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.
This 14-day tour will take you on a journey of a lifetime through Japan’s stunning landscape and sacred sites. Prepare to hike up Mount Aso, one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. Marvel at the breathtaking and unforgettable scenery of the Kirishima volcanoes. Uncover the fascinating history and traditions in the ancient capital of Kyoto. Let your stress melt away while basking in natural hot springs. Experience Japanese mythology as you watch the sacred dances of Yokagura at the Takachiho shrine. Explore the world-class metropolitan city of Tokyo and take advantage of some of the best shopping, entertainment, culture and dining the world has to offer.
Explore the sights and sounds of Tokyo, the center of the world's most populated metropolitan area. You’ll be met at Narita International Airport and taken to central Tokyo via train for a leisurely walk around the city. You’ll pay a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan’s largest and busiest fish market, and walk the streets of Akihabara, a district famous for its many electronics and anime shops. In the evening, enjoy a Japanese feast before you settle down in your luxury hotel.
Watch the scenery zip by as we travel by bullet train to the ancient capital of Kyoto. Enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch followed by a visit to Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, a famous Buddhist temple along Kyoto’s eastern mountains. Walk along the Philosopher’s Path and witness the beauty of a canal lined with hundreds of cherry trees. Take in the tranquility of the Kiyomizudera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finish the day with a delicious dinner and relaxing stay at a traditional ryokan (traveller’s inn) or the classy Ritz-Carlton on the Kamogawa river.
Discover the Ryoan-ji Temple, home to a garden that is considered to be one of the finest examples of Japanese rock garden design. Explore the Arashiyama district by taking a stroll on the Togetsukyo Bridge and visit the famous bamboo groves behind the Tenryuji Temple. After lunch, you are free to roam the city until the evening. Take the opportunity to further sightsee in central Kyoto or take in the beautiful scenery of mountains and river by boat ride along the Sagami River.
Embark on a picturesque hike to the Kuju-dake peak and Naka-dake peak before departing. You’ll travel by car to the Kurokawa hot spring village and stop to take a dip in the soothing and therapeutic waters. Next, we’ll head to Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan. Enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner and rest in a comfortable nearby ryokan.
Take the Sensuikyou cable car to the top of Mount Aso and hike along the crater’s edge through fields of lava rocks. Be dazzled by brightly-colored volcanic rocks and unique geological formations. Absorb the breathtaking sights at the top of Taka-dake and Naka-dae. Head back to the guesthouse for a rewarding meal and overnight stay.
Take a drive along the Aso Panorama highway and stop for a leisurely stroll through the lovely countryside. Continuing by foot, we will arrive at Takachiho, a town that sits along a gorge where fascinating rock formations have been integrated into local folklore. Witness the sacred dances of Yokagura at the Takachiho shrine, which delve into the mythical tales of Japan’s creation.
Cycle along the peaceful countryside near Takachiho and partake in a picnic lunch. After, we will travel by road to Aya. Once arrived, we’ll take a short walk to the Teruha Suspension Bridge, a bridge 460 feet above the Aya River. If you are visiting during the spring, appreciate the beauty and colors of the cherry blossoms surrounding the nearby mountains.
Tour the historic Aya Castle. Try your hand at Japanese pottery making, weaving and aizome orimono (indigo-dyed fabric) at a local craft center. During the drive to Nichinan, enjoy the spectacular coastline. Stop to stretch your legs at the Udo-jingu Shrine, enclosed within a cave. Nichinan is a historical treasure with well-preserved Edo period samurai houses and Obi Castle. Visit the former residence of the Ito clan and stop at a teashop to enjoy fresh green tea and traditional Japanese sweets. Spend the evening at a charming seaside hotel.
This morning depart for the Kirishima volcanic range. Witness the dramatic landscape as hot steam spews out of numerous volcanic openings as we hike to the top of the Takachiho-no-mine Peak. After the climb, continue on a walk near the volcanic vents and experience the Shiratori hot spring where you will partake in an unforgettable outdoor mineral bath.
Take a day-trip to Kagoshima, home of the Shimazu clan, a powerful feudal family. Tour Sangen-en, the clan’s elegant villa and gardens situated across from an active volcano. Explore Kagoshima during free time in the afternoon. We recommend taking a ferry to see the magnificent Sakurajima volcano. Return to Kirishima for the evening.
Travel to Chiran, a town full of historic Samurai houses and home to the air base used by Kamikaze pilots in World War II. Try homemade soba and udon noodles in an authentic, local restaurant for lunch. Depart for the sandy beaches in the south near the Kaimondake volcano and visit Yamakawa beach, where thermally heated mineral water bubbles to the surface. Dress in a cotton yukata robe and bask in the warm sand. Fly onward to Tokyo from Kagoshima airport.