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Embark on some time travel through Japanese architecture. In this itinerary you’ll visit some of the most impressive castles of Japan – all great representations of the colourful Sengoku period. Walking around the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, you’ll get a glimpse of pre-war Japan. You’ll also have the chance to stay in two properties designed by Tadao Ando, a renown Japanese architect.
Upon arrival you’ll be met by a representative and privately escorted to your hotel.
The rest of your day will be spent at leisure, armed with our list of recommended attractions and restaurants to help you have a great start to your trip.
Kobe City Tour
Start your trip with a full day city tour of Kobe with your private guide. Visit the historical Kitano district to discover the first houses of Western merchants and diplomats; head to Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum; and enjoy a leisurely stroll through Kobe's famous Chinatown.
In the evening, put some of Kobe’s delicious famous beef on your menu. Your Lightfoot Travel Designer can recommend restaurants to suit all.
Today you’ll be escorted to spectacular Himeji Castle accompanied by your guide. One of Japan’s twelve original castles, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Kokoen garden, a beautifully manicured Japanese garden.
Train To Kurashiki
Enjoy some old-fashioned train travel with a journey to Kurashiki, a historic city sitting on the Takahashi River. This retro-modern cityscape boasts a mixture of Japanese and Western flavours through its shops, vibrant cafes and restaurants, and locals going about their daily lives.
You’ll visit the Ohara Museum, home to the oldest private collection of Western Art in Japan, before checking into your traditional accommodation.
Visit the town of Okayama with your guide. See the Korakuen Garden, one of three main gardens in Japan, and visit a three-starred garden by Michelin Green Guide. Continue to Okayama Castle, a black castle tower devoted to the history of Okayama and the Ikeda feudal family.
Honjima Island Tour
Today you’ll hop across the Seto Inland Sea to beautiful Honjima Island, the largest island in the area. Explore by bike, starting from the Vertrek sculpture on the beach and make your way to Shiwaku Kinbansho.
Don’t miss Kasashima Old Town and pretty Chotokuji Temple.
Train to Matsuyama
Today you’ll take the train to Matsuyama, home to the central Dogo Onsen Honkan bathhouse, dating back to 1894 and the Meiji Period. This charismatic bath house has a wooden interior and is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms. It's usually bustling with activity by staff and guests.
Spend today at leisure.
We recommend exploring Dogo Onsen area, walking around the hilltop Matsuyama Castle, or visiting an exhibition at the Museum of Art of Ehime. Your Lightfoot Travel Designer will be able to advise on activities to suit your needs prior to departure.
Train to Takamatsu
Today you’ll embark on another train journey, this time to train to Takamatsu, a port city known for the Ritsurin Garden. This designated place of Special Scenic Beauty is famous for its cherry blossoms in the spring, bonsai and bridges, and there's a lovely traditional tea house.
Enjoy Takamatsu’s famous Udon noodles for dinner.
Kotohira And Zentsuji Temple Tour
This morning you’ll head to the spiritual centre of Kagawa prefecture - Kotohira and Zentsuji. Visit the oldest existing Kabuki theatre in Japan, see the trap cellars under the stage, and enter the main hall of Kotohiragu Shrine.
Finish your tour at Zentsuji temple, one of the most important of the o-henro pilgrimage and the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, one of the most important figures in the history of Japanese Buddhism.
Naoshima Island Art Tour
Spend your time exploring the island.
Take in the Art House Project, a collection of abandoned houses, workshops, a temple and a shrine converted into art installations; vist the Chichu Art Museum, a unique modern art museum built into a hillside; and complete the tour at the Lee Ufan Museum.
Seto Inland Sea Islands
Today will be spent at your leisure.
We recommend taking a ferry ride to the nearby islands or visiting the olive farm and soy fermentation factory on Shodo Island. Your Lightfoot Travel Designer can advise on further activities prior to departure.
Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey home.
our destination expert
- Explore Kurashiki’s preserved canal that dates back to the Edo Period
- Stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan with hot spring baths
- Visit the Himeji Castle, Japan's most spectacular castle
- Go island hopping the Seto Inland Sea
- Dine on the famous and delicious Kobe beef
- When to go:
- Time Zone:
Get in touch with our Lightfoot Travel experts and they will create a bespoke itinerary designed to your exact needs and budget.
We won't take you to the usual tourist traps, instead we'll introduce you to people that show you the true side of a country. With our contacts in each destination, we can arrange for you to meet locals away from the crowds and ensure an authentic experience.
You can rely on our extensive first-hand knowledge and years of experience in the country you’re visiting. We use only the best expert guides, and provide insider tips on the local customs, and everything from vibrant festivals to hidden Himalayan monasteries
Your holiday will be as unique as you are. By getting to know you and what makes you tick, we fuse our wealth of expertise and a deep understanding of our destinations to create unique day by day itineraries that are built around you.