Journey with us on A Mystical Odyssey in Bhutan (12 - 18 March '23).

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The Unknown Kyoto​

This is quite simply “The Unknown Kyoto”. Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan is renowned for its glorious temples, shrines and traditions, but if you venture out a little, you will discover an entirely different Kyoto where beautiful, natural landscapes expand in every direction. Witness the subtle charms of Kyoto Prefecture, the magical domains of a less-trodden Kyoto where you will find serendipity. ​

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1
Arrive Osaka / Kameoka / Miyama​

Arrive into Osaka Kansai Airport where we then begin our journey to Kyoto Prefecture specifically to the historic town of Kameoka, known as the residence of Warring States era samurai Akechi Mitsuhide. ​​Visit the authentic Masahiro Tantouba sword forge, owned by blacksmith Yuya Nakanishi where you will learn about the Japanese sword-making process through a demonstration of heating, hammering and folding the metal. ​

A short drive arrives us at the Ryounji Temple – probably the most stunning autumn foliage scenery in all of Japan that it is not an understatement to say you are given the “red carpet” treatment thanks to the glorious red leaves blanketing the forest floor. ​

Day 2
Miyama / Maizuru / Amanohashidate / Miyazu​

Depart Miyama for the coastal city of Maizuru, situated on the inlet of the Sea of Japan where we will embark on a scenic “Akamatsu” train enjoying a beautiful ride marveling at the peaceful coastal landscape. ​Arrive into Amanohashidate, renowned for being one of Japan’s “Top Three Scenic Views” dividing the ocean and bay into north and south waters, with approximately 8,000 pine trees spanning across the bay into a single road. ​Enjoy a cable car ascend to Amanohashidate View Land for panoramic views of the unique sand bar. Descend there after and enjoy leisure time exploring the town center dominated by the impressive Chionji Temple, one of three temples in Japan dedicated to the Monju Bodhisattva (Bodhisattva of Wisdom). ​

Later, we make a visit to the Iio Jozo Vinegar Factory, producing perhaps the most revered range of exceptional vinegar that are preferred by many top chefs in Japan and abroad.


Day 3
Miyazu (The Kyotango Peninsula)​

Begin our exploration of the Kyotango Peninsula with the mesmerizing fishing town of Ine, befitting its nickname of “Kyoto by the Sea”, with an almost unique traditional lifestyle that has carried forward to this day. ​Witness the unique fishing buildings called “funaya” and a lifestyle that is centered on the fishing and farming industries since olden times. The funaya houses span along 5km of the south-facing Ine Bay where more than 200 houses are currently in existence. ​On our insightful tour, learn about the funaya houses, its design, the ways of fishing with traditional nets called “mondori” while also getting onboard a private boat tour to observe it from the calm sea. ​

Visit the Mukai Sake Brewery, a proud legacy of Ine and a rare brewery headed by a female “toji” sake brewer. Experience the sake-making process and a tour of its facilities before a sampling opportunity of its exceptional range of sake. ​Continue northwards to the northern most point of the Kyotango Peninsula making a stop at the spellbinding Cape Kyogamisaki Lighthouse, built during the Taisho era, overlooking astonishing rocky coastal landscapes. ​Admire the Tango-Matsushima rocks and the surreal Tate-iwa rocks. ​Later, we head to the Mitsumasa Anno Museum, housing the work and exhibits of the Tsuwano native who won the Hans Christian Andersen Award. We have the opportunity to dine at the studio restaurant, Wakuden no Mori, which uses the unique food culture of the Kyotango and ingredients found in the Wakuden forest. ​

Day 4
Miyazu / Ayabe / Sasayama​

Depart Miyazu today making our way south to the rural city of Ayabe, surrounded by plentiful forests and farmland as well as renowned for its green tea, chestnuts, fine rice and washi paper production. Make a stop at the fascinating Kisaichi Maruyama Ancient Tomb, a large three-tiered round burial mound from the mid-fifth Century. Measuring 70m in diameter with a 10m protrusion where burial ceremonies would have been held, it is one of the largest burial mounds in Japan. ​​Continue to the beautiful city of Sasayama, a throwback to a Kyoto before the invasion of mass tourism. On a guided tour, explore the nostalgic Kawaramachi Tsumairi Mercantile House District where you will admire the numerous well-preserved Japanese mercantile houses adorned with its signature “Tsumairi” house design typified by a narrow entrance and long extension from front to back. ​

Make a visit to Homei Shuzo Sake Brewery, to learn about its signature sake, the “Yume no Tobira”, brewed while subjected to subtle vibrations of classical music composed by Mozart and Beethoven. ​

Day 5
Sasayama / Muko / Uji​

We depart from the NIPPONIA Sasayama Castle Town Hotel for an exclusive experience at the Ojiyama Ceramic Factory, the only kiln preserving the history of Ojiyama-styled pottery. Learn about the origins of Ojiyama-yaki, dating back to the end of the Edo period around 1818 where it gained popularity with its Chinese-style green celadon, cobalt underglaze and “aka-e” red paintings. ​Our journey then continues to the Take-no-Michi Bamboo Path in Muko, producing some of the highest quality bamboo in Kyoto, the bamboo path spans 1.8km long and is designated as one of “500 Most Beautiful Japanese Walking Paths”.  ​

We will then arrive into the stunning city of Uji famed for its matcha green tea, its association with the Tale of Genji – the world’s first novel. ​Visit the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Byodo-In Temple, we will enjoy an immersive exploration of its sights. Built during the height of expression of aristocratic art during the Heian period, we discover the Byodo-In, a striking example of Buddhist Pure Land (Jodo) architecture that was originally designed as a retreat villa for Fujiwara no Michinaga but was later transformed into a temple after the construction of its most spectacular feature, the Phoenix Hall – featured on the Japanese 10 yen coin. ​Explore the atmospheric Omotesando Street packed with shops selling green tea and tea-related products such as tea-flavored dumplings, noodles, ice creams, donuts. ​

Day 6
Uji (Ujitawara A Sensory Green Tea Experience)​​

Discover the Ujitawara green tea region, uncovering its secrets and learn about the uncompromising spirit to produce the finest green tea that revered around the world. We travel to nostalgic Yuyadani, witnessing the picturesque streetscape where wooden tea factories on stone fences and many tea wholesalers stand in a row as well as a three-story high tea factory, eventually leading us to the Birthplace of Nagatani Soen where inside the building, the remains of a special drier used for tea preparation has been preserved. We will learn and understand Soen’s legacy and tea preparation methods. ​A short drive then takes us to the Shoju-in Temple where we admire the heart-shaped window from which red autumn leaves outside the hall will be framed. The heart shape is a traditional pattern used in Japan for fortunes and blessings and so this is likened to the “Window of Happiness”, much like how the region map of Ujitawara is shaped like.    ​

Continue to the town of Wazuka, a tea-growing area since the Kamakura period (1192-1333). Visit the D:Matcha, a tea company founded by Daiki and Chisei Tanaka in collaboration with Hiroki Aka, a master farmer trained in the highest standards to cultivate high quality tea that is sustainable, local and organic. On a workshop, we get to understand the process of tea growing, cultivation, harvest and an opportunity to taste different variety of tea and enjoy lunch with tea leaves influence. ​After an enjoyable lunch, we will stop by many spectacular tea fields and terraces including the Harayama Enkei Chabatake, the iconic circular tea fields created by farmers in the area to maximize space in steep tight areas. ​

Day 7
Uji / Departure Osaka​

Today, our journey comes to an end as we depart for Osaka Kansai Airport for your flight departure or alternatively, continue your journey in Japan. ​

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at


Practical Information

Locations covered

Kameoka, Miyama, Amanohashidate, Miyazu, Ine, Ayabe, Sasayama, Muko, Uji, Wazuka

Recommended months to travel

April – Early December

Level of difficulty


Indicative price

SGD$9,500 - $11,000/pax based on twin-sharing, on a private basis. Excludes international flights.

As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

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