Best of Japan 12 Days 2018

$2,999.00

Hiroshima, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo

This tour offers a great way to take in the cultural heritage of Japan. You will start the adventure by visiting two UNESCO World heritage sites in Hiroshima. Then spend three nights based in Osaka, exploring that city, as well as Nara and Kyoto – cities famous for their well-preserved ancient temples and monuments. Travelling east to Nagoya, you'll learn about the modern transformation of Japan into a manufacturing powerhouse, at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Back to nature and culture, the tour then visits scenic Hakone and sacred Mount Fuji, before two days in Tokyo for sightseeing, shopping, or your choice of a diverse range of optional activities.

NOTE: Days 2 and 3 will be either self-guided or a group tour depending on the size of group.

Highlights:

  • Take a cruise to Itsukushima Shrine best known for its 'floating torii' on the sea, the gate to Itsukushima. The beautiful torii gate stands in the water when it is high tide, but when it is low tide, you may walk though the gate
  • Explore the bustling capital Tokyo and experience traditional Japanese culture and heritage
  • Explore the modern city Osaka, with its boisterous nightlife & hearty street food
  • Pray for your fortunes at beautiful Heian Jingu Shrine
  • Feed the gentle sika deer at Nara Park
  • Drink from clear springs at the foothills of Mount Fuji
  • Enjoy planned activities and free time in Tokyo

The end of October through early November is the best time to see crimson leaves in Autumn.
Late March to early April is historically the best time to view cherry blossoms, but we can't guarantee that they will flower on these dates as they are highly seasonal and subject to climatic conditions.

NOTE: Cherry blossoms and crimson autumn leaves are highly seasonal and subject to climatic conditions. These are historically the best times to view the blooms, but we can’t guarantee they will flower on these dates.

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

2018 Package Price Single Supplement
18 Mar** 06 May 15 Sep# From $2,999
if you book by
31 August 2017
$1000
25 Mar** 23 June# 07 Oct*
01 Apr** 15 Jul 04 Nov*
15 Apr* 17 Aug#

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney or Melbourne flying with China Eastern Airline, China Southern Airlines or Air China
  • 9 nights 4 star hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Bullet trains from Osaka to Kyoto
  • Coach transportation & transfers
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide/s (day 4 – day 12)

Package Exclusions:

  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: AUD$140
  • Personal expenses

Hotel Accommodation

Osaka Kansai Airport Washington Hotel local rating or similar
Hiroshima Hiroshima Grand Prince Hotel local rating or similar
Osaka Kansai Airport Washington Hotel local rating or similar
Osaka Osaka Dai-ichi Hotel local rating or similar
Nagoya Tokyu Rei Hotel local rating or similar
Mount Fuji Yamanokako Sun Plaza Hotel local rating or similar
Tokyo Tokyo Dome Hotel local rating or similar

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Hokkaido Cruise with Diamond Princess 8 nights Post-tour Extension

From $1,799 pp. twin share

Departing
3 Jul*
27 Aug*
25 Sep

* = $200/person peak season surcharge
Single Supplement = $1799

Discover the natural beauty of Hokkaido while cruising on the Diamond Princess

Leaving from Yokohama, you will visit the commercial fishing town Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido, with an optional tour of the local wetlands to see Japanese Cranes. From there, sail on to Korsakov – a former Japanese colony at the southern end of Russia’s largest Island, Sakhalin.

The cruise then returns to Japan to visit Otaru and Hakodate cities, where you can enjoy the view from Mount Hakodate.

Upgrade your stateroom: Ocean view from $400/person (based on twin share), Balcony cabin from $900/person (based on twin share).

Exclusion: Transfer from Yokohama Cruise Terminal to airports in Tokyo

Optional Programs

Kobe & Sake Brewery Walking Day Tour

Kobe & Sake Brewery Walking Day Tour
$230

Kobe is one of the biggest cities in Japan, with a beautiful port tha first opened to foreign trade in 1868. This tour will take you to Kitano-Ijinkan district to see the elegant European-style mansions where traders once lived. Also visit Meriken Park and relax at the waterfront park beside Kobe Port. The last stop is Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum. Hakutsuru has a long history of brewing sake since 1743. Explore and get a feel of how sake is made and its importance to Japanese tradition and culture today. Lunch and return train tickets between Osaka Station and Sannomiya Station are included (your tour guide will meet you and send you off at Sannomiya Station, you will need to make your own way to/from Osaka station.) Note: Only available for 12 Aug, 28 Aug and 23 Sep departures.

Himeji Castle and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Walking Day Tour

Himeji Castle
$250

Himeji Castle is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is well-known for its elegant white decorations and magnificent appearance. Unlike many other Japanese castles, this early 17th century castle is an original; never damaged by war, earthquakes or fires. Its complex structure was designed as an advanced defence mechanism and continues to draw in many visitors today. After lunch, walk on the world’s longest suspension bridge – Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which is almost 4 kilometres long. Walk along the Maiko Marine Promenade underneath the bridge, which is 50m above the water.*Lunch and return train tickets between Osaka Station and Sannomiya Station are included (your guide will meet you and send you off at Himeji Station, you will need to make your own way to/from Osaka station). Note: Only available for 9 May, 20 Jun, 18 Jul, 10 Sep and 8 Oct departures.
Sumo Wrestling

Sumo Wrestling
$65*

Sumo is a traditional Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. The rules of the game are simple. Two wrestlers compete to force one another outside of the circular ring or to touch the floor with any part of the body other than the soles of the feet. The art of sumo wrestling dates back to ancient times as form of entertainment for Shinto deities. Ceremonial rituals in accordance with Shinto beliefs are still practiced today before a match, such as purifying the ring with salt and extravagant stomps made by the sumo wrestlers to drive away evil spirits. There is no weight classifiation in sumo wrestling and the sheer size of many of the wrestlers is a sight to behold. *Only available on 9 May and 12 Sep. Please contact us for detailed information.
Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant Japan
$100

Not just any restaurant and bar, Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant is most famous for its late night robot-themed dancing and battle shows. Behold an outrageous and electrifying live spectacle featuring Japanese taiko drum performances as well as mock battles between bikini-clad dancing girls, giant robotic dinosaurs, cyborgs, ninjas and a host of other bizarre characters, staged in a theatrical LED-fitted room bursting with kaleidoscopic neon-lit laser beams, virtual fieworks, explosions and energetic techno music. This sensory overload is Japanese pop culture at its wackiest and is exclusive to Japan. Please choose from the times below: 17:55, 19:50 or 21:45~ $100/person for show tickets. Please enquire if you wish to add a meal package. (* Please be there at least 30 minutes before the show)
Nikko Day Tour with Japanese-style Lunch

Nikko Toshugu
$250

Nikko is a major centre for Buddhism and the Shinto religion. It is located in a valley and surrounded by beautiful deciduous forests and majestic waterfalls. This optional tour will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu. This area is well known for its distinctive architecture made up of a large number of wood carvings and gold leaf decorations on the buildings. This design is unique and not seen elsewhere in Japan. You will also visit Kegon Waterfall (around 100m high) which is the main natural attraction in Nikko. This is the best spot to view maple leaves during autumn.

Not available on the following Japan departure dates:
2017: 17 Oct
Tokyo Disneyland Day Ticket

Tokyo Disneyland
$120

Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre (47 ha) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, and it opened on 15 April 1983. The park has seven themed areas: the World Bazaar; the four classic Disneylands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown. Many of the games and rides in these areas mirror those in the original Disneyland as they are based on American Disney films and fantasies. Fantasyland includes Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and more based on classic Disney films and characters.
Tokyo DisneySea Day Ticket

Tokyo DisneySea
$120

Tokyo DisneySea is a 176-acre (71.22 ha) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It opened on September 4, 2001. Tokyo DisneySea attracted an estimated 14 million visitors in 2013, making it the fourth-most-visited theme park in the world. In 2002 Tokyo DisneySea won a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association for the concept, design, and construction of the theme park. Tokyo DisneySea also won the 2012-2015 Theme Park Insider Awards “Best theme park”. There are seven uniquely themed areas or “ports of call”. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbour, which opens up to six additional nautically-themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
Tea Ceremony (30 minutes)

Tea Ceremony
$55

The Japanese tea ceremony is a traditional ritual influenced by the principles of Zen Buddhism, in which powdered green tea, or matcha, is prepared and served to a small group in a quiet setting. Traditional Japanese confectionary is often served to balance out the bitter taste of the green tea.
Highlights:

  • Learn the process of the Japanese tea ceremony from a qualified tea instructor
  • Learn which utensils to use to prepare green tea in a traditional Japanese room (tatami)
  • Discover the customs, culture and hospitality of the Japanese people

Physical considerations: The tea ceremony is performed in a kneeling position (seiza) on the floor. This puts pressure on your knees and ankles. Please be cautious of joining this optional program if you have a condition that prevents you from kneeling on the floor for a short period of time.

Optional: Wear traditional Japanese garment (kimono) and experience a tea ceremony
Pottery Making Experience (60 minutes)

Pottery Making
$99

Pottery is the oldest art form in Japan, and earthenware traditions in Japan are believed to have started around 12,000 years ago. Today, there are thousands of potters who make a living out of producing pottery-wares across the country. The pottery produced in each region varies in design because of the type of clay found there.

Highlights:

  • Try your hand at making your own cup or bowl by using a spinning wheel and clay.
  • Receive a pre-made sake cup made by the instructors as a souvenir.
Golden Joinery (60 minutes)

Golden Joinery
$109

Learn the art of golden joinery (kintsugi or kintsukuroi), a technique of repairing broken cups, bowls, or plates using lacquer resin laced with gold powder. As a philosophy the mended flaws become part of the object’s design. The result is that the object looks more beautiful than the original after being broken and repaired.

Highlights:

  • Mend broken cups, bowls or plates using powdered gold.
  • Take home the object you repaired as a unique souvenir.
Kimono Photo Shoot (60 minutes)

Kimono Photo Shoot
$120

The kimono is the traditional dress of Japan and is representative of its culture and heritage. The dress consists of a long robe with wide sleeves and is usually made of various materials and patterns. Today the kimono is only worn sparingly, on formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies or other special events. Take part in a memorable photo shoot at a studio where you can dress up in a kimono of your choice. You can take photos with your own camera or you may choose to purchase a photo package plan from the photographers.

Highlights:

  • Dress up in a kimono of your choice for the photo shoot.
  • Have your photos taken for free with your own camera or purchase the photos from the professional photographers.
Cooking Class (120-180 minutes)

Cooking Class
$129 Popular!

Japanese cuisine (washoku) is well known for its refined taste and elegant presentation. Take part in a Japanese cooking experience and learn from one of Tokyo’s most popular cooking instructors, whose book has been published in English. Bring home with you a set of new cooking skills and culinary techniques that will leave your friends and family impressed.

Highlights:

  • Learn to cook different types of Japanese food, such as sushi, soup, and various side dishes.
  • Learn the ingredients, culinary techniques and methods used in creating home-made Japanese dishes.
  • Enjoy your own cooked dish for lunch.

Note:

  • Transportation is not included. However, optional program venues are located in the easily accessible Tokyo CBD.
  • You may join up to 2 programs per day (exception: Nikko Day Tour).
  • Optional programs are subject to availability and must be booked more than 1 month before departure.
Take an international flight from Australia to Osaka via a connecting city.

NOTE: Note: Some flights may depart one day later
Arrive in Osaka. Your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to the airport hotel.
Osaka City
This morning, proceed to Osaka Station for a bullet train or coach to Hiroshima.
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome
Today you will be exploring Itsukushima Shrine in the morning. Travel to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the only remaining buildings after the United States dropped the nuclear bomb that killed up to 146,000 people. Then visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, followed by the Memorial Peace Park. Travel back to Osaka.
Hiroshima Peace Park
Visit Todaiji Temple, with its Great Buddha Hall housing the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 wild sika deer roam free, before travelling to Osaka. Visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century, before being dropped off at Dōtonbori, which exemplifies Osaka’s vibrant food culture.
Nara Park
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend the day visiting one of the most spectacular Japanese aquariums, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; or taking a day trip to Hyogo to visit Himeji Castle, a unique enormous Japanese castle decorated in white. An optional day tour is available for some departure dates. Please check the attached optional program information.
Himeji Castle
This morning, travel to Kyoto by bullet train to visit Heian Jingu Shinto Shrine. Next, visit Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct styles of Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Travel to Nagoya to visit Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Here you will learn about the history of Toyota as a textile machinery manufacturer and how it became a successful mass exporter and manufacturer of automotive technology, including robots.
Heian Jingu Shrine
Today, visit Oshino Hakkai. Known as the springs of Mount Fuji, the eight ponds are fed by melting snow filtering down from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji, through porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by locals. Afterwards, visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, and Hakone Shrine. Standing at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi, the shrine buildings are hidden in dense forest.
Oshino Hakkai
Visit Meiji Shrine in the morning, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Later, stroll through the Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples, and browse for souvenirs at Nakamise Shopping Street. Your last stop today is Tokyo Tower, to enjoy a panoramic view of enormous Tokyo city.
Meiji Shrine
Spend today free at your leisure. You may spend a day in Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120) or you can join the Nikko Day Tour ($250). Alternatively, you can join our wide range of optional programs (tea ceremony, pottery-making experience, ‘golden joinery’, kimono photo shoot, cooking class). All activities are not guided and transportation is self- arranged.
Disney Sea Tokyo
Today, transfer to the airport to board your flight via a connecting city to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Hokkaido Cruise 8 Nights

From $1,999 pp. twin share

Discover the natural beauty of Hokkaido while cruising on the Diamond Princess

Leaving from Yokohama, you will visit the commercial fishing town Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido, with an optional tour of the local wetlands to see Japanese Cranes. From there, take in the scenery of the World Heritage Shiretoko Peninsula, and then sail on to Korsakov – a former Japanese colony at the southern end of Russia’s largest Island, Sakhalin.

The cruise then returns to Japan to visit Otaru and Hakodate cities, where you can enjoy the view from Mount Hakodate.

Spend this morning free until your transfer to Yokohama Cruise Terminal.
Embarkation of Diamond Princess is at 5pm.
Cruising to Kushiro aboard the Diamond Princess.
Cruise to Kushiro, arriving at 7am. Explore Fisherman Town and try the freshest seafood. Also, an optional tour is available to Kushiro Wetland; Japan’s largest Marshland, to spot Japanese Cranes. Departs at 5pm. Optional tours are available.
Cruising to Korsakov on the Diamond Princess.
Cruise to Korsakov arriving at 6am. Korsakov is an administrative centre of Korsakovsky District of Russia once it was colonised by Japan. Explore the museums and beautiful architecture with a mix of Russian and Japanese influences. Departs at 6pm. Tender required, wheelchair access limited at this port. Optional tours are available.
Cruise to Otaru arriving at 6pm. Discover one of the biggest cities in Hokkaido. Stroll along the Otaru Canal, tasting fine Sushi and discovering traditional Japanese architecture. Departs at 9pm. Optional tours are available.
Cruise to Hakodate arriving at 8am. Hakodate offers you one of the most magnificent night views in Japan. Take a ropeway to reach the summit of Mt Hakodate to enjoy the panoramic view. Departs at 11pm.
Cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.
Arrive in Tokyo at 6 am. Make your own way to the airport for your flight(s) to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.