Best of Japan
Experience cherry blossom 2024!
Travelling during one of the most popular times in Japan, the Best of Japan tour experiences this magnificent destination during cherry blossom season. Due to the popularity of cherry blossom, we recommend booking as early as possible to secure your place as availability is limited.
This itinerary is based on our most extensive tour of Japan including all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical sights and beautiful landscapes, the Best of Japan tour ensures you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating land.
Your Holiday Package Includes:
- Economy class flight to Tokyo, return from Osaka
- 15 night Best of Japan guided tour with Wendy Wu, Tokyo to Osaka
- 3+/4-star accommodation
- 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 15 dinners
- Touring with guides & entrance fees
- Authentic experiences & highlights
- Domestic transportation
- Airport transfers
- Airline taxes
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 20 March – 05 April 2024
Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities & flight upgrades available on request
Other departures available, surcharges apply
Days 1-2: Fly to Tokyo
Fly overnight to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3: Discover Tokyo
Begin today with a stroll through the Imperial Palace East Garden. Continue to the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, before heading to the trendy district of Shibuya where you will have the opportunity to walk on the world’s most famous pedestrian crossing. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore as you wish. End the day with a dinner cruise onboard a traditional yakata on Tokyo Bay and witness the city lit up at night.
Day 4: Further Explore Tokyo
Stroll through the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambiance of Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Next, walk along the famous Nakamise Street which is lined with souvenir shops on both sides. In the afternoon, ascend to the observation deck of the 634-metre Tokyo Skytree.
Day 5: Fuji Five Lakes
Journey by road through the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji to its base where we find the Fuji Five Lakes. The region is spectacularly dotted by the calm waters of five lakes, formed by past volcanic eruptions, reflecting Mount Fuji’s picture-perfect cone. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi for spectacular panoramas of this beautiful area before venturing up the Hakone Ropeway to the volcanic Owakudani Valley.
Day 6: Mount Fuji
Ascend by road over 2,000 metres up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station (weather permitting) and take in the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes area below. Also visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku. Continue by road to Nagano.
Day 7: Jigokudani Monkey Park
Travel deeper into the Japanese Alps, to the small town of Yudanaka. Here, enjoy a light hike through the forest to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where if you’re lucky, you may see the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play in their hot spring pool at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. After lunch, visit Zenkoji, one of Japan’s most prolific Buddhist temples.
Day 8: Explore Matsumoto
Begin the day with a visit to the Daio Wasabi Farm to learn about its cultivation, before continuing to the town of Matsumoto. Here, visit the Ishii Miso House to learn all about this essential Japanese seasoning, before exploring the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. Continue by road to Takayama and relax in the hotsprings at your hotel.
Day 9: Discover Takayama
Spend the day exploring the town of Takayama. Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa Open Air Market and wander past some of the lovely traditional houses. Also visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Yatai Kaikan – a museum which displays traditional Japanese floats used in many festivals and Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum. Your last stop today is and Takayama Jinya, a former Government office for 300 years.
Day 10: Scenic Shirakawago
Begin the day travelling by road to the rural village of Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site, renowned for its thatched roof houses. Here, explore a 300-year-old Gassho-style Wada House. Next, it’s off to Gokayama for a hands-on washi paper making experience before continuing by road to Kanazawa, stopping enroute at the Nomura Samurai House.
Day 11: Explore Kanazawa
Begin the day strolling through Kenrokuen, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’, which is dotted with waterfalls, ponds and charming tea houses. Next, continue by road to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, Kyoto is an enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan with over 2000 temples and shrines and exceptionally preserved wooden buildings.
Day 12: Japanese Tea Ceremony
Spend the day exploring some of the city’s highlights Enjoy one of Kyoto’s most delightful spots, beginning at Kiyomizu, a 8th-century Buddhist temple. Also experience the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony with a tea master. End the day with a visit to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its 10,000 vermilion torii gates.
Day 13: Kyoto's Temples
Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, also known as ‘Golden Pavilion’. Continue to Ryoanji, the ‘Peaceful Dragon Temple’, which boasts the most famous rock garden in Japan. End the day with a journey on the impressive bullet train to Hiroshima.
Day 14: Hiroshima Highlights
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, take the ferry to the holy island of Miyajima to visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy some time at leisure.
Day 15: Himeji Castle
Depart Hiroshima, stopping en route to explore the magnificent 17th-century Himeji Castle, also known as the ‘White Heron Castle’ due to white exterior and elegant appearance. Also take a stroll through Kokoen, a traditional-style garden. Continue by road to Osaka.
Day 16: Explore Nara & Osaka
Spend the morning in Nara, the small, history-filled city that was Japan’s first capital. Stroll through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple and admire the traditional Isuien Garden. Return to Osaka for lunch at the famous Dontonburi Street, followed by a visit to the impressive Osaka Castle.
Day 17-18: Depart Osaka
Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 14 December 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost. Flight Inclusive rates only: Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request Please note: cherry blossoms & autumn leaves are weather dependent and it is not guaranteed that they will be in bloom at the time of your arrival. Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities & flight upgrades available on request