Rural Japan Explorer

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
  • City sightseeing
  • Countryside and village visits
  • Cultural, religious and historic sites
See Itinerary
  • duration 15 days
  • tour type Private
  • age requirement 1+ years old
  • guiding method Self-guided/Independent
  • Footprint carbonneutralCO2 emissions resulting from all trips on Bookmundi will be offset via investments in carbon reduction projects.
  • Starts Osaka, Japan
  • Ends Osaka, Japan
  • See Japan's best landscape gardens in Takamatsu
  • Discover Naoshima's architectural beauty
  • Explore the breathtakingly beautiful Iya Valley
  • Visit the iconic Himeji Castle
This two-week Japan tour will take you off the main tourist trail to discover rural Japan’s lush mountains, fascinating islands and tranquil onsen towns. Start in the ancient capital of Kyoto where you’ll enjoy a city tour with a private guide and visit the Gesshin-in Temple located at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains for a private zazen meditation session and tea ceremony with a zen Buddhist monk.

Venture south to Hiroshima from Kyoto where you can visit the Peace Park, discover Hiroshima Castle (sometimes known as Carp Castle) and stroll around the beautiful Shukkei-en Garden before taking the ferry over to Miyajima Island, home of the iconic Itsukushima Shrine - a Unesco World Heritage site.

Your next destination is Matsuyama, located on Shikoku Island, where you can explore the city’s beautiful historic castle and visit Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest and most famous hot springs, before taking a train to Takamatsu, home to Ritsurin Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan.

A ferry ride from Takamatsu will take you to the quirky Naoshima Island which is famous for its art museums and galleries as well as Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkin sculptures. Return to Takamatsu where you’ll pick up a hire car and embark on a self-drive tour of the dramatic Iya Valley region.

Exploring the spectacular Iya Valley before returning to Takamatsu again. Take a train to Himeji to see the
iconic feudal castle. Then make your way to the sacred pilgrimage destination of Mount Koya and receive an authentic insight into Japan’s Buddhist culture with a stay at Shojoshin-in, one of the oldest temples in the mountain.

Return to Osaka at the end of your trip and spend your last two nights at Osaka Marriott Miyako, a luxury hotel located in the tallest building in Japan. We will drive you to the airport for your flight home. Uncover another layer of Japan rarely seen by tourists and experience rural life in Japan.
  • Day 1: Arrive in Osaka, transfer to Kyoto
  • Day 2: Private sightseeing tour of Kyoto
  • Day 3: Zazen Meditation at Gesshin-In Temple
  • Day 4: Kyoto – Miyajima Island (via Hiroshima)
  • Day 5: Free day in Miyajima
  • Day 6: Miyajima – Matsuyama
  • Day 7: Matsuyama – Takamatsu
  • Day 8: Day trip to Naoshima Island
  • Day 9: Takamatsu – Iya Valley (rental car drive)
  • Day 10: Free day in Iya Valley
  • Day 11: Iya Valley – Himeji
  • Day 12: Himeji – Mount Koya
  • Day 13: Mount Koya – Osaka
  • Day 14: Cycling tour of Osaka
  • Day 15: Osaka departure
  • Private pickup and drop-off transfer
  • Accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • Professional, local, English-speaking tour guides during guided tours only
  • 2-day Kansai Thru Pass and other train tickets between destinations
  • 3-day car rental for a drive around the Iya Valley
  • International flights
  • Japan visa fees
  • Activities and excursions mentioned optional on the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
Why Book with Bookmundi
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20% Deposit payable upfront. Remaining balance payable 45 days prior to trip departure. Free cancellation up to 45 days prior departure, but the 20% deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applicable within 45 days of departure.


A deposit of 20% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Bookmundi recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.

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