本州・中国地方 Tokyo to Miyajima via Mt. Fuji and Kyoto
14 Days/13 Nights
Central & Western Honshu Luxury Tour
Tokyo → Hakone → Mt. Fuji → Kyoto → Nara → Osaka → Hyogo → Tottori Prefecture → Shimane Prefecture → Hiroshima Prefecture
Day 1： Arrive in Tokyo
Your luxurious 13 day Central to Western Honshu tour begins in Tokyo. Upon arriving at Narita or Haneda international airports, you will be met by one of our friendly and professional personal tour guides, then expediently escorted to an awaiting private car.
From here, you will be driven about 85 minutes (about 45 minutes if you are coming from Haneda) before arriving at your five-star hotel in the heart of Tokyo.
We provision only hotels that are not only superlative in their nature, but which are also conveniently located nearby the Imperial Palace Garden, or in central Tokyo (including the Ginza) areas.
After check-in, allowing for good weather, you are invited to enjoy a peaceful stroll around the Imperial Palace Garden and the nearby, more modern areas of Tokyo and the Ginza at your leisure.
Upon your request, it would be our pleasure to make dinner arrangements at a nearby fine restaurant.
Examples of hotels selections in Tokyo：
The Peninsula, Palace Hotel, Imperial Hotel
Day 2： Modern and Historical parts of Tokyo
Tokyo Day Tour: Your tour guide will be at the ready in your hotel’s lobby at the agreed upon time. Together, you will explore both historical and modern parts of Tokyo by private car, including but not limited to:
A visit to the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market, a stroll about the glitzy Ginza, an historical cultural immersion at Senso-ji temple, a spiritual stroll through the forest of and into Meiji Shrine, a sensory blast in Harajuku – where you can see the latest in youthful fashion – and finally to Omotesando, where the streets are lined with luxury shops.
It’s a lot to see, but rest assured we won’t overload your day!
We’ll make sure you are only as busy as you want to be.
Day 3： Hakone – The legendary and luxurious onsen resort town
This morning, you will rendezvous with your private tour guide in the hotel lobby. From here, we head to the train station and take the “Romance Car” express train to Hakone. Whether it is romantic or not is up to you, but its large glass windows will certainly afford you some nice views on the way! After arriving into Hakone, you transfer on to the Hakone Tozan Railway, Japan’s oldest mountain railway, which is a blast for railway fans and regular folks alike due to its switchback design.
From there, the views and transportation modes just get better and better, as we ride the Hakone Tozan Cable Car to the Hakone Ropeway, where we alight on to Lake Ashi, from where we take a cruise across the lake. It may seems like a lot of transportation hopping, but it is actually quite leisurely.
Tonight you will stay overnight at a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan). Your room will allow for spacious relaxation, and feature a beautiful mountain view and your very own, private onsen (natural hot spring bath).
Suggested Ryokan： GORAKADAN, Taiseikan
Day 4： Explore Mt. Fuji Province
After having a lovely Japanese breakfast and then checking out your ryokan, we will go by private car to Lake Yamanaka-ko, and the eponymous town, which is actually the closest town to four of the five lakes in the area. It is here where you can see Mt. Fuji looming large both above and in the shimmering reflection of the famous lakes.
Upon arriving at Yamanaka-ko, you will head to Fuji-san Fifth Station by private car. As the mountain is divided into 10 stations from base (First Station) to the summit (Tenth Station), you will be approximately half way up the mountain.
Count on scenery all around, and a great sense of history and place as you gaze yonder from Japan’s most famous mountain.
Next you will head to the very appropriately named “Wind Cave,” which runs horizontally for 201 meters, and then the “Ice Cave,” which is vertically concentric and 153 meters long. Even during the middle of summer you can see real ice!
The next stop on our discovery tour is Oshinohakkai. Oshinohakkai is known as the Mysterious Spring, and is a World Cultural Heritage spot owing to it famous clear water and Fuji-san 100 views. You will stay overnight on the shores of Yamanaka-ko (lake).
Day 5： Kyoto – World Heritage Sites
After meeting your personal tour guide, you will head to Mishima Station (travel time: 1 hour) before continuing on to Kyoto by Shinkansen, or “bullet train” (travel time: 2 hours).
Kyoto is well known to be one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, boasting 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines.
You will get your first taste of the city by means of an afternoon tour with a local Kyoto Guide. You will visit the ancient temple Kiyomizu-dera, Sanjusangen-do, Kyoto’s famed Golden Pavilion Kinkaku-ji, Fushimi-Inari-taisha, with its picturesque, 4 km hill-climbing pathway lined with thousands of red torii, and Saiho-ji with its garden renown for lush, rolling mossy landscapes.
Examples of ryokan selections in Kyoto： Yoshikawa Ryokan, Tawaraya Ryokan, Hiragiya Ryokans, Yoshinoya Ryokan, Sumiya Ryokan, Kikusui, Ioshinoya
Examples of hotels selections in Kyoto： The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Chorakukan
Day 6： Kyoto attractions
One day tour around Kyoto: On your second day in Kyoto, you will explore the Arashiyama and Sagano districts. You will head to Arashiyama first and experience “Hozu-gawa-Kudari” (Hozu-gawa river rafting through Hozu-kyo Gorge).
Here, regardless of the time of year you visit, you are always surrounded by gorgeous scenery. For over one thousand years, the Hozu-gawa River has been home to a bustling and thriving water transport culture. This boat trip not only paints you a picture of that culture, but also invites you in to an awe-inspiring and healing world, a place of tranquility.
Next, you will visit Tenryu-ji temple, where the main attraction is their 14th century Zen garden. Just outside the north gate of the temple, you will step into a different world as you are enveloped and then entranced by a large thicket of bamboo that rolls out into the distance. This is the famed Arashiyama bamboo grove.
Your next stop will bring you to Okochi-sanso. This villa was the home of Okochi Denjiro, an actor in samurai films. Okochi-sanso is now open to the public, allowing us all to enjoy the garden and the views over Kyoto.
Day 7： Nara – First permanent capital of Japan
One day tour around Nara: Nara is the first permanent capital of Japan, and a great asset amongst Japan’s cultural legacies.
The center piece, of course, is the DAIBUTSU, or “Great Buddha,” which is said by many to be Japan’s single most impressive sight, and is housed here in Todai-ji temple.
You’ll then visit Nara Koen, a splendid park, home to about 1200 deer which, in pre-Buddhist times, were considered messengers of the gods and today enjoy the status of National Treasures. You can feed the deer “shika sembei” (deer biscuits) that are available for purchase from vendors in the park.
After getting your fill of Nara’s bounty, we will return to your ryokan in Kyoto.
Day 8： Osaka – Bustling city
You will visit Osaka as a day trip from Kyoto, as the cities are not very far apart in distance – though they are worlds apart in culture! First, we’ll visit Osaka Castle, which was built as a display of power by Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi after he achieved his goal of unifying Japan in 1583.
No visit to Osaka would be complete without also visiting Dotombori Arcade in Osaka Minami (south), the city’s liveliest spot. With a Japanese guide by your side, plan on culturally enriching chats as we explore this part of what Japan is today. Just south of Dotombori Arcade is Hozenji, a tiny temple hidden down a narrow street, built around a moss-covered Fudo-myo statue.
Running parallel to this alley is atmospheric Hozen-ji Yokocho, dotted with traditional restaurants and bars. After this, you’ll return to your hotel/ryokan in Kyoto.
Day 9： Himeji Castle, Shoshazan Engyo-ji Temple & Kinosaki-onsen
After checking out of your ryokan in Kyoto, we’ll head off to Hyogo prefecture, the home of Himeji-jo (castle), by bullet train. Today’s highlights will be the newly restored Himeji-jo, the finest castle in all Japan, followed by a visit to Shoshazan Engyo-ji, which is often used for location shooting for films and televisions programs such as “The Last Samurai.”
You will stay overnight in Kinosaki Onsen town, where the star attractions are the seven hot spring facilities that are scattered about this small town. Guests staying in town – as you will – usually take place in the traditional stroll along the canal from bath to bath, all the while wearing a yukata (light cotton kimono) and geta (wooden sandals).
Examples of ryokan selections in Kinosaki Onsen：: Tajimaya
Day 10： Uradome & Sanin Coasts National Park in Tottori Prefecture
You will be met by your private tour guide at your ryokan, then together head to Tottori prefecture. We’ll stop along the way and visit Sanin Kaigan, which is a National Park along the Sea of Japan coast. Sanin Kaigan National Park is well known and for good reason – its numerous inlets, rock formations, islands, and caves make for a splendid landscape.
You will explore the Uradome Coast by boat or by a clear bottomed sea kayak (Jun.-Oct), which allows for views of the marine flora and fauna thriving in this part of the ocean. A local guide will be with you, providing meaningful and experience-enriching explanations along the way.
You’ll stay overnight at Misasa Onsen, which contains one of the highest levels of radium (it’s a good thing!) in the world. Radon is a weak radioactive gas produced by the decay of radium. When absorbed into the body, radon elevates your metabolism and boosts our natural immunity healing power.
Misasa Onsen is famous for its fantastic illuminations of their Japanese-style lodgings, and also of course the radon rich baths.
Suggested ryokan: Mansuirou in Misasa Onsen
Day 11： Adachi museum & Iwami-ginzan in Shimane Prefecture
Departing Tottori prefecture, we head for Shimane prefecture, a journey which takes about 2.5 hours by car along the Sea of Japan side of Honshu.
Another exciting day is in store as we visit the Adachi Museum of Art, chosen as the best Japanese garden by the U.S. magazine Sukiya Living. In addition, the Museum has also been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide.
Next destination is Iwami-ginzan, an historic silver mine in the mountains. It was discovered in the early 16th century and mined for nearly 400 years. The area was listed as World Heritage Site in 2007. You will visit the Silver Mine area and nearby Omori Town, where you’ll go back in time as you tour historical residences, shrines, and temples.
This evening, you’ll stay in an old-fashioned Onsen town called Yunotsu, which is a part of the Iwami-ginzan World Heritage Site.
Suggested ryokan: Kiunso in Yunotsu Onsen
Day 12： Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum & Miyajima
It’s time to say goodbye to the Sanin coast and Shimane as we head back over the mountains towards Hiroshima. Upon arriving in Hiroshima, we’ll make haste and immediately head to a local restaurant for a lunch of Hiroshima’s specialty food, Hiroshima-yaki (Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki).
Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, you are sure to gain a new perspective on the atomic bomb disaster. It’s a solemn, but well executed memorial.
Later, we’ll visit one of Japan’s most visited tourist locales, Itsukushima-jinja (Shrine) in Miyajima. Itsukushima-jinja seems to float on the waves during high tide.
Sadly, this is our last destination on your journey. Your overnight stay at a luxury ryokan in Miyajima is sure to put a nice cap on your adventure across Honshu.
Suggested ryokan: Iwaso, Teien no Yado Sekitei
Day 13： Departure
On your last day in Hroshima, we will do whatever your heart desires until it is time for you to depart. We say “sayonara” at the international airport, or head to the next destination should you have another tour planned for after this.
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The total tour cost will be based on the hotel room you have selected, and include transfers, a private vehicle with driver, English-speaking private tour escort, specialized field guides, travel insurance, activities and entrance fees, as well as breakfast at the hotel and lunches while touring. (Room prices at ryokans typically include breakfast and dinner to be savored in the room, or in some case in the hotel’s dining room.) Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Some personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, and spa treatments will need to be directly paid at the time of consumption. Prices may vary depending on season and chosen level of accommodation.
The average price of this tour for one: USD 1,790 a day.
Travel with Kids：
We offer fun tours that can be enjoyed along with your children. We can also arrange for child care, and a doctor or nurse should the unfortunate need arise.
Your first, no obligation step starts here.