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Iya Kazurabashi ( vine bridge), Iya Tokushima
Motonosumi Inari Shrine, Yamaguchi
12days_self_drive_west_japan_3
Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge, Yamaguchi
Senjojiki, Nagato Yamaguchi
Futagoji Temple, Kunisaki Peninsula Oita
Sujiyu Onsen Kiyasuya, Oita
Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Shimane
Adachi Museum, Shimane
Kanmonkyo Bridge
Iya Kazurabashi ( vine bridge), Iya Tokushima Motonosumi Inari Shrine, Yamaguchi 12days_self_drive_west_japan_3 Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge, Yamaguchi Senjojiki, Nagato Yamaguchi Futagoji Temple, Kunisaki Peninsula Oita Sujiyu Onsen Kiyasuya, Oita Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Shimane Adachi Museum, Shimane Kanmonkyo Bridge

Discover a hidden gem of Japan

Secrets of Japan: Kyushu and Shikoku

Price per person based on twin share
minimum participant : 1 persons
Days: 12
from £1685

Price Includes:

* 9 day rent a car (SS class, Hakata 9am – Takamatsu 15pm)
* Single ticket from Takamatsu to Shin-Osaka
* Accommodation specified in the itinerary or similar standard class hotels
* Meals specified in the itinerary

Tour Detail

Fukuoka, Suijiyu Onsen, Kunisaki, Shimonoseki, Hagi, Tamatsukuri Onsen, Takamatsu, Iya Valley and Osaka.

This is a 12 day driving holiday giving you the chance to explore some of the most remote parts of Japan in a rental car.
Your adventure starts in one of the best gourmet cities in Japan, Fukuoka, before moving on to visit Kokonoe where you can relax in onsen or 'hot springs'. In Kunisaki peninsula you'll be able to experience a taste of the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk. Other highlights of the tour include visits to some unique shrines in Yamaguchi and Shimane, including the famous Izumo Taisha, one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. Further, this holiday touches on the unforgettable Iya Valley, renowned for its vine bridges and phenomenal mountain setting. Japan's public transport system may be fantastic, but by car you are sure to reach some of Japan's real hidden wonders.

Itinerary - 12 Days

  1. Day 1

    Location
    Fukuoka
    Hotel
    JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Hakata Chuo
    Touchdown in Fukuoka International Airport!

    One of Japan's up and coming cities, Fukuoka is known for its nightlife and local cuisine, including the numerous food stalls or 'Yatai' set along the river. Particularly famous in Fukuoka is Hakata ramen, a style of ramen noodles that have produced restaurants the world over, but nothing quite compares to the authenticity you'll find in Fukuoka.

    Please make your own way to the hotel in Hakata area.
  2. Day 2

    Location
    Sujiyu onsen
    Hotel
    Kiyasuya
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    After hotel check out, pick up your car from Nippon rent a car office near Hakata station and get ready to start your self-drive tour!

    First, you are heading to Kokonoe, Oita a town sitting in the middle of explore unspoiled nature and home to numerous onsen which we encourage you to try out and relax in. What better way to recover from your jet lag than to go for a soak in a beautiful natural hot spring?
  3. Day 3

    Location
    Kunisaki
    Hotel
    Monjusenji
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    Depart ryokan around 9:30 to visit Kunisaki peninsula.
    Today, you will be staying in a Shukubo or 'temple lodging' to experience a taste of the simple, traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks. Buddhism has been a part of Japanese culture since the 6th century, and Monjusenji was believed to have been founded a century later.

    Join in a 'Zen experience' starting at 3PM.
  4. Day 4

    Location
    Kunisaki
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    Morning program starts at 5:30AM
    Breakfast will be served at 7:30AM

    Something of an early start, but hopefully all the zen will have left you feeling refreshed and clear headed!

    Leave your Shukubo lodging around 9am then visit Futago-ji, a 1300 year old temple in the heart of the Kunisaki peninsula the grounds of which extend around the surrounding mountain and forest areas. This area is known for preserving a unique Buddhist culture that contains elements of Shinto, Buddhism and mountain worship. As to be expected, this area has fantastic hiking.

    (Accommodation: Villa Kunisaki or similar standard class hotel)
  5. Day 5

    Location
    Shimonoseki
    Hotel
    Dormy inn Premium Shimonoseki
    Meal
    Breakfast
    Leave your hotel around 10AM, and make your way to Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.

    Along the way you will be stopping off at the prestigious Usa Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war and archery. It long enjoyed visits from the imperial family.
  6. Day 6

    Location
    Hagi
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    Leave your hotel around 9AM and visit Tsunoshima via the Tsunoshima bridge. Follow this up by exploring the Nagato area in Yamaguchi.

    Tsunoshima Bridge is a colossal 1,780m bridge which has panoramic views and makes for amazing photo spots, as well as being a lovely coastal drive.

    Another popular spot is the Motonosumi Inari Shrine which is famous for its seaside shrine with a tunnel of 123 'torii' gates, these bright red gates are an iconic feature of Japan, however few are in a location where they can be witnessed alongside the beautiful contrasting colours of the clear blue ocean.
    For even more fantastic views, check out Senjojiki: a grassy plain high above sea level that overlooks the Sea of Japan.

    (Accommodation: Hagi Ichirin or similar standard class ryokan)
  7. Day 7

    Location
    Tamatsukuri Onsen
    Hotel
    Kasuien Minami
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    Leave your hotel around 9AM.

    The first stop today is Hagi, an old castle town in Yamaguchi, once the capital of the Mori Clan, a powerful samurai clan in the feudal period. These days it is a very well preserved castle town with numerous residences that can be visited still intact. It is also famous these days for its local pottery.

    Next, a trip to one of the most important shrines in Japan, the truly astounding (and huge!) Izumo Taisha shrine in Shimane, which is said to be the oldest shrine in Japan, and arguably its most important.

    Stay overnight in Tamatsukuri onsen, a charming riverside hot spring town in Matsue, the streets of which are lined with interesting statues from Japanese mythology.
  8. Day 8

    Location
    Takamatsu
    Meal
    Breakfast
    Leave your ryokan around 10AM then visit the Adachi museum a museum with many works of art but that is best known for the truly incredible garden, named the best in Japan frequently. Naturally, this is a fantastic place to try and get the perfect photo for your trip!

    Earlier you tried out the second longest bridge in Japan, why not try out the longest? It's time to head across the Seto-Ohashi Bridge, where you will be met with stunning views of the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. When you come out the other side, you will certainly be on a road less travelled, on the smallest of the main islands of Japan, Shikoku. In Kagawa, you will have the chance to visit another of Japan's most stunning gardens, the Ritsurin Koen.

    (Accommodation: Takamatsu Tokyu Rei Hotel or similar standard class hotel)
  9. Day 9

    Location
    Iya Onsen
    Hotel
    Nano Yado Hotel Iya Onsen
    Meal
    Breakfast & Dinner
    Leave your hotel around 10AM.

    The first stop of the day is Konpirasan shrine, a common stop for pilgrims to the island and known for its balance of Buddhist and Shinto architecture. If you need to stretch your legs, I'm sure the 1,368 steps to the top can do that for you! (A bus is available to take you haflway up, to the main gate, but this must be booked in advance).

    From here, head South-West to one of Japan's best kept secrets to the enchanting Iya Valley, known for its magnificent vine bridges and picturesque mountain scenery. From nearby you can also witness one of Japan's more uniquely structured villages in Ochiai which exists on the side of a mountain, hidden from its enemies.
  10. Day 10

    Location
    Osaka
    Hotel
    Dormy inn Premium Namba
    Meal
    Breakfast
    It's time to trade in your wheels for a much faster mode of transport! The bullet train awaits!

    Leave your ryokan around 10am and finish exploring the area at your own pace. Head back to Takamatsu and please return your car before 3PM. Next, it's off to Osaka. I hope it's not too much of a culture shock, but it's time to join in with the hustle and bustle of modern day Japan!

    Take a JR train to Osaka.
    e.g. Takamatsu 15:40 > Shin Osaka 17:42 via Okayama
  11. Day 11

    Location
    Osaka
    Hotel
    Dormy inn Premium Namba
    Meal
    Breakfast
    Osaka is the main city in a region called Kansai, known in Japan as being a little less uptight and a little more wild than their Tokyo counterparts. Fantastic food, shopping, nightlife and the people are the real highlights of Osaka. After all that nature a little retail therapy and the city lights might be just what the doctor ordered.

    Don't worry though, if you're still hankering for tradition, you're only a short train ride away from Kyoto or Nara!
  12. Day 12

    Meal
    Breakfast
    We hope by this stage that you have enjoyed your voyage into the more spiritual and hidden world of Japan, a part that many do not get to see on a trip simply to Tokyo and Kyoto. In Japan though, there's always more to see next time!

    After you check out from your hotel, please make your own way to the airport and return home. Sayonara!
Answers Staff

Enquiry & Answers

Find your perfect Japan Holidays by calling or send us an online enquiry. Please call us: +44 20 7611 0150 or make an enquiry. We will get back to you soon!

Price includes

* 9 day rent a car (SS class, Hakata 9am – Takamatsu 15pm)
* Single ticket from Takamatsu to Shin-Osaka
* Accommodation specified in the itinerary or similar standard class hotels
* Meals specified in the itinerary

NOT included

* Travel Insurance
* Travel guide and assistant
* Any meals and drinks not shown in the above itinerary
* Laundry, telephone, additional meals and drinks, and any other expenses of personal nature
* Baggage Transfer
* Flights
* Tolls
* Petrol

Conditions

* The price is per person based on twin share
* The prices are subject to availability
* Non Changeable and Non Refundable once confirmed
* Extension available

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  • Secrets of Japan: Shikoku Adventure

    Secrets of Japan: Shikoku Adventure

  • Secrets of Japan: Kyushu Adventure

    Secrets of Japan: Kyushu Adventure

Contact Information

Call Us: 020 7611 0150

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6 Southampton Pl, London WC1A 2DB

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