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Japan Golden Route 11 Days

$3,499.00 $3,299.00

Medium Pace

Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Kamakura, Tokyo

We would love for our customers to experience Japanese culture and history along with its modern sights, smells, and sounds. We will spend few nights of the tour in a traditional Japanese hotel, sleeping on rice straw mats called tatami. You will also visit restaurants on this tour where it is customary to remove your shoes and sit at low tables called kotatsu. It's all part of the Japanese experience!

From the end of March through early April, when the cherry blossoms (sakura) are in full bloom, people gather in parks to welcome spring in a Japanese tradition known as hanami (flower viewing).

From the end of October through early November is the best season of the year for viewing vibrant crimson maple leaves in Japan. You can feel the fragile beauty of the changing seasons from observing nature. The fiery red is a true spectacle.

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.

Highlights:

  • Pray for your fortune at the World Heritage listed Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water Temple)
  • Feed the gentle sika deer at Nara Park, established around 700 years ago
  • Race to Mount Fuji on a high speed Shinkansen bullet train
  • Drink from clear springs at the foothills of Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mouuntain
  • Loosen your muscles overnight at a traditional hot spring hotel (onsen)
  • Explore the bustling capital Tokyo, with its boisterous night life & hearty street food

Testimonial:

We have just returned [from] 11 days Japan Golden Route Tour holiday. I would like to let you know that we had a wonderful time and thank you for the excellent organisation of this tour. I must admit I was a little nervous about it, however, I need not have been concerned as it was so well put together.

There was nothing to complain about as we were picked up from Kansai airport with Sam and taken to our hotel which was very comfortable. The next 8 days on the bus we had an incredible tour guides who knew so much about Japan History, she was so knowledgeable and really looked after everyone. Then took us off to Mt Fuji on the bullet train which was an experience in itself.

The Hotels we stayed in were very good, the Hyatt Regency Osaka and the Keio Plaza Hotel were stand outs. The breakfast were really good. Keio Plaza was in a great area, so close to everything we needed.

Our tour guide, Samatha was fantastic lady , we certainly had “the best”, everyone on the tour related to her and admired her knowledgable about Japan history , I feel we were very lucky as we seemed to have a really good, easy going group on this tour. Please pass onto whoever needs to know in Japan how fantastic Sam is, lovely lady, she truly did make the trip.

Thank you Nexus, and I would certainly do a tour with you again. (Huong Le. July 5, 2016 at 10:36 am)

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

2017 Price Per Person Single Supplement
14 Mar* 06 Jun 12 Sep From $3,299 $800
21 Mar** 20 Jun 26 Sep*
28 Mar** 04 Jul* 10 Oct*
04 Apr** 18 Jul 24 Oct*
18 Apr* 01 Aug 07 Nov
09 May 15 Aug
23 May 29 Aug
2018 From $3,299
Tue 13 Mar* Tue 5 June Tue 11 Sep
Tue 20 Mar** Tue 19 June Tue 25 Sep*
Tue 27 Mar** Tue 3 July* Tue 9 Oct*
Tue 3 Apr** Tue 17 July Tue 23 Oct*
Tue 17 Apr* Tue 31 Jul Tue 06 Nov*
Tue 8 May Tue 14 Aug Tue, 13 Nov*
Tue 22 May Tue 28 Aug

Package Inclusions:

  • Economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney or Melbourne flying China Southern Airlines or China Eastern Airlines (subject to availability)
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation (twin/double occupancy)
  • Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Coach transportation
  • Round trip airport and hotel transfers
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • English speaking tour guide(s) service

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping and gratuities prepaid in Australia: $140
  • Bullet train fee from Kyoto to Mount Fuji (including coach luggage transfer service from hotel to hotel) prepaid in Australia: $180
  • Optional recommended programs
  • Optional tour extensions
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Enchanting South Korea 6 Nights

From $1,499 pp. twin share

Seoul, Mount Seorak, Andong, Gyeongju

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

For details, please click here.

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Hiroshima Pre-tour Extension 3 Days 2 Nights (Self-guided/Group Tour

From $720 pp. twin share

Hiroshima is a popular city with visitors to Japan, famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites – Itsukushima Shrine and the 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.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Discover Taiwan 7 Nights

From $1,199 pp. twin share

Taipei, Nantou, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien, Taroko

A country of stunning beauty and jaw-dropping natural landscapes, Taiwan was the chosen location for the filming of the 2013 Oscar winning blockbuster, “Life of Pi”, directed by Ang Lee. As one of the most diverse destinations in Asia, Taiwan has increasingly been attracting travellers from all over the world, showcasing not only its spectacular scenic landscapes, but also a thriving folk culture, museums bursting with treasures – including the best of imperial China, its bustling night markets – famous for their delicious xiaochi (literally “small eats”), and the latest in high-tech gadgets.

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit Taipei 101, the world’s sixth tallest building, reminiscent in design of a traditional Chinese pagoda
  • Stroll through the famous bustling night markets of Taiwan
  • Cruise along Sun Moon Lake and experience its tranquil beauty
  • Explore the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, Foguangshan Monastery
  • Immerse yourself in the natural splendour of Taroko National Park

For details, please click here.

Tokyo Optional Programs

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 carving and gold leaf decorated buildings. This design is unique and not seen elsewhere in Japan. You will also visit Kegon Waterfall (around 100m tall) 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:
2016: 23 Oct
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. The award was presented at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The winner of the 2012-2015 Theme Park Insider Awards “Best theme park” was also Tokyo DisneySea. There are seven uniquely themed areas or “ports of call”. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbour, which opens up to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
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)
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. Often traditional Japanese confectionary is 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 flooring). Discover the customs, culture, and hospitability of the Japanese people.

Physical considerations: 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: $130 – Wear traditional Japanese garments (kimono) and experience a tea ceremony
Pottery Making Experience (60 minutes)

Pottery Making
$99

Pottery is one of the oldest art forms, 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 the 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
Male $100, Female $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 that 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 photos from 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 foods, 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.

Hotel Accommodation

Osaka Kansai Airport Washington Hotel local rating or similar
Osaka Osaka Daiichi Hotel local rating or similar
Kyoto Kyoto Shin Hankyu Hotel (off peak only) local rating or similar
Mount Fuji Yamanakako Sun Plaza Hotel local rating or similar
Atami Atami New Fujiya Hotel local rating or similar
Tokyo Tokyo Dome Hotel local rating or similar
Tokyo Marroad International Hotel Narita local rating or similar

Take an international flight from Australia to Osaka via a connecting city. (Note: Some flights may depart one day after)
Arrive in Osaka. Your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to the airport hotel.

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.

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 the UNESCO World Heritage Kiyomizu-dera Temple and drink to your fortune from the streams of the Otowa Waterfall.
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).
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. 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.
Daibutsu Great Buddha
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend a day in Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120), or you can join the Nikko Day Tour. 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 a Sumida River Cruise. Your last stop today is Tokyo Tower, before heading to a hotel near Narita Airport. The next morning after breakfast, if you are fling Cathay Pacific, you will be transferred to Narita Airport (approx 10 min). If you are flying China Southern Airlines, you will be transferred to Haneda Airport (approx 70 min).
Today transfer to the airport to board your flight via a connecting city to Australia.
Arrive home this morning.

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Enchanting South Korea 6 Nights

From $1,499 pp. twin share

Seoul, Mount Seorak, Andong, Gyeongju

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

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 the torii gate.
  • Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome and Museum to learn abotu the history of Hiroshima.

For details, please click here.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Discover Taiwan 7 Nights

From $1,199 pp. twin share

Taipei, Nantou, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien, Taroko

A country of stunning beauty and jaw-dropping natural landscapes, Taiwan was the chosen location for the filming of the 2013 Oscar winning blockbuster, “Life of Pi”, directed by Ang Lee. As one of the most diverse destinations in Asia, Taiwan has increasingly been attracting travellers from all over the world, showcasing not only it’s spectacular scenic landscapes, but also a thriving folk culture, museums bursting with treasures – including the best of imperial China, its bustling night markets – famous for their delicious xiaochi (literally “small eats”), and the latest in high-tech gadgets.

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit Taipei 101, the world’s sixth tallest building
  • Stroll through the famous bustling Night Markets of Taiwan
  • Cruise along Sun Moon Lake and experience its tranquil beauty
  • Explore the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, Foguangshan Monastery
  • Immerse yourself in the natural splendour of Taroko National Park

For details, please click here.