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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.