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Spirit of the West (10 DAYS)

CBJ1458

  • Amazing Japan Sea coastline – the Sand Dunes, Motonosumi Shrine, Tsunoshima
  • Japanese spiritual spots – Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Takachiho
  • Volcanic area in Kyushu – Unzen, Aso, Beppu

 
 

Day 1 OSAKA (ARRIVAL) – KOBE
KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
KOBE

After landing in Osaka you will meet our English-speaking assistant and transfer to your hotel by private coach.

Rest of the day at leisure. Hotel in Kobe.

Stay at CANDEO HOTELS KOBE TORROAD 3* or similar
Day 2 KOBE – HIMEJI – CHIZU – TOTTORI
TOTTORI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

You will visit the beautiful UNESCO world heritage Himeji Castle, acclaimed as Japan’s most beautiful and complete historic citadel, known as the White Egret.

Transfer to Chizu, Tottori prefecture and have lunch at Mitakien. Green mountains, the sound of flowing rivers, earthy smells, the appearance of half-forgotten, old-fashioned Japanese countryside.

Transfer to the Sand Dunes (Tottori Sakyu), the largest sandhills in Japan. Located in the heart of the San’in Kaigan Geopark and stretching 2.4km north to south and 16km east to west, it is one of the finest coastal dunes in the country. Hotel in Tottori.

Stay at TOTTORI WASHINGTON HOTEL PLAZA 3* or similar
Day 3 TOTTORI – KURAYOSHI – MATSUE – IZUMO – YUNOTSU ONSEN
YUNOTSU ONSEN

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel. Transfer to Matsue Castle including a short stop at Kurayoshi, a friendly and historic city. Visit the historic merchant quarters and classic white-walled warehouses and see the former seat of power for the Hoki region.

Transfer to Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, also known by its official name Izumo Oyashiro, in the city of Izumo on the western edge of the Shimane Peninsula. As one of the most famous and most important shrines in the country, Izumo Taisha is visited by many people, both Japanese and international, every year.

Transfer to Yunotsu Onsen, which is known for its therapeutic effects, located in a small town in Oda City, central Shimane Prefecture.

Ryokan in Yunotsu Onsen.

Stay at HOTEL KIUNSO 3* or similar
Day 4 YUNOTSU ONSEN – HAGI
HAGI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel. Depart to Hagi city through the Japan Sea coastline. Shortstop at the Susa Hornfels, rocky cliffs with clear black and light-grey striations.

Transfer to Hagi city and visit Hagi Castle town Area. Some streets in the downtown area are beautifully preserved, lined by white walls from the feudal age, former samurai mansions and merchant quarters. Then visit Shoin Shrine, which enshrines Yoshida Shoin, one of the more brilliant political thinkers that Japanese society has ever produced.

Hotel in Hagi.

Stay at HAGI GRAND HOTEL TENKU 3* or similar
Day 5 HAGI – MOTONOSUMI SHRINE – TSUNOSHIMA – FUKUOKA
FUKUOKA

Visit Motonosumi Shrine, selected by CNN Travel as one of the “31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan”. The shrine’s remarkable location makes for a striking contrast between the red of its gates and the cobalt blue of the waves below. This shrine was built to honour a white fox spirit, to whom visitors prayed for financial success, success in fishing, and safety on the seas. Nowadays, a wide variety of wishes are fielded by the fox god, including good fortune & wealth, childbearing, marriage, traffic safety and success in school.

Then we will visit Tsunoshima, an island in the Sea of Japan connected to the mainland by the 1,780m long Tsunoshima Ohashi, one of Japan’s longest toll-free bridges, making for an enjoyable day trip from central Shimonoseki or Kitakyushu. During the summer months, you can enjoy two beautiful white sand beaches, the Tsunoshima Ohama beach resort and the Cobalt Blue Beach. Rental bicycles are another great way to leisurely enjoy the island’s sights.

Transfer to Fukuoka in Kyushu. Hotel in Fukuoka.

Stay at CANDEO HOTELS FUKUOKA TENJIN 3* or similar
Day 6 FUKUOKA – ARITA – NAGASAKI
NAGASAKI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Arita and visit Koraku kiln, which was established in 1865 and is almost a hundred and fifty years old. It produces both traditional and contemporary tableware. It is famous for its naturalness, authenticity, and creativity. Transfer to Nagasaki. You will visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Park. Nagasaki city was hit by an Atomic Bomb in 1945 during World War II. The effects can still be seen today, and many people come here and pray here from all over the world.

From then we visit the Glover Gardens, an open-air museum where you can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.

Hotel in Nagasaki.

Stay at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NAGASAKI GLOVERHILL 3* or similar
Day 7 NAGASAKI – UNZEN – SHIMABARA – KUMAMOTO
KUMAMOTO

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Unzen and visit Unzen Jigoku, which is one of the top attractions in the hot spring town of Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture. Wooden walkways snake through areas filled with heated gas, billowing steam, and scalding hot water. Add a strong sulfuric odour to conjure up the image of hell, or jigoku.

Transfer to Kumamoto from Shimabara by Ferry. You will visit Suizenji Jojuen. This photogenic lakeside garden represents the 53 stations of Tokaido. Then you will visit Kumamoto Castle (outside), which was damaged by the earthquake in 2016 , now under repair.

Hotel in Kumamoto.

Stay at KUMAMOTO TOKYU REI HOTEL 3* or similar
Day 8 KUMAMOTO – TAKACHIHO
TAKACHIHO

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Takachiho in Miyazaki. Visit Takachiho Gorge, which is a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River and visit Takachiho shrine and Amano Iwato shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hidden. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually, the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding.

After dinner, a special treat – Yokagura Dance Performance, an outrageously ribald dance that supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world. Hotel in Takachiho.

Stay at SOLEST TAKACHIHO HOTEL 3* or similar
Day 9 TAKACHIHO – ASO – BEPPU
BEPPU

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Aso and visit Aso Volcano Craters. Continue your journey to Kokonoe and visit Yume Otsurihashi Bridge. You proceed to a bather’s paradise – the celebrated hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu’s most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri. You will visit two of the nine “Jigoku” hot springs (“jigoku” means “hell”). The springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell. These hot springs are ideal for viewing rather than bathing.

Hotel in Beppu.

Stay at RESORPIA BEPPU 3* or similar
Day 10 BEPPU – OITA AIRPORT (DEPARTURE)
OITA AIRPORT

Transfer to Oita airport with an English-speaking assistant.

Departure to Osaka or Tokyo airport.

For tour prices and more details, please contact MIKI travel staff.

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in hotels of category 3*with breakfast included.
  • 9 breakfast at the hotel, 1 lunch at local restaurant and 1 dinner at the hotel or local restaurant (drinks not included)
  • Private/public transportation mentioned on the itinerary included
  • Locations highlighted in red indicate entrance fee are included
  • Experienced guide speaking requested language as scheduled

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare and any air related cost
  • Domestic flight from Beppu (Oita) is not included
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry and tips
  • Drinks at meals
  • Extras and anything not specifically mentioned in “service includes”
new

Spirit of the West (10 DAYS)

CBJ1458

  • Amazing Japan Sea coastline – the Sand Dunes, Motonosumi Shrine, Tsunoshima
  • Japanese spiritual spots – Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Takachiho
  • Volcanic area in Kyushu – Unzen, Aso, Beppu

 
 

Day 1 OSAKA (ARRIVAL) – KOBE
KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
KOBE

After landing in Osaka you will meet our English-speaking assistant and transfer to your hotel by private coach.

Rest of the day at leisure. Hotel in Kobe.

Stay at CANDEO HOTELS KOBE TORROAD 3* or similar
Day 2 KOBE – HIMEJI – CHIZU – TOTTORI
TOTTORI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

You will visit the beautiful UNESCO world heritage Himeji Castle, acclaimed as Japan’s most beautiful and complete historic citadel, known as the White Egret.

Transfer to Chizu, Tottori prefecture and have lunch at Mitakien. Green mountains, the sound of flowing rivers, earthy smells, the appearance of half-forgotten, old-fashioned Japanese countryside.

Transfer to the Sand Dunes (Tottori Sakyu), the largest sandhills in Japan. Located in the heart of the San’in Kaigan Geopark and stretching 2.4km north to south and 16km east to west, it is one of the finest coastal dunes in the country. Hotel in Tottori.

Stay at TOTTORI WASHINGTON HOTEL PLAZA 3* or similar
Day 3 TOTTORI – KURAYOSHI – MATSUE – IZUMO – YUNOTSU ONSEN
YUNOTSU ONSEN

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel. Transfer to Matsue Castle including a short stop at Kurayoshi, a friendly and historic city. Visit the historic merchant quarters and classic white-walled warehouses and see the former seat of power for the Hoki region.

Transfer to Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, also known by its official name Izumo Oyashiro, in the city of Izumo on the western edge of the Shimane Peninsula. As one of the most famous and most important shrines in the country, Izumo Taisha is visited by many people, both Japanese and international, every year.

Transfer to Yunotsu Onsen, which is known for its therapeutic effects, located in a small town in Oda City, central Shimane Prefecture.

Ryokan in Yunotsu Onsen.

Stay at HOTEL KIUNSO 3* or similar
Day 4 YUNOTSU ONSEN – HAGI
HAGI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel. Depart to Hagi city through the Japan Sea coastline. Shortstop at the Susa Hornfels, rocky cliffs with clear black and light-grey striations.

Transfer to Hagi city and visit Hagi Castle town Area. Some streets in the downtown area are beautifully preserved, lined by white walls from the feudal age, former samurai mansions and merchant quarters. Then visit Shoin Shrine, which enshrines Yoshida Shoin, one of the more brilliant political thinkers that Japanese society has ever produced.

Hotel in Hagi.

Stay at HAGI GRAND HOTEL TENKU 3* or similar
Day 5 HAGI – MOTONOSUMI SHRINE – TSUNOSHIMA – FUKUOKA
FUKUOKA

Visit Motonosumi Shrine, selected by CNN Travel as one of the “31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan”. The shrine’s remarkable location makes for a striking contrast between the red of its gates and the cobalt blue of the waves below. This shrine was built to honour a white fox spirit, to whom visitors prayed for financial success, success in fishing, and safety on the seas. Nowadays, a wide variety of wishes are fielded by the fox god, including good fortune & wealth, childbearing, marriage, traffic safety and success in school.

Then we will visit Tsunoshima, an island in the Sea of Japan connected to the mainland by the 1,780m long Tsunoshima Ohashi, one of Japan’s longest toll-free bridges, making for an enjoyable day trip from central Shimonoseki or Kitakyushu. During the summer months, you can enjoy two beautiful white sand beaches, the Tsunoshima Ohama beach resort and the Cobalt Blue Beach. Rental bicycles are another great way to leisurely enjoy the island’s sights.

Transfer to Fukuoka in Kyushu. Hotel in Fukuoka.

Stay at CANDEO HOTELS FUKUOKA TENJIN 3* or similar
Day 6 FUKUOKA – ARITA – NAGASAKI
NAGASAKI

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Arita and visit Koraku kiln, which was established in 1865 and is almost a hundred and fifty years old. It produces both traditional and contemporary tableware. It is famous for its naturalness, authenticity, and creativity. Transfer to Nagasaki. You will visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Park. Nagasaki city was hit by an Atomic Bomb in 1945 during World War II. The effects can still be seen today, and many people come here and pray here from all over the world.

From then we visit the Glover Gardens, an open-air museum where you can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.

Hotel in Nagasaki.

Stay at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NAGASAKI GLOVERHILL 3* or similar
Day 7 NAGASAKI – UNZEN – SHIMABARA – KUMAMOTO
KUMAMOTO

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Unzen and visit Unzen Jigoku, which is one of the top attractions in the hot spring town of Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture. Wooden walkways snake through areas filled with heated gas, billowing steam, and scalding hot water. Add a strong sulfuric odour to conjure up the image of hell, or jigoku.

Transfer to Kumamoto from Shimabara by Ferry. You will visit Suizenji Jojuen. This photogenic lakeside garden represents the 53 stations of Tokaido. Then you will visit Kumamoto Castle (outside), which was damaged by the earthquake in 2016 , now under repair.

Hotel in Kumamoto.

Stay at KUMAMOTO TOKYU REI HOTEL 3* or similar
Day 8 KUMAMOTO – TAKACHIHO
TAKACHIHO

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Takachiho in Miyazaki. Visit Takachiho Gorge, which is a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River and visit Takachiho shrine and Amano Iwato shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hidden. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually, the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding.

After dinner, a special treat – Yokagura Dance Performance, an outrageously ribald dance that supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world. Hotel in Takachiho.

Stay at SOLEST TAKACHIHO HOTEL 3* or similar
Day 9 TAKACHIHO – ASO – BEPPU
BEPPU

Meet your English-speaking guide at the hotel.

Transfer to Aso and visit Aso Volcano Craters. Continue your journey to Kokonoe and visit Yume Otsurihashi Bridge. You proceed to a bather’s paradise – the celebrated hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu’s most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri. You will visit two of the nine “Jigoku” hot springs (“jigoku” means “hell”). The springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell. These hot springs are ideal for viewing rather than bathing.

Hotel in Beppu.

Stay at RESORPIA BEPPU 3* or similar
Day 10 BEPPU – OITA AIRPORT (DEPARTURE)
OITA AIRPORT

Transfer to Oita airport with an English-speaking assistant.

Departure to Osaka or Tokyo airport.

For tour prices and more details, please contact MIKI travel staff.

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in hotels of category 3*with breakfast included.
  • 9 breakfast at the hotel, 1 lunch at local restaurant and 1 dinner at the hotel or local restaurant (drinks not included)
  • Private/public transportation mentioned on the itinerary included
  • Locations highlighted in red indicate entrance fee are included
  • Experienced guide speaking requested language as scheduled

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare and any air related cost
  • Domestic flight from Beppu (Oita) is not included
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry and tips
  • Drinks at meals
  • Extras and anything not specifically mentioned in “service includes”