Woodland Kyoto and Wakasa

Woodland Kyoto and Wakasa
-Spend three days and two nights
in idyllic countryside to truly appreciate
the Japanese understanding of furusato
3 Days 2 Nights

The cities of Kyoto and Osaka have plenty of popular sights and tourist-friendly places. However, these make up only a small part of Japan, where there are still many hidden charms. There is a tendency among the Japanese to travel to places that are rich in nature in order to escape the daily grind and recharge their batteries, as well as to dream of spending their old age living a peaceful country life. This is probably because the slow pace and calm of the countryside kindles an inherent fondness for the concept of furusato. By private vehicle, visit rural communities, known as inaka, around coastal Wakasa and mountainous Kyoto and enjoy the distinct scenery and atmosphere of the two regions. At each location, discover lifestyles rooted in the land and immerse your mind and body in rural tranquility. By learning about small-scale industries, which are unique to each region and have long supported local communities, and about commerce and tradition that are the other face of country life, witness inaka up close and discover the indelible scenery of bucolic Japan. Cherish the truly personal experience of being welcomed by local people with the knowledge that in the near future this rustic charm may disappear for good. As rural Japan faces major challenges, such as an increase in abandoned farmland and vacant houses and a shortage of jobs due to a declining population, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the inaka landscape to be preserved. This three-day trip to truly discover Japan’s furusato may not be possible for much longer.

Japan Map


  • Spend time with a Kameoka swordsmith and make yourself a knife.
  • Visit a washi traditional paper factory in Kurotani.
  • Cook and enjoy rice using a old-style kamado oven in Ayabe.
  • Experience Ajikan meditation at a temple in Wakasa.
  • Stay at a fishing village inn.
  • Observe up close Wakasa Bay fishing and a fish auction at Obama Port.
  • Purchase fish at a local market and enjoy cooking it Japanese style.
  • Make your very own unique chopsticks using traditional Wakasa lacquerware.


Day 1


Traditional knife making and Yunohana Onsen

Meet your guide at Kameoka Station at 12:30 and travel 30 minutes by private vehicle to the Masahiro sword smithery. Along the way, appreciate the countryside scenery, which is quite different from that of the city. Begin by spending time talking with the swordsmith and learning how Japanese swords are made before trying your hand at making a knife. This is a souvenir that you’ll want to cherish as you can use it every day. Afterwards, leave by private vehicle to your accommodation at Yunohana Onsen. Spend the night in Honami, which, with its earthen walls colored with persimmon tannin and Kyoto-style inner room, is a special guestroom designed to reflect the ambience of a traditional Tanba home.

Day 2

Ayabe and Wakasa

Kurotani washi manufacturing and a traditional cooking utensil known as okudosan
A fishing village where even local guesthouses once benefitted the Wakasa economy and a Japanese form of meditation known as Ajikan

Meet your guide in the hotel lobby at 9 am. Travel by private vehicle for about one hour to Kurotani Washi Kaikan. Along the way, admire the rural scenery, which is somewhat different from that of the previous day. Visit a factory in Kurotani, once a major washi production center in Ayabe, that continues to manufacture traditional washi paper by hand. After touring the factory, head to Inakaya Sorashido to prepare rice using an okudosan, an old-style Japanese system kitchen. Enjoy the food and the relaxing rural ambiance. At 2 pm, leave for Wakasa in Fukui Prefecture by private vehicle. As you pass through the mountains, the Sea of Japan comes into view. The route to Sea Auberge Shitsumi, your accommodation for the night, follows the Wakasa Bay coastline. Check in at the main building then walk through the fishing village to a special maisonette-style guestroom called Nami. After relaxing in your room, feel free to take a stroll around the fishing village and get to know some of the people who call it home.
At 4 pm, leave by private vehicle to Myotsuji, a Buddhist temple in Wakasa that stands alone in a secluded mountain forest. Pass through the temple gate to the main hall, which is a designated national treasure. Once the temple closes to the general public, spend time in this extraordinary space practicing Ajikan meditation. Immerse your mind and body in the aura of the countryside before heading back down the mountain to your accommodation. For dinner, enjoy the benefits of Wakasa's proximity to both sea and mountains at Michelin-listed Uchitomi, an elegant restaurant attached to the premises.

Day 3


Livelihoods that depend on the fishing industry and traditional Wakasa lacquerware

Without a minute to spare, head to Obama Port at 6:30 in the morning to see the fishermen at work. Freshly caught fish are unloaded from boats that have returned to port. Observe up close how the fish are skillfully sorted by type, shape, size and freshness. The sorted fish are then sent off to the auction house nearby. Wholesalers wearing green hats stream in and the chime of a bell signals the start of the bidding. Here, witness the moment when the value of everything, from the skill of the fishermen to fish dish served at dinner, is decided. At 8 am, make your way to the wholesale market at Wakasa Obama Fish Center. With a local guide, examine the fish that you are going to cook for lunch. While buying other ingredients for lunch, get to know some of the people that work in the market. After shopping, proceed to Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum, where the cooking begins. Learn about Wakasa's food culture while preparing your lunch and relish this special meal, that comes after seeing everything from the fish being unloaded to it be auctioned and cooked. At 1 pm, head to a small lacquerware shop that has been in business for generations to learn about Wakasa’s traditional crafts. See real Wakasa lacquerware and learn from the craftsmen before returning to the Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum. In a handicrafts area on the 2nd floor, try your hand at lacquering the shafts of a set of chopsticks to make your very own souvenir. With you chopsticks complete, travel by private vehicle to Tsuruga Station, where the tour ends after three days spent discovering the distinctive lifestyles and traditions of Kameoka, Ayabe in woodland Kyoto and Wakasa in Fukui Prefecture and immersing your mind and body in the tranquility and warmth of Japan’s furusato.

What's Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Dinner at Ryokan
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Accommodations
  • Admission Fees
  • Guides / Assistants
  • Private Vehicle
  • Voucher
  • Luggage Transfer

What's Not Included

  • Accommodations
  • International Flights