Discover Japan

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Explore the remarkable culture and customs of Japan, a land steeped in mythical traditions and modern wonders. Explore neon-lit Tokyo and stunning Mt Fuji; the beauty of Takayama and spirituality of Kyoto. Spend an evening in a Buddhist temple on Koyasan.

Places Visited

Australia - Tokyo (3N) - Takayama (2N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Kyoto (3N) - Koyasan (1N) - Osaka (1N) – Australia

Days 1-2: Australia to Tokyo
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Tokyo, Japan’s capital, for a three night stay. Tokyo was once known as Edo and was a small fishing town. In 1868, as part of the Meiji Restoration, the emperor and capital moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was then renamed Tokyo.
Days 1-2: Australia to Tokyo
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, one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples. Legend tells of two brothers who in 628 AD fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, from the Sumida River. They returned the statue to the river, but it always returned to them. Sensoji Temple was then built nearby to honour the goddess of mercy. Enjoy lunch and stop at the Imperial Palace Plaza to view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. This afternoon, stroll through the Hama Rikyu Gardens and in the evening, enjoy a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay.
Day 3: Tokyo
Day 4: Tokyo – Mt Fuji
Travel to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and head up to the 5th Station to enjoy the amazing views. Cruise on Lake Ashi before taking the Komagatake cable car for spectacular views of the lake below. Return to Tokyo this afternoon by bullet train.
Day 4: Tokyo – Mt Fuji
Day 5: Tokyo to Takayama
Leave Tokyo and drive to Takayama, stopping en route in Matsumoto, where you will visit Matsumoto Castle. The wooden interior of the castle provides a unique insight into the structure of Japanese castles. This is unlike many other castles in Japan that have been rebuilt over the years using concrete. Explore the interesting features of the castle including the steep wooden stairs, discreet side openings to protect the castle from invaders, openings for archers, and an observation deck at the top. Continue to one of Japan’s largest wasabi farms where you can try your hand at making pickled wasabi vegetables before continuing through winding mountain passes to Takayama, one of Japan’s most impressive traditional towns where you will feel you have stepped back in time.
Day 5: Tokyo to Takayama
Day 6: Takayama
Wander 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 which date back to the 17th century.
Day 6: Takayama
Day 7: Takayama to Kanazawa
Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawa-go, 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, where you will visit the Nomura Samurai House. The garden inside the residence has a Japanese bayberry tree which is over 400 years old and a meandering stream surrounded by ancient and strangely shaped rocks. Later, take a walk through the surrounding Old District, where ancient wooden townhouses and teahouses line the cobblestone streets.
Day 7: Takayama to Kanazawa
Day 8: Kanazawa to Kyoto
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. Once the imperial capital of Japan from until 1868, Kyoto is home to countless temples and shrines.
Day 8: Kanazawa to Kyoto
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 9: Kyoto
Day 10: Kyoto – Wakayama
This morning, drive to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Visit the Kongobuji Temple and Garan temple complex. Next see Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and is home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. Continue to Wakayama for your overnight stay.
Day 11: Osaka
Drive to Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, and visit the spectacular castle before taking a cruise along the Yodogawa River. This evening, head to Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample Osaka’s plethora of mouth-watering bites.
Day 12: Koyasan to Osaka
Rise early 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 12: Koyasan to Osaka
Day 13: Depart Osaka
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Kansai airport to board your overnight flight to Australia. Due to flight schedules, Perth passengers may arrive home on day 13.
Day 13: Depart Osaka
Day 14: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option – From $1,440
Land Only (Tokyo to Osaka), 12 days From $8,573 per person
Brisbane passengers may require stopovers in Hong Kong at an additional cost
Adelaide passengers may require stopovers in Hong Kong at an additional cost
Darwin passengers may require a stopover in Singapore at an additional cost
Above prices include airline fuel surcharge. Subject to change
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 318 203. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

Australian passport holders do not require a visa for travel to Japan.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call Australia – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 61, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. .
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in Japan and you will find high quality coverage. Japan has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is not part of the culture in Japan and is therefore not expected.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 

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Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 1300 318 203 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.


Why Book This Tour?

This adventure is ideal for travellers with a reasonable amount of time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of Japan. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights of Japan and have incorporated travel by road to give the opportunity to see the beautiful Japanese countryside.

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