This three day guided tour focuses on the small coastal villages of Esaki and Susa before heading to Tsuwano, aka ‘Little Kyoto’. The first day will be a tour of the coastal village of Esaki in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Visit the hexagonal Saidoji Buddhist temple, stroll along the beach, take a tour and taste the sake at Sumikawa Sake Brewery. Finally, have a dip in Tamagawa Onsen. The second day is to the mountainous coastline of Susa. Take a trek up to the summit of Mt Koyama and ride on a fishing boat to the unique Susa Hornfels. The third and final day will be a guided tour of the small castle town of Tsuwano, known as ‘Little Kyoto’. Tour the historical town, castle area and site of banished Christian martyrs. Visit a tea farm to see the tea production process and enjoy a tea tasting opportunity. Finish the tour with a traditional Japanese performance, kagura, in the Taikodano Inari Shrine grounds.Tour provided by Heartland Japan http://heartlandjapan.com/.
Visit: Heartland JAPAN, Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture, KyushuDay 1: Esaki - Seaside Village & Sake Brewery Tour (Lunch & Dinner Included)After meeting at Higashi-Hagi Station at 9am, we will head for Esaki by microbus. Start the day enjoying the sight of boats docked in the shining emerald green harbor at the fishing village Esaki. We will then head to Saidoji Temple built in the early 15th century, followed by a leisurely stroll on a slightly elevated hilly promenade along the coastline. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, followed by a tasting of world class local sake and tour of Tamagawa hot spring.Day 2: Susa - Mountain & Coastline Walking Tour (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included)On the second day of the tour, we will trek out to Mount Koyama, which stands 533 meters high on a cape jutting out into the Sea of Japan. Perched on the summit is a Shinto shrine and the destination of our morning journey. We then board a squid fishing vessel manned by a local fisherman, and then to the Susa Hornfels. Susa Hornfels has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 unique nature spots.Day 3: Tsuwano - Small Historical Castle Town aka ‘Little Kyoto’ Tour (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included)On the final day of the tour we will head to Tsuwano, a small castle town also known as ‘Little Kyoto’ due to its history and cultural features. We will start at Taikodani Inari Shrine, with its one thousand vermilion torii gates, and then take the chair-lift to the ruins of Tsuwano Castle. We will visit Tsuwano Catholic Church and Otome Pass, the place of banished Christian martyrs. After lunch we will visit a tea farm where you will be able to see how tea is made as well as take part in a tea ceremony experience. We will then return to Taikodani Inari Shrine. Here we will have our dinner of soba or udon noodles, a local specialty. Afterwards we will enjoy a performance of iwami kagura, a vibrant and traditional Japanese theatrical dance frequented by the locals, before ending the tour back at Higashi-Hagi Station.