Autumn Adventures | Sept. 26 – Oct. 8, 2018
$800/month (Land Only)
Dive deep into the soul of Japanese Culture and Tradition on an Autumn Festival Adventure you’ll never forget!
If you’re the type of traveler who wants to feel like you’ve lived through the places you visit, then look no further! Autumn Adventures will take you off-the-beaten path with an in-depth, hands-on sensory experience through the gems of Kansai. Our adventure begins with the iconic city of Kyoto, where we will travel back in time to marvel at shrines, walk through bamboo forests, and explore ancient temples. Of course, we can’t leave without eating a traditional banquet or trying some of the world’s freshest matcha.
We’ll take you even deeper into the lesser-known parts of the country to try local produce, jump in on festival celebrations, and even go hiking with a local mountain climber! After soaking all day long at one of Japan’s most famous hot springs, we’ll trek across the one and only desert in the country. Autumn Adventures is guaranteed to leave you feeling like you’ve gained a second home, and a whole new set of best friends!
|TOUR AT A GLANCE
Baggage: 1 carry-on sized bag — NO LARGE/CHECK-IN SIZED BAGS.
Due to rural destinations and terrain, participants are encouraged to keep their luggage LIGHT. Any large luggage may be shipped to the airport for a small fee.
Single Rooms: $900 (no singles in Kinosaki)
Tour price includes:
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles to Japan
- Tour dates: Departs September 26, returns on October 8
- All hotel accommodations covered, including a stay at Kinosaki hotspring resort
- Stops in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Fukusaki, Kinosaki Onsen, Tottori, Naruto, Awaji and points in between
- All transportation (train, bus, ferry, etc.) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Admission to all activities
- Customized tour guidebook
- Nightly turndown service with local snacks and homemade sweets
- Much, much more!
FULL TOUR: $3,995 total
LAND ONLY: $3,195 total
SINGLE ROOM: $900 add’l (no single rooms in Kinosaki Onsen)
All prices listed in US Dollars.
We’ll meet up at Los Angeles International Airport and board our flight to Japan.
Day 2: The Epic Begins
We arrive! If you’re feeling ready to jump right in, join us for an Okonomiyaki dinner night out.
Day 3: Kyoto: Culture Capitol
When it comes to culture and history, nothing is more quintessential than a walk through the old capital Kyoto, a top destination for its historical shrines and temples. One of our first stops will be Sanjusangendo, a Buddhist temple known for its impressive collection of one thousand Thousand-Armed Kannon statues. We will then look out into the heavens from the stage of Kiyomizudera and stroll through the famous Yasaka Shrine. In the afternoon, we’ll indulge in matcha floats while ogling the various traditional souvenirs and goods on Shijo Dori, and try our hands at making some Japanese crafts.
We’ll rendezvous at Kyoto Station in the evening for dinner and catch a magnificent view of the city from the station rooftop.
Day 4: Arashiyama!
Today we escape the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas of Kyoto to the bamboo groves of Arashiyama. Meditate and reflect in the peaceful, polished gardens of Tenryuji Temple, and try to catch a glimpse of the wild monkeys at Kameyama Park. After a relaxing boat ride on the Hozugawa River, we’ll attend a traditional Japanese sweets making class!
Day 5: Osaka
While the pedestrian traffic flows to the left in most of Japan, Osaka residents choose to flow to the right. As much as Tokyo citizens are known to be orderly, reserved, and proper, Osaka’s locals flaunt their rougher Kansai dialect, love their own sense of humor, and indulge on the daily on the city’s delicious special delicacies. This is a day to enjoy one of Japan’s quirkier mega urban centers. We’ll try local eats in Shinsekai, explore the Japanese rendition of “America Village”, and ride a giant ferris wheel to catch some great sights from above. Those who want to seize the chance to take in some more culture can take a taiko lesson from a local taiko school.
Day 6: By the Beautiful Sea
Today we leave the countryside back to the city! After checking back into our hotel in Kobe, we’ll take a day trip over to Awaji, crossing over the longest suspension bridge in the world and across the island to gaze at the Naruto Whirlpools. In the evening, we’ll head back to Kobe for one of Japan’s most diverse and tantalizing restaurant scenes.
Day 7: Free Day in Kobe
Take a day to choose your own adventure in one of Japan’s most elegant and beautiful cities – Kobe! Today you get to choose your adventure! This is one of our favorite cities to play, dine, and shop, so if you need suggestions, we will be happy to point you in the direction you want to go. This is also the day to explore more of Osaka, Kyoto, or just to get lost and see what’s around.
Day 8: Tottori
When you think of Japan, you wouldn’t think you would come across any deserts, especially by the sea, but that’s exactly what you can expect to find in Tottori! Today we’ll gaze upon the Tottori Sand Dunes, and perhaps try sand-boarding or even ride a camel. In the afternoon, we walk among the Tottori castle ruins and then check into our hotel.
Day 9: Kinosaki Onsen
We’ve been going hard, so now a nice long soak in a traditional hotspring is the best. Kinosaki Hotsprings is iconic, offering beautiful outdoor baths and a lively hotspring town that offers delicious local delicacies such as crab, plus lots of bath-related souvenirs to bring back to your friends and family. Tonight we shall rest, relax and gather together for a traditional PacSet onsen party!
Day 10: Work Hard, Play Hard
For those who want to get a taste of true nature, we shall join a local guide for a hike deep into the mountains of Hyogo to climb the great Seppiko Mountain! We shall pack our lunches and water to enjoy our victorious ascent to the top. For those of you who would rather stay close to sea level, today is a day to explore Himeji on your own, or to venture off to one of the many other cities close by! In the evening, we will reconvene for a fantastic party on a lovely garden rooftop.
Day 11: Himeji Castle
Today we head west to set our eyes on one of the grandest castles in the country – Himeji Castle. We’ll walk around the vast castle grounds, say hello to the local castle cats, and gaze upon the castle’s pristine preserved interior. Fans of Tom Cruise will appreciate the rope-way ride up to Mount Shosha, the site of a beautiful temple where The Last Samurai was filmed. In the evening we will join the city’s residents for seasonal local festivities
Day 12: Autumn Festivities
For the world, Tokyo may be the gateway to the rest of Japan, but the essence of Japanese culture and tradition is tucked away from the big city in Japan’s remote rural areas. Fukusaki is a small town with a big personality, whose current mascot is a frightening, soul-eating monster, and whose prize produce is an obscure grain called mochimugi. Today is a day to meet some locals, try some countryside grub, and get lost and found again in the quiet of the mountains. Today we shall see a quiet town come to life for the annual Fall Festival, where the men of each neighborhood rambunctiously carry around beautiful ornate portable shrines to the main shrine of the town.
Day 13: Return home
Head home and show off all those photos you took!