Japan is a beautiful country specially at the time of year we are travelling when the Cherry Blossoms will be in full bloom. Come an join us on this exciting adventure of rich culture, great food and breath taking scenery.
*Tokyo *Asakusa and Yanaka Ginza * Tea Ceremony * Hakone * Lake Ashi Cruise * Scenic Cable Car * Matsumoto Castle * Takayama * Hidsa Beef Dinner and Sake Tasting * Shirakawa-go * Kanazawa * Kyoto * Bullet Train *Hiroshima *Geisha Show
Day 1 Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
Day 2,3,4 Tokyo Prince Hotel, Tokyo
Day 5 Odakyu Hotel de Yama, Hakone
Day 6,7 Takayama Green Hotel, Takayama
Day 8,9 ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa, Kanazawa
Day 10,11,12,13 Westin Miyako Kyoto, Kyoto
Today we have an easy start to the day as we make our way down to Melbourne for our overnight stay at the Best Western Airport Motel.
Today we transfer to the airport where you will make your way to Japan.
Welcome to 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. Tonight, experience a traditional kaiseki style meal alongside your fellow travellers at a festive welcome dinner.
Tokyo Feel the excitement start to build when you explore Asakusa, Tokyo oldest Geisha district. Then, turn to the tranquility of the famous Buddhist temple, Senso ji. During your free time, explore the Nakamise Shopping Arcade. Luckily, you do not need a time machine to get to Tokyos old town, Yanaka Ginza, where quaint shops and vendors pushing local cuisine transport you to a different time altogether. Afterward, get away from the bustle of metropolitan Tokyo to experience a quiet and peaceful tea ceremony.
Begin with a morning stroll through the outside grounds of the Imperial Palace, the Kokyo Gaien National Gardens, and see the Niju Bridge and Sakurada Gate, the well known symbol of the Imperial Palace. Next, experience Tokyo citys magnificence from above as you head over to the top of Tokyo Tower. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of incredible Mt. Fuji. Walk through Tsukiji, the worlds largest, busiest fish market and a preamble to a true taste of Japan, a sushi lunch inside the market itself. Later, amid a lush forest outside of Tokyo, you will find some well deserved peace and harmony at Meiji Shrine
Journey to the lakeside resort of Hakone, renowned for its hot springs and spas. 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 Hakone Ropeway, an aerial cable car descending from Owakudani for a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. From there, take to the deep-blue waters of Lake Ashi on a cruise where you will see epic views of the local mountains before stopping in the charming town of Moto-Hakone.
This breathtaking day begins in Matsumoto. Start 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 will 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 Japans last family owned sake breweries. Afterward, experience a true Japanese epicurean treat traditional rice wine paired with a special Hida beef dinner.
The ancient cultures of Takayama come alive this morning in the towns historic district. Take a walk through the past and glimpse the 19th-century Jinya government building. Circuit the winding streets, where the towns traditional charms are preserved in the inns and houses. Feel the energy of bustling open-air markets that date back over 600 years. This afternoon, relish some free time to continue your exploration of Takayama on your own.
Today, embrace the unique charms of Shirakawa-go (UNESCO). Hidden away in the mountain, this harmonious village is famous for its gassho zukuri style housesthatched-rooftops designed to resemble two hands joined in prayer. Journey to Kanazawa, the origin of goldleaf making since the 16th century. Next, its over to 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. Gather in town this evening for dinner.
More than 25 acres of absolute beauty awaits you today at Kenroku En Garden of Six Qualities. From the beauty of Japans most stunning gardens, dive in to the ancient craft of gold leaf making during a hands-on lesson in decorating your own bento 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 Kanazawas dynamic culture.
Kyoto awaits! The former Imperial capital of Japan is now one of the nations top cosmopolitan cities. At the same time, Kyotos connection with its past is strong; you wont need to look far to see one of its 2,000 temples and shrines. Visit Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, a zen temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Then, stroll through the Gion district where you may spot women in traditional dress along the narrow lanes of teahouses. Tonight, dine in the heart of the city at a traditional yakitori (grilled chicken) restaurant.
All aboard the Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima. Upon arrival, board a ferry for the short trip to Miyajima Island, or Shrine Island (UNESCO), where the iconic torii gate and the Itsukushima Shrine appears to float on water. After lunch, head into Hiroshima 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 moving day comes to a close, return to Kyoto by the Shinkansen bullet train.
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, visit Marumasu Nishumuraya for a lesson in the art of stenciling at a traditional Kyoto townhouse
Today, 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 Geisha 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. Today we will be flying home out of Oaska.
Once Landed from Osaka into Sydney transit through onto your domestic flight back to Melbourne where Cardwells will meet you and transfer your back to your local town.