Team Travel Kuramoto


Go back

11 Days
Chugoku journey

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Arrival Osaka – Transfer to Kinosaki

    Welcome to Japan! Meet our assistant at the arrival lobby and together transfer to Central Osaka where you will take an express train to Kinosaki Onsen (Hot-springs).

    Nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains and sea, the classic architecture of Kinosaki Onsen offers a nostalgic ambience. Slip back in time and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.

    Stroll along the streets wearing traditional Japanese Yukata robes (light Kimono)and footwear.

    Tonight, you will spend your first night in Japan in a splendid Ryokan (Traditional Inn), have a Kaiseki (traditional, multi-course) dinner, and enjoy Japanese hospitality.

    Night at Kinosaki onsen
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 2 – Transfer from Kinosaki to Tottori

    Located in western Japan along the coast of the Sea of Japan, Tottori is most famous for its dunes where you can enjoy the beauty of the Sea of Japan.

    After a Japanese breakfast at your accommodation, check out and head to the train station, and take the express train to Tottori. Arriving at your accommodation you can either relax from the long flight or start exploring at your leisure.

    The Tottori Dune Museum is the only museum in the world exhibiting sand sculptures made only with sand from a corner of the Tottori Sand Dunes and water.

    Facing the Tottori Sand Dune Seaside Resort, it offers free parking, showers and restrooms. It is equipped as a multi-purpose facility for many tourist and cultural activities.

    Night: Tottori
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 3 – Transfer from Tottori to Matsue

    Today, you will head a little further into the Shimane prefecture to Matsue City. Due to its location between Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi, and the Sea of Japan, Matsue is also known as the “water city”. After check-in at your accommodation, visit the main sights of the city such as the Yushien Garden.

    The garden is located on Daikonjima Islands in the middle of Lake Nakaumi. It was first established as a private garden and then opened to the public. Matsue city is known for its peony production and you can see a large collection of them all year round in the Garden.

    Matsue Castle is one of only a dozen original castles in Japan, meaning that its main tower has survived to this day through fires, earthquakes, and the anti-feudal demolitions of the Meiji Period. Just like Matsumoto Castle, Matsue Castle is black instead of white.

    A Must-do during your visit to Matsue is a boat tour in the Castle’s moats.

    The boat travels through Matsue Castle’s inner and outer moats and provides an opportunity to capture a lovely glimpse of the old city, which is absolutely an unforgettable experience.

    North of the castle, you will find a well-preserved Samurai district. One of the Samurai houses is open to the public. Inside you can get a good idea of how a high-ranked samurai used to  live in a mid-sized castle town.

    Night: Matsue
    Inclusions: Accommodation and Breakfast

    Day 4 – Matsue – Day trip to Izumo

    With your guide, you will head to the Izumo Grand Shrine, one of the most important shrines in Japan.

    Izumo Shrine  is widely known as the place where all the Shinto gods gather and therefore one of the most important shrines in Japan. When the first shrine was built in this area remains a mystery. The current shrine was built in 1744 and is designated as a national treasure.

    Izumo Taisha Shrine is believed to have been the tallest building in Japan during ancient times. It is said that the building was immense, standing 96 meters tall. However, in the Middle Ages it was 46 meters tall, and presently it is only 24 meters.

    Situated about 1 km (15 min walk) from Izumo Shrine, Inasa no Hama is selected as one of the best 100 beaches in Japan. The short beach stretches out and there is a huge rock with a tori (Shinto shrine gate) called Bentenjima nasa no Hama beach is where those gods landed on earth. This beach is said to have the power of healing fatigue and stress.

     After lunch, you will head to the Adachi Museum of Art. Founded by Adachi Zenko in 1970 as a way of combining his passions for Japanese art and garden design and heightening visitors’ awareness of the two disciplines in harmony.

    The tour will end at your accommodation in Matsue. 

    Night in Matsue
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 5 – From Matsue, transfer to Hiroshima

    Hiroshima is unfortunately famous for its past and the bombing, but the city has many faces and a lot to offer. After checkout, take the Bullet train for Hiroshima. Meet your guide at the station and start a half-day sightseeing in the city

    Walk by the A-Bomb Dome to see one of the only remaining structures after the Atomic Bomb was dropped right above Hiroshima City. Then enter the archive center to see the remains and artefacts of survivors and some of the estimated 140,000 people that perished due to the nuclear bomb.

    Next to the A-bomb Dome, the Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park is one of the most prominent features of the city. Even visitors not looking for it will likely stumble upon the large park of over 120,000 square meters. Its trees, lawns, and walking paths are in stark contrast to the surrounding downtown area. Before the bomb, the area of what is now the Peace Park was the political and commercial heart of the city. For this reason, it was chosen as the pilot’s target. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.

    Just a few minutes walk from the Peace Park, stands Hiroshima Castle.

    Also called the Carp Castle, it is a good example of a castle built on a plain in the center of a city as opposed to hilltop and mountain top castles.

    Attached to the Castle you will find the Shukkei-en Garden. 

    Valleys, mountains, and forests are represented in miniature in the garden’s landscapes. Through careful cultivation of the land and vegetation, the garden mimics a variety of natural formations and scenic views.

    Night in Hiroshima
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 6 – Day trip to Miyajima Sacred Island

    About 45-mins from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island is probably the most famous image foreigners have of Japan. The floating red tori gate is a symbol of Japan and one of the “must-see 3 views” in Japan.

    Walking to the main shrine of the island, you will walk along Omotesando Shotengai Street. 

    Shotengai are shopping streets in Japan. Here in Miyajima, the street stretches for about 350m and leads to the Itsukushima Shrine with 70 unique shops and local restaurants along the way.

    The centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima is the source of both the island’s fame and its name. Formally named Itsukushima, the island is more popularly known as “Miyajima”, literally “shrine island” in Japanese, thanks to its star attraction. The shrine is known worldwide for its iconic “floating” torii gate. The shrine and its torii gate are unique for being built over water, seemingly floating in the sea during high tide. The shrine complex consists of multiple buildings, including a prayer hall, the main hall, and a Noh theatre stage, which are connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea.

    Take the Misen Gondola and arrive on top of Mt. Misen. The panoramic view of Miyajima below and Hiroshima are stunning. There are different smaller shrines on top of Mt. Misen, but of particular interest are the Misen Hondo (Misen Main Hall) and the Reikado (Hall of the Spiritual Flame). The latter protects a flame, which Kobo Daishi is said to have lit when he began worshipping on the mountain. It has been burning ever since and was also used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima’s Peace Park.

    At the end of the day, take the ferry and train back to central Hiroshima.

    Night in Hiroshima
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 7 – Transfer from Hiroshima to Kurashiki

    In feudal days, Kurashiki  thrived as a port for the shipment of rice; several old rice granaries remain there. Its olden time atmosphere and a variety of museums lure many visitors to Kurashiki. The city has a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period. The Ohara Museum is the most impressive of Kurashiki’s museums, exhibiting a large collection of works by famous Western artists. The architecture, the location of all the buildings along the river with willow trees lining the way, and the rural feeling is something that makes you at peace.

    Night in Kurashiki
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 8 – Day trip to Bitchu-Takahashi

    After a short car ride, you will arrive at the small town of Bitchu-Takahashi. For some reason completely unknown to most tourists, including Japanese tourists, Bitchu-Takahashi is one of the least visited of the original castles in Japan. You will find a dozen shrines and temple complexes with virtually no one around. It is the oldest surviving castle in Japan and the only mountaintop castle among the twelve original castles which have survived the post-feudal age intact. At an elevation of 430 meters, it is also Japan’s highest.

    Not far from the Castle , The unspoiled Japanese landscape of the Ohaganishi no Tanada (rice terraces), featuring some 850 mortar-shaped rice terraces, covers an entire mountain valley at an altitude of 400m. The curved landscape blends nicely with the growing rice plants, offering a wonderfully multifaceted view. The lush rice fields dotting the landscape in early summer, the sea of rice shining in the golden autumn sun, and the snowy winter scenery make this a popular destination for beautiful landscape photography in all four seasons. Also, the sunset seen from the rice terraces is a sight to behold. Visitors to the area are welcome to follow a specially developed tour path.

    Night in Kurashiki
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 9 – Transfer from Kurashiki to Okayama

    Today, check-out from your accommodation and head further east to Okayama.

    Okayama is one of the major commercial, industrial and cultural cities in the Chugoku region. It is nationally known for its celebrated Korakuen Garden and the Okayama Castle. Okayama is also a good base for sightseeing around the region.

    Along with Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen and Mito’s Kairakuen, Korakuen is ranked as one of Japan’s three best landscape gardens. It is located just beside Okayama Castle, which can be seen from the garden as “borrowed scenery”.

    Okayama Castle, also known as “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior, was built in 1597. The original castle was destroyed in the last year of World War 2, but a reconstruction was made in 1966. The castle is located on the Asahi River, which was used as a moat. Korakuen Garden is located just across the river.

    Night in Okayama
    Inclusions: Express train from Kurashiki to Okayama.

    Day 10 – Day trip to Shodoshima

    Meet your guide at your accommodation and head to the port. Take a ferry and head to Shodoshima Island. The island is known as the first area of Japan to successfully grow olives, and is often called “Olive Island”. The island is a popular tourist destination offering unique island culture and wild nature.

    Shodoshima has a 400-years history of soy sauce production. Today there are about a dozen soy sauce factories. Today, visit Marukin, one of the leading soy sauce companies on the island and the soy sauce museum on its factory grounds. The museum resembles a traditional soy sauce factory and explains the production process.

    The Kankakei Gorge is a breathtaking ravine at the center of Shodoshima Island. It is ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gorges and becomes particularly spectacular during the autumn colour season which usually takes place in the second half of November. A ropeway runs the length of the gorge between a rather basic lower station and a more developed upper station with a souvenir shop and restaurant. Both stations can be reached by car and offer parking lots. The upper station is near Shodoshima’s highest peak and has observation decks with nice panoramic views over the gorge, the island, and the Seto Inland Sea.

    Our next stop of the day, The Nakayama Senmaida rice terraces are made up of 800 rice paddies that vary in size from small to large, and which forms an elegant curve on the mountainside. The area’s fascinating scenery has been selected as one of the ‘100 best rice terraces in Japan.

    At the end of the afternoon, you will take the ferry back to Okayama. End of the tour at your accommodation.

    Night in Okayama
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 11 – Return to Osaka – End of the trip or continue to another area of Japan

    Unfortunately, today marks the end of your journey in Central Japan. Return to Osaka and take your flight back home or continue your journey in another part of Japan.

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Go back