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A Japanese Adventure: Volcanos, Valleys, Shrines, & Spas

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

FROM $29,000 PER PERSON
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DURATION

14 days | 13 nights

DESTINATIONS

Japan

INTERESTS

Amazing Landscapes

TYPE

Intrepid

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit some of the oldest trees in the world in the Kirishima-Yaku National Park
  • Ride an aerial tramway up Mount Aso, an active volcano
  • Explore Mikurodo Cave, an ancient Buddhist site of enlightenment
  • Trek over vine bridges through the majestic Iya Valley

DETAILED DECRIPTION

How can you hit the city, the coast, the volcano and the valley in just two weeks? With this carefully-curated two-week Japan itinerary focused on the remote areas of Kyushu and Shikoku, it’s more than possible. Your trip will start and end in bustling Osaka, and bring you to the Natural World Heritage Site of Yakushima Island, the  Takachiho Gorge and Shrine, Mount Aso, an active volcano, and the incredible landscape of the Iya Valley. From city nights to mountain treks, you’ll experience the cultural charm and natural beauty of remote Japan, without surrendering luxury! 

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Osaka

Your exciting Japanese adventure begins in the cosmopolitan city of Osaka, home to 19 million people. You will arrive in the afternoon and be transferred to the Ritz Carlton or St. Regis hotel where you may rest for the evening or refresh yourself for a night on the town.

DAY 2: Yakushima Island

After an optional morning tour of Osaka, you will fly to Yakushima Island, located off the southern tip of the mainland. Settle into the Sankara Hotel & Spa and soak up the sea views before enjoying a delicious, authentic dinner.

DAY 3: Yakushima Island

Spend the day touring the incredible Yakushima Island, most of which is covered by the Kirishima-Yaku National Park. Enjoy a scenic drive through the rainforest, where you will see some of the oldest trees in the world, as well as a wide array of flora and fauna.

DAY 4: Yakushima Island

Enjoy one more day on Yakushima Island: today, you’ll hike through the rainforest - designated a Natural World Heritage Site – and view an incredible waterfall up-close before returning to the Sankara Hotel & Spa for one more night.

DAY 5: Kurokawa

After a free morning to soak up the island, you’ll leave Yakushima and fly to Fukuoka, where you’ll be picked up and transferred to Kurokawa Onsen, a town best-known for its incredible natural hot springs. Spend the afternoon and evening exploring the town before relaxing for the night at a local guesthouse.

DAY 6: Kurokawa

Today, enjoy a day of touring local sites, including the Takachiho Gorge, an incredible natural landscape formed by volcanic lava, the Takachiho Shrine, an ancient Shinto shrine, and Kunimi Hill, the perfect spot for mid-afternoon hike. After your full day, you’ll return to your guesthouse to relax for the evening, ahead of the second-half of your journey.

DAY 7: Kurokawa

For a full day excursion, you’ll head to Mount Aso, an active volcano. If available, board the aerial tramway to ascend to the incredible volcanic vent viewing spot and take in panoramic views from several different hiking trails. If the tram is deactivated due to volcanic activity, embark on a half day hike to the cusp of the vent or visit the Kurokawa hot spring for a dip in a volcanic onsen. 

DAY 8: Uwajima

This morning, you’ll drive to the city of Beppu, located 2 hours away in Oita Prefecture,and visit Beppu’s Eight Hells – multicolored volcanic pits filled with boiling water and mud with menacing names like Blood Pond Hell and Shaven Monkey’s Head Hell. From Beppu, you’ll enjoy a ferry ride to the city of Uwajima, where you will check into a local ryokan and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

DAY 9: Uwajima

Spend the morning exploring Uwajima, from the Warei Shrine to the Date Museum, the Uwajima Castle to the Doi Pearls. After lunch, take a hike along the coast for beautiful views. If the dates line up, you may be able to see a bullfighting event before spending an evening under the twinkling lights of the city.

DAY 10: Muroto

After a leisurely morning, you’ll drive 4.5 hours to the small city of Muroto. Check into the luxurious Hoshino UTOCO Auberge & Spa, settle in to your new surroundings, and enjoy your evening overlooking the ocean from the expansive patio.

DAY 11: Muroto

This morning you’ll explore Muroto, visiting tourist destinations such as the Ransho Promenade and Global Geopark. You’ll also venture to the Mikurodo Cave, famous for being the place where the revered Buddhist monk Kukai became enlightened. End the day with a bang by taking a thrilling hike along the coast before returning to your luxury hotel.

DAY 12: Iya Valley

Today, you’ll spend a full day touring: first driving to Iya Valley, deep between the mountains of the Tokushima Prefecture. Here, you’ll board a cable car to ascend into the mountains for some hiking before retiring to the Iya Onsen Hotel for a good night’s sleep.

DAY 13: Iya Valley

After a hearty breakfast, set out to explore Iya Valley: trek through the incredible landscape, over historic vine bridges and traditional mountainside villages for a true glimpse into valley life. Return to the Iya Onsen Hotel for your last night.

DAY 14: Departure

Today, your Japanese adventure comes to an end – but not before one last bout of sightseeing. You’ll drive to Takamatsu where you can squeeze in a visit to the Ritsurin Garden & Tea House and the Yashima-ji temple, and perhaps even a hike in Shikoku Mura Park. Afterward, you’ll board a train for Osaka, where you’ll catch your flight home or onto your next destination.

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