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Timeless Japan 16 Days

$4,699.00 $3,699.00

Medium Pace

Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawaguchiko, Mount Fuji, Matsumoto, Jigokudani, Kamikochi, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka

We have taken the beloved Golden Route of Japan and polished it until it shines even brighter! Now with more destinations, and more attractions, this tour is the best way to experience the depth of Japan's history and culture, and to appreciate the achievements of Japan's technical and urban development./span

Highlights:

  • Scale the second-tallest structure in the world, the Tokyo Sky Tree
  • Cruise on Lake Ashi, famed throughout the centuries for its views of Mount Fuji.
  • Explore the unique cafes and old saké breweries of Takayama’s Old Town, a wonderful slice of Old Japan
  • Experience Jigokudani – the famous Snow Monkey Park where, in winter, Japanese Macaques bathe in volcanic hot springs
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its dramatic black exterior
  • Visit Nara's Great Eastern Temple, with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building – housing a 15 meter tall Bronze Buddha
  • Feed the gentle sika deer at Nara Park, established around 700 years ago
  • Explore Himeji Castle, the largest surviving Japanese castle, known as ‘Shirasagi-jō’ – White Heron Castle
  • View Osaka from 40 stories (173m) at the Umeda Sky Building Floating Observatory
  • Explore at your own pace with free days at your leisure in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

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Departure Dates

2018 Price Per Person Single Supplement
25 Jun 19 Aug 09 Oct From
$3,699
$1.300
17 Jul 17 Sep* 06 Nov
2019
27 Mar** 08 May 19 Aug
03 Apr** 22 May 17 Sep*
10 Apr* 25 Jun 09 Oct*
17 Apr 17 Jul 06 Nov
* = Peak Season Surcharge: $300
** = Cherry Blossom Season Surcharge: $500

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)
  • 13 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: $160
  • 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, Andong, 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
  • Soak up the seaside ambience in the port city Pusan

For details, please click here.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Hiroshima Post-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.

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 is one of the most diverse destinations in Asia, and 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
  • 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. Note: Contact us to check availability prior to departure.

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. 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. Tokyo DisneySea was also the winner of the 2012-2015 Theme Park Insider award for 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 more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
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.
Kimono Photo Shoot (60 minutes)

Kimono Photo Shoot
$120 per person

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

Tokyo Shinagawa Prince Hotel local rating or similar
Kawaguchiko Motosu View Hotel local rating or similar
Nagano Hotel JAL City Nagano local rating or similar
Takayama Hida Hotel Plaza local rating or similar
Kanazawa Hotel Kanazawa local rating or similar
Kyoto New Miyako Hotel local rating or similar
Osaka Hotel Visicio Osaka by Granvia local rating or similar

Take an international flight from Australia to Tokyo via a connecting city – Note: Some flights may depart one day later.
On arrival in Tokyo, your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel.
Tokyo Sunset
Today we will take a full-day coach tour of Tokyo, starting with Meiji Shrine. The shrine is located within a 170 acre forest in the centre of Tokyo. Constructed of cypress wood and copper, the shrine commemorates Emperor Meiji, Japan’s 122nd emperor, who presided over Japan’s industrial revolution and emergence onto the world stage. Next we visit Asakusa district, and visit Senso-ji Temple. This is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and is dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. On the approach to Senso-ji is Nakamise Shopping Street, a centuries-old promenade of shops selling traditional snacks and souvenirs like kimonos and bottles of saké. We will then visit Tokyo Sky Tree. Opening in May 2012, the Skytree is a television and radio broadcast site, and contains a restaurant and two viewing platforms. At 634m, this is the 2nd-tallest structure in the world! We round off the day with a trip to Odaiba, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Built as an island fortress in the 19th century, Odaiba will be a venue location for the 2020 Olympic Games, and is already a popular leisure and sightseeing area.
Senso-ji Temple
Enjoy today free at leisure in Tokyo.
Tokyo with Mt Fuji
Tour by Chartered Coach to Hakone. En route, we explore the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. These buildings were erected a century ago as customs buildings for Yokohama Port. Requisitioned by the US military after World War 2, in 2002 they were re-purposed as a cultural and shopping complex. Next, we visit the incredible Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Kotoku-in Temple. Constructed in 1252 and once covered in gold, the bronze Great Buddha is an impressive sight. This is followed by a boat cruise on Lake Ashi. The lake sits within Mount Hakone, and is famed for its views of Mount Fuji. Boats inspired by western warships cruise the scenic lake, and the picturesque forested region has been popular for hikers and sightseers for centuries. Transfer to Kawaguchiko, where you will enjoy dinner before spending spend the night in your traditional hot-spring onsen guesthouse.
Daibutsu Great Buddha
Today we visit Mount Fuji‘s 5th Station. Here, above the clouds, we will view the sacred mountain’s enormous summit if weather permits. We then transfer to Matsumoto (approx. 2.5h), where we visit Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its dramatic black exterior. The keep, completed around 1593, is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. Transfer to Nagano and to your hotel.
Travel by coach to Takayama. Along the way, we will visit Jigokudani – the famous Monkey Park where, in winter, Japanese Macaques bathe in volcanic hot springs. We’ll also visit picturesque Taisho Pond (Taishoike) in Kamikochi. This is a beautiful scenic destination, with Mt. Hotakadake and Mt. Yakedake visible in the distance, and the scenery around the lake changes dramatically with the passing seasons. Next, visit Kappa Bashi (Kappa Bridge) – where you’ll find a suspension bridge over the river, affording spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Transfer to Takayama.
Kamikochi
Today we travel by coach to Shirakawago Village, a World Heritage site where 114 Gassho-style houses with steeply-pitched roofs in the shape of a triangle. Built many hundreds of years ago, these historic houses stand together in a beautiful natural setting. On the way, we stop at Takayama’s Old Town, a wonderfully well-preserved slice of old Japan, with houses and shops dating back to the Edo period (1600-1868). As well as the charming architecture, there are unique cafes and a number of old saké breweries. Enjoy some free time to explore the sights, and then it’s on to Shirakawago, where from the site’s observation deck you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of this UNESCO-listed village of thatched-roof houses among the gorgeous mountainous scenery. Transfer to Kanazawa to rest for the evening.
Shirakawago Village
In Kanazawa, visit Kenrokuen Garden – one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens. Developed over more than 200 years, starting in 1620, the garden contains almost 9000 trees and 200 plant species. We also visit Nomura House, the historic residence of the Nomura Samurai clan. The house and grounds provide an insight into the lifestyle of the Samurai class during the 16-19th centuries, and feature beautiful architecture, gardens, and décor such as painted screen doors. Then transfer from Kanazawa to Kyoto and on to your hotel.
Kenrokuen
Enjoy today free at leisure in Kyoto
This morning, we travel the short distance to Nara by bus, and visit Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion. This is a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold, set within a beautiful classical Zen garden. The detailed architecture incorporates three distinct architectural styles – Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Next, we visit Heian Jingu (Heian Shinto Shrine), a replica of an ancient imperial palace, and a symbol of the rebirth of Kyoto after World War 2 – the enormous vermillion orange tori gate is unforgettable! Next, we visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses a huge 15m tall bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Then, wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 tame sika deer roam freely. Return to your hotel in Kyoto by coach.
Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
This morning we travel by coach to Osaka to visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century. The castle is elaborately fortified, and decorated in an attractive white and green colour scheme. After exploring the extensive castle and grounds, we move on to something more modern – the Umeda Sky Building Floating Observatory, which provides an unparalleled elevated view of Osaka. The viewing platform is suspended between two 40-story towers, at 173 metres above the city streets. The Namba-Shimsaibashi area in the city’s South encompasses the city’s premier shopping districts, full of boutiques, designers outlets, restaurants and bars. We end the day with dinner at an Izakaya. These are Japanese-style bars which serve a variety of side dishes along with saké and beer – their grilled meat skewers are particularly good!
Osaka Castle
Today we take a half-day tour by coach to Himeji Castle, which is the largest surviving example of a traditional Japanese castle. Comprising 83 buildings, the white roof of this UNESCO-registered complex is said to evoke the wings of a heron taking flight – hence the popular name ‘Shirasagi-jō’ – White Heron Castle. In 1945 an American firebomb was dropped into the top floor of the keep, but didn’t ignite, and the castle was renovated in 1956. Himeji Castle is the most visited in Japan, and the site offers some wonderful views of surrounding Himeji city. Arrive back at the hotel around lunchtime, and enjoy the afternoon free at leisure.
Himeji Castle
Enjoy today free at leisure in Osaka.
After breakfast transfer to Osaka airport for your flight home
Arrive back in Australia today.

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 Post-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.
This morning, Proceed to Osaka Station for a bullet train/coach to Hiroshima and spend the afternoon at your leisure.
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 explosion. Then visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, followed by the Memorial Peace Park. Travel back to Osaka and take a shuttle bus to your hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to Osaka airport for your flight home.
Osaka City
Arrive back in Australia today.

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, and 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
  • 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.