Japan Sea Coast

On local trains, starting from Kyoto, along the Japan Sea coast of Western Honshu. The journey explores quieter towns and villages on a side of Japan less visited than along the overly busy ‘bullet train’ route connecting the cities on the Pacific Coast. We’ll explore the Sanin Kaigan National Park, which embraces the pretty coastline, and climb Mount Daisen.

Highlights

Japan Sea Coast by rail.
Mount Daisen.
Lovely hot springs.
Excellent seafood.
Important historical sites including Izumo.
Day 1

We’ll meet at Kyoto station before getting the train to Kinosaki Onsen. On arrival, there’ll be time to look around the time and enjoy one of several natural hot spring public baths in this famous onsen town.

Overnight ryokan

Day 2

Today we’ll travel to the small castle town of Izushi. An important town during the feudal period, Izushi is famous for its porcelain and buckwheat soba noodles. We’ll have a soba-making masterclass and enjoy the results for lunch before taking a leisurely stroll around this quiet town.Return to Kinosaki later in the afternoon.

Overnight ryokan

Day 3

Our journey continues, on slow trains, along the Japan Sea Coast. There are lovely views as we travel towards our destination, Matsue.

After checking-in, we’ll visit the Shimane Art Museum situated on Lake Shinjiko.

Overnight Japanese-style hotel.

Day 4

We’ll take a local train, after breakfast, to the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine. One the most important shrines in Japan, visits are particularly propitious for ensuring happy relationships. Eight million Shinto deities from across Japan are believed to meet here once a year.

On return to Matsue we’ll stop at the old house where Lafcadio Hearn, who loved this part of Japan, lived for a while.

Overnight Japanese-style hotel.

Day 5

Today we’ll climb Daisen (1,729m). The beech forest foliage on the volcanic peak are brilliant green in May and the forests are a fine sight in their autumn foliage. Daisen is an important pilgrimage site and has several temples and shrines on its lower slopes.

If there’s time, we’ll visit the nearby Adachi Art Museum with its perfect Japanese garden which exploits the surrounding local scenery to enhance a sense of space and perspective.

Overnight Japanese-style hotel.

Day 6

By train to Hiroshima today. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Peace Park.

Overnight hotel.

Day 7

Local train and ferry to Itsukushima Jinja Shrine on Miyajima Island. There are a number of pleasant walks which allow visitors to get away from the crowds which often flock to Miyajima.

Return to Hiroshima in the afternoon.

Celebration farewell dinner.

Overnight hotel.

Day 8

Tour ends after breakfast. Onward travel.

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Reviews

"I’d like to thank you for an amazing experience - the trip has set the bar high regarding other trips I’ll take. I really appreciated how you put everything together … and how well you looked after a group of people with varying needs and interests." - Manju, Canada

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