Hidden Japan vacation

“13 day vacation starting and ending in Osaka, traveling in a small group. Going off the tourist trail, be it visiting islands, staying in temple lodgings or hiking the Iya Valley.”


Kyoto | Mount Koya | Shikoku Island | Takamatsu | Naoshima island | Kotohira and Kompira-san shrine | Iya Valley | Miyajima | Stay in ryokan traditional inn with hot spring bath.

Check dates

2017: 23 Mar, 20 Apr, 11 May, 20 Jul, 17 Aug, 28 Sep, 12 Oct
Our top tip:
It is a deep part of the culture to be good hosts, and engaging with Japanese people is the best way of saying thank you.
Trip type:
Small group tour. Max. 14 people.
Activity level:
3* hotels and ryokan inn.
Accomm., transfers, entrance fees, luggage forwarding.
All breakfasts, some lunches and dinners included. Budget £3 for street food, £8-10 for dinner in modest restaurant.
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for own room.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Hidden Japan vacation


We are extremely passionate about Japan and therefore try to reduce any potential negative environmental impact our vacations could have on this beautiful country.
For most journeys during the tour you will be using Japan's fantastic public transport system and will be traveling by the famous Shinkansen (bullet train), local trains and even ferry.
In order to save energy, water and detergent we will provide you with an eco-card in English and Japanese that you can leave in your room to inform hotel staff not to change your towels and sheets.
We will also give you a set of reusable chopsticks so you won’t need to go through many pairs of disposable ones.

On Mt Koya you will spend a night in a temple lodging and will get an insight into the traditional buddhist lifestyle. Showing respect and being in harmony with nature are some of the tenets of Buddhism: you will enjoy meals of local vegetarian food, and join the morning prayers with the monks.


At Mt Koya we will arrange a local Japanese guide who knows the area inside out and can give you unique insights into Buddhism, the Japanese culture and history and answer all the question about this fascinating place that you might have.

On your journey through Shikoku you will have enjoy local arts and traditions. In Tokushima you will visit the Awa Odori Kaikan museum at the foothills of Mt Bizan. The dancers here wear traditional costumes and perform their dances following a 800 years old tradition. In Takamatsu you will see authentic Bunraku, a very refined puppet-theatre that counts to one of the big Japanese arts next to Noh and Kabuki. Bunraku was once very popular, but there are only a handful of true Bunraku-masters left today.
Attending any of these local performances will help to keep this unique and beautiful arts alive, and pass this heritage on to future generations.

Reviews of Hidden Japan vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Everything! Traveling extensively using the local transport - every type, meant we saw such a large range of places, did lots of activities, experienced historical and modern displays, interacted with the local people and tasted a big variety of

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travel light. Prepare for lots of traditional Japanese food. Bring comfy shoes.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We travelled by public transport most of the time which is very efficient. We engaged with many locals especially those involved with volunteering. We ate local foods.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Absolutely wonderful. Great to get away from the very big cities and engage with the people. Visiting Shikoku Island for over five days was brilliant. Our guide was excellent and the entire trip was hassle free. Such a good way to experience
Japan and it's history (old and new) and it's people.
Giving a 5 star rating which says 'I am reborn' is over the top for me so I have given the trip 4 stars but I could not fault the tour. It met our expectations in every way. Enjoy.

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