Price Per Person (incl. tax)
Number of participants（Min./Max.）
4 / 8
Year-Round(recommended in spring / autumn)
Kyushu / Oita
English / Japanese
- Price Per Person (incl. tax)
The lifestyles of the people in the region
where the syncretism of Shintoism and Buddhism originated
A trip to the Kunisaki Peninsula: Experience nature and lifestyles from the ancient past
Beppu—Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture, is located in the north-east part of Kyushu. The
peninsula is surrounded by Beppu Bay and the Suonada Sea—sections of the Seto Inland Sea—where more than a
thousand years of history remain.
The rocky peaks of the Kunisaki Peninsula were formed by a series of volcanic activities. It is among these peaks that the unique mountain religious culture of the Rokugo Mansan flourished making this landscape a major draw for the area.
The castle town retains the flavor of the Medieval and Edo Periods. Beppu Onsen-kyo, with its therapeutic hot spring waters, has fostered a strong hot-spring bathing culture.
Tours include trekking, city walks, cycling, and marine activities. On all these tours, participants can experience the rich nature and lifestyle preserved throughout the centuries. Take a journey through a millennium of memories passed down through the generations in this unique region.
Peninsula as cultural transit point
Located in the north-east of Kyushu, the Kunisaki Peninsula juts out into the Seto Inland Sea. This promontory boasts historical footprints dating back more than a thousand years, where the first prototypes of modern Japan can be traced.
Various foreign ships entered Japan and these mariners stopped first at the Kunisaki Peninsula which served as a staging post for those coming and going. As a result, Kunisaki became the nexus for Japan’s cultural exchange, and was especially influenced by the advanced cultures of mainland China and the Korean Peninsula.
Japanese spiritual culture nurtured through the ages
The rocky peaks of the Kunisaki Peninsula were formed by a series of volcanic activities. Shugendo, the unique mountain religious rites of Rokugo Manzan Culture flourished among these mountains deemed sacred. A castle town carries a strong flavor of the Edo Period. The therapeutic hot spring culture is unique to Beppu Hot Spring Resort. Visitors can feel the breadth of Japanese culture in each era and the spiritual culture created through the interaction of Japanese and foreign people.
Millennium memories of the land
This tour allows visitors to trace a thousand years of history spanning from ancient times to modern. By trekking, city walking, cycling, participating in marine activities and tasting the local cuisine, guests can time-travel from ancient Japan to the present day.
The active, cultural component of this program allows visitors to experience nature-inspired ways of life that still exist today. This lifestyle has been preserved by the people here who understand the value of memories created over the millennia.
On e-bikes, ride along a cycle route named after the fierce guardian god Nio, a much-loved character in the area. This cycling route connects Hachiman-nata—a shrine closely associated with Usa Shrine, said to be the origin of the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhist traditions—with Makiodo, the location where Fudo Myo-o, a deity with a hint of continental influence, is located.
Modern monks of mountain religions practice the Mineiri-gyo, a path of ascetic practice, every 10 years. You can follow in their footsteps by trekking a slightly abbreviated version of the course, unique, with satoyama—foothills cultivated since ancient times—that are said to be the original landscape of Japan. Rocky terrain and some passages are so steep that chains are provided to hold on to and you’ll feel like you're walking through a sansui-ga ink drawing.
Get a taste of the island way of life unique to this region by visiting Himeshima, an island with a long history and which is mentioned in the Kojiki ("Records of Ancient Matters”) Japan's earliest extant book of myths, legends, and semi-historical accounts about the origins of the Japanese archipelago, published circa 712 A.D.). The story of Himeshima centers around a bride who was to have an arranged marriage to a prince in Korea. But she had different ideas, and instead fled to this island and settled there. The island is named Himeshima (Princess Island) in honor of this story, which also suggests the area's early ties to the Korean Peninsula. On Himeshima, you can experience the local way of life and the warm, simple hearts of the inhabitants by sharing in home cooked dishes with them.
On the shallow beach of Itogahama, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and paddle out to Beppu Bay— once a crossroads of civilizations where ships from the Chinese mainland and the Korean Peninsula came and went—and view the Kunisaki Peninsula from the sea.
Orientation & Dinner
The trip starts with an orientation conducted at Nada Midori-sou, a beachside guesthouse. A dinner and
welcome party will be held, using mainly with local products and foods.
All are encouraged to communicate with each other around the table.
|lodging||Nada Midori-sou Beach House|
Nada Midori-sou beach house began as a resting place for the those in the Gyoko-kai festival procession
that carries the goshintai from Usa Jingu Shrine to Nada Shrine. The goshintai is believed to hold the
sacred body of the deity of Usa Jingu, which is the head shrine of the Hachiman faith.
Nada beach offers one of Kyushu's best spots to watch the sunrise. Enjoy an early morning beach walk as the majestic sun rises from the torii gate of Ichikishima, a small island in the sea, and start your tour with a clear mind.
Cycling through a Thousand Years On the second morning, start by watching the sunrise from Nada Beach and praying for the safety of your journey at Hachiman Nada Shrine. Today you will be traveling by bicycle feeling the passage of a thousand years on the Niourindo Cycling Path. First, visit the castle town of Kitsuki, which retains the atmosphere of Japan's early modern and Edo periods and visit Tashibunosho, with its medieval rural landscape.
During a charcoal-grilled lunch using Tashibu charcoal, you can socialize with the members of the local
Women's Association. Once your heart and stomach are full, head out again on your bicycle.
In the afternoon, cycle to the ancient Buddhist cultural center of Rokugo Manzan, including the Kumano Magaibutsu, Makiodo and Fukiji temples. In the evening, visit a Japanese-style ryokan run by a local family. Farmhouse cuisine and handmade soba noodles prepared by a deputy priest are just some of the treats awaiting you.
【Minivan to cycling start point./
［Cycling］Kitsuki Furusato Sangyo Kan ～Kitsuki Castle Town (castle town stroll, tea ceremony experience)～Tashibunosho [Distance 23 km,vertical climb 400 m].
|lunch||Charcoal-grilled lunch with Tashibu charcoal in a rural setting. Interaction with members from the local Women's Association.|
|afternoon||［Cycling］ Tashibunosho - Kumano Magaibutsu - Makiodo (special viewing) - Fukiji [Distance 15 km, vertical 100 m, total 6~7 hours].|
|dinner||Vegetable-based farmhouse cuisine and handmade soba noodles by a deputy priest at the ryokan where you are staying.|
From the divine era through the medieval and early modern periods, cyclists follow unchanged landscapes from ancient times following a thousand years of history.
Along with local cuisine, visitors can enjoy the company of the area residents, including lunch and handmade soba noodles in a Japanese-style ryokan where the family will entertain you.
The Makiodo, which will be open for special viewing. It houses a number of Buddhist statues that embody the unique Buddhist culture that has been nurtured here.
To the Kunisaki Hantou
Minemichi Long Trail Before breakfast, early morning zazen meditation at the Fukiji Odo temple, a national treasure. After purifying body and mind, we set off on the main activity of the tour: the Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail.
The group of temples stretching across the Kunisaki Peninsula is called Rokugo Manzan, known
as a place of ascetic mountain practice. The monks climbed these rocky mountains and carved out caves
where ogres dwelled to create training sites called iwaya which are part of their mineiri ascetic
The ancient Rokugo Manzan Mineiri-gyo path is packed with sacred spots. By walking along the same harsh mountain paths used by ascetic monks since ancient times, you will feel the origins of Japanese spiritual culture. We will introduce guests to the peninsula's hidden gems, magnificent craggy peaks and intriguing stone Nio statues.
This special trek can only be experienced here in Kunisaki. After the trek, take a ferry to the mythic island of Himeshima. Relieve your fatigue with a dinner full of the bounty of the sea.
|morning||By minivan to the trail start point ［Total walking distance: approx. 9 km, time required: 6-7 hours] 【Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail】 Saihoji no Sato - Oto Iwaya - Amida Koshi - Oufudo Iwaya|
|lunch||Trail lunches in a spectacular setting with plenty of local rice and vegetables and offered in environmentally friendly packaging.|
|afternoon||【Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail】Shiritsuke Iwaya - Sentouji Temple - Former Sentouji Temple - Itsutsuji Fudoson Iwaya with spectacular views (special gomadaki fire ceremony by Sentouji priest, 30~60 mins, participation optional) - Fudo Jaya|
|evening||By minivan to Imi Port By ferry Imi Port - Himeshima Port|
|dinner||At Pension Nojigiku (Western-style boardinghouse)❺ on Himeshima, where you will stay overnight, you can enjoy seafood dishes made with with fresh fish caught by the owner, who is a fisherman. He’ll prepare plenty of Himeshima specialities such as tiger prawns.|
You can retrace the shugendo path walked by mountain ascetic monks since time immemorial in their attempts to transcend the forces of nature and human knowledge. Come face to face with Japan's unique spiritual culture.
Experience peaceful satoyama countryside landscapes (said to be the original landscapes of Japan), as well as virgin and working forests where people make their livelihoods from forestry. Trek across varied trails with rocky terrain and challenging sections where you have to use chains to ascend or descend.
At the Itsutsuji Fudo, a place of prayer built on a rocky outcrop, goma fire ceremonies are held, which can usually only be seen on very special occasions.
Mythic Island Himeshima
Feel the age of the gods and experience island life on Himeshima, an island mentioned in Japan's oldest
books, Kojiki and Nihonshoki, written in the early 8th century.
After breakfast on Himeshima, walk along the Blue Line coastal road and enjoy the scenery along the east side of the island. Learn about Himeshima's traditional 'fox dance’ and paint a fox mask.
For lunch, cook local dishes with the island residents and enjoy getting to know them.
The afternoon trekking tour focuses on Himeshima as an island of volcanoes. The island people have lived amongst Himeshima's seven volcanoes their whole lives and the island is recognized as a Japan Geopark: an area that retains its geological heritage and charm. Experience the mysteries of volcanoes and the nature of Himeshima on this hiking tour.
In the evening, stay at an inn in Beppu Onsenkyo called Myoban Onsen, to experience Beppu's unique hot-spring therapeutic waters and its modern communal hot-spring culture.
|breakfast||Simple, healthy island cuisine|
|morning||Himeshima Fox Dance & Mask Painting Experience [1 hour]|
|lunch||Experience making imokiri
Himeshima's local dish［lunch included / 2 hours］
|afternoon||【Hime no Hosomichi Hiking】 Kannonzaki ～ Asagimadara habitat ～ Mt. Yahazudake ～Himeshima Port ［Distance: approx. 7 km, Altitude: Mt. Yahazudake 267 m. Time required: 3 hours］|
|evening||Ferry from Himeshima Port to Imi Port By minivan to Beppu Onsen|
|dinner||Touji food hell-steam cooking experience|
The island of myths, mentioned in the Kojiki ("Records of Ancient Matters"), allows visitors to experience island life as it has existed since the time of the gods.
For lunch, you can make the island's local dish imokiri with native islanders who know the food culture best, and enjoy the warmth of their interaction.
On the volcanic island of Himeshima, traces of volcanic activity can be seen throughout, including lava domes, crater ruins and obsidian cliffs. Hiking is a great way to fully appreciate the unique natural landscape.
View the Peninsula from the Sea
The final day starts with an early-morning stroll around the therapeutic hot-spring baths in Myoban
After breakfast, go SUP (Stand-up Paddleboarding) in Beppu Bay. Paddle to a secret cave that can only be reached from the sea. This will be a time to slow down and observe the Kunisaki Peninsula from the sea.
Lunch is served at Tekizanso, a restaurant that showcases the charm of traditional Japanese wooden
architecture, and where you can enjoy an authentic kaiseki meal to conclude your trip.
The journey ends with a visit to the ruins of Hiji Castle. The castle town on the sea retains the atmosphere of the Edo period. It holds reminders of the past, as well as those of a thousand years of history on the Kunisaki Peninsula.
|breakfast||Hell-steamed egg sandwiches|
|morning||Early morning private and communal hot bath experience (participation optional)
After a mini walk in Myoban,
take a minivan to Itogahama Beach
Beppu Bay SUP & Secret Cave Experience［4 ㎞、3 hours］
Itogahama Seaside Park ～ Secret Cave ～ Itogahama Seaside Park
|lunch||By minivan to Tekizanso for kaiseki lunch [60-90 min]|
|afternoon||Take a leisurely stroll through the castle town of Hiji by the sea → Tour finishes at Ninomaru-kan → End|
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in Beppu Bay, once a crossroads of civilizations where many ships passed through. View the Kunisaki Peninsula from the sea.
Enjoy kaiseki cuisine at Tekizanso, an Important National Cultural Asset built 100 years ago. Visitors can experience the charm of ancient Japanese wooden architecture and modern villa culture.
A peaceful stroll in the small castle town by the sea in Hiji.
|1||Meet → Orientation → Dinner and welcome party → Overnight stay at Nada Midori-sou||-||-||●|
|2||Nata Beach → Hachiman Nata Temple → Niorindo Road cycling tour and cultural experience → Overnight stay at Ryoan Fukinotou||●||●||●|
|3||Early morning zazen meditation at the national treasure Fukiji Temple → Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail → Himeshima → Overnight stay at Pension Nojikiku||●||●||●|
|4||Himeshima fox dance & mask painting experience → Himeshima hiking → Overnight stay at Beppu Onsen Oyado Yebisuya||●||●||●|
|5||Myoban walk → Beppu Bay SUP & secret cave by SUP → Stroll through the castle town of Hiji by the sea → End of tour||●||●||-|
|Contents||Meet → Orientation → Dinner and welcome party → Overnight stay at Nada Midori-sou|
|meals||B - / L ○ / D ○|
|Contents||Nata Beach → Hachiman Nata Temple → Niorindo Road cycling tour and cultural experience → Overnight stay at Ryoan Fukinotou|
|meals||B ○ / L ○ / D ○|
|Contents||Early morning zazen meditation at the national treasure Fukiji Temple → Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail → Himeshima → Overnight stay at Pension Nojikiku|
|meals||B ○ / L ○ / D ○|
|Contents||Himeshima fox dance & mask painting experience → Himeshima hiking → Overnight stay at Beppu Onsen Oyado Yebisuya|
|meals||B ○ / L ○ / D ○|
|Contents||Myoban walk → Beppu Bay SUP & secret cave by SUP → Stroll through the castle town of Hiji by the sea → End of tour|
|meals||B ○ / L ○ / D -|
- Meeting / Disbanding
Ninomaru-kan in Hinode Town/Nada Midori-sou Beach House in Kitsuki City
- Physical Level
Includes activities on lengthy trails with relatively high physical intensity.
- Registration Deadline
1 month prior
(please contact if more info is needed)
- Age & Height Requirement
16 years old and above and over 4 ft. 9 inches in height (latter to fit bicycles)
- Price Per Person (including tax)
- What's Included
4 nights accommodation, meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners), entrance fees (Makiodo, Fukiji Temple,Kumano Magaibutsu), experience fees (cycling, painting, communal cooking, Zen meditation, SUP), guide fees (through-guide, cycling and hiking, onsen meister), Himeshima round-trip ferry fee, private car fee as written in the itinerary.
- What'sNot Included
All beverages during meals, transport to and from the meeting point/disbanding point, insurance and any other extra costs.
For those who choose to pay by bank transfer, transfer charges will be borne by the customer.
- What to Bring & What to Wear
Please wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
When SUPing, please wear clothes that can get wet (swim wear, rash guard, water-repellent T-shirt, etc.). Also recommended: Sandals, hat (with chin strap recommended), sunscreen, sunglasses (please use a strap to secure sunglasses),and marine shoes.
Taxis to/from the meeting point are available on request (cost to be borne by customer).
- Cancellation Policy
【Customer Cancellation Fees】
On or after the 20th day prior to the start of the tour: 20% of the tour fee
On or after the 7th day prior to the start of the tour: 30% of the tour fee
On the day before the tour start date: 40% of the tour fee
On the day of the tour (but before the start: 50% of the tour fee
Cancellation after the start of the trip or no-show: 100% of the trip fee
【Cancellation by the organizer/provider】
In the event of foul weather or poor trail conditions, the tour may be cancelled due to reasons of safety and trail protection. In the event of cancellation, a decision will be made one day before the tour and you will be notified by phone or email. If the forecast is for nice weather but it rains on the day of the tour, the tour may be cancelled. In such cases when the organizer cancels the tour before the start of the day, no cancellation fee will be charged to the guest.
※The itinerary may be changed or cancelled after the tour has started. In such cases, an itinerary change deposit will be paid in accordance with the General Conditions of the Tour Operator's Agreement, except in cases of natural disasters and other exemptions.
※In the event that it is deemed difficult to continue the tour due to rain or other reasons after the tour has started, the tour may be cancelled. No refund will be made in this case.
Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
|location||11-8 Kyomachi, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture 874-0926|
|License||Oita Prefecture Governor Registered Travel Agency No. 2-210|
|Tel / Fax||+81-977-85-8511 / +81-977-85-8516|