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Hidden Treasures of Japan

Prices from 4,550

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.

SKU: N/ACategory:
Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Route: Tokyo (3) ➞ Ise & Mikimoto Pearl Island (2) ➞ Mt Koya (1) ➞ Shikoku Island: Tokushima & Iya Valley (2) ➞ Takamatsu (1) & Naoshima ➞ Kyoto (Osaka) (3)

Prices and Inclusions

DateService
Accommodation7 nights in 3-start 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 leaderEnglish/Japanese speaking assistant throughout your journey
Airport TransfersArrival & departure airport transfers included from Tokyo & Kyoto hotel
Private Tour GuidesLocal English speaking tour guides in Tokyo, Ise, Koyasan, Iya Valley, & Kyoto
Entrance Fees
Included Into all sights listed on itinerary
Cultural ExperiencesTokyo 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
Other Inclusions:
  • Comprehensive Travel Pack
  • Local Emergency Contact
  • Financial Protection (ABTOT Member)
  • All Taxes & Accommodation Surcharges
  • Fixed Price Policy
  • Minimum 6 / maximum 16 people
  • No hidden Costs!!
This package dose not include:
  • International Flights [Arrange own flights into and out of Tokyo’s Haneda or Narita Airports]
  • Meals other than those specified in itinerary
  • Beverages consumed at any meal (Water served freely)
  • Baggage Handling (You are requested to carry your own bags so be careful when packing! Your tour leader will help you arrange luggage forwarding on some journeys by the reliable ‘Takkyubin Service’)
  • Tour Leader, Guide Or Driver Gratuity – can be arranged among your group (Optional)

Details


Dates: 2018: Jul 15 ~ 27, 2018 | Sep 23 ~ Oct 05, 2018 | Oct 21 ~ Nov 02, 2018 | Nov 11 ~ 23, 2018
2019: Mar 31 ~ Apr 12, 2019 | Apr 21 ~ May 03, 2019 | May 26 ~ Jun 07, 2019 | Jul 07 ~ 19, 2019 | Sep 01 ~ 13, 2019 | Nov 17 ~ 29, 2019
Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Starts: Tokyo
Ends: Kyoto / Osaka
Route: Tokyo (3) ➞ Ise & Mikimoto Pearl Island (2) ➞ Mt Koya (1) ➞ Shikoku Island: Tokushima & Iya Valley (2) ➞ Takamatsu (1) & Naoshima ➞ Kyoto (Osaka) (3)
Tour Type: Small Group Tour led with a bilingual (English and Japanese speaking) tour leader
Prices from:
€4,550 / £3,850 / US$5,400 / AU$7,080 (Per person sharing twin, double or triple room)
€5,200 / £4,400 / US$6,180 / AU$8,100 (1 Person / Single room throughout)
Accommodation Category: Standard / Superior Western Hotels, Temple Lodge & Superior Ryokans

Tour Highlights

Ise Shrine & Mikimoto Pearl Island

After three nights among Tokyo’s glittering skyscrapers and back streets of a downtown era, we begin our journey in search of Japan’s glorious hidden treasures, traveling by bullet train (shinkansen). Located next to the city of Nagoya, Ise Shrine is Japan’s most sacred shrine dating back to the 3rd century. It worships the Sun Goddess Amaterasu and is considered to be the spiritual home of Japan and of Shinto, the national religion. Japan’s Supreme Jewels on Mikimoto Pearl Island were first cultivated in 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto.

Mt Koya Buddhist Temple Lodge

The sacred site of Mt Koya (Koyasan) was first established 1,200 years ago by Kobo Daishi, a religious scholar. Koyasan is the spiritual centre of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism and is considered one of the most spiritually rewarding places to visit in the Kansai region. Koyasan has 111 temple lodges offering overnight stays to travelers. Traditionally, these lodges were used to serve the devoted pilgrims who walked the ‘88 Temples of Shikoku’. The mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, found here in Koyasan, was the last stop on this pilgrimage.

 

If feeling up to it, take part in an evening calligraphy session here and/or an early morning ‘chant’ with the monks before breakfast.

Tokushima & Iya Valley in Shikoku Island

You will sail from Wakayama port to Japan’s fourth largest island, Shikoku. Stopping briefly in Tokushima, you can experience Indigo dyeing, a  textile technique perfected in the tenth century and still in use by artisans today.

In the afternoon we venture west into the remote Iya Valley region. This stunning remote setting is centered along the 10km Iya River. It is also known as one of the three largest hidden mountain regions in Japan.

Takamatsu & Naoshima Island

En-route to Takamatsu, you will stop off for a sneak peak at Japan’s oldest Kabuki theatre, Konpira Grand Theatre, which opened here in 1836.

A short trip to the small island of Naoshima is a hugely popular option for travelers in this area due to the truly unique architecture, contemporary art and urban design. Some street photography is a must for art lovers in particular!

Kyoto

Flowing with tradition, Kyoto is the ultimate destination for anybody who wants to soak up the greatest refinements of Japanese culture. Home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, this ancient city showcases the heart and soul of traditional Japan. Kyoto boasts an array of world-class gardens, majestic festivals and delicate cuisine, all of which make much of the rhythms of nature and the changing of the seasons. On first glance, the visitor may find that like any large Japanese city, grid-like Kyoto has its fair share of neon and concrete. But the discerning eye will soon pick out Kyoto’s treasures: sacred shrines tucked in among shopping arcades, timeless machiya teahouses nestling among modern businesses and mysterious geisha rustling down backstreets among the tourists and souvenirs. Kyoto’s charm lies in these details and whether you’re here for three days or three years, the closer you look, the more you’ll discover.

Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo (1st of 3 nights)

Arrive into one of Tokyo’s International Airports (Narita or Haneda).
 
Met on arrival and transferred to your hotel, you’ll meet your group and tour leader in hotel lobby at 6pm. Enjoy an evening together in Tokyo with dinner at one of the city’s countless delicious restaurants (please pay locally).

Accommodation: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Tokyo Sightseeing

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before meeting your tour leader in the lobby to embark on a full day of sightseeing around this incredible city. Take in the sights and sounds of Tsukiji Fish Market and Hamarikyu Gardens, ride the ferry across to Asakusa and one of Tokyo’s finest and favourite temples, Sensouji, before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. Then the Tokyo Edo Museum awaits, with great insight into the history of this fascinating country and its capital. Return to your hotel in the evening and venture out into the bright city lights to a restaurant of your own choosing.

Accommodation: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: Shiba Park Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: Mikimoto Pearl Island (1st of 2 nights)

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).

Accommodation: Toba Hotel International (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: Toba Hotel International (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: Temple Lodge

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.

Accommodation: Hotel Kazurabashi (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: Hotel Kazurabashi (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Takamatsu (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: New Miyako Hotel (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: New Miyako Hotel (or similar)

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.

Accommodation: New Miyako Hotel (or similar)

Day 13: Depart

Sayonara! We recommend that you arrange your departing flight out of Kansai Airport in Osaka. In any event, we will be happy to assist you in making any alternative arrangements to ensure a hassle-free departure.

Accommodation: New Miyako Hotel (or similar)

How to Book

Booking Deposit Only:

By paying your 250 Euro (or equivalent/per person) deposit today, your place on this chosen small group tour is secure. You will be sent a receipt of payment on the following business day (Mon-Fri).

All online deposits are refundable up to 7 days after receipt of payment.

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Prices from 4,550 per person

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