Discover Winter in Japan

  • days: 16
  • from $10,995

Flights Included

Countries Visited:

  • Japan

Description

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Destinations visited icon

1 country

UNESCO icon

3 UNESCO World 
Heritage-listed sites

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Special departure: 27 Jan 2020 will experience the Sapporo Snow Festival on Day 13

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Experience the winter wonderland of Sapporo’s famous Snow Festival on this journey through culture-rich Japan. See the snow monkeys bathing in hot springs, partake in a traditional tea ceremony, learn about samurai culture and visit iconic Mt Fuji on this special winter tour.

METROPOLIS TO MOUNTAINS

The most populous city in the world, Tokyo simply buzzes with energy! We’ll spend time exploring the highlights of this amazing metropolis, its temples, gardens, and museums. Spend two special nights in an authentic Ryokan guest house in Hakone, and tour iconic Mount Fuji, where we’ll soak up the stunning views.

MONKEYS IN HOT SPRINGS

We take the train to Yudanaka Onsen and visit Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park, where we’ll see the famous snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs! Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Shirakawago, in Takayama, with its famous gassho-zukuri thatched roofs, designed to withstand massive snowfalls in winter.

JAPAN'S CULTURAL HEART

Venture to Japan’s cultural heart – Kyoto. We get hands-on and enjoy sake tasting, sweet making and the chance to wear a traditional Kimono! We'll also visit the stunning Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), the top two floors of which are completely covered in gold leaf.

SAPPORO'S FAMOUS SNOW FESTIVAL

Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is famous for its ramen, beer and its annual Snow Festival. Take a tour of the city and enjoy a traditional local lunch, then explore the winter dreamland that is the festival. See the amazing ice sculptures that line the city and enjoy all the delights on offer.

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, Japan’s dazzling, ultra-modern capital city. 

Day 3. Tokyo

An exciting day exploring one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. We begin the day at the Edo Tokyo Museum, then learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi (which we’ll get to enjoy once we’ve finished). This afternoon we’ll visit the Imperial Palace Plaza, Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Nakamise shopping arcade. [B,L,D]

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Special Experience: Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat from the Heian Era, known as a yakatabune.

Day 4. Tokyo - Hakone

We begin our morning with a stroll through the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. We’ll then travel to Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes.

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Special Experience: Visit a former farming village, Iyashi no Sato Nenba, recently reconstructed as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966.

For the next two nights we stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse. We’ll have the chance to bathe in natural onsen (hot springs) and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner. [B,D]

Day 5. Mt Fuji

This morning we'll cross Lake Ashi for great views of the majestic and iconic Mt Fuji - a highlight of any trip to Japan! Later we’ll ride the Hakone Ropeway to enjoy magnificent vistas of the Owakudani Valley, Lake Ashinoko and Mt Fuji. [B,D]

Day 6. Hakone - Nagano - Yudanaka

Travel by bullet train to Nagano via Tokyo today, and visit the famous Zenko-ji Temple, built during the 7th century. [B,D]

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Special Experience: See the famous snow monkeys bathing in Jigokudani Yaen Koen' hot springs in the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park.

Day 7. Yudanaka - Takayama - Kanazawa

We make our way to the historic town of Takayama, where we’ll wander the narrow streets of the old town. We’ll then visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago with its famous gasshō-zukuri thatched roofs, designed to withstand the massive snowfalls of winter. [B]

Day 8. Kanazawa

We explore one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens, Kenroku-en Garden. Once part of the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle, it features stunning ponds, streams, waterfalls, bridges and tea houses. After lunch we’ll visit Nagamachi Buke Yashiki, a samurai house complete with samurai residents, earthen walls, narrow lanes and canals. [B,L]

Day 9. Kanazawa - Kyoto

Travelling via bullet train, we make our way to historic Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. [B]

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Special Experience: Spot the famous Maiko (Geisha apprentices) in Kyoto's famous district of Gion. Enjoy the atmosphere in the early evening as the narrow lanes full of bars, restaurants and traditional tea houses are lit by lanterns.

Day 10. Kyoto

Spend the day discovering Kyoto’s cultural treasures. We’ll experience a typical tea ceremony at Kano-Shojuan along the philosopher’s walk, which also serves ‘wagashi’ (Japanese confectioneries). We’ll then explore the incredible orange torii gates that make up Kyoto’s famous Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake in the 8th century. The magical path consists of more than 5,000 gates that wind through the hills at the base of Inari mountain. Our last stop is the stunning Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). The temple’s top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf and the pavilion is set amongst beautiful gardens. [B]

Day 11. Kyoto

Today we discover the art behind Japan’s unique crafts and culinary delights! Enjoy a variety of local activities including sake brewing and tasting, Japanese sweet-making and a chance to dress in a kimono. [B]

Day 12. Kyoto - Sapporo

Enjoy the morning at leisure before we fly to Sapporo, on Japan’s Northernmost island of Hokkaido. Famous for ramen, beer and the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, it was also host to the 1972 Winter Olympic Games. [B]

Day 13. Sapporo

Our day begins with an orientation tour of the city. Highlights include the Clock Tower and the iconic Hokkaido Shrine, which enshrines three pioneering gods. [B,L]

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Special Experience: With a history dating back to 1950, the famous Sapporo Snow Festival turns the city into a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and powdery snow. Enjoy the delights on offer this afternoon including the amazing ice sculptures that line Station Avenue and exquisite works of art in Odori Park.

Day 14. Sapporo

Today is at leisure for you to enjoy more of the festivities. Why not visit Tsudome with its large snow slides and a snow rafting area, or Fureai Hiroba plaza where you can discover the sculptures up close and enjoy hot drinks in the Ice Bar? Later this evening we’ll enjoy a traditional Japanese farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 15. Depart Sapporo

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 16. Arrive Australia

 

Walking Man

Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Japan. Taxes included
  • 2 economy-class flights within Japan
  • 3 rail journeys in Japan
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour (if using group tour flights)
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected

Accommodation & Meals

  • 10 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan guesthouse including a typical Japanese onsen (hot springs) bath
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

Sightseeing

Modern and Traditional Japan

  • City tour of Tokyo including Edo Tokyo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise shopping arcade and the Imperial Palace.
  • Learn the art of Sushi Making and enjoy your creations for lunch.
  • Admire the bright lights of Tokyo from a yakatabune dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay.
  • Stroll through Hamarikyu Garden, a typical feudal lord garden from the Edo Period.
  • Visit a former farming village, reconstructed 40 years after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966.

Majestic Mountaintops and Traditional Japan

  • Travel to Mt Fuji and enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Ashi (for Jan 2020 departure).
  • Spend 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan.
  • Enjoy a gondola ride and the amazing 360 degree view of the volcanic Hakone mountains.
  • Visit Zenkoji Temple. Founded in the 7th century, it has played a significant part of Nagano's development.
  • A stop in Nagano is not complete without visiting the famous snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park.
  • Take in the sights of old historic Takayama on foot including the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese building, and visit the morning markets.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its old gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer" as the farmhouses steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer.

Japan's cultural heart

  • Stroll through Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's three best manicured gardens.
  • Step back in time and imagine life in the upper ranks of society during medieval and early-modern Japan as we stroll through Nagamachi samurai district where samurai and their families used to reside.
  • Spot Geiko and Maiko in Kyoto's famous Gion district.
  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and cultural heart. Our tour includes the Fushima Inari Shrine and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion).
  • Learn more about traditional Japan - participate in Kimono wearing, traditional Japanese sweets-making and sake brewing and tasting.

Highlights of Hokkaido

  • Visit the iconic Clock Tower, a renowned symbol of Sapporo built in 1878.
  • Stop at the Hokkaido Shrine, built in 1869 by the Meiji Emperor to enshrine three Shinto Deities.
  • Take part in the festivities of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
29/01/19 13/02/19   $10,955 On Request  
27/01/20 11/02/20   $10,995 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Clients ex Hobart add $160pp
Tips: Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $205pp
Single supplement: from $1,750
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares and all taxes. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation listed is subject to change and the list should be used as a guide only. Every effort is made to avoid changes however if a change becomes necessary then accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Grand Prince Hotel, New Takanawa, Tokyo

Located next to a 5 acre Japanese Garden, Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa offers spacious rooms featuring modern amenities. A short walk from Shinagawa Shinkansen Station, it is in an ideal location to explore the city.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; swimming pool

Hotel Okuyumoto, Hakone

The Hotel Okuyumoto boasts a rustic open-air bath set beside a mountain stream. Surrounded by the peaceful natural scenery of Hakone, enjoy the hot springs and the beauty of Japan’s natural environment. The hotel is a 9-storey structure with mostly Japanese-style rooms and is located approximately 10 minutes from Hakone Yumoto station.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge

Issa No Komich, Yudanaka Onsen

Located in the historic district, this hotel features hot springs, coffee shop and café, bar & lounge, snack bar & deli, gift shop and night club.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; tea & coffee making facilities

Hotel Nikko, Kanazawa

Located at Kanazawa Station, Hotel Nikko is the tallest hotel in Hokuriku. All rooms are located on or above the 17th floor so you can enjoy the view of the charming streets of castle town Kanazawa. There are a number of restaurants available including Japanese, European and Chinese, as well as a bar/lounge and cafe.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box

New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

As the largest hotel in Kyoto with 986 rooms, the New Miyako Hotel combines comfort with functionality. Located in front of the Shinkansen (Bullet Train), Japan Railways and Kintetsu-Kyoto Station, the New Miyako Hotel is in a prime location. The hotel’s many restaurants provide various dining options including Japanese, Chinese and European buffet-style dining.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge

Sapporo Tobu Hotel, Sapporo

Located in Odori, Sapporo Tobu Hotel is the ideal place to experience Sapporo and everything it has to offer, with main attractions such as Nijo Market, New Ramen Yokocho and Hokkai-ji Temple within close reach.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities; minibar

Weather

Weather

Tokyo

Summer: June to August

Autumn: September to November

Winter: December to February

Spring: March to May

Tokyo

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F

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A

M

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10

10

13

18

23

25

29

31

27

21

17

12

Ave Min C

1

2

4

10

15

19

22

24

20

14

9

4

Rainy Days

6

7

10

11

12

12

11

10

13

12

8

5

Sapporo

Summer: June to August

Autumn: September to November

Winter: December to February

Spring: March to May

Sapporo

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F

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-1

-1

4

11

17

21

25

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22

16

8

2

Ave Min C

-8

-8

-4

2

7

12

17

18

13

6

1

-5

Rainy Days

17

14

12

10

8

9

9

10

11

12

13

15

Currency

Currency

Japanese Yen

The official currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY; ¥).

  • 1 Japanese Yen = 100 sen
  • Notes are in denominations of ¥10,000, 5000, 2000 and 1000
  • Coins are in denominations of ¥500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1

Reviews for Discover Winter in Japan

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 2 reviews.

Here's what others have had to say about this tour.

Discover Winter in Japan Fantastic Holiday 5
Excellent Tour with a great guide. Views of Mt Fuji where great as we had a clear day. Authentic Japanese Inn was a great experience. The use of the Bullet train was a good mixture as part of our travel.We enjoyed the mix of cities ,cultural sites temples and shrines. John McGregor - October 2014
Discover Winter in Japan Well balanced tour 4
This trip gave Wayne and I an excellent idea of Japan, we were able to see how Japanese society works, enjoy the food and company of fellow travellers. It is a well paced tour with no one night stops. Japan is so clean, safe and reasonable value for money. Recommend it, especially as there is no tipping! Marilyn Hovey - September 2014

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Special Experiences!

  • Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat.
  • Visit a former farming village, Iyashi no Sato Nenba, reconstructed as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966.
  • See the famous snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs in Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park.
  • Spot the magical  Geisha-like Maiko in Kyoto’s famous district of Gion. Soak up the early evening atmosphere of narrow lanes, bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses lit by lanterns.
  • Experience the famous Sapporo Snow Festival - a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and powdery snow. View amazing ice sculptures that line Station Avenue and the exquisite works of art that fill Odori Park.

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, plane, gondola, local train & bullet train

Tips

Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected

Tour Highlights

• Discover the sights of historic Takayama on foot • Tour UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago, a gasshō-house farming community • Step back in time in Kanazawa’s Nagamachi samural district • Visit the beautiful temples and gardens of Kyoto • Explore the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s buzzing capital

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Bunnik Tours Reviews for Discover Winter in Japan

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 2 reviews.