Example Itinerary

Sacred Scenic Sites of Japan

Duration
14 days / 13 nights
Price Per Person
From $21,000
Interests
Amazing Landscapes, Spirituality
Destinations
Japan
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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.

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

• Great Outdoors: Hike to the highest peaks on Kyushu to see the Kuju volcanoes and stay in a hot spring lodge.

• Kyoto: Immerse yourself in culture and history in the ancient capital, paying visits to Kiyomizudera Temple and the Silver Pavilion, then contemplate along the Philosopher's Path.

• Folklore: Learn about Japan's creation myths with a sacred dance performance at a shrine in Takachino - a town nestled amongst fabled rock formations.

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Tokyo

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.

Day 2 Kyoto

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.

Kyoto

Day 3 Kyoto

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.

Day 4 Kuju Highlands

Travel to the highest peaks on the island of Kyushu and see the Kuju volcanoes. Hike to a hot spring lodge surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Enjoy a hearty dinner and rest comfortably overnight at the lodge.

Day 5 Mount Aso

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.

Mount Aso

Day 6 Mount Aso

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.

Day 7 Takachiho

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.

Day 8 Aya

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.

Aya

Day 9 Nichinan

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.

Day 10 Kirishima

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.

Day 11 Kirishima

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.

Kirishima

Day 12 Tokyo

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.

Day 13 Tokyo

Immerse yourself in the abundance of shopping, entertainment, culture, and dining that Tokyo has to offer. The city’s history can be appreciated in many excellent museums and in the Asakusa district. Say your goodbyes to newfound friends at a farewell dinner.

Day 14

On your final day, you’ll say goodbye to Japan, though you’ll take with you the memories you created. Your guide will help you transfer to Tokyo’s Narita airport for your flight home or to your next exciting destination.

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.

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.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, 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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