Japan Adventure Tour2019-01-15T11:02:31+00:00

October 19th – 27th, 2019
7-day Tour with 8 nights accommodations


19th Saturday – Evening arrival in Kyoto, Karasuma Hotel
20th Sunday: Day Trip Miyama and the Little Indigo Museum
21st Monday: The Costume Museum, afternoon travel to Naoshima Island
22nd Tuesday: Naoshima Island
23rd Wednesday: Naoshima Island, afternoon travel back to Kyoto
24th Thursday: Day Trip with private bus to Himeji Castle
25th Friday: Tenjin-san Flea Market & Gion walking tour
26th Saturday: Free day in Kyoto
27th Sunday: Morning Depature


Japan Adventure Tour
$2,800 USD Double
$3,400 USD Single

Kim Tamarin, 503-753-4347, kim@tamashiidesigns.com
Adrienne Gaskell, 305-301-4976, agaskell@me.com

Important Things to Know Before You Go

Exclusive Tour: Our years of experience traveling in Japan with Japanese friends that have shown us ‘locals only’ places combined with our passion to offer a small group experience all make the Japan Adventure Tour a truly unique travel adventure. Because of our limited group size, whenever practical, we can travel the way the locals do. This means we may be taking city buses, subways and local trains rather than always securing private transport.

Walking: There will be a great deal of walking on this tour and many of the streets and walkways are uneven. There will also be a lot of stairs and steps especially at the temples and shrines. At some of the subway and train stations we may have to use stairs as there may not be convenient access to escalators or elevators. In addition to recommending comfortable shoes, this tour is NOT recommended for anyone with mobility issues. If you are unsure please don’t hesitate to contact Kim or Adrienne.

More Details

Arrival – October 19th, Karasuma Kyoto Hotel
Most travelers will arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. If you arrive earlier you may be able to check into the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, but if not, the hotel will store your luggage and you can then explore the local area. There are lots of shopping and dining options within easy walking distance from the hotel. Let us know your expected time of arrival so that Kim or Adrienne can greet you at the hotel.  If you stay in Iga-city to enjoy the festivities at the Ueno Tenjin Festival you will arrive later in the evening.  The Braids 2019 organizers are arranging buses to leave Iga-city in the evening to allow everyone the opportunity to see the spectacular evening festival of danjiri floats with their illuminated paper lanterns in the streets of Iga-city. We will start each morning with a complimentary breakfast buffet at the hotel that includes both western and Japanese fare.
All meals on the day of travel are on your own.

Day 1 – October 20th, Day Trip to Miyama and the Little Indigo Museum
After breakfast we will meet in the lobby and take a private bus. On display at the Little Indigo Museum is a collection of indigo textiles from around the world and a traditional Japanese indigo dye workshop. The building is Kitamura’s largest and oldest dwelling, built more than 200 years ago during the Edo period. Our private transport will allow us the opportunity to see the area surrounding Miyama which includes several small villages with interesting museums. The area is famous for its traditional, thatched roof (kayabuki) farmhouses of which over 200 can be seen throughout the countryside. We will return back at the hotel before dinner time.
Breakfast & Lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

Day 2 – October 21st, The Costume Museum & travel to Naoshima Island

AM – Meet in the hotel lobby for a guided tour of The Costume Museum which is located one subway stop from our hotel in Kyoto. The museum exhibits life-size dolls dressed in beautiful garments along with the accessories worn throughout Japan’s history. After visiting the museum you are free to explore the neighborhood. The surrounding streets maintain the atmosphere of old Kyoto with some quaint shops selling antiques. Also within walking distance is the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple with its roofed mud-walls and gorgeous “Karamon” Gate. This is an important cultural property of Japan and the gate is a national treasure.
PM – Meet back in the hotel lobby to take the train to Naoshima Island where we will stay for the next two nights. We will check out of the Karasuma Hotel, leave most of our luggage and travel with a small overnight bag.
Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch is on your own.

Day 3 & Day 4 – October 22nd & 23rd, Naoshima Island
After breakfast we will meet for a day-long guided tour with visits to some of the area museums. Along the way we will see outdoor sculptures and unique art installations, many by world renowned artists. The two important museums that are on our must see list are listed below with web links so that you can familiarize yourself with them before the trip.
The Chichu Art Museum rethinks the relationship between nature and people. The museum was built mostly underground to avoid affecting the beautiful natural scenery of the Seto Inland sea. Artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria are on permanent display. On the walk up to the museum we are treated to a Japanese version of one of Monet’s gardens. We may encounter the gardener meticulously tending his garden.
Benesse House Museum is truly a rare site where nature, art, and architecture come together. In addition to exhibiting the painting, sculpture, photography, and installations in its collection, the Museum also contains permanent site-specific installations that artists have created especially for the building, selecting locations on their own and designing the works for those spaces. The Museum’s artworks are found not just within its galleries, but in all parts of the building, as well as in scattered locations along the seashore that borders the complex and in the nearby forest.
We will travel back to Kyoto on Wednesday afternoon to be back in time for dinner.
Day 4: Breakfast & Dinner included. Lunch is on your own.
Day 5: Breakfast included. Lunch & Dinner are on your own.

Day 5 – October 24th,Day Trip to Himeji Castle
After breakfast we will meet in the lobby and travel by private bus to visit Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The castle is comprised of 83 buildings. A major restoration was completed last year with all of the buildings returned to their original, vibrant white finish. This castle is both a national treasure and a World Heritage Site and is widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size, beauty and its well preserved castle grounds. Unlike many other Japanese castles, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country’s twelve original castles. We will return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Breakfast & Lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

Day 6 – October 25th, Tenjin-san Flea Market and Gion Temples & Gardens Walking Tour

AM – After breakfast we will take the local bus to Tenjin-san Flea Market. This monthly flea market takes place on the beautiful grounds of the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and has over a hundred vendors selling kimonos, obis, art, chopsticks, antiques, Japanese handicrafts and many more things that you can not even imagine. This is a favorite of the ladies for the clothing that is refashioned from kimono’s by Japanese designers, but the men also find interesting treasures that are truly unique to Japan.

PM – After dropping off your market purchases we will meet in the hotel lobby and will travel together by local bus to Historic Gion. We will start off the tour with lunch at The SODOH Italian restaurant, a favorite of Makiko and Shinsaku Tada. This hidden gem is nestled into a traditional Japanese garden setting. On our walking tour of Gion you will get to visit some of the most important and well preserved temples, shrines and gardens in Kyoto. The narrow streets are lined with ancient wooden houses, many have been turned into shops. Gion is famous for spotting Geiko (Kyoto dialect for Geisha) and Maiko (Geiko apprentice). After the Gion tour has finished, you may make your way back to the hotel on your own or join Adrienne on a leisurely guided walk back to the hotel. On the way we will visit some of the interesting shops along Shijo dori (the main shopping street in Kyoto). A favorite stop on the way is the Teramachi Shopping Arcade and Nishiki Market, a colorful narrow food market street known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”.
Breakfast & Lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

Day 7 – October 26,  Free Day Kyoto

On the last day of the tour we like to give you some free time so that you can revisit special places or take in more of the wonderful sites of Kyoto. Prior to the start of the trip you will be provided with a list of many of Kim and Adrienne’s favorite places in Kyoto. Some of the highlights are: Arashiyama (bamboo forest), Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Nijō Castle (Nightingale Floors), Philosopher’s Path, Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion tori gates, the Kyoto Aquarium, the Kyoto Railway Museum, and the Kyoto Tower.  Osaka, Nara and many other places are an easy day trip. If you have other interests, notify us in advance and we will be able to help you with your specific plans. We may also be able to arrange guides for you. Free day transportation, admission costs and other expenses are not included.
Breakfast included. Lunch & Dinner on your own.

Departure – October 27th
Kim & Adrienne will say farewell to all the Adventurers. We will be available for hugs and to make sure that everyone gets off safely.
Breakfast included. 

Schedule is subject to change if Kim or Adrienne discover other exciting opportunities.
All of the activities listed in the above itinerary will be included but may take place on alternate days or times.