This itinerary has been thoughtfully designed thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive. This tour is recommended for those who wish to see the iconic sites and magnificent treasures of Japan. Some of the highlights include:
Mt Fuji - Ascend Japan's iconic and inspirational highest mountain.
Kyoto - Explore this authentic Japanese town known as the 'thousand year capital'.
Cross Tokyo's Famous Shibuya Crossing - Arguably the world's most famous pedestrian crossing, seen in many a film and television show, witness the organised chaos and bright lights of Tokyo's Shibuya Crossing for yourself.
Visit Kubota Itchiku's Art Museum - Admire the elaborately dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku at his eponymous art museum. Itchiku singlehandedly revived the traditional and beautiful technique of 'tsujigahana'.
Visit a Wasabi Farm - One of Japan's most famous condiments, wasabi, is an essential element in Japanese cuisine. Learn about its cultivation on a traditional farm and admire the landscapes.
Are you a Solo Traveller? This tour has dedicated solo departures, exclusively for customers who prefer to share their wonderful holiday experiences with a ready-made group of like-minded solo travellers. You’ll also enjoy these exclusive benefits on Dedicated Solo departures:
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.
Travel dates on sale:
Various departures between March to November 2023 & 2024. Contact our experienced travel team on 1300 414 198 for pricing on your preferred departure date.
Dedicated Solo Traveller Departures:
Solo Traveller from $13,890pp NOW from $13,590pp
Solo Traveller from $13,990pp
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 all subject to change.
Please note that the following itinerary may change without notice due to festivals, events or weather.
Day 1 & 2 - Australia - Osaka, Japan
Fly to the lively, fast-paced city of Osaka. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure, perhaps to sample this city's famous shopping and food.
Day 3 - Discover Nara
Spend the morning in Nara, the small, history-filled city that was Japan's first capital. Stroll through Nara Park to Todai-ji Temple and admire the traditional Isui-en Garden. Return to Osaka and visit the impressive Osaka Castle before cruising along the Yodogawa River.
Day 4 - Himeji Castle
Depart Osaka for Hiroshima, stopping en route to explore the magnificent 17th Century Himeji Castle and the neighbouring Koko-en, a traditional-style garden.
Day 5 - Explore Hiroshima
Hiroshima is a vibrant, forward-thinking city that is a pleasure to explore. Reflect on the city’s tragic past at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Next, hop on the ferry across to the holy island of Miyajima to visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy some free time.
Day 6 - Bullet Train to Kyoto
Catch a bullet train to Kyoto. Capital for a thousand years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most famous Zen garden and Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as 'Golden Pavilion'.
Day 7 - Japanese Tea Ceremony
Enjoy one of Kyoto’s most delightful spots, Kiyomizu, a 17th Century Buddhist temple, before experiencing the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to further explore this amazing city.
Day 8 - Travel to Kanazawa
Depart Kyoto and travel to Kanazawa. Meander through Kenroku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, before viewing the excellent art collection of the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
Day 9 - Washi Paper Making
Visit the Nomura Samurai House and Garden before departing Kanazawa. Stop in Gokayama for lunch and a hands-on washi paper making workshop. Continue to Shirakawago, where you will explore the 300-year-old Gassho-style Wada House, before reaching Takayama.
Day 10 - Explore Takayama
Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market, wander past some of the lovely traditional houses and visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and Takayama Jinya followed by a stroll down Kamisannomachi Street.
Day 11 - Travel to Nagano
Travel to Matsumoto and explore the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. Visit a miso house and learn about this famous Japanese seasoning. Also spend some time at a wasabi farm to learn about its cultivation before continuing to Nagano.
Day 12 - Snow Monkeys
Travel deeper into the Japanese Alps to see the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play in their hot spring pool at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Continue to Zenkoji, one of Japan's most prolific Buddhist temples.
Day 13 - Mt Fuji
Travel to the Fuji Five Lakes area. Ascend by road to the 5th station (weather permitting), roughly halfway up Mt Fuji, for fantastic views over the surrounding landscapes. Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku.
Day 14 - Explore Hakone
Begin the day with a cruise on the peaceful waters of Lake Ashi. You will also enjoy a visit to the Hakone Shrine before taking a ride on the Komagatake ropeway. Later, continue to Tokyo.
Day 15 - Discover Tokyo
A dazzling, high-tech metropolis, Japan's capital has wonderfully traditional roots. Start your explorations at the Imperial Palace East Garden, visit Meiji Shrine and walk the famous Shibuya Crossing.
Day 16 - More Tokyo
Stroll the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambience of Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple. Ascend to the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. The afternoon is free until the evening, when you will board a traditional yakata boat for a dinner cruise.
Days 17 - 18 - Fly Tokyo to Australia
Time to say farewell to new friends. Flying home to Australia, arriving home the same or the following day.
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 18 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.
Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply.
Additional Price Information:
Offer is valid between 1 March 2023 – 30 April 2023 on a selected range of departures. Eligible tours: Selected tours and departures to India, Japan, South East Asia, South Korea & Taiwan.
Tours are subject to availability. Applicable to new bookings only. The Tour operator reserves the right to release specials which are applicable to new bookings only. Bookings are non-transferable. Offer not combinable with any other offer other than loyalty discount. Indicated rates are based on lead in economy airfares, airfare supplements may apply.
Departures booked more than 11 months in advance may be subject to air supplements when airline fares are published. A non-refundable deposit of $300pp is due within three days of receiving confirmation that space has been held for you. An early flight payment may be required at time of booking to issue tickets depending on airline. Final Balance due day which is 75 days prior to departure (charges may apply if airline tickets already issued). In the event your tour departure is deferred due to unforeseen circumstances such as government travel restrictions, deposits will be placed as future travel credit with rebooking fees waived. In the event of tour cancellation due to government travel restrictions: any balance payments on file upon cancellation 75 days prior to travel will be refunded and the deposit will be held in credit.