and head down to our overnight Accommodation in Melbourne. Time to rest up
before your flight tomorrow morning.
Your tour begins today in Japan, the "Land of
the Rising Sun." Begin in the electrifying city of Tokyo, where pop
culture is turned all the way up and traditions are rich and long-kept.
to get to know the place where your journey begins.
excitement start to build as you pass by the grounds of the Imperial Palace and
see the Niju Bridge, the well-known symbol of the Imperial Palace. Later, walk
through Ginza, one of the most elegant and luxurious streets in the world,
where modern landscape meets rich history. Enjoy shopping at some of the most
renowned "department stores" in Japan. Later, amid a lush forest
outside of Tokyo, visit the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his
wife, Empress Shoken. Tonight, join your fellow travellers at a welcome dinner.
day exploring Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest Geisha district. Visit the famous
Buddhist temple, Senso-ji, the colourful temple famous for the red chochin
(lantern) hanging at the entrance gate. Experience the long standing tradition
of the Japanese tea ceremony, dating back to the 15th century. During your free
time, explore the Nakamise Shopping Arcade and feel the energy of the oldest
shopping street in Japan. Then, head to Tokyo National Museum to learn about
the fascinating history and culture of Tokyo. The museum displays artwork and
antiques from Japan and the surrounding area.
the lakeside resort of Hakone, renowned for its hot springs. In the shadow of
Mt. Fuji (UNESCO), this scenic town hugs the shorelines of Lake Ashi. Make a
stop at Owakudani, located in an active volcanic zone. The Owakudani crater was
created some 3,000 years ago, when Mt. Hakone erupted. Climb aboard the Hakone
Ropeway, an aerial cable car descending from Owakudani for a breathtaking view*
of Mt. Fuji. Next, take to the deep-blue waters of Lake Ashi on a cruise where
you’ll see epic views of the local mountains before stopping in the charming
town of Moto-Hakone.
breathtaking day begins in Matsumoto at Matsumoto Castle, known as the "Crow
Castle” because of its striking black exterior. Enjoy the local cuisine as we
stop for lunch at a Soba noodle shop. Later, you’ll step back in time in the
rural Edo-period town of Takayama, nestled in the Japanese Alps. Well known to
the locals for its connection to sake, this is the perfect place to
gather for a visit to one of Japan’s 200-year-old sake breweries. Afterward,
experience a true Japanese epicurean treat – traditional rice wine paired with
a special Hida beef dinner.
ancient cultures of Takayama come alive this morning in the town’s historic
district. Take a walk through the past and glimpse the 19th-century Jinya
government building. Stroll through the morning market, a 600-year-old open air
market with locally grown and produced products, located along the Miyagawa
River. Circuit the winding streets, where the town’s traditional charms are
preserved in the inns and houses. This afternoon, relish some free time to
continue your exploration of Takayama on your own.
embrace the unique charms of Shirakawa-go (UNESCO). Hidden away in the
mountain, this harmonious village is famous for its gassho-zukuri-style
houses – thatched-rooftops designed to resemble two hands joined in prayer.
Journey to Kanazawa, the origin of gold-leaf making since the 16th century.
Visit the Samurai district where we will enter the former home of the Nomuras,
a wealthy samurai family who served the ruling Maeda family. Then, travel to
the Geisha quarters of Kanazawa, the Higashi Tea district.
25 acres of absolute beauty await you today at Kenroku-En – Garden of
Six Qualities. From the beauty of Japan’s most stunning gardens, dive into the
ancient craft of gold leaf making during a hands-on lesson in decorating your
own lacquer box! In the centre of town, take in the action of the Omicho fish
market before venturing out on your own to really immerse yourself in Kanazawa’s
awaits! The former Imperial capital of Japan is now one of the nation’s top
cosmopolitan cities. At the same time, Kyoto’s connection with its past is
strong; you won’t need to look far to see one of its 2,000 temples and shrines.
For lunch, participate in a sushi making class and master the art of sushi
making. This afternoon, visit Kinkakuji (UNESCO), the Golden Pavilion, a Zen
temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.
the Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima. Upon arrival, board a ferry for the
short trip to Miyajima Island, or "Shrine Island” (UNESCO). Afterwards, head
intoHiroshima city to visit the Peace Memorial Park, and pause to see the
ruined Atomic Dome (UNESCO). Reflect at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. As
this long and moving day comes to a close, return to Kyoto by the Shinkansen
morning, explore Fushimi Inari Taisha for a tour of the most revered shrine of
Inari. Follow the spectacular rows of orange torii (made famous in the movie Memoirs
of a Geisha) that weave through the forest, leading you to the inner
shrine. Move on to the home of the first Shogun, Nijo Castle (UNESCO), and see
intricate woodcarvings, wall paintings, and the Ninomaru Garden, designed by
Kobori Enshu, a landscape architect and tea master. Next, learn about the
ancient craft of stenciling during a hands on lesson.
spend some time relaxing or set out to explore Kyoto on your own. Fully immerse
yourself in Japanese culture tonight during a special kaiseki farewell
dinner and maiko show.
Your tour comes to a close
in this fascinating land. As you depart, reflect on its beauty and all you have
learned about its rich history and culture.
Time to return home after a Memorable and Amazing Tour of Japan.