From $8,040 - 14 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
Immerse yourself in the remarkable country of Japan, a land steeped in mythical traditions and modern wonders. Start in the neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo. Gather a sense of peace while exploring Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Visit the iconic Mt. Fuji, known as the ‘shy mountain’, and the surrounding area of Hakone and Mt. Owakudani.
Travel to Kyoto on board the fast moving Thunderbird Express. Here you will learn the art of origami and the unique flower arrangement known as ikebana and enjoy a tea ceremony. Kyoto is full of delightful gems from the famous Golden Pavilion to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of the most famous sites in the nation. Experience an overnight stay in a ‘shukubo’; a serene Buddhist temple lodging on Mt. Koya (Koya-San).
Explore Osaka Castle and cruise the calm waters of Osaka’s Yodogawa River, a most fitting conclusion to your discovery of Japan.
DAYS 1-2: AuSTRALIA TO TOkyO
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Tokyo for a three night stay. Melbourne passengers may depart on day 2.
DAY 3: TOkyO
Tour this vibrant city starting with a stroll through the Hama Rikyu Gardens. Take a cruise along the Sumida River to Asakusa and visit Sensoji Temple. Wander through the Nakamise shopping street before heading to the top of Tokyo Sky Tree for sweeping views of the city.
DAY 4: TOkyO – mT. fuJI
Visit the Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about iconic Mt. Fuji before heading up to the 5th station. After lunch travel to Hakone (weather permitting) and take a cruise across Lake Ashinoko. Take the world’s second longest cable car up to Mt. Owakudani. At the top you can sample a hardboiled egg from the sulfuric hot springs.
DAY 5: TOkyO TO TAkAyAmA
Leave Tokyo and drive to Takayama, stopping en route in Matsumoto, where you will visit Matsumoto Castle. Continue to one of Japan’s largest wasabi farms where you can try your hand at making pickled wasabi vegetables before continuing to Takayama.
DAY 6: TAkAyAmA
Head to the Miyagawa morning market and sample some of the region's fruit and vegetables. Later you will visit traditional houses and local museums, including the Takayama Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Museum and the Takayama Jinya. Enjoy some time exploring the local shopping streets.
DAY 7: TAkAyAmA TO kANAZAwA
Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its traditional gasshozukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Try your hand at making traditional Japanese washi paper before continuing to Kanazawa. Here you will visit the Nomura Samurai House before taking a walk through the Old District.
DAY 8: kANAZAwA TO kyOTO
This morning wander through the beautiful Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens, and visit the Kanazawa Museum. After lunch, board the Thunderbird Express train to Kyoto for a three night stay.
DAY 9: kyOTO
Visit the famous Kinkakuji, known as the Golden Pavilion. Later, visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ryoanji Temple which means the ‘temple of the peaceful dragon’. Head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse where you will learn about traditional Japanese handicrafts, such as origami, ikebana and calligraphy and enjoy a tea ceremony.
DAY 10: kyOTO – NARA
Travel to Nara, the former imperial capital of Japan. Visit the Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure, which is home to Japan’s largest Buddha and numerous deer. You will also visit Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine which contains thousands of lanterns throughout its forest paths. Return to Kyoto stopping en route at the unforgettable Fushimi Inari Shrine, which features in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.
DAY 11: kyOTO TO kOyA-SAN
Journey to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Visit Kongobuji Temple, as well as the Garan temple complex. Okunoin is Japan’s largest cemetery and holds the mausoleum of the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi. Take a walk to the mausoleum, passing 200,000 tombstones belonging to feudal lords and prominent monks. Enjoy a unique experience tonight when you stay overnight in a Buddhist temple lodge, known as a ‘shukubo’. This evening enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian dinner, known as Shojin Ryori.
DAY 12: kOyA-SAN TO OSAkA
Rise early this morning to witness the monks chant their morning prayers, followed by a Shojin Ryori breakfast. Later, drive to the modern-day city of Osaka for an overnight stay.
Osaka is Japan's third largest city. Here you will visit Osaka Castle which covers an area of 2sq km, and take a cruise along the Yodogawa River. Tonight you will wander down Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample local delicacies before enjoying a sumptuous farewell dinner.
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Osaka airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 14: ARRIVE AuSTRALIA
Arrive home today.