RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES

Ultimate Relaxation Trip Near Kyoto City
(Long Stay)

7 days in Northern Kansai

7 days, 6 nights in Northern Kansai
Ultimate Relaxation Trip Near Kyoto City

Travel north of Kyoto City and see the beauty and hidden gems of traditional Japan. This itinerary includes a peaceful little hot spring town, scenic coastal views, and a quiet woodland village all near Kyoto. Through some hand-on experiences, you can learn about how local people live in harmony with nature in the countryside. Immerse yourself in traditional countryside culture, put your mind at ease, and relax in a peaceful area.

Destinations:
Day 01 - Kinosaki Onsen
Day 02 - Izushi Castle Town
Day 03 - Kyotango & Amanohashidate
Day 04 - Yosano
Day 05 - Fukuchiyama
Day 06 - Fukuchiyama
Day 07 - Fukuchiyama
Where to eat:
Suginoya
Yoshinoya
Where to stay:
Kinosaki Onsen accommodations
Amanohashidate accommodations
Furumaya Farmhouse Stay
Transportion:
Train / Walking / Hotel pickup
long itinerary map
DAY 01

Kinosaki Onsen

Stay in a 1300-year-old hot spring town

Nestled in a lush mountain valley along the Sea of Japan is an age-old hot spring town shrouded in unforgettable charm. In the 1300-year-old town of Kinosaki Onsen, relax and rejeuvenate in the bathhouses and a traditional ryokan while also experiencing Japanese culture unique to the area.

Destination
Kinosaki Onsen
Where to eat
Local Dining
Where to stay
Local Accommodations
Transportation
Train & Walking
Yukata wearing visitors in Kinosaki
How to spend your day
Travel from Kyoto or Osaka to Kinosaki Onsen.
After you arrive, grab some lunch at one of the local restaurants or cafes in Kinosaki Onsen.
Take a seat and spend some time at one of Kinosaki's many restaurants or cafes. Try a hearty open sandwich with local ingredients at OFF.Kinosaki, a scrumptious Tajima beef burger at Bag Café Bar Creezan, or a tasty sushi set at Orizuru.
Tour Onsenji Temple and learn about the ancient ritual of bathing in Kinosaki Onsen or try the traditional art of straw craft
Choose one of two tours to experience a piece of Kinosaki Onsen's ancient history and culture. At Onsenji Temple, learn about its origins as a pilgrimage site and speak to a monk to learn more about the founding of the temple and the entire town. At Kamiya Mingei Shop, learn about mugiwara zaiku, a traditional straw handicraft with vibrant colors and intricate patterns that is only produced in Kinosaki Onsen in all of Japan. With a craftsman's guidance, make your own straw craft design on a small box to keep as a souvenir.
Check in to your ryokan.
Stay at a traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan, in Kinosaki Onsen for a one-of-a-kind experience in culture, hospitality, tranquility, and luxury. No matter which of the over 70 ryokan in town you choose, you are guaranteed to have a relaxing stay. The ryokan typically feature traditional tatami rooms, and some have gorgeous garden views and private onsen to enjoy.
Enjoy a kaiseki dinner at your ryokan.
In the evening, enjoy kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner made with Kinosaki specialities and local ingredients. Many ryokan will set up the meal for you to relish in the comfort of your room. Kaiseki dinners are known for their artistic setup and attention to detail that make the meal almost too beautiful to eat!
ryokan kaiseki dinner
Tour the 7 public hot springs
Your ryokan will provide you with a pass to all 7 public hot spring bathhouses so you can go onsen-hopping. As all of the bathhouses, or onsen, are within walking distance of each other, guests can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the town and stroll down the willow-lined streets along the canal in a yukata (a traditional cotton robe also provided by your ryokan).
DAY 02

Izushi Castle Town

Take a private guided tour through this nostalgic castle town

Izushi is a castle town popular for its nostalgic atmosphere, with a townscape reminiscent of the Edo era. Join a local English-speaking guide and visit interesting spots in town such as the Eirakukan Kabuki Theatre, the Samurai House, and the Izushi Castle Ruins before heading to Sukyoji Temple for zen meditation among other activities.

Destination
Izushi Castle Town
Where to eat
Local Dining
Where to stay
Local Accommodations in Kinosaki
Transportation
Train, Bus, & Walking
Izushi townscape
How to spend your day
Meet your guide at Kinosaki Onsen Station and travel to Izushi together
Meet your guide, an English-speaking person native to the area, and take public transportation together to reach your destination. From the local transportation to the lesser-known information & personal anecdotes that your guide will share, have a truly authentic experience in this historic castle town.
Travel Tip:
By booking a private tour you will be guided through Izushi by a local billingual expert, giving you a deeper experience. Tours also include lunch at a local soba restaurant.
*Some restrictions may apply.
Explore Izushi and visit its interesting and picturesque spots.
Make sure to bring your camera as you visit various attractions in this scenic town. See the inner workings of a traditional kabuki theater as you go behind and even underneath the stage. Enter an old samurai residence with samurai memorabilia and a hidden second floor. Explore ancient castle ruins next to a row of numerous torii gates, similar to Fushimi Inari Taisha but without the crowds!
Enjoy a local specialty, Izushi Sara Soba.
While soba (buckwheat noodles) are usually served in a large dish, Izushi Sara Soba is traditionally served on small plates, a single serving consisting of 5 plates. Stop for lunch at one of 50 soba shops in town that showcase this unique serving method.
Find peace of mind through a zazen (seated meditation) and a sutra transcribing experience.
At Sukyoji Temple, participate in traditional Buddhist activities with the guidance of the temple's chief monk. With the help of your English-speaking guide, the monk will first give you a tour of the temple, followed by seated zen meditation and copying Buddhist sutras & images by hand. Afterwards, you have the opportunity to ask the monk any questions you have over a bowl of matcha and scrumptious traditional sweets.
At the end of your tour, your guide will escort you back to Kinosaki Onsen.
After the tour of Izushi, your guide will accompany you back to Kinosaki Onsen, so you do not need to worry about figuring out transportation.
Relax in Kinosaki Onsen's public hot springs and enjoy another delicious kaiseki dinner back at your ryokan.
If you were unable to visit all seven bathhouses the day before, now is your chance. On this second evening in Kinosaki Onsen, enjoy more of the town's atmosphere and go shopping for souvenirs and post-onsen snacks.
Kinosaki Onsen at night
DAY 03

Kyotango

Heading to Kyoto by the Sea's northernmost region of Kyotango, a mecca of health and longevity, visitors will learn about Japan's healthy food heritage, learn about fermentation, and see how this region's beautiful geography supports not only a diverse food culture, but 70 percent of Japan's high quality silk produciton.

Destination
Kyotango
Where to eat
Local Dining
Where to stay
Local Accommodations
Transportation
Train & Walking
Kyotango, Omiya
How to spend your day
Check out from your accommodations in Kinosaki Onsen and travel by train to Kyotango Omiya Station.
Meet your guide for a "tabel table" cooking workshop for a fermented food experience.
This cooking workshop is run by a bilingual food expert who specializes in fermentation and the relationship between food and health. She has experience giving cooking workshops all over the world. The workshop space in in a charming, renovated farm-style house. Learn about Japanese cooking, fermentation, and healthy eating.
Seasonal experience:
If you are visiting during the winter season you can choose to make homemade miso. This miso making workshop is incredibly popular with guests visiting in the winter, because you will learn firsthand how to make miso on your own (and even take some home with you).
Your tour package will include lunch at tabel table.
The lunch at "tabel table" focuses on food that will promote healthy living. The ingredients are sourced locally and feature tabel table's very own miso. Healthy eating can also be delicious and filling.
Kyotango Tabel Table Info
After lunch, go with your guide to a local soy sauce brewery and see how soy sauce is made.
Onojin Brewery produces handmade soy sauce and miso that employs long-term fermentation and aging. Most commercial soy sauce breweries use modern machines to ferment and produce batches of soy sauce in just a few months. Onojin's brand can take up to three years for their top-quality soy sauce. The brewery makes a range of products, each with distinct flavor profiles. They also make excellent miso.
At the end of your time in Kyotango travel by train to Amanohashidate, one of the world's natural wonders.
Seasonal experience:
If you are visiting during the winter season you can choose to make homemade miso. This miso making workshop is incredibly popular with guests visiting in the winter, because you will learn firsthand how to make miso on your own (and even take some home with you).
Check in to your ryokan.
Staying at a ryokanat Amanohashidate is unforgettable. You will have one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views right outside with the sea and pine forest for company, and fresh local cuisine for your meals. The ryokanhere also have natural hot springs sourced deep within the earth, and friendly, welcoming staff.
Explore the town of Amanohashidate before having dinner at your ryokan.
Amanohashidate is a naturally occurring 3.6km land bridge with white sand beaches and a continuous walking path shaded by thousands of pine trees. The path is only open to foot traffic and bicycles, making it easy to hear the lapping wavelets and singing birds.
Seasonal sightseeing spot:
In autumn there are illumination events in the area that are worth checking out.
DAY 04

Yosano

Yosano is famous for its silk heritage and area known as Chirimen street. Tango chirimen textured silk is one of the most sought after materials in Japan and this region produces fabric of incredible quality. Many of the buildings are still preserved so visitors can see how a silk town would have looked over a hundred years ago.

Destination
Yosano
Where to eat
Local Dining
Transportation
Train & Walking
Yosano
How to spend your day
Travel from Amanohashidate to Yosano.
Yosano is only a short and scenic train ride away from Amanohashidate. One the ride you will pass farms and small villages. If you sit on the rightside of the train, you will also have views of Amanohashidate and Aso Bay.
Yosano is famous for its chirimen silk. Try on a real kimono and explore the town.
This is a true kimono experience. Unlike many 'kimono' experiences in Japan, you will have the opportunity to try on (or interact) with high quality chirimen silk. The location of this experience is the Former Bito Family Residence, a wealthy merchant's house that has been preserved in its original fashion. You will get a tour of this house, be able to choose from and touch various chirimen silk, as well as walk the old streets.
Eat in a historic merchant's house as part of the chirimen experience.
The experience includes lunch at the Former Bito Residence on their antique lacquerware. The meal includes local delicacies such as barazushi, a lasagna type rice/sushi dish.
From the afternoon, make your own cloth wrap and enjoy some tea.
The silk experience continues with a tea ceremony and a class in which visitors will learn how to tie Japanese furoshiki. Using silk cloth, an expert will guide you through the steps to making this reusable wrap/bag, environmentally friendly and stylish!
Travel back to Amanohashidate for the evening and one more night.
DAY 05

Fukuchiyama

Experience rural Japan and stay at a traditional farmhouse style guesthouse.

Destination
Fukuchiyama
Where to eat
Local Dining
Where to stay
Furumaya Farmhouse Stay
Transportation
Train & Hotel pickup
Ayabe
How to spend your day
Have breakfast at your ryokan before checking out and taking the train from Amanohashidate to Ayabe.
Travel Tip:
Take the Hashidate No.2 from Amanohashidate Station to Fukuchiyama Station. We suggest staying in a traditional farmhouse style guesthouse. Check with your accommodation about transportation from the station.
Arrive at your traditional Japanese farmhouse style accommodation and check out the area.
Explore the surrounding area.
Just walk around the area and locals will greet you and make you feel richer.
Head back to your accommodation for dinner and settle in for the evening.
You can enjoy rustic home-style cooking with vegetables from the field grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers, homemade rice, wild vegetables, and other fresh local ingredients.
Allergies and vegetarian diets are catered for. During the summer months, you can also enjoy barbecue dinners in the garden.
DAY 06

Fukuchiyama

Destination
Fukuchiyama
Where to eat
Local Dining
Where to stay
Furumaya Farmhouse Stay
Ayabe
How to spend your day
Enjoy true Japanese country life.
In the cold season, you can relax by the fire of the wood stove in the dining room, and in the hot season, you can play in the nearby river or cool off with mist and natural breezes. It's not a bad idea to listen to the sounds of insects and frogs while feeling the four seasons on your skin from time to time. Don't forget the option to do nothing!
Experience cooking a Japanese style lunch.
Interested in learning Japanese home cuisine? If so, you have a chance to take a quick lesson at Furumaya and prepare a few dishes for your lunch or dinner. The hostess will introduce you to authentic Japanese condiments and explain how to use them during the cooking lesson. (Reservation required)
Relax on your second night here.
DAY 7

Fukuchiyama

Destination
Fukuchiyama
Where to eat
Local Dining
Transportation
Train & Hotel send-off
Ayabe
How to spend your day
Enjoy a homemade breakfast at your accommodation before checking out and going on a guided bicycle tour of the area.
cycling tour of Ayabe
A cycling tour with an English speaking guide is available with reservation. In the tour, you can visit a traditional house style cuisine for lunch. They offer meals with vegitables from the area. Also, you will cycle to a shrine known for prayers for safe delivery among western Japan.
After your tour, head back to your accommodation to collect your things.
Check with your accommodations about setting up transportation back to Ayabe Station.
Travel back to Kyoto or Osaka. We hope you enjoyed your time in Northern Kansai.
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Please contact us for inquiries and further details about this itinerary.

Company Name: Zentan Bus Co., Ltd.
E-mail: unyu@zentanbus.co.jp
Address: 113-1 Yoka, Yoka-cho, Yabu City, Hyogo, 667-0021, JAPAN