Essential Japan

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Immerse yourself in the unique and fascinating culture of Japan. Encompassing the essentials with natural wonders, imperial heritage and mystical surprises, this tour incorporates a number of experiences that give your holiday a truly authentic edge.

Places Visited

Australia - Tokyo (3N) – Mt Fuji (2N) - Kyoto (2N) - Hiroshima (1N) - Miyajima – Himeji – 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, meaning the Eastern Capital.

Brisbane passengers may depart on Day 2.
Days 1- 2: Australia to Tokyo
Day 3: Discover Tokyo
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore; today take a tour by coach of this fascinating city. Head to the top of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views over the city before taking a wander through the district of Asakusa for an opportunity to pick up some souvenirs on Nakamise Shopping street and visit Senso-ji Temple. Explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum and Tokyo’s Imperial Palace East Garden. You will be on your feet for 4-5 hours during your touring in Tokyo. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant within walking distance of your hotel.
Day 3: Discover Tokyo
Day 4: Meiji Shrine
Spend a relaxed morning wandering around the classical landscapes of the Hamarikyu Garden and exploring the huge evergreen forest that encompasses the Shinto Meiji Shrine. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel, driving by the Shibuya “Scramble” Crossing on the way. Return to your hotel where your guide will let you know what time to meet for this evenings dinner cruise, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore independently or relax in the hotel. Transfer from the hotel to your boat and take a leisurely 1 hour dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay for some excellent city vistas.
Day 4: Meiji Shrine
Day 5: Fuji Five Lakes
Journey 2 hours through the foothills of the iconic Mt Fuji to its base where you will find the Fuji Five Lakes. The region is spectacular with the calm waters of the five lakes, formed by past eruptions, reflecting Fuji’s picture-perfect cone. Try your hand at making traditional Japanese soba noodles before tucking in to your creations for lunch. Continue to Oshino Hakkai, a scenic area of ponds full of crystal clear spring water created by Fuji’s melting snow, where there is also a small museum. The museum is a traditional farmhouse with household items, samurai armour and weapons.
Day 5: Fuji Five Lakes
Day 6: Mt Fuji
Today is a full day of touring, start with a visit to the Fuji Visitor Centre where you can learn about the cultural and ecological history of Mt Fuji. Head up Fuji’s 5th Station for spectacular mountain vistas, please note it is only possible to reach the 5th station if weather permits. After lunch, wander through Iyashi no Sato historical village, located on one of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Saiko, famous for its thatched-roofed houses.
Day 6: Mt Fuji
Day 7: Bullet train to Kyoto
Drive 1 hour 45 minutes to Mishima to board your 2 hour bullet train to Kyoto. An enchanting city, Kyoto was capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Visit a traditional teahouse where you will be joined by a Geisha or an apprentice Geisha, known as a Maiko. Next, take a visit to the Ryoan-ji Temple before heading to the Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, due to its gold-like exterior. Continue on to your hotel to check in for a two-night stay.
Day 7: Bullet train to Kyoto
Day 8: Kyoto
Start the day visiting the spectacular Kiyomizu Temple. You will spend approximately 1hour and 30 minutes on foot exploring the temple. After lunch learn traditional Japanese handicrafts such as origami and enjoy the art of a tea ceremony. Return to your hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8: Kyoto
Day 9: Kyoto to Hiroshima
This morning transfer to Kyoto station and take the 1 hour 40 minutes bullet train to Hiroshima, a modern and prosperous city that will be forever remembered as the world’s first atomic bomb target. Travel by coach to the famous Peace Park and Museum, please be aware that the museum may be confronting and upsetting for some group members and it is at your discretion if you wish to visit or enjoy time at leisure exploring the Peace Park. After lunch travel 1 hour by coach and take a short ferry ride to Miyajima where sightseeing will be at a leisurely pace on foot. Visit Itsukushima Shrine and explore the traditional market town at leisure. Later this afternoon return by ferry and then coach to Hiroshima for dinner before checking into your hotel.
Day 9: Kyoto to Hiroshima
Day 10: Hiroshima to Osaka
Travel 3 hours and 30 minutes by coach to Himeji, with a rest stop along the way. On arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the beautiful castle and Kokoen Garden. Himeji Castle is largely in its original condition so please be mindful of your steps when walking around. You will have to remove your shoes before walking along some of the wooden floors and there are some steep wooden steps to reach certain areas. After the reopening in March 2015, Himeji Castle has welcomed a large number of visitors. As such, they now issue numbered tickets to enter the Main Keep in order to limit the number of people who can enter, reducing congestion, waiting time and to protect the cultural properties. Please note this means that there may be cases where some visitors are not allowed to enter the Main Keep however there are many other parts of the castle to explore. Transfer approximately 2 hours to Osaka for your overnight stay.
Day 10: Hiroshima to Osaka
Day 11: Depart Osaka
This morning is free at leisure before you transfer to Osaka airport for your return flight home. Due to flight schedule, Perth passengers may arrive home on Day 11.
Day 12: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2017

2018

Additional Price Information:

Above prices include airline fuel surcharge. Subject to change.
Standard itinerary flies with Cathay Pacific from SYD, MEL, BNE, ADL, PER & CNS and Singapore Airlines from DRW
Single Hotel Room Option – From $1,080
Land Only (Tokyo to Kyoto) 10 days from $8,180 per person
Brisbane passengers may require a stopover in Hong Kong at an additional cost.
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 5 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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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.


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