Grand Tour of Japan 18 Days 2018


Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Shizuoka, Kamakura, Tokyo, Nikko, Nagano, Kurobe Alpine Route, Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Nagoya

NOTE: Medium to difficult walking may be required at Jigokudani Valley and on the Kurobe Alpine Route, including ascending and descending stairs.

Nexus Holidays provides travellers an immersive experience in Japanese culture and lifestyle to go with the sights on your unforgettable trip to Japan.

We would love for our customers to experience Japanese culture & history. We will spend a few nights of the tour in a traditional Japanese hotels, sleeping on rice straw mattresses called tatami. You will also visit restaurants on this tour where it is customary to remove shoes and be seated at low tables called kotatsu. All part of the Japanese experience!

End of Oct through early Nov is the best time to see crimson leaves in autumn.
NOTE: Crimson autumn leaves are highly seasonal and subject to climatic conditions from year to year. These are historically the best times to view the autumn leaves, but we can’t guarantee that you see them on these dates.


  • Pray for your fortune at the beautiful Heian Jingu Shrine
  • Feed the gentle sika deer at Nara Park
  • Race to Mount Fuji on a high speed Shinkansen bullet train
  • Drink from clear springs at the foothills of Mount Fuji
  • Loosen your muscles overnight at a traditional hot spring hotel
  • Explore the bustling capital Tokyo, boisterous night life & hearty street food
  • Uncover the majestic seasonal colours along the Kurobe Alpine Route
  • Spot wild snow monkeys bathing in hot springs in Jigoku Valley
  • Explore ancient architecture in UNESCO World Heritage sites Nikko and Shirakawa-Go
  • Walk through thousands of red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Learn the about Japan's world-leading technology at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

2018 Departures Package Price Single Supplement
08 May 31 Jul* From $7,299 $2,000
19 Jun 23 Oct*

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy airfares, taxes & fuel surcharges from Sydney or Melbourne with a full service Chinese or other Asian carrier (e.g. Vietnam/Thai/Malaysia Air)
  • 15 nights 4 star hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Bullet train from Kyoto to Mount Fuji with coach luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • Coach transportation and transfers
  • Admission to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide(s)

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping and gratuities prepaid in Australia: $280
  • Optional recommended programs
  • Optional tour extensions
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Tour Extensions Optional Extension

Enchanting South Korea 6 Nights from $1,499

Seoul, Andong, Daegu, Gyeongju, Busan

South Korea is a high-tech, trend-setting nation with a reverent, old soul. Boasting picturesque landscapes, a rich cultural history, delicious local cuisine, the latest technological advances, fashion trends and more, a visit to ‘the Land of Morning Calm’ should be on every traveller’s list.

For details, tap the image above or click here.

Hiroshima 3 Days from $720

The tour will be either self-guided or a group tour depending on the size of group.

Hiroshima is a popular city in Japan famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites – Itsukushima Shrine and Atomic Bomb Dome.

For details, tap the image above or click here.

Stopovers Optional Extension

Hong Kong Stopover from $389

Once a sleepy fishing village, Hong Kong has developed into one of the premier financial powerhouses of the Far East. It is a city which boldly blends modernity with Chinese heritage and British colonial influence. A safe, well organised, fast paced shopping paradise, it also offers up some unmatched cuisine experiences.

For details, tap the image above or click here.

Optional ProgramsOptional Extension

For more optional activities and tours, please click here.
Tokyo Day Tour


This tour will take you to visit Asakusa, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Tower and experience a Tokyo bay cruise.

Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is packed with so much to see and do. First stop on this tour is Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. Afterwards visit Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the deified sprits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Proceed to the fashion district Harajuku and Shibuya, an affluent and trendy shopping hotspot. Then proceed to Tokyo Tower, where you will observe the amazing city of Tokyo from up above. Then, relax on a Tokyo bay cruise en route to the beautiful and serene landscaped Hamarikyu Garden beside Tokyo Bay.

Note: this tour is subject to minimum numbers

Osaka Day Tour

Himeji Castle

This optional tour will take you to Osaka Castle which was built in 1583 as the intended capital of Japan, before the capital was moved to Edo (now known as Tokyo). Walk through the majestic castle while learning from the exhibit detailing life in old Osaka. From there, walk to the nearby river boat dock to board the Osaka River Cruise for a cruise around Nakanoshima. Explore Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori, the vast restaurant districts, with eateries offering a variety of Japan’s most famous street foods.Then travel down to Umeda Skybuilding, where you will get a sweeping view of Osaka. Tour finishes in Osaka.

Note: this tour is subject to minimum numbers.

Hotel Accommodation Optional Extension

Osaka Kansai Airport Washington Hotel or similar local rating
Osaka Osaka Daiichi Hotel or similar local rating
Kyoto Kyoto Shin Hankyu Hotel (off peak only) or similar local rating
Mount Fuji Yamanakako Sun Plaza Hotel or similar local rating
Atami Atami New Fujiya Hotel (tatami bedding) or similar local rating
Tokyo Tokyo Dome Hotel or similar local rating
Narita Marroad International Hotel Narita or similar local rating
Kinugawa Onsen Kinugawa Onsen Hotel (tatami bedding) or similar local rating
Nagano Matsushiro Royal Hotel or similar local rating
O-machi Onsen Hotel Karamatsu-so (tatami bedding) or similar local rating
Tonami Tonami Royal Hotel (tatami bedding) or similar local rating
Takayama Route Inn Grantia Hida Takayama Hotel or similar local rating
Nagoya Nagoya Strings Hotel or similar local rating
Osaka Kansai Washington Hotel or similar local rating
Take an international flight from Australia to Osaka via a connecting city.
(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.
This morning, travel to Nara and visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses the world’s largest (15m) 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.
Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogunate and 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 architectural styles of Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Cap off your day at Heian Jingu Shrine, and enjoy the magnificent traditional gardens and huge torii gate.
Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
Today, visit Togetsu Bridge, the landmark of Western Kyoto’s Arashiyama District for over four hundred years. Explore Sagano Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of Kyoto, where towering green stalks of the famously versatile plant sway in the wind, creaking eerily as they collide and twist, leaves rustling. After lunch, travel onwards to Mount Fuji by bullet train (Max. speed 320km/h).
Sagano Bamboo Forest
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 the locals. Later visit Mount Fuji‘s 5th Station, which is above the clouds, to view its enormous summit if weather permits. (Alternatively visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, and Hakone Checkpoint, which used to be an important checkpoint on the highway connecting Kyoto to Tokyo in the Edo period. Take a cruise on Lake Ashi, and savour the numerous delights of nature. Today’s last stop is Owakudani Valley, an active volcanic zone with hot springs and hot spring rivers.
Today, visit a Japanese Beer Factory to taste one of most popular Japanese beers, then visit Odawara Castle. Also travel to Kamakura and visit Daibutsu, the ‘great Buddha’ which is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple. After, explore Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine which was established by fist Shogun (general) in the Kamakura period which stands alone due to its vivid colouration.
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend a day in Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120). Or 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.
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. Relax on Sumida River Cruise. Your last stop today is Tokyo Tower, before heading to a hotel near Narita Airport.
Meiji Shrine
Today’s drive this morning takes you to Nikko, an ancient town surrounded by deciduous cedar trees and majestic waterfalls. Visit the fascinating Nikko Toshogu, a UNESCO World Heritage site well known for its distinctive architecture with elaborate wood carvings and gold leaf decorations. Continue on to Kegon Waterfall (about 100 metres high) set against the stunning backdrop of the greater Nikko National Park. Make a stop at Lake Chuzenji and be astounded by its natural scenery before returning to the hotel this evening to relax and unwind in a hot spring at Kinugawa Onsen.
Kegon Waterfall
This morning, the drive towards Karuizawa will take you through the majestic highlands of Nagano prefecture. On arrival, visit the main shopping street in Kyu-Karuizawa lined with stores selling a variety of local speciality products. Karuizawa was once the summer resort for a Canadian missionary who frequented the area in the late 1800s. Many of the town’s buildings thereafter, such as the chapels and cottages, are distinctly European in style. After lunch, travel to the famous Jigoku Valley Monkey Park, where you can see wild snow monkeys bathe in hot springs all year round.
Monkey in springs
After breakfast, visit Hokusai Museum to discover the great Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), one of Japan’s leading painters. Hokusai was most famous for his ‘Thirty six views of Mt Fuji’ paintings, and has gone on to influence many talented artists like Vincent van Gogh. Today’s special highlight is a soba noodle making experience. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour. Learn how to create and roll dough, and then slice it into thin soba noodles using a special knife. Enjoy your own noodles for lunch. Continue on to Zenkou Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Japan with an astounding history that spans over 1,400 years. Afterwards, partake in a sake tasting experience. Sake (rice wine) is a speciality in this region due to the abundant rice fields and clear waters nearby.
Soba Noodles
The drive along Kurobe Alpine Route is picturesque and the scenery varies depending on the season. In winter, you can witness massive snow walls that reach up to 20m in height. A visit in spring and summer will see the mountainside enveloped in lush, verdant alpine plants and flowers. In autumn, trees are ablaze with a stunning blend of orange, yellow and red leaves. On arrival, travel through the mountains using ropeways, cable cars, and buses. A must-visit in this region is Kurobe Dam, one of the world’s largest man-made structures seamlessly blended in with the natural beauty of the Northern Alps. Afterwards, stop by Mikuriga Ponds and be fascinated by the mysterious pristine blue waters of the volcanic lake.
Kurobe Dam
Travel onwards to Kanazawa, which was once a castle town, established around 300 years ago. Visit Buke Yashiki (samurai house) and discover how higher-ranked samurai lived in feudal society during the Edo period (1603-1867). Later, wander through the streets of Higashi Chaya, a district lined with quaint old buildings that were once teahouses frequented by geisha (traditional Japanese female entertainers) and their guests. Next, visit Kenroku Garden, regarded as one of the country’s most elegant Japanese gardens that combines the six qualities of a perfect garden: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. The last stop for today is Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage site where 114 Gassho-style houses (steeply-pitched roofs in the shape of a triangle) built many hundreds of years ago stand together in a natural setting.
Takayama is an atmospheric and historic town and many of its streets still retain a traditional feel dating back to the late 17th century. Enjoy breakfast before you set out on a light morning stroll through Takayama’s local food market lined with stands that sell local crafts, assorted snacks and fresh seasonal products direct from the farms. Afterwards, visit Takayama Jinya (historical government house) that was under control by the powerful Tokugawa Shogunate. Beside the main building you will find a large rice storehouse. Have lunch at Sanmachi, before you bid farewell to Takayama. Drive to Nagoya and visit the 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 automobile and automotive technology, including robots.
Takayama Jinya
Today’s morning visit is to Nagoya Castle, which was constructed by order of the Tokugawa Shogun in 1612. This castle is famous for shachihoko, a pair of golden fish ornaments nested on top of the castle roof. Bid farewell to Nagoya and travel to Kyoto to see the visually arresting Fushimi Inari Shrine. This shrine is most famous for its thousands of bright vermilion torii gates surrounded by a dense wooded forest. The shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of rice and sake and features dozens of statues of foxes; foxes were once believed to be special messengers. Your last stop for today is Umeda Skygarden where you can relax and catch a beautiful evening/night view of Osaka city.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Travel to Kansai International Airport for your flight(s) to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Enchanting South Korea 6 Nights

From $1,499 pp. twin share

Seoul, Andong, Daegu, Gyeongju, Busan

Immerse yourself in an incredible journey covering two fascinating countries, Japan and South Korea. Discover South Korea’s capital city, Seoul. Seoul is Korea’s financial, political, commercial and cultural centre with over 600 years of history. Travellers can explore the many archaeological sites and temples before enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes this country has to offer.

Tour Highlights:

  • Stroll through the Changdeokgung Palace grounds
  • Gaze into North Korean territory at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
  • Immerse yourself in the bustling crowds of Myeongdong
  • Explore the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, Gyeongju
  • Experience the serenity of Seokguram Grotto
  • Discover Korea’s colourful and cosmopolitan southern port city – Pusan

For details, please click here.

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Hiroshima 2 Nights

From $720 pp. twin share

Hiroshima is a popular city in Japan famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites – Itsukushima Shrine and Atomic Bomb Dome.

Tour 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. When it is low tide, you may walk though torii gate.
  • Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome and Museum to learn the history of Hiroshima.

For details, please click here.