save up to $100pp on selected
2015 Tour Prices From $8,890 - 14 Days, from selected Australian cities
2016 Early Birds From $8,890 - 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 Owakudani.
Travel to Kyoto and 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 Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, one of the most famous sites in the nation. Experience an overnight stay in a ‘shukubo’, a serene Buddhist temple lodging in Koyasan. Explore Osaka Castle and cruise the calm waters of Osaka’s Yodogawa River, a most fitting conclusion to your discovery of Japan.
You will find our 2015 tour prices have also been listed for your convenience. While these departures are not included as part of our Early Bird Specials, we have a great range of tours available for travel in 2015! Take advantage of these great prices before 2016 increases.
Please note that itineraries are based on 2015 programmes. Variations to itineraries and durations may occur for travel in 2016 – please refer to our Early Bird brochure. 2016 Specials are valid when flying Cathay Pacific. Road to Samarkand utilises China Southern Airlines. 2016 Early Bird savings are based on the price reduction from the 2016 group tour prices published 26 May 2015
DAYS 1-2: AUSTRALIA TO TOKYO
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Tokyo for a three night stay. Brisbane passengers may depart on Day 2.
DAY 3: TOKYO
Head to the top of Tokyo Skytree for sweeping views of the city. Next, visit Asakusa and wander through Nakamise shopping street and Sensoji Temple. Enjoy lunch and stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza. This afternoon, stroll through the Hama Rikyu Gardens. Enjoy a dinner cruise in the evening.
DAY 4: TOKYO – MT. FUJI
Head out of Tokyo to the Fuji Visitor Centre before heading up to the Mt. Fuji 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 Owakudani.
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 Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum and the Takayama Jinya. Enjoy some free time to explore the local shopping streets.
DAY 7: TAKAYAMA TO KANAZAWA
Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawa-go, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Try your hand at making traditional Japanese washi paper before continuing to Kanazawa, where you will visit the Nomura Samurai House and take 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 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. After lunch, travel by coach to Kyoto for a three night stay.
DAY 9: KYOTO
Visit the famous Kinkaku-ji, 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 wooden townhouse where you will learn about traditional Japanese handicrafts such as origami, ikebana and calligraphy and participate in a traditional Japanese 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 Issuien Gardens, meaning ‘garden founded on water’, derived from the fact that its ponds are sourced from the Yoshikigawa River. Return to Kyoto stopping en route at the unforgettable Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, which features in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.
DAY 11: KYOTO TO KOYASAN
Journey to Koyasan, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Visit Kongobuji Temple and 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. This evening have the unique opportunity of staying overnight in a Buddhist temple lodge, known as a ‘shukubo’. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian dinner, known as Shojin Ryori.
DAY 12: KOYASAN TO OSAKA
Rise early this morning to witness the monks chant their morning prayers, followed by a traditional Shojin Ryori breakfast. Drive to Osaka, Japan’s largest city, where you will visit Osaka Castle and take a cruise along the Yodogawa River. Tonight you will wander down Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample delicious local delicacies during your farewell dinner.
DAY 13: DEPART OSAKA
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Kansai airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 14: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home today.
Dates & Prices
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 1300 727 998 Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.
Cathay Pacific Airways - Above prices include fuel surcharges and tipping of $85.
Though status is regularly updated, availability above is indicative only, not live and hence does not guarantee that space is available on your selected tour when you or your agent calls Wendy Wu Tours to book. Booking early is the only way to ensure availability of your selected departure date.