- Explore Tokyo’s most famous sights with your private guide
- See Mt. Koyasan and Mt. Yoshino from above on a helicopter flight
- Stay in a traditional rice terrace villa
- Experience the Seto Inland Sea from a luxury floating inn
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Itsukushima Shrine
Curated by Carmen
Day 1 Arrival Japan
Upon arrival in Osaka, you’ll be met by a representative and privately escorted to your hotel.
The rest of your day will be spent at your leisure, armed with our list of recommended attractions and restaurants to ensure that you have a great start to your holiday.
Day 2 Guntû
This morning you’ll take a train towards the direction of Hiroshima.
You’ll be met by a representative at Fukuyama station and privately escorted to check in for your boat - guntû, a small luxury floating inn on the Seto Inland Sea.
Spend time relaxing in the wood decorated cabins; read a book from the library; hang out on the Engawa, a Japanese traditional style of veranda; and just soak up the sights and authentic atmosphere.
Day 3 Itsukushima Shrine
After a night on the water you’ll arrive on Miyajima Island, a small island in Hiroshima Bay.
Here, you’ll take a gentle walk as the island wakes up, explore the old lanes and streets and witness forests and ancient temples. You’ll visit the giant, orange-red Great Torii Gate (prepare for the perfect instagram photo!), and stroll around Itsukushima Shrine. Built in the 12th century, today it’s a Japanese World Cultural Heritage site.
Day 4 Train to Kyoto
After disembarking guntû, you’ll be escorted to Fukuyama station for a bullet train to Kyoto. Upon arrival, a representative will meet you at the station and you’ll be privately driven to your hotel.
After settling into your hotel you’ll have time to relax and familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
At night you’ll join a walking lecture through Kyoto’s geisha districts while learning about the world of the geisha. Enjoy a meal in a traditional restaurant accompanied by a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) – a fascinating way to learn more about Japanese culture.
Day 5 Tour of Kyoto
Today you’ll explore some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites with your private guide.
Start your day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), one of Kyoto’s most famous Buddhist temples. Visit the ornamental castle, Nijo Castle, originally the residence of the founder of the Edo Shogunate. Walk down Nishiki Market and experience “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, a lively retail stall selling seasonal foods and Kyoto specialities.
Next you’ll visit Arashiyama, a lovely district of beautiful gardens and buildings. Walk through the famous bamboo groves, visit Tenryuji - one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto - and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Day 6 Uji tea Experience
Today you’ll head on a half day tour to Uji, a traditional town near Kyoto famous for its superior quality green tea. Enjoy a tea making experience, learn about the kneading and drying of the tea leaves, then stroll through the picturesque town sampling tea and maybe purchasing some souvenirs.
Day 7 Ine Fisherman Village
You’ll be driven to the north of Kyoto to discover the quiet, quaint seaside villages.
Your first stop will be Amanohashidate where a pine covered sandbar spans Miyazu Bay and you can admire the views from atop Kasamatsu Park. You’ll then continue to Ine Village to see how the traditional Japanese seaman lifestyle continues today. See the unique buildings on the seafront, where the lower floors act as a boat garage and workplace for the fishermen.
Day 8 Helicopter to Sasayuri-Ann
Today you’ll be privately escorted to Kyoto heliport to embark on a scenic helicopter ride over the beautiful forest and mountains of Japan. Prepare to fly over Mt. Koyasan and Mt. Yoshino, the two sacred sites of Shingon esoteric Buddhism, where you can feel the greatness of nature and the holy ground.
You’ll also see Muroji Temple and Akame Gorge.
Day 9 Day ay leisure in Sasayuri-ann
Today will be free to spend at your leisure.
We recommend watching a Noh play performance, the Dance of the Iga Ninja, or experiencing a Zen meditation session. Your Lightfoot Travel Designer can advise on activities prior to departure.
Day 10 Helicopter pilgrimage to Ise Shima
View the beauty of the Japanese landscape from above while flying over the Omine mountain rage and admiring the view of Ominesanji temple. You’ll also visit the three grand shrines along Kumano Kodo: Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha.
You’ll be escorted to your next accommodation and the rest of the day will be spent at leisure.
Day 11 Amanemu day at leisure
Today is free for you to do as you please.
We recommend visiting a fisherman village to explore the huts of the local Ama divers, the women who dive into the water to catch the freshest produce from the sea. Alternatively, spend your time on a boat watching the beautiful sunset.
Day 12 Ise Shima
Today you'll travel to Tokyo via Nagoya.
On the way you’ll visit the nearby Meoto-Iwa, which means “the married couple rocks” in Japanese. Afterwards you’ll see the famous Ise Jingu, a favourite pilgrimage destination.
Afterwards, you’ll take a bullet train from Nagoya to Tokyo. Upon arrival you’ll be met and privately transferred to your accommodation.
Day 13 Tokyo City Tour
Spend your time exploring some of Tokyo's more traditional areas.
Start with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo’s most famous shrine, dedicated to the spirit of the late Emperor Meiji; visit the Imperial Palace, the residence of Japan's Imperial Family; and participate in an authentic tea ceremony.
In the afternoon you’ll visit Yanaka, an area miraculously spared the carnage of the Allied bombings in World War II.
Day 14 Rickshaw Ride Experience
Enjoy a ride in Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town, on the most traditional and ecologic means of transport - the rickshaw!
Your driver will whizz you around the main streets and backstreets of Asakusa, passing by the famous Kaminari Gate and Sensoji temple, and providing great views of Tokyo Sky Tree from the river.
The remainder of your day will be spent doing some last-minute sightseeing, shopping, or just soaking up the atmosphere.
Day 15 Departure
Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey home.