WALKING IN KYUSHU
Yakushima & Kunisaki Trail
With its fusion of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity, Japan is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing places in the Orient. Join us as we explore some of the countries least travelled areas.
From the modern port city of Fukuoka, with its famous Hakata Ramen, to historic Kunisaki and its monk trails, the fisherman and farmer culture of Ojika paired with its traditional rural lifestyle, is just the beginning.
Experience a secluded and unspoilt island paradise on UNESCO forested Yakushima, known as the 'island of ancient forests and water' and a world away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s megacities. Kyushu is an island of vast contrasts exploding with natural beauty – Japan’s hidden and ancient isle.
Cheesecake, figs, and pinot noir.
Up to 12
Enjoy the wildlife and views on the Great Whitsunday hiking trail before a post hike recovery ocean swim.
Sail around Hamilton and Whitehaven Islands and experience the world-famous pure white sand beach.
Swim with Maori Wrasse and Manta Rays, over coral reefs teaming with fish before lunch on the beach.
Hike the Whitsunday National Park, home of the Ngaro people, passing dry rainforest and hoop pines
Go from kayaking to swimming to hiking in a day, enjoying the spectacular views and amazing wildlife
Day 1 - Arrive Kansai Airport Osaka, train to KyotoOn arrival into Kansai Airport Osaka, you will be met and transferred to the train station for the short train ride to Kyoto. Originally known as Heian-kyo, the capital of peace and tranquility, Kyoto was home to the Imperial Court for 11 centuries, before it moved to Tokyo in the late 19th Century. In its 1100 years as the Imperial home, Kyoto became one of the great cities of the world and the cultural heartland of Japan. After checking into your hotel, we will have lunch, then embark on a short tour of the Kinkakuji Temple and the Ryoanji Zen Garden. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight Palaceside Hotel or similar.
Day 2 - OjikaThis morning your ferry will arrive at the tiny island of Ojika. Ojika Island is a peaceful paradise with historical sites, scenic beaches and a rustic countryside life that will make you feel you have stepped back in time. The island is home to only 2500 people, most of who are farmers and fisherman living a simple life, in harmony with nature. Central to Ojika’s culture, is Omoiyari, a concept that revolves around showing consideration for others, and looking for ways to show kindness to those around you. This type of generosity means a fisherman might provide some fish for his neighbour, who in turn might reciprocate by leaving him some seasonal vegetables the following morning. The people of Ojika believe that generosity leads to greater happiness, and their lifestyle reflects this. Your local guide will show you around this tiny island and you will be able to witness it go about its traditional ways as it has done for so thousands of years. You will have the chance to explore by bicycle, visiting breathtaking view spots, stunning coastline, local fisherman’s homes and farmers’ fields. The friendly locals welcome any visitors with open arms, and your day will be spent basking in the local hospitality. Your accommodation for the next two nights, will be in a ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn), run by a local family. Here you will be treated to a seven-course feast of locally sourced produce, and you will learn the origins of this mouth-watering food and how it is prepared. In the evening after dinner, your group will head off to enjoy the only karaoke bar on the island – an experience not to be missed! (B,D) 2 nights in a local home – Ojika Goen-Ojika (small family run ryokan)
Day 3 – Ojika Island – Nozaki IslandEnjoy breakfast at your ryokan this morning before departing to visit the lively local fish market, where you can learn more about some of the fresh seafood you ate the previous evening. You will then take a ferry (approx. 45 min) to neighbouring Nozaki Island, a small uninhabited island where the only inhabitants are wild deer and Japanese wood pigeons. In the seventeenth century this island became a sanctuary for Christians fleeing persecution. It is the perfect place to explore on foot and you will be able to stretch your legs as you follow a gentle trail to Nokubi Church. In 1868, Japan lifted the ban on Christianity and the Christian community built this church as a permanent reminder of their faith. It is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the country. You will stay on Nozaki Island for about four hours, giving you plenty of time to explore and enjoy the natural beauty, and become acquainted with the wild Japanese deer who live here. You will then take the ferry back to Oijka Island. Tonight, you will enjoy dinner at your ryokan and then have the evening at leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Yanagawa - KagoshimaEnjoy breakfast at your ryokan before saying farewell your hosts and travelling by jet ferry to Sasebo (approx. 1.5 hours). Once in Sasebo, you will have a chance to experience the Japanese train system as you travel from Sasebo to Yanagawa (approx. 3 hours). Yanagawa is known as “the Venice of Kyushu” due to its large number or canals, originally part of an irrigation system, but later fortified into moats when the city was turned into a castle town at the beginning of the 17th Century. This was prior to the start of the Edo period at the beginning of the 17th century, and the castle was referred to as the ‘Water Castle’ due to all these canals that stretched across the town. Relax and enjoy the view as you take a canal cruise to get acquainted with this historical city. Next, you will enjoy an Unagi (eel) lunch. As you taste this local delicacy, you will learn about the history of this traditional food and its effect on the body (and soul). After lunch, you will continue to Kagoshima. Across the bay, the active volcano Sakurajima looms, creating a dramatic backdrop to this seaside city. This evening you will enjoy a night walk exploring Tsurumaru Castle wall and Shiroyama Observatory amongst some other hidden secrets. (B,L) Overnight Kagoshima JR Hotel or similar
Day 5 - etc. etc...You can add photos and videos in here.
Overnight Ferry from Fukuoka to Ojika
9 Nights Accomodation
All Breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners
Services of an English-speaking guide
Entrance fees as per the itinerary
Private and public transportation as per itinerary
International & domestic air tickets unless added
Meals and beverage not already mentioned
Early check-in and late checkout hotel charges
Personal travel insurance
Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, topping, etc.