JAPAN GREEN TOUR
13 nights (Self-guided)
Narita, Yamanashi, Tokushima, Kamikatsu, Ayabe Farm, Mt Koya & Osaka
From £2,695 pp
Our Japan Green Tour is a trip that encourages sustainable green tourism. What makes this itinerary unique is that it takes you off the beaten track to experience the remote countryside and villages, where you can interact with locals and participate in activities such as farming and food harvesting, depending on the season.
Visits to Narita, Yamanashi, Tokushima, Kamikatsu, Ayabe Farm, Mt Koya, and Osaka
Stay in a Japanese farm and experience the Japanese farm life
14 day Japan Rail Pass
13 nights' accommodation
Dinner included for four nights
Meet and Greet service upon arrival at the airport
Airport transfers from/to Narita International Airport
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN JAPAN, MEET & GREET AT NARITA AIRPORT (TOKYO)
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet can help you activate your Japan Rail Passes and will direct you to the most suitable train for the 10-minute ride to Narita city. Check in to your clean and comfortable standard accommodation near the train station.
DAY 2: NARITA CITY
Spend a full day exploring Narita, the highlights being the beautiful gardens of Naritasan Park, the Shinshoji Temple, and the Boso Village Open Air Museum. Shinshoji Temple is well-known both for its historical significance in relation to Japanese Buddhism, as well as for its 25-meter high three-story pagoda built in 1712, and the more recent 58 meter high Great Pagoda completed in 1984. The peninsula on which Narita is located is known as the Boso Peninsula, and at the Boso Village Open Air Museum, you will enter a reconstructed village from the Edo-era when the samurai dominated the streets of Japan. Here you can participate in a traditional tea ceremony, try on some samurai armour, or join seasonal activities such as crop harvesting and bamboo craft making. History enthusiasts will be pleased to find authentic burial mounds as old as Japan's written history, alongside an archaeological museum displaying some of the excavated artifacts.
DAY 3: NARITA TO YAMANASHI
Travel to Yamanashi by train and bus, and check into your private room for the next 2 nights in a quaint eco-lodge where small groups may share the living space with the owners. Depending on the season, you can harvest food for your meals, go for a swim in the river, try the local hot springs, and hike the surrounding mountains.
DAY 4: YAMANASHI
Spend a full day in the Yamanashi countryside, learning about rural life in Japan's beautiful nature far from the cities hustle and bustle. Here, you can make lifelong memories only available to those who dare to stray far off from Japan's popular tourist routes.
DAY 5: YAMANASHI TO FUKUSHIMA
Today you can pick up some food, snacks, and drinks for the journey to Tokushima on the island of Shikoku. You will spend a good chunk of the day enjoying the sights of cities, towns, and unspoiled nature from your comfortable Bullet Train seats. Tokushima is an atmospheric city off-the-beaten-track on the beautiful east coast of Shikoku. Stop by the adjacent Naruto city to see the unique natural Naruto ocean whirlpools (literal translations of Naruto are swirl, spiral, or whirlpool). Tokushima was historically a famous castle town, and you may want to stop by the castle ruins in the middle of the city.
DAY 6: TOKUSHIMA TO KAMIKATSU
After breakfast, you can try the Bizen Ropeway which is a cable car that will take you up the mountains high over the city. After enjoying the view, ride back down and transfer to the local bus for a one-hour ride deep into the Shikoku's countryside where few foreign visitors have been before you. Kamikatsu was unknown to most Japanese as well, but it has recently gained recognition for its efforts to become Japan's first zero-waste town. Garbage is recycled into more than 30 categories, and the locals are cooperating coming up with efficient systems to recycle and avoid incinerating garbage. We hope you will bring some ideas back home! You will stay 2 nights in a spacious cabin with a loft where the owners will prepare you appetizing Shikoku dinners included in the stay both nights.
DAY 7: KAMIKATSU
If you are feeling energetic, we recommend you start the day with a hike in the hillsides to see traditional rice terraces and local temples. On a misty morning, you might feel as if you've entered a Japanese landscape painting. The countryside is yours to enjoy as you like, but make sure you stop by the town's impressive recycling facilities.
DAY 8: KAMIKATSU TO AYABE FARM (KYOTO PREFECTURE)
Retrace your steps to Tokushima from where you will head towards Ayabe in Kyoto prefecture by train. Start your 2-night homestay on a Japanese farm this evening, where homemade dinners and breakfasts are included. Be ready for a truly authentic experience that may lead to making new friends for life!
DAY 9: AYABE FARM STAY
Today you are a Japanese farmer! The owners of the farm will show you the ropes, and by the end of the day, you will have good insight into Japanese farm life. We cooperate with several farms in the area, and the exact activities will depend on the season and available farms. If the timing is right, you could harvest vegetables for tonight's dinner. The farmers have experience accommodating tourists, and their English may range between basic and advanced.
DAY 10: AYABE FARM TO INE FISHING VILLAGE
After breakfast, you will say sayonara to the farm and your friendly hosts and firstly stop by the Amanohashidate Sandbar. Amanohashidate can be translated as the bridge to heaven, and this natural pine-covered bridge-like sandbar is named as one of Japan's three most beautiful sights in historical documents. Any Japanese person would be able to tell you a thing or two about this place, but the distance from other bucket-list destinations in Kyoto where tourists conglomerate protects its natural beauty. Next, you will head to the beautiful Ine fishing village, possibly the last remaining Japanese traditional fishing village in which the ground floor of houses built along the coastline serves as garages for the fishing boats. As the number of fishermen has decreased, locals have bought up empty houses of which some are used for accommodation for travellers seeking the most authentic experiences. Enjoy a night listening to the sounds of the ocean in one of these charming boathouses!
DAY 11: INE FISHING VILLAGE TO KOYA-SAN
Today you will head to Koya-san. One of the holiest mountains of Japan and a World Heritage Site, it is the base of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. At Koya-san you will be staying in a temple lodging in a clean and spacious Japanese room with a shared bathroom for 2 nights, with dinners and breakfasts included. You will enjoy the vegetarian cuisine, known as shojin ryori, prepared by the Buddhist monks. You can attend the early morning prayer service tomorrow: a nice opportunity to immerse yourself in the monks' way of life.
DAY 12: KOYA-SAN AT LEISURE
Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the temple and explore the beautiful nature that surrounds you. You will have plenty of time to discover the Okunoin cemetery where many feudal lords, samurai, and famous monks found their final resting place. A walk through the cemetery will lead you to the mausoleum of the founder of the Shingon sect, Kobo Daishi, and its Torodo Hall with 10,000 lanterns eternally lit.
DAY 13: KOYA-SAN TO OSAKA
You can stay in the quiet forest area for most of the day, or head straight to Osaka for sightseeing. You will check into a comfortable hotel in Osaka city tonight, making your journey to Kansai Airport tomorrow short and easy.
DAY 14: DEPART JAPAN
Transfer from your hotel to Kansai International Airport (Osaka).
Return to the UK (arrive the same day).
HOW INDEPENDENT TOURS WORK
ENJOY INDEPENDENT TRAVEL BUT NOT THE HASSLE OF PLANNING?
OUR INDEPENDENT TOURS COULD BE JUST THE TICKET!
Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries is designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailormade for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.
It's quite straightforward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We'll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS & LOCATION GUIDE
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
From £2,695.00 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
4 nights’ accommodation in a Twin/Double room at standard hotels in Narita, Tokushima and Osaka on a bed & breakfast basis
2 nights’ accommodation in a friendly eco-lodge in Yamanashi* on a bed & breakfast basis
2 nights’ accommodation in a private two-story bungalow* including delicious local dinners and breakfasts in Kamikatsu
2 nights’ accommodation in a private room on a countryside farm in Kyoto including local dinners and breakfast
1 night’s accommodation in a private room in a traditional former residence in Ine fishing village on a bed & breakfast basis**
2 nights’ accommodation in a temple lodging in Koya-san on a dinner & breakfast
Transfers from and to arrival and departure airport in Japan by Express Train
14-day Japan Rail Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire Japan Rail network including Shinkansen (Bullet Train) services.
* Depends on availability
**Depends on availability. Only available for a group of 2 or larger.
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
Taxi, subway and tramway fees.
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% of the total price is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment, and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low-cost cover to their customers.