Agritourism in a tea village in Kyoto, Mount Koya, Ise JinguLet's live in idyllic countryside in the Kyoto Tea Village with the local people while making plenty of agritourism experiences. You will be immersed into farmer’s daylife and will learn all the secrets about japanese tea in one of the most important production in Japan.
This tour is plenty of varied experiences as spending the night in a temple at mount Koya, into the heart of buddhism traditions. You will enjoy the warm welcome and a comfortable japanese style room; and if you would, participate in the early morning prayers into a spiritual and mysterious ambiance. Then, how about visiting a former Ninja village where you could learn all about the combat skills of those stealth warriors ? You could also visit a former ninja mansion full of traps.
We will visit also Ise Jingu, one of the most sacred and important shrine complex in Japan. Into the woods, and along rivers, walk on countryside paths pictured by those hidden little shrines; and enjoy a true spiritual experience.
Where to Go
Few ideas of activities to enjoy during the days before the tour departure
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
The Torokko tourist train of Sagano and the Hozu river boat ride
Perhaps you know Arashiyama, a Kyoto natural area, famous well known for its bamboo grove and its monkey park, not to mention the large number of temples and shrines that stand here ? You should know that in Sagano, it is possible to take a small picturesque train and cross the mountainous area and the stunning scenery near Kyoto. Torokko train alias “romantic train” wears its name well, traveling along the Hozugawa river in a beautiful valley. Moreover, it is possible and recommended to take a boat down to the river. From Kameoka station, the Torokko train terminal, you could board a small wooden boat to sail over 16 kilometers to Arashiyama, crossing the rapids and stunning sceneries, a very fun and playable activity to enjoy !
Kyoto matsuri (festivals)
As the seasons changed, a wide range of festivals take place in Kyoto and we could select 3 main. During autumn, on October 22nd, during the Kyoto Jidai festival, you could admire a parade where hundreds of persons are wearing traditional clothes, walk from the imperial palace to Heian Jingu shrine; during springtime, there is the Aoi festival, around mid-may, at the Kamigamo temple, where you could admire these colourful traditions; and in summer, the Gion festival will amazed you by the beauty of the huge decorated floats parade and traditional dances.
Day 1 : Kyoto
Overnight in Kyoto
Day 2 : Kyoto - Mt. Koya
Tourists in Japan share with most of their foreign counterparts an understandable appeal especially for Tokyo and Kyoto. But they add this sometimes astonishing fascination for Mount Koya.
the trip is a small organized and very accessible journey. Koya is nestled directly south of Osaka, the starting point is naturally located. Allow about two hours to take down the train, funicular and bus trio. Once at the top, the distances are relatively small (the ends of interest are separated by a few kilometers at most) and it is possible to do everything on foot.
The heart of the visit is the sublime walk to Okuno-in, the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (Kukai), one of the founders of the nineteenth century Buddhism as we know it in Japan. Do not go wrong, however: if the original, typical, offers a delightful walk between the guardian peaks of a cemetery that extends as far as the eye can see, the back of the incredible mausoleum barely masks a wide a tarmac alley without a soul, where a constant stream of tourist buses is pouring.
The rest of the ride to Mount Koya consists of several beautiful points of interest, among which Garan, Kongobu-ji or Daimon. What a great time on the spot despite the hordes of visitors, particularly Francophones and especially in high season, which sometimes prevent the desired calm.
Shukubo: stays in the temples
Shukubo, which literally means "sleeping with the monks", is for many foreign visitors a must for travel to Japan. This experience of accommodation in a Buddhist temple allows to discover the daily life of the Japanese monks, to learn about the vegetarian cuisine shôjin ryôri, and sometimes to attend religious rituals of the morning.
Shukubo are open to all foreign visitors, without discrimination of sex, nationality or religion.
Despite the spartan image sometimes associated with Japanese monasteries, be sure to find a minimum of comfort in your bedroom: tatami, futon, blanket, lamp, etc.
However, do not be surprised to find no radio, TV or private bathroom. In the manner of the traditional ryokan inns, you will have to share the common bathroom.
No card either for the evening meal: unique menu for everyone, without meat or fish! That said, some temples tolerate the consumption of alcohol and will offer you beer, wine or sake.
Whatever your religious orientation, attending the morning liturgical ritual is a meaningful experience, which is for many the first charm of shukubo.
Each Buddhist sect cultivates its own rituals: between the collective meditation session, the recitation of sacred sutras, or the fire ritual of esoteric Buddhism, the visitor is spoiled for choice.
Participation in the morning ritual, however, is not mandatory. For those interested, however, know that it will be necessary to get up early, around 5am or 6am!
Day 3 until the evening : Mt.Koya - Nara
While Nara Park is generally associated with the main estates of the temples and the park proper, the previously private gardens are now open to the public. These gardens make use of the temple buildings as auxiliary features of their landscapes. The park is home to the National Museum of Nara and Todai-ji, where the world's largest wooden building houses a Buddha statue some 16 meters high.
Day 3 night - Day 5 noon : Agritourism in Wazuka
Tea Plantations in ISHIDERA
Tea Plantations in HARAYAMA
The very rare tea field which is only can be seen in Wazukacho is the round tea plantations in Harayama（guide needed）、the round tea field is one of them. You can feel both natural beauty as well as artificial beauty in this tea field. It’s hard to imagine how much effort the ancestors ‘ve put into the tea field when you see the scenery. It takes about 30 mins to walk from the nearest bus stop ‘Harayama’. Although it’s hard to find the way and takes a lot of efforts to climb the mountain,If you overlook from the hill top , the scenery of green tea carpets and the bird’s eye view of Wazuka will make you forget all the fatigue.
Tea Plantations In SHIRASU & ERIHARA
From the tea plantations of Ishitera,along the royal tomb of prince Asaka, we can see the tea plantations in Shirasu and Erihara on the other side. Tea plantations in Wazuka streched along the steep mountain up to sky. The tea plantations deeclined like a patchwork、like the mountain fields. It can be seen from Shirasu （there is a marked sign ）.Along the tea plantations in Shirasu、we can see different views according to the change of season, Hiking is highly recommended.
Miroku Magai-butsu:The Standing Image of Bouddha on the rock
The standing image of Miroku-bosatsu,Mytreya,in the cliff is looking down upon the Wazuka River.It was carved on a gigantic granite stone with the inscription of April ,1300.
A stroll in a tea plantation
Let’s stroll in one of the most important Uji tea plantation of the Wazuka area. Here there is one of the biggest high-end green tea production of entire Japan. The tea cultivation is part of daylife of Wazuka inhabitants, and you will be amazed by the beautiful scenery of the grower’s tea fields around you. Moreover, you will be surprised by the wonderful nature while admiring the forest, the mountains and rivers too. The landscape is incredible every season, so come and enjoy it !
Tea Pickiging Experience
Tea Pickiging Experience is the most popular among all. There are two seasons fro tea picking seperately in May –June and September-October. Tea is considered to be picked by hands but now in Japan cut by machine has become the main trend.The form of tea picking by hand is applied in the first grade Gyokuro Macha 、tea contest、tea picking event and so on. It’s available to have tea picking experience in Wazuka,but in the busy seasons tea farmers may not meet your requirements.We hope you can understand .According to the hope of tourists experience liike tea girl cosplay.
Compare 3 different kind of tea (july-april)
There is a lot of different kind of tea in Japan, as Sencha, Hojicha, Genmaicha or brown rice tea, matcha (green tea powder), Oolong tea, or black tea. Did you know that those different kind of tea come from the same tea tree ? However, there is a difference regarding the growing and the manufacturing process. We will experience comparing 3 different kind of tea came from the same tree. After tasting each one, will you be able to feel the difference in taste ?
It includes Sencha, Gyokuro, Tencha, there is also the tea that resists the cold, those whose harvest is important, and each particularity will be taken in account by the farmer and will determine the place of growing and the harvesting time.
Blended tea is highly commercialized all around the world but Wazuka being an important production area, we are able to enjoy the unique experience of comparing each kind of tea.
Japanese Tea Lessons
How to Make the TEA
The hometown of Ujicha Wazuka taught by Japanese tea instructors how to brew the delicious tea.Usually we just brew tea without thinking. Nowadays more and more people tend to drink petbottle tea and forget how to brew tea in teapot. Please enjoy the delicious tea under the instruction of the Japanese tea instructors who knows a lot about tea.Tea classroom has become more and more popular, feedback like 「tea is such a delicious drink」「I wanna brew like this at home」can be heard everywhere.
Experience herbal tea and soap making
At the “Wazuka green farm”, we will taste an infusion prepared with fresh herbs that we will harvest ourselves.
Enjoy the particular taste and aroma of the freshly-picked herbs.
Moreover, from those herbs, it is possible to make handcrafted soaps.
Bring with your souvenirs, the good smell of those organic soaps.
Experience tea ceremony : sâdo
Experience together tea ceremony, in a chashitsu (a room dedicated to tea ceremony), or outside (“Nodate” in Japanese); we will observe a particular tea preparation named “Otemae” that is only made during the “Urasenke” tea ceremony style. Then, you could prepare matcha tea on your own. We will learn how to taste “Okashi” (traditional Japanese pastries) with the tea. Tea ceremony is a unique and important moment between the host (who welcome) and the guest ( who enjoy the tea). During the preparation, plenty of images will unfold in front of your eyes, you will listen to the sound of the Kama (small container where the tea is prepared), you will smell the sweet aroma of the tea before enjoying it. Stimulate your senses and enjoy this deep sensation.
※Depending on the seasons and the farmers disponibility, please note that the program could be modified.
Day 5 ( After leaving Wazuka)Wazuka - Iga - Ise
The province of Iga is an old province of Japan which occupied an area included in the present western part of the prefecture of Mie. The province of Iga was surrounded by the provinces of Ise, Omi, Yamato, Yamashiro. The city that protected the province through its castle was Ueno, and the province was divided into four districts. The province of Iga was famous for the ninjas of his Iga-ryū school, the most famous was probably Hanzō Hattori. The province is considered with the province of Kōga (Kōga-ryū) as the birthplace of ninjutsu (martial art of training ninjas).
The Ninja techniques would come from the military strategy of Sonshi imported from China in the sixth century. These techniques developed by adapting to their new environment, Japan. In fact, the Ninja technique differs from the classic military strategy. The "Ninja" is the person who uses these techniques and this strategy. The schools of Iga Ninja and Kôga Ninja have the same origin and are considered the best in Japan. It is in the prefecture of Mie that is the only museum of Japan dedicated to the Ninja Culture. It welcomes many visitors from around the world.
Ninja Experience Hall
Visitors can watch Iga ninja stealthily infiltrate Ueno Castle. On the video screen in the Mini Theater, one can watch to see how they infiltrated undetected by anyone, and escaped as well. There, visitors can also learn about the tools ninja used to carry out their strategies, and even try using some of the tools by themselves. There are over 400 ninja tools on display, including shuriken actually used in the time of the ninja.
Visitors can watch a show where ninja tools that were actually used in the ninja heyday are demonstrated. Shuriken, swords, and kusarigama are used in this exciting display.
In order to prevent having explosives manufacturing technology stolen by enemies, this typical ninja house had protections such as set traps and fake hallways. The ninja house is a simple farm dwelling, but has surprises, escape routes, hidden doors, places to hide swords, and the above traps and trickery.
Here a kuno (female ninja) guides visitors through each part of the house, showing and demonstrating each trap or trick it contains.
Day 6 : Ise sanctuary - Toba
The sanctuary of Ise is located in the city of Ise, in the center of Mie Prefecture, Japan. The location of the sanctuary forms part of Ise-Shima National Park, which also includes other sacred and historic places, such as Meoto Iwa and Saikū (imperial residence during the Heian period). The sanctuary is actually a complex complex made up of more than a hundred small buildings; it consists of two main sites1: the "inner" sanctuary (内 宮, naikū?) and the "outer" sanctuary (外 宮, gekū?). The first, dedicated to the solar goddess Amaterasu, is officially named Kōtai-jingū (皇 大 神宮?) And located in the Ujitachi district (sometimes simply called Uji); the second, dedicated to a goddess of Toyouke food, is officially named Toyouke daijingū and located in the Toyokawa district. 6 km separate the two sanctuaries.
Renowned for having housed the sacred mirror of the Emperor of Japan, the shrine is probably one of the most sacred places of Shintoism. Access to the site is regulated, the public can visit only part of the sanctuaries.
Exemples of tourist spots below.
"Samurai Kingdom Ninja-Ise"
A visit to Samurai Kingdom Ninja-Ise just as much about doing things as it is about seeing things. You can learn how to play traditional Japanese games with dice, darts, and playing cards. Or head over to the archery to shoot a bow and arrow. And since we're in the homeland of the ninja, you can throw ninja stars at targets.
To get the full experience, make sure to dress up in traditional garb. Are you a samurai, a maiko, or perhaps a ninja? Couples visiting together will want to stay in costume until nightfall to take in the romantic atmosphere on the streets.
What to see
Visit the museum to see the complex process by which swordsmiths craft a katana.
There are also several performances to attend, including a historical battle reenactment, a taiko drum shows, and a ninja duel.
The best place to find a nice view of the castle town and the surrounding countryside is from a lofty perch in Azuchi Castle's keep. The castle is a replica of a fortress Oda Nobunaga had built in the late 16th century to keep watch over his dominion.
"Pearl Island in Isé-Shima National Park"
Toba is located in the heart of Japan. Being the gateway to the Isé-Shima National Park, the city is an international tourist place nestled in the lush mountains and protected by the proximity of the sea. The breathtaking view of Toba Bay shows a string of islets, one of which is the world-famous pearl island Mikimoto.
Pearl Island Mikimoto became famous in 1951 for its first successful pearl production and culture in history.
Now Mikimoto Island is visited by tourists from all over the world.
After crossing the Pearl Bridge, we continue to see pearls and pearl lovers.
You will learn the secrets and the beauty of Pearls and will contemplate the graceful technique of collecting pearls by professional divers.
Enjoy your visit and keep some memories that will stay forever in your heart.
A trip around Toba bay
In order to enjoy completely the islands located in Toba bay, what about boarding a pleasure boat ?
If you board a boat not far from Toba station, it will provide you majestic sceneries. On the way, you could make a stop on Ikura island. Ikura means Dolphin in Japanese, and you could start with going to a dolphin and sea lion show. It is also possible to pet the dolphins, and it is a very playable activity for both adults and children. Thereafter, we could go up the mountain by hiking or by a chair lift to the observatory. Here there is a breathtaking view over Toba bay. The boat ride is about 50 minutes (without a stop at Iruka island). Moreover, the boat ride includes the Mikimoto pearl island that you could enjoy. (visit at extra cost).
Day 7 : Toba - Nagoya
Leaving for Nagoya.
*Possible to leave for Tokyo instead of Nagoya with an extra charge: 20000yen.( transport Nagoya-Tokyo and hotel(☆☆☆) near Tokyo station)
No escort from Tokyo station to the hotel.
*Possible to leave in the morning or in the evening.
*Possible to extend the stay at Toba. Please feel free to contact us about it.
Day 8 : Nagoya
|Important to know|
:7 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 6 dinners
:1night at Kyoto, 1night in a shukubo at Mt.Koya, 2nuits at Wazuka, 2nuits at Toba or Ise, 1night at Nagoya.