Kyushu Hot Spring Tour
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Himeji - Feudal Japan and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Himeji Castle,
Hiroshima - a modern city with a peaceful wish,
Miyajima (day trip) - a "Sacred Island" and scenic views,
Yufuin - a lovely hot spring town,
Beppu (day trip) - one of the best hot springs (onsen) in Japan, and
Kyoto - Imperial Japan in a city founded in 794 AD with 17 World Heritage Sites
Natural hot spring baths, or onsen, are fairly common in Japan but Kyushu island is home of one of the best, Beppu. The Beppu Hatto, is a set of 8 separate hot spring sources and each offering a different bathing experience. You will come to learn that nothing is better for refreshing your body and spirit than a long soak hot spring bath. Before arriving in Beppu you will visit Himeji, home of Japan's best preserved castles, Hiroshima, a city of peace and harmony, and Miyajima, one of the 3 most scenic spots in Japan. After Beppu and a day visit to Yufuin, you will head to Kyoto, Japan's ancient imperial capital and the center of Japanese culture.
Day 1 –Himeji- Western Hotel
After arriving in Japan you will be met by a member of Japan Roads staff and brought to Himeji. In Himeji you will have a chance to visit Himeji Castle which was founded in 1333 by Akamatsu Sadonori. The structure you can see today was finished in 1581 though it has been restored from time to time over the years. It is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan and considered by many to be the most beautiful.
Day 2 – Hiroshima - Western Hotel
Hiroshima was the first city to ever experience an atomic bomb which physically destroyed it. The people of Hiroshima, however, rebuilt the city, filling it with charm and history. Hiroshima is also famous for its food, specifically Okonomiyaki which is a must try inexpensive lunch or dinner. Okonomi means as you like it and yaki mean cooked. Though hard to explain, I have never heard of anyone not liking it. While in Hiroshima you can visit the Peace Memorial Museum and Park, Shukkei-en Garden, or the Hondori Shopping Arcade.
Day 3 – Day Trip to Miyajima
Itsukushima Island, better know as Miyajima, is located about 1 hour from downtown Hiroshima. Its center piece is its large red torii gate which during high tide looks as if it is floating on water. This gate leads to Itsukushima Shrine which was established in 1168. The current torii gate was built in 1875. The island is filled with many small shops and walking paths. Once you have wandered a bit you should take the ropeway up to Mt Misen for views of the Seto Inland Sea and to see the monkeys. If you have the energy you can walk down the mountain back to the village.
Day 4 and 5 – Yufuin - Ryokan (Japanese Inn)
Yufuin is a rural hot spring area with a quaint feel, with cafes, boutiques and art museums. Mt Yufu's twin peaks hover large over the city and rice patties are just a short walk away. Located just 6 mile (10 kilometers) from Beppu which makes a nice day trip.
Due to the steam and fumes that rose from Beppu it was thought to be Hell on Earth. This changed though in the early Showa Era (1925-1989) when Mr. Kumahachi Aburaya
created the Jigokukmeguri or Hell Pilgrimage as a way to attract tourists to these amazing hot springs. This pilgrimage includes visits to the 8 hot spring sources also known as Beppu Hatto or 8 hot springs sources of Beppu. Each hot spring has different characteristics and can reach temperatures that are near boiling. The baths that you will be enjoying will not be that hot.
You will have a traditional Japanese dinner on Day 4 & 5 at your Ryokan (Japanese inn). After dinner you can either stroll around the area or enjoy a nice relaxing soak in a hot spring bath (onsen).
Day 6 – Kyoto - Western Hotel
On the last night of your tour you will stay in the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. Here you will have a chance to visit hundreds of temples, shrines, gardens, shops and neighborhoods. The beauty and history of Kyoto is so vast that it is impossible to see it all in one visit.
Day 7 – Return Home - Tour Ends
Today is the last day of the tour. You can either return home or continue your travels in Japan.
Note: If you want to visit Osaka, Nara, or Mt. Koya you will be at a good location to do so. We can help you with these arrangements. Although a JR Rail Pass is included in the tour price, it is only a 7 day pass, but if you pay the additional cost we can purchase a 14 day pass or 21 day pass so you can continue sightseeing in Japan once the tour is over. If you are interested in this option, we recommend you take the tour first and do other sightseeing afterwards. Please let us know.
Throughout the tour, you will have the
chance to stay at Japanese style inns, or ryokans, as well as modern, Western style hotels. By choosing the best accommodations possible and offering both traditional and modern lodging experiences, Japan Roads aims to give you a
deeper insight into life in Japan and make you as comfortable as possible. In particular, the traditional accommodations
will allow you to have close personal contact with the Japanese owners
and staff of these places, thus deepening your cultural experiences.
Sample Accommodations (may vary but will be of similar quality)
Himeji: Hotel Nikko Himeji
Hiroshima: Rihga Royal Hotel
Yufuin: Hotaru Ryokan
Kyoto: Monterey Kyoto Hotel
To make sure you get the most
of your Japan experience, Japan Roads tours offer a wide
variety of Japanese cuisine to enjoy. You will have the chance
to dine on local specialties as well as traditional gourmet food offered in the ryokans. When applicable we will suggest local foods that you may enjoy.
About Independent Tours:
Your tour includes a detailed tour organizer built specially for you. This organizer will have everything you need to take your tour including hotel details, directions, sightseeing suggestions and other useful information. We will also give you a rental cell phone that is programmed with our Japan office's phone number that you can call for help while you are in Japan. We are there for you.
This 7 day tour begins and ends in Japan.
If you have any questions or if you are ready
to make a reservation please Contact
Us or call at +1-248-747-4048
Tour schedules are subject to change.
If any changes should be made it will be done in the best interest of the travelers.
Japan Roads will at all times aim to offer you the most interesting tour possible.