Japan Tours

Japan Tours

Announcing a fantastic Toyko and Nagano Ukiyo-e Tour, April 16 to 26, 2019!

obuse hokusai kan

Front entrance of Obuse Hokusai Museum in rural Nagano

Places Available - Now taking bookings! Click "read more" to see full information about the tour.. 
( Key - Green = place available, Blue = place booked, Grey = reserved )

weekly wshop place available place available place available

place available



Portrait of Beauty Kitagawa Utamaro

Connect with Japanese Art and historic Ukiyo-e..

View a range of Museums, incredible shops and interesting places of Art and Ukiyo-e..

Visit a mountainside paper making village..

Experience historic temples and Matsumoto castle,  and enjoy shops and restaurants of Tokyo and Nagano..

Enjoy this great experience with an experienced guide with local knowledge..


For ten days I will guide our small group of five to a range of fabulous museums following the great artists and art of Ukiyo-e - traditional Japanese woodblock printing. You will feel like you got to know them and their world. Enjoy a relaxed guided tour and avoid tourist traps and unnecessary spending while making the most of your travel.

The tour includes a mix of Ukiyo-e specific experiences as well as visits to a selection of Tokyo and Nagano's fantastic places.

Currently living in Nagano, and having visited Tokyo and Nagano many times I have the knowledge and connections to deliver a once in a lifetime experience of Japan for a great price! My Kyoto Mokuhanga tours over the last few years have been extremely popular, and I've developed this tour for you to enjoy a different side of Japanese woodblock printing

With only five places available, this is assured to be a comfortable, personalised tour,to enrich your knowledge and apreciation of Japanese art and culture..




hokusai sumida museumTokyo - 

Visually stunning, blend of futuristic metropolis, historic city and packed with people, Tokyo has everything. We will visit a selection of museums focussing on Ukiyo-e and it's historical period, including Ota Memorial museum, Edo Mesum of Tokyo and the newly opened Hokusai Museum in Sumida.As well as having time for shopping and enjoying an amazing array of restaurants, we will fit in an Ukiyo-e print experience at Asakusa and gasp at the panoramic view from Skytree - the second tallest building in the world.Along the way we will have time to visit Senso-ji temple in Asakusa and also Meiji shrine in Harajuku.

Nagano -

Rural villages and towns surrounded by rice fields and snow capped mountains, where you can still see old rural Japan. Here we will visit Obuse Hokusai Museum, where you can see first hand rare and amazing masterpeices of Hokusai's late career, as well as Japan's largest collection of Ukiyo-e at Matsumoto, and the incredible Matsumoto castle. In Nagano we will also visit one of Japan's oldest and most famous temples, Jenko-ji, and enjoy the array of shops and restaurants in this exciting regional town, where you can experience both old and new Japan without the huge crowds of Tokyo or Kyoto.

We will also take a side trip to Iiyama paper making village to gain an apprecitaion of the wonderful skill and craftsmanship behind washi (Japanese paper) which helped make Ukiyo-e possible.

Timing -

April in Japan - depending on the timing each season we will see beautiful cherry blossoms, Nagano is a little cooler than Tokyo so will blossom later. The weather is early spring -  fresh clear air, some days will be cold, especially as we head into the spectacular mountainous region of Nagano.

Accommodation -

We will stay in a comfortable single rooms in quality but affordable hotels in Ueno, Nagano and Matsumoto. Our hotels are conveniently close to our train stations so a short walk will take us there.


Download Brochure (PDF 380kb)


Food, Transport & Other Information

Food and Eating

Eat truly authentic sushi and other Japanese dishes! One of the great attractions of Japan is the incredible food available. There are literally hundreds of restaurants and choices available! Prices range from several hundred yen obento from Convenience stores or supermarkets up to tens of thousands of yen (=$100's!!) at exclusive restaurants only available to existing customers. Your guide knows many great places to eat, and we can also explore and enjoy finding new ones!


Special Diets

True vegetarian food is limited, as dashi fish stock is extensively used in many recipes. If you are happy to eat fish, it is no problem. Specialist shojin ryori (Temple food) restaurants are available, and are generally expensive, however even the simplest restaurant has some traditional dish that is suitably vegetarian.

Gluten free used to be virtually unheard of, however some restaurants have become more aware of this. Although most dishes are rice based soy sauce with wheat content is extensively used, so avoiding wheat gluten is more difficult than you first imagine. It is possible to avoid foods containing wheat / gluten, although your food choices are limited.

Your guide has experience in asking for and finding meat-free and wheat / flour free options, and information is freely available on the internet.

If you have special diet needs, please contact us and we can discuss the possibilities with you. Please note the terms and conditions of the tour which outlines your and our responsibilities in regard to special diets on the tour.


Walking and Transportation

Travel from the airport and within tokyo to our destinations will be by train and subway. Some walking will also be involved, so a degree of mobility and fitness is required. You should be able to walk 3 to 5 kilometers a day without problems. There are many interesting shops and sights aroiund our destinations. Travel to Nagano and back will be by high speed shinkansen, which is very confortable. The shinkansen is moving too fast and is not good for scenic viewing / photographs. Around Nagano will be local trains from which we can enjoy the scenery. 

We will try to avoid rush hour crowds in Tokyo, which can be intense!


Health and Insurance

It is highly recommended that you purchase your own travel insurance. Minor health problems and medications for them are easily available at Drug Stores (Chemists). If you require more serious help for any reason, the Japanese health system is very expensive for foreign tourists.



Bring adequate cash - Japanese Yen! Japan is still very much a cash society, although credit cards are increasingly accepted. You may be able to access funds from the ATM's available in convenience stores and banks, but despite what your local bank or Australian Post will tell you, it may be impossible or at the best difficult. I recommend exchanging money through Travelex before departing for the airport in Australia. Don't be like my friends who I met at Kansai airport. They had no money for days until we could find an ATM that worked for them, including no money to get to Kyoto from the airport!


Passport and Visa

Of course, you will need a valid passport to leave Australia and enter Japan. Tourists from Australia* are given a 90 day visitors visa automatically on entry to Japan - there is no need to apply before hand. (*applies to Australian Citizens - other country's citizens please check)


Telephone & Internet

You can use your mobile phone, however check your provider's international roaming rates - these can be very expensive!

Local mobile phones are available for hire at the airport, but are a little expensive. A travel sim is now available to buy at the airport, which comes with a pre-loaded amount of calls, text and data. Your accommodation provides free internet access, and there is a growing number of free internet access points in Cafes etc.



All power in Japan is 110 volts and is supplied through the Japanese style twin plug power points. An adapter is readily available and check if your charger / device will work on 110 volts.




Travel -

Travel by train in Tokyo and Nagano is covered in your fee. We will use local trains and subway in Tokyo, then use the high speed shinkansen to travel to Nagano. Between Nagano and Matsumoto & Iiyama we can enjoy scenic views on the local trains, usually missed by tourists in a rush on their high speed express.

nagano view wide


Tour Fee - 

The fee is only $3465 per person, which includes: transfers from Narita Airport to Tokyo accommodation, local transport in Tokyo, Shinkansen to Nagano and back, trains within Nagano, entry to tour venues, hotel accommodation at Ueno, Nagano and Matsumoto, and the fee for planning and guiding the tour.


Secure Your Place Now with a 25% deposit of $866. The balance must be paid by February 15th, two months prior to departure. 

Early Bird Booking - 10% discount! Book and pay in full before November 30, 2018. Full cost only $3223! (save $242)

*Paypal Surcharge - if paying by credit card through Paypal to our Australain account, and extra charge of 2.9% will be added. A fee free option is available to pay in Japanese Yen, direct to our Japanese Paypal account. The cost to you in $AU will vary according to the exchange rate.


Your Costs - Not Provided in the Tour Fee

Airfare - You can choose your preferred options / carrier, but should arrive daytime 15th April at Narita Airport, Tokyo, or in Tokyo by another method.

Food - You can choose to eat wherever you like, there is a huge range of restaraunts and costs! (5,000 yen per day = $AU53 = basic eating - I will show you how you can live cheaply in Japan!)

Shopping - You can find many beautiful gifts or interesting objects for yourself or others. I am sure you will find amazing thinks you want to buy!

Travel Insurance - It is highly recommended you purchase travel insurance for yourself.

Visa - Australian citizens (and many other countries) automatically receive a 90 day visitor visa free on entering Japan


Tokyo Tour Booking and Payment

Tour Booking - Conditions and Payment Options


1. Your place on the tour can be reserved with a 25% deposit of $866. You can also pay in full at time of reservation - Early Bird $3223, Full Price $3465


2. A place cannot be held for you if you have not paid.


3. Booking is on a "First come - first served" basis.


4. Balance of $2599 must be paid before February 15, 2019.


5. An early bird booking discount will be given for payment in full before November 30, 2018. (Full cost with early-bird discount: $3223)


6. Payment by credit card through Paypal Austalia will incur an additional 2.9% fee (Paypal's fee). Payment to our Paypal Japanese account in JPY is fee free.


7. Payment options are:


Payment Method


*Preferred Method* 

Direct Transfer to Bank Account

Pay direct to our Australian bank account through internet banking. Convenient, instant and no fees. Option also available in New Zealand

BSB: 193-879
Account number: 439 500 781
Account Name: Australian Mokuhanga School
Reference: Kyoto Tour & Your Name

Pay Pal - Japanese Yen

*Fee is waived if you select this option

We will send you an email with a link to our Japanese Paypal account, where you can pay with your credit card through their secure system.

Deposit ¥71,000

Full Tour cost (Early Bird) ¥264,200

Full Tour Cost (Normal) ¥284,100

Pay Pal - $AU

Please contact us by email so we can confirm the right amount. We will send you an email with a link to our Australian Paypal account, where you can pay with your credit card through their secure system

*incurs additional 2,9% charge, see the following:

Deposit +$25

Early Bird Full +$93.50

Full Fee +$100.50





Refunds & Cancellations

If we cancel the Tour  If you cancel your booking

1. If there are insufficent numbers to run the tour and the tour is cancelled, a full refund will be given.

2. If the tour is cancelled by us for reasons to do with our operation / personal circumstances a full refund will be given.

3. If the tour is cancelled due to circumstances outside our control, some fees (accommodation) may be deducted, depending on the closeness of the cancellation date to the tour start date. 

 1. Within 3 months of the tour start date a $50 administartion fee will be deducted

 2. Within 2 months of the tour start date a $200 fee will be deducted to cover administration and other costs

 3. Within 4 weeks of the tour start date 50% fee will be deducted

 4. Within 2 weeks of the tour start date 100% fee will be deducted


Tour Changes


1. The tour itinerary may be changed due to unforeseen circumstances. Every effort will be made to deliver the itinerary as planned.


2. Days or tour items may be swapped due to weather, closures or other circumstances.


3. Accommodation may be changed due to availability or other circumstances beyond our control. Every effort will be made to secure alternative comparable quality, location and cost accommodation.




1. You are accepted on the tour as represented, the tour requires walking and stair mobility.


2. If you are not able to walk 2 to 5 kilometres in a day without problem, or climb stairs as required, then you may not be able to participate in all the activities of the tour.


3. In this event we take no responsibility for your participation on a day to day basis. However guidance will be given to the best of our ability.  We reserve the right to refuse a place if we consider it appropriate.


Allergies and Medical Emergencies


1. You are asked to disclose relevant allergies, particularly food, so your guide can assist you with food and restaurant choice. Before booking the tour, please contact us to determine any degree of difficulty your allergy / food restrictions might cause. Information is available about food restrictions / diet / allergies, please contact us before booking the tour.


2. Your guide is not a native speaker / reader of Japanese, or medically qualified, so cannot take responsibility for your food choices. There is a degree of risk involved due to language / labelling understanding and differing cultural approaches to allergy etc.


3. You are strongly advised to prepare yourself for your needs and to have adequate and appropriate medical insurance. Any medication you require is your own responsibility.





Tokyo & Nagano Ukiyo-e Tour 2019

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