Japan is a country of contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to paddy fields and crowds disperse into the tranquillity of a classical garden. This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago.
Japan is a country of contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to paddy fields and crowds disperse into the tranquillity of a classical garden.
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.
Flexible bookings: Secure your tour with just a $99pp deposit per tour , with no more to pay (and the ability to make unlimited changes) until 75 days before departure!
Your holiday includes:
Your accommodation is selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range from a business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. In more remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities.
Please note, double bed requests can be made at time of booking but cannot be guaranteed. Hotels are generally rated as local three to four-star standard, but please note that there is no international classification system for hotels and differences in facilities and quality do exist between Australia and Japan.
Please note that in Japan hotel rooms and bathrooms are renowned for being small. Standard single rooms are usually smaller than a standard double or twin room, contain one small double bed (or one single bed), and are designed for one person to use. All group tour hotels have private western bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, TV and a telephone. Hotels in Japan often do not have porters and you will be required to carry your own luggage. If you experience any difficulty, please speak to your National Escort/Local Guide.
Flexible Booking terms: Secure your tour with just a $99pp deposit per tour . No more to pay until 75 days before departure . Unlimited changes until 75 days prior
Various travel dates available from September 2022 to November 2023
Travel 8 - 20 October 2022
Twin share from $10,789 per person
Travel 14 - 26 September 2023
Twin share from $11,429 per person
For a limited time only on selected departures choose from 50% off Single Supplement or Partner Flies Free.
To find out more about this immersive tour of Japan contact our experienced travel team on 1300 414 198.
Please note prices are subject to availability at time of booking or until sold out and may change without notice. The prices above include flights departing Brisbane, airline fuel surcharges and taxes which are subject to change.
Day 1 - 2: Arrive Tokyo
Fly overnight to Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Tokyo was once known as Edo and was a small fishing town. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Please note: Early check in is not included. If your flight arrives in the morning and you wish to arrange this, please speak to your Travel at 60 Consultant. Transfers will differ depending on group size, but you may share a coach with other passengers who are not part of this tour. If you are on a shared bus transfer, you may have to walk for a few minutes to get to your hotel.
Day 3: Tokyo
Head to the top of Tokyo Skytree for sweeping views of the city. Next, visit Asakusa and wander through Nakamise shopping street and Senso-ji Temple, one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples. Enjoy lunch and stop at the Imperial Palace to view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. This afternoon, stroll through the Hamarikyu Gardens and in the evening, enjoy a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay.
Day 4: Mount Fuji
Take the super-fast bullet train to Odawara. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi for spectacular panoramas of this beautiful area before venturing up the Komagatake Ropeway. Next, ascend over 2,000 metres up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station, (weather permitting) and take in the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes area below.
Day 5: Matsumoto Castle
This morning, drive 2 hours to Nagano to explore the formidable 16th century Matsumoto Castle. There are steep ladder-style steps in the Matsumoto Castle that you must climb up and back down again. If you choose not to look inside the castle, you can enjoy the surrounding gardens, moat and architecture of Matsumoto Castle. After lunch, stop at a Miso House to learn about the process of making this Japanese seasoning. Try Miso soup before travelling a further 2 and a half hours to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region.
Day 6: Takayama
Wander to the Miyagawa morning market and sample some of the region’s fruit and vegetables. Later you will visit traditional houses and local museums, including the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum and the Takayama Jinya. Enjoy some free time to explore the local shopping streets, which date back to the 17th century.
Day 7: Charming Shirakawa-Go Village
Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed village, Shirakawago, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Try your hand at making traditional Japanese washi paper before continuing to Kanazawa. On arrival, wander through the beautiful Kenroku-en, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’, before checking in to your hotel.
Day 8: Travel to Kyoto
This morning, learn the process of how gold leaf is made and applied to everyday objects. Try it for yourself by decorating a pair of chopsticks and take your newly created artwork home! Later, stroll down the traditional Higashi Chaya (Eastern Teahouse District), visiting Ochaya Shima – a historical geisha house. After lunch, drive 4 hours to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 9: Kyoto
Kyoto was capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. This morning, head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse and try your hand at origami and enjoy the rituals of a tea ceremony. In the afternoon, visit Ryoanji Temple, which means 'temple of the peaceful dragon', and the famous Kinkakuji, a Zen temple known as the 'Golden Pavilion'.
Day 10: Kyoto to Nara
Visit the unforgettable Fushimi Inari Shrine, which features in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. It is famous for its thousands of orange torii gates and is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, and you will see many fox statues here. Later travel to Nara, a charming town virtually untouched by the ravages of modernity. Home to much early art and architecture, you will stroll through Nara Park to Todai-ji Temple, meeting the resident Sika deer en route, before exploring Isui-en Gardens.
Day 11: Koyasan
The holy mountain of Koyasan is home to a cluster of over a hundred monasteries nestled in a valley enclosed by peaks said to resemble a lotus flower. Full of atmosphere, savour the tranquillity and spectacular views as you discover Kongobu-ji Temple and the Garan Temple complex before wandering around Okunoin – a vast forest cemetery of 200,000 stupas. Continue on to Osaka.
Day 12: Osaka Castle
This morning, visit the famous Osaka Castle before taking a stroll around the Dotonbori district, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample delicious local delicacies. Next, enjoy a 20-minute cruise along the Yodogawa River. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner this evening.
Days 13-14: Depart Osaka
Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
Please note: Only breakfast is included today. Late check-out is not included in our Discover Japan tour.
Transfers: In the event that your flight departs outside of the majority group departure time, you will be transferred to the airport by a shared coach (not with other tour passengers). If you are on a shared coach transfer, you may have to walk for a few minutes to get to the coach.
How fit do I need to be to join this tour?
This tour is rated as a physical level 1 tour. It requires unaided mobility and the ability to stroll around the sights.A reasonable level of fitness is required but it’s more about spending time on your feet rather than covering large distances. You’ll be getting on and off coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps. On several days, there will be sightseeing on foot for extended periods of time, often involving steps or uneven ground. You will be required to get on and off various sizes of boats without assistance Of course, the National Escort will always endeavour to provide the highest level of service; however, they cannot be expected to cater for customers who are unfit to complete the itinerary.
The tour is 14 days in duration including international flights. Please note, due to flight schedules passengers may arrive/depart on Day 2.
All travellers are limited to two items of luggage each; a suitcase with a maximum weight of 20kg and one piece of hand luggage with a maximum weight of five kilograms. It is essential that your luggage is lockable. Please note that authorities will only allow bottles onto the aircraft if they have been checked in as main baggage. Bottles in hand luggage may be confiscated.
Do I need to tip on tour?
Although tipping in Japan is not customary, if you feel you have received an excellent service, please feel free to tip your guide at your discretion.
What type of food can I expect during this tour?
Japanese cuisine is delicious, colourful and healthy. Food is an important element of Japanese culture. Meals are usually served with a bowl of rice and a bowl of miso soup and consist usually of fish, pickled vegetables and meat. Japan’s other main staple is noodles, most famous being Udon and Soba. Meals on this tour are designed so that you can experience the local dishes, their individual flavours as well as the different ways they are prepared and cooked throughout Japan. Visas: Please be advised that your passport must have at least six months validity left on it when you arrive back into Australis. Visas are not required for Australian passport holders for entry into Japan for stays of up to 90 days.
What type of Cultural Differences can I expect during this tour?
Japanese society and culture is built on intricate social etiquette and customs. As foreigners, we are not expected to be knowledgeable about all etiquette, but it will make your time in Japan more enjoyable if you are respectful of local customs. Some examples of scenarios you may encounter include removing your shoes and hats when entering a temple or house (some restaurants as well). You may be supplied with slippers at some places, but please come prepared with plenty of spare socks, and shoes that are easy to take off for the fairly regular occasions when they must be removed. Your National Escort will advise you of some of these other customs at the beginning of your tour.
It is the intention to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events or sightseeing may change as the supplier looks to improve their tours or as local conditions dictate. In these circumstances they will make the best possible arrangements maintaining the integrity of your trip.
Please note: Isuien Garden in Nara, visited on Day 10, is closed for maintenance weekly on Tuesdays. Departures coinciding with this will visit the Kasuga Taisha Shrine as an alternative.