Small Group Tour IJT Classic

Hidden Japan

12 Nights: from US$4160 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, with lunch at the Benesse House Museum included.

It is especially in these little-frequented destinations that your full-time tour leader is worth their weight in gold, helping you navigate Koya's immense Okunoin graveyard, 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.

Important Practical Information

Maximum Group Size: 14

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

Transport & Luggage: Please note that most transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location close to the nearest station. The transfer to and from Mt. Koya is however by private minibus. We have included a luggage transfer from Kyoto to Tokushima and from Kotohira to Hiroshima so you will need an overnight bag for your stays in Mt. Koya and Matsuyama. For the other transfers you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators. We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A moderately sized suitcase with wheels is most appropriate for this tour.

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.

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

Please note that the included meet-and-greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available for Osaka Kansai Airport.

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Kyoto hotel are only available from 2pm. (You can, however, securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

What's Included >

What's included

  • Full-time services of your InsideJapan tour leader
  • 12 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast every day, three lunches and four 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 lunch 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

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$4160
  • Single Supplement: US$560

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share pp US$112 Single pp US$176
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share pp US$112 Single pp US$176

2016

  • Tour Price: From US$4160
  • Single Supplement: US$560

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share pp US$112 Single pp US$176
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share pp US$112 Single pp US$176

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 and have lunch at the Benesse House Museum
  • 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

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

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