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14 days tour : Kyoto (3nts) - Kinosaki Onsen (1nt) - Matsue (2nts) - Hagi (1nt) -
 (2nts) - Hitoyoshi (1nt) - Kagoshima (2nts) - Osaka (1nt)

Tour start date:  27th March 2015




""The flower of flowers is the blossom of the Cherry . The Samurai is the man among men."
                                                                                               Japanese Proverb

This unique and innovative itinerary has been forged deep in The Oriental Caravan's foundry of new tours and tempered with the precision usually preserved for the keenest of samurai swords. Loosely based on the extraordinary story of warrior-statesman Saigo Takamori, on whose life the film 'The Last Samurai' was based, we will journey off-the-beaten-track visiting some of Japan's most fascinating but least visited areas. Beginning in the endlessly fascinating city of Kyoto we will head west to explore the castle towns, fishing villages and onsen resorts that dot the ruggedly spectacular San-in Coast. Later we travel through the heart of rustic Kyushu staying in charming ryokan and visiting some of the sites associated with Saigo's heroic but ultimately doomed 'Satsuma Rebellion' against the newly restored, American-backed Meiji Emperor. From Kagoshima, where we visit the site of the last samurai's last stand (and also make a nearby trip to the astounding  'kamikaze' museum!), we conclude our journey in the exciting metropolis of Osaka.

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Day 1 - Kyoto Arrival (Hotel)
Day 2 - Kyoto City sightseeing including Chion-in Temple. (Hotel)
Day 3 - Kyoto Free day. Optional trip to Himeji Shoshazan Engyoji (location for the shooting of 'the Last Samurai'. Night tour of Kyoto's entertainment district. (Hotel)
Day 4 - Kinosaki Onsen Via Amanohashidate, one of Japan's top three 'scenic wonders' to the delightfully laid-back onsen resort at Kinosaki. (Ryokan)
Day 5 - Matsue En route to Matsue we visit the Tottori sand dunes, location of Hiroshi's classic 1964  movie Woman of the Dunes (Hotel)
Day 6 - Matsue Explore the atmospheric Matsue-jo castle, samurai residence and museum and house of legendary Graeco-Irish author Lafcadio Hearn (Hotel)
Day 7 - Hagi Beautiful scenery en route to the charming and eminently historical town of Hagi with its fascinating samurai quarter, collection of beautiful temples and renowned pottery making area. (Ryokan)
Day 8 - Kumamoto Morning free in Hagi before continuing our journey by local and bullet train to Kumamoto. Assessment of Kumamoto's vibrant nightlife. (Hotel)
Day 9 - Kumamoto Full day's sightseeing including Kumamoto Castle and Hosokawa Gyobutei, stunning former residence of the Hosokawa clan.  Possible visit to a Kendo  Dojo. (Hotel)
Day 10 - Hitoyoshi Continue to Hitoyoshi where we visit its castle, museum and optional visit to a shochu distillery.  (Ryokan)
Day 11 - Kagoshima On one of Japan's most scenic rail journeys, complete with switchbacks, we continue to Kagoshima, the 'Naples of Japan'. Afternoon visit Iso-Teien Garden and Shiroyama, site of Saigo's last stand and ultimate seppuku. (Hotel)
Day 12 - Kagoshima Day-trip to Chiran to visit its beautiful Samurai Houses and fascinating Kamikaze Museum. (Hotel)
Day 13 - Osaka Fly back to Osaka. (Hotel)
Day 14 - Caravan concludes...
Tour dates (land only)
Tour starts Kyoto

Tour ends Osaka


Tour Price
(land only)

27th March 2015 9th April 2015 Spaces available GBP2345.00
Accommodation We stay in good tourist class hotels throughout. In Kinosaki Onsen, Hagi and Hitoyoshi we stay in high class traditional ryokan.  The tour is sold on a twin share basis. An optional single supplement for the hotels only is available at a cost of £198.
Food and drink Two dinners and three breakfasts are included. Where we eat at our lodgings meals are expected to be of an excellent quality. As always the tour leader will be on hand to suggest restaurants and, where necessary, assist with ordering meals.
Mode of travel We make full use of Japan’s highly efficient rail system using both 'bullet' and local trains. In Kyushu and along the San-in Coast the trains are often small and local but travel through some stunningly picturesque scenery. We also make occasional use of taxis and buses, sometimes using our own private coach. Some of the sightseeing is done on foot. From Kagoshima we take a domestic flight back to Osaka. 
Staff  Accompanied throughout by a bilingual tour leader from The Oriental Caravan assisted by local guides where applicable.
Group size Minimum 6 - Maximum 12
Flights & Insurance For information on insurance and flights please contact The Oriental Caravan. 


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