Hidden Treasures of Japan
“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.
Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
- Narita Int’l Airport is located approximately 2.5-3 hours from airport arrival terminal to your hotel lobby.
- Haneda Int’l Airport will take you approx. 1.5 hours from airport arrival terminal to your hotel lobby.
So, if possible, try to arrive into Narita Airport before 2pm or Haneda before 3pm. If you arrive any later, you may not be on time for the 6pm orientation/welcome dinner. If so, we will make alternative arrangements with your tour leader. But please be aware that any missed meals will not be refunded.
Meals Included: Welcome Dinner
Day 2: Tokyo Sightseeing
- Tsukuji Wholesale Outer Market
- Hamarikyu Garden
- Sumida River Cruise to Asakusa Area
- Lunch in Asakusa
- Sensouji Temple & Nakamise Shopping Street
- Edo Museum Or Tokyo Skytree (if museum is closed)
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
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 Grand Shrine
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 (2nd of 2 nights)& 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
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: Takamatsu (1st of 2 nights)
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. Enjoy a boat ride along the river and a walk across a stunning vine bridge are just some of the adventures promised while traveling through Shikoku. After the rural retreat of the Iya Valley, you will move north to the port town of Takamatsu
Day 9: Takamatsu (2nd of 2 nights)
In Takamatsu, you will see the famous and stunning Ritsurin Garden. En-route you will stop-off at Kotohira; a small village most famous for serving sanuki udon noodles.
Day 10 Naoshima Island Day Trip
Before reaching Kyoto we will island hop from Takamatsu to a small island Naoshima, best known for its art museums. Built into the hillside, Chichu Art Museum has paintings from Monet’s “Water Lilies” series. Benesse House Museum shows contemporary sculpture and installations. One of Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin sculptures stands by Miyanoura Port. On the east coast, the Art House Project is a collection of architectural art pieces.
Day 10/11/12/13: Kyoto
Three nights in the culturally intense city of Kyoto. One day with our friendly local guides taking you to see seasonal highlights (recommended by our guides).
One free day will allow you explore Kyoto on your own like a local. There are literally thousands of places to see in Kyoto so pick your top 4 or 5 places and ask our team how to get there.
Kyoto Authentic Tea Ceremony
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 13: Depart
Dates and Prices
Tour Starts:June 10, 2023
Tour Ends:June 25, 2023 Book Now
Tour Starts:July 18, 2023
Tour Ends:August 02, 2023 Book Now
Tour Starts:August 08, 2023
Tour Ends:August 22, 2023 Book Now
Tour Starts:September 26, 2023
Tour Ends:October 04, 2023 Book Now
Tour Starts:November 09, 2023
Tour Ends:November 24, 2023 Book Now
Tour Starts:December 27, 2023
Tour Ends:January 11, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:December 28, 2023
Tour Ends:January 09, 2024 (New Years day at Sacred Ise Grand Shrine) Book Now
Tour Starts:March 25, 2024
Tour Ends:April 09, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:June 28, 2024
Tour Ends:July 13, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:July 12, 2024
Tour Ends:July 27, 2024 Book Now
Tour Starts:August 08, 2023
Tour Ends:August 22, 2023
Tokyo (3 nights)
Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu is probably best known for its location – literally on the most famous crossing in the world at Shibuya Crossing. No matter what your tastes or styles, Shibuya area will not disappoint. Your hotel is connected to the train station so access while on your own in Tokyo is second to none. If you want to be in the middle of it all, then Shibuya is the best place!
Ise (2 nights)
Toba International Hotel – Two nights stay in a luxurious 4 star hotel located right on the water with harbour and island views from your room.
Koyasan (Mt Koya) - Temple Stay (1 night)
Your overnight in Koyasan will be your first real introduction to Japanese Buddhism and spirituality. You will live like a monk for one night – sleeping on futon tatami mats, traditional accommodation in a real temple, enjoying the vegetarian masterpieces presented to you for breakfast and dinner. Embrace this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Iya Valley, Shikoku (1 night)
Nestled in the hidden Iya Valley in Shikoku Island, after a long day traveling, relax and unwind in a unique onsen resort. The onsen water in this region is very famous for being soft quality with the characteristic of alkaline hot spring water. Descend to the onsen open-air baths by cable car. Baths are not mixed so females/males bath separately. This is considered one of the best onsen experiences in the whole of Japan – overlooking the river with gushing water streaming by while you bath outside.
The Iya Valley’s steep mountain surroundings, holy atmosphere, and significance in Japanese history have caused the area to be known as ‘Tibet of Japan’.
During Awa Odori Festival Season (August tour), you will be given the accommodation name at time of booking.
Takamatsu, Shikoku (2 nights)
ANA Clement Hotel Takamatsu (or similar 4*)
R Hotel Clement Takamatsu features 7 dining options, free WiFi while certain rooms feature panoramic sea and city views, a 1-minute stroll from JR Takamatsu Station. It offers massages and a hairdresser, and it boasts a fresh bakery. The 24-hour reception provides currency exchange.
Overlooking the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), Western and Japanese rooms are all air-conditioned and soundproof, each fitted with a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle. They have a seating area and a bathroom including a bathtub and toiletries.
Facilities at the Takamatsu Clement include a souvenir shop and a flower shop. Dry cleaning service and luggage storage are available. Bar Astro offers original and popular cocktails, as well as snacks, with panoramic views from the 21st floor.
Kyoto (3 nights)
Kyoto Okura Hotel (or similar 5*)
One of Kyoto’s finest 5* hotels in a fantastic location with a very famous restaurant serving Kyoto cuisine called Awato Sanso. You can also choose from Italian, Steakhouse, or Chinese, in case you’ve had enough Japanese! Breakfast in these 5* hotels is always a real treat with plenty of options to choose from – both Western & Japanese.
The tour will end in Kyoto. If you prefer to continue on to another city, we will add post-tour nights on to your schedule. Discuss with your travel Japan travel expert for options available.
TOUR PRICES from:
Triple Sharing: €4,200 | £3,800 | US$5,100 | AU$6,600
Twin/Double Sharing: €4,450 | £3,990 | US$5,400 | AU$7,000
Single Room Throughout: €5,750 | £5,150 | US$6,950 | AU$9,050
*If you are willing to be paired up with another solo traveler, enquire with your travel consultant. While we cannot guarantee this option, we will do our best to find you a suitable room mate.
All prices are per person and subject to change at the discretion of the company.
12 Nights Total
|English Speaking tour leader||Fully Escorted (Groups of 6 – 16):|
You will be escorted by our friendly English- speaking tour leader who will travel with you from Day 1 to 12.
Semi Escorted (Groups of 1 – 5):
The same tour leader will not travel with you from place to place. Instead, you will have local guides and assistants meeting you along the way.
|Airport Transfers||Arrival & departure airport transfers included to/from Tokyo & Kyoto hotel|
|Private Tour Guides||Local English speaking tour guides on 6 days in Tokyo, Ise, Koyasan, Tokushima & Iya Valley, Takamatsu & 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|
Festivals & Events:
June – Koyasan Festival
August – Awa Odori Dance Festival & Koyasan Candle Festival
September – Sumo
November – Autumn Leaf Changing Season
December – New Years Day at Ise Shrine
|Meals||Breakfast daily, 5 evening meals|
|This package dose not include:|