Hidden Treasures of Japan
From €4,600 / £4,170 / US$5,340 / AU$7,550 (Per person sharing twin, double or triple room)
From €5,500 / £5,000 / US$6,400 / AU$9,050 (1 Person / Single room throughout)
“A tour created to capture the essence of Japan’s soul, beauty, and heritage”
Immerse yourself in Japan’s ancient past and contrasting present. Visit some of its oldest and most magnificent temples and shrines. Enjoy the contrasting Naoshima Island, home to some of Japan’s most innovative and artistic architecture and design. Experience its religious roots first hand as you become acquainted with the monks of Koyasan. Glide through the stunning Iya Valley and Ritsurin Garden. The perfect tour for those in search of a richer travel experience.Download Tour Dossier
Day 1: Tokyo (1st of 3 nights)
Day 2: Tokyo Sightseeing
- Tsukuji Fish Market & Outer Shopping Streets
- Hamarikyu Garden
- Lunch in local restaurant (pay locally)
- Asakusa Sensouji Temple & Shopping Street
- Ueno Area including Tokyo National Museum
Day 3: Tokyo Free Day
Today will be a free day in Tokyo. Rest assured we will provide you with lots of suggestions in advance. You can continue to explore Tokyo on your own, take a trip out to Kamakura or Yokohama, or have a fun day out at amusement parks such as Tokyo Disney Resort, Studio Ghibli, etc. (tickets available upon request). So be sure to inform us in advance if you have something particular you would like to see or do. Your tour leader will be ready to assist you in making this plan.
Day 4: Mikimoto Pearl Island (1st of 2 nights), Ise
After three nights among Tokyo’s glittering skyscrapers and winding back streets, we begin our journey into the country itself in search of Japan’s glorious hidden treasures, traveling by bullet train (shinkansen).
Day 5: Mikimoto Pearl Island & Ise Grand Shrine
After a visit to the museums on Mikimoto Pearl Island to see some of the priceless crown jewels (featuring over 18,000 pearls and many other precious stones), watch the “Ama Divers” (women pearl divers) demonstrate this long-held traditional occupation and way of life, searching daily for hard won treasures from the sea. After this, enjoy a visit to the Ise Grand Shrine.
Day 6: Mt Koya Temple Stay
From Ise and after a scenic two-hour journey, we will arrive at Mt Koya (Koyasan), a sacred site established 1,200 years ago. Our local Koyasan guide will take us on a spiritual walk around this mystical setting. Tonight, we will sleep in an authentic temple lodges. If you’re feeling up to it, you can take part in an evening calligraphy session and/or an early morning chanted prayer with the monks before breakfast. You will enjoy beautifully presented shojin ryori (highly stylised traditional Buddhist cuisine) for dinner and breakfast.
Day 7: Tokushima & Iya Valley (1st of 2 nights)
After breakfast, you will sail from Wakayama port to Japan’s fourth largest island, Shikoku. Stopping briefly in Tokushima before moving on to Iya Valley.
Day 8: Tokushima & Iya Valley
Today we will explore the remote Iya Valley region. A stunning and remote setting is centred along the 10km Iya River, it is also known as one of the three largest ‘hidden’ mountain regions in Japan. A boat ride along the river, walk across a vine bridge, and overnight stay in superior hot spring accommodation are just some of the adventures promised while traveling through Shikoku.
Day 9: Takamatsu & Naoshima (1 night)
After two nights in the rural retreat of the Iya Valley, you will move north to the port town of Takamatsu. En-route you will stop-off at Kotohira; a small village most famous for serving sanuki udon noodles.
Day 10: Kyoto (1st of 3 nights)
Before reaching Kyoto, we will island-hop from Takamatsu to the small island of Naoshima, most famous for modern architecture and alternative design. The island is becoming increasingly popular with visitors from all over the world, particularly those with an interest in art. Your tour will finish up in the ancient capital of Kyoto, where we spend three final nights.
Day 11: Kyoto
After breakfast, our local tour guide will meet and guide you on a tour around this magnificent city, narrating the history and cultural heritage of this ancient capital. Then wet your whistle with Japanese tea at a ceremony in one of Kyoto’s traditional machi-ya tea houses.
Day 12: Free Day in Kyoto
Today you can have a full day off from touring, giving you the opportunity to either take a break from it all and/or go see the Kyoto sights that call out to you personally. Your tour leader will be available in the morning to help you orientate your day. Some suggestions will also be in your travel pack.
Day 13: Depart
Shiba Park Hotel Tokyo
The Shiba Park Hotel was established in 1948 in a quiet neighborhood of Shibadaimon area, close to the Tokyo Tower, an iconic landmark of Tokyo, and Zojoji Temple, the Tokugawa family’s temple. Guest rooms are relaxing, and offer an elegant environment featuring a taste of Japanese culture in the choice of colors, decoration, and lighting.
Toba Hotel International
Toba International Hotel is the areas finest hotel, set overlooking Toba Bay. This luxury hotel offers peace, tranquility, and superb service in one of Japan’s truely hidden gem locations. Not far from Ise Shrine, the famous Ama Pearl Divers, Toba Aquarium, and Ise Bay, you can enjoy the different four seasons, all year round. Rooms are generous with space, and offer either a western or Japanese option. Choose from one of many restaurant options, either European or Japanese. And like many resort hotels in Japan, the onsen/hot spring outdoor baths are what you can expect to savour the most.
Fudo-in, Koyasan (or similar)
Fudo-in is a temple in the holy Koyasan Buddhist mountain retreat. It is located off of the main road between the Visitor center and Okunoin cemetery. It is a smaller temple in the upper end of a tiny valley surrounded by forest. The long entrance from the main road is marked by a stone post. Fudo-in is well known for its refined, welcoming atmosphere and peaceful setting, perfect for meditating. The separate “Hanare” rooms offer splendid views of the garden; secluded spiritual luxury.
Hotel Kazurabashi (or similar)
The hotel boasts a Tenku Open-air Bath, a high-altitude bath that is accessed by a cable car where you can enjoy an unparalleled seasonal view of the mountains. Dinner at Hotel Kazurabashi is prepared with seasonal fresh ingredients sourced locally. A free shuttle service takes guests to the Kazurabashi bridge which is illuminated every night from 20:00. the room sare Japanes styles and some come with a private bath. You can rent some of the public baths for private use at an additional cost.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Takamatsu
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Takamatsu is a great choice for accommodation when visiting Takamatsu. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. For sightseeing options and local attractions, one need not look far as the hotel enjoys close proximity to Marugamemachi Shopping Street, South Shinmachi Shopping Street, Lion Avenue Shopping Street.
Noku Hotel Kyoto (or similar)
Adjacent to Kyoto Imperial Palace and right in the heart of a thousand years of Japanese history, Noku Kyoto Roxy showcases the artisanal spirit of Kyoto life throughout its tasteful interior for a perfectly seasoned blend of traditional Japanese hospitality and perfectly modern comforts.
Prices & Inclusions
|Accommodation||7 nights in 3-star or 4-star Western-style hotels, 1 night in an authentic Buddhist temple lodge, 4 nights in traditional Japanese-style ryokans (including onsen hot springs & Kaiseki dinner) (total 12 nights)|
|English Speaking tour leader||When 6 or more are on the group you will be escorted by our English speaking tour leader. If your group is less than 6 people, you will be doing the tour on a semi-escorted basis (Met in each area by our local assistants and guides).|
|Airport Transfers||Arrival & departure airport transfers included from Tokyo & Kyoto hotel|
|Private Tour Guides||Local English speaking tour guides in Tokyo, Ise, Koyasan, Iya Valley, & Kyoto|
|Entrance Fees||Included Into all sights listed on itinerary|
|Cultural Experiences||Tokyo sightseeing (by day & by night), the Great Ise Shrine, Toyota Car Factory Tour & Museum, Mikimoto Pearl Island visit & Ama Divers Demonstration, Overnight stays in luxurious traditional ryokans with Kaiseki dinners included, Koyasan temple stay, calligraphy and/or meditation with monks, ferry ride to Shikoku, Indigo Dying workshop participation, Iya Valley Boat Ride, Japanese Garden visit, Naoshima Art Island museums, Kyoto World Heritage temples & shrines|
|Meals||Breakfast daily, 5 evening meals|
|This package dose not include:|
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