• Discover the Sacred Floating Torii Gate

  • See the Majestic Himeji Castle

  • Travel Across the Beautiful Inland Seto Sea

  • Visit the Serene Rurikoji Pagoda

  • Encounter History at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial

West Japan- 9 Days

 Land Only from US $2550-$2699

Fukuoka, Hagi, Yamaguchi, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Dogo, Kotohira, Kurashiki, Hyogo, Arima

Departs March-November 2014

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     This symbol represents exclusive experiences only offered by Super Value Tours.

Highlights

    Featured Arrangements

    • Kyushu:
      •  Free exploration in one of the liveliest cities in Japan, Fukuoka. 
    • Yamaguchi Prefecture:
      • Witness the ever changing beauty of the largest limestone cave in Japan, Akiyoshido. 
      • Explore one of the oldest five-storied pagodas, Rurikoji.
      • Walk across an intimate marvel, the Iwakuni Kintai Wooden Bridge.
    • Kagawa/Ehime Prefecture:
      • Ascend the steps of Kompira-san shrine for a breathtaking view of the Sanuki Plains.
      • Dogo Onsen: Japan’s oldest hot spring town.
      • Bike across the Seto Inland Sea on the beautiful Shimanami Kaido Expressway. 
    • Kansai/Hyogo Prefecture:
      • Visit one of Japan’s national treasures, the Himeji Castle.
      • Spend time in one of the three ancient hot springs, Arima Onsen.

    Luxury Accommodations

    • Yuda Matsumasa Onsen: Soak in the famous open-air bath that is 100% sourced directly from the earth. 
    • Dogo Prince Onsen: Let the oldest hot springs detoxify your body.
    • Kotohira Grand Hotel: One of the best ryokan hotels in Japan, bathe in an open air bath filled with fragrant rose petals. 
    • Arima Grand Onsen: Indulge in the centuries old hot spring rich in minerals.

    Culinary Experiences  

    • Arranging great culinary experiences is a specialty we are very proud of. Our development team samples each meal before presenting them to our guests. On this trip, you will have a chance to taste Kaiseki banquets, udon, sashimi, unagi and much more.   

Tour Map

Itinerary

Day 1

Departure 

  • Your Japan vacation begins as you board your flight and jet across the Pacific on your way to Fukuoka, Japan via Narita.

Day 2

Arrival 

  • “Yokoso!” or “Welcome” to Japan! Upon arrival, be greeted by a Super Value Tours representative.  Take time to explore Fukuoka or rest for tomorrow’s sightseeing. 
  •   If your arrival is after 8:00PM, we will present you with 2,000 JPY per person (1,700 JPY per child) to cover the cost of dinner.

Dinner  
Local Specialty
Hotel  
Fukuoka Okura or Hotel Nikko (walking distance from city center)
Day 3

Fukuoka - Hagi - Yamaguchi

  • Mekari Park: Enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view from Mekari Park and see the Straits of Shimonoseki, dividing Kyushu from the rest of Japan. 
  •   Wisteria Flower Tunnel: Be amazed at this enchanting pastel-colored fairytale tunnel. Local forecast predicts the best time to visit this year will be early May. Our special departure on May 8th hopes to capture this rare view. We will replace Mekari Park with a visit to Kawachi-Fuji Garden if the Flower Tunnel is in bloom.  
  • Hagi: Stroll through an old castle town known for its Hagi-yaki pottery and the birthplace of modern Japan’s forefathers.
  • Akiyoshido: Witness the ever changing beauty of the largest limestone cave in Japan.
  • Rurikoji Pagoda: Discover one of the oldest and most beautiful five-storied pagodas in Japan.
  • Yuda Onsen: Rest your tired feet in the famous foot baths of Yuda Onsen. 
  •   Get dressed in a Kimono (traditional Japanese robe) and immerse yourself in the meditative atmosphere of Yamaguchi.

 

Breakfast  
Western or Japanese Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
Udon Lunch
Dinner  
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Hotel  
Matsumasa Onsen (hot spring hotel)
Day 4

Yamaguchi - Iwakuni - Miyajima - Hiroshima 

  • Saikotei Museum & Zen Gardens: Explore an over a century old restaurant now preserved as a museum. The Saikotei Museum & Zen Gardens embodies a wealth of Japanese history and culture not to be missed by any visitor.
  • Iwakuni Kintai Bridge: Travel across one of the tremendous engineering feats of its time. The wooden bridge stretches over 570 feet and was built without a single nail. 
  • Floating Torii Gate and Itsukushima Shrine: Take a ferry across the Seto Inland Sea to Miyajima for an up-close view of the iconic floating Torii Gate and the sacred Itsukushima Shrine. 
  •   Hiroshima: Dinner is not included tonight so you may freely explore the area and try local specialties such as Okonomiyaki (Savory Pancakes). We will provide you with our guided suggestions and maps! Your hotel is also walking distance to the train station, allowing you easy access to public transportation.

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
Iwakuni-Style Sushi Lunch
Dinner  
Not Included - Explore Hiroshima
Hotel  
Sheraton Hiroshima
Day 5

Hiroshima - Shimanami Kaido - Mastuyama - Dogo Onsen 

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana. Encounter history at a profound memorial including the Hypocenter, A-Bomb Dome, and the Museum, dedicated to the preservation of peace. 
  • Shimanami Kaido Expressway: Travel across the Seto Inland Sea on a seaside bike tour or visit the Kosan-ji Temple, a Buddhist temple built to resemble many of Japan's most famous temples. 
  • Dogo Onsen: Indulge in one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan. See for yourself why it is loved by celebrities and locals alike.  
  •   Dogo Prince Hotel: Unwind in one of TripAdvisor's favorites! Treat yourself to a variety of open air baths, saunas, and foot baths. 

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
Japanese Italian Lunch
Dinner  
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Hotel  
Dogo Prince Hotel (Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013 Winner)
Day 6

Matsuyama - Kotohira 

  • Matsuyama: Explore the quaint town and home to Dogo Onsen. Take a tour of this unique Meiji-era town aboard the Botchan mini train (a classic miniature steam locomotive).
  • If the train is under maintenance during our visit, we will visit the Matsuyama Castle, a focal highlight in Matsuyama. 
  •   Enjoy cooking or just love to eat? Learn a new skill while you are in Japan. You will have a chance to make Udon and enjoy it for lunch. An experience only Super Value Tours provides. 
  • Kompira-san shrine: Ascend the steps of Kompira-san shrine for an excellent best bird’s eye view of the Sanuki Plain at your feet.
  •   Rejuvenate at one of the best Ryokans in Japan. Exclusive to our female guests, soak in the open-air hot spring among fragrant rose petals and immerse yourself in the tranquility of your surroundings. 

 

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
Udon-Making Lunch
Dinner  
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Hotel  
Kotohira Grand Hotel (Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013 Winner)
Day 7

Kotohira - Mt. Washuzan - Kurashiki

  • Mt. Washuzan Lookout Point: Cross the Great Seto Bridge to Mt. Washuzan Lookout Point for spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea. 
  • Kurashiki Bikan: Experience the historical town of Kurashiki Bikan. The town offers a blend of the traditional Edo-period and modern Western influence against the backdrop of beautiful canals. Take some time and browse through local boutiques and cafes in the historical quarter or travel down the canal on a boat.

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
French Cuisine
Dinner  
Kurashiki Izakaya Dinner
Hotel  
Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel
Day 8

 Kurashiki - Hyogo - Arima 

  • Kurashiki Bikan: Take a leisure morning stroll through Kurashiki for a different feel of the town. 
  • Himeji Castle: Explore the grounds of one of the best-preserved castles and a national treasure of Japan. 
  •   Arima Grand Onsen: Stay in a luxurious hot spring resort located in one of Japan’s Sanmeisen (top 3 hot springs) towns. Enjoy breathtaking scenery year round while indulging in one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. 

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Lunch  
Unagi Lunch Box
Dinner  
Arima Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Hotel  
Arima Grand Onsen
Day 9
 

Osaka   Your next destination 

  • “Sa-yo-na-ra” or (Goodbye)! Our West Japan tour has come to an end. After breakfast, you will be escorted to the airport for your next destination. 

Breakfast  
Japanese or Western Buffet in Hotel
Hagi

Once the capital of the Mori Clan, Hagi was the home to a number of Shogunate-era political activists who led Japan’s modernization in the late 19th century. Situated along the coast of the Sea of Japan, this old castle town is also known for its Hagiyaki pottery. Hagiyaki pottery is considered one of the finest  in Japan and is highly regarded as the preferred tea ware for tea ceremonies. 

Akiyoshido

Located within the Akiyoshido Quasi-National Park are Japan’s largest and longest limestone caves. The Akiyoshido cave boasts the highest concentration of karst formation in the Akiyoshidai plateau. Stretching across 10 kilometers, the Akiyoshido cave took over 300,000 years to form. Currently, only one kilometer is open to the public. Guests can expect to see breathtaking limestone pools, underground waterfalls, and spectacular natural rock formations.

Rurikoji Pagoda

Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the Ruriko-ji Pagoda in the city of Yamaguchi is one of Japan’s National Treasures. Built in 1442, this Buddhist temple showcases the beauty of Ouchi culture and is one of the oldest five-tiered pagodas in Japan. Wander through the surrounding manicured gardens, see the reflection of the pagoda in the pond, feel the serenity amongst the cherry and maple trees. The beauty of this hidden gem is dazzling. 

Saikotei Museum & Zen Gardens

Gion Saikotei was a luxurious traditional Japanese style restaurant in business from 1877 to 1996. For more than a century, the restaurant served as a place for business, politics, and pleasure. In 2004, the building was restored and transformed into a museum hosting many historical artifacts, calligraphy writings, and other artwork. 

Iwakuni Kintai Bridge

The Iwakuni Kintai wooden bridge spans the Nishiki River with five arches. Commissioned in 1673 by the feudal lord Kikkawa Hiroyoshi, it was constructed without a single nail and is resistant to floods. It is an achievement admired by many and a proud symbol of Iwakuni. 

Seto Inland Sea

The Seto Inland Sea is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Japan and was designated as a national park in 1934. It is peppered with over 3,000 pine-studded islands and islets of all sizes. The Inland Sea is surrounded by the main islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Super Value Tours has carefully arranged the itinerary to allow our guests to truly appreciate the unmatched natural scenic beauty of the Inland Sea from all the best locations. Our visit to the Itsukushima shrine, Shimanami Kaido Expressway, and Mt. Washuzan lookout point provide the most spectacular views of the Inland Sea.  

Itsukushima Shrine and Floating Torii Gate

The Itsukushima shrine is located on the island of Itsukushima or Miyajima meaning Shrine Island. In front of the Shinto shrine is the famous floating Torii Gate sitting in the Seto Inland Sea. The shrine and torii gate have been serving as a sacred religious site since 1168 when Taira no Kiyomori, the most powerful warlord at the time, selected the site for his clan’s family shrine. The shrine and torii gate are built over water and appear to be floating during high tide. During low tide, visitors can actually walk out and see the majestic wood columns of the gate up close. The combination of picturesque beauty and human ingenuity makes this shrine a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Japan's Sankei (top 3 views).

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

The memorial park is both awesome and heart wrenching. Walk through the park and see monuments, memorials, and museums that commemorate the passionate desire for world peace after the deadly nuclear attack. Visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (A-Bomb Dome). It was the only building left standing after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and is preserved in its original state. Today, it serves as a powerful reminder of the suffering and victims lost caused by the nuclear attack.  

Shimanami Kaido Expressway

The 60km long Shimanami Kaido expressway, built in 1999, connects six islands in the Seto Inland Sea from Onomichi City in Hiroshima prefecture to Imabari City in the Ehime prefecture. Savor the sea breeze and splendid views as you bike across the islands on the first three consecutive suspension bridges in the world.

Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan dating back 3,000 years. Located in the capital of Ehime prefecture, Matsuyama, the hot springs are equally loved by local residents, tourists, and the imperial family. The highlight of Dogo Onsen is the public bathhouse constructed over the ancient hot springs, Dogo Onsen Honkan.  Built in 1894 during the Meiji period, the three story wooden structure was the inspiration for the bathhouse of the gods in the critically acclaimed animated film “Spirited Away.”

Matsuyama

Matsuyama is the capital of Ehime Prefecture and the largest city in Shikoku. Best known for Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama is also home to seven of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage including the famous Ishite-ji Temple. The symbol of Matsuyama is the Matsuyama Castle perched on top of Mt. Katsuyama. It provides a panoramic and breathtaking view of the city and the Seto Inland Sea. 

Kompira-san Shrine

The Kompira-san Shrine is located on the slopes of Mt. Zozu. The Shinto shrine is said to keep sailors and seafarers safe. One must climb 785 steps to reach the main shrine but for the best bird’s eye view of the Sanuki Plain and the Inland Sea at your feet, one must ascend an additional 583 stone steps to reach the very top and the inner shrine. 

The Great Seto Bridge and Mt. Washuzan

The Great Seto Bridge was constructed over a course of 10 years. It stretches across five islands in the Seto Inland Sea and connects Okayama and Kagawa prefectures. This 13.1 km bridge is the world’s longest double deck bridge. Travel across the Great Seto Bridge to Mt. Washuzan lookout point for an unforgettable panoramic view of the Inland Sea and its many islands.

Kurashiki

During the Edo period (1603-1867), the city of Kurashiki was a hub in the rice distribution system in Japan.  A canal system was developed and used for the transportation of rice and other goods between storehouses and nearby ports before exporting it to different parts of Japan. Kurashiki is a charming historical town that can be characterized by weeping willows lining the canals and storehouses built with white walls and black tiles. Today, a part of the canal system is preserved in the Bikan Historical Quarter along with storehouses that are now cafes and shops. 

Himeji Castle

Regarded as one of three premier castles in Japan, Himeji Castle has stood triumphantly through times of war and natural disasters. It is one of the best preserved castles in Japan. Recognizable by its white plaster walls, the Himeji Castle is comprised of 83 buildings with a complicated and developed defensive system resembling a maze. Himeji became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. 

Arima Onsen

Arima onsen is one of the oldest hot springs resorts in Japan dating back to the 7th century. It is regarded as one of Japan's Sanmeisen (top 3 hot springs). The hot springs is rich in natural minerals that are said to have many health benefits. Close in proximity to Kobe and Osaka, Arima onsen is the perfect weekend gateway spot for the locals. 

Fukuoka Okura

Conveniently located in the commercial and shopping district of the Kyushu Tenjin area, this 5-star hotel combines historical charm, modern amenities, and impeccable service. It is hands down in the best location of Fukuoka. 


Hotel Nikko Fukuoka

Located next to major shopping and entertainment venues in the heart of Fukuoka, the Nikko luxury hotel is just 5 minutes from Fukuoka Airport via subway. Japan Rail and local subway lines are accessible in nearby Hakata station which is just a 3 minute walk.


Matsumasa Onsen

Situated in the center of Yuda Onsen Resort, Matsumasa Onsen offers exceptional convenience, hospitality, and comfort. During your stay, try the “hand onsen” and take a dip in the famous open-air bath that is 100% sourced directly from the earth. 


Sheraton Hiroshima

Centrally located in Hiroshima, this 4-star hotel is located within walking distance from the Japan Rail Hiroshima Station which offers direct access to the bullet train and bus stations. Spacious rooms, modern amenities, and the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed are just a few of the special touches you can expect from a Sheraton. 


Dogo Prince Hotel

This ryokan (Japanese-style) hot spring hotel combines a traditional Japanese ambiance with resort style amenities. The hotel is located in one of the oldest hot springs in Japan, Dogo Onsen, with over 3,000 years of history. Enjoy a variety of outdoor baths, saunas, and footbath facilities that are said to have health and beautification benefits.  


Kotohira Grand Hotel

Located at the foot of Konpira shrine, this is one of the best ryokan hotels in Japan. This ryokan is not only walking distance to the Konpira Temple and the Kabuki Theater, its open-air hot spring is strategically positioned to overlook Mt. Zozu. The female guests are in for a treat! Ladies can indulge in “Hana-buro,” an open air bath filled with fragrant rose petals.


Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel

Located in the city center, this hotel is just a short stroll to the Kurashiki bikan historical quarter. It is also adjacent to the Ohara Museum of Art and the hotel itself is a part of the museum attracting many international art enthusiasts. 


Arima Grand Onsen

One of the three most famous hot springs in Japan, Arima Grand Onsen is situated on a hillside overlooking the town of Arima. Continuing the centuries old tradition of natural hot baths, this ryokan’s spring water is said to be rich in iron and provides many health benefits to past Emperors and current guests alike. 


Matsumasa Kaiseki Banquet
Udon Lunch
Iwakuni Style Sushi Lunch
Japanese Italian Lunch
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Udon-Making Lunch
Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
Unagi Lunch Box
Arima Kaiseki Banquet Dinner
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