Aburatsu, Miyazaki, Japan
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 7½ Hours
Meals not included
Travel to the must-see Obi Castle ruins, perched on a hill in the ancient town of the same name. Rich with history, cultural significance and the spirit of the Edo period, the castle was used by the Shimazu and Ito clans from 1458 to 1871. Much of the original stonework has survived despite earthquakes and the passing of centuries. The grounds include Samurai residences and a museum.
A panoramic drive brings you to Aoshima island, just under a mile in circumference and connected by bridge to the mainland. Pristine beaches and the unusual Onino Sentakuita (the Devil's Washboard) rock formations make it a National Natural Monument. The only structure on the island, the Aoshima Shrine is believed to date back to the 9th century Heian period. You can purchase (at your own expense) small discs to throw at a target for good luck.
A Japanese set menu is served at lunch.
You will also follow a trail to the Udo Shrine, located in a cave scoured by wave action. It is dedicated to Yamasachihiko -- father of the first Emperor of Japan -- and is famed for its dramatic setting.
Tour requires a long walk in Obi castle town. Wear comfortable walking shoes. There are many steps to access the main hall of the Udo Shrine, with no ramp or elevator available. The walk to reach the shrine is about 10 minutes and requires negotiating a narrow cliffside pathway with steep steps. Participants must walk approximately 300 yards to cross the stone bridge to Aoshima Island. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Bring local currency, as many vendors do not accept credit cards or US dollars.