Japan and the Scenic South
|Resort:||Japan and the Scenic South|
|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
Uncover the beauty of the lesser-known island of Kyushu, renowned for its active volcanoes, hot springs and stunning beaches, before exploring the must-see sights of Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo on Japan’s largest island – Honshu.
Day 1-2: Fly overnight to Fukuoka
Fly overnight to the charming city of Fukuoka. On arrival you will be met by an English-speaking representative and transfer to your hotel.
Please note: Early check in is not included. If your flight arrives in the morning and you wish to arrange this, please speak to your reservations consultant. You will be transferred by
Day 3: Fukuoka
The lovely Fukuoka is at the heart of an area considered a cradle of culture the citys position facing Korea and China across the sea means its long been a channel of outside influence. This morning, take a stroll in the traditional Rakusuien Garden and visit Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, dedicated to the god of academic achievement. In the afternoon, take a relaxed cruise on the Yanagawa River, passing through a National Site of Scenic Beauty on a small donkobune.
Day 4: Fukuoka – Kumamato
Transfer around 2 hours to Kumamoto and see the famous Kumamoto Castle and Suizenji Garden. Check in to your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure before dinner this evening.
Day 5: Kumamoto – Mount Aso – Beppu
Travel by coach from Kumamoto to Mount Aso, a journey of approximately 2 hours. Aso is an active volcano at the centre of Kyushu island. Asos crater has a circumference of over 100km and encompasses a number of other active peaks, which youll be able to see (weather dependent). Make a photo stop at the Kusasenri Plateau and continue around 2 and a half hours to Beppu, one of Japans most famous hot spring resorts. Your hotel for the night has onsen facilities for you to make the most of the steamy waters.
Day 6: Beppu Yufuin – Fukuoka
Start the day by taking a tour of Beppus Jigoku Meguri a hell tour. You will find different volcanic features, including thermal mud and hot springs that have bubbled from the ground here for a millennium. Head over to Yufuin, another hot spring resort that is home to a wealth of art museums, cafes and boutiques, and stroll down its streets. After lunch, transfer around 2 hours back to Fukuoka for an overnight stay
Day 7: Fukuoka Yamaguchi – Hiroshima
This morning, transfer around 2 and a half hours to Yamaguchi and visit Rurikoji Temple, known for its five-storied pagoda. Continue around 1 and a half hours to the Iwakuni area to see Kintaikyo Bridge before transferring another hour to Hiroshima. Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant
Day 8: Hiroshima & Miyajima
Take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island, where sightseeing will be at a leisurely pace on foot. Visit Itsukushima Shrine and explore the traditional market town at leisure. Return by ferry and coach to Hiroshima for lunch and then visit the famous Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Please be aware that the museum may be confronting and upsetting for some group members and it is at your discretion if you wish to visit or enjoy time at leisure exploring the Peace Memorial Park.
Day 9: Hiroshima – Himeji – Kyoto
Journey around 3 and a half hours by coach to Himeji and explore the magnificent 17th Century Himeji Castle and the neighbouring Koko-en, a traditional-style garden. The castle is largely in its original condition, so please use common sense and be mindful of your step when strolling around. You will have to remove your shoes before walking along some of the wooden floors and there are some steep wooden steps to reach certain areas. After the reopening in March 2015, Himeji Castle has welcomed many visitors. As such, they now issue numbered tickets to visitors in order to limit the number of people who can enter the Main Keep, reducing congestion, waiting time, and to protect the cultural properties. Please note that this means that there may be cases where some visitors are not allowed to enter the Main Keep. Visit Nadagiku Sake Brewery to learn about the process of this traditional Japanese spirit and enjoy some tasters before continuing around 2 hours to Kyoto. Capital for a thousand years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan.
Day 10: Kyoto
Start the day by visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine with its thousands of vermillion torii gates. The Shrine stretches up Mount Inari (233m high). You will walk up part of the mountain and the incline allows a steady-paced walk. Later, visit Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion due to its golden exterior and take a stroll in the Gion area, Kyotos geisha district.
Day 11: Kyoto – Hakone – Tokyo
Depart Kyoto and transfer to the train station for a 3-hour bullet train journey to Atami Station. Continue by coach to the Hakone area and enjoy a boat cruise on the peaceful waters of Lake Ashi before boarding the Hakone ropeway to soar over the hilltops to the volcanic Owakudani Valley. Travel around 2 hours to Japans vibrant capital city, Tokyo.
Day 12: Tokyo
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its busy, high-tech faade and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. This morning, head to the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambiance of Senso-ji, Tokyos oldest Buddhist temple. Continue to the 634-metre Tokyo Skytree and ascend to the observation deck for magnificent views. After lunch, drive by the Imperial Palace Plaza, visit Meiji Jingu Shrine and see the famous Shibuya Crossing
Day 13: Depart Tokyo
This morning is free at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home