‘On the Trail of the Gods’ begins, not in the hustle & bustle of modern high-tech Tokyo, but in Kyoto, the ancient capital & spiritual heart of Japan.
Saved from bombing in WWII, Kyoto is a beautiful city, full of traditional temples, shrines & palaces. It’s also the gateway to a network of ancient pilgrim trails, each with its own history, style and culture.
‘On the Trail of the Gods’ takes you to some of the most famous temples and places of natural beauty, as well as great spots to shop, eat & bathe. Tracing the ancient pilgrimage trails, we will also have time to wander through the intimate, out of the way places, immersing you in the spirit & traditions of classical Japanese living & a fabulous hot spring or two in caves and rivers and much, much more!
The Journey includes
Return airfares ~Australia/Osaka/Australia
We fly with Japan Airlines one of the world’s leading airlines. Please contact our travel manager for further details.
- 5 nights in Western style accommodation
- 8 nights in traditional Japanese Ryokans (inns) & temples which includes traditional Japanese breakfast & dinners
- fully escorted tour temple fees
- arrival & departure transfer travel by rail, local bus, private coach baggage portage
- welcome & goodbye dinners
- quality tour bag
Some of the highlights of the tour
- Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Ise Grand Shrine
- Nachi Falls
- Heian Shrine
- Ryoanji, Zen Rock Garden
- Koyasan, Temple Mountain
- Nara Big Buddha
- Byodoin 11thC Paradise Hall
- Kumano Grand shrine
- The great Zen Temples of Nanzeji & Eikando
- Yoshinosan, mountain of cherry blossoms
THE 14 DAY ITINERARY
‘On the Trail of the Gods’ is a 14 day fully escorted tour with tour guide ~ Felicity Oswell. Fluent in Japanese, Felicity has been leading tours since the 80’s and knows Japan intimately. She will guide you through the back streets where the past clings to the cobbled stones, lantern lit small alleyways & tea houses. She’ll also show you where to find great restaurants and bars, walks in nature, remarkable art galleries, and culture, ancient and modern.
Day 1 ✈ Fly Sydney to Osaka. A private coach group transfer to Kyoto. Check-in to the New Miyako Hotel.
Day 2 We travel by private coach to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Then Heian Shrine for Cherry Blossom Viewing* Lunch at a Soba noodle shop. Afternoon visit to Eikando or Nanzenji Temple. A traditional welcome dinner.
Day 3 Private coach to Ryoanji Temple with Rock Garden. Daitokuji Temple with Zen Garden. Bring a bento box & we will eat under the cherry blossoms* with the locals.
Day 4 Coach to Byodoin in Uji, 11th century Paradise Hall, return to Kyoto.
Day 5 Free day in Kyoto, time for personal exploration. So much to do & see & shop!
Day 6 Travel by train from Kyoto to Ise. Visit the Imperial Grand Shrine of Ise. Enjoy a traditional dinner.
Day 7 We move to Kii Katsuura on local train check in to Katsuura Gyoen, a Ryokan hotel. Enjoy the local hot springs and a traditional dinner.
Day 8 A visit to Nachi Waterfall; Seigantoji Temple; Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine area. Option to walk from waterfall on Kumano Kodo pilgrimage Trail or hot spring. Traditional dinner at Katsuura Gyoen.
Day 9 Travel to Kawayu Onsen via private coach. Enjoy a 3 hr walk along Kumano pilgrimage route to Kumano Hongu Shrine. Enjoy hot springs in the river. Traditional dinner.
Day 10 Travel to Mt Koya via Skyline road and Ryujin Hot Spring. Night viewing of Daimon and Danjo Garan central temple area.
Day 11 Free day to explore Okuno-in cemetery; Tokugawa’s Mausoleum; Kongobuji Temple; Daimon; Danjo Garan; Reihoukan Museum. Temple dinner.
Day 12 Travel by private coach to Nara via Yoshino Cherry Blossom* Mountain where we stop for lunch. Stay at Nara Hotel. Goodbye dinner.
Day 13 Visit the Big Buddha in the morning. Group transfer from Nara to Osaka airport. ✈ Osaka to Australia
Day 14 Arrive Sydney International Airport and say goodbye.
* Cherry blossom viewing is not guaranteed due to the weather. However, all the places proposed consider the annual best seasons.
Twin Share (double occupancy) from $7400pp
Single Supplement from $1300pp
Early Bird $7000pp if registered by 1st October 2015
Deposit fee $1500pp on registering
Final payment due by 7th January 2016
✈ We fly with Japan Airlines one of the world’s leading airlines. Our airfares have in built flexibility so you’re able to extend your stay or head off to another destination. You may also want to upgrade to business class. Please contact our travel manager for further details.
Tour Guide ~ FELICITY OSWELL
Since living in Kyoto for 2 years in the eighties, Australian born Felicity has been a freelance guide taking small group tours to Japan every spring and autumn. From 2002 until 2010, she has also lead UTS students on Design & Architecture Study tours throughout Japan. Fluent in Japanese, her Japanese friends joke she knows their country, its history and beautiful places, a lot better than they do.
Long drawn to the beauty and power of Japan’s sacred sites, Felicity has designed ‘On the Trail of the Gods’. A journey tracing ancient pilgrimage trails in the heart of old Japan. Inspired by her intimate knowledge of the country, and her study of Shinto and Buddhist history and philosophy, Felicity has created a tour with the perfect blend of beauty, culture, aesthetics, history and pilgrimage.
It’s a unique opportunity to benefit from her knowledge of the special places that few travellers are privileged to see as she guides you along the pathways ‘On the Trail of the Gods’.