The southern reaches of Japan don’t get as much tourist footfall as the areas around Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, but they are no less alluring.
Western Honshu, known as Chugoku, is best known for the legacy of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, its main city. However, visitors can experience everything from peaceful mountain scenery to exquisite seafood and culinary encounters with the potentially lethal fugu (blowfish), a specialty of the town of Shimonoseki on the far western trip of Honshu.
Beyond western Honshu lies Kyushu, the third largest island of Japan and the most southwesterly of its four main islands. Rugged and mountainous, and rich in volcanic activity, the island is a favorite of hikers. The peaks of the Kirishima chain are ripe for exploring while the fearsome Mount Aso is the country’s most active volcano. Excellent trekking can also be found on Shikoku, where pilgrims have walked clockwise around the island for more than a millennium, following in the footsteps of Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi.
Far removed from Japan’s main four islands and stretching south to within 200 kilometers of Taiwan, Okinawa shows visitors yet another side to the country. Known for its friendly, sub-tropical, climate and string of beaches the province is Japan’s premier spot for sun-worshippers. It is also highly regarded for its diving, with coral and marine species as varies as that of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
KYUSHU AND SHIKOKU EXPLORER (15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS)
Discover the treasure trove of wonders that lie at the southern tip of Japan. After an in-depth look at UNESCO-heritage Kyoto, head to Shikoku Island and explore arts villages, pilgrimage trails and pristine nature. Then it’s on to Kyushu Island where historic cities, ancient monuments and tranquil hot springs beckon.
- See Shikoku’s cultural villages. Explore Edo-era heritage buildings in Shikoku village, the museums of Naoshima and the castle town of Takamatsu.
- Discover Kyushu’s vibrant towns. Visit Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Osaka, three towns on Kyushu Island where tradition and modernity go hand-in-hand.
- Explore historic Nagasaki. Walk along cobblestone streets and admire the shop houses, churches, gardens and more that echo of the town’s trading past.
EXPERIENCE OKINAWA (6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS)
Get an exclusive in-depth access to the unique Okinawan history, culture and natural surroundings. Visit UNESCO World Heritage site, Tsuri Castle and learn the artisanal methods of traditional pottery making. Be spoilt for choices with many activities to choose from that caters to every travelers’ desires.
- History of Ryukyu Island. Learn all about the history of the Ryukyu Island with visits to historical sites including the UNESCO World Heritage site, Tsuri Castle.
- Flexible Itinerary. Have an array of activities to choose from with a flexible itinerary offering cooking classes, coral dyeing, tradition pottery making, karate lessons to scuba diving.
- White sand beaches. Relax in style on the white sand beaches of Taketomi and Ishigaki Islands and enjoy the pristine waters of Okinawa or indulge in spa sessions.
YAKUSHIMA HIKE IN STYLE (4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS)
Sure to please the senses of the most adept outdoors enthusiast, this Yakushima tour is brimming with adventure and time for deep relaxation courtesy of the Sankara Hotel. Savor locally home made delicacies during a trek, and fine dining by night. This tour is the best of both worlds – the rustic beauty of the nature that surrounds, and all the comforts of a 5-star hotel. This Yakushima UNESCO Heritage Site adventure is not one to be missed!
- Another world. Explore the magical atmosphere of unspoiled Yakushima and hike among its cedars which date back thousands of years.
- For nature lovers. Activities on this tour include hiking, mountain trekking, and kayaking.
- World-class dining. Fine dining experiences are peppered into each day.
HALF DAY TOUR: MIYAJIMA KAYAKING ADVENTURE
HALF DAY TOUR: NAOSHIMA ART TOUR WITH AN EXPERT
Get to know Naoshima, a must see destination for all art, architecture and design lovers. Explore together with an art curator some of the curiosities of the island, wandering through museums showcasing all kind of arts from local artists.
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