YOUR HOLIDAY AT A GLANCE
Low deposit from only $299pp^
Experience a once a lifetime tour of Japan’s golden route from charming Osaka and classical Kyoto to eclectic Tokyo. Meander into sacred shrines and castles, ride the shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima and catch a ferry to Miyajima island. Don’t just see the top sights, experience authentic Japanese cuisine and culture with a geisha showpiece dinner and overnight accommodation in a traditional Japanese-style ryokan by the Mt Fuji region. Stylish hotels are handpicked for comfort and travel dates cherrypicked for the season.
- Marvel at the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple
- Taste famous street food at Dotonbori
- Step inside formidable Osaka & Himeji Castle
- Explore Itsukushima Shrine & its floating torii gate
- Survey the Atomic Bomb Dome at Hiroshima Peace Park
- Stroll along the entertainment district of Gion
- Discover the iconic Golden Pavilion in Kyoto
- Uncover the history of Toyota
- View Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
- Cross the world’s busiest intersection at Shibuya
- Explore, eat & shop with a full free day in Tokyo
BONUS Authentic experiences
- Pet free-roaming deer at Nara Park
- Race to Hiroshima on the shinkansen bullet train
- Indulge in authentic Japanese cuisine with geisha entertainment
- Stay overnight at a Japanese ryokan in the Mt Fuji region
- Return international flights
- 9 nights quality accommodation at distinguished hotel chains
- 9 breakfasts & 2 authentic Japanese dinners
- Shinkansen bullet train (second class) & courier luggage transfer
- Return ferry ticket to Miyajima
- All attraction, activity & admission fees
- All transfers & dedicated transportation by deluxe coach
- Dedicated local English-speaking tour guide
- BONUS earpiece set for enhanced commentary experience
Deal code: MC-90983
Image credit: © TCVB
Day 1: Arrive Osaka, Amagasaki
You will be greeted upon arrival at Kansai International Airport with directions for your independent transfer to JR Amagasaki Station, a short 5 minute walk to your hotel via the interconnected station concourse. Vibrant Osaka is Japan’s third largest city with a beautiful river cutting through its centre and unique neighbourhoods popular for their sophisticated architecture, nightlife and love for food.
Note: You may be required to depart one day before, subject to flights.
Accommodation: Hotel Vischio Amagasaki by Granvia (2 nights) – conveniently situated one minute away from Amagasaki JR Station in the up and coming and off the beaten track neighbourhood of Amagasaki. The hotel features a restaurant and is within walking distance to two shopping malls.
Day 2: Nara Deer Sanctuary (B)
Begin your adventure with a visit to massive Nara Park, known for incredible cultural heritage in a natural setting of unspoiled woods. You will be amazed by the sheer size of the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple, housed within the massive park. Then, prepare for a change in scenery as we reach the stupendously colourful Dotonbori, famous for extravagant signage glittering off its canal waterways and an overwhelming variety of restaurants. Next up is your chance to explore the five-story Osaka Castle, one of the world’s most visibly striking historical landmarks situated smack bang in the middle of Osaka city – a memorable way to cap off your day.
BONUS Authentic Experience: Get up close and personal with the free-roaming sika deer at Nara Park. You may even pet or feed the friendly deer. Sika deer have had a long history of cultural importance in Nara Park, beginning in the eighth century with a legend that a god rode into the park on the back of a white deer.
Day 3: Himeji Castle & Bullet Train Experience (B)
A proper half day is set aside to tour Himeji Castle, regarded as Japan’s most spectacular castle for its elegant white appearance atop a hill, and is considered the finest surviving example of early 17th century architecture. Near the castle, you will have time for a leisurely stroll at Kokoen Gardens, a traditional Japanese garden featuring themed ponds and lovely bridges, beautiful in any season. Late in the afternoon, experience a dramatic change in pace and glide effortlessly to Hiroshima on the shinkansen bullet train. High-speed trains in Japan are a popular mode of long distance travel thanks to the shinkansen’s reputation for extreme punctuality, supreme convenience and superior comfort to flying.
BONUS Authentic Experience: Many tours only offer a distant photo opportunity of Himeji Castle en route to Hiroshima. On this tour however, there will be no rush to venture into the realms of the castle interiors thanks to the rapid shinkansen bullet train waiting for you later this afternoon.
Note: You are required to pack a separate light bag containing overnight clothes, amenities and essentials for days 3 to 5 (2 nights). This morning, your main bag will be securely transferred by a dedicated courier service from Osaka to Kyoto. You will not have access to your main bag until arrival at your Kyoto hotel on the evening of day 5.
Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima (2 nights) – renowned as a premier Michelin hotel in Hiroshima, it is directly connected to JR Hiroshima Station.
Day 4: Ferry to Miyajima Island (B)
The only way to properly discover Miyajima is with a comprehensive full day tour. After a leisurely breakfast, board the Miyajima ferry across to the island famous for its giant torii gate. The star attraction is Itsukushima Shrine and its iconic torii gate, seemingly floating in the sea during high tide and is easily one of the most photographed wonders of Japan. You will enter the shrine which consists of a complex of buildings connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea. Enjoy free time to soak up the sights before returning to Hiroshima in the evening.
Note: The gate is undergoing indefinite repairs and views may be obstructed but the shrine remains open.
Day 5: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum & Atomic Bomb Dome (B)
A tour is not complete without a visit to Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park. The Atomic Bomb Dome is the only structure left standing at the site where the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. A tribute to the solidarity of the region, the structures have been preserved in the same state as the immediate aftermath of the bombing. Today, the dome is a powerful symbol of world peace and the quest for denuclearisation. You will be admitted to the Peace Memorial Museum, devoted to exhibiting the events of the calamity through the belongings of victims, photos and other materials. In the afternoon, transfer to the classical city of Kyoto.
Accommodation: Hotel Vischio Kyoto by Granvia (2 nights) – brand-new hotel awarded for its ultra-modern décor and convenient access.
Day 6: Kyoto Geisha District & Showpiece Kaiseki Dinner (B, D)
Prepare your camera for a day packed full of colourful photo opportunities. The first stop is Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for the seemingly unending path of bright orange torii gates that wind through the hills, making it one of the most recognisable icons of Japan. Then, enjoy a colourful Kimono Fashion Show at the Nishijin Textile Centre. Before long, you will be immersed in gold at the famous Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion. We will then take a stroll along the atmospheric streets of Gion, the famous entertainment and geisha district. Last but not least, indulge in a special Japanese multi-course kaiseki dinner with a classical maiko performance, a truly authentic and unforgettable experience.
BONUS Authentic Experience: 1. Kaiseki is much hyped a must-try culinary experience. To an outsider, kaiseki appears to simply be a traditional multi-course meal but in reality, is a meticulously prepared, exquisitely served and usually expensive banquet in a private setting. 2. Maiko are highly skilled entertainers who wear colourful kimono with long sleeves and a variety of extravagant hairpins on their own hair.
Day 7: Toyota Museum & Japanese Ryokan Stay (B, D)
Pay a visit today to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology for a fascinating insight into a company that transformed from humble beginnings as a textile manufacturer to the modern day industrial superpower that helped shape Japan’s history and culture. Later, transfer to the Mt Fuji region and enjoy an overnight stay in a traditional ryokan with Japanese set dinner included. More than just a place to sleep, a ryokan stay is a unique opportunity to experience traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality.
BONUS Authentic Experience: Ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese hotel that typically features tatami-matted rooms with soft futon mattresses or Western beds, communal baths or onsen hot springs, and other public areas where visitors may wear a casual version of the kimono known as yukata.
Accommodation: Lake Land Hotel Mizunosato or similar (1 night) – a ryokan situated on the shore of Lake Kawaguchi by Mt Fuji, featuring an open-air bath with panoramic views of the region.
Day 8: Mt Fuji Sightseeing (B)
Today we set out to catch views of Mt Fuji from the best vantage points of the region, including Oishi Park and Oshino Hakkai, a village where snowmelt from Mt Fuji runs through 8 ponds resulting in crystal clear fresh spring water revered by locals. Then, head two hours east where the eclectic city of Tokyo awaits. We will take you to the trendy Asakusa neighbourhood to check out Sensoji Temple – Tokyo’s oldest temple, followed by some free time to wander the traditional Nakamise Shopping Street for souvenirs and snacks. En route to our final stop at Shibuya, drive-by Jingu-Gaien for a glimpse at the new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2021 Olympic Games (traffic permitting). Conclude your day at the famous Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest intersection where pedestrians cross at all directions at once, giving it a notoriously chaotic yet Times Square-like feel.
Note: Visibility of the Mt Fuji is subject to fair weather on non-cloudy days.
Accommodation: Sunshine City Prince Hotel (2 nights) – situated on a large shopping complex in the bustling entertainment district of Ikebukuro. Prince Hotels is one of the largest and most reputable Japanese hotel chains.
Day 9: Tokyo Free Day (B)
The day is yours to explore Tokyo at your own pace. Japan’s bustling capital juxtaposes ultramodern neon-lit skyscrapers with the charm of traditional old-world buildings. The abundance of beautiful scenery, quirky activities, indulgent food and a vibrant nightlife means there’s something for everyone. Consider trying the boisterous izakaya, ramen or sushi bars tucked away in alleyways of Harajuku.
Day 10: Depart Tokyo (B)
You will be provided a transfer ticket to make your way independently to the airport, leaving behind Japan but taking home incredible memories.
YOUR TRAVEL DATES
- 21 March 2022**
** $400 per person surcharge applies for travel during cherry blossom season
Late March to mid April is historically the best time to view the pink cherry blossoms (sakura). Bloom timings cannot be guaranteed as they are highly seasonal and subject to changing climate conditions.
- 16 May 2022
- 5 September 2022
In the warmer and less crowded months, you may catch blue, purple and yellow blooms such as native hydrangea (ajisai) from June to July.
- 7 November 2022*
* $150 per person surcharge applies for travel during autumn colours season
In Autumn, maple fall leaves turn different shades of vivid red and yellow (koyo) and are equally as beautiful as cherry blossoms.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Change of mind refund
You may request a free of charge refund of your initial deposit within 7 days of booking, no questions asked.
Flexible date changes
Date changes are permitted up to 90 days prior to departure; subject to fees and fare differences if flights have been ticketed. Strictly subject to availability. Seasonal price differences may apply.
Peace of mind credit
If the tour is cancelled by the supplier or you are not permitted to travel due to government-imposed border restrictions, we endeavour to negotiate a full credit with all suppliers involved.
COVID Safe Plan
The tour coach will be sanitised regularly with a deep clean at the end of every shift. Hand sanitiser will be provided on the coach.
Hotels are hand-selected for enhanced COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocols. Buffet meals may be temporarily suspended for set or a la carte menus. Click on the links below to read brand policies.
Travel insurance, meals not stated, drinks on meals and anything not explicitly listed under inclusions are at your own expense.
A low deposit of $299 per person is required to secure your booking. The initial deposit is fully refundable within 7 days of purchase.
A second deposit of $1500 per person will be required 11 months prior to departure.
The balance will be due 5 months prior to departure.
Prices are subject to availability, change, book by deadlines, currency fluctuations and withdrawal without notice. All prices are in Australian dollars per person twin share unless otherwise specified.
Due to high demand and limited availability of these special rates, bookings are not confirmed until confirmation is sent; usually within 48 hours.
A single supplement from $1200 per person is payable in addition to the twin share price.
Triple share is not available.
Children under 5 years of age are not permitted. Children 5 years and above pay the adult price and must be accompanied by an adult.
Date changes are permitted up to 90 days prior to departure; subject to fees and fare differences if flights have been ticketed. Changes are strictly subject to availability. Seasonal price differences may apply. A $150 per person administration fee plus applicable third-party supplier and airline fees and fare differences apply for each amendment requested within 90 days of departure.
Cancellation requested more than 330 days prior to departure: Loss of first deposit only.
Cancellation requested 330 to 31 days prior to departure: Loss of first and second deposit.
Cancellation requested 30 to 15 days prior to departure: 75% of package price.
Cancellation requested less than 15 days prior to departure or no show: 100% of package price.
Peace of mind credit
If the tour is cancelled by the supplier or you are not permitted to travel due to government-imposed border restrictions, we endeavour to negotiate a full credit with all suppliers involved, including tour operators, transportation operators, airlines, accommodation providers, restaurants, attractions etc. If a full credit is not possible, we endeavour to negotiate the maximum possible credit value or a similar compromise. Applicable fees, if any, will consist only of unrecoverable third-party costs. We will not charge you our own fees under these circumstances. Credits will be subject to the respective supplier’s terms and conditions.
Passport, visa & vaccinations
Passports, visas and vaccinations are your responsibility to check and obtain. Each traveller’s full name as per a valid passport is required for issuing tickets. You are responsible for all fees due to incorrect passport information or failure to obtain the required travel documents.
A low to moderate level of fitness is required for full days of brisk walking with regular breaks on the coach during transit between sites. You may encounter occasional flights of stairs and will be expected to alight from coaches on your own accord. You are required to disclose physical ailments for advice on your suitability.
Each person is entitled to a strict maximum of one bag not exceeding 20kg on tour, superseding any other baggage allowance.
Due to bullet train luggage restrictions, your bag will be securely transferred by a dedicated courier service from Osaka to Kyoto on the morning of day 3. You will not have access to your bag until arrival at your Kyoto hotel on the evening of day 5. You will be required to pack a separate light bag for your 2 night Hiroshima excursion from days 3 to 5.
Porterage is not included and you will be expected to carry your own bags. Luggage and personal effects are your own risk and we hold no liability for lost or damaged belongings.
Hotels are handpicked for modern comfort and hygiene, using only the largest and most reputable local hotel chains and brands. Due to scarcity of land in Japan, the size of hotels and rooms tend to be smaller than Western standards, but a minimum room size of 20sqm will be guaranteed.
Non-smoking rooms with twin beds will be requested by default. Hotels in Japan generally have very limited rooms with a double bed and requests for double bed rooms cannot be guaranteed.
Every effort will be made to accommodate you in the hotels and properties listed. In the unforeseen event that the listed hotels are not available, properties of similar standard will be provided.
All hotel ratings are local or self-ratings. All rooms will be lead-in category or run of house unless otherwise specified.
Ryokan rooms typically feature tatami-matted floors and soft futon mattresses or Western-style twin beds. The bedding style will be assigned upon arrival, subject to availability. In the event that the listed ryokan is not available, a property of similar standard will be provided.
Cherry blossoms & autumn colours
Cherry blossoms and autumn colours cannot be guaranteed as they are highly seasonal from region to region and subject to changing climate conditions. Suggested dates are only an estimate of the best viewing periods based on historical bloom data.
Please notify your travel consultant and tour guide of any special dietary requirements but note that choices may be limited or not catered for.
Driver tipping, parking and toll fees are included. Tour guide tipping is not required but will be gratefully received.
Flights are booked approximately 8 to 10 months prior to departure. The flights included in your package are based on a specific predetermined airfare allowance. Should there be a significant increase in airfares, taxes or government fees at the time of booking flights, then an airfare supplement may be imposed. The flights team will discuss options with you prior to ticketing, should this situation arise. Flights may not operate daily or directly to your destination.
The operation of the tour is subject to a minimum of group size of 20 passengers and a maximum of approximately 34 passengers.
The operating schedule and itinerary may be impacted without notice by adverse weather, seasonal factors, closures, local conditions, COVID-19 or other factors beyond our control including force majeure. The itinerary and its order, sightseeing and transportation may be adjusted as deemed appropriate by the operator for optimum safety, enjoyment and operation.
It is a condition of booking that you must always remain with the tour according to the prescribed program. Departure from the group or deviation from the set itinerary are not permitted unless written prior consent is obtained.
Final documentation will be emailed within two weeks of departure of each respective travel component.
Travel insurance is not included and is strongly recommended. Ask our holiday experts for great coverage options.
Force majeure means any natural disaster, accident, fire, act of God, act of war, terrorism, legally binding judgment, injunction, action of a court or other relevant authority, emergency, unplanned repairs, maintenance, strike, industrial dispute, work ban, blockade or picketing, travel ban, pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of infectious disease, or other event beyond our reasonable direct or indirect control. In case of force majeure or other extraordinary event that prevents safe travel, the supplier reserves the right to adjust, postpone or cancel the trip.
The pricing, terms and conditions listed herewith shall prevail in the case of any ambiguity or contradiction with other terms.
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