Tour Japan Itinerary

Classic Japan Tour

Tour to Japan – 14 days, 13 nights – TBC November 2021

Classic Japan Tour

As one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, Japan has a unique combination of stunning scenery, ancient temples and shrines along with stunning modern architecture.  With a diverse culture and ancient time-honoured traditions, you can immerse yourself in the rich history and culture one day and marvel at the incredible technological developments the next.

From the neon lights of the big cities, the ancient castles and temples to volcanic hot springs and snow-capped mountains Japan has it all.  It’s the only place in the world where you can see gold-leaf covered pagodas, 400-year-old traditional castles, Shinto shrines dating back to the eighth century and one of the most majestic mountain volcanoes in the world.  Our Classic Japan tour is designed to give you a feel for ancient Japan of old and the modern high-tech Japan of today. The tour will take you through ancient villages, temples and castles, explore different eras and traditions as well as taking in some of the most modern high-tech cities in Japan.

 

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Included in the Classic Japan Tour

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All Flights & Taxes

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All Accommodation

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13 Light Lunches

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13 Breakfasts

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All transportation within Japan

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All Tour Guides & Entrance Fees

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24/7 Help and support whilst in Japan

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Day 1 – Osaka

All Day: Depart Australia for Osaka
Evening: Arrive Osaka at 8:00pm 

Fly direct to Osaka from Australia and travel to the hotel. Once you have settled in, feel free to explore the many local area and your guide will be on hand to give ideas on local eateries.

Day 2 – Kyoto

Morning: Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Afternoon: Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Shinsaibashi
Evening: Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori

Today starts with a trip to the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, a working Edo period movie set where you can dress up in period costumes and wander the Edo village, anime museum, ninja house, movie museum and watch a live performance at the theatre.  After lunch, we’ll go to the Shinsaibashi area for an entertaining look at Dotonbori, a famous tourist destination best known for its neon lights, extravagant signage and with over 100 restaurants and a variety of shops spanning a 1.4km area it is a real must-see tourist attraction.

Day 3 – Kyoto

Morning:  Kyoto Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
Afternoon:
Kiyomizudera (Historic temple)
Evening: Gion Geisha Experience

Today we travel to Kyoto, where we’ll see the gorgeous autumn colours and visit the gold-leaf covered Kinkaku-ji (Golden) Zen Temple set in 600-year-old gardens and the Kiyomizudera (the water temple) built on the side of a hill without a single nail or bolt being used. Next, we take a leisurely stroll down the little shopping street of Higashiyama where you can buy souvenirs and sample different local delights. Later tonight, we’ll visit Gion, Kyoto’s famous Geisha district to experience a traditional Geisha performance.

Day 4 – Nara

Morning: Umeda (exciting shopping area)
Afternoon:
Todaiji Temple, Mochi-making, Pagoda area
Evening: Dinner in Nara with Japanese host

Today we visit Nara, a relaxed ancient town which is home to many of Japans oldest temples. Here we meet up with our local guide to visit the largest wooden temple in the world – the Todaiji Temple that enshrines a 5-storey high Buddha. With museums, historic temples and deer roaming freely this is a really delightful old town and looks particularly beautiful with the reds and yellows of the autumn trees.  Next, we’ll make our way to Kasuga-taisha Shinto Shrine before heading back into Nara to see the Motchi pounding demonstration and have a wonder through the many shops and restaurants in souvenir alley. Finally, we round up the day with an Izakaya  dinner with our Japanese host.

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Day 5 – Kyoto

All day:  Arashiyama
Evening: Gion

Today, we will visit the lush green and historic site of Arashiyama in all of its autumn glory. Here you can wander along the pathways of beautiful autumn foliage to the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.  Later, take a leisurely stroll around the town’s numerous old-style shops and temples and wonder along the tree lined Hozugawa river to see the traditional Kudari boats. Tonight, we venture out for an evening stroll around Kyoto and see where old meets new with traditional gas lit streets meeting the modern neon lights of the city. 

Day 6 – Hiroshima

Morning: Bullet Train to Hiroshima
Afternoon:
Atomic Bomb Museum, Shukkeien Garden, Peace Park, Sadako’s Memorial.
Evening: At your leisure

Today we take our reserved seats on the bullet train and head 380km to Hiroshima.  After dropping the bags at the hotel we’ll visit the magnificent Shukkeien Gardens for a picnic and take a stroll around the picturesque gardens complete with ornamental ponds, gorgeous bridges, pagodas and tea houses.  From here we’ll visit the Peace Museum and amble through the beautifully manicured grounds of Peace Park to the UNESCO world heritage listed Atomic Bomb Dome building – the only structure left standing after the atomic bomb blast on 6th August 1945. To finish off the day we will take a walk past the ground-zero plaque and stop for dinner in the local undercover shopping mall on the way back to the hotel.

Day 7 –  Hiroshima

All day: Miyajima island
Evening: At your leisure

Today we take a trip to the small island of Miyajima which looks spectacular filled with gorgeous reds and golds of the autumn leaves.  Here, you’ll see the famous giant floating Torii Gate which frames the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine.  We’ll take a stroll around the shrine, walk the Virgin forest of Mt Misen where the deer roam freely and stop to look around the Miyajima History and Folk Museum.  We’ll head back to the hotel around 5.00pm where you can relax and unwind at your leisure.

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Day 8 – Hiroshima

All day: Iwakuni
Evening: At your leisure

Today we head further south to the delightful and colourful spot of Iwakuni and the amazing Kintai-kyo Bridge, a distinguished landmark of Iwakuni. The bridge has five arches, spanning the Nishiki River, affixed to massive stone pillars. We will relax and picnic under the red and gold canopy of the autumn trees in Kikko Park before we take the ropeway up to Iwakuni Castle to see the amazing collection of samurai swords, armour and artefacts.

Day 9 – Hiroshima

All day: Himeji Castle
Evening: At your leisure

Today we take the high-speed bullet train travelling 250km in less than an hour to visit the world heritage listed Himeji Castle (one of only twelve castles in Japan that has never been destroyed by war, fire or earthquake).  This stunning white castle complete with a moat is over 400 years old and looks amazing set against the red and gold autumn colours of the pristine castle grounds.  The castle is made up of over 80 buildings connected by passageways and gates.  Once inside the castle walls we’ll wander through the passageways and up the steep steps to the roof of the 6-storey fortress to view the elaborate rooftop ornaments, believed to protect the building from fire.  After this full day out, we head back to the hotel to enjoy some free time for rest and relaxation.

Day 10 – Hiroshima/Tokyo

Morning: Bullet Train to Tokyo
Afternoon: Sumo Museum, Tokyo Edo Museum
Evening: Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing

Today we hop on the bullet train to travel the 894km to Tokyo, Japan’s most vibrant city. Arriving early afternoon, we’ll check into the hotel and head out to the Sumo and Tokyo Edo Museums. After the museums, we head out to the Harajuku area where teenage fashion is extreme, wild and wonderful and cosplay culture dominates.  Next, we move on to the bright neon bedecked area of Shibuya, home to the world famous ‘Shibuya Crossing’. Here we will soak up the atmosphere of the world’s busiest crossing, where hundreds of people cross the road at every change of the lights, all rushing to and from the bustling nightlife area with its many shops, clubs, bars and restaurants.

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Day 11 – Tokyo

All day: Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchico, Fuji caves, Saiko Iyashi no Satoneba Historic Village
Evening: At your leisure

Today we take a day trip to the majestic and beautiful Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. We will start with a ride to the mountain’s 5th station to take in the breath-taking views over the five lakes and surrounding countryside before moving onto the famous Ice Cave.  Filled with ice year-round this glistening cavern is packed with natural ice pillars and crystals and is a real must-see attraction. Later we travel around to the Saiko Iyashi no Satoneba Village, an ancient old village with amazing views of Mount Fuji.  With stone huts and thatched roofs and plenty of local art exhibits, you’ll get a authentic feel for rural Japan and you can even rent some period clothing and pose for a picture in front of Mount Fuji.

Day 12 – Tokyo

Morning: Imperial Palace surrounds, Ginza shopping area
Afternoon: Ginza shopping area, Akihabara
Evening: Akihabara 

Today we will visit the outer grounds of the Imperial Palace home to Japan’s Imperial Family.  The outer grounds are beautifully manicured and filled with the gorgeous autumn colours.  Next, we move onto Ginza, with the world’s top fashion brands, boutiques, department stores, art galleries and amazing restaurants, Ginza is Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district.  Later we move to  Akihabara or “electric Town” famous for its high-tech electronics shops and the centre of Japans Otaku and anime culture.  There are plenty of shops and restaurants specialising in anime, manga, retro video games, collectable figurines and game cards along with ‘Maid Cafes’ where staff are dressed up as French maids to entice you inside.

Day 13 – Tokyo

Morning: Sumida River Cruise
Afternoon: Tokyo Sky Tree
Evening: Asakusa

Today, we head to Asakusa for a beautiful, leisurely cruise on the Sumida River to see the autumn colours from a different perspective. We then move across the river for the incredible views across Tokyo from the world’s tallest tower – the Tokyo Sky Tree.  From the observation deck and restaurant at 450 metres (1480 feet) above sea level you can marvel at the panoramic views across Tokyo and on a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji. Later we pass through the Kaminarimon (Thunder) gate into Nakamise, the Asakusa Shopping Street.  A bustling street filled with typical Japanese fare, where you can pick up a souvenir or taste some of the local Japanese snacks on route to visit Tokyo’s Sensoji Temple, built in 645AD. This is one of Tokyo’s most popular temples and the area around the temple is a great place for dinner and last-minute shopping.

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Day 14 – Tokyo

Morning: Free Time
Afternoon: Depart 1600 airport
Evening: Fly direct to Australia 

Today the morning can be spent at your leisure.  Check out time is 11:00am but the hotel will take care of our bags until we depart at 4.00pm for Narita airport.  After we have checked in as a group, feel free to make the most of the facilities at the airport and we will all meet up again at the departure gate 40 minutes before our scheduled take-off time.