Nagano, you can catch the same Shinkansen from Nagano Station at 7:38 A.M.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information.
Is accommodation included in this tour?
Accommodation is not included in this tour.For guests who would like help booking a room at a hotel or ryokan, please contact us
Can the tour bus pick me up/drop me off at my hotel?
For guests who are staying in hotels within a 5km radius of the listed meet up points (Takayama Station, Kanazawa Station), we will be able to go directly to your accommodation.

(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