Spiritual Japan

9 Day Guided Tour from Osaka to Osaka with Trafalgar

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Trafalgar's 9 Day Spiritual Japan. Retrace the steps of the ancients - a spiritual interlude with some of Japan's most sacred places and the extraordinary rituals performed throughout millennia. Visit the birthplace of Shingon Buddism, the elegantly painted sliding doors of Kongobunji...read more

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Scenic / Cultural
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1 Arrive Osaka (2 Nights)
The pulsating cityscape of Osaka sets the pace for your soulful sojourn through some of Japan's most cherished landmarks. On arrival, you'll be transferred by pre-booked airport shuttle service to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing before meeting your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink with appetisers. (WR) Stay: Rihga Royal Osaka
2 Osaka
Celebrate old and new on your city tour that begins at Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. Regarded as the symbol of the city, Osaka Castle was rebuilt in 1931 and provides a magnificent backdrop for cherry blossom viewing during the springtime. Touch the clouds during your visit to the Abeno Harukas Observatory in Japan's tallest skyscraper at 300 metres. Admire the panoramic views of Osaka from its glass-lined observation deck, then enjoy some retail therapy in downtown Umeda before an afternoon at leisure or perhaps one of Trafalgar's recommended Optional Experiences. (BB)
3 Osaka - Mt. Koya - Shirahama
Immerse yourself in Japan's spiritual splendour, starting your day with a trip to the UNESCO-listed Mt. Koya, where the Shingon Buddism sect was introduced in 805 by Kobo Daishi. Visit the Kongobunji Temple with its elegantly painted sliding doors, the Danjo Garan Temple and granite Banryu-tei - its dragons rising boldly up from the clouds to protect their sanctuary. 'Dive into Culture' and indulge in a Japanese-style vegetarian lunch at a traditional shukubo (monastery inn), served by local monks. Then, continue to Okunoin, Japan's largest cemetery and the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum, set in an enchanted forest of towering ancient cedar trees. Your final stop today is the Pacific resort town of Shirahama where you'll enjoy dinner at an authentic Japanese izakaya. (BB/L/D) Stay: Nanki Shirahama Marriott
4 Shirahama - Kumano - Shima (2 Nights)
Tread in the footsteps of pilgrims today as you discover the UNESCO-listed Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route. Ascend Daimonzaka Hill on foot or by coach to admire the Nachi Taisha Shrine, Seiganotoji Temple and impressive Nachi waterfall, the tallest in Japan. Continue your journey to Hayatama Taisha, an important place of worship since the 3rd century and home to a small museum with an impressive collection of national treasures. Arriving in Shima, you'll check in to your hotel. (BB/D) Stay: Prime Resort Kashikojima
5 Shima - Ise - Shima
A leisurely start to the morning will see you travel to the traditional town of Ise to visit the Ise Jingu Shrine, which is rebuilt from scratch every 20 years according to ancient Shinto tradition. Later, meet the white-clad Ama free divers, made famous in the James Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice'. These brave women dive into the sea without any diving equipment to catch fresh seafood, which you will have an opportunity to enjoy later while listening to their captivating stories. Your next stop is Mikimoto Pearl Island, where pearls were first successfully cultured, before boarding a Sunset Cruise around Agowan Bay, followed by dinner. (BB/D)
6 Shima - Iga - Nabari - Kyoto (3 Nights)
Don't get caught in the trapdoors and secret passages of Iga's Ninja Museum, dedicated to the history of ninja and ninjutsu, an original form of warfare developed in the region. Try your hand at age-old ninja techniques and see the collection of ancient ninjutsu writings before continuing to the 16th century Ueno Castle which served as the seat of the local lords during the Edo Period. 'Connect with Locals' next, enjoying a Be My Guest lunch with a local family and gain insights into the history and traditions of the region. After lunch, travel to the cultural capital of Kyoto for your overnight stay. (BB/L) Stay: New Miyako
7 Kyoto
Indulge in a late start this morning followed by a visit to Arashiyama where you'll embark on a leisurely walk through its towering Bamboo groves unlike any other forest in the world. Connect with nature in the Zen gardens of Tenryuji Temple and admire magnificent mountain views before a lunch of okonomiyaki, a savoury grilled pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles and meat, seafood or cheese. Your next stop is the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple, whose Golden Pavillion seems to rise up from the adjoining pond. The delicate flavours of tea are yours to enjoy next, during a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony in a Machiya townhouse before returning to your hotel. (BB/L)
8 Kyoto
Soothe heart and mind during your morning visit to Shorinji Temple, joining a Zen master for his Zazen practice surrounded by the tranquil temple grounds. Continue to Sanjusangendo Hall next, admiring its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Consider joining one of Trafalgar's recommended Optional Experiences or revel in the freedom to explore Kyoto's soul-stirring surrounds. Our spiritual encounter with Japan at its end, enjoy a Farewell Dinner and Geisha show with your fellow companions and Travel Director at a local restaurant. (BB/FD)
9 Depart Kyoto
Say a fond sayonara to newfound friends and take a transfer by airport shuttle to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight. (BB)

Trafalgar Inclusions

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Sightseeing Highlights
  • City tour of Osaka and Kyoto
  • View the Nachi waterfall in Kumano
  • Visit Osaka Castle, the Abeno Harukas Observatory in Osaka, the Kongobuji Temple, the Danjo Garan Temple in Mt. Koya, the Ise Jingu Shrine, Mikimoto Pearl Island in Shima, the Ninja Museum, Ueno Castle in Iga, Bamboo Forest, Kinkakuji Temple, Sanjusangendo Hall in Kyoto
Trip Inclusions
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences (Additional Cost) and free time
  • Porterage and local charges included
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
Included Meals
  • 8 buffet breakfasts
  • 3 lunches (including Connect with Locals)
  • 5 dinners
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
  • Cherry Blossom season varies between different regions of Japan and is dependent on weather conditions so can also vary slightly each year

Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Trafalgar. Full terms & conditions are available here.