Explore Japan on foot
Discover the rich culture of Japan
|Open - Independent Tour|
|12 nights, 13 days|
|Minimum of 2 guests|
|Breakfasts: 12 Lunches: 1 Dinner: 6|
|Airport pick-up and Orientation in Fukuoka on Day 1 Private Local Guide in Yakushima on Day 9 Private Local Guide in Amami Oshima on Day 12 For other days you will have detailed materials as well as support from our experts in Japan will be available for this independent tour. No tour leader is supplied.|
-Mount Aso Crater
-Yakushima: 7,000 years old tree
-Amami Oshima: Hidden Treasure
|Age restrictions: Everyone younger than 20 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.|
your airport pick up will meet you at Fukuoka International Airport (assuming your flight arrives after 8:00am and before 21:30) and will take to your hotel by public transportation. They will answer any of your questions and hand you your pocket internet device to use during your trip. They will also hand you a rechargeable transportation card to use on non-JR trains with 2,000 yen initial credit for each traveler. Details directions will be included in your tour organizer send to you about 2 weeks before you depart for Japan.
Once you are checked in and had time to rest, you will be free to enjoy dinner anywhere you'd like. Make sure to ask your airport pick-up to provide a few recommendations before parting ways. One idea would be to stay local and enjoy 'yatai' or street food in and around Canal City in Hakata.
Today you will pick up your rental car and drive to Kurokawa Onsen (hot spring) where you will spend the night. During your drive you will be able to stop at a number of interesting locations. One of the best is Hita where you will be able to see its traditional shopping street, the Kuncho Sake Brewery Museum, and other sights. Make sure to arrive at your hot spring ryokan by 17:30 to check in and have one of the best meals you will have in Japan. After dinner and a soak in a hot spring, you can head out for an evening stroll of this amazingly quaint town.
Today you will have a full day to explore this area of Japan. We recommend visiting Mt Aso which is an active volcano. You may also enjoy some fruit picking, horseback riding, visit by Aso Shrine, and other sites. If you have anything specific in mind then ask your Japan travel expert and they will see what can be arranged.
After breakfast you will drive to the Takachiho Gorge where the impressive waterfall contrasts with the basalt organ and in the background dense green foliage. The best way to admire the gorge is by renting a rowing boat and floating through the gorge. Takachiho is also a small town popular for its legends. Amaterasu (the Shinto Sun Goddess) is supposed to have hid herself in a cave because of her brother’s cruel pranks. Since then other gods and goddesses have been trying to lure her out. Another legend is that god Ninigi no Mikoto (grandson of Amaterasu) was sent from heaven to establish the lineage of Japanese emperors landed in Takachiho. Japanese people will often visit its spiritual spots such as Amano Iwato Shrine. Make sure to check-in by 17:30 as dinner is served early at your ryokan.
After breakfast you will drive to Kumamoto where Japan crushed its last great rebellion and where its imposing castle remains the top attraction of the city. Kumamoto Castle is one is one the largest in Japan and one of the most impregnable one, unfortunately it was damaged in the earthquake of April 2016 but it still worth the trip and it gives you a good chance to see how determined Japanese people are.
Suizenji Garden is another beautiful site in Kumamoto. Built by the Hosokawa family during the 17th century this garden reproduces the 53 post stations of the Tokaido road between Edo/Tokyo and Kyoto. Between Takachiho Gorge and Kumamoto don’t miss the Tsujinkyo Bridge. If you like fruits picking, please let us know the area is notorious for strawberry farms. You will drop off your rental car in Kumamoto.
You will head to Kagoshima by Shinkansen Bullet Train. Then you will take a ferry to Sakurajima to admire one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and the symbol of Kagoshima. In addition we recommend you to visit the Senganen Garden, especially for the views it provides of the Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima. While in Kagoshima, don’t forget to taste some sweet potato cakes.
Today after breakfast you will visit Chiran Samurai District. This town preserved houses and gardens that are about 250 years old. You will be pleasantly surprise to see this charming town without telephone poles! It’s so rare in Japan. Later you will head to Ibusuki for a black-sand spa. Of course sand baths are the main attraction in town but there is more to enjoy in Ibusuki such as the Satsuma Denshokan Museum famous for its local ceramics.
You’re going to take on a ferry bound for the subtropical island of Yakushima famous for its wildlife and cedar forests. The oldest trees are said to be over 7000 years old. This particular tree, called Jomonsugi, was discovered only about 70 years ago as the island was not well explored due to its thick vegetation. The Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a lush green forest that inspired the Studio Ghibli for Princess Mononoke. The island receives a lot of rain each year which created such lush environment. The local joke that it rains 32 days a month! The ferry ride from Ibusuki to Yakushima Island takes about 2 hour and 50 minutes.
This morning a local private guide will pick you up at your hotel. Together you will explore the island hiking. There are also other courses available so let us know what interests you.
Today, via Kagoshima you will fly to the island of Amami Oshima. Most people do not take time to explore this island making it one of the most isolated places in Japan. With subtropical climate and a small population this island offers great beaches, mangrove forests, delicious cuisine, museums, and the like. For romantics, you can visit the “Heart Rock of Amami” which is sure to make your relationship much stronger. While staying in Amami we invite you to taste the Keihan (the island’s most popular chicken rice dish). To explore the island we offer you two options: a rental car or guide and car. Speak to your Japan travel expert to arrange your stay in Amami Oshima.
Amami Oshima islands offers a number of different activities including: - Exploring its Mangrove. This can be done with or without guide. Amami Oshima has the second largest mangrove forest in Japan - Oshima Tsumugi silk. Come and learn about Oshima Tsumugi produced from white silk thread. - Tanaka Isson Museum; a Paul Gauguin or Henri Rousseau in Japan. - Beaches for bathing and snorkeling (Tomori Beach, Kurasaki Beach, Sakibaru Beach,…) - Kinsakubaru Primeval Forest
Your private guide will pick you up at your hotel and guide you around. Your guide will not work from a predetermined itinerary and will show you sights that are interesting to you. They are also very flexible and can make on the fly changes to fit your style, mood, weather and crowds.
The final day has come; today you will first head back to Fukuoka and fly home with memories that you will keep for the rest of your life.