Rural Japan Tours | New Trip to Japan - Unexplored Japan

Rural Japan Tours – New Trip

Press Release: GeoEx Celebrates Rural Renaissance in Japan on New Trip

Regenerative Travel Spotlights and Preserves Japanese Traditions and Treasures 

The travel innovators at Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx) have launched a new 13-day trip that seemingly turns back the clock on development, traveling through the small villages and historic towns of Western Honshu, where foreign visitors are still a rare sight, to experience and support local treasures and traditions.

Called Unexplored Japan, the journey highlights two communities steeped in tradition, where trades passed down through generations were at risk of disappearing until local leaders found a sustainable way forward by sharing their culture with travelers. Limited to just 8 guests, the trip is designed to support these communities through thoughtful interaction and meaningful experiences.

The unique itinerary is packed with visits to master artisans, whose families have practiced and perfected their trade for centuries. Travelers learn about the ancient arts of Hagi-yaki pottery, indigo fabric dyeing, sake and vinegar brewing, and salt-harvesting from coastal seaweed.

“In addition to meeting these artisans, this itinerary has so many other riches!” enthuses trip leader Don George, an acclaimed travel writer and Japanophile. “We’ll explore beautifully preserved 17th-century castle towns, savor regional delicacies in intimate eateries, stay in traditional funaya boathouse residences – and immerse ourselves in the soulful and inspiring story of Omori village.”

Omori was a thriving boom town during Japan’s feudal period, but the tiny village was mostly abandoned after the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine (a UNESCO World Heritage site) ceased operation in the 1920s. Now, through a movement spearheaded by renowned designer Tomi Matsuba and her husband, who hail from this area, historic buildings are being beautifully restored, breathing new life into the community, preserving an important piece of Japan’s past, and setting an example for renovating and revitalizing rural Japan. Unexplored Japan guests will stay in an authentically renovated 18th-century samurai residence at Omori and learn about the positive impact this work is having on the community.

“As our visit to Omori exemplifies, this is a dream trip that reveals and celebrates the deep culture of rural Japan,” says George. “I’m incredibly excited to take travelers to this area where very few Westerners venture, and to help preserve and promote the traditions and treasures we’ll savor.”

Unexplored Japan trip dates:

October 11–23, 2021
October 27–November 8, 2021
October 10–22, 2022
October 24–November 5, 2022

Additional info and full itinerary:  

For more information on GeoEx journeys, visit

About Geographic Expeditions (GeoEx)
A pioneer of travel to remote and challenging destinations since 1982, GeoEx is a U.S.-based travel company specializing in designing custom journeys and small group trips—cultural tours, treks, safaris, cruises, and journeys by train—to the widest array of destinations. Based in San Francisco, GeoEx’s team of travel specialists work with partners in every corner of the globe to create personalized, memorable, and immersive travel experiences for their clients. GeoEx experts have been honored as “Top Travel Specialists” by Condé Nast Traveler, and GeoEx has been cited for its exceptional tours by National Geographic TravelerAFAR, and Travel + Leisure.

Press Contact
Name: Don George, Editor in Chief of GeoEx’s Wanderlust Blog
Phone: 1-800-777-8183
Email: [email protected]

GeoEx eBook:
The Best of Wanderlust

An Anthology of Travel Stories
Edited by Don George