Small Group Tour IJT Classic

Hidden Japan

12 Nights: from US$5145 Trip Code: HJ

Are you looking for more depth of cultural insight, with experiences that take you away from the tourist trail? This tour gives you both, liberating you from the pressure of ticking off destinations or visiting “must-see” locations and steering you instead towards the road less travelled. Read more >

Skipping Tokyo allows you more time to discover Japan's intriguing south-central regions, which is why this tour begins and ends in Kyoto: Japan's alternative capital. Here you'll get to know your group and meet a trainee geisha before exploring the temples and gardens that lurk behind every sliding screen and around every corner in this incredible city.

Venturing across the Inland Sea to Shikoku, you'll visit the island's most famous shrine, Konpira-san, located at the top of 1,368 steps, and stay in a wonderful ryokan inn in Kotohira.

Back on the mainland Mount Koya offers a stay overnight in a shukubo temple lodging, with a meal of vegetarian Buddhist cuisine and the chance to join the monks at their morning prayers. In Tokushima, meanwhile, you'll ride the ropeway to the top of Mount Bizan and see a traditional Bunraku puppet show.

What's more, you'll also visit Matsuyama, home to the oldest bathhouse in Japan and a magnificent original samurai castle; take a ferry to Hiroshima for a visit to the haunting Peace Park and the "floating" torii gate on Miyajima Island; and walk across heart-stopping vine bridges in the fertile Iya Valley. Finally, you'll explore Naoshima Island's Art House Projects with an expert local guide.

It is especially in these little-frequented destinations that your full-time tour leader is worth their weight in gold, helping you navigate your way around, walking you through the history of the biggest dance festival in Japan in Tokushima, and generally explaining the finer points of local custom in these fascinating and thoroughly worthwhile locations.

If this sounds good and makes you want to see even more, why not extend your tour in Japan!

The tour leader will be staying at the first hotel for two nights before the tour starts so they will be available for advice if you choose to book pre tour nights. We recommend booking at least one extra night to check in and relax before the tour begins. 

Important Practical Information

Group Size: 4 - 14

Single Supplement: This tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour.

Fitness: Even when not using public transport, sightseeing in Japan often involves walking between sights, climbing up steps in temples and being 'on the go' for much of the day. To enjoy any of our Small Group Tours you should be of moderate fitness, able to walk and climb stairs without difficulty and able to maintain a pace that is comfortable for the majority of the group. Please bring sturdy shoes for walking on this tour.

Transport: We will be using several modes of transport on this tour including a private mini-bus taking us to and from Mt Koya, several ferry rides as well as making use of Japan's first-rate train network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location close to the nearest station. However, you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators.

Luggage: We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A small case or bag with wheels or a rucksack are most appropriate for this tour as you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators or elevators/lifts. You will also need a small overnight back-pack (for up to two nights) for use when we forward our main bags to the next location.

Accommodation: All of the accommodation except for the stay in Mt. Koya has full en-suite facilities. In Mt. Koya we are staying at a temple lodging and the facilities are a little more basic although still very clean and comfortable. Baths are shared (single sex) and toilets are not attached to the rooms.

Please note that in Japan, Twin rooms are very much the norm, and there are far fewer Double rooms available. Please understand that even if you are being booked in a Double, this will only be in the hotels where there is availability.

International Flights: The tour starts and finishes in Kyoto for Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Osaka International Airport (ITM).

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Kyoto hotel are only available from 3pm. (You can, however, securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

At a glance

What's Included >

What's included

  • Full-time services of your InsideJapan tour leader
  • 12 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast every day, three lunches and five evening meals
  • Your InsideJapan Info-Pack
  • Full-day private guide in Mount Koya including lunch & entrance fees
  • Selected entrance fees & local transport in Kyoto
  • Afternoon tea with a maiko in Kyoto
  • All transport between destinations
  • Airport transfers by shared taxi
  • Tickets to Awa Odori Kaikan Museum, Mount Bizan Ropeway, Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theatre & Ritsurin Gardens in Takamatsu
  • Full-day private guide service in Naoshima including lunch at the Benesse House Museum
  • Iya Valley sightseeing including entrance fees & lunch
  • Hiroshima Peace Museum & Park
  • Okonomiyaki dinner in Hiroshima
  • Visit to Itsukushima Shrine & Mount Misen on Miyajima Island including entrance fees & cable car
  • Luggage forwarding from Kyoto to Tokushima and from Kotohira to Hiroshima
  • Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Any extra local transport (taxis, buses, subway etc)
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified
  • Any entrances fees (including those for museums, temples & shrines) unless otherwise specified

View full price information >

Tour Price Information

  • Tour Price: From US$5145
  • Single Supplement: US$553

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share pp US$217 Single pp US$296
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share pp US$217 Single pp US$296

Tour Highlights

  • Spend the night in a traditional Buddhist temple lodging on Mount Koya
  • Explore the verdant Iya Valley, with its rugged gorges and rivers straddled by vine bridges
  • Explore Naoshima “Art Island” with an expert local guide
  • If all this sounds great and makes you want to see even more, why not extend your stay in Japan!
  • Hidden Japan won the Special Jury Award at the Tour Grand Prix 2017
  • Glide to the top of Mount Bizan by cable car for spectacular views over Tokushima City
  • Visit Kyoto's famous temples and Hiroshima's peace museum
  • Watch and participate in a traditional festival dance performance in Tokushima
  • Visit Joge, a small rural town for a real peek into Japanese way of life

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Hidden Japan - 13 Days - Accommodation

Hidden Japan - 13 Days - Booking

Single supplement from £330

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 29 reviews)

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 29 reviews)

5.0 out of 5 from 29 reviews Show all Hidden Japan Reviews

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