JAPAN - Leaf peeping in the land of the rising sun


21st November 2022 - 13 nights

Led by Valda and Denis

“We're fools whether we dance or not, so we may as well dance" Japanese proverb


We have been contemplating visiting this extraordinary country for some time now and after much deliberation, have made the decision to go, not to Hokkaido in Winter as so many photographers do, but to put together an autumn tour to celebrate Koyo (colourful leaves) which we feel will provide a much more immersive cultural experience.

When autumn deepens, Japan is draped in a symphony of red and yellow hues from the fields and mountains to the cities. A transformation thought by many to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Known as momijigari, the Japanese venture out to appreciate the glory of this natural phenomenon. It is a custom that dates back to the 8th century.

The excitement of the arrival of autumn colour runs deep in Japanese culture. Join us to experience it for yourself.

Led by Valda and Denis


Japan is famous for its four distinct and breathtaking seasons. Though the cherry blossom in the spring is probably the most iconic, for many the fall is just as beautiful. Think entire mountains enveloped in swathes of red, orange, and gold; an avenue of golden ginkgo trees leading to a shrine; starry red and yellow maple leaves blanketing a carpet of moss.

Some degree of flexibility is  required with regard to activities planned. The online presentation (button on the left of the page)  covers the locations we intend to visit, however timing can never be absolute - elements such as weather, traffic, unexpected engagement at a given location and other issues are beyond our control and can all impact on how the tour unfolds.

We have listed below the hotels chosen . Although we anticipate no difficulty in booking the accommodation, some of the smaller properties will not accept our reservation until 12 months in advance. If we have any problems reserving the properties listed, an alternative hotel of similar class will be substituted.

21st November 2022 Workshop commences at around 18:30. Meet and greet, dinner.

2 nights Millennium Mitsui Gardens, Tokyo

23rd November 2022  Bullet train to Kanazawa

2 nights Kanazawa Hakuchoro Hotel Sanraku hotel

25th November 2022  Travel to Noto Peninsula

2 nights Lamp No Yado ryokan

27th November 2022  Travel to Kaga

1 nights  Morino Sumiko ryokan

28th November 2022 Travel to Kyoto

4 nights Mogana Kyoto

2nd December 2022 Travel to Mt Koya

1 night Fukuchi in

3rd December 2022  Transfer to Osaka 

1 night  Righa Royal Hotel

4th December 2022  Workshop ends. Fly home.


Offering high-floor views of the city and Tokyo Bay, Mitsui Garden Hotel provides chic and stylish rooms in a central location.


With a sophisticated and nostalgic ambience, the hotel offers unique blend of modern and traditional style of Kanazawa.
The hotel aims to give guests a local authentic experience.


A chance to experience "old Japan" in a truly remarkable setting, Lamp no Yado is a ryokan situated in a rocky cove surrounded by high cliffs at the end of the Suzu peninsula. Guests can enjoy the serene atmosphere in the middle of nature. At night, the property lights up using only lamp lights. No cellphone reception and electricity has only recently been made available at the property.



Situated on the edge of a forest, this refined hot spring inn will welcome us for one night.

A traditional Japanese inn, Morino Sumika offers beautiful gardens and large authentically styled rooms


A small hotel, centrally located, the property places a great emphasis on giving their guests a very personal service. Minimalist decor and handcrafted furniture with extraordinary attention to detail - if we run out of ideas in Kyoto, there is surely enough creative inspiration in this hotel to keep us busy for a long time.


A stay at Fukuchi-in Temple offers a fascinating insight into the traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks in Mount Koya.

Located at the heart of Mount Koya, Koyasan Onsen Fukuchiin Shukubo offers Japanese-style accommodations in a historical Buddhist temple.



Our final night will be spent at the Royal Righa, Osaka.The hotel  offers exquisite service steeped in over 80 years of tradition, and has been a favorite of both locals and tourists throughout its history.



All hotels are of excellent standard. We have no reason to suspect it might be the case but if, when they open their books for reservations for next autumn, we cannot get the rooms we require, we will substitute a hotel of similar grade.

We have tried to strike a balance between the comforts expected at normal western-style hotels and an authentic Japanese experience.

Lamp No Yado is a small ryokan - stunningly situated and definitely a highlight of the tour. However, some of the rooms have shared washing facilities. There is no internet available at this property. As there are only 12 rooms, we have to take every room they have, therefore the tour is priced based on the grade of room taken here. We will be at this inn for two nights.

Upgrades at the other hotels are available, on request, with a supplementary charge.

Single, (no bath at Lamp no Yado) £8,300

Single, (with bath at Lamp No Yado) £9,850

Single, (suite with bath at Lamp No Yado) £10,800

Reduction for sharing £650 per couple

We are unable to offer a discounted 'partner rate' due to the very high cost of the local accommodation, meals included, transfers, local guide etc.


Includes a £10 carbon offsetting fee. This is a voluntary contribution. Please advise us if you would rather opt out and we will cover your contribution.


All accommodation listed on a single room basis.


Dinner at Lamp No Yado (2 nights), Morino Sumika  (1 night) Mt Koya (1 night), evening meal with Geisha experience, meal on final evening.

We have some wonderful restaurants planned for the remaining evenings - excluding those meals enables people to make a choice about where they dine for some of the trip, if they so wish.

Tuition from Valda and Denis

Max, 14 clients.


Flights, insurance, meals (apart from those listed), airport transfers, should your flight not coincide with ours.

Fitness level - moderate. Gentle walking.

RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS: (Note, these are Valda's flights and she will be arriving earlier than the tour commences)

18/11/2022 - BA 4600, London Heathrow, T3, 19:00 pm arriving Haneda (Tokyo) T3, 15:55 pm (+1 day, 19//11/2022)

4/12/2022 - JAL 104, Osaka (Itami), 07:30 am arriving Tokyo (Haneda) 08:40am
4/12/2022 - BA 0006, Tokyo (Haneda), T3, 13:15 pm arriving London Heathrow, T5, 17:05 pm

GMT +8 hours

Average temp. High 17°C -  Low 7C°

November is one of the best times to visit Tokyo, but it isn't actually a high tourist season.

Social media; Valda

Social media; Bailey Chinnery

Social media, Doug