Explore Southern Japan, live like a local in Tuscany, and stay in a Bedouin camp overnight in Jordan on one of G Adventures’ exciting new tours for 2019. Here are our top three favourite new G Adventures tours:
Explore Southern Japan
This 11-day tour takes you on an insightful journey through Southern Japan. Start in the culinary capital of Osaka, where you’ll find crispy, skewered kushi-katsu, rich, creamy ramen (so good, you can count it as an experience), and of course, the freshest sushi and sashimi, one of the most important foods in Japan. After Osaka, you’ll visit the contemporary art galleries of Naoshima Island and historic Nagasaki, trek through ancient mossy forests in Yakushima, then end your tour in Kyoto, the former imperial city famous for its temples, the Fushimi Inari Shrine torii gates and picturesque mountainscapes.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
Full day trip to Naoshima Art Island
CEO-led orientation walk of Naoshima port
Benesse House Museum visit (Naoshima)
CEO-led Peace Park visit with museum entrance (Nagasaki)
Shiratani Unsuikyo hiking excursion (Yakushima)
7-day Japan Rail pass
All transport between destinations and to and from included activities
All accommodations – hotel/guesthouses, overnight ferry (one night, multi-share)
Meals – 1 breakfast, 1 dinner (allow $700-900 for meals not included)
The tour starts in Osaka, the second largest metropolis in Japan after Tokyo. Explore at your own leisure before meeting up with your group and group leader (CEO), and settle into your new surroundings as you wander through Osaka’s historic alleyways, buzzing entertainment district, and the organized chaos of the famous shopping arcades and neon-lit streets. Book a few nights here before your tour begins to see as much of Osaka as you can. (You’ll be glad you did.)
Hozenji Yokocho Alley
Along Yokocho’s historic Edo-era alley, you’ll find quaint shops and cozy bars and restaurants lining both sides of the narrow, stone-paved laneways. Browse the stalls, and sit down for some of Osaka’s famous kushi-katsu, skewered, battered, deep-fried meats and vegetables, or try the okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake made with flour, grated yam, eggs, shredded cabbage, green onion and thin pork belly or octopus. At the end of the Yokocho Alley is Hozenji Temple, a small slice of old Japan hidden in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Osaka. Built in 1637, this temple is best known for the moss-covered statue of Fudo Myoo, one of the most important Japanese Buddhism deities. Legend has it, if you splash the statue with water, you’ll receive good luck.
Osaka’s Shopping Districts
Osaka has several world-class shopping districts and avenues with hundreds (hundreds!) of upscale boutiques, department stores and thrift shops. The two largest shopping areas are Umeda and Namba. For over 400 years, Shinsaibashi-suji has been one of Osaka’s most important shopping areas, where you’ll find big department stores like Daimaru and flagship Uniqlo clothing stores. Amerikamura is considered Osaka’s counterpart to Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Here you’ll find cutting-edge clothing stores, inexpensive boutiques and thrift shops, and an overall younger feel that its nearby shopping arcades.
Osaka is best seen on foot. Be sure to head out and explore as the sun sets and the neon lights rise. Stroll through the Dotonburi district, one of Osaka’s most popular destinations, people watch and watch the neon lights reflect off the Dotonburi canal. (Look for the iconic mechanized Glico running man and Kani Doraku crab signs!)
A lot of Japan’s history unfolded in Nagasaki, which once served as the bridge between Japan and mainland Asia for centuries. During World War II, following Hiroshima, an atomic bomb was deployed over Nagasaki which resulted in Japan’s surrender. Learn about the historic events that unfolded in Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, and take a walk through the Nagasaki Peace Park with your CEO, before visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum (admission is included.)
The enchanting, dramatic mossy forests of Yakushima look like pages come to life from a fairytale storybook. Hike through the forest that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film, Princess Mononoke, and marvel at towering canopies of ancient cedar trees. Here you’ll find trees as old as 1,000 years old, as well as several over 7,000 years old. Yakushima’s forests are a national park and World Heritage Site.
The tour ends in historic Kyoto, the old imperial capital of Japan. Visit ancient temples and shrines, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, walk through bamboo forests and immerse yourself in Kyoto’s traditional Japanese culture.
Fushimi Inari Shrine torii gates
One of the most important shrines in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Walk through the scenic open tunnel of orange and black torii gates and follow the mountain trail to the summit, where the shrine is located. The hike is about 2-3 hours round trip, but you’re free to turn around and walk back down at any point. There are smaller shrines (and restaurants) along the way.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
From 794 to 1868, Kyoto was the capital of Japan and the city where emperors resided. Walk the grounds of Kyoto Imperial Palace and get a feel of what it was like to live as a member of Japan’s royal family.
The cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto is one of the best cities in the country to experience traditional Japanese culture. If you haven’t had a chance to yet, stop for a soak in a traditional onsen, stay in a ryokan and venture out to the mountains in the isolated region of Miyama, one of the last towns with thatched roof farmhouses.
See Southern Japan the G Adventures way and discover the ancient cities, culture and cuisines on this remarkable tour. Tours start at $3999.
Local Living Italy – Coastal Tuscany
Live like a local on coastal Tuscany on this intimate seven-day tour. Make yourself at home in Capalbio where you’ll stay in a quaint villa and immerse yourself in Tuscany’s local culture.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guide
Olive oil tasting, Capalbio
Tuscan cooking class, Capalbio
Property orientation walk including snack and olive oil tasting
Orientation walk of old Capalbio town
Monte Argentario day trip
Cooking class and liquor tasting
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Accommodations – hotel (1 night), locally owned agriturismo/guesthouse (5 nights)
Meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners (allow $200-$250 for meals not included)
The tour starts and ends in Rome, the Eternal City. Get the most out of your trip to Italy by spending a few extra days in Rome either at the start or end of your tour to squeeze in all of the historic sights, plates of pasta and glasses of red wine, as possible. Rome can be a whole trip on its own.
Roman Art & Architecture
Rome is an open museum of intriguing wonders. From ancient ruins and historic structures to galleries that hold some of the greatest artworks in the world, you could spend a great deal of time trying to see it all. Explore the Pantheon, Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, and more, and imagine Rome in 25 B.C.
Eat and shop at Testaccio Market, one of Rome’s oldest and busiest markets, where you’ll find nearly 100 stalls, including bakeries, delis, market stalls and shops run by families for generations.
As part of your G tour, you’ll see Rome on a Migrantour, a social enterprise that trains newcomers to Italy to give tours of the city. G travellers will receive a unique experience with a guide who will share rare insights into Italian society through a newcomer’s eyes. This is exclusive to your G tour.
Settle into your quaint Tuscan hillside villa, your home away from home. You’ll arrive just in time for a homemade olive oil tasting and your first home-cooked dinner. During your stay you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to make Tuscan dishes during a Tuscan cooking class, also included in your tour. When you arrive, your CEO will get you acquainted with your surroundings and make sure you know where to find supermarkets, shops, ATMs and answer any questions you have when you arrive.
Capalbio is a historic region rich in archaeological sites. It’s a medieval town on the coast, surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves. Walk the walls of Capalbio, which were once defence circles in the 11th and 12th centuries, for a panoramic view of Tuscany, and learn more about the Capalbio Fortress. See up close one of the gates, Porta Senese, which dates back to the 15th century, or check out an installation of life-sized sculptures called Tarot Garden by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Or, take it easy and bask in the sun on one of the beaches, soak in the hot springs, or just hang out in the villa.
Head out to the nearby island of Monte Argentario for a full day by the sea, a sunny peninsula connected to the Tuscan mainland by three sandbars. Snorkel clear blue water, wander the port villages and be sure to make some time to enjoy a gelato.
Live like a local off the tourist trail in one of the most breathtaking regions of Italy on this unique, unforgettable tour through Tuscany. Tours start at $1999.
Israel & Jordan on a Shoestring
See everything Israel and Jordan have to offer on this incredible (and budget-friendly) eight-day tour. Start in Jerusalem’s historic Old City, see the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, marvel at the archaeological wonder of Petra‘s natural rock formations, float in the Dead Sea, and relax on the last days of your tour on the beaches of Tel Aviv.
Bedouin camp overnight, Wadi Rum
Old Jerusalem guided tour
Jerash guided tour
Petra day pass and tour
Wadi Rum jeep excursion
Dead Sea visit with swim
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Meals – 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Accommodations – simple hotels (twin-share) (6 nights), basic desert camp (1 night)
Make your way through the slotted passages of the Siq, the main entrance to the hidden city of Petra. Built by the Nabateans, native Arab nomads, back in 4th century BC, the Siq is a narrow one kilometre-long gorge, with a path three metres-wide and a wall 80 metres-high. Most of the Siq is natural rock formation, but the rest of it was carved by the Nabateans who also designed and built a water supply and distribution system. Your CEO will guide you with a brief history as you wind your way through to the blushing pink sandstone passages of Petra, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bedouin overnight camp
A humbling desert landscape with ancient riverbeds, Wadi Rum is the perfect post to set up for the night after a full day of exploring. As part of the local, authentic G Adventures experience, you’ll camp overnight in the desert and spend an evening under the stars, as your Bedouin hosts share stories over dinner.
Your local guides will point your gaze toward the most beautiful sights in Israel and Jordan. Join this tour for the memories of a lifetime. Tours start at $1799.