Team Travel Kuramoto


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16 Days
Touring Japan’s Countryside

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Arrival to Osaka International Airport and transfer to central Osaka

    Yokoso! Welcome to Japan. After immigration and customs formalities, you will be greeted by your private guide. Transfer to your accommodation in central Osaka by Public Transportation. After check-in, you will be free to explore at your leisure.

    Osaka is Japan’s second-largest city. The city was formerly known as Naniwa, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor. Naniwa was the first capital city known in Japan. Today, the city is best known for its dynamic food and drinking culture, and famously outgoing people.

    Night in Osaka
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 2 – Free day

    Enjoy a free day in Osaka. We suggest you take a day trip to Mt Koya. You can also choose to visit Nara and its deer or simply stay in Osaka and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.

    Koyasan is the centre of Shingon Buddhism and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. The small secluded temple town which has developed around these very headquarters that was introduced in 805 by one of Japan’s most significant religious figures, Kobo Daishi.

    Another option is Nara. Due to its past as the first permanent capital from 710 to 784, Nara remains full of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. These historical treasures, such as Hōryū-ji Temple, a Buddhist temple known as the world’s largest and oldest wooden buildings existing in the world, are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Night in Osaka
    Inclusions: Accommodation and Breakfast. 

    Day 3 – Tomonoura and Sensui Island

    Meet your private guide at your hotel and head to Osaka station. Leave the hustle and bustle of the big city and head to the fishing village of Tomonoura. Take your first Shinkansen (Bullet train) ride and arrive at Tomonoura.


    The old town centre of Tomonoura has many photogenic alleys lined by rustic old houses with wooden facades. The bayfront area is littered with small boats.


    The Joyato Lighthouse was built during the Edo Period and is a symbol of Tomonoura. The eleven-meter tall structure stands prominently at the waterfront directly south of the town centre.

    The spacious Ota Residence belonged to a family who started brewing homeishu (traditional medicinal liquor) in the late 17th century. Today, visitors can view the residence’s multiple tatami mat rooms, tea rooms and homeishu storehouses.

    The Tomonoura Museum of History and Folklore provides information about the industries of Tomonoura and historical events that took place at the town. It displays exhibits relating to the daily life of the local people, such as festival floats, models of merchant ships and artefacts of the former Tomo Castle.

    Fukuzenji Temple offers the arguably most famous view at Tomonoura – that of the nearby Bentenjima Island and Sensuijima Island through the veranda of the temple. As a side note, the temple also houses a statue of Maria Kannon, who is Virgin Mary made to look like the Buddhist Bodhisattva Kannon during the Edo Period when Christianity was banned in Japan and Christians had to practice their religion in secret.

    Mid-afternoon, take the ferry ride from Tomonoura port to Sensui-jima Island (approx. 5min). Arrive on the island, check-in at the Campsite and free time until dinner.

    The island mostly consists of beautiful nature, sandy beaches and breathtaking vistas of the coastline and the Seto Inland Sea. This island is a part of the larger Setonaikai National Park.

    Night in Sensui-jima (Campsite)
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 4 – Visit of Onomichi

    Leave the quiet Sensui Island and head next to Onomichi. It is a very atmospheric small town and the birthplace of many respected authors and directors who were born in the city. It has served as the filming location for numerous movies and television dramas.

    Arrive at Onomichi and after check-in, explore the city. The city is quite small and all sightseeing interests can be reached by foot.

    Sightseeing suggestions:

    Start with the ropeway to Senkoji Park about a 15-minute walk from the station. En route, stop by the Jikoji temple and make your own clay Buddha statue (5 min from the station). Take the ropeway and visit the Senkoji temple.

    The vermillion lacquered main hall is a symbol of Onomichi. There is also an enormous rock called “Tama no Iwa”. According to legend, there used to be a gigantic glittering gem on top of the rock that served as a landmark for incoming ships.

    On the right of the Observatory deck, you will find the beginning of the  bungaku no komichi a small, atmospheric path leading down the slope to The Neko no Hosomichi, (Cats street) where you will find 108 “Fukuishi-neko” (Lucky stone cat), round stones with paintings of cats.

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

    Day 5 – Visit of Izumo and transfer to Matsue

    Leave Onomichi and take the Express train and bullet train bound for Izumo. Arriving at Izumo, a private guide will welcome you at the station and will take you to Izumo Shrine

    The 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 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 24 meters.

    Next, head to the Adachi Museum of art. More than the antics or art exposed there, The Adachi Museum of Art is best known for its award-winning garden. Finally, take the local train and head to Matsue for a night in a ryokan.

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

    Day 6 – Matsue Highlights

    Due to its location between Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the Sea of Japan, Matsue is also known as the “water city”.

    The Yushien Garden is located on the 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 Yushien Garden. The garden offers many ponds, tea houses, and bridges.

    Next, head to the Matsue Castle, 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 is Black instead of white.

    While in Matsue, take a boat and travel through Matsue Castle’s inner and outer moats. The tranquil cruise 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 7 – Depart for Kinosaki Onsen

    Today, you will head to Kinosaki onsen. Located in northern Hyogo Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. This pleasant town, built along a willow-lined river, is one of the top onsen destinations in Japan.

    After check-out, head to the station and take the express train for Kinosaki onsen in the Hyogo prefecture (approx. 4 hrs.). En route, you can stop at Mt. Taishi and take the ropeway to the top of the mountain and enjoy great views of Kinosaki. Visit the Onsen-ji temple.

    In the old days, visitors had to first pay a visit to the temple before being admitted to any of the baths in town. Kinosaki has 7 Mystical hot-springs. Dress in your Yukata (light Kimono) and walk along the preserved district and canal while visiting each of the onsen.

    Return to your accommodation for a Kaiseki dinner.

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

    Day 8 – Visit of Amanohashidate and Ine village

    Today, a guide and a private car will take you to both Amanohashidate City and Ine Village. The first location is considered as one of Japan’s three most scenic views and the other is a charming small fishing village with floating houses.

    Amanohashidate is a natural land bridge  described in legend as having been created by the deity Izanagi-no-mikoto as a path from the heavens. Amanohashidate divides the ocean and bay into north and south waters, with approximately 8,000 pine trees spanning across the bay into a single road. You can get a picturesque view of the landscape at Amanohashidate View Land from the Amanohashidate Station.

    Chionji Temple is well known for granting success in academics. The small “sensu” (folding fans) hung up on the temple’s pine trees are a feature that can be seen only at this temple and it makes a great photo.

    Before lunch, head to Inecho Village. This small fisherman village is regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful villages. The unique aspect of Ine is its Funaya. Literally meaning “boat houses”, these traditional waterfront buildings contain garages for boats on their first floors and residential space on the upper floors.

    After lunch, enjoy a boat tour around the bay to see Funaya from another viewpoint.

    Finally, take the car and head back to Kinosaki Onsen. Relax at your ryokan and enjoy the hot-springs.

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

    Day 9 – Transfer to Kyoto

    After checkout, head to the station and take the direct train for Kyoto. After arrival, you will be free to explore the cultural Capital of Japan at your leisure.

    Some Suggestions: Toji Temple and  sister temple, Saiji Temple  flanked the south entrance to the city and served as the capital’s guardian temples. Toji Temple is one of Kyoto’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The five-storied pagoda stands 57 meters tall, making it the tallest wooden pagoda in Japan, and has become a symbol of both the temple and Kyoto.

    Standing 131 meters tall just across from Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower is Kyoto’s tallest structure. A viewing platform is located 100 meters above ground and affords a 360-degree view of Kyoto. Recently re-modelled, the Tower now hosts a hotel, restaurants, dozens of gift shops and many workshops where foreign travelers can discover elements of Japanese culture.

    Shosei-en is a truly delightful stroll garden just 12-minutes walk from Kyoto Station. Hidden behind large walls, and with an entrance tucked away on a side street, this beautiful garden is very easy to miss. However, beyond those walls are spacious park-like grounds, which include traditional villas, teahouses, and a large pond dotted with islands and bridges.

    A little further in the city center, you can visit the Nishiki Food market. Nishiki Market is a narrow, five-block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants

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

    Day 10 – Kyoto Highlights

    Today, with your guide, visit some of the must-sees of the city. Start with northern Kyoto and the Arashiyama area.

    Here you can see the Togetsukyo Bridgeas well as the famous Bamboo Forest.

     Our next stop today, the Ryoan-ji Temple is a place of contemplation with its amazing stone garden. Have time to sit down and just relax by looking at the Zen Garden and not thinking about anything. There are 15 Stones in this Zen Garden, but from no matter what angle you look at this garden, you can only see a total of 14 stones at one time.

    Not far from Ryoanji-Temple, you will find the Kinkakuji Temple ( Golden Pavilion) Built in 1393, the wooden architecture is covered in thin layers of pure gold and is surrounded by a Buddhist pond that is perfect and represents the pure land of Buddha.

    Returning to Central Kyoto, See the World Heritage Gates of the Nijo Castle and the squeaking (Nightingale) floorboards that alerted residents of the castle that enemies were approaching. Nijo Castle was built by the Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu, in 1603 to protect the Kyoto Imperial Palace and as a residence for the shogun when he visited Kyoto.

    Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most visited Shrine in Japan. The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator’s name and the date of the donation of each gate inscribed on the back.

    End of the tour at your accommodation

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

    Day 11 – Kibune and Kurama Temples

    Today, head off the beaten tracks, outside Kyoto. Take the local scenic train to Kibune Shrine. After lunch on the riverbanks, hike Mt Kurama to Kurama temple. A true Hidden gem in Kyoto.

    Kibune Shrine is dedicated to the god of water and rain and believed to be the protector of those at sea. From June to September, Kibune’s restaurants build covered platforms out over the river where visitors can enjoy a meal as the water flows beneath them.

    Kurama is a mountain temple with a long history and a unique atmosphere. There is a path from the main hall which circles the mountain through groves of towering cedar trees which scent the fresh air. The temple’s main hall offers a gorgeous view out over the surrounding mountains.

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

    Day 12 – Fukui highlights

    Today with your guide you will leave Kyoto and head north to Fukui prefecture.

    Nestled between Kyoto prefecture and Ishikawa prefecture. Fukui is often neglected by international tourists but appreciated by the locals. Along the Sea of Japan, Fukui is known for Echizen city (famous for washi), the stunning Tojinbo cliffs, and much more.

    Early in the morning, meet your guide at your accommodation and after check-out head to Kyoto station where you will take the bullet train bound for Fukui.

    Your first visit of the day will be Eihei-ji Temple. Eihei-ji is  a large temple complex (70 buildings) and an active monastery standing on a cedar-covered slope in the mountains just outside Fukui City. All the buildings are connected by covered walkways that protect from the heavy snow seen in the region from December to March. Since the complex is still very active, visitors must receive a short orientation about the temple before they can explore the temple grounds on their own.

    Closer to Fukui city, the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins are designated as a national historical relic site and constitute one of the largest castle town ruins in Japan. An approximately 200-meter-long street, running from north to south in the center of the ruins, has been restored along with residences and roads. Visitors can enjoy tea at tea stalls that recreate the atmosphere of tea bars at the time, and can also wear traditional clothing in the style of the Warring States period.

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

    Day 13 – Fukui and Kanazawa transfer

    Continue with another half-day visit to Fukui before heading to Kanazawa in the afternoon.

    Like Kyoto, Kanazawa avoided bombing in World War II and is now one of the best-preserved Edo-period cities in Japan. It offers all the shrines, temples, castles, restored residences and districts.

    Before leaving for Kanazawa, take the local train to Tojinbo (approx. 20 min from Fukui station). Tojinbo  is  a  group of cliffs with rugged honeycomb-shapes and tall columns called Tojinbo that create a picturesque scene on the coast of Fukui. The cliffs average 30 metres in height and stretch for 1 km. These rock formations were sculpted millions of years ago by erosion and strong waves from the sea. It is also possible to enjoy the spectacular view from the sea on a touring boat.

    Return to Fukui and take the Bullet train direct to Kanazawa. Head to your accommodation, leave your luggage at the front desk and start exploring the city.

    Suggestions: The Kenrokuen Garden is classified as one of Japan’s “Three most beautiful landscape gardens” alongside Mito’s Kairakuen Garden and Okayama’s Korakuen Garden. The spacious grounds of Kenrokuen used to be the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle.

    Kanazawa Castle was one of the more important castles in the Edo period and was ruled over by 14 generations of the Maeda clan. The castle burnt down several times over the centuries, but the Garden dates from 1788.

    Not far from the Castle, you will find Higashi Chagai ya District.  The preserved district showcases  traditional houses representative of the time Samurai and Geisha Walked the streets. 

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

    Day 14 – Morning in Kanazawa and transfer to Tokyo

    Check- out from your accommodation, but leave your luggage at the front desk as you will be doing some extra sightseeing around Kanazawa before taking the Bullet train for Tokyo.

    Myoruji “Ninja Temple” – While not actually associated with ninja, the temple earned its nickname because of its many deceptive defenses in its’ design. Since the shogun imposed strict building restrictions as one way of weakening his regional lords, the temple was designed to circumvent the restrictions and serve as a disguised military outpost.

    You can also stop by the nearby 21st Century Museum, a popular museum which exhibits contemporary art by acclaimed artists from across the world. Well known permanent installation includes Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool”.

    For lunch head to the Omicho Market where you will find a lot of “lunch box” or other seafood selections. Omicho has been Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market since the Edo Period. Today, it is a busy and colourful network of covered streets lined by about 200 shops and stalls.

    Return to Kanazawa station and take the Bullet train direct to Tokyo station.

    Arrival at Tokyo station, check-in at your accommodation and the rest of the evening at your leisure.

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

    Day 15 – Tokyo highlights

    Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the Capital of Japan: Tokyo! From Traditional districts to electric and eclectic districts, the city has it all. Read our suggestions below.

    For over 90 years, Tsukiji has sustained both the residents of Tokyo as well as the many restaurants by offering fresh seafood at market prices. Over these 90 years, Tsukiji has become one of the largest markets in the world.

    Asakusa is the center of Tokyo’s Shitamachi (literally “low city”), one of Tokyo’s districts, where the atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives. Asakusa’s main attraction is Sensoji temple . The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

    Being the largest in Tokyo, Meiji shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji. The walk through the Sacred Forest is really nice, especially in central Tokyo.

    Harajuku has some of the most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles. Make sure you go to Takeshita Street, which is lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques and used clothes stores. You may also see many people lining up to get into the trendy crepe stands, pancake shops and other cafes. Stop by “Kiddy Land” , the largest toy store in Tokyo.

    Shibuya is known to be a shopping and entertainment area and hence brings many young Japanese to spend their free time and money. The Shibuya Crossing in front of Shibuya Station has at least 2,000 people crossing it every time the light turns green, and it always makes a great photo.

    In the evening, we suggest a foodie tour of the Shinbashi area. Explore the streets of Shinbashi and experience how the Japanese working class unwind after a long day at the office in a maze of eateries, izakayas and standing bars.

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

    Day 16 – Departure

    Today marks the end of your Japan Adventure. Depending on your departure flight schedule, you will have some free time in the morning to do some last-minute shopping. Our English-speaking assistant will meet you at your hotel lobby, and travel with you to Haneda or Narita airport.

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

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