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 to Mount Koya you will have the oportunity to 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. 

Then with a ferry ride across the Seto Inland Sea to Shikoku, you will explore Tokushima, with its beautiful views from Mount Bizan and participate in the engery of one of the biggest dance fesitvals in Japan.

In Takamatsu catch a traditional Bunraku puppet show, and loose yourself in the bueaty of Ritsurin Gardens. A ferry ride away from Takamatsu, is Naoshima Island housing world class art, which you will exlpore with an expert local guide. 

Discover the island's most famous shrine, Konpira-san and stay in a wonderful ryokan inn in Kotohira. Then explore the fertile Iya Valley and cross the heart-stopping vine bridges. 

Visit Matsuyama, home to the oldest bathhouse in Japan and a magnificent original samurai castle. 

Finally, take a ferry back to the mainland for a visit to the haunting Peace Park in Hiroshima and the "floating" torii gate on Miyajima Island. Then on your way back to Kyoto stop at the historic rural town Joge, for a peak in to another way of life. 

It is especially in these less-frequented destinations that your full-time tour leader is worth their weight in gold, helping you navigate your way, walk you through the history and local customs of 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!

Important Tour 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.

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). 

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.

Transport: We will be using several modes of transport on this tour including a private mini-bus taking us to and from Mount 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: Culturally, communal bathing is common practice in Japan. Please note that in some traditional accommodations fully private en suite facilities may not be available. We will do our best to secure rooms on tour with private toilet and sink however some accommodations are not able to offer private bathing facilities. Shared facilities (when included) will always be separated by gender. In Mount Koya we are staying at a temple lodging. 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 arrival and departures at Osaka Kansai or Itami airports.

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 local transport unless covered by the included transport passes
  • Any entrance fees (including temples, shrines and museums) unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified - you will be expected to carry your own luggage

View full price information >

Tour Price Information

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

Extra Nights

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


  • Tour Price: From US$5390
  • Single Supplement: From US$553

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share From US$210 pp Single From US$294 pp
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share From US$210 pp Single From US$294 pp
Disclaimer Message: Please note: Prices displayed above are all "From" prices as individual prices vary depending on time of year travelling. For full pricing information on specific departures please speak to your Travel Consultant.

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
  • Visit Joge, a small rural town for a real peek into Japanese way of life
  • 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
  • If all this sounds great and makes you want to see even more, why not extend your stay in Japan!

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 US$553

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 21 reviews)

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 21 reviews)

4.9 out of 5 from 21 reviews Show all Hidden Japan Reviews

Other IJT Classic Tours you may like...