Travels in Iya that Alex Kerr says in hushed tones
“Secret Tour“ CANCELED

Departure date
Saturday, September 5th, 2020 *Two-day and one-night tour

We have planned an exclusive tour with the scholar of Oriental Studies, Mr. Alex Kerr, to visit Iya, Tokushima Prefecture, which attracts many international tourists, primarily North American and European. Participants will learn about the history and traditional culture with Mr. Alex Kerr, in the “tour for experiencing the as-yet-unknown and novel charms of the Iya region.” At the end of the tour, they will be served a special lunch called “Iya Nouvelle,” prepared exclusively for the visit. Enjoy the premium tour of Iya with Mr. Alex Kerr.

Alex Kerr, biography

Japanologist Born in 1952 in the United States of America, Kerr first visited Japan in 1964. He majored in Japanese and Chinese studies at Yale University and University of Oxford. In 1973, Kerr bought an old thatched-roofed house (named Chiiori) in Higashi-Iya, Tokushima Prefecture. He began living in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture in 1977, founded the Chiiori Company Limited, and began writing, lecturing, and consulting. Kerr then primarily worked on projects for utilizing old farmhouses. In 1993, he won the Shincho Literature Prize, a first awarded to a non-Japanese, for his book Lost Japan. Kerr wrote Dogs and Demons in 2001 (Kodansha Publishing) and drew attention for addressing the ‘cultural malaise’ of the Japanese. In 2005, Kerr and others founded the Chiiori Trust, an NPO, in Iya, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture. He penned Nippon Keikanron (Shueisha) in 2014 and co-authored Kanko Bokokuron (Chuo Koron Shinsha) in 2019. These days, Kerr primarily works on writing and lecturing besides projects for putting old farmhouses to use.

The Tour

1:00 PM
Assemble at the ticket gate of JR Dosan Line Oboke Station
*Please have lunch before you arrive.

1:00 PM
Leave JR Oboke Station

An exclusive guided tour by Alex Kerr (Day 1)

5:30 PM
Arrive at the hotel (dinner/overnight stay)
*Dinner/overnight stay: Hotel Kazurabashi


9:00 AM
Leave the hotel
*Please have breakfast at your hotel before we leave.

An exclusive guided tour by Alex Kerr (Day 2)

12:30 PM
Enjoy the Iya Nouvelle Lunch exclusive to the tour
*Lunch: Hotel Obokekyo Mannaka

2:20 PM
You will be driven to JR Oboke Station after lunch.

2:30 PM
Part ways at JR Oboke Station

Special lunch

The photo is a representation

Iya Nouvelle Lunch and “A Thousand-year Hidden Hamlet”
Experience the Iya Valley, a hidden valley, guided by Mr. Alex Kerr, to get a glimpse into its thousand-year seclusion. Enjoy an exclusive full-course lunch unique to the tour, which represents the region’s history and culture, and made using a sumptuous amount of ingredients harvested from the steep hills, which have been recognized as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems.

Tour Detail CANCELED

Departure date

Saturday, September 5th, 2020 *Two-day and one-night tour
Areas to visit Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture (Oboke and Iya districts)
Price Approximately 80,000-yen per adult (capacity: 15 people)
*Subject to additional charges depending on the number of guests per room.
What the price includes: Travel expenses stated in the itinerary, hotel room rates, meals, tourist site admission charges, local guides.
Assembly point/time Assembly point: JR Oboke Station
Assembly date and time: Saturday, September 5th, 1:00 PM
*Please have lunch before you arrive.
Disassembly point/time Disassembly point: JR Oboke Station
Disassembly time: Sunday, September 6th, 2:30 PM
Dedicated vehicle A passenger carrier taxi or a minibus, depending on the member of the group.
Meals One breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner.
Tour conductor The tour will not have a conductor, but a local guide will give the tour.
Minimum group capacity 6 people
Notes *The tour will start and finish at a local point.
*Customers must be aged 20 or over to join the tour.
Cancellation policy Please check the terms and conditions of travel in Japan.

You will be notified as soon as we know which travel agency will take charge of planning and implementing the tour.
We expect to start accepting reservations from Monday, June 1st, 2020.



Nishi-Awa Tourism Association Sora-no-Sato
995-1, Shima, Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture.
Mail: Tel: +81 883-76-0713+81 883-76-0713 FAX: +81 883-72-0753
*Not for taking reservations.

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