13 DAYS ●
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With Special Guests
The 2018 Traveller Readers tour to Japan has now concluded.
Register today to be the first to hear about future Reader tours.
Murray McLean AO
Former Australian Ambassador
Chef Director of Two Rooms Restaurant
Leading expert in Japanese garden design
Travel Writer and editor
Our Traveller Tour: See Japan itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly overnight to Tokyo, Japan. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tokyo has a vibrant charm all of its own. Experience a capital hurtling into the future whilst maintaining its links with the traditions of ancient ancestors. Enjoy a special welcome dinner at Chef Matthew Crabbe’s restaurant Two Rooms, where old and new world cooking techniques and only the freshest market produce are used.
Commence your touring of Tokyo with a bird’s eye view of the sprawling city from the observation deck of the Tokyo Sky Tree. Discover Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town and home to Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. After lunch, wander through the sea of over 1,000 bright cherry blossom trees in Ueno Park, one of Tokyo’s most popular locations for hanami (“flower viewing”). In the evening, take a relaxing dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay and enjoy the dynamic views of the passing cityscape.
Enjoy the company of Amelia Lester during your sightseeing tour of Tokyo. You may choose to take part in the Exclusive Experience of dressing in a Japanese kimono or explore Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine, Meiji Shrine. This sacred space and the neighbouring Yoyogi Park are part of a large forested area nestled in the centre of the city. Head to Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the largest markets in the world and learn the art of sushi making. Enjoy your self-made sushi for lunch. In the afternoon, take some time in Shibuya, the colourful shopping and entertainment district.
Travel to Hakone and the pristine Fuji Five Lakes region. You have one of the best chances of viewing Mt Fuji from this area. Be sure to have your camera ready, as Fuji-san is notoriously shy! Hakone is also home to many onsen ryokans (hot spring resorts). Take a boat cruise across Lake Ashinoko, formed after the volcano's last eruption.. Ride the Komagatake Ropeway from the shores of the lake to the peak of Mt Hakone. Return down the mountain and step back in time at the Hakone Open Air Museum. You may choose to ride on Hakone Tozan Railway this afternoon as your Exclusive Experience, or enjoy time at leisure.
Join Murray McLean on an exploration of Mt Fuji. Standing at 3,776m-high, Fujisan is Japan’s highest mountain and an active volcano, which last erupted in 1707. The Japanese people worship the nearly perfectly shaped volcano as a sacred mountain. Visit Mt Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the landscape, history and culture of Mt Fuji. Journey up to Mt Fuji's 5th Station to view the peak and stunning surrounds from 2,300m above sea level (weather permitting). After lunch, the afternoon is at your leisure. Murray will join the group for dinner tonight.
Zoom across the countryside on a bullet train to Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto. Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, this ancient city displays the heart and soul of traditional Japan. Visit a traditional teahouse (Ochaya) to meet a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha). Since the 1800s, geisha and maiko have been a striking sight throughout Kyoto. With their iconic make-up and intricate kimonos, they train in Japanese arts, such as classical instruments, dance and tea ceremony, to entertain guests. Later, wander through Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple and one of Kyoto’s most famous sights, and Ryoan-ji with its famous Zen garden.
Wander through some of the 10,000 orange torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine, which features in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”. The vibrant gates form a path up the mountain behind the shrine. Participate in the Tea Ceremony and Origami Exclusive Experience or enjoy time at leisure. This afternoon, join Mark Hovane from Kyoto Garden Experience. Mark will provide unique insight into Japanese garden design during an inspiring talk, followed by a question and answer session.
Travel by bullet train to Hiroshima and head to the Peace Memorial Park. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the atomic bomb on 6th August 1945. Join Murray McLean on an exploration of the park and discover the many memorials and monuments, before heading into the poignant Peace Memorial Museum. Take a ferry ride to Miyajima Island, a small sacred island for Shintoism. Take in one of the most photographed site in Japan, the centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine. Explore the island and its many shrines and temples on foot or take the Exclusive Experience of a ride up the Miyajima Ropeway.
Journey by coach to Okayama and take in the beauty of Korakuen Garden, which is one of the three best-landscaped gardens in Japan. Explore Okayama Castle, popularly named
For 74 years during the 8th century, Nara was Japan’s capital. Meet the resident deer in Nara Park, who may bow to you in exchange for a snack. Visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Walk the peaceful paths lined with bronze and stone lanterns in Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine. Return to Osaka and in the evening, stroll through Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca.
Fly overnight from Kansai International Airport to Sydney/Melbourne, arriving home the following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +61 2 9224 8888. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave Australia. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not commonplace in Australia, and the same is the case in Japan. Respect and courtesy are the norm in Japan, so if you offer a tip and they refuse, do not to be offended. Give thanks, but don’t keep offering the tip as this may create an awkward exchange.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
Australian passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Japan. Other passport holders should arrange visas well in advance of departure, if required.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Bento boxes are a common lunch option. A traditional bento contains rice, seafood or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and Australia's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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