This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago. Travelling solo? Book by 31 Jan 2022 to avoid the single supplement!*
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.
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.
Please note prices are subject to availability at time of booking or until sold out and may change without notice. The prices below include airline fuel surcharges and taxes which are subject to change.
Book between 04 - 31 January 2022 to secure a SOLO departure - single supplement FREE
Select from the following departures:
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
To find out more about this immersive tour of Japan contact our experienced travel team on 1300 414 198
Day 1 - 2: Arrive Tokyo
Fly overnight to Tokyo, the capital of Japan. On arrival, you will be met by an English-speaking representative and transfer approximately 1.5 hours to your hotel.
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
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Head to the 2nd observatory of the Tokyo Skytree for panoramic views over the city before taking a wander through the district of Asakusa, stopping at the Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping street. Drive by the Imperial Palace Plaza and then continue to the peaceful Hamarikyu Gardens. You’ll be on your feet for 4-5 hours during your touring in Tokyo. Enjoy your evening meal whilst leisurely cruising for one hour along Tokyo Bay. You’ll need to be able to embark and disembark the boat this evening for your cruise onTokyo Bay without assistance.
Day 4: Tokyo - Mount Fuji - Suwa
This morning, transfer to the station and take a 30-minute bullet train to Odawara. On arrival, transfer to tranquil Lake Ashi. Takea cruise across the lake before taking the Komagatake cable carfor spectacular views of Mount Fuji and the lake below. Continue by coach to Japan's most iconic landmark - Mount Fuji.Start at the 5th Station for breath-taking views of Fuji. Please note, travelling to the 5th station at Mount Fuji is only possible if weather conditions permit it. Drive to Suwa to check in to your hotel for an overnight stay, your hotel this evening will have onsen facilities for you to enjoy.
Please note that you will need to pack a small overnight bag for tonight as your main luggage will be transferred separately this morning and arrive at your hotel in Takayama the next day. Due to your early start you may need to take a packed breakfast with you (provided).
Day 5: Suwa - Matsumoto
This morning, drive two 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 2.5 hours to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region. Check into your hotel and enjoy the relaxing onsen facilities.
In Takayama we use a selection of hotels, some of which are more traditional in style, but you will be accommodated in Western-style rooms.
Day 6: Matsumoto - Takayama
Head to the Miyagawa Morning Market, where you can sample some of the delicious local fruits and vegetables (at your own expense). Later, take a leisurely stroll around the traditional houses of the area and visit the museums stopping at Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, Kusakabe Folk Museum, Takayama Jinya and Kamisannomachi Street. You’ll spend approximately 5 hours on foot today sightseeing around the town of Takayama.
Day 7: Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanawaza
Travel 1.5 hours to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its traditional Gassho-Zukurifarm houses, some of which are more than 250 years old. You’ll spend 1.5 hours on foot exploring the area. There are some stairs in the house to climb if you want to explore the higher levels. Drive around 1 hour to try your hand at making washi paper this afternoon, before continuing another 1.5 hours toKanazawa. On arrival, wander through the beautiful Kenrokuen, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’, before checking in to your hotel.
Day 8: Kanazawa - 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 (EasternTeahouse 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
Start the day with a visit to Ryoanji, the ‘temple of the sleeping dragon’ and Kinkakuji; also known as the Golden Pavilion due toits gold-like exterior. You’ll spend approximately two hours exploring the temples and their gardens. In the afternoon, head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse to try your hand at origami and to enjoy the age-old ritual of a traditional tea ceremony with a Tea Master.
Day 10: Kyoto - Nara
Travel one hour to Nara, stopping en route at the mesmerising Fushimi Inari Shrine. The Fushimi Inari Shrine stretches from the bottom to the top of Mount Inari (233 metres high). You’ll walk up part of the mountain; there are some steep steps and the incline allows a steady-paced walk. On arrival in Nara, visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Also visit Isuien Gardens, known for its natural ponds, sightseeing here will be about three hours on foot.
Please note: Isuien Garden in Nara is closed for maintenance weekly on Tuesdays. Departures coinciding with this will visit the Kasuga Taisha Shrine as an alternative.
Day 11: Nara - Koyasan - Osaka
This morning, drive 2.5 hours to Koyasan, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. See Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. Next, visit the Kongobuji Temple and Garan temple complex. The walk through Okunoin Cemetery to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi is roughly 2km and sometimes you will be walking over uneven surfaces. Continue to Osaka, a journey of approximately 1.5 hours to check in to your hotel.
Day 12: Osaka
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
This morning is free at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home.
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.
Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply. Please enquire for more information.
Offer is valid for new bookings made between 04 - 31 January 2022
Prices include airline fuel surcharge and taxes. Correct as of 12 August 2020, subject to change. Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost. Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request. Single Supplement from $1,700 (does not apply to Solo Exclusive Departures). Price listed is based on new bookings only.
Please note: cherry blossoms are weather dependent and it is not guaranteed that they will be in bloom at the time of your arrival.