April 2023 / March 2024
Detailed day by day description
This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.
This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.
The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.
18.00hrs- At the end of the afternoon, we are going to enter this fascinating country and with our guide we will go on the modern and efficient underground (we will be taught to use this public transport) to City Hall to see this building shaped like a tsunami. In front of the City Hall, we will also see the Deoksugung Palace , which is lit up at night and which allows us to appreciate the tradition and modernity of this country together. On foot, we will then go from here to the district of Myeongdong, the largest and busiest shopping area in Korea. Its name means ‘brilliant tunnel’. Dinner included in a local restaurant.
21.30hrs- Return to the hotel.
Note: The Gyeongbokgung Palace closes on Tuesday. This visit will be made the next day.
13.00hrs.- Lunch included in a local restaurant.
14.00hrs.- We continue to the District of Gangnam where there are numerous shopping and entertainment centers. To finish, we stop at LOTTE WORLD TOWER , an impressive 550 m building where there will be time to climb the tower (entrance not included) or stroll in the park or around the luxury shopping centres.
16.30hrs.- Return to the city centre or to the hotel and free time.
08.00hrs.- Today we include a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace , an impressive palace that is 600 years old, where we will see the Changing of the Guard ceremony (if scheduled).
10.00hrs.- Afterwards we leave Seoul to the south of Korea.
11.00hrs.- SUWON. Arrival to the former capital of Korea, a World Heritage Site famous for its walls Heritage of Mankind.
12.15hrs.- We will see the impressive wall with its fortifications and will visit Hwaseong Haenggung, the summer palace.
13.30hrs- Lunch included.
14.30hrs.- Suwon departure.
16.30hrs- JEONJU, we will see with our guide its fascinating old town (Hanok Village), with its tiny houses, traditional shops and art galleries. Free time to stroll after the tour.
07.30hrs.- Jeonju. Departure amidst impressive mountain forest scenery.
09.30hrs.- HAEINSA , arrival to this Buddhist temple built in the year 802 where we discover the Tripitaka, the most complete collection of Buddhist texts engraved on 80,000 blocks of wood. We will visit the temple and the museum on the Tripitaka.
11.30hrs.- Haeinsa. Departure.
12.45hrs.- DAEGU. Arrival. This city was a well-known center in oriental traditional medicine. Here we see the market of traditional medicines with its different herbs, and especially ginseng, and the Museum of Oriental medicine. Lunch included.
15.00hrs.- Daegu.- Departure.
16.45hrs.- We travel to HAEDONG YONGGUNG, 14th century Buddhist temple located by the sea.
17.45hrs.- Haedong Yonggung.- Departure.
18.45hrs.- BUSAN , arrival to this extremely modern city, the second most important in Korea. Lively coastal city with large skyscrapers.
09.00hrs.- City tour in BUSAN the second largest city in Korea, full of life. We will visit the fantastic Doosan Haeundae complex with its more than 300 m skyscraper and its sports marina. We continue to the memorial to the United Nations with its cemetery were people from numerous countries are buried. We approach the largest fish market in the country, which is alongside Nampo port. Lunch included. Then we walk from there to Yongdusan park with its immense 120 m pagoda. Free time.
16.00/13.30 hrs- Transfer to the port to embark on the ferry ( Note: limit time to check in at 17.30hrs). Don’t forget to bring your passport. The departure of the ferry is scheduled at 21.00hrs- Overnight by ferry across the Sea of Japan, double cabins with bathroom. Some cabins may be of "traditional Japanese tatami type", being able to enjoy the experience of the local culture.
Note: Due to the ferry´s limited capacity in double cabins, we will sometimes take a fast ferry leaving Busan at 15:00 hrs. and arriving in FUKUOKA (Japan) at 18:30 hrs. (Border crossing, free time in Fukuoka and hotel accommodation).
07.45hrs- We dock at the port of Shimonoseki (breakfast not included) and cross the border. Welcome to Japan!
11.30hrs- IWAKUNI, we get to this small city where we will stop to admire the beautiful historic Kintai-Kyo Bridge.
12.15hrs- We then continue to take a ferry to Miyajima , the island “where men and Gods live together in peace”, with its ITSUKUSHIMA shrine dedicated to the guardian of the seas, built partly over the sea. Here we have time to visit the temple, stroll through its attractive centre and have lunch.
16.00hrs- Miyajima- Departure. We board a ferry and continue our journey.
16.45hrs- HIROSHIMA , we get to the sadly famous as the site where the atomic bomb fell in 1945, which destroyed the whole city. We will visit the Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic bomb dome and the impressive Peace Memorial Museum. Dinner included.
Note: If the number of travelers is 5 or less than 5, the jorney from Shimonoseki or Fukuoka to Hiroshima can be made by high-speed train. In this case, the stop in Iwakuni will be suppressed (you will be informed in the voucher of "My Trip") and you will visit first Hiroshima and later Miyajima.
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 temple.
07.30hrs- We leave early for Kyoto.
10.00hrs- KYOTO, we spend the whole day in the city, which was the capital of Japan between 794 and 1868 and home to the Imperial Court. During World War II the city was the only major Japanese to escape the bombardments, and so it still preserves its wealth of artistic heritage; the famous protocol restricting greenhouse gas emissions was signed in Kyoto in 1997.
The visit includes a trip to one of the most important parts of the city . We will see the marvellous Shinto Shrine of Fushimi Inari, the Imperial Palace and Kinkakuji temple, “the golden pavilion” and its wonderful gardens.
19.00hrs - At night, a transfer to GION will be included, a busy traditional quarter famous for its Geisha. Free time. The return to the hotel will be free, we suggest you take a taxi. The guide will explain how.
Note: If you already visited Kyoto on your circuit, our guide will offer you information and advice on visiting the other parts of the city unaccompanied.
08.00 hrs- We leave Kyoto to set out for Tsumago, passing attractive country scenery on our way.
11.15 hrs- TSUMAGO. This small village with its wooden houses is one of the prettiest places in Japan. Free time to explore and lunch included in a local restaurant.
13.30 hrs- Tsumago departure.
14.45 hrs- MATSUMOTO , arrival to this tourist city, where we will visit the impressive 16th century castle, known as the “Crow Castle”. Free time to explore this bustling tourist city.
18.00hrs.- Matsumoto.- Departure.
19.15hrs.- NAGANO , arrival.
Note: In some tours, we will not sojourn in Nagano but in the town of Matsumoto.
Scenery: Today our journey takes us through the beautiful Japanese Alps.
Note: Wear comfortable shoes to walk around the Monkey Park
Early in the morning, in NAGANO , we will visit Zenkoji temple, a pilgrimage site where the first Buddhist image of Japan is located. Passengers will have the opportunity to take part in the Gomakuyo ceremony that brings good luck.
10.30hrs- Nagano departure. We continue through the high mountains.
11.30hrs- Monkey Park, with lunch included and wander through its forests with their rivers and thermal fountains where colonies of Japanese monkeys live and bathe.
13.45hrs- We leave the park, our journey takes us through beautiful mountain scenery (reaching an altitude of 2,172 metres) with semi-active volcanoes.
15.00hrs- KUSATSU is an attractive spa city with a lively main square. Our visit includes admission to the Yumomi performance, with actresses who sing songs about the traditional method for cooling spa waters. Then we can stroll through the city park with its outdoor Onsen.
17.45 hrs- Departure from Kustasu.
19.15hrs- IKAHO, arrival to a picturesque spa town where we will stroll in its ancient centre with its staircase streets. We will stay at a RYOKAN, a Japanese style hotel where we will continue to enjoy its baths. Traditional Japanese dinner included. .
NB: In the autumn, depending on the amount of fruit in the mountains, the movement of the monkeys is unpredictable. If the macaques do not come down to the park, it may be closed. The visit to Kusatsu and the Yumoni show are cancelled due to the weather from November to April.
07.45hrs- Ikaho Onsen. Saída.
10.00hrs- NIKKO , a fantastic town where we will visit the impressive Nikko Toshogu Shrine and the hall of the crying dragon. We will also visit the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, set in an impressive, peaceful site, followed by a walk near the river, in Kanmangafuchi, under the watchful eye of hundreds of Jizo statues!
Free time for lunch and visit the city centre.
15.30hrs- Departure to Tokyo.
18.30 hrs- TOKYO .- arrival.
NOTE: With less than 5 passengers, the city tour will be done by a tourist bus "Hop On-Hop Off" bus that passes through the most interesting parts of Tokyo, in which passengers can hop off, visit the site of their choice and then hop on the next bus.
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. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. Dinner included and return to hotel by metro with our guide.