April 2022 / March 2023
Detailed day by day description
This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.
Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.
The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.
18H30.- Meeting with guide. Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating country by taking a trip on the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Then we will take a walk around an hour to the restaurant. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. Dinner included and return to hotel by metro with our guide.
Free time in the afternoon.
08.00hrs- Kyoto. Departure.
09.00hrs- NARA , we visit Todaiji, a magnificent Buddhist temple built in 752, which has a giant Buddha and where passengers can take photos and touch and feed the deer that wander through the park.
10.30hrs.- Todaiji Temple departure.
11.15hrs- HORYUJI Buddhist temple, a World Heritage Site. Time to discover its seminary, monasteries and temples. Its main pagoda temple is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world and is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan and an important place of worship.
12.45hrs- Horyuji Departure. Lunch included in a local restaurant. We continue to OSAKA. 14.30hrs.- OSAKA, Arrival. Accommodation in this modern city (Japan’s second city) and free time. In the evening we will visit Dotonbori , a colourful district filled with nightlife.
8.00 hrs.- Osaka –Departure-. We continue to Osaka Bay.
10.00 hrs.- MOUNT SHOSHA arrival. We include a cable car trip up Mount Shosa, where there is the ENGYO-JI temple complex with over a thousand years of history, where the film “the last Samurai” was shot.
12.00hrs.- Mount Shosha departure
12.20hrs.-HIMEJI –Arrival-. Admission to the huge castle is included, which is built in the traditional style of a Japanese castle. Lunch included.
Note: The queues to enter the castle are often very long. In certain cases, we recommend a visit to see only the gardens.
15.00hrs.- Himeji- Departure.
16.30 hrs- OKAYAMA. We will visit Korakuen , one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, with its lakes, waterfalls and traditional teahouses.
8.00 hrs.- Okayama –Departure-.
8.30 hrs.- KURASHIKI, a city with a very well-preserved historic centre. Time to explore this city with its old-world charm.
10.00 hrs.- Kursahiki –Departure-.
12.30 hrs.- HIROSHIMA , arrival to the city that is sadly famous as the site where the atomic bomb fell in 1945, destroying the whole city. We will visit the peace memorial, the dome and the impressive Peace Memorial Museum. Time for lunch after the visits. Then, we continue to the outskirts of the city and take a small ferry on a 15-minute crossing to Miyajima , the island where “man lives alongside the Gods”. Visit to ITSUKUSHIMA shrine, dedicated to the guardian of the seas and partially built on the sea. Time to explore the temple and stroll through the pretty centre.
Note: The order of the visits in Hiroshima can change, being able to go first to Miyajima and later to Hiroshima.
19.00 hrs—Miyajima –Departure-. We take the boat and then continue to Hiroshima. Dinner included.
Scenery: I nteresting scenery on board, passing close to many different islands.
Note : We recommend staying on deck to enjoy the crossing, but bring warm clothing.
Today we will take a boat t o the island of Shikoku . The crossing is extremely pleasant and takes two and a half hours, and discover that Japan is formed by many small islands. If there are no changes in the ferry times, it will leave at 09.20hrs (we leave the hotel at 08.00 hrs).
12.00hrs. – MATSUYAMA. Arrival. We will take the cable car and ascend to its impressive castle. Then we will visit ISHITE JI, a beautiful Buddhist temple and place of pilgrimage. Lunch included.
In the late afternoon we will visit DOGO ONSEN (admission included) , a traditional Japanese bath built in the 19th century.
Note: we highly recommend you to live the Onsen experience in Japan. There are rules that will be explained to you; The baths are separated by sex and a thorough cleaning must be carried out before entering the hot water naked. In Japanese Onsen they can prohibit the entry of people with tattoos.
Scenery : Pleasant mountain scenery in some places. We walk along huge suspension bridges over the sea. Wear comfortable walking shoes for the journey.
7.30 hrs- Matsuyama.- Departure-.
10.00 hrs.- KOTOHIRA, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the God of fishermen and a place of pilgrimage built on Mount Zozu. To access it, it is necessary to climb 785 steps. Those who do not want to climb the mountain can enjoy sightseeing and visit the small Sake Museum (the traditional Japanese liqueur).
12.00hrs.- Kotohira –Departure-.
13.00 hrs.- TAKAMATSU. Visit to RITSURIN, one of the prettiest gardens in Japan. Lunch included in a local restaurant.
15.00 hrs.- Takamatsu –Departure-.
16.15 hrs.- NARUTO , an impressive bridge that crosses the sea. We will stop to learn how it was built and walk along its glass floor with the impressive waves below us (depending on the times and tides) at a height of 45 metres.
17.15hrs.- Naruto –Departure-. Pretty scenery as we cross huge suspension bridges.
19.00hrs.- KOBE.- Arrival. Modern city by the sea, you can walk through its active center.
Note: Sometimes, the entrance to the Earthquake Museum may be modified by the Sake Museum or the climb to the Kobe Tower.
10.30hrs- We continue to Osaka.
11.15hrs- OSAKA , arrival to the second biggest city in Japan.
12.00hrs- We will depart Osaka to visit, MOUNT KOYA , one of Japan’s sacred mountains and Japan’s main centre of Shingon Buddhism. There are 120 shrines and monasteries on this mountain which is a magical place of pilgrimage. We will visit Okuno Mausoleum , a spiritual place and an immense cemetery in the wilderness that has more than 200,000 graves. We will visit Kongobuji temple , built in 1593.
Note: In winter, as it gets dark earlier, we will not have time to enter Kongobuji temple.
We will spend this night at a Buddhist monastery. The monks will offer us a Zen meditation session (Ajikan). Dinner included (vegetarian food). There is religious ceremony at the temple early in the morning if you wish to attend it.
Note: We consider the sojourn at the monastery as an experience of great existential value. The rooms at this place are modest, without bathrooms, in the traditional Japanese style with tatamis. Bathrooms are communal.
Japanese breakfast at the shrine.
07.30hrs- We will depart at first light.
10.00- KYOTO ; we will enjoy a full free day. Our guide will inform you so you can make the best of your alone time and visit the most interesting places in this gorgeous city.