Southern Japan Experience

07/01/2023 through 11/23/2024
07/01/2023 through 11/26/2024
Intrepid Travel

Southern Japan Experience

One of Japan’s greatest attractions is its ability to offer up both the modern and traditional versions of itself. Alongside future-focused cities like Osaka and Nagasaki, there are places that have kept to its traditions for hundreds of years, often to stunning effect. Set off on a journey of discovery into the Japan that lies south-west of Osaka, a ‘lost Japan’. Travel to Takamatsu and Naoshima Islands and be amazed at the contrast between the traditional beauty of the Ritsurin garden and the local avant-garde art exhibits.


  • Takamatsu – Ritsurin Garden & Sanuki Folkcraft Museum
  • Takamatsu – Naoshima day trip (ferry, public bus & bicycle)
  • Kotohira – Kompira-san
  • Iya Valley – Kazura-bashi (vine bridge), Nagoro “Scarecrow” Village & Buke Yashiki samurai house
  • Matsuyama – Matsuyama Castle
  • Nagasaki – tram day pass
  • Nagasaki – Peace Park & Atomic Bomb Museum
  • Yakushima – Local dinner
  • Yakushima – Shiratani Unsuikyo National Park hiking


  • Explore the unique island of Naoshima, transformed from a sleepy fishing community into a world class art destination, with sleek and stylish museums and artworks that sit in harmony with the landscape.
  • Join locals hiking along trails to hidden temples, being awed at some of the country’s impressive castles or in one of Japan’s oldest hot spring baths – Dogo Onsen.
  • Feel like Indiana Jones as you cross the kazurabashi (vine bridges) of the hidden Iya Valley, a remote retreat of deep gorges and lush mountains on Shikoku island.
  • Uncover the different characters of the cities of Nagasaki and Osaka, from the former’s thought-provoking Peace Park and Museum to the latter’s busy streets where the motto is ‘eat until you drop’.
  • Venture into the thick and mysterious cedar forests on Yakushima, encounter Yakushika deer or Yakuzaru monkey, or relax at the seaside onsen.


Day 1 Osaka
Day 2 Takamatsu
Day 3 Naoshima - Takamatsu
Day 4 Kotohira
Day 5 Iya Valley - Matsuyama
Day 6 Matsuyama
Day 7 Nagasaki
Day 8 Nagasaki
Day 9 Yakushima
Day 10 Yakushima
Day 11 Osaka
Day 12 Osaka

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