10 DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF JAPAN
This tour offers a great way to take in the cultural heritage of Japan. You'll start with three nights based in Osaka, exploring that city as well as Nara and Kyoto – cities famous for their well-preserved ancient temples and monuments. Travelling east to Nagoya, you'll learn about the modern transformation of Japan into a manufacturing powerhouse, at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Back to nature and culture, the tour then visits scenic Hakone and sacred Mount Fuji, before two days in Tokyo for sightseeing, shopping, or your choice of a diverse range of optional activities.
Explore the bustling capital Tokyo and experience traditional Japanese culture and heritage
Explore the modern city Osaka, with its boisterous nightlife & hearty street food
Pray for good fortune at the beautiful Heian Jingu Shrine
Feed the gentle sika deer at Nara Park
Drink from clear springs at the foothills of Mount Fuji
Enjoy planned activities and free time in Tokyo
Day 1: Australia to Osaka
Take an international flight from Australia to Osaka via a connecting city.
Day 2: Osaka
Arrive in Osaka. Your friendly tour guide will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to the airport hotel.
Day 3: Nara
This morning, travel to Nara and visit Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple), with its Great Buddha Hall – the world’s largest wooden building. This impressive building houses the world’s largest (15m) bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. Wander through Nara Park, where over 1,200 wild sika deer roam free, before travelling to Osaka. Visit Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century, before being dropped off at Dōtonbori, which exemplifies Osaka’s vibrant food culture.
Day 4: Osaka
Spend today free at your own leisure. You may spend the day visiting one of the most spectacular Japanese aquariums, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; or taking a day trip to Hyogo to visit Himeji Castle, a unique enormous Japanese castle decorated in white. An optional day tour is available for some departure dates. Please check the attached optional program information.
Day 5: Kyoto and Nagoya
This morning, travel to Kyoto by bullet train to visit Heian Jingu Shinto Shrine. Next, visit Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct styles of Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Travel to Nagoya to visit Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Here you will learn about the history of Toyota as a textile machinery manufacturer and how it became a successful mass exporter and manufacturer of automotive technology, including robots.
Day 6: Hakone and Mt. Fuji
Today, visit Oshino Hakkai. Known as the springs of Mount Fuji, the eight ponds are fed by melting snow filtering down from the slopes of nearby Mount Fuji, through porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water that is revered by locals. Afterwards, visit Gotemba Peace Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, and Hakone Shrine. Standing at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi, the shrine buildings are hidden in dense forest.
Day 7: Mount Fuji and Tokyo
Visit Meiji Shrine in the morning, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Later, stroll through the Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples, and browse for souvenirs at Nakamise Shopping Street. Your last stop today is Tokyo Tower, to enjoy a panoramic view of enormous Tokyo city
Day 8: Tokyo
Spend today free at your leisure. You may spend a day in Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea (admission $120) or you can join a Nikko Day Tour ($250). Alternatively, there is a wide range of optional programs (tea ceremony, pottery-making experience, ‘golden joinery’, kimono photo shoot, cooking class). All activities are not guided and transportation is self- arranged.
Day 9: Tokyo
Today, transfer to the airport to board your flight via a connecting city to Australia.
Day 10: Australia
Arrive home this morning.
THE FINE PRINT
From June to August, it is the best time to view fresh spring greens and enjoy the warm climate.
The end of Oct through early Nov is the best time to see crimson leaves in Autumn.
Late March to early April is historically the best time to view cherry blossoms, but we can't guarantee that they will flower on these dates as they are highly seasonal and subject to climatic conditions.