Naoshima Yacht Cruising & Shimanami Kaido Cycling
8 days

We will start from Kyoto to head towards Himeji castle, one of the most beautiful castle in Japan, then move to Okayama to visit Korakuen, one of the three most outstanding gardens in Japan, and Kurashiki where you could feel the atmosphere of the Edo period.
On day three, Yacht cruising, the highlight of this tour, begins.
We charter brand new catamaran yacht (twin-barreled yacht) launched in 2017 where there are plenty of space, so you can spend your time comfortably.
During the cruising for two nights and three days, we enjoy island hopping includes: Naoshima, Toyoshima, and Inujima famous for contemporary art and Ushimado famous for olives and referred as Japanese Aegean Sea therefore.
After the cruise, we zill switch boat for bike and spend two consecutive nights in Onomichi for Shimanami Kaido cycling.
Lastly, we move to Hiroshima to visit a vermillion shrine floating on the sea at Miyajima, one of Japan's three scenic spots.
The tour will end in Hiroshima, so please spend your time freely.


Click here to discover the other accompanied tours.

We are Japan - specialist travel agency, click here to contact our experts for more information about your next stay.
 
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8
From ¥501,000

Overview

We will start from Kyoto to head towards Himeji castle, one of the most beautiful castle in Japan, then move to Okayama to visit Korakuen, one of the three most outstanding gardens in Japan, and Kurashiki where you could feel the atmosphere of the Edo period.
On day three, Yacht cruising, the highlight of this tour, begins.
We charter brand new catamaran yacht (twin-barreled yacht) launched in 2017 where there are plenty of space, so you can spend your time comfortably.
During the cruising for two nights and three days, we enjoy island hopping includes: Naoshima, Toyoshima, and Inujima famous for contemporary art and Ushimado famous for olives and referred as Japanese Aegean Sea therefore.
After the cruise, we zill switch boat for bike and spend two consecutive nights in Onomichi for Shimanami Kaido cycling.
Lastly, we move to Hiroshima to visit a vermillion shrine floating on the sea at Miyajima, one of Japan's three scenic spots.
The tour will end in Hiroshima, so please spend your time freely.


Click here to discover the other accompanied tours.

We are Japan - specialist travel agency, click here to contact our experts for more information about your next stay.
 
- Travel to Japan with Peak Experience -

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

★Ama-no-hashidate The bridge of the sky
Ama-no-hashidate, located north of Kyoto, is one of the most famous view of Japan that you can admire from Kasamatsu park reachable by a cable car. You could admire a 3,6 kilometers long tombolo, covered by more than 8000 pines forest. This natural bridge provide a peaceful and pleasant stroll. The tombolo is called also the “bridge of the sky” because if we look at it,head down between our legs, it seems to be that way. Do not miss the visit of Chion-ji, the wisdom temple built in 808, and Nariaiji, located on the top of the mountain, near Kasamatsu park.

★ Garden of fine arts (Kyoto)
The garden of fine arts of Kyoto has been drawn by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It is a true open air museum which exposes a wide range of marvellous reproducing works of art paint on porcelain panels, (among those, “the final judgment” of Michel Ange). It is the first time in museum history. Tadao Ando drew the museum harmonizing light, water, and modern materials such as glass and concrete. You will see the botanical garden behind and it makes you feel as you were lost in a wide forest.

★Kayabuki no sato in Miyama
In north Kyoto, there is plenty of remarkable places, where stands a wide range of small traditional villages that worth a visit. Among these, how about visiting a remote village that still keeps today the architecture of the old times ? For the connoisseurs, Kayabuki-no-sato is a village which could be compared with Shirakawa-go situated in Gifu, due to its thatched roofs which protect the inhabitants from the harsh winters, and snow falls. This village will amaze you with the wonderful nature, and the landscape that surrounded it. Two houses are today museums where you could discover the local handcraft, the traditional interior of Japanese houses, and also an art gallery. After strolling in this quiet and charming village whose colours change every season, how about a hike in Ashiyu forest located nearby and enjoy an other panorama ?

Day 1:Kyoto

Visit free in Kyoto

Overnight in Kyoto
Hotel in Kyoto ☆☆☆

Day 2:Kyoto~Himeji castle~Okayama korakuen~Kurashiki

Today's schedule

[Kyoto] ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ [Himeji] :  Visit of Himeji castle ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ ----🚕---- [Okayama] : Visit of Koraku-en, Okayama ----🚕---- >>>🚃>>> [Kurashiki]: 🛌💤

○Symbols in the itinerary:
Bus (regular service) : ===🚌===/ Train : >>>🚃>>> / Shinkansen : ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ / Ferry : ~~~🚢~~~ / Cable car : +++🚠+++ / Aerial ropeway : ***🚟*** / Gondola : ***🚡*** / Taxi : ----🚕---- / Walking : ....🚶.... / Stay : 🛌💤
 


Meet up with an assistant who speaks English at the Hotel in Kyoto
Depart for Himeji by Shinkansen



《Himeji castle》

Himeji castle, a symbolic icon of Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture having the outstanding strong presence is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan and retaining its original shape until today.
The castle covered with white stucco shines beautifully, looks like a white egret about to take flight by the Kotenshu (small tower), Watari yagura (turret connecting other building), Kuruwa (castle compound), and Hori (moat) which surrounding the castle, earned the sobriquet “Hakuro-jo” (Egret Castle). This castle is registered as a first UNESCO World Heritage site in in December 1993 with the temple of Horyu-jin in Nara.  It was 1 year after the entrance of World Heritage Convention.

In 16th century which was Sengoku (The Warring States) period, there has been a castle in Himeji, but it has been restored as we see today in the beginning of 17th century in Edo period after the disturbances of war days. 
The castle at that time substituted the power of the feudal lord, and it was a base of the authoritiy and the political power rather than being a simple military base.
However, this beautiful Himeji castle was not being only the symbol of coercion, but also it has been functioned of defence with many devices and mechanism. It has been an incomparable sturdy fort.
The Tenshu (tower) located in the center and Hori (moat) and other buildings are covered and layered it as triple spiral. So nobody cannot approach to the Tenshu avoiding the spiral. The Edo castle which has been the first and biggest castle in Japan used to have the same construction at that time (but we cannot find it today as it was), but except for the castle of Edo, there was no other castle having the same construction as Himeji castle.
At the visit, you would be impressed by those complicated and ingeniously devised traps inside of the castle and would fell that the castle has been an outstanding fort.
The reason why this castle has been built in Himeji, it was because Himeji might have a risk to be against the big western cities far from Tokyo as Kyoto and Osaka.
However, it has never been in a war and never used as a fort even if it has been surrounded by the armed forces in 19th century. It was surrended at the end without war.
In the second world war, Himeji city was suffered an air raid and innumerable incendiary bomb burned the castle town, but there were only some bombs hit the castle, and they were misfired or extinguished. After the air raid, the people of Himeji found the Himeji castle flawless and they were so touched them to tears.
Himeji castle has many anecdotes and stories.  Not only the beauty which charm people but it has also the original charms and fascination captivate people.
It is miraculously preserved until today and it must be conserved in the future, so that there was a big restoration from 2009 for 6 years, and now it shows again the beauty appearance. 

The very first World Heritage of Japan, Himeji castle will impress you more than you might expect.Visit Koraku-en, Okayama by Shinkansen and Taxi

《Okayama Koraku-en》
As well as Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, Kairaku-en in Mito, Koraku-en in Okayama is evaluated one of the three most outstanding gardens in Japan. 
In 1687, Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo (feudal lord) ordered his vassal to begin construction of Koraku-en. The garden has retained its original appearance from the Edo Period up to the present day, except for a few changes conducted by various daimyo. 
At the time when Koraku-en was constructed, ordinary people lives less freely than today. Yet Koraku-en welcomed everyone with permission. That means the scenery those people admired its beauty still be shared by us nowadays. 
When you visit the garden, you will be surprised by high standard of gardening technique of those days.
Koraku-en recovered from two major disasters, one is a flood damage in 1939 and the other is a war fire during WWII. The restoration work proceeded based on historical material in those days; therefore, the people of today are healed by Koraku-en as the same way as the people in those days.
Just like with other gadens, Koraku-en is enjoyable garden not only to see, but also to walk. 
There is a swamp surrounded by laid pavements in the middle of the garden where small island floated with an arched bridge, that make you feel strolling the garden.  As you viewed from the pavement, there are green grass and well field spreaded.The scenery tells you that colours of trees and blooming flowers are changed with seasons. When you are tired, Cha-ya (Japanese tea saloon) is the best place to take a rest. You can taste Kibi dango, sweet dumpling made with mochi flour and (sometimes) millet flour (famous product of Okayama), while enjoy viewing the garden.Visit Kurashiki by train and taxi

《Kurashiki "Esthetic Area"(Bikan chiku)》
It is located in the centre of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture. There are cultural assets as mansions and warehouses of Edo period, buildings of Meiji period, so that this location is classed as Conservation district of traditional buildings of Japan.
Kurashiki was originally a small fishing village, but as it was protected by the goverment as shogunal demesne, the business developped as a stopover point of logistics.
Accordingly, the materials were transfered, and kept in warehouses, so that the name of this town Kurashiki is made. (Kura is warehouse in Japanese.)
Along the Kurashiki river, there are the mansions with white walls and the warehouses with black and white walls. They were built because people used to bring the materials by the river using the rise and fall of the tides.
When the modernization was started, without the protection of the gouvernment, the town of Kurashiki's business remained stagnant. However, being a city of merchants, and without being left behind the modernization, they absorbed the foreign culture.
Fortunately, the town has not been damaged by fire or by war, and they succed to remain the traditional buildings and to harmonize the occidental buildings after Meiji period.
The effort of concerving the beautiful scenary in Kurashiki started in early stage, the old buildings were not destroyed but they were restored, and now, Kurashiki became the town of tourism. 
You can enjoy walking by in the esthetic area with own atmosphere by stopping at nice shops and cafeteria, but you can also try going downstream in a boat in Kurashiki river which is a very popular attraction.
Taking a "Sappa" boat in Kurashiki river used to bring the materials to the town, you can enjoy the scenery of buildings of Kurashiki from different angle.
Moreover, there are old residences of wealthy merchants, and the first museum of occidental arts, the Ohara museum where you can see the paintings of El Greco, Mattis, Monet, Gauguin and so on and there are many interesting places to visit in Kurashiki.
Ryokan in Kurashiki ☆☆☆
breakfast, dinner, lunch

Day 3:Kurashiki~Inujima~Ushimado

Today's schedule

[Kurashiki] ----🚕----  [Uno port] ~~~~~~ [Inujima]: Strolling the island ~~~~~~ [Ushimado]: 🛌💤



Go to Uno port by taxi
Sail to Inujima


《Yacht》
Cruising in Seto sea, the colour of Seto sea vanishes away of time and the hustles and bustles of a city from you. 
All you have to do is just let yourself with sea wind to enjoy this island hopping tour to see the nature, the art, and the way of living.  
Uno port is the gateway to Naoshima known worldwide for contemporary art exhibitions, we will take you from the port to Inujima, Ushimado, Naoshima, and Toyoshima.
There are about hundred of islands scattered along Seto sea, some are big, some are small, the harmony of those islands and Seto sea is called “Tatobi (the beauty of the archipelago)” .  Since various colours appear gracefully as seasons changes, you will enjoy the view of each season from the deck. 

Since we charter a whole cabin, you will enjoy the spacious and luxurious cruising.
* Please note that there may be fellow-passengers. (2 persons in each cabin, 3 cabins available) 
* If you wish to reserve a whole yacht, please inquire us via the reservation form. 

【Specification of the Yacht】
Class: Catamaran yacht (twin-barreled yacht)
Type: BALI 4.0
Length: 10.72m
Width: 6.72m
Launched in August 2017
Voyage speed: 6 knot
Cabins: 3 (Double rooms)
With air-conditioning and heater
Toilet, washing room, and shower are installed in each cabin
Towels: Bath towel(s) and face towel(s) are provided
Amenity goods: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, shaving, tooth brush 
Hair dryer: available
Audiovisual media: TV, DVD, FM, Bluetooth
Free Wi-Fi
 

《Inujima island》

It is only 2.2km away from Okayama, and you will find it which is floating in offshore of there. This small island is about 4km in circumference, and it takes 25 minutes from Tejima island.
From long time ago, as we can find granite in good quality, this place was known as a stone quarry and the wall for the castles and construction for the ports in all over Japan are sent from Inujima.
Today, we find many lakes and caves in this island because they have quarried too much stones until the natural features were changed. So the original features are unknown now.
After the quarry business became sluggish, they also built a copper refinery.
At that time, there were 4,000 to 5,000 people lived this small island temporarily, but because of the smoke pollution and as they lost in competition between with other industries, they stop the copper refinery, and people left the island. Today, the population is only 47 in this island.
In 2001, as like Naoshima, Benesse also started to restore the island by "Inujima Art House Project", and first of all, they bought the ruined copper refinery.
It was once the source of pollution by toxic smoke, but the refinery has been restored by natural energy and arts by keeping passed negative legacy. It became Inujima Seirensho Art Museum in 2008. (Seireisho=copper refinery)
The architect of this museum is Hiroshi Sambuichi who also designed "Naoshima Hall", a new community centre In Naoshima and there, the works created by Yukinori Yaagi who used Yukio Mishima as a motif.
In the village, we can see the artworks of young and energetic artists like Naoshima as part of Inujima Art House project. 
They worked out in different solution for recreating the new sights from original ones comparing to Naoshima, so it is interesting to see the difference between two islands.
 Sail to Ushimado

《Ushimado》
There are ruins of an ancient tomb built in 4th century in Ushimado. Also Ushimado once became the busy anchorage port for Korean delegation to Japan in Edo period as referred as “the port for waiting a favorable tide and wind”. 
Ushimado nowadays referred as “the Japanese Aegean Sea”, because of the production of Ushimado remains us the Aegean sea.
First of all, olives. Those olive groves have been extended in Ushimado and known as the production area of olives in Japan ranked with Shodoshima of Kagawa prefecture.
By the way, olives grown in Ushimado are originated in Shodoshima, so that they are brothers. 
Secondary, the weather in Setouchi sea. The periodic wind which blows in summer is blocked by the mountain range in Chugoku region whereas it blows in winter is blocked by mountain range in Shikoku region. Therefore, the wind lost moisture when it blows in Setouchi sea that affects to the low rainfall throughout the year, but a lot of hours of sunlight in a day.
Ushimado takes this advantage, you can enjoy various activities let alone cruising.
At last, the views of Ushimado. We recommend you to visit the olive groves spreaded on top of the hill. When you overlook the view from the top after you enjoyed strolling the groves, your eyes are caught of blue, the colour of Setouchi sea, and islands spattered in the area. That is the reason why Ushimado is referred as “the Japanese Aegean sea”. When you look carefully, Shodoshima may come into your sight.
The sunset in Setouchi sea is marvelous. The wind stops blowing when sun is going down the horizon, this phenomena is called “the Seto no Yunagi (evening calm in Seto)”. Everything is still in Ushimado meantime you enjoy viewing the sunset with the smooth sea. This is the scenery that Ushimado is just as good, if not better, as the Aegean sea.
Yacht
breakfast

Day 4:Ushimado~Naoshima

Today's schedule

[Ushimado] ~~~~~~ [Naoshima]: Strolling the island and sunset cruise 🛌💤



Sail to Naoshima
《Naoshima island》

27 large and small islands between Kagawa prefecture and Okayama prefecture in the Seto Inland Sea compose a group of Naoshima islands. The Naoshima island is the principal island of the group.
Originally, they were ruled by pirates of the Seto Inland Sea, but after the modernization, the agriculture and fishing industry were weakened, so they accept the refining plant of Mitsubishi in north area, they overcame the financial difficulties.
In the other hand, the north part of island and its nature were dameged heavily by industrial smoke.
In the end of 20th century, in order to protect the nature and scenic beauty of Seto Inland Sea, Mitsubishi put their ennergies into the recycling and aimed to make the area into eco-town.
A part of the south part which has not been hit by industrial smoke maintained the beautiful landscape was bought by Benesse Corporation and the company appointed the architect Tadao Ando to design a campsite, a museum and a hotel to make the area into touristic cultural spots. It is today's Benesse Art Site Aoshima.
At the beginning, the inhabitants could not quite believe the project, but the ideas which would not make a museum but also make the island itself into a museum, and revival plan of old houses into modern arts under "House Project", those completely new and fresh contemporary concept attracted and drew public attention all over the world.
In 2010, the first Setouchi Trienale was held, and it is evolving, and it leads other islands. 
It is 16km in circumference, and most of the sightseeing spots are found in south half part of the island: Miyanoura bay area in west, Motomura area in East, and Benesse House Museum in south.
You can walk around those area, but if you do not have enough time, we recommend to use the municipal bus and rental bicycle.
Please note that the services and number of passengers are limited, so it is recommended to have extra time in advance to make your plan especially in busy season.
The rental bicycle avoid the worries to be late on time as above, but some roads are rogh and bumpy, so it is also recommended to use a moter-assisted bicycle.
 
《Miyanoura bay area》

There is a main port where the ships from Uno port of Okayama prefecture and Takamatsu port of Kagawa prefecture come into. 
You may find the "Red Pumpkin" of Yayoi Kusama even before your arrival.
Now it is considered to be a symbol of Naoshima and it welcomes all tourists at the entrance of Naoshima and to say goodbye, too.
The Ferry terminal is designed by an unit of architects called SANAA who also designed the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa and also works for the renewal of La Samaritaine in Paris.
In this area, there are a Sento (public bath) with the avant-garde modern art by Shinro Otake called "I Love Yu" and "Miyanoura Gallery 6" which has been reborn from Pachinko (Japanese pinball game) shop.
《Honmura area》

In the east side of the island, called Honmura area, there is a small port for several high-speed boats from Takamatsu port, Uno port, and Teshima port.
This terminal has been also designed by SANAA, and the appearance is as like "linked bubbles".
Honmura area is an old village in Naoshima where we find now artistic creations which has been made based on concretized past memories, to harmonize with present and to be leave and transmit to the future. This project is called as "Art House Project" leaded by Tadao Ando, the architect.
Up to the present, there are 7 artistic creations reborn under this "Art House Project" so far, and they are all in small district where you can easily access to all of them.
The memories of vacant houses and temples where people used to gather are artisticaly expressed in each room, and the fact that many tourists visit there to re-create new evolution .
Tatsuo Miyajima's "Kadoya" which is the first artistic creation by Art House Project and Hiroshi Sugimoto's Goou jinjya shinto shrine, and Minamidera by Tadao Ando paid homage to James Turrell, etc. You can enjoy the room of intermingle of daily and unusual episodes.
There is also "ANDO MUSEUM" that Tadao Ando designed from Japanese folk houses. The appearance is simple and looked as an old traditional house but you may find the originality created by Tadao Ando in the interior designs. 
There are also many cafeterias and restaurants so that it is nice to have a relaxed time enjoying atmosphere of this village where the arts adapted in the calm scenery.
《Museum area》
From Miyanoura port, the municipal bus departs and goes through the Honmura area, and then arrive at Tsumiura area, the old fishing village where we find many Minshuku (guest houses). In front of the inn Tsutsuji-so, there is a beautiful Gotanchi. There are so many people in summer.
And a you will see an yellow pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama standing all alone.
After Tsutsuji-so, the transport is limited and even closed to bicycle, so you should take a Benesse shattle bus (free of charge) or walk in Benesse Museum area.
The shattle bus starts basically after arrival of municipal bus, but as it takes only 30 minutes on foot to the Chichu Art Museum which is the farthest, so that it is also recommended to take a walk to go ther passing by the parc and other out-door art objects.
When you departs from Tsutsuji-so, you will see the Benesse House Museum.
Benesse House Museum is an integrated facility of a hotel and a museum built based on the concept of "coexistence of nature, art and architecture" designed by Tadao Ando.
This is the first facility made by collaboration of Benesse and Tadao Ando, and a large part of the pieces of work are made on the spot, and they are found everywhere: inside and outside of the Museum and also in the guest rooms.
There is an installation artwork of contemporary art using the space itself, so it is a museum of multi angles.
Then you will see the Lee Ufan Museum.
A museum resulting from the collaboration between internationally acclaimed artist Lee Ufan and architect Tadao Ando.
Ando designed semi-underground structure house and Lee Ufan, leading figures of the Mono-ha school ("Mono" means Things) artworks are on exhibition.
Going further, there is the Chichu Art Museum and now Miyanoura is not far from there.
This museum was built mostly underground as it is written in Japanese.
We can find the artworks of Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, and James Turrell and the museum is designed by Tadao Ando exclusively for those 3 artists.
The construction of the museum and artworks are unified and they create an original and unique installation artwork itself.
Consequently, it became very popular, but in the other hand, and it is "the place where we have to think about the men and nature" which is the concept, so in order to avoid receiving too many people, number of visits per day are limited, so that the visitors have to book in advance before coming to the museum.
Yacht
breakfast

Day 5:Naoshima~Teshima~Onomichi

Today's schedule

[Naoshima] ~~~~~~ [Teshima]: Strolling the island~~~~~~ [Uno port] ----🚕---- ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ ----🚕---- [Onomichi]: 🛌💤



Sail to Teshima

《Teshima》
It takes 25 minutes from Naoshima, and this island is located between Shodoshima island and Naoshima island.This island is about 20km in circumference.
The tuff stone of very good quality, Teshima stone is produced, this island is used to be prosperous by quarry, and also by abundant water and by fertile soil, the agriculture, the dairy business, and the fishing prosper were very active.
In the centre of the island, the scenery from the top of Mt Danzan was outstanding, so that this iland has been literally a "Rich island".
However, everything changes as time goes by. By modernization, young people left the island then the depopulation was caused, so that they faced an increase of the aged population. Accordingly, Teshima was declined. From 1970's, the illegal dumping is started progressively, and it because a big insident after 16 years. It is known as Teshima-incident. It gave a fatal blow to the nature and rich soil of the island, and the island once called "Rich island" became "Litter island".
After this problem is uncovered, long and hard conflict by residents of the island, the prefecture set to work to remove the litter, but still, the island is no longer what it was used to be.
This time, they struggle to withdraw the image of the "Litter island", it is nominated the place for the festival of "Art Setouchi, Teshima pulled the attention of people all over the world as an island of art, so they found a new way.
Because of the hard background of the history of this island, we can feel the energy of hope in the artworks in this island.

Sail to Uno Port
Visit Onomichi by Taxi and Shinkansen


After you enjoyed island hopping tour at Seto inland sea,we recommend you to visit the place outstandingly beautiful among the islands of Seto inland sea.
Onomichi, located in the east of Hiroshima prefecture, is picturesque town which remains the shadows of good old days of Japan. Old folk houses and temples are stand along with roads have steep grade. Most of temples located on the top of mountain where you feel absolute perfect when you look down to the sea.
Onomichi also well known for cherry blossoms and selected one of the top 100 cherry blossoms viewing sites. Besides cherry blossoms, you better to try local cuisine, Onomichi ramen.
Hotel in Onomichi ☆☆☆
breakfast

Day 6:Onomichi~Shimanami kaido cycling( Ikuchijima~Innoshima~Mukaishima)~Onomichi

Today's schedule

[Onomichi] ~~~🚢~~~ [Ikuchijima] :Cycling & Strolling the island ....🚴.... [Innoshima] ....🚴.... [Mukaishima] ~~~🚢~~~ [Onomichi]: 🛌💤

Go to Ikuchijima by ferry
Start Shimanami Kaido cycling from Ikuchijima


《Shimanami Kaido》
The Nishiseto Expressway, commonly known as the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, links Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, with Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. It's a 60 kilometer-long highway exclusively for automobiles that links Geiyo islands that floating the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges.
Also paths for pedestrian and cyclist are well maintained except for the distance between Onomichi and Mukoujima, you can enjoy cycling with views of “Tatobi”.
Since the Islands along the road also maintained cycling path, cycling is the best way to discover the area.
There are bicycle rental stations  not to mention in Onomichi and Imabari, but in islands along the road. So that you will be able to rent a bicycle at Onomichi then return it at Ikuchijima, one way.
 

《Islands and bridges of Shimanami Kaido》
【Onomichi】--- Shin-Onomichi Bridge & Onomichi Bridge ---【Mukaishima】--- Innoshima Bridge ---【Innoshima】--- Ikuchi Bridge ---【Ikuchijima】--- Tatara Bridge ---【Omishima】--- Omichima Bridge---【Hakatajima】--- Hakata-Oshima Bridge ---【Oshima】--- Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge ---【Imabari】



《Ikuchijima island》

Ikuchijima is located in the center of the Shimanani kaido, almost half of which occupied by slopes and that brings many hours of sunlight in a day. Since sunshine duration is long, Ikuchijima produces citrus fruits, in particular, production rate of lemon is the first place in Japan.   
Both sides of the street in the island are lined with stores selling local citrus fruits, you can find and try unfamiliar products to compare their taste. You may find the favorite one among them.
Also Ikuchijima’s concept is “Island-wide Art Museum”, you will find various kinds of arts inside or outside of the island. For example, Ikuo Hirayama the Museum of Art, permanently exhibits the artist’s works, the artist is represented Japanese-style paint has deep connection with Setouchi.
Setouchi is the place where you will be pleased the origin of Hirayama’s work as the artist used to say “My original point lies in the Setouchi climite”. Hirayama passed away in Dec. 2009.

Near the museum, there is Kousanji temple which belongs to the Honganji Sect of the Jodo Shinshu School of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded by the industrialist Kozo Kosanji, an early twentieth century pioneer in French-style welding techniques who resided in Osaka, as a family temple that he built in dedication to his mother.  Kosanji not only built the temple, but even went so far as to enter the priesthood in order to repay a son’s debt of gratitude to his mother. The temple keeps valuable cultural properties introduced from China as old as Heian period.  In addition to viewing those properties, all of those who visit Kosanji Temple will take a moment to thank their mothers with putting their hands together saying “Arigato”.
On the backyard of Kousanji, you will see the huge sculpture made of Cararra marble. The  sculpture is in the garden called “Miraishin No Oka (The Hill Of Hope)”, designed and created over a period of 16 years by Itto Kuetani. The garden is filled with various monuments in milky white colour  made of Cararra marble imported from Italy. Once you stroll the garden, it bring you the feeling as if you were in an another country. 

We cannot put aside bridges over beautiful beaches: Tatara bridge and Ikuchi bridge. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty and elephantine of the bridges. You may think it is burden to make a circuit of Ikuchi Island, but your pedals won’t be heavy when you feel sea breeze blows at Shimanami Kaido on the back. Let’s enjoy cycling at the same time enjoy the grandeur of the nature lies in Seto inland sea.

Across Innoshima to Mukaishima by bicycle
Take a ferry boat from Mukaishima to Onomichi
Hotel in Onomichi ☆☆☆
breakfast, lunch

Day 7:Onomichi~Miyajima~Hiroshima

Today's schedule

[Onomichi] ----🚕---- ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ [Hiroshima] >>>🚃>>> ~~~🚢~~~ [Miyajima] ~~~🚢~~~ >>>🚃>>> [Hiroshima]: 🛌💤

Visit Hiroshima by Taxi and Shinkansen
Leave your laggage at the hotel in Hiroshima, then visit Miyajima by train and ferry

 

《Miyajima》
Miyajima is counted in the 3 best scenery in Japan together with Matsushima and Amano-hashidate, and it is registred as an Unesco world heritage site.
The island itself is a venerable entity since ancient history, and it was developped in 12th century because Taira no Kiyomori protected the Itsukushima shrine in the centre of the island. (Taira no Kiyomori: a military leader of the Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.)
This fact made the prototype of today's construction.
After that, some fires and disasters have been occured, and it was restored and extended each time, and it became as we see today.
You can go there in 10 minutes by ferry from the port of Miyajima, so you can approach the O-torii which is vermillion painted building looks floating in the sea. 
Today's O-torii is 16.6m tall and 60t, the 8th buiding in its history is built in 1875.
You can go there on foot on the ebb tide.As soon as you arrive at the port of Miyajima, the wild dears will welcome you.
The famous tourist spots where you can meet the wild dears are the Nara park and Miyajima.
The dears in both spots are the same species of dear, but the characters and the ways people treat the dears are different.
The dears in Miyajima are smaller then the ones in Nara, but they are more temparament. 
The dears of the Nara park are respected as messengers of God, and protected as a natural monument, and their food can be bought everywhere in the parc. Feeding the dears are one of the attraction for visiting the park.
In the other hand, in Miyajima, dears are not the messengers of gods and not designated as a natural treasure.
However, as the island is a sanctuary and it is prohibited to kill any animals. There is no way to stop multiplication of dears.
In Miyajima, toursits can not feed the dears, but the dears come to look for the foods and they eat the paper goods so you should pay attention what you have in your belongings.When you start walking from the port, and continue the busy streets in the passway, you will find the vermillion Itsukushima shrine.
The construction is called Shinden-zukuri, which is a style of residence of the aristocrasy during the Heian period, and main bulding and other buildings are connected by corridors.
The most of the bulding is in the ocean area, the pillars of the building are soaked in the water at high tide, so it seems as the building is floating in the sea.
In autumn and early winter, when the water is high, the corridors are also in the sea, so the visiting the shrine is suspended temporary.
It is bult in the location which has the risk to receive dameges by typhoon and high water, but the principal bulding has never been destroyed. It is miraculous.The highlight of visiting Miyajima is seeing the "floating red shrine in the sea", but there are many other sightseeing spots in Miyajima.
When you go out the shrine of Itsukushima, and keep walking, you will see the oldest temple in Miyajima called Daisho-in. In the shrine, you can have an experience of Buddhism called "Okaidan-meguri" (groping in utter darkness under the main building of Daisho-in) and in Henjo cave, you can have the benefit at once which is equivalent of visiting 88 most famous pilgrims in Shikoku.
Moreover, there are many Buddhist statues with which you can receive the benefit by seeing Ichigan taishi or Jizo.
In the back side of Itsukushima shrine, there is a beautiful park called Momijidani where you can enjoy seeing green or red-yellow nature and nice promenades, and you can go from there to the top of the Mt Misen by aerial ropeway.
This mountain is considered to be a power spot since long time ago, and there is untouched virgin forest where you can enjoy 360-degree panoramic view and you can also see the islands of Seto Inland sea if the weather is good. 
If you have time and energy, why not challenge to go there.

Visit Hiroshima by ferry and train
Take a bus to Peace Memorial Park

Free at Peace Memorial Park
Sightseeing tour in Hiroshima city, free to the hotel


《Hiroshima》
Hiroshima is infamous for having been victim of the atomic bomb in 1945 and there is plenty of memorials, and museums of history (peace memorial park) that remind us this tragic day. We can still see the atomic bomb dome, place of the impact and the building that miraculously still stands  today. Hiroshima is also a cultural and artistic city, and you will be amazed by its contemporary museum, drew by the architect Kisho Kurokawa. A place that worths a visit after an artistic trip in Naoshima. A wide range of exhibitions take place in the museum and introduce many talentuous artists. You could also enjoy a night cruise in Hiroshima bay and admire the city lights shining between mountains. In the south of the city, enjoy a stroll in the majestic Shukkei-en japanese garde whose construction began in 1620. This is a true peaceful place into the heart of the city.
Hotel in Hiroshima ☆☆☆☆
breakfast, lunch

Day 8:Hiroshima

Check out the Hotel 
End of the tour

If you take Shinkansen NOZOMI from Hiroshima to Kyoto, it will take about 1 hour 40 minutes, or 1 hour 45 minutes by Shinkansen SAKURA and KODAMA.
From Hiroshima to Tokyo, it will take about 4 hours by NOZOMI, or about 5 hours by Shinkansen SAKURA and HIKARI. 
It will be fun when you stop over some places you are interested in on the way back to Tokyo.

*In case of extension of stay, please inquire us via reservation form.

breakfast

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

Ube Tokiwa Park
Located in the town of Ube, in the Yamaguchi Prefecture south of Hiroshima, the wide Tokiwa park surrounds a beautiful lake where plenty of activities to do. It is a place to enjoy pleasant strolls and it also broads a very interesting contemporary museum, where numerous of exhibitions take place and where we can admire outside, beautiful sculptures made by renowned artists. Indeed, every two years is organised the bienal Japanese sculpture exhibition. There are also a zoo, a theme park and you can enjoy great boat rides on the lake.

★Cycling at the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji
As well as the road cycling race athletes of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games will pass through the foot of Mt. Fuji, the five lakes of Mt. Fuji is the venue where “Tour de Nippon” takes place.
Adding to the above, there are variety of cycling courses around the lakes for those who are beginners and not good at sports. The cycling route map is available at tourist information centers as you can download via its website (printed in Japanese).
If you want to rent a bicycle, there are many bicycle rental shops near Kawaguchiko. If you are not feel secure about ups and downs of hills around the lakes, a power-assisted bicycle will help you.
Once you start for cycling, round trip between Kawaguchiko and Saiko for example, you can drop at sightseeing spots like Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine and Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba (Healing Village) etc. then Yurari baths to wash off your sweat.
Why don’t you jump off a vehicle and ride on a bicycle to feel the nature surrounded. Cycling around the five lakes of Mt. Fuji is really worthwhile activity.

Mt. Momokura Hiking and Saruhashi
Both of Mt. Momokura and Saruhashi bridge are located in Otsuki-shi of Yamanashi prefecture, near Tokyo. You can walk from Saruhashi station of Chuo Line to Mt. Momokura’s climbing trail via Saruhashi.
Since the elevation of Mt. Momokura is 1003 m and relatively easy to hike, the mountain is popular among beginners. In addition, the view of Mt. Fuji from the summit is stunning. No wonder Otsuki-shi designated the summit of the mountain as a “Twelve excellent views of Mt. Fuji”.
On the way to the mountain, Saruhashi bridge with no bridge column spans Katsuragawa valley. The bridge is referred as “Three unusual bridge in Japan” due to its construction system called “Hijiki beam system” which is very unique style.
Around the bridge is a famous spot for colour leaves in autumn where many sightseers visit during the peak season.

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Where to Go

Itinerary

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

★Ama-no-hashidate The bridge of the sky
Ama-no-hashidate, located north of Kyoto, is one of the most famous view of Japan that you can admire from Kasamatsu park reachable by a cable car. You could admire a 3,6 kilometers long tombolo, covered by more than 8000 pines forest. This natural bridge provide a peaceful and pleasant stroll. The tombolo is called also the “bridge of the sky” because if we look at it,head down between our legs, it seems to be that way. Do not miss the visit of Chion-ji, the wisdom temple built in 808, and Nariaiji, located on the top of the mountain, near Kasamatsu park.

★ Garden of fine arts (Kyoto)
The garden of fine arts of Kyoto has been drawn by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It is a true open air museum which exposes a wide range of marvellous reproducing works of art paint on porcelain panels, (among those, “the final judgment” of Michel Ange). It is the first time in museum history. Tadao Ando drew the museum harmonizing light, water, and modern materials such as glass and concrete. You will see the botanical garden behind and it makes you feel as you were lost in a wide forest.

★Kayabuki no sato in Miyama
In north Kyoto, there is plenty of remarkable places, where stands a wide range of small traditional villages that worth a visit. Among these, how about visiting a remote village that still keeps today the architecture of the old times ? For the connoisseurs, Kayabuki-no-sato is a village which could be compared with Shirakawa-go situated in Gifu, due to its thatched roofs which protect the inhabitants from the harsh winters, and snow falls. This village will amaze you with the wonderful nature, and the landscape that surrounded it. Two houses are today museums where you could discover the local handcraft, the traditional interior of Japanese houses, and also an art gallery. After strolling in this quiet and charming village whose colours change every season, how about a hike in Ashiyu forest located nearby and enjoy an other panorama ?

Day 1:Kyoto

Visit free in Kyoto

Overnight in Kyoto
Hotel in Kyoto ☆☆☆

Day 2:Kyoto~Himeji castle~Okayama korakuen~Kurashiki

Today's schedule

[Kyoto] ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ [Himeji] :  Visit of Himeji castle ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ ----🚕---- [Okayama] : Visit of Koraku-en, Okayama ----🚕---- >>>🚃>>> [Kurashiki]: 🛌💤

○Symbols in the itinerary:
Bus (regular service) : ===🚌===/ Train : >>>🚃>>> / Shinkansen : ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ / Ferry : ~~~🚢~~~ / Cable car : +++🚠+++ / Aerial ropeway : ***🚟*** / Gondola : ***🚡*** / Taxi : ----🚕---- / Walking : ....🚶.... / Stay : 🛌💤
 


Meet up with an assistant who speaks English at the Hotel in Kyoto
Depart for Himeji by Shinkansen



《Himeji castle》

Himeji castle, a symbolic icon of Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture having the outstanding strong presence is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan and retaining its original shape until today.
The castle covered with white stucco shines beautifully, looks like a white egret about to take flight by the Kotenshu (small tower), Watari yagura (turret connecting other building), Kuruwa (castle compound), and Hori (moat) which surrounding the castle, earned the sobriquet “Hakuro-jo” (Egret Castle). This castle is registered as a first UNESCO World Heritage site in in December 1993 with the temple of Horyu-jin in Nara.  It was 1 year after the entrance of World Heritage Convention.

In 16th century which was Sengoku (The Warring States) period, there has been a castle in Himeji, but it has been restored as we see today in the beginning of 17th century in Edo period after the disturbances of war days. 
The castle at that time substituted the power of the feudal lord, and it was a base of the authoritiy and the political power rather than being a simple military base.
However, this beautiful Himeji castle was not being only the symbol of coercion, but also it has been functioned of defence with many devices and mechanism. It has been an incomparable sturdy fort.
The Tenshu (tower) located in the center and Hori (moat) and other buildings are covered and layered it as triple spiral. So nobody cannot approach to the Tenshu avoiding the spiral. The Edo castle which has been the first and biggest castle in Japan used to have the same construction at that time (but we cannot find it today as it was), but except for the castle of Edo, there was no other castle having the same construction as Himeji castle.
At the visit, you would be impressed by those complicated and ingeniously devised traps inside of the castle and would fell that the castle has been an outstanding fort.
The reason why this castle has been built in Himeji, it was because Himeji might have a risk to be against the big western cities far from Tokyo as Kyoto and Osaka.
However, it has never been in a war and never used as a fort even if it has been surrounded by the armed forces in 19th century. It was surrended at the end without war.
In the second world war, Himeji city was suffered an air raid and innumerable incendiary bomb burned the castle town, but there were only some bombs hit the castle, and they were misfired or extinguished. After the air raid, the people of Himeji found the Himeji castle flawless and they were so touched them to tears.
Himeji castle has many anecdotes and stories.  Not only the beauty which charm people but it has also the original charms and fascination captivate people.
It is miraculously preserved until today and it must be conserved in the future, so that there was a big restoration from 2009 for 6 years, and now it shows again the beauty appearance. 

The very first World Heritage of Japan, Himeji castle will impress you more than you might expect.Visit Koraku-en, Okayama by Shinkansen and Taxi

《Okayama Koraku-en》
As well as Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, Kairaku-en in Mito, Koraku-en in Okayama is evaluated one of the three most outstanding gardens in Japan. 
In 1687, Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo (feudal lord) ordered his vassal to begin construction of Koraku-en. The garden has retained its original appearance from the Edo Period up to the present day, except for a few changes conducted by various daimyo. 
At the time when Koraku-en was constructed, ordinary people lives less freely than today. Yet Koraku-en welcomed everyone with permission. That means the scenery those people admired its beauty still be shared by us nowadays. 
When you visit the garden, you will be surprised by high standard of gardening technique of those days.
Koraku-en recovered from two major disasters, one is a flood damage in 1939 and the other is a war fire during WWII. The restoration work proceeded based on historical material in those days; therefore, the people of today are healed by Koraku-en as the same way as the people in those days.
Just like with other gadens, Koraku-en is enjoyable garden not only to see, but also to walk. 
There is a swamp surrounded by laid pavements in the middle of the garden where small island floated with an arched bridge, that make you feel strolling the garden.  As you viewed from the pavement, there are green grass and well field spreaded.The scenery tells you that colours of trees and blooming flowers are changed with seasons. When you are tired, Cha-ya (Japanese tea saloon) is the best place to take a rest. You can taste Kibi dango, sweet dumpling made with mochi flour and (sometimes) millet flour (famous product of Okayama), while enjoy viewing the garden.Visit Kurashiki by train and taxi

《Kurashiki "Esthetic Area"(Bikan chiku)》
It is located in the centre of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture. There are cultural assets as mansions and warehouses of Edo period, buildings of Meiji period, so that this location is classed as Conservation district of traditional buildings of Japan.
Kurashiki was originally a small fishing village, but as it was protected by the goverment as shogunal demesne, the business developped as a stopover point of logistics.
Accordingly, the materials were transfered, and kept in warehouses, so that the name of this town Kurashiki is made. (Kura is warehouse in Japanese.)
Along the Kurashiki river, there are the mansions with white walls and the warehouses with black and white walls. They were built because people used to bring the materials by the river using the rise and fall of the tides.
When the modernization was started, without the protection of the gouvernment, the town of Kurashiki's business remained stagnant. However, being a city of merchants, and without being left behind the modernization, they absorbed the foreign culture.
Fortunately, the town has not been damaged by fire or by war, and they succed to remain the traditional buildings and to harmonize the occidental buildings after Meiji period.
The effort of concerving the beautiful scenary in Kurashiki started in early stage, the old buildings were not destroyed but they were restored, and now, Kurashiki became the town of tourism. 
You can enjoy walking by in the esthetic area with own atmosphere by stopping at nice shops and cafeteria, but you can also try going downstream in a boat in Kurashiki river which is a very popular attraction.
Taking a "Sappa" boat in Kurashiki river used to bring the materials to the town, you can enjoy the scenery of buildings of Kurashiki from different angle.
Moreover, there are old residences of wealthy merchants, and the first museum of occidental arts, the Ohara museum where you can see the paintings of El Greco, Mattis, Monet, Gauguin and so on and there are many interesting places to visit in Kurashiki.
Ryokan in Kurashiki ☆☆☆
breakfast, dinner, lunch

Day 3:Kurashiki~Inujima~Ushimado

Today's schedule

[Kurashiki] ----🚕----  [Uno port] ~~~~~~ [Inujima]: Strolling the island ~~~~~~ [Ushimado]: 🛌💤



Go to Uno port by taxi
Sail to Inujima


《Yacht》
Cruising in Seto sea, the colour of Seto sea vanishes away of time and the hustles and bustles of a city from you. 
All you have to do is just let yourself with sea wind to enjoy this island hopping tour to see the nature, the art, and the way of living.  
Uno port is the gateway to Naoshima known worldwide for contemporary art exhibitions, we will take you from the port to Inujima, Ushimado, Naoshima, and Toyoshima.
There are about hundred of islands scattered along Seto sea, some are big, some are small, the harmony of those islands and Seto sea is called “Tatobi (the beauty of the archipelago)” .  Since various colours appear gracefully as seasons changes, you will enjoy the view of each season from the deck. 

Since we charter a whole cabin, you will enjoy the spacious and luxurious cruising.
* Please note that there may be fellow-passengers. (2 persons in each cabin, 3 cabins available) 
* If you wish to reserve a whole yacht, please inquire us via the reservation form. 

【Specification of the Yacht】
Class: Catamaran yacht (twin-barreled yacht)
Type: BALI 4.0
Length: 10.72m
Width: 6.72m
Launched in August 2017
Voyage speed: 6 knot
Cabins: 3 (Double rooms)
With air-conditioning and heater
Toilet, washing room, and shower are installed in each cabin
Towels: Bath towel(s) and face towel(s) are provided
Amenity goods: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, shaving, tooth brush 
Hair dryer: available
Audiovisual media: TV, DVD, FM, Bluetooth
Free Wi-Fi
 

《Inujima island》

It is only 2.2km away from Okayama, and you will find it which is floating in offshore of there. This small island is about 4km in circumference, and it takes 25 minutes from Tejima island.
From long time ago, as we can find granite in good quality, this place was known as a stone quarry and the wall for the castles and construction for the ports in all over Japan are sent from Inujima.
Today, we find many lakes and caves in this island because they have quarried too much stones until the natural features were changed. So the original features are unknown now.
After the quarry business became sluggish, they also built a copper refinery.
At that time, there were 4,000 to 5,000 people lived this small island temporarily, but because of the smoke pollution and as they lost in competition between with other industries, they stop the copper refinery, and people left the island. Today, the population is only 47 in this island.
In 2001, as like Naoshima, Benesse also started to restore the island by "Inujima Art House Project", and first of all, they bought the ruined copper refinery.
It was once the source of pollution by toxic smoke, but the refinery has been restored by natural energy and arts by keeping passed negative legacy. It became Inujima Seirensho Art Museum in 2008. (Seireisho=copper refinery)
The architect of this museum is Hiroshi Sambuichi who also designed "Naoshima Hall", a new community centre In Naoshima and there, the works created by Yukinori Yaagi who used Yukio Mishima as a motif.
In the village, we can see the artworks of young and energetic artists like Naoshima as part of Inujima Art House project. 
They worked out in different solution for recreating the new sights from original ones comparing to Naoshima, so it is interesting to see the difference between two islands.
 Sail to Ushimado

《Ushimado》
There are ruins of an ancient tomb built in 4th century in Ushimado. Also Ushimado once became the busy anchorage port for Korean delegation to Japan in Edo period as referred as “the port for waiting a favorable tide and wind”. 
Ushimado nowadays referred as “the Japanese Aegean Sea”, because of the production of Ushimado remains us the Aegean sea.
First of all, olives. Those olive groves have been extended in Ushimado and known as the production area of olives in Japan ranked with Shodoshima of Kagawa prefecture.
By the way, olives grown in Ushimado are originated in Shodoshima, so that they are brothers. 
Secondary, the weather in Setouchi sea. The periodic wind which blows in summer is blocked by the mountain range in Chugoku region whereas it blows in winter is blocked by mountain range in Shikoku region. Therefore, the wind lost moisture when it blows in Setouchi sea that affects to the low rainfall throughout the year, but a lot of hours of sunlight in a day.
Ushimado takes this advantage, you can enjoy various activities let alone cruising.
At last, the views of Ushimado. We recommend you to visit the olive groves spreaded on top of the hill. When you overlook the view from the top after you enjoyed strolling the groves, your eyes are caught of blue, the colour of Setouchi sea, and islands spattered in the area. That is the reason why Ushimado is referred as “the Japanese Aegean sea”. When you look carefully, Shodoshima may come into your sight.
The sunset in Setouchi sea is marvelous. The wind stops blowing when sun is going down the horizon, this phenomena is called “the Seto no Yunagi (evening calm in Seto)”. Everything is still in Ushimado meantime you enjoy viewing the sunset with the smooth sea. This is the scenery that Ushimado is just as good, if not better, as the Aegean sea.
Yacht
breakfast

Day 4:Ushimado~Naoshima

Today's schedule

[Ushimado] ~~~~~~ [Naoshima]: Strolling the island and sunset cruise 🛌💤



Sail to Naoshima
《Naoshima island》

27 large and small islands between Kagawa prefecture and Okayama prefecture in the Seto Inland Sea compose a group of Naoshima islands. The Naoshima island is the principal island of the group.
Originally, they were ruled by pirates of the Seto Inland Sea, but after the modernization, the agriculture and fishing industry were weakened, so they accept the refining plant of Mitsubishi in north area, they overcame the financial difficulties.
In the other hand, the north part of island and its nature were dameged heavily by industrial smoke.
In the end of 20th century, in order to protect the nature and scenic beauty of Seto Inland Sea, Mitsubishi put their ennergies into the recycling and aimed to make the area into eco-town.
A part of the south part which has not been hit by industrial smoke maintained the beautiful landscape was bought by Benesse Corporation and the company appointed the architect Tadao Ando to design a campsite, a museum and a hotel to make the area into touristic cultural spots. It is today's Benesse Art Site Aoshima.
At the beginning, the inhabitants could not quite believe the project, but the ideas which would not make a museum but also make the island itself into a museum, and revival plan of old houses into modern arts under "House Project", those completely new and fresh contemporary concept attracted and drew public attention all over the world.
In 2010, the first Setouchi Trienale was held, and it is evolving, and it leads other islands. 
It is 16km in circumference, and most of the sightseeing spots are found in south half part of the island: Miyanoura bay area in west, Motomura area in East, and Benesse House Museum in south.
You can walk around those area, but if you do not have enough time, we recommend to use the municipal bus and rental bicycle.
Please note that the services and number of passengers are limited, so it is recommended to have extra time in advance to make your plan especially in busy season.
The rental bicycle avoid the worries to be late on time as above, but some roads are rogh and bumpy, so it is also recommended to use a moter-assisted bicycle.
 
《Miyanoura bay area》

There is a main port where the ships from Uno port of Okayama prefecture and Takamatsu port of Kagawa prefecture come into. 
You may find the "Red Pumpkin" of Yayoi Kusama even before your arrival.
Now it is considered to be a symbol of Naoshima and it welcomes all tourists at the entrance of Naoshima and to say goodbye, too.
The Ferry terminal is designed by an unit of architects called SANAA who also designed the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa and also works for the renewal of La Samaritaine in Paris.
In this area, there are a Sento (public bath) with the avant-garde modern art by Shinro Otake called "I Love Yu" and "Miyanoura Gallery 6" which has been reborn from Pachinko (Japanese pinball game) shop.
《Honmura area》

In the east side of the island, called Honmura area, there is a small port for several high-speed boats from Takamatsu port, Uno port, and Teshima port.
This terminal has been also designed by SANAA, and the appearance is as like "linked bubbles".
Honmura area is an old village in Naoshima where we find now artistic creations which has been made based on concretized past memories, to harmonize with present and to be leave and transmit to the future. This project is called as "Art House Project" leaded by Tadao Ando, the architect.
Up to the present, there are 7 artistic creations reborn under this "Art House Project" so far, and they are all in small district where you can easily access to all of them.
The memories of vacant houses and temples where people used to gather are artisticaly expressed in each room, and the fact that many tourists visit there to re-create new evolution .
Tatsuo Miyajima's "Kadoya" which is the first artistic creation by Art House Project and Hiroshi Sugimoto's Goou jinjya shinto shrine, and Minamidera by Tadao Ando paid homage to James Turrell, etc. You can enjoy the room of intermingle of daily and unusual episodes.
There is also "ANDO MUSEUM" that Tadao Ando designed from Japanese folk houses. The appearance is simple and looked as an old traditional house but you may find the originality created by Tadao Ando in the interior designs. 
There are also many cafeterias and restaurants so that it is nice to have a relaxed time enjoying atmosphere of this village where the arts adapted in the calm scenery.
《Museum area》
From Miyanoura port, the municipal bus departs and goes through the Honmura area, and then arrive at Tsumiura area, the old fishing village where we find many Minshuku (guest houses). In front of the inn Tsutsuji-so, there is a beautiful Gotanchi. There are so many people in summer.
And a you will see an yellow pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama standing all alone.
After Tsutsuji-so, the transport is limited and even closed to bicycle, so you should take a Benesse shattle bus (free of charge) or walk in Benesse Museum area.
The shattle bus starts basically after arrival of municipal bus, but as it takes only 30 minutes on foot to the Chichu Art Museum which is the farthest, so that it is also recommended to take a walk to go ther passing by the parc and other out-door art objects.
When you departs from Tsutsuji-so, you will see the Benesse House Museum.
Benesse House Museum is an integrated facility of a hotel and a museum built based on the concept of "coexistence of nature, art and architecture" designed by Tadao Ando.
This is the first facility made by collaboration of Benesse and Tadao Ando, and a large part of the pieces of work are made on the spot, and they are found everywhere: inside and outside of the Museum and also in the guest rooms.
There is an installation artwork of contemporary art using the space itself, so it is a museum of multi angles.
Then you will see the Lee Ufan Museum.
A museum resulting from the collaboration between internationally acclaimed artist Lee Ufan and architect Tadao Ando.
Ando designed semi-underground structure house and Lee Ufan, leading figures of the Mono-ha school ("Mono" means Things) artworks are on exhibition.
Going further, there is the Chichu Art Museum and now Miyanoura is not far from there.
This museum was built mostly underground as it is written in Japanese.
We can find the artworks of Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, and James Turrell and the museum is designed by Tadao Ando exclusively for those 3 artists.
The construction of the museum and artworks are unified and they create an original and unique installation artwork itself.
Consequently, it became very popular, but in the other hand, and it is "the place where we have to think about the men and nature" which is the concept, so in order to avoid receiving too many people, number of visits per day are limited, so that the visitors have to book in advance before coming to the museum.
Yacht
breakfast

Day 5:Naoshima~Teshima~Onomichi

Today's schedule

[Naoshima] ~~~~~~ [Teshima]: Strolling the island~~~~~~ [Uno port] ----🚕---- ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ ----🚕---- [Onomichi]: 🛌💤



Sail to Teshima

《Teshima》
It takes 25 minutes from Naoshima, and this island is located between Shodoshima island and Naoshima island.This island is about 20km in circumference.
The tuff stone of very good quality, Teshima stone is produced, this island is used to be prosperous by quarry, and also by abundant water and by fertile soil, the agriculture, the dairy business, and the fishing prosper were very active.
In the centre of the island, the scenery from the top of Mt Danzan was outstanding, so that this iland has been literally a "Rich island".
However, everything changes as time goes by. By modernization, young people left the island then the depopulation was caused, so that they faced an increase of the aged population. Accordingly, Teshima was declined. From 1970's, the illegal dumping is started progressively, and it because a big insident after 16 years. It is known as Teshima-incident. It gave a fatal blow to the nature and rich soil of the island, and the island once called "Rich island" became "Litter island".
After this problem is uncovered, long and hard conflict by residents of the island, the prefecture set to work to remove the litter, but still, the island is no longer what it was used to be.
This time, they struggle to withdraw the image of the "Litter island", it is nominated the place for the festival of "Art Setouchi, Teshima pulled the attention of people all over the world as an island of art, so they found a new way.
Because of the hard background of the history of this island, we can feel the energy of hope in the artworks in this island.

Sail to Uno Port
Visit Onomichi by Taxi and Shinkansen


After you enjoyed island hopping tour at Seto inland sea,we recommend you to visit the place outstandingly beautiful among the islands of Seto inland sea.
Onomichi, located in the east of Hiroshima prefecture, is picturesque town which remains the shadows of good old days of Japan. Old folk houses and temples are stand along with roads have steep grade. Most of temples located on the top of mountain where you feel absolute perfect when you look down to the sea.
Onomichi also well known for cherry blossoms and selected one of the top 100 cherry blossoms viewing sites. Besides cherry blossoms, you better to try local cuisine, Onomichi ramen.
Hotel in Onomichi ☆☆☆
breakfast

Day 6:Onomichi~Shimanami kaido cycling( Ikuchijima~Innoshima~Mukaishima)~Onomichi

Today's schedule

[Onomichi] ~~~🚢~~~ [Ikuchijima] :Cycling & Strolling the island ....🚴.... [Innoshima] ....🚴.... [Mukaishima] ~~~🚢~~~ [Onomichi]: 🛌💤

Go to Ikuchijima by ferry
Start Shimanami Kaido cycling from Ikuchijima


《Shimanami Kaido》
The Nishiseto Expressway, commonly known as the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, links Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, with Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. It's a 60 kilometer-long highway exclusively for automobiles that links Geiyo islands that floating the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges.
Also paths for pedestrian and cyclist are well maintained except for the distance between Onomichi and Mukoujima, you can enjoy cycling with views of “Tatobi”.
Since the Islands along the road also maintained cycling path, cycling is the best way to discover the area.
There are bicycle rental stations  not to mention in Onomichi and Imabari, but in islands along the road. So that you will be able to rent a bicycle at Onomichi then return it at Ikuchijima, one way.
 

《Islands and bridges of Shimanami Kaido》
【Onomichi】--- Shin-Onomichi Bridge & Onomichi Bridge ---【Mukaishima】--- Innoshima Bridge ---【Innoshima】--- Ikuchi Bridge ---【Ikuchijima】--- Tatara Bridge ---【Omishima】--- Omichima Bridge---【Hakatajima】--- Hakata-Oshima Bridge ---【Oshima】--- Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge ---【Imabari】



《Ikuchijima island》

Ikuchijima is located in the center of the Shimanani kaido, almost half of which occupied by slopes and that brings many hours of sunlight in a day. Since sunshine duration is long, Ikuchijima produces citrus fruits, in particular, production rate of lemon is the first place in Japan.   
Both sides of the street in the island are lined with stores selling local citrus fruits, you can find and try unfamiliar products to compare their taste. You may find the favorite one among them.
Also Ikuchijima’s concept is “Island-wide Art Museum”, you will find various kinds of arts inside or outside of the island. For example, Ikuo Hirayama the Museum of Art, permanently exhibits the artist’s works, the artist is represented Japanese-style paint has deep connection with Setouchi.
Setouchi is the place where you will be pleased the origin of Hirayama’s work as the artist used to say “My original point lies in the Setouchi climite”. Hirayama passed away in Dec. 2009.

Near the museum, there is Kousanji temple which belongs to the Honganji Sect of the Jodo Shinshu School of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded by the industrialist Kozo Kosanji, an early twentieth century pioneer in French-style welding techniques who resided in Osaka, as a family temple that he built in dedication to his mother.  Kosanji not only built the temple, but even went so far as to enter the priesthood in order to repay a son’s debt of gratitude to his mother. The temple keeps valuable cultural properties introduced from China as old as Heian period.  In addition to viewing those properties, all of those who visit Kosanji Temple will take a moment to thank their mothers with putting their hands together saying “Arigato”.
On the backyard of Kousanji, you will see the huge sculpture made of Cararra marble. The  sculpture is in the garden called “Miraishin No Oka (The Hill Of Hope)”, designed and created over a period of 16 years by Itto Kuetani. The garden is filled with various monuments in milky white colour  made of Cararra marble imported from Italy. Once you stroll the garden, it bring you the feeling as if you were in an another country. 

We cannot put aside bridges over beautiful beaches: Tatara bridge and Ikuchi bridge. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty and elephantine of the bridges. You may think it is burden to make a circuit of Ikuchi Island, but your pedals won’t be heavy when you feel sea breeze blows at Shimanami Kaido on the back. Let’s enjoy cycling at the same time enjoy the grandeur of the nature lies in Seto inland sea.

Across Innoshima to Mukaishima by bicycle
Take a ferry boat from Mukaishima to Onomichi
Hotel in Onomichi ☆☆☆
breakfast, lunch

Day 7:Onomichi~Miyajima~Hiroshima

Today's schedule

[Onomichi] ----🚕---- ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ [Hiroshima] >>>🚃>>> ~~~🚢~~~ [Miyajima] ~~~🚢~~~ >>>🚃>>> [Hiroshima]: 🛌💤

Visit Hiroshima by Taxi and Shinkansen
Leave your laggage at the hotel in Hiroshima, then visit Miyajima by train and ferry

 

《Miyajima》
Miyajima is counted in the 3 best scenery in Japan together with Matsushima and Amano-hashidate, and it is registred as an Unesco world heritage site.
The island itself is a venerable entity since ancient history, and it was developped in 12th century because Taira no Kiyomori protected the Itsukushima shrine in the centre of the island. (Taira no Kiyomori: a military leader of the Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.)
This fact made the prototype of today's construction.
After that, some fires and disasters have been occured, and it was restored and extended each time, and it became as we see today.
You can go there in 10 minutes by ferry from the port of Miyajima, so you can approach the O-torii which is vermillion painted building looks floating in the sea. 
Today's O-torii is 16.6m tall and 60t, the 8th buiding in its history is built in 1875.
You can go there on foot on the ebb tide.As soon as you arrive at the port of Miyajima, the wild dears will welcome you.
The famous tourist spots where you can meet the wild dears are the Nara park and Miyajima.
The dears in both spots are the same species of dear, but the characters and the ways people treat the dears are different.
The dears in Miyajima are smaller then the ones in Nara, but they are more temparament. 
The dears of the Nara park are respected as messengers of God, and protected as a natural monument, and their food can be bought everywhere in the parc. Feeding the dears are one of the attraction for visiting the park.
In the other hand, in Miyajima, dears are not the messengers of gods and not designated as a natural treasure.
However, as the island is a sanctuary and it is prohibited to kill any animals. There is no way to stop multiplication of dears.
In Miyajima, toursits can not feed the dears, but the dears come to look for the foods and they eat the paper goods so you should pay attention what you have in your belongings.When you start walking from the port, and continue the busy streets in the passway, you will find the vermillion Itsukushima shrine.
The construction is called Shinden-zukuri, which is a style of residence of the aristocrasy during the Heian period, and main bulding and other buildings are connected by corridors.
The most of the bulding is in the ocean area, the pillars of the building are soaked in the water at high tide, so it seems as the building is floating in the sea.
In autumn and early winter, when the water is high, the corridors are also in the sea, so the visiting the shrine is suspended temporary.
It is bult in the location which has the risk to receive dameges by typhoon and high water, but the principal bulding has never been destroyed. It is miraculous.The highlight of visiting Miyajima is seeing the "floating red shrine in the sea", but there are many other sightseeing spots in Miyajima.
When you go out the shrine of Itsukushima, and keep walking, you will see the oldest temple in Miyajima called Daisho-in. In the shrine, you can have an experience of Buddhism called "Okaidan-meguri" (groping in utter darkness under the main building of Daisho-in) and in Henjo cave, you can have the benefit at once which is equivalent of visiting 88 most famous pilgrims in Shikoku.
Moreover, there are many Buddhist statues with which you can receive the benefit by seeing Ichigan taishi or Jizo.
In the back side of Itsukushima shrine, there is a beautiful park called Momijidani where you can enjoy seeing green or red-yellow nature and nice promenades, and you can go from there to the top of the Mt Misen by aerial ropeway.
This mountain is considered to be a power spot since long time ago, and there is untouched virgin forest where you can enjoy 360-degree panoramic view and you can also see the islands of Seto Inland sea if the weather is good. 
If you have time and energy, why not challenge to go there.

Visit Hiroshima by ferry and train
Take a bus to Peace Memorial Park

Free at Peace Memorial Park
Sightseeing tour in Hiroshima city, free to the hotel


《Hiroshima》
Hiroshima is infamous for having been victim of the atomic bomb in 1945 and there is plenty of memorials, and museums of history (peace memorial park) that remind us this tragic day. We can still see the atomic bomb dome, place of the impact and the building that miraculously still stands  today. Hiroshima is also a cultural and artistic city, and you will be amazed by its contemporary museum, drew by the architect Kisho Kurokawa. A place that worths a visit after an artistic trip in Naoshima. A wide range of exhibitions take place in the museum and introduce many talentuous artists. You could also enjoy a night cruise in Hiroshima bay and admire the city lights shining between mountains. In the south of the city, enjoy a stroll in the majestic Shukkei-en japanese garde whose construction began in 1620. This is a true peaceful place into the heart of the city.
Hotel in Hiroshima ☆☆☆☆
breakfast, lunch

Day 8:Hiroshima

Check out the Hotel 
End of the tour

If you take Shinkansen NOZOMI from Hiroshima to Kyoto, it will take about 1 hour 40 minutes, or 1 hour 45 minutes by Shinkansen SAKURA and KODAMA.
From Hiroshima to Tokyo, it will take about 4 hours by NOZOMI, or about 5 hours by Shinkansen SAKURA and HIKARI. 
It will be fun when you stop over some places you are interested in on the way back to Tokyo.

*In case of extension of stay, please inquire us via reservation form.

breakfast

Ideas of activities to enjoy before the day of departure.

Ube Tokiwa Park
Located in the town of Ube, in the Yamaguchi Prefecture south of Hiroshima, the wide Tokiwa park surrounds a beautiful lake where plenty of activities to do. It is a place to enjoy pleasant strolls and it also broads a very interesting contemporary museum, where numerous of exhibitions take place and where we can admire outside, beautiful sculptures made by renowned artists. Indeed, every two years is organised the bienal Japanese sculpture exhibition. There are also a zoo, a theme park and you can enjoy great boat rides on the lake.

★Cycling at the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji
As well as the road cycling race athletes of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games will pass through the foot of Mt. Fuji, the five lakes of Mt. Fuji is the venue where “Tour de Nippon” takes place.
Adding to the above, there are variety of cycling courses around the lakes for those who are beginners and not good at sports. The cycling route map is available at tourist information centers as you can download via its website (printed in Japanese).
If you want to rent a bicycle, there are many bicycle rental shops near Kawaguchiko. If you are not feel secure about ups and downs of hills around the lakes, a power-assisted bicycle will help you.
Once you start for cycling, round trip between Kawaguchiko and Saiko for example, you can drop at sightseeing spots like Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine and Saiko Iyashino-Sato Nenba (Healing Village) etc. then Yurari baths to wash off your sweat.
Why don’t you jump off a vehicle and ride on a bicycle to feel the nature surrounded. Cycling around the five lakes of Mt. Fuji is really worthwhile activity.

Mt. Momokura Hiking and Saruhashi
Both of Mt. Momokura and Saruhashi bridge are located in Otsuki-shi of Yamanashi prefecture, near Tokyo. You can walk from Saruhashi station of Chuo Line to Mt. Momokura’s climbing trail via Saruhashi.
Since the elevation of Mt. Momokura is 1003 m and relatively easy to hike, the mountain is popular among beginners. In addition, the view of Mt. Fuji from the summit is stunning. No wonder Otsuki-shi designated the summit of the mountain as a “Twelve excellent views of Mt. Fuji”.
On the way to the mountain, Saruhashi bridge with no bridge column spans Katsuragawa valley. The bridge is referred as “Three unusual bridge in Japan” due to its construction system called “Hijiki beam system” which is very unique style.
Around the bridge is a famous spot for colour leaves in autumn where many sightseers visit during the peak season.

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Important to know
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult

  • Please inform us, at the time of booking, about the participation of any person with reduced mobility or suffering from any  condition requiring special needs during the trip. Please note that Yacht is not barrier-free.

  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.

  • We need a minimum of 2 people for this tour to start, and maximum of 6 people. In the case of individual bookings, it will be confirmed once the participant number sufficient.

  • The tour operator  reserves the right to cancel the excursion 30 days before departure date if the number of participants is not sufficient.

  • In case of traffic congestion or any other uncontrollable reasons that affect the tour schedule and lead to delay in time, schedule change or visit cancellation etc., our company will not take any responsibility, please be noted in advance.

  • Itinerary order is subject to change depending on traffic, weather and operation hours.

  • The price is per person based on the booking of a double or a twin room.

  • All the bookings must be confirmed not later than 75 days before departure.
  • The Yacht is shared with oher guest(s).
Additional informations
  • You have the possibility to stay in a wide range of accommodation types in order to immerse yourself in our culture. Please refer to  “Accommodation

  • Please note that we will take public transport during the trip. Please refer to “Transportation

  • Travel to Japan means also the discovery of a fascinating and a varied cuisine. That is why, sometimes during the trip, you will have  freetimes at noon or in the evening to enjoy a wide range of restaurants. You will be surprised by the large number of restaurants in Japan, and their attractive prices. Please refer to  “Meal”.

  • Your main luggage will be transferred from hotel to hotel every two or three days and it is highly recommended to carry a backpack or a handbag with you personal belongings. Please refer to “Transfer of your luggage”.

  • A moderate amount of walking is involved / This itinerary includes hiking paths; please wear comfortable walking shoes.

  • Each itinerary includes some free times. You will enjoy a wide range of sightseeing on your own. Please notice that there will be no transportation during free times. All the payments made during free times are at your own expense.

  • Please  refer to “Travel information” about any useful information.

  • Pictures are used for illustrative purpose only.

Included・English speaking assistant(Day 2 :hotel in Kyoto~hotel in Kurashiki, Day 5: Uno port~hotel in Onomichi, Day 6: Shimanami kaido cycling course, Day 7: hotel in Onomichi~peace memorial park)
 *No assistant except the routes mentionned above.
・Accomodations for 5 nights (including breakfast):1 night in Kyoto (☆☆☆), 1night in Kurashiki (☆☆☆), 2 nights in Onomichi (☆☆☆), 1 night in Hiroshima (☆☆☆☆)
 *Sleeping in the yacht during the cruise. 
・3days 2nights yacht cruising (including breakfast): yacht, skipper, anchorage, fuel
・Meals : breakfast ×7, lunch ×3, dinner ×1
・Transportation during the tour
・Entrance fees:Himeji castle, Okayama korakuen, Kosanji temple, Hirayama Ikuo museum, Itsukushima shrine + treasure house
・Bicycle rental fee for Shimanami kaido cycling
・Suitcase delivery × 2
*Tour price for children is available. The tour price for the groupe who share the rooms by more than 3 peaple can be also negotiable.Please ask us about further information on the reservation form. Each cabin in the yacht is for 2people.
Not included
  • The international flights

  • The insurances

  • The personal expenses

  • The meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • The transports, the entrance fees and the activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • The Tips (optional).

    *Please ask us for the extra nights before or/and after the tour on the booking form.

Dates & Prices

Please select & click on the date below to make a reservation / inquiry.

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