15 Days Japan Tour: Wellness Oases & Culinary Delights

Embark on a 15 day Japan tour and veer away from the Golden Route. Discover Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and their must-sees. Move on to Kyushu and explore Beppu with its steaming hot springs, Yamagawa on a river cruise and Nagasaki, a vibrant port city that blends past and present so well. During your extensive traveling maximize the use of your JR Pass.

15 days
Nagasaki, Hyogo, Oita, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto

Highlights

  • Travel across western Japan and visit top destinations such as Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara
  • Discover some of the highlights of Kyushu - Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Beppu
  • Conveniently use your JR Pass and transfer hassle free

Description

Japan has an impressive culinary diversity. Every region as well as individual cities have their own specialties. On this 15 days Japan tour, immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Japanese cuisine.  At the same time experience the country's centuries-old wellness culture up close. Pleasure and relaxation for body and mind come first here. Start your journey in Osaka, the gourmet capital of Japan and explore its wonderful flavors. Move on to Japan's former ancient capital of Kyoto and discover this charming city filled with tradition and culture. You will be also spending a day in Uji, a picturesque town not far from Kyoto. Uji is widely famous for its excellent quality green tea and Byodoin Temple, initially built in year 998. Your journey will further take you to Kobe, well known for its high quality Kobe beef, and then Himeji, whose elegant white castle is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. You will tour Hiroshima and Miyajima as well, both filled with history and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Afterwards, your trip takes you to the island of Kyushu. Explore Fukuoka and scenic Yamagawa, Beppu and its numerous hot springs. Finish your journey in Nagasaki, a cosmopolitan harbor city with vibrant past and colorful present. 

Details

Itinerary

Day 1: Osaka
After landing at Osaka International Airport, you can conveniently pick up your Japan Railway Pass, which serves as a ticket for the majority of public transport. The rest of the day is at your free disposal, use it for a relaxed arrival or go on a first exploration tour.
Accommodation: Hotel New Otani or similar class

Day 2: Osaka
A first touch with the history of Japan is the Osaka Castle, which takes you on a boat trip through the inner moat on a journey into the past. A short detour follows to the nearby town of Yamazaki. You visit the distillery of the famous whiskey and can get a picture of their quality with a final tasting of exclusive whiskeys. When you return to Osaka, the Sky Building Umeda offers a spectacular all-round view of the city with its observation deck. Afterwards you can enjoy local specialties in the famous Dotonbori area.
Accommodation: Hotel New Otani or similar class

Day 3: Kyoto
Start your journey to the old imperial city of Kyoto today. Start at the beautiful Fushimi Inari Shrine, from which over 10,000 red Japanese Torii line the forest path. This leads from the main shrine up the sacred mountain to countless small shrines and creates a unique atmosphere. Then visit the Kiyomizudera, which is one of the largest and most beautiful temple complexes in the city. In the evening you have the opportunity to experience a unique culinary highlight. Enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine accompanied by a maiko, a geisha in training, who will entertain you with hospitality and traditional dances.
Accommodation: Hotel New Miyako or similar class

Day 4: Kyoto
Discover the area around Arashiyama in western Kyoto, which has been a popular travel destination since the Heian period. Visit the Tenryuji, the main temple in the area, before relaxing in the silence of the famous bamboo forest. A visit to the monkey park, where you can see the animals up close, provides variety. Explore the famous Golden Pavilion or find inner peace at the Ryoanji Temple and the most famous Zen garden in Japan. This is provided with finely fair gravel and apparently randomly scattered stones, which corresponds to the aesthetic concept of the "wabi sabi".
Accommodation: Hotel New Miyako or similar class

Day 5: Uji
Discover the town of Uji, which has been a center for the production of first-class tea since the 12th century. The well-known and sought-after Uji matcha green tea owes its name to it and can be found everywhere. With a guide, you start your tour of the small town, where you first visit Nakanoshima Park, which is located on a sandbar in the river. You will then take part in a Japanese tea ceremony to experience the special taste of Uji green tea. Finally, there is a visit to the 1,000-year-old Byodoin Temple, whose impressive phoenix hall adorns the back of the Japanese 10 yen coin.
Accommodation: Hotel New Miyako or similar class

Day 6: Kobe
Although Kobe is best known for its exquisite beef, the port city has much more to offer. There you will find the longest suspension bridge in the world, which with a length of almost 4 kilometers connects to the island of Awaji and has an impressive observation deck. Relax with a walk through the beautiful Sorakuen Garden before visiting one of the many sake breweries located in the Nada District. Round off the day with a first-class Kobe beef dinner that will delight any gourmet.
Accommodation: Hotel Okura Kobe or similar class

Day 7: Himeji
One of the most famous structures in Japan is Himeji Castle in the city of the same name. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful and famous castles in the country. Visit the impressive castle complex with its white facade and the picturesque garden, which is a popular travel destination especially during the cherry blossom season. A friendship agreement has existed between Himeji and Neuschwanstein Castle since 2015 in order to promote mutual understanding and cultural exchange. After the visit, we continue from Himeji to Hiroshima.
Accommodation: Sheraton Grand Hiroshima or similar class

Day 8: Hiroshima
With the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, the city in southern Japan became a world wide symbol of human suffering. Today, it represents peace, and uniquely combines memory, remembrance and hope. Visit the 12-hectare Peace Park in the city center, which, lined with monuments and memorials, expresses the desire for an end to the wars in the world. The Peace Museum bridges the past and the present and releases you with a deep reverence for life. 
Accommodation: Sheraton Grand Hiroshima or similar class

Day 9: Miyajima
Hardly any postcard motif from Japan is as well known as the shrine of the island of Miyajima standing in the water. While you can walk under the impressive wooden structure at low tide, at high tide it seems that the gate and the entire pillar temple of Itsukushima Shrine are floating on the water. Hiking trails and a cable car lead up to the mountain Misen, where you have an incomparable panoramic view of the island. Miyajima's specialty is freshly grilled oysters, which you can find at small stalls in the streets. In the evening you continue your trip to Fukuoka.
Accommodation: Hotel Okura Fukuoka or similar class

Day 10: Yamagawa, Fukuoka
Fukuoka is perfect for taking a day trip to nature from there. The city of Yanagawa is reminiscent of Venice with its many canals and offers many beautiful photo opportunities on a boat trip. At lunchtime you can enjoy the city's specialty: fresh regional eel. Then the trip goes to a nearby tea farm, where high-quality and well-known tea is grown. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to explore Fukuoka on your own, visit Oohori Park and take a leisurely stroll along its lake, or buy a few souvenirs in Canal City.
Accommodation: Hotel Okura Fukuoka or similar class

Day 11: Beppu
Beppu is best known for its hot springs and wellness culture. Embark on the journey to the "Seven Hells of Beppu", spectacular springs that surface in the city and live up to their name with bright colors and sulfur clouds. The inhabitants have been cooking their dishes in the hot steam of the springs for centuries, making them a specialty of the city today. In the evening you can experience Japanese wellness culture up close with a visit to one of the many onsen baths. Spend the night in a traditional ryokan, where you can end the day in your private onsen.
Accommodation: Hotel Ryokan Sennari or similar class

Day 12: Beppu
Start the day with a famous sand bath on the Beppu coast. Covered by the warm, mineral-rich sand, you can relax your body and mind. Then travel back to Fukuoka. Visit the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, which is located on the peninsula in the bay and is very popular with its many cherry trees. You can explore it on foot or by bike. Explore the area surrounding the Shofukuji Temple, which is the first Zen temple built in Japan. Fukuoka is also known for ramen, a powerful noodle soup that can be found at one of the small stalls near the river.
Accommodation: Hotel Okura Fukuoka or similar class

Day 13: Nagasaki
After a lot of walking in the days before, you can relax during the ride from Fukuoka to Nagasaki. Here too, an extensive peace park commemorates the victims of the atomic bomb. Afterwards, visit the Fuchi Shrine, a shrine that primarily symbolizes the connection to nature. There is a cable car station nearby that takes you to Inasa Mountain. From the summit you have a unique view of the evening city and its surroundings.
Accommodation: Hotel New Nagasaki or similar class

Day 14: Gunkanjima or Nagasaki
In the morning a ferry takes you from the port to Gunkanjima. This is a small island off Nagasaki, where coal was mined until 1974. The dilapidated buildings of the abandoned city create a ghostly atmosphere and a unique experience. After returning to the port, you can continue exploring Nagasaki. For a long time, the city was the most important port city in the country and is shaped by the then trading partners and missionaries from Europe. Here you can find mainly Dutch and Portuguese influences. With its western buildings and tulip beds, the Glover garden and its surroundings offer an insight into the history of the immigrants at that time.
* Note that due to typhoon as of Sep 23, 2019 it is not possible to visit the island. Boat tours that offer views of the island are in operation. 
Accommodation: Hotel New Nagasaki or similar class

Day 15: Nagasaki, end of tour
Say goodbye to Nagasaki and Japan before you travel to your country of residence from Nagasaki Airport.


Important information

Included in price

  • 14 nights, breakfast included
  • JR Pass, valid for 14 days

Not included

  • International and domestic flights
  • Other travel not covered by JR Pass
  • Admission fees unless stated in the itinerary
  • Meals other than stated in the itinerary
  • Services (guide, etc. ) other than stated in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses

Tour price: 324,000 yen per person, based on twin room occupancy.
Minimum of two persons are required for this tour to run.
For further details and questions, contact us at <tours@japantravel.com>

Meeting point

Kansai International Airport 

View Directions

Organised by Japan Travel KK

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