Experience a different side to Japan on its southern islands
One of Japan’s greatest attractions is its ability to offer up both the modern and traditional versions of itself. Alongside future-focused cities like Osaka and Nagasaki, there are places that have kept to its traditions for hundreds of years, often to stunning effect. Set off on a journey of discovery into the Japan that lies south west of Osaka, a ‘lost Japan’. Travel also to Takamatsu and Naoshima Islands and be amazed at the contrast between the traditional beauty of the Ritsurin garden and the local avant-garde art exhibits.
Explore the unique island of Naoshima, transformed from a sleepy fisherman’s haunt to a world class art destination, with sleek and stylish museums and artworks that sit in harmony with the landscape
Join the locals in the 1,368 stone steps up to Kompirasan, be awed by the impressive Matsuyama castle or try one of the oldest onsen in Japan, Dogo Onsen
Feel like Indiana Jones as you cross the kazurabashi (vine bridges) of the hidden Iya Valley, a remote retreat of deep gorges and lush mountains on Shikoku island
Uncover the different characters of the cities of Nagasaki and Osaka, from the former’s thought-provoking Peace Park and Museum to the latter’s busy streets where the motto is ‘eat until you drop’
Venture into the thick and mysterious cedar forests on Yakushima, relax at the seaside onsen or see the giant turtle lay eggs in the night in the summer months
This trip uses the country's famous railway system to get around. It's clean, efficient and a 14-day Japan Rail Pass is included in the trip price.
This trip is far from hand holding, with plenty of optional activities to keep you busy and a helpful leader to steer you in the right direction.
Some of the accommodation is in the style of a traditional Japanese Ryokan. Sleep on the floor on a tatami mat, keep warm beside an irori hearth and bath in an onsen.
A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there can be lot of walking involved. Bring comfortable walking shoes.
There is no single supplement option to book on this trip, which means you'll always be sharing a room either with your partner or another traveller of the same gender.
We recommend packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down stairs.
Due to the rapid increase in tourism in Japan and in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it has been necessary to go outside our traditional tour leader sources. As a result our passionate, professional and trained tour leaders may be local Japanese or long term foreign residents in Japan.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Southern Japan Experience trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A 14 day Japan Rail Pass is included in the price of your trip
2. Japan is excellent for exploring on foot, but please be aware of the amount of walking on this trip, sometimes up to 10-15km per day. Pack comfortable walking shoes and ensure your fitness level is such that you’ll be comfortable.
3. Please note, decorative tattoos are uncommon in Japanese culture and therefore you may receive curious and sometimes disapproving looks from locals. Generally, nobody will make a comment about your tattoos but please endeavour to wear modest clothing and be aware that you may not be able to enter public onsens.
4. Due to the rapid increase in tourism in Japan and in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it has been necessary to go outside our traditional tour leader sources. As a result our passionate, professional and trained tour leaders may be local Japanese or long term foreign residents in Japan.
Start and finish time:
Your trip will start at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned on the final day. You can depart at any time of the day.
There's not much time planned in Osaka. We strongly advise you to plan some extra time in Osaka if you wish to see more of the city. Please consult with your booking agent about booking extra nights in Osaka.