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Chikugo Valley in Early Spring (8 DAYS)

The Chikugo River, the longest river of Kyūshū, rises on the flanks of volcanic mountains in central and northern Kyūshū. In its lower reaches, the Chikugo Valley opens up to extensive plains, where the fertile soils, abundant water and mild climate have supported a variety of human activities for millennia. It is little wonder that the region supports one of the most diverse craft, food and horticultural traditions in Japan, including indigo-dyeing and kasuri textiles, bamboo, paper and woodcraft, noodles, soy sauce, sake brewing, tea growing, azalea and Camellia breeding. In addition, the innovative nature of the region’s people is reflected in more recent traditions that include premium-quality fruit growing, artisan bread making, patisserie and winemaking. The region’s long history is apparent in the pockets of old townscapes and numerous ancient archaeological sites scattered throughout the countryside. The mountainous upper reaches of the river, by contrast, are a realm of ancient terraced fields, tea plantations clinging to hillsides, quaint pottery villages, and shrines and temples amid dense forests. This tour will provide you with a flavour of the diverse experiences Chikugo Valley offers, and a ‘sneak preview’ of Japan in spring as the blossom season starts. It includes easy to moderate-grade town and country walks, visits to small artisan textile and ceramic workshops, stays in traditional houses, and opportunities to sample local specialities such as the Yame green tea, and the Kurume ramen and yakitori. 

 

Day 1: Travel Hakata (Fukuoka)–Kurume, Kurume shrines and temples town walk; Day 2: Chikugo indigo dyeing workshop, Yame historic town walk and artisan crafts, green-tea appreciation experience; Day 3: Yame plum blossoms walk, traditional crafts centre; Day 4: Kurume early spring country walk (including the Kurume Camellia Gardens), valley-view onsen experience; Day 5: Chikugo Valley orchards and ceramics walk; Day 6: Chikugo Valley mountain rice terraces and temples walks; Day 7: Hikosan mountain shrine and Koishiwara pottery village (or Hikosan summit shrine climb); Day 8: travel Hikosan–Kokura then to your onward destination.

 

Accommodation: 3 nights in traditional Japanese houses (private rentals) with Japanese-style futon bedding; 3 nights in mid-range tourist hotels with Japanese-style futon or Western-style bedding; 1 night in a mid-range city hotel.

 

Major themes: CRAFTS, FOOD, GARDENS, COUNTRY WALKING, HISTORY

 

Physical fitness requirement: MODERATE

 

Cultural tolerance requirement: MODERATE/HIGH

 

Departure date: 20 February 2018

 

Bookings before: 12 December 2017

 

Cost: from AUD $4100 per person

 

Maximum group size: 6 persons

NO MORE BOOKINGS TAKEN

PLEASE SEE OUR OTHER TOURS

NO MORE BOOKINGS TAKEN

PLEASE SEE OUR OTHER TOURS

Takehiko Hashimoto trading as

Deeply Regional Japan Tours ABN 17594801316

Postal address:

PO Box 238, Mawson ACT 2607 AUSTRALIA

E-mail:

hashimoto@grapevine.com.au

Web:

www.deeplyregionaljapan.com

www.deeplyregionaljapan.com.au

© 2019 by Takehiko Hashimoto

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