Japan Group Tours & Short Stay holidays
Japan is a fascinating country situated in north-east Asia. It is comprised of more than 4,000 islands – the main four being Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. The Japanese name for Japan is ‘Nippon’ or ‘Nihon’ meaning ‘sun origin’ and is often translated as ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. It is a country of contrasts; engaging a combination of futuristic cities, ancient culture and diverse scenery. Japan is famous for its relatively short Cherry Blossom season.
Time – Japan is 1 hour behind Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Australia.
Language – The official national language is Japanese, however, English is widely spoken.
Entry Requirements – Passports must be valid for six months beyond the length of stay. Visas are not required for Australian passport holders for entry into Japan for stays of up to 90 days.
Cherry Blossom Season – In the major cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season is typically from late March to early April. If the weather preceding the cherry blossom season is mild, blossoms may open early. If it is cold, blossoms may open later. Full bloom is reached within one week after the opening of the first blossoms and within another week, the blossoms start to fall from the trees.
2015 National Holidays
Located on the main island of Honshu, Tokyo, meaning ‘Eastern Capital’, was originally a small fishing village called Edo. Although it has had a turbulent past including the wrath of war and devastation of earthquakes, the city has risen and is today one of the world’s major metropolises.
Once the imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto is another city with a ravaged past. The city is home to over 2,000 places of worship, comprising of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
The modern day city of Osaka, meaning ‘large hill’ or ‘large slope’, is Japan’s third largest city. Established as a major industrial and cultural centre in 1889, it is also home to one of Japan’s most famous castles, Osaka Castle, which was originally built in 1593.
Kanazawa is an important city in the Hokoriku Region and serves as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and is a City of Crafts and Folk Art, boasting many historical attractions and is renowned for traditional handicrafts and traditional performing arts. Kanazawa’s main attraction is Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens.
Koya-San, a UNESCO World Heritage listed mountain, site is home to over 100 temples and has been the centre of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect, for over 1,200 years. It is also home to Japan’s largest rock garden and the Garan Temple Complex. Koya-San is one of the best places to experience an overnight stay in a Buddhist temple lodge, known as a ‘shukubo’ and get a sense of a monk’s lifestyle. The city is also home to Okunoin which is Japan’s largest cemetery, where you can find the mausoleum of the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi.
Takayama is nestled high in the mountainous Hida alpine region of Japan. It has retained a traditional atmosphere unlike many other Japanese cities, especially in the beautifully preserved old town. It is the perfect location to soak in hot spring baths (onsen), after a long day of sightseeing.
Japan Group Tours
Japan Short Stays
Private short stay packages for the independent traveller.
Images from Japan