Japan is an incredible country that expertly blends tradition and rich history with modernization. Discover the Land of the Rising Sun, its beautiful sights, its delicious food, its people, its culture and its heritage. Explore the future and relive ancient times from Nagasaki in the west to Tokyo in the East.
Today, board your international flight to Japan! On arrival you will be welcomed by your tour guide and transferred to your first night's hotel.
Please note: Some flights might depart the night prior.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel WBF Namba Inari or similar
Begin your tour of this beautiful country by heading to Dotombori – one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka where you will be able to see the iconic billboard, the Glico runner crossing the line. From here you will be heading to the Namba-Shinsaibashi area which encompasses the city’s premier shopping districts full of boutiques, designer outlets, restaurants and bars. After exploring this area you will visit the stunning Osaka Castle, which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the sixteenth century. The castle is elaborately fortified and beautifully decorated. In the afternoon, you will continue on to Kyoto and enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace.
Optional Meal - Tofu dinner - Kyoto is famed for its vegetarian cuisine, with the influence of the local monk culture. Tofu is one of the local specialities and can be prepared in a variety of ways - from being eaten with soy sauce and ginger to being fried or boiled with different flavours. It is also one of the most commonly used ingredients in Japanese cuisine.
Hotel: 4★ Mitsui Garden Kyoto Shijo or similar
Today you will begin what promises to be a very memorable visit to Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan for more than a century. It is a historic, cultural and religious centre of Japan with more than 1600 temples and shrines. Our first sight today will be the Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, constructed in the 17th Century under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The surface area stretches over 275,000 square metres. From here you will be taken to Kinkakuji – the Golden Pavillio, a Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold, set within a beautiful, classical Zen garden. The detailed architecture incorporates three distinct architectural styles – Shinden, Samurai, and Zen. Finally, you will visit Arashiyama to see the famous bamboo forest, a nationally designated historic site and a place of serene beauty. The rest of the afternoon will be yours to spend at leisure. You will have the option to visit other famous landmarks, experience a green tea ceremony or walk around wearing a Kimono.
Optional Activity 1 - The Green Tea ceremony - also called Chado, "the way of tea" is the traditional and ceremonial preparation and presentation of Matcha. You will be shown how to prepare the tea and be able to experience preparing it as well. Your guide will be able to provide you with directions to the venue.
Optional Activity 2 - Kimono fitting - Kimonos are a traditional Japanese garment that were first introduced in Japan in the Heian period. You will be able to rent a Kimono and walk around the traditional streets of Kyoto to take iconic photos. Your guide will be able to provide you with directions to the venue.
Hotel: 4★ Mitsui Garden Kyoto Shijo or similar
Kyoto Naruto Takamatsu
This morning continue your visit of Kyoto by heading to the Fushimi Inari Taisha, shrine of the god Inari - the god of rice. During the Heian Period (794-1185 AD) the shrine was under Imperial Patronnage, before being elevated to the highest rank of Shinto Shrine in 942 AD. It is still to this day one of the most important shrines in Japan and one of the most picturesque with around 10,000 Torii gates. You will then be visiting Heian Jingu, or Heian Shinto Shrine, a replica of an ancient imperial palace and a symbol of the rebirth of Kyoto after World War 2 – the enormous vermillion orange tori gate is unforgettable!
After your visit of Kyoto you will be heading to Naruto to board your Naruto whirlpool cruise. The fascinating tidal whirlpools are unlike anything you've ever seen before. They occur in the Naruto Strait, connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Sea – between the main land Honshu and Shikoku. After your cruise, the day will end with an opportunity to relax at the Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu, one of the most famous historical gardens in Japan – built around the 17th century. It features a tea house, various art exhibits, various bridges, footpaths and hills overlooking a masterfully kept garden.
Hotel: 4★ JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu or similar
Takamatsu Matsuyama Beppu
Head to Shikoku Mura, an open air architectural park housing more than twenty buildings dating back to the Edo Period. Have a leisurely stroll around and visit the museum to learn more about the rich history of Japan. Next will be a visit to Matsuyama castle, a flat-land mountain castle that astonishingly remains in its original state – not having been rebuilt like others.
On the way to Beppu – the final destination for today, you will be stopping at Dogo Onsen, believed to be the oldest hot spring in Japan with a history stretching back for more than 1,000 years. It has offered a place of relaxation for many famous Japanese writers and poets over the years, as well as for the Emperor. It is also famous for being the inspiration behind the movie Spirited Away. From here enjoy some leisure time at the hotel in Beppu, soaking in the waters of one of the famous hot springs in Japan.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel Aile Beppu or similar
The highlight of today will be a visit to the Hells of Beppu in Jigoku. These spectacular hot springs are a sight to behold. After your visit, you will continue on to Nagasaki, famous for its cultural and historical heritage, being the birth place of Christianity in Japan, as well as the first point of contact with foreign traders in the 17th century. Begin your visit of the city at the Nagasaki Atomic bomb museum to learn about the devastating effects of the atomic bomb dropped on the city on the 9th of August 1945. The day will finish with a tour of the Suwa shrine, the major Shinto shrine of the city, built in the hopes of preventing the conversion to Christianity that started in the 17th Century.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel Jal City Nagasaki or similar
Begin your culturally and historically rich day by paying homage to the victims of the atomic bomb at Nagasaki peace park. From here, head to Dejima, a fan-shaped artificial island built to first constrain and house Portuguese traders and then the Dutch during the 17th century. After that, you will be taken to the magnificent Glover Garden, built in 1863 and known for its famous picturesque garden and western style house, still quite uncommon to this day. Finally, you will visit the oldest church in Japan, built shortly after the end of the seclusion policy in 1853, also known as the Church of the 26 Japanese Martyrs. Throughout your visit in Nagasaki, you will be able to recognize the western influences within the city. Nagasaki was the first city to import Western art, music, religion and food among other things.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel Jal City Nagasaki or similar
Nagasaki Karatsu Fukuoka
This morning, enjoy a cruise around the fascinating Hashima Island or Gunkanjima, an island 15km from Nagasaki which was once used for coal mining and abandoned in 1974. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today and was featured in a James Bond movie. After heading to Karatsu, visit the intriguing Seven pots caves at Nanatsugama, formed from waves eroding a lava plateau made from Basalt, before passing through Yobuko, a once prosperous whaling base.
Hotel: 4★ Hotel New Otani Hakata or similar
Today, head to Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, which was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Start your historic visit at the Atomic Dome, originally the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall and one of the only buildings left standing after the first Atomic bomb was dropped on the 6th August 1945 near the hypocentre. Walk around the peace park that is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as it is the first city to ever suffer a nuclear attack, with an estimated death toll of up to 140,000 people.
Optional meal - Okonomiyaki. Tonight, you will be able to enjoy an Okonomiyaki dinner. Okonomiyaki is a famous Japanese pancake, famed in Hiroshima for it's layering of ingredients including batter, cabbage and pork to which you can add optional items such as squid, octopus or more vegetables.
Hotel: 4★ Hotel Oriental Hotel Hiroshima or similar
Hiroshima Miyajima Hiroshima Kurashiki Himeji Osaka
Start your day by boarding a ferry for the short trip to Miyajima. Miyajima is known for its lushious forests and ancient temples. Just offshore, the giant and magnificent orange Great Torii Gate is partially submerged at high tide. It marks the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine, which was first built in the 12th century. You will then be taken to Kurashiki, a city famed for its very traditional, centuries old buildings and for the Bikan Historical Quarter. The famous 'White Heron' Himeji Castle is next, the largest surviving example of a traditional Japanese castle. Comprising 83 buildings, the white roof of this UNESCO-registered complex is said to evoke the wings of a heron taking flight – hence the popular name ‘Shirasagi-jō’ – White Heron Castle.
Optional meal - Kobe beef dinner - Tonight, enjoy the delicacy of the world's famous Kobe beef. Kobe beef comes from the Tajima strain of the Japanese Black cattle, raised under strict rules in the Hyogo Prefecture. The meat is famous for its flavour, tenderness and marbling.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel WBF Namba Inari or similar
Today will begin with a visit to the stunning Kenrokuen Garden – one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens. Developed over more than 200 years, starting in 1620, the garden contains almost 9,000 trees and 200 plant species. You will also be visiting Nomura House, the historic residence of the Nomura Samurai clan. The house and grounds provide an insight into the lifestyle of the Samurai class during the 16-19th centuries. They feature beautiful architecture, gardens and décor including intricately painted screen doors. Your day will end at the Higashi Chaya District, a Geisha district. Geisha are Japanese women who study the traditional arts, dance, songs and games. The tradition still continues to this day, with women having to go through years of training to be able to entertain guests with various traditional arts.
Hotel: 3★ Hotel Resol Trinity Kanazawa or similar
Kanazawa Shirakawago Takayama Nagano
This morning you will be travelling to Shirakawago Village, a World Heritage site where 114 Gassho-style houses with steeply-pitched roofs in the shape of a triangle. Built many hundreds of years ago, these historic houses stand together in a beautiful natural setting. From here you will head to Takayama’s Old Town, a wonderfully well-preserved slice of old Japan, with houses and shops dating back to the Edo period (1600-1868). As well as the charming architecture, there are unique cafes and a number of old saké breweries.
Hotel: 3★ Nagano Tokyu Rei Hotel or similar
Nagano Matsumoto Mt Fuji Hakone
After breakfast you will be heading to Matsumoto where you will visit Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its dramatic black exterior. The Keep, completed around 1593, is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. From here you will continue to the Mt Fuji 5th station above the clouds, where you will view the sacred mountain’s enormous summit (if weather permits). Mt Fuji is the tallest mountain of Japan and an active volcano, peaking at 3,776 meters high. It is one of the most iconic sights of Japan. Late in the afternoon you will arrive in Hakone and stay in a traditional Japanese hot spring ryokan, where you will be able to enjoy the famous Kaiseki cuisine – a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, before soaking into the hot springs to relax.
Hotel: 3★ Hakone Pax Yoshino or similar
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Start your day with a visit to the Hakone open air museum to view various arts and sculptures on exhibit. Then, head to Lake Ashi for a scenic boat ride. The lake sits within Mount Hakone and is famed for its views of Mount Fuji. Boats inspired by western warships cruise the breathtaking lake and the picturesque forested surrounding it has been popular for hikers and sightseers for centuries. After this you will be boarding the innovative bullet train – the famous Shinkansen – running at speeds up to 320 km/h. It is also known for its punctuality down to the second, its comfort with only forward facing seats and its safety.
Hotel: 3★ Rose Garden Shinjuku or similar
Today enjoy a full-day coach tour of Tokyo, the capital city and world’s most populated megalopolis – the Tokyo metropolitan area spreads over 3 prefectures with 38 million habitants. You will begin with a visit of the outer fish market, the world’s biggest wholesale fish market and the largest wholesale food market in the world. Next you will visit Asakusa district and Senso-ji Temple. This is Tokyo’s oldest temple and is dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. On the approach to Senso-ji is Nakamise Shopping Street, a centuries-old promenade of shops selling traditional snacks and souvenirs like kimonos and bottles of saké. A visit to the Tokyo Skytree will follow. Opened in May 2012, the Skytree is a television and radio broadcast site and contains a restaurant and two viewing platforms. At 634m, this is the 2nd-tallest structure in the world! Finish your day at the Imperial palace, the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. Built on the site of the old Edo castle, it is surrounded by large park areas, moats and massive stone walls.
Hotel: 3★ Rose Garden Shinjuku
Today marks the end of your incredible tour through Japan. At the appropriate time, you will board the shuttle to transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to enjoy more of this beautiful country.
Arrive home this morning.
Unbelievable sightseeing included
Secure your package with a deposit of $2,000 per person. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.
How to extend your stay
Some customers like to enhance their holiday by arriving early and/or staying behind. If you wish to do so, please follow the following steps:
Follow the ‘book now’ prompts.
After selecting your departure date and completing your bedding configuration details, please select if you wish to 'arrive early' and/or 'stay behind' in the 'extra services' field.
In the 'special requests', field please specify your extension requirements.
Complete the remaining booking requirements and click ‘pay now’.
After finalising your purchase a member of our reservations team will be in contact with you to discuss your extension request.
A $150 per person supplement plus any fare difference applies if you wish to confirm your extension. You will be contacted after purchase for collection of this payment. All additional accommodation and sightseeing is at your own arrangement.
Cherry Blossom dates
The cherry blossoms (sakura) usually bloom in the last week of March and the first two weeks of April. Cherry blossom are extremely seasonal and we can't guaruntee they will bloom during your visit. However, for your best chance of viewing cherry blossoms select the following dates when making your purchase:
Full service airline used will be Cathay Pacific (Qantas, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines if unavailable).
Some flights will require a minimum of 1 transit (maximum 2).
All tickets will include 23kgs checked baggage
Once ticketed, flights are non-refundable. Any changes will be subject to airline rules and change fees.
Full names as per passport (including all middle names) are required.
Any airline schedule changes or cancellations are beyond our control.
Travel insurance (recommended)
Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
We strongly encourage all travellers to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against the unexpected.
We have partnered with QBE Insurance to offer our customers competitive rates for their Travel Insurance. You can book comprehensive or budget cover, earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points and save 25% on retail rates.
Simply click HERE to arrange your policy.
Documentation: final documentation including e-tickets and hotel details will be provided approximately 30 days prior to travel.
Single Supplement: Single supplement is $1,500 per person in addition to the twin share price.
Land only: A $800 per person reduction from the twin share price applies if you wish to arrange your own airfares. Should you wish to purchase land only, please select this option in the booking process, under 'Departure City'.
Luggage: You will be required to travel with your own luggage throughout this trip. The allowance is one per person, with a maximum weight of 23kg.
Triple share: Not available
Premium Economy Upgrade: Available from an additional $2,000 per person in addition to the standard price (subject to availability). Please specify this as a 'Special Request' when completing your booking and you will be quoted for the additional fare. In the event your selection is unavailable or that you are dissatisfied with the quote, you will be provided with a full refund.
Business Class Upgrade: Available from an additional $4,500 per person in addition to the standard price (subject to availability). Please specify this as a 'Special Request' when completing your booking and you will be quoted for the additional fare. In the event your selection is unavailable or that you are dissatisfied with the quote, you will be provided with a full refund.
Itinerary: The total length of the tour in days includes time spent in flight and is subject to change depending on the flight schedule, please refer to the day by day itinerary for the time spent on land.
Group Size: 10-40 people
Children: Children must be 2 years old or over and share a room with parents at all times. Children are the same price as adults.
Accommodation: The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences however any changes are beyond our control.
Optional Programs: You can purchase the following optional programs up until 6 weeks prior to departure to enrich your experience.