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The Arcadian Journey

It is a vast land where smiles are abundant, an Asian Arcadia.

More than 150 years ago in July 1878, an English traveler with the name of Isabella Bird set off on a journey from Tokyo to Hokkaido, visiting the Okitama area of Yamagata Prefecture during her travels. In her published travelogue,  Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, the above excerpt was written describing the area of Okitama. The word she used to evoke the essence of Okitama was Arcadia- unspoiled wilderness. Her travels translated by Kenkichi Takanashi allows modern day travelers to read and understand her travels in Japan.

This Arcadian Journey is made for you embarking on a journey through the Okitama region, similar to Bird’s travels, where you can experience the journey and document it as if you are creating your own Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.

Visiting the places written about generations past, exploring not just the sights but also the relationships with the locals, tasting their homemade cuisine and deeply seeing the culture of the land, will allow you to experience a journey into the unspoiled wilderness Okitama has to offer.

Tour at a glance


What this private tour includes



Starting from ¥300,000 per person

Minimum number of participants

2 people

Maximum number of participants

6 people

Tour Length

3 Days 2 Nights

Tour Availability

Between May 15th 2024 and October 30th 2024*

*excluding the period from August 10th to August 15th

Meeting Location

This private tour starts at Akayu Station.

Important notes

It is recommended you make a reservation request one month in advance of your desired tour date. Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking.

Day 1: Walk through the Kurosawa Pass and enjoy daily life in Iide

Start your private tour by meeting your English-speaking local guide at Akayu Station. Start your journey of Okitama’s Arcadia with a local lunch in the town of Oguni. Afterwards, walk along the paved stone road of the Kurosawa Pass with your guide. This walk encourages travelers to experience the natural scents, sounds, and winds with their five senses and intuition; your guide will give you space to do so.

Next, travel to Iide town and visit a local’s house to see how they go about their daily life. It is especially a rare experience to enter someone’s own household as it is a private space. Some have renovated traditional rice warehouses, and you may be able to be introduced to see the homeowner’s hobbies. This glimpse of Japanese everyday life will give you a deeper understanding of the people who live in the area. 

End the day with dinner and a stay at a charming outdoor rustic-style boutique hotel fit with a gorgeous lounge and sky deck, perfect for stargazing.

Day 2: Kurojiishi Black Lion and washi paper experience

Start your morning with breakfast at your hotel. Check out and travel and tour around Nagai City

In late May, around ten shrines in Nagai participate in the festivities of the Kurojiishi Black Lion. The black lion masks, called Oshi-sama, are believed to dissuade disaster or misfortune if decorated in a household. The festival is a traditional Shinto ritual to pray for safe childbirth, fire suppression, warding off evil spirits and child growth. Even outside of the festival period, you can see the Kurojiishi Black Lion on this Arcadian journey. Learn about the patterns on the head and body and the significance of the dance firsthand. 

Have lunch a local restaurant in Shirataka town, then transfer to create your own washi paper. You can learn how to do chigiri-e from washi paper artisans. 

After, view some of the local nature in the area and transfer back to Nagai City to enjoy dinner and a stay in a western-style hotel.

Day 3: Jubuichi mountain and Yonezawa wagyu beef

Start your final day of the tour with breakfast at your hotel in Nanyo City. Transfer via private charter vehicle to see the vast expanse of mountain view from Mt. Jubuichi. See the view of the Okitama basin and the vineyards in the area. 

Finish off your Arcadia journey with the famous Yonezawa wagyu beef in Nanyo city. Tour dismisses at Akayu Station.


You can send a booking inquiry for your private Arcadia tour below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm if we can accommodate your group and tour dates and contact you. 

Cancelation Policy

Our general cancellation policy for our experiences is below. Cancellation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances. Changes to your tour dates can generally be made up to 45 days before your tour.

45 business days or more before date of tour

No penalty

30 business days before date of tour

20% of total price

14 business days before date of tour

50% of total price

Less than 14 business days before date of tour

100% of total price