Japan’s Old Samurai Towns and Fishing Villages
Hike between Tsuwano and Hagi-Okan for a genuine experience of Japan’s traditions, nature and history.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Scenic from the Start
Your destination is Susa, a tiny fishing village in the San’in region. Thus, your journey begins near the border of Shimane Prefecture. Enjoy a scenic 40-minute drive along a portion of the Sea of Japan coastline, designated as Kita-Nagato Kaigan Quasi-National Park. Take a sunset stroll along the pristine beach on the grounds of Susa Wan Ecology Camping Ground and the magnificent views of the sea in its sunset beauty. Later that evening, head to Tamagawa Hot Springs to experience the therapeutic Japanese custom of public bathing in a natural hot spring.
As you wake up and go to take a look, you enjoy the sight of boats docked in the shining emerald green harbour at the fishing village Esaki. You then head to Saido-ji Temple, built in the early 15th century, followed by a leisurely stroll on a slightly elevated hilly promenade along the coastline. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, followed by a tasting of world-class local sake. Read more
You trek out to Mount Kouyama, which stands 533 metres high on a cape, jutting out into the Sea of Japan. Perched on the summit is a Shinto shrine: the destination of your morning journey. You then board a squid fishing vessel manned by a local fisherman, and then to the Susa Hornfels.
Theatre of History
From the Taikodani Inari Shrine, with its one thousand vermilion torii gates, you take the chair-lift to the ruins of Tsuwano Castle. Here you will enjoy a soba dinner (buckwheat noodles), a local speciality. Afterwards, enjoy a performance of Iwami Kagura, a vibrant and traditional Japanese theatrical dance frequented by the locals.
Freshest of the Fresh
After experiencing the town’s crafts, you head to Tsubaki Gunseirin, a camellia grove of some 25,000 camellia trees. The grove covers an area of nearly 10 hectares. From here, you trek to the summit of Mount Kasayama in the centre of Kita-Nagato Kaigan Quasi-National Park. Next up is Hagi Seaside Market, the oceanfront “Kitchen of Hagi”, where local producers supply only the freshest ingredients. Lunch will be at a restaurant that features the fresh delicacies of seafood caught just off the coast.
Beautiful Pagodas and Gardens
Highlights of this busy day are the Buddhist temple Rurikou-ji, Kouzan Park and the Japanese garden Sesshu at Jouei-ji Temple. The pagoda at Rurikoji is one of the greatest architectural feats of the Muromachi period. It is the 10th oldest pagoda in Japan and is considered one of the three famous pagodas in Japan.
The Beginning of a New Adventure
Today you can try your hand at traditional Ouchi-nuri lacquerware, as well as experience other sighs around town. Your accommodation is conveniently located near JR Yuda Onsen Station. The rest of Japan is open to you. Where will you go next?