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Tour details - San'in Gardens & Art Odyssey


  • Discover the exquisite Japanese gardens of the San’in region in western Japan, including the world-famous Adachi Museum of Art Gardens as well as a number of little-known and hidden masterpieces

  • Visit regional galleries to admire a range of works by Japanese and international artists, including the celebrated illustrator and children’s author Mitsumasa Anno and the acclaimed 20th century photographer Shoji Ueda

  • Explore some of the most picturesque traditional townscapes in Japan including Tsuwano, and delve into their fascinating history

  • Immerse yourself in spirituality at ancient country temples, including an opportunity for a mid-morning meditation session

  • Visit two of the only twelve castles remaining in Japan preserving the original main structure, including the famous Matsue Castle and its Samurai residence district

  • Experience traditional Japanese hospitality by staying at several ryokans, each with their own unique charm

  • Rejuvenate yourself with an onsen soak at two traditional ryokans, including one featuring a private outdoor bath with a framed view of a Japanese courtyard garden

  • Visit a village blacksmith from the renowned Izumo sword-smithing tradition creating objects of beauty for modern living, and a family-operated sake brewery upholding small-scale production for superb handcrafted brews   

  • Travel on a Showa-period steam train through the scenic countryside (subject to availability)

  • Optional add-on (one extra day) of a day-hike to the summit of Daisen (1729 m), the highest peak of western Honshu commanding a superb view across western Japan

A grand tour for the lovers of Japanese gardens, plants, visual arts and history, as well as those who simply appreciate beauty and aesthetics. This itinerary is centred around visits to several of the Japanese gardens (small and large, famous and otherwise) and regional art galleries of the San’in region in western Japan. A variety of other activities including mostly easy-grade walks in picturesque historic towns, visits to temples and castles, and small artisan craft and food workshops (including blacksmithing, sake, handmade paper and ceramics) complete an excitingly diverse itinerary. During the tour, you will reveal some fascinating and unexpected linkages between the region’s great garden, craft and art traditions, history, industries and natural environment that all come together to shape the unique character of the San’in region. For an authentic experience, you will be staying mostly in mid-range ryokans, including two onsen ryokans, all with their individual character.


MAIN DESTINATIONS COVERED: Takahashi, Daisen, Yasugi, Matsue, Yunotsu-Onsen, Tsuwano


TOUR LENGTH: 10 days (9 nights); 11 days with the Daisen hike add-on




SEASON: mid-May to mid-June, late October to early December


BOOKINGS CLOSE: 120 days before agreed departure date


START LOCATION: JR Okayama Station [MAP]


END LOCATION: JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station, Yamaguchi Prefecture [MAP]


FITNESS LEVEL: moderate (moderate–high with the Daisen add-on option)


CULTURAL TOLERANCE: moderate (must be able to sleep on traditional futon bedding on at least 6 nights)


COST: from AUD $4000/person (6 persons) to $6200/person (2 persons), including ALL ground transport, accommodation, meals, tour guiding, fees and charges

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