Premium Kansai Experiences


Kansai is a remarkable and expansive region of central Japan, perhaps best known for destinations including Kyoto, Osaka, Lake Biwa and the ancient Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. With excellent access by train and plane, the region works as an excellent base for both first-time visitors and veterans to Japan alike.

There are also many fantastic experiences hidden deeper in the rural areas of Kansai, not typically available to visitors to Japan. As part of the Exciting Kansai tourism project, we are working in collaboration with these local regions to introduce you to a news series of exclusive premium self-guided tours, taking in the regions of Fukui and Shiga to the east; Kyoto, Hyogo and Tottori along the Sanin coastline, and Harima to the south, which offer the best authentic local experiences these regions have to offer. Featuring all of the ingredients that make Oku tours special; traditional inns, delicious freshly caught cuisine, local active experiences, each itinerary has been tailored to tell the story of the region, through its history, traditions and people.

Our Featured Premium Kansai trips

Western Shiga and Fukui:

Self-Guided Walking 4 Days Premium

Conveniently situated between Kyoto and Kanazawa, Shiga and Fukui prefectures provide a wealth of hidden treasures to explore over four days of forested walking, featuring hiking with excellent views out over iconic Lake Biwa, relaxes private Machiya stays, and a dramatic arrival into emotive Enryakuji Temple, where you spend the evening as a Shukubo Pilgrim's lodging, with the chance to experience authentic Shojin Buddhist cuisine and an optional course of Zazen meditation at the inn.

Northern Kyoto and the Sanin Coast:

Self-Drive 7 Days Premium

The Sanin Kaigan Geopark is a vast coastal paradise reaching from Northern Kyoto-fu, heading west through Hyogo and onwards to Tottori. Our tour takes in the key highlights of each area, with many accessible only by car. After taking in the Chirimen weaving culture, romantic port Ine and historic Kinosaki Onsen, the tour culminates with a dramatic hike up Mt. Daisen, affording expansive views out over the whole of the Sanin region.

Harima and Himeji:

Self-Guided Walking 4 Days Premium

With convenient access from Kyoto and Osaka, Himeji and wider Hyogo prefecture (the region known historically as Harima) offer a wide array of unique local activities to undertake. Together with excellent bathing opportunities at Arima Onsen, deep spiritual monuments and the truly would-class Himeji Castle, the region enables guests to learn about the well-known 47 Ronin and Miyamoto Musashi, legendary swordsman who undertook warrior pilgrimages in the Harima region.

Tokushima to Kobe:

Self-Guided Walking 4 Days Premium

Discover the compelling story of the birth of Japan through Awajishima Island; an important gateway between Shikoku Island and mainland Japan, via Tokushima on the east of Shikoku, through the foliage rich Awajishima Island and onwards to the bustling port town of Kobe on mainland Honshu. The region is home to excellent cuisine and Onsen hot springs, and this premium four day self-guided trip takes in delightfully comfortable Japanese hotels and Ryokan, as well as the best hiking the region has to offer.

Kyoto by the Sea to Fukui:

Self-Guided Walking 5 Days Premium

Owing to its direct proximity to the Japan Sea, Wakasa Bay has thrived and today retains important cultural monuments, abundant nature and traditional industries that helped support the local people for generations. Our adventure travels along the coastline of the Japan Sea, from culturally rich northern Kyoto or ‘Kyoto by the Sea’, from historic shrines and temples, to the iconic sandbar Amanohashidate, affording spectacular views over the bay, through to rural Fukui, with its pristine beaches, laid-back daily life and preserved cultural treasures.

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