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AUTUMN JAPAN

  Red maples

days

24 people

3390

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Юлія

Світлова

КООРДИНАТОР ГРУПИ

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І group: 12 - 20.11.2025

II group: 21 - 29.11.2025

DESCRIPTION

Japan is an amazing country that managed to preserve its originality, traditions and ancient customs in the era of the "advancing" Western civilization. At the same time, Japan is considered one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Love for the ancient traditional ways and advanced technical achievements greatly distinguish the Japanese from other peoples of Asia and our planet.

Many words immediately evoke associations with Japan in our minds. Samurai, ninja, geisha, karate, Momiji, sushi and many other words that we already know well and, pronouncing, we mentally move to a distant, mysterious island region.

Japan is, first, a country of traditions, and one of these national traditions is the period of admiring the foliage or Momiji, as they call it. The famous Momiji season is called after the Japanese maples, which are famous for their mesmerizing leaf shape and bright red autumn colors. From the outside, it seems as if a bloody samurai, who defeated the fiery dragon and saved his beloved, is standing there.  The Momiji season starts from September and reaches its peak in November. In ancient times, rich courtiers, accompanied by musicians, were very fond of admiring the crimson leaves of momiji, lazily cutting through the expanse of lakes and rivers in boats.

At the same time, the most gifted of them, inspired by autumn beauty, composed impromptu poems. During the season of admiring the autumn foliage, almost all temples hold fairs in their territories. They treat everyone with healing herbal tea and give master classes on creating ikebana from leaves.

At first, this custom of admiring the maples and contemplating their subtle beauty extended only to the elite and the imperial court. He soon became popular among the samurai, and by the beginning of the Edo period - among the common people. According to the beliefs of the Japanese, spirits inhabited nature, so offerings and libations were made to the maples. Later, sake was drunk at offering rituals. The Japanese themselves love and appreciate all the seasons of the year, but they consider autumn magical. Moreover, the magic lies in the multiple colors of the leaves. When in Japan there comes such a time as admiring the foliage, or Momiji, it seems that all the colors merge. On one tree, you can see both still green leaves, and the leaves that are already starting to turn yellow or red. Almost all the colors of autumn open up to your eyes, and it is not just “Oh, how beautiful!”

It is a truly bewitching sight.

And the weather itself is very favorable both to the inhabitants of their country and to the guests and tourists who come here. Autumn in Japan is very warm and almost without rain, which is why there is no high humidity. And this is an important fact for those who are preparing to visit Japan in the fall. After all, it would not be very pleasant to come to the country of your dreams and sit at home or in a hotel all the time, waiting out the rain. Yes, and under the umbrella really cannot see anything. In the area of ​​Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Nara - the places where the Paganels will go, the Japanese believe that the period of admiring the foliage or Momiji is most beautiful during November.

The same period is the highest tourist season in Japan, which can be compared with the spring cherry blossom season. At this time, hotels, local travel companies and other tourism-related organizations inflate prices by 3-4 times the usual. Therefore, we began to prepare for this trip well in advance and have already booked hotels and everything necessary for us to ensure this trip.

EXPEDITION LEADERS

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Євген
Рафаловський

Експедиційний лідер, журналіст, оператор фотограф

ROUTE

IN THE COST OF EXPEDITIONIT INCLUDES:

  1. JR pass tickets for high-speed trains;

  2. private comfortable buses for the necessary transfers- excursions along the travel route with Japanese-Russian speaking professional local guides;

  3. accommodation in 4* hotels in double occupancy (single accommodation on request for an additional fee);

  4. entrance tickets to museums and national attractions according to the program;

  5. meals breakfasts and partly lunches according to the program;

  6. services of local guides and the Paganel Studio team.

EXPEDITION COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  1. a flight from your city to Tokyo and back;

  2. food is not specified in the program;

  3. Surcharge for single accommodation (this option is not always available);

  4. Add. excursions, as well as optional activities and transfers on free days;

  5. visa processing costs.

VISA:

  1. Price for citizens of Ukraine: 110 - 120 dollars

  2. Features of receiving: With a visa agency through a courier in Warsaw and Kishenev

  3. Other citizenships that do NOT require visas: USA, Great Britain, EU

  4. Other nationalities that require a visa: Moldova, Kazakhstan (to be specified)

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IMPORTANT!

Due to the fact that our expeditions do not include international flights to the starting point of the program, we cannot be held responsible for changes in flight conditions by airlines or airport requirements. Since our travelers fly from many different countries and cities, we never participate in the purchase of air travel and limit ourselves exclusively to advisory services in the selection of flights. Air agents or airlines from which tickets were purchased are responsible for the purchase and technical support.

ITINERARY

Day 1
(12.11.25) (21.11.25)

Arrival at Narita Airport (NRT) in Tokyo. Meeting with the guides of the Paganel Studio team. Please note that you are advised to arrive before 13:00 am. Transfer to the hotel will not be set - you will go independently by high-speed train - according to our instructions. While you are at the airport, you can change money at the exchange office, as well as buy a SIM card for constant access to the Internet throughout the entire route during our trip. We will also tell you about the e-Sim option. It is very convenient when moving and in places with no Internet, for example, in cafés and restaurants in Japan, most often there is no Internet. 
Hotel check-in at 14:00. We fix ourselves very quickly. Get shower. Toilet. Fen. Elevator - and you are already standing in the hotel lobby and being acquainted with our first local guide. Therefore, we have the first foray into the city for the first tour. Acquaintance with the evening metropolis.

Most tourists begin their journey through Japan with an acquaintance with the capital of the country - Tokyo. For many, the fact that the city of Tokyo does not exist is a surprise: Tokyo is a special prefecture, the so-called Tokyo metropolis, a conglomeration of urban areas and adjacent settlements. In addition to the actual territories on the coast of Tokyo Bay, Tokyo also includes numerous small islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Today we take a stroll through the fashionable Ginza district, which illuminates an ocean of neon signs. Boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Seiko, GR8 Boutique and many others are located here. Everything is bright, beautiful and very modern! 

In the evening, you can enjoy Japanese cuisine in one of the city's many restaurants. Perhaps on this day we will organize an evening of acquaintances and presentation of expedition T-shirts. If the program makes it convenient to hold the meeting on another day, the group leader will inform you about it additionally.
Free time.

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We spend the night at the comfortable Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza Premier 4*.

Meals are not included.

Day 2
(13.11.25) (22.11.25)

In the morning we wake up. Breakfast at the hotel. We pack our bags and make a check-out. With our suitcases we gather in the lobby to meet with the group leader, load our belongings into a comfortable bus and leave for the second excursion to Tokyo. We will see the Asakusa district, the Sensoji Buddhist temple, the Kaminarimon thunder gate, the Nakamise shopping street, and also meet our faithful dog Hachiko at the busiest and most famous intersection in Tokyo - Shibuya.

During the tour we will have lunch

Next, we go to one of the oldest and most cultural districts of Tokyo - Asakusa with the Nakamise shopping street and Sensoji Temple with its majestic gate of thunder "Kaminari-mon".

Sensoji is Tokyo's oldest temple, founded in 645. Back in the Middle Ages, the temple became a landmark card of the city and remains so to this day, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world.

 

  

The magnificent “Gate of Thunder” Kaminarimon with a huge paper lantern, a five-tiered pagoda and the Nakamise shopping street leading to the temple will help you imagine life in the Japanese capital before the appearance of skyscrapers and shinkansen.

Nakamise Street is an ancient shopping street in the Asakusa area, which, according to legend, is as old as dates back several hundred years. A street stretching for 250 meters, dense on both sides lined with small shops selling traditional sweets and souvenirs, leads from the “Gate of Thunder” Kaminarimon to the main territory of the Sensoji Buddhist temple. Here you can watch Tokyo's ningyo-yaki sweets being baked, taste crunchy traditional crackers, and experience the bright and lively atmosphere of the usually staid Japanese capital.

Then we head to the famous intersection near Shibuya Station - the busiest intersection in Tokyo and one of the busiest in the world. The green light of the traffic light turns on from four sides at once and several hundred people, and during rush hours the figure can reach up to 1000, simultaneously rush in all directions, managing to dodge each other with careless ease acquired over the years. The intersection is loved by directors for its picturesque but orderly crowd of people and is known all over the world for its TV series, feature films and advertising videos.

Near Shibuya station there is also a monument to the faithful dog Hachi, who met his owner, a professor at the University of Tokyo, every day in the same place. After the sudden death of the professor, the dog continued to come to the station every day for 9 years in anticipation of the owner’s return, first becoming a symbol of fidelity in the eyes of local residents, and then of all Japanese. In 2023, the Hachiko monument was exactly 100 years old.

After the tour, we return to our bus and move to the Fuji Kawaguchiko area. If we are lucky enough to have a cloudless sky, today we will have a date with Mt. Fuji, the favorite mountain of all Japanese artists and poets. At this time of year, it is already dressed in white and is dazzlingly beautiful in good weather. While we are traveling, we are actively conjuring the weather.

Our hotel is located near the most famous Japanese mountain. So today we will be in the company of the Great Fujiyama, who is also tired and wants to rest a bit.

*Mount Fuji may not be visible during cloudy weather.

Overnight at the comfortable Hotel 

(Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 3
(14.11.25) (23.11.25)

After breakfast, we collect our bags, take them to our private bus, load ourselves and go on a beautiful guided tour of the most picturesque areas of Mount Fuji. Ideal reflections of the mountain in local lakes often become the object of a photo hunt for Japanese who know good places.

Her graceful silhouette looks especially picturesque against the backdrop of red maples near the Chureito Pagoda.

This is probably the most famous view in the world with a pagoda and Fujiyama! Of course, you have seen it many times, but now you can take a picture yourself. Moreover, if you are lucky with maples, it will blow up your Facebook or Instagram :)

Very close to Fuji is the Shiraito waterfall, poetically called "White Threads". The streams of water merge into a single symphony that sounds different in clear and rainy weather. Against a dark background, the white strands of the waterfalls look even whiter and more elegant, the perfect place for great photos!

In the middle of the day, we have a delicious Japanese lunch.

After enjoying the extraordinary views of all these picturesque points, we get to Shizuoka Station, transfer from the bus to a comfortable Shinkansen bullet train and drive to the city of Kyoto, where we will stay overnight at the cozy 

(Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 4
(15.11.25) (24.11.25)

We have a new beautiful autumn day in Japan! After breakfast, we do not touch things. We take cameras and rain jackets, go down to the hotel lobby, where our local guide is waiting for the Paganels. Near the hotel, a private bus is already waiting for us, on which we will explore the city. On the program for today: the Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, the Rock Garden of Ryoanji Temple and the cult place of all momiji photographers - Daigo-ji.

 

Kyoto is the capital of Japan from the end of the VIII to the middle of the XIX century, the most important cultural and religious center of the country, a place of preservation of traditions and crafts. In Kyoto we will visit the most famous places that have become symbols of the Old Capital.

Kinkakuji Temple - "Golden Pavilion" - the most famous of the symbols of Kyoto. Built at the end of the 14th century and completely covered with a layer of pure gold, the temple is reflected in the water of the pond at its foot and sparkles in the sun like a real jewel.

The nearby Ryoanji temple attracts visitors from all over the world with the mystery of its "rock garden", promising enlightenment to those who solve it.

Afterwards, we will visit the Daigo-ji Temple.

 

In 874, Rigen-Daishi, the grandson of the monk Kukai (a famous spreader of Buddhist teachings), founded a Reisen (hot spring) near a mountain and built a temple dedicated to the Buddhas Jutei kannon and Nyori Kannon. So the Daigo-ji Temple was founded. The nearby mountain is also called Daigo-ji. The temple near the top of the mountain has become a refuge for monks seeking solitude. The temple was under the patronage of three emperors who served here as monks: Daigo, Suzaku and Murakami. The Yakushido, Godaido, and Kami-daigo halls were built. Then the Shakado Hall and the five-story pagoda were built, which completed the Shimo-daigo ensemble in 950. The temple complex consists of many buildings with wall paintings, a garden, a five-story pagoda, which are the National Treasures of Japan. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "monuments of ancient Kyoto".

Visiting Daigo-ji takes us several hours because we have to drive quite a long distance to get to the temple.

After that, we return to Kyoto and go to see the famous Gion quarter, where geisha and young students - maiko - live and work. They can often be found in the street here, dressed in traditional outfits and with traditional hairstyles and makeup.

If time is needed, we will walk along the streets of the Higashiyama district, where there are many temples, private houses, and, of course, souvenir shops offering to discover objects that were realized by the skillful hands of Kyoto craftsmen.

Lunch during excursions.

In the evening, those who wish can attend a rather unique event - a dinner with geishas from the Gion quarter. This optional and quite expensive three-hour event is incredibly interesting and unique for those who love an in-depth study of Japanese culture.

Overnight at Daiwa Roynet Hotel .

(Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 5
(16.11.25) (25.11.25)

We wake up slowly. Breakfast in the hotel. We do not touch things and suitcases, but we only take cameras, jackets and umbrellas with us, just in case, and your best mood. Meet our local guide and jump into the shinkansen. We will start our exciting new day in Japan with meditation at a quiet Zen temple in the northeastern part of Kyoto. A local monk, who will first tell and explain everything, will conduct meditation. After meditation, we will have a small tea ceremony with traditional Japanese sweets. Having received new, interesting experience and knowledge, we get on the bus and leave towards the most interesting town of Nara.

Here, we will be able to communicate with, perhaps, the most interesting inhabitants of the Japanese islands - the cute deer of the ancient capital of Nara.

Nara is an amazing city. We have never seen a city before in which 1200 deer live instead of street dogs and cats.

Once a year, the city authorities gather the deer together and cut their horns, because, begging for cookies and crackers from walking people, the deer strive to kick your ass. If the horns are not cut down, then instead of enjoying communicating with animals, you will be stabbed and injured.

Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century. The place from where the spread of Buddhism began throughout the country, and in our time is the most important religious center. The Todaiji temple complex is considered the largest wooden structure in the world. Its heart is a bronze Buddha statue “Daibutsu”. Around the temple lies, a park that combines the territory of Todaiji with other temples and shrines located nearby into a single complex.

Tame deer roam freely around the park, they can be fed with crackers which are sold there.

 

Adjacent to the deer park is Kasuga Taisha Shrine, one of the most important Japanese Shinto shrines. It is famous for ancient bronze and stone lanterns, installed and suspended throughout a rather large area. - Lunch during the tour.

Return to Kyoto. 

(Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 6
(17.11.25) (26.11.25)

Today we have a free and therefore a very busy day in which it is IMPORTANT to do everything. Of course, you can spend this free day lying in bed and doing nothing, or you can use our advice and have time to see, feel, and take many pictures. If you want our way, then we get up early in the morning. We take a camera, a jacket, beautiful clothes for pictures, and a good mood with us. We take a local train (early) using your JR pass and go to one of the most picturesque areas of Kyoto - Arashiyama. We are going for the incredible beauty of the bamboo grove, known to many photographers.

The main thing is to rush in early so as not to stand in the crowd of others eager to take a photo here.

Further, we do not lose pace and do not freeze, but we go back to the station (it is not far from the grove) and rush by train to another cult place in Kyoto and all of Japan - the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It is just incredible.

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is one of the most beautiful places in Japan! It is known mainly for the myriad Torii Gates that were donated by the believers. The gate is located along the road to the temple, which leads into the wooded mountain to Inari-san, where the main building of the temple is located. It takes about two hours to walk to the temple along this alley. On the way to the top, passing through the torii, you will see small chapels, graves and statues of foxes, which are the messengers of this god. To feel this place in full, you do not need to run to the very top.

An hour will be enough for you to take all the most successful pictures, take a walk. And then, without losing pace, go down to the railway station and return to Kyoto by train to go to local cafes, buy souvenirs, and it will also be possible to change all the girls of our group into traditional clothes of maiko geisha students and go for a walk with such an incredibly beautiful company along the ancient streets of the city.

It is very beautiful, stylish and interesting. The maiko dressing process takes place in a real salon run by geishas in the Gion district.

All clothes (kimono, garters, jewelry, and embroidered silk belt) are all authentic and the process of turning from paganelka into a real maiko takes about an hour.

Photo cards will be the brightest for a lifetime about visiting Japan.

Dressing up in a maiko is a very interesting and fun activity. However, there are still some interesting alternatives for what to do on a free day in Kyoto. For example, to get a lesson in playing the traditional Japanese drums "wadaiko" or learn the art of owning a Japanese sword - a katana. You will have to pick something, only one ;)

(Meals: included breakfast)

Day 7
(18.11.25) (27.11.25)

We wake up. We pack suitcases. We have a good breakfast. We say goodbye to the beautiful city of Kyoto. We make a checkout and go with our suitcases to the station, where we sit down in a shinkansen! Today we are moving to the city of Kanazawa, where, after transferring to a comfortable bus, we will go to get acquainted with the peculiarities of the traditional, agrarian life of the Japanese.

We will visit a village called "Shirakawa-go", which can be translated as "Settlement by the White River" and is located in the heart of the Japanese Alps.

National Geographic magazine calls this village, hidden in the middle of the Japanese Alps, one of the most beautiful in the world. Its main attraction is 59 wooden houses over two and a half hundred years old.

All houses in Shirakawa-go are made of wood without a single nail: beams are fastened with hemp rope and walnut rods. Their roofs are not flat, as is customary in Japan, but sloping. This style of architecture is called "gassho-zukuri", in translation - "hands folded in prayer." The appearance of the houses was influenced by a special climate - in winter, it falls up to 4 meters of snow in Shirakawa-go, and a flat roof becomes impractical. The lower floor was usually intended for living, the upper one for industrial needs: silkworms were bred here.

They believe that all the inhabitants of Shirakawa-go are descended from the Taira clan. In the 12th century, this noble family entered into a struggle with another Japanese clan, but was defeated and forced to seek refuge in the wilderness. Their choice fell on the Shchegava valley: surrounded by mountains on all sides, it is securely hidden from prying eyes. In Shirakawa-go, they still live on the principle of a commune and do a lot of things together. For example, when one of the residents wears out the roof (this happens on average once every 30-40 years), the whole village helps to change it.

Gifu Prefecture, where Shirakawa-go is located, is famous for its buckwheat flour dishes. In every restaurant in the village, you can try buckwheat noodles with different fillings: vegetables, mushrooms, beef, shrimp, and herbs. Noodles are eaten both cold and hot, dipped in soy sauce. In addition, Shirakawa-go and other cities in the prefecture offer buckwheat tea, buckwheat cake, and even buckwheat ice cream.

In the evening, we return to the administrative city of Ishikawa Prefecture - Kanazawa. Restoring strength for the next excursion.  Lunch during excursions.

(Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 8
(19.11.25) (28.11.25)

   We wake up. We have breakfast. We collect suitcases and hand over to the hotel's storage room. Today we will get acquainted with the most important sights of the city of Kanazawa!

To begin with, we will visit the Omityo market, which has been supplying local residents with fish, vegetables and fruits since the 18th century. More than 200 shops and stores open their doors to everyone from the very early morning. A lot of Japanese dishes, fresh fish and vegetables are collected here - its own unique atmosphere.

Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and one of the significant cities in Japan. The city grew around the castle of the same name - the stronghold of the Maeda clan. The famous park Kenrokuen was located near the walls of the castle and was a resting place for the rulers of Kanazawa. Throughout the Edo period, the Maeda clan was busy expanding and beautifying the park. Now Kenroku-en is one of the three most famous parks in Japan, combining all six features of an ideal garden according to ancient oriental descriptions.

The garden is especially beautiful in autumn, when the red momiji maples turn it red and yellow.

After visiting the park, we will see another symbol of Kanazawa - the largest geisha quarter in the city, Higashichaya. The growing prosperity of the townspeople during the Edo period and rivalry with other major cities in Japan (Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka) led to the creation of entertainment quarters for wealthy merchants and artisans of Kanazawa.

We will also walk along these historical streets and enjoy the ancient architecture of this Japanese city.

Having walked around the city to our heart's content, we pick up our suitcases at the hotel, board a high-speed train and move to the capital of Japan.

Later - arrival at the familiar Shinagawa station.

We run to the last joint farewell dinner at the nearest good restaurant, where we will taste excellent sushi or shabu shabu, or the famous A5 beef.

Lunch during excursions.

  (Meals: included breakfast and lunch)

Day 9
(20.11.25) (29.11.25)

Parting with autumn Japan. Unfortunately, everything ends, and the time has come to return home. The suitcases are already ready, many hundreds of photographs have been taken, there are many pleasant memories of the country, new friends and the autumn trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Someone else will stay for a day or two to hang out in Tokyo. Everyone has a different departure time, so we have an independent transfer. Shinkansen from Shinagawa Station leave every half an hour for Narita. We wake up in the morning. We have breakfast. We say goodbye to each other and guides. Tears of parting. Sadness...

We will transfer to the airport on our own.

  Flight home.

(Meals: included breakfast)

We are unique

For many years, we have been traveling the world to our small planet's most remote and unusual places.  We do not use the services of domestic travel agencies.  The trips we invent and carry out are always unique and have their unique zest, charm, and adventurous spirit.

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WHY WITH PAGANEL?

Creation

The first thing that interests us is creativity in everything.  During the expeditions, we shoot a lot of videos, take pictures, write stories, draw pictures.  If you are interested in a creative approach to life and travel, then WELCOME... we are very happy to meet you!

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Interest

By joining our team, you join a kind of club-family, which already consists of several hundred people who are interested in discovering the world with us.

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Since most of the expenses for the organization of the trip are air tickets and travel documents for other types of transport, accommodation, excursions, services of local companies and guides, etc. are not refundable in case of your cancellation of the trip. We simply have no way to return it.

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Cherish Life! Love! Travel!

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