Example Itinerary

Land of Cherry Blossoms: Southern Japan Highlights

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Architecture, Heritage
Destinations
Japan

Experience the best of Southern Japan with this charming 8-day luxury itinerary, taking in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima as well as cultural icons such as Himeji Castle, cherry blossoms and Kobe beef. Stock up on electronics in the world’s technology epicenter, then soak in the incredible views from Mount Misen of Hiroshima below. Balance culture and adventure as you experience both the countryside and bustling metropolitan cities.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Sakura: Osaka Castle, Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk and Himeji Castle are prime cherry blossom viewing locations, perfect for a photography session, and best followed by the picnicking tradition of hanami in a local park.
  • Geisha Dinner: Enjoy a rare cultural experience as you savor a traditional Japanese meal served by geisha - an opportunity not often afforded even to affluent Japanese.
  • Modern History: Reflect on a key chapter of world history with a poignant visit to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park.
  • Food & Drink: Learn how rice wine is made and sample authentic sake at a local brewery in Kobe (then wash it down with some decadent Kobe beef).

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Osaka

Fly into Osaka to begin your Japanese adventure! The city is a cultural mecca and the perfect way to start your holiday. Rest up for a big day of traveling tomorrow. 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Situated in the heart of Kita, one of Osaka's two main city centers, there is no shortage of tourist attractions, shopping destinations, and sights to see that are all easily accessible from the Conrad Osaka.

Dining: Osaka has a reputation as a city of foodies, and the dining options at the Conrad Osaka live up to this reputation with everything from traditional Japanese dishes to cloud-like gourmet cakes available.

Comfort: Beds are comfortable and inviting, bathrooms come with indulgent bathtubs and luxury amenities, and the expansive views set one’s mind at ease.

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Conrad Osaka Preferred Hotel
About

In the heart of Osaka's Midosuji area lies the St. Regis Osaka, an elegant five-star hotel composed of 160 guest rooms and suites over 12 categories.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2

Osaka

Familiarize yourself with local culture as you tour Osaka’s National Museum of Art. Home to the famous tapestry, “The Lady and the Unicorn,” this museum also houses several rare jewels. Gain an entirely new perspective as you tour the Museum of Oriental Ceramics and view the intricately-designed porcelain for which the region is so famous. Dive into marine life (while staying dry, of course) as you explore the Osaka Aquarium. The aquarium is one of the largest public aquariums in the world. 

Osaka
Osaka

Day 3

Osaka

During springtime, marvel at the unmatched beauty of the blooming cherry blossom trees. Their fragrant smell has inspired hundreds of perfumes the world over. Stark white walls contrasting with vibrant red roofs make the Osaka Castle a stunning sight with traditional importance. Tour the 13 structures at the castle that played a main role in Japan’s unification. Watch a traditional Japanese puppet show at one of the only theaters that still hosts this cultural entertainment - the National Bunraku Theater. 

Day 4

Kyoto

Travel on to Kyoto, another culturally rich and important city. Built in 798 AD, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a must-see. One of the features of the “Historic Monument of Ancient Kyoto,” the temple is an independent Buddhist Temple and UNESCO site. Next, visit the villa-style ancient Kikaku-ji Temple, the Deer Garden Temple. The temple sits next to a beautiful lily pond. Spend the night at your luxury Kyoto hotel. 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Nature: Aman Kyoto's palette is the inviting green of forest scenery and the warm, woody tones of shelter. So aligned with its surroundings, the hotel changes with the seasons; Taka-An's menu puts the spotlight on seasonal produce, while the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase how the passing months shape the landscape.

Culture: Kaiseki banquets, matcha and mochi afternoon tea, tranquil and contemplative gardens, indoor and outdoor onsen bathing facilities, options for futon bedding and tatami mat flooring – the entire property has been designed with an immersion in both nature and culture in mind, so guests can experience true Japanese hospitality.

Wellness: A stay at the Aman Kyoto is not just a quiet retreat to return to after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto, but also an oasis designed to replenish the body and mind. The in-house spa specializes in Shiatsu massage, onsen pools are fed by the mineral-rich waters of local hot springs, while private yoga sessions in a forest clearing release stress and tension.

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Aman Kyoto Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Nestled at the foot of Higashiyama Mountain, alongside a thousand-year-old ikeniwa pond, Four Seasons Kyoto is located just ten minutes from Kyoto’s city center, within the temple district, making it an ideal base from which to explore the nearby shrines and historic landmarks, as well as the more modern attractions of Japan’s elegant former capital.

History: Having opened it’s doors in October 2016, Four Seasons Kyoto - the second site for the Four Seasons brand in the country - may have been five years in the planning, but the atmosphere of urbane tranquility of the Zen inspired interiors has made an indelible impression on a city known for its sense of style and sophistication.

Service: Four Seasons Kyoto provides the very best in round-the-clock luxury service, complete with 24-hour concierge and room service, manned with English-speaking staff ready to cater for to guests’ wants and needs.

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Four Seasons Kyoto Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Nestled in pristine forest, Hoshinoya Kyoto is in the perfect environment for de-stressing. The protected forests surrounding the resort are wonderfully revitalizing.

Service: Guests enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality in an authentic ryokan environment.

Comfort: Hoshinoya is a hybrid-ryokan combining the traditional features of a ryokan with contemporary luxury furnishings, including large comfortable beds.

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HOSHINOYA Kyoto Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Sitting on the serene banks of the stunning Kamogawa river within walking distance of several famous streets and popular sights, this hotel couldn’t have a more perfect location. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute taxi ride from the Kyoto airport.

History: Paying homage to rich Japanese culture, the fourth Ritz-Carlton in Japan opened in Kyoto in February of 2014.

Service: Guests can count on dependable, high-level service at the Ritz-Carlton, where a luxury experience is guaranteed, complemented by extremely helpful staff.

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Ritz-Carlton Kyoto Preferred Hotel
About

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is tucked away next to Nijo-jo Castle, at the Kyoto home of the Kitake, a branch of the Mitsui Family. This land has been in the care of the family for more than 250 years.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Kyoto
Kyoto

Day 5

Kyoto

A cherry-tree lined canal in Kyoto is the perfect setting for a stroll on the city’s “Philosopher’s Walk.” Nishida Kitaro, a Japanese philosopher working at the nearby university, is believed to have taken this picturesque walk to work everyday. Nestled in the foothills of the east, Nanzen-ji Temple and its expansive grounds are your next destinations. The temple has a stunningly beautiful, traditional Karesansui garden. That night see a beautiful, quiet side of Japanese culture as you attend a Geisha dinner. Westerners have only recently been permitted to witness this intimate and unique side of Japanese culture.  

Day 6

Kobe

Travel to Kobe, a bustling metropolitan city along the coast. Here you will peruse the Himeji Castle - a postcard-perfect castle set atop a green hillside overlooking the city. The castle is the ideal image of Japanese architecture. Next, enjoy happy hour at the Sake Brewery where the famous rice wine is made. Learn about the brewing process and judge for yourself if the sake taste better freshly-made. Visit the Earthquake Memorial Museum and take a moment to remember all those affected by the destruction of the 1995 earthquake that took the lives of over 5,000 people. 

Hotel Options
About

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Kobe
Kobe

Day 7

Hiroshima

The final stop on your journey is the WWII site of Hiroshima. Catch an incredible view of the heritage site from the top of Mount Misen, a holy landmark in the city. Rest your legs as you take a streetcar tour of the city and learn about the destruction and aftermath caused by the WWII atomic bomb. Continue your day of remembrance as you take a Peace Memorial Tour.

Hotel Options
About

Designed according to the classic Japanese principle of understated elegance, the Sekitei Hiroshima is a ryokan, or traditional hot-springs inn, located on the island of Miyajima. It boasts twelve, traditionally-designed Japanese rooms overlooking a large, well-manicured garden, and several recently renovated public baths.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

In the heart of bustling Hiroshima sits the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel, a luxurious modern high-rise hotel that is a short walk away from Hiroshima Station and Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium. The contemporary, spacious rooms feature custom designed beds, flat-screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, and floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal stunning views of the city’s skyline.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Hiroshima
Hiroshima

Day 8

Departure

Your journey chasing spring foliage across southern Japan comes to a close today. Relax this morning until your private transfer to the airport for your journey onward. 

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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