Island hopping tour around Naoshima & Himeji, Miyajima, Kurashiki

The Seto Inland Sea may be a kind of huge open-air natural museum. You will enjoy the beautiful scenery of islands from the boat.
Then you will enjoy the sightseeing of Himeji castle which is known for its elegance and the beauty and you can walk in Kurashiki the esthetic area known as the traditional architectures preservation district. 
Miyajima, one of the World Heritage Sites, where you find an awesome vermillion shrine and a large Torii-gate built in the water.
The arts, nature and the World Heritages in Seto Inland Sea area will leave you unforgettable fantastic memories.

Where to Go

Itenerary

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
breakfast

Day 2 : Kyoto - Himeji castle - Naoshima island

Today's schedule

[Kyoto] ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ [Himeji] :  Visit of Himeji castle and Lunch (not included)⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ + ===🚌=== + ~~~🚢~~~ [Naoshima Island] 🛌💤

※The entrance fees of Himeji castle and Koko-en Park are included.

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



To Himeji by Sanyo 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.
Benesse House on Naoshima island
breakfast, dinner, lunch

Day 3 : Sightseeing in Naoshima island

Today's schedule

[Naoshima]  → Free time in Naoshima island & Lunch (not included) → [Naoshima] 🛌💤

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


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 Hozumi 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.

Benesse House on Naoshima island
breakfast, dinner

Day 4 : Naoshima-Inujima -Teshima

Today's schedule

[Naoshima]  ===🚌=== +  ~~~🚢~~~ [Inujima] :Free time in Naojima island&Lunch (not included) ~~~🚢~~~ [Teshima]🛌💤

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



《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.
Minshuku in Teshima island
breakfast

Day 5 : Teshima~Takamatsu

Today's schedule

[Teshima]  →  Free time in Teshima island&Lunch (not included) ~~~🚢~~~ [Takamatsu] 🛌💤

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



《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.
Hotel in Takamatsu
breakfast

day 6 : Takamatsu~Megishima, Ogijima~Takamatsu

Today's schedule

[Takamatsu]  ~~~🚢~~~ [Megishima]:Free time in Megishima island & Lunch (not included) ~~~🚢~~~ [Ogijima]:Free walking in the island  ~~~🚢~~~ [Takamatsu] 🛌💤

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



Megishima

It is located in the 4km offshore of Kagawa prefecture. It takes only 20 minutes by ferry from Takamatsu port.
There are some places with up-and-down but we can easily go around by motor assisted bicycle in this small island of 9km of circumference.
This Megishima is a pair island with Ogijima island. (Megishima is a woman island, and Ogijima is a man island.)
However this Megishima has another name: Oniga-shima.
Oniga-shima means "Ogre island" in Japanese, and in the famous fairy tale "Momotaro (the Peach boy)" this is where Momotaro went to defeat the ogres.
In the north side of this island, there is Mt Washigamine, and on the top of this mountain, there is a big cavern of 400m of totall length which has been made by people in B.C.200, and there, it is said that the ogres used to live.
There is not special ground for the place of ogres in Megishima, but it is still unknown why and who made such a big cavern.

However, the people of Megishima unified to push the ogres in this island which makes a heartwarming scenery.
In the cavern there are ogre figures and countless Oni-gawara (tiles of ogres) made by students in Kagawa prefecture shown inside.
You can find many ogre monuments and something concerning ogres everywhere in the island so that you may find the difference of image of ogres between the Occident and Japan.


 

If you go up to the top of the cavern, there is an observatory where you can enjoy a 360 degreee view of the Seto Inland Sea. You should not miss it.

As you find, they appeal that this is the island of ogres in Megishima, but the village of Megishima has a sole and unique scenery.
The stone fences called "Oote" cumulated for the wall are found everywhere and some walls have 4m of hight and they make a kind of labyrinth.
It is not for the protection for the foreign enemy's attack, but it is for the local gust of wind from the highest mountain Mt Takato (216m) from south side during the winter time. 

And this Megishima is also selected for the festival of Art Setouchi, and there are many installation of arts.
Shinro Otake changed an closed school in art called "Mekon". "Terrace Winds" by Yasuyoshi Sugiura (ceramic artist), and "The Presence of Absence" by Leandro Erlich (Argentine modern artist), etc tha you can find the artworks created in the art festival.
 

Ogijima

A pair island with Megishima, but smaller than the other, it takes 20 minutes by ferry from Megishima.

Ogijima has a particular scenery of stone walls like Megishima, but the walls are constructed for supporting the houses in slopes because there are not many flat grounds in Ogishima.
It is also selected as a place of Art Setouchi. Accordingly, you can enjoy many diversely artworks in the villages.
As it is a small island, and villages are found in the same location, so it is easily go around on foot.
"Ogishima's Soul" in ferry port, and "Walking Arc" in fishing port, "Project for wall painting in lane" and "Memory Bottle" in the village can be found in the island.
At the time, this island called as "Neko shima" (Cat island) because there were so many cats lived everywhere more than the artworks, so that the cats were castrated and number of cats are moderated. Then the quiet and peaceful scenery is recovered.
Still, friendly cats will say hello to you in each corner of the island.
Hotel in Takamatsu
breakfast

day7Kurashiki

Today's schedule

[Takamatsu]  >>>🚃>>>  [Kurashiki]: Walking in Esthetic Area>>> 🚃>>> + ⋙⋙🚅⋙⋙ + ~~~🚢~~~ [Miyajima]🛌💤

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



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.

Arrive in Miyajima at the end of afternoon
Hotel in Miyajima island
breakfast, dinner

day 8 : Miyajima~Hiroshima

Today's schedule

[Miyajima] :Free time in the island & Lunch (not included) ~~~🚢~~~ + >>>🚃>>> [Hiroshima] 🛌💤

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



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.
breakfast

Ideas of activities to enjoy after the tour

Visit 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.

Onomichi and the Shimanami road
After an island hopping trip on the Seto sea, how about visiting one of its most beautiful picturesque and coastal city ? We recommend you to head for the charming city of Onomichi, located east of Hiroshima. The city  is plenty of charming ancient districts, as the Yamate district where you will see many temples and traditional houses along the ascending walkways. Many of these temples are standing in the mountain and provide you a breathtaking seaview. You could take the “old temples road” to admire it. In Onomichi, a large number of festivals take place, as the Haïku festival during springtime, season when you could amdire the cherry blossoms, and be inspired to write one of these traditional Japanese poems. The city is registered as one of the greatest city to admire cherry blossoms in Japan.
From Onomichi, you could also enjoy a bike ride for who anyone who loves sport activities on the Shimanami road crossing huge bridges and beautiful sceneries on the Seto sea.  

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.

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 advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.

  • We need a minimum of 8 people for this tour to start. 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 30 days before departure.

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.

  • Please expect an additional price if you are traveling alone. Most of the Ryokan doesn’t have single rooms.

  • Pictures are used for illustrative purpose only.

     


     

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    Naoshima

    4.7 5.1 8.1 13.4 18.1 22.5 26.8 27.7 23.6 17.3 12.1 7.2

    Takamatsu

    6.2 6.4 9.0 15.7 20.8 22.8 28.7 29.4 23.9 18.4 11.9 6.4

    Miyajima

    5.2 6.0 9.1 14.7 19.3 23.0 27.1 28.2 24.4 18.3 12.5 7.5
Included
  • tour leader‘s service every day

  • The breakfasts and the meals mentioned in the itinerary

       :7 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 3dinners

  • Every transport mentioned in the itinerary

  • Standard grade accommodation (three stars) for  7 nights

       :1night at Kyoto, 2 nights on Naoshima island(Benesse House) , 1night at Teshima island, 2nights at Takamatsu, 1night on Miyajima island
*Remark: The accomodation onTeshima island will be Minshuku style. Depending on the availability , it could be possible to stay on Naoshima island.

  • The visits and the entrance fees in the sites mentioned in the itinerary

  • The transfer of your luggage from  hotel to hotel every two or three days

  • Luggage transfer fees from hotel to hotel.

    *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.

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.

Dates&Price

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

Travel tips

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