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Japan Travel Specialist for the UK

World Heritage Sites of Japan [Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Mt. Koya, Hiroshima, Kagoshima]

Product Code: WHSOJ
from £ 2,696

[Self-Guided] 15 days

Visit the most beautiful World Heritage Sites of Japan as well as experience traditional aspects of Japanese life. Stay in a ryokan to experience Japanese hospitality, delicious cuisine,futon bedding and onsen bathing. Approach the austere life of Buddhist monks in Koyasan and join them for the morning meditation. Spend couple of nights in minshuku on Yakushima, an island with impressive mountains, picturesque coastline and rich flora. There are number of places to swim should it be coastal beaches or hidden river pools. Be stunned by a natural beauty of an active volcano Sakurajima and take the steaming-hot sand baths, followed by complete relaxation in onsen.


Included in this tour:

☑ Economy class flights

☑ Accommodation based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room

☑ Meals as detailed in the itinerary

☑ 14-day Ordinary Japan Rail Pass

☑ Buddhist cultural activity in Koyasan including Koyasan World Heritage Ticket

☑ Ferry tickets Kagoshima-Yakushima

☑ As with all our packages we can add, subtract, or modify this package to suit your individual needs and make your perfect holiday

DateDescriptionMeals
Depart London Heathrow on direct flight.On board
Day 1Arrive to Tokyo.
Use a 14-Day Japan Rail Pass provided to transfer to your hotel in Tokyo by train. 
Stay in Tokyo hotel
On board
Day 2Free time in Tokyo. Optionally, use your JR Pass to visit Nikko. The Japanese say "Never say 'kekko' until you've seen Nikko" (kekko meaning beautiful, magnificent or "I am satisfied"). The beauty and importance of this site is recognized worldwide: the shrines and temples of Nikko were registered as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
Stay in Tokyo hotel
Breakfast
Day 3Use your JR Pass and Hakone Freepass provided to visit Hakone, famous for breathtakingly beautiful views of Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mountain and the latest object in Japan to become the World Heritage Site in 2013. Fuji san, as Japanese people call it with respect (suffixe "-san" is honorific in Japanese language), was designated a cultural rather than natural site and registered under the title “sacred place and source of artistic inspiration”. 
Stay in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) to experience Japanese hospitality, traditional cuisine, futon bedding and onsen bathing.
Stay in Tonosawa Ichinoyu Honkan
Breakfast Dinner
Day 4Use your Hakone Freepass and JR Pass to carry on to Kyoto. The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, that have been registered as the World Heritage Site in 1994, consists seventeen component parts that are situated in Kyoto, Uji and Otsu cities and includes temples, shrines, gardens and a castle. Having been built or designed at different periods from the 10th to the 17th centuries, together all components illustrate the general historical development of Japanese architecture and gardens.
Today you are recommended to visit Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji temples in Kyoto.
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast
Day 5In the morning take a train to see a beautiful Byodo-in temple in nearby city of Uji. The temple was established in 998 and originally contained large number of buildings on the expansive site. Nowadays only three buildings remain, which are Amida Hall, Kannon Hall and the Bell tower. The Amida Hall building has a phoenix ("hoo"), a mythical bird of China, on its roof; and the building itself looks like two wings spread out, that’s why it is commongly called Hoo-do ("Phoenix Hall"). Enshrined in this temple is a seated figure of the Amida Buddha (The Buddha of Infinite Light).
After visiting Uji, carry on to Nara to see Todai-ji and Kasuga Shrine, part of the World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara. 
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast
Day 6Today we will try to arrange a unique experience for you - a visit to Saiho-ji temple or Moss temple as it's called due to the temple's garden estimates 120 varieties of moss. Upon entry to the temple, you will be asked to participate in religious activities kito and shakyo (chanting and copying of sutra).
The admission fee of 3000 yen per person is paid at the time of the visit.
Stay in Kyoto hotel
Breakfast
Day 7Experience the austere life of Buddhist monks on Mt. Koya, the home of Esoteric Buddhism. Mt. Koya is home to the Koyasan sect of Shingon Buddhism, a faith ritually followed throughout Japan. Mt. Koya is also internationally recognised as a part of the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range", a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site since 2004. Stay in a temple lodge (shukubo) overnight. Enjoy a traditional vegetarian cuisine (shojin ryori) and relaxing sleep in the tranquil surroundings of Koyasan.
Stay in shukubo in Koyasan
Breakfast Dinner
Day 8You will be invited to join morning meditation ajikan with the monks.
Then use the Koyapass pass provided to travel to Osaka and then JR Pass to travel to Hiroshima.
Stay in Hiroshima hotel
Breakfast
Day 9Use your JR Pass to take a train then a ferry to the island Miyajima to see Itsuku-shima Shinto Shrine with its famous O-torii Gate standing in the sea. It was inscribed as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1996. It's said the the sanctuary was built around the end of the 6th century and most of the main shrine was built in the 12th century.
Stay in Hiroshima hotel
Breakfast
Day 10Use your JR Pass to travel to Kagoshima. Take a ferry trip to admire spectacular active volcano Sakurajima.
Stay in Kagoshima hotel
Breakfast
Day 11Free time in Kagoshima.
Today we recommend that you take a train to local Ibusuki, famous resort area of Kyushu, to experience the steaming-hot sand baths. You put on yukata robe (cotton summer kimono), lay in warm sand pit and are gradually covered with volcanic sand up to your neck. The sand is heated by a natural steam, which is coming from the underneath. The weight and heat of the sand assists in the body's blood circulation and after ten minutes the whole body begins to perspire. After the procedure, which takes 10 to 20 minutes, you wash the sand off your skin and enter regular hot spring baths.
Stay in Kagoshima hotel
Breakfast
Day 12Use tickets provided to take a ferry to UNESCO World Heritage site – Yakushima Island. Being relatively small island, it hosts impressive mountains which rise to nearly 2000 metres high, picturesque coastline, rich flora, with some 1900 species and subspecies, including ancient specimens of the sugi (Japanese cedar) with extremely large diameter and thousands of years old. The fauna of the island is diverse, with 16 mammal species. Meet Japanese macaque and sika deer, which are endemic to the island, roaming freely everywhere.
Stay in Yakushima minshuku
Breakfast Dinner
Day 13Free time to explore Yakushima.
Stay in Yakushima minshuku
Breakfast Dinner
Day 14Use tickets provided to take a ferry to Kagoshima. 
Stay in Kagoshima hotel
Breakfast
Day 15Make your own way to Kagoshima Airport by bus.
Depart Kagoshima. Arrive to Tokyo. Depart Tokyo. Arrive to London.
Breakfast


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