• Ikaruga, Nara
  • Mount Shigi, Nara
  • Mount Yoshino, Nara
  • Ise, Mie
  • Toba, Mie
  • Shima, Mie
  • Kashikojima, Mie


    5 days / 4 nights

    Self-guided packageMin 2 people

    Private coach, shuttle bus, local bus, Kintetsu limited express trains & local trains

  • PRICE(Per Person)
    From $6,670 AUD


Reveal the layers of Japanese culture on a self-guided adventure

The Kansai region is home to many popular destinations for visitors, such as Kyoto and Osaka. However, explore beyond these major cities, and you’ll reveal the more unique aspects of Japan and its culture.

This self-guided package focuses on the cultural significance of Nara and Ise-Shima. Delve deep into the historical sites of Ikaruga, Mt Shigi, Yoshino in Nara and Ise-Shima region in Mie. Take the opportunity to experience the local culture by meeting the people and learning about their way of life. Gain a deeper understanding of the intricate layers that make up Japanese culture.

Among the highlights: an overnight stay at a Buddhist temple, a visit to Japan’s most revered shrine, Ise Jingu and the World Heritage Site Horyuji Temple. Take part in authentic experiences such as a tea ceremony in a historical tea house and connect with local people who make their living from nature, such as ama skin-divers.

This five-day itinerary is designed to be an easy add-on to your own Japan trip. After the tour, return to Osaka or Kyoto or let the adventure continue and move on to Nagoya – all via Kintetsu trains*.

Come and join us to experience the depth of Japanese culture in Kansai.

(*At an additional charge)

  • Perfect for travellers with a keen interest in Japanese food and culture wanting to explore Kansai beyond Kyoto and Osaka
  • Self-guided itinerary with English-speaking guides at selected locations
  • Kintetsu Rail Pass included to cover your self-guided train travel
  • Set departure dates
  • Luggage transfers included
  • All meals included
  • Quality hotels throughout
  • Your choice of selected experiences/meals/hotels
  • Cultural experiences, including an overnight stay at a temple and meeting ama divers in Ise-Shima
  • World Heritage Sites, including Horyuji Temple and Mount Yoshino
  • Try the local cuisine with our handpicked dining choices

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© 玉蔵院 ご提供


Ikaruga, Nara > Mount Shigi, Nara

  • Meals: lunch, dinner
  • Stay: Gyokuzoin Shukubo

Your adventure begins at JR Horyuji Temple in Nara Prefecture.

Nara has a rich history that predates even that of Kyoto, and many traditional parts of the landscape remain intact to this day. One such area is Ikaruga, a town known for its cultural and historical significance, including the World Heritage Site Horyuji Temple and ancient tombs.

Choose from three unique experiences in Ikaruga:

1) Goshuin-cho making at Kichidenji

Learn to make your own Goshuin-cho from a monk at a historic temple. A Goshuin-cho is a notebook to collect Goshuin, red ink stamps used as a record of your visits to temples and shrines. The design of…


© Kintetsu Railway Co.,Ltd.


Mount Shigi, Nara > Mount Yoshino, Nara

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Stay: hotel of your choice in Yoshino

It’s an early rise today, but worth it to participate in the remarkable prayer ceremonies at the temple.

At the Goma Prayer Ritual, the chief priest of Gyokuzoin offers prayers every morning at Yokuyu-do. Get up close and watch the fascinating ritual that involves an impressive use of fire. While at the Daihannya Prayer, the priest chants and read the names of participants to the principal deity so that they receive a talisman.

After a traditional Japanese breakfast, we will depart the lodge by private coach and head to Kashihara Jingu Shrine. This shrine was built in 1890 to honour the first emperor of Japan and is known for its impressive architecture and long approach. Your guide will take you on a tour of the shrine, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the large halls and learn more about the history of this important site….




Mount Yoshino, Nara > Ise, Mie > Toba, Mie

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Stay: Toba International Hotel

After enjoying a breakfast of a traditional dish like tea congee at your chosen inn, we will continue our journey to Ise-Shima in Mie prefecture by Kintetsu trains. Board a Kintetsu local train from Yoshino Station and travel to Kashiharajingu-mae, where you will change trains to Yamato-Yagi Station. At Yamato-Yagi Station, board the limited express “Ise-Shima Liner” bound for Ise station.
The Ise-Shima Liner offers spacious seats and wide windows, providing a comfortable ride as you take in the beautiful scenery of Ise-Shima.

Ise-Shima is a region located in the southeast of Mie prefecture. It encompasses the cities of Ise, Toba, and Shima. The area is rich in natural beauty and traditional sites, including the majestic Ise Jingu Shrine and the picturesque Shima Peninsula with its intricate coastlines and islands…




Toba, Mie > Shima, Mie > Kashikojima, Mie

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Stay: hotel of your choice in Kashikojima

After enjoying a delicious buffet-style breakfast, take a tour around Toba. Start with a refreshing morning stroll around Toba Station and enjoy the fresh air. Stop by the gazebo by the water, where you can soak in the warm footbath and take in the stunning views of the sea.

Next, we will visit Mikimoto Pearl Island, the first place in the world to cultivate pearls. This island was even visited by Queen Elizabeth in the 1970s, who was known for her love of pearls. Here, you will learn more about pearls and the story of Koichi Mikimoto, founder of the luxury pearl company Mikimoto as well as watch a demonstration of traditional skin-divers…


© ”Visit ISESHIMA” Bureau


Shima and Kashikojima, Mie

  • Meals: breakfast
  • Stay: –

After breakfast at the hotel, we will delve into the rich culture of Ise-Shima.

Our first stop will be “Pearl no Sato”, a pearl farm where you can witness pearl cultivation in action. Many pearl farms in Ise-Shima are moored in the sea, and during your visit, you will have the opportunity to see how the shells are harvested and the pearls are extracted and even have the chance to try it for yourself.

The pearl farms in Ise-Shima are carefully tended by the owners, and on your visit, you will gain an understanding of the process of pearl production…



Day 1, Mount Shigi

© 玉蔵院 ご提供
Mount Shigi

Gyokuzoin Shukubo

Twin Room

Experience the peace and tranquillity of the temple grounds from the comfort of a simple, Japanese-style room. Each room is equipped with futon bedding, air conditioning, and a safety deposit box for your convenience. Wi-Fi is available, but there is no TV in the room, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the prayer mountain.

Day 2, Yoshino: choose one of the 3 options below.

© 芳雲館 ご提供

Scenic Inn Hounkan

Twin Room

A ryokan with over 250 years of history. Enjoy the panoramic views from the large open-air bath, then savour the seasonal delicacies.

© 吉野荘湯川屋 ご提供


Twin Room

Located in the centre of Mount Yoshino, this ryokan features interiors made from locally sourced wood. Their signature dish is a special hot pot made with Yoshino kudzu.


Chikurinin Gunpouen

Twin Room

Located in the traditional garden of Chikurin-in Temple, this accommodation offers Japanese-style rooms with views of the mountains. The public outdoor bath is spacious and provides a relaxing environment to unwind in.

Day 3, Toba


Toba International Hotel

Twin Room

Ideally positioned on the hill on the cape, the Toba International Hotel offers wonderful views of Toba Bay. Since opening its doors in 1964, the hotel has welcomed many distinguished guests from Japan and abroad with tradition and prestige. Enjoy the flavours of French and Japanese cuisine, prepared with an abundance of ingredients sourced from Ise-Shima.

Day 4, Kashikojima: choose one of the 3 options below.

© Kashikojima Hojoen


Twin Room

Kashikojima Hojoen is an authentic Japanese ryokan-style accommodation that boasts beautiful Japanese architecture, including a breezy three-storey atrium garden with a flowing waterfall. Enjoy a spectacular view of Ago Bay as you relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot spring and outdoor garden baths.

© Shima Kanko Hotel The Classic

Shima Kanko Hotel The Classic

Twin Room

Operated by Kintetsu Miyako Hotels, Shima Kanko Hotel The Classic is a highly-regarded hotel that was the venue for the G7 Summit in 2016.
Its stunning views of Ago Bay and impeccable hospitality are unmatched.



Twin Room

Nestled on a hill overlooking Ago Bay, Basara-tei is an exclusive retreat with only 20 guest rooms on a vast, secluded site. Each room is equipped with an open-air bath, providing the perfect environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Please note: all images are indicative only. Layout of rooms may vary.


  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Meals: 4 x breakfast, 4 x lunch, and 4 x dinner
  • Transportation: private transfer / public transportation / Kintetsu limited express trains (Blue Symphony & Ise-Shima Liner) using Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus, as per the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide at selected locations as per the itinerary
  • Admission fees to temples and other attractions detailed in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer: one piece of luggage per person
  • Government tax, service charges, tips to drivers, toll road, and parking fees


  • Flights
  • Transfers outside the tour itinerary
  • Hotel incidental charges
  • Drinks during meals
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry, shopping
  • Entrance fees to museums, temples and other attractions or places of personal interest not detailed in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa not included if required (note: Visa to enter Japan is not required for Australian citizens for trips less than 90 days)

Dates & Prices

For 2023 departure

Start Date – End Date

11 December – 15 December


Standard Price


per person
in a twin-share room

Available Offer


Booking closed

For 2024 departure

Start Date – End Date

22 January – 26 January


Standard Price


per person
in a twin-share room

Available Offer


Booking closed

Start Date – End Date

05 February – 09 February


Standard Price


per person
in a twin-share room

Available Offer


Booking closed

Start Date – End Date

11 March – 15 March


Standard Price


per person
in a twin-share room

Available Offer



Group size: Minimum 2 people

Book your perfect Japan holiday in 3 easy steps!

Follow the easy steps and let us take care of the details!

Important Information

  • There will be a moderate amount of walking during the tour.
  • Please note: all images are indicative only. Meals or layout of rooms may vary.
  • We highly recommend you take out appropriate travel insurance to cover yourself for any unforeseen event.
  • Please kindly note that, due to COVID-19, the schedule is subject to change.
  • Travel restrictions are constantly changing. Please check the latest travel advice before you book and before you travel.

Terms & Conditions

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Make your holiday count with our Japan travel tips, inspiration and offers.

Why book Japan tours with us?

Small groups, BIG Experiences

From sushi-making class to watching sumo wrestlers in action, a small group tour gives you access to experiences you might not otherwise see in Japan. All Kintetsu Japan tours are limited to just 20 people, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

Japan tours by Japan experts

We know Japan! As a Japanese company, each one of our carefully curated itineraries taps into our team’s vast local knowledge and network of partners. We know where to go, where to stay and everything in between.

Great peace of mind abroad

Go beyond the major sights and immerse yourself in the unique culture – all while our expert staff show you the way! Travel abroad can be overwhelming, but with everything taken care of, the only thing you need to decide is when to go!

About Kintetsu

In Australia

Kintetsu International Express (Oceania) is an ATAS accredited travel agent in Australia, a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. In Australia, we specialise in arranging Corporate and Group Travel for businesses, schools, religious groups and cultural organisations. We have Travel Centres in Sydney serving our Australian customers and offices in Cairns, Gold Coast and Auckland handling Japanese inbound tours. We are also an authorised travel agent to sell Japan Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass in Australia

In Japan and Worldwide

Kintetsu International belongs to the travel arm of the Kintetsu Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate which operates a major Japanese rail system, bus & freight forwarding companies, department stores, restaurants & hotel chains. We have more than 150 offices in Japan and more than 40 overseas offices worldwide. Utilising our global network, we guide our customers to every location around the globe with quality and dependable services.