Japan Discovery 2020-21

  • days: 17
  • from $10,895

Flights Included

Countries Visited:

  • Japan

Description

Spring Cherry Blossom & Autumn Colours

Colours-of-Japan-200px

Experience the magic of Japan's Cherry Blossom (Mar / Apr departures) or witness stunning Autumn Colours as they sweep the country (Oct / Nov departures)

Hurry, book now! Seats are limited!

Explore the true highlights of Japan on this fascinating adventure. Discover Tokyo, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Be amazed at the beauty of Mt Fuji, experience an authentic ryokan guesthouse in Hakone and ride the bullet train to cultural Kyoto. 

Metropolis to Mountains 

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. We’ll explore the Imperial Palace East Garden, watch a sumo wrestling demonstration and enjoy a traditional Chanko Nabe lunch. Stroll through the shopping district of Ginza and experience the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, including the famous crossing. Then leave the city behind and travel to Hakone and Mt Fuji to experience a more traditional side of Japanese life. Here we stay in old-style ryokan accommodation and have the opportunity to bathe in natural hot springs and sample a delicious Japanese dinner.

Experience Traditional Japan 

Travel to Nagano and enjoy a soba noodle making class along the way! Experience historic Takayama and wander through heritage-listed Shirawakago. Catch the famous bullet train to moving Hiroshima. We discover Miyajima Island and visit the Peace Memorial and Atomic Bomb Dome. Board the bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart. We see the stunning Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and the famous Fushimi Inari shrine. We’ll get hands-on, enjoy sake tasting and learn how to wear a traditional Japanese Kimono. 

From Kyoto to Osaka 

We conclude in bustling Osaka, Japan’s capital of commerce. Visit Himeji Castle and learn the way of the Samurai, the warriors of pre-modern Japan, during an interactive lesson.  

Itinerary

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

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, Japan’s buzzing capital. This fascinating city combines the ultra-modern with the ultra-traditional. Here we'll find an unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and exquisite food. After we check in to the hotel, we'll have the rest of the day at leisure to unwind after our flight. 

Day 3. Tokyo

Today is an exciting and fascinating day, dedicated to exploring Tokyo. We begin with a visit to the scenic and spacious Imperial Palace East Garden, which provides a calm oasis amid the bustle of Tokyo. The garden is the former site of Edo Castle's innermost circle of defence. As none of the castle's main buildings remain today, the garden has been created in their place. 

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Special Experience: Watch a sumo wrestling demonstration before enjoying a traditional Chanko Nabe (sumo stew) lunch at a local restaurant. 

This afternoon we’ll stroll through the shopping district of Ginza on our way to dinner. We’ll also experience the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, including the famous Shibuya crossing - one of the busiest in the world! Approximately 3,000 people can make their way across the intersection at any one time. 

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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 period, known as a Yakatabune. [B,L,D]

Day 4. Tokyo

Enjoy another exciting day exploring one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Our first stop is Asakusa Sensoji Temple. This Buddhist temple is one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular. Nakamise shopping arcade is our next destination, one of the best places in Tokyo to purchase souvenirs. We’ll then learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi and enjoy the results for lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure. [B,L]

Day 5. Tokyo - Hakone

This morning we'll visit a former farming village, Iyashi no sato Nenba, recently reconstructed and reopened as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966. The village has been converted into restaurants, museums and galleries. We'll then arrive in the mountainous town of Hakone, where we'll enjoy a cable car ride on the Hakone Ropeway and see magnificent views of the iconic Mt Fuji (weather permitting). Tonight we will stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse, where we'll sleep on traditional Japanese-style bedding made up of a futon bed on top of tatami mats on the floor. We will also have the chance to bathe in a natural onsen (hot springs) and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner. [B,D]

Day 6. Hakone - Matsumoto - Nagano

Today we'll travel to Matsumoto, where we'll visit its beautiful castle, one of Japan's premier historic castles built in the 16th century. 

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Immerse yourself in Japanese culture during a soba noodle class on our way to Nagano. These delicious noodles are used in a variety of Japanese dishes. 

We'll then visit the historic Old Battlefield of Kawanakajima, where the famous provincial battle took place in 1561. [B]

Day 7. Nagano - Takayama

We travel to the historic town of Takayama. This city retains a traditional touch, especially in its beautiful old town. We'll explore the narrow streets on foot. Highlights include Takayama Jinya, a beautiful and traditional Japanese building and Sanmachi Street, lined with old-style merchant houses and restaurants. [B]

Day 8. Takayama

This morning we'll explore the Miyagawa open air market and see the range of fruits, vegetables and sweets at the numerous stalls. We'll then wander through the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Shirakawago with its famous gasshō-zukuri (‘like hands in prayer’) thatched roofs, designed to withstand the massive snowfalls of winter. This afternoon we discover the traditional art of Japanese rice paper-making. [B,L]

Day 9. Takayama - Hiroshima

Today we'll take the local train to Nagoya, and then enjoy a bullet-train ride to Hiroshima, located within the Chugoku region. The city was destroyed during World War II, but has since been rebuilt. [B]

Day 10. Hiroshima

We begin today with a cruise to tranquil and sacred Miyajima Island where we'll see the giant Itsukushima Torii Gate. This afternoon we’ll visit some of Hiroshima's important sites. Our first stop is Peace Memorial Park, which was built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb. We'll then visit the very moving Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome, the city's only remaining bomb-damaged building. [B]

A note on Torii Gate renovations: From June 2019, Miyajima's famous floating Torii Gate is undergoing renovations, which are expected to take at least one year. During the renovation works, the Torii Gate will be covered under partially transparent scaffolding. A bridge is being built on the left side of the gate to aid the renovation works.

Day 11. Hiroshima - Kyoto

Travelling by bullet train, we make our way to historic Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. We 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. 

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Sample the famous Japanese beverage, sake, and learn about the brewing process.  [B]

Day 12. Kyoto

We'll discover more about fascinating Kyoto on a half day sightseeing tour. Learn how to wear a Japanese Kimono and discover the history of this traditional garment. Later this morning, we'll experience a Japanese tea ceremony before enjoying a stroll along the Philosopher's Walk. This path was taken by the influential 20th-century philosopher & Kyoto University Professor, Nishida Kitaro, during his meditation. [B]

Day 13. Kyoto

Today is at leisure for you to relax or explore more of Kyoto. [B]

Day 14. Kyoto - Arashiyama - Osaka

This morning we visit the stunning Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion). The temple's top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf and the pavilion is set amongst beautiful gardens. We'll then enjoy a typical Buddhist lunch before touring the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tenryu-ji Temple, ranked first of Kyoto's five great Zen temples. Later we'll walk through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and visit the Togetsukyo Bridge before travelling to Osaka. [B,L]

Day 15. Osaka

This morning we visit Himeji Castle, Japan’s largest and most-visited castle. It is regarded as the finest surviving example of Japanese castle architecture. 

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Learn the way of the Samurai, the warriors of pre-modern Japan, during an interactive lesson. Samurai were elite soldiers and adept with the bow and sword. 

 Tonight we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 16. Depart Osaka

Today we begin our journey home. 

Day 17. Arrive Australia 

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Japan. Taxes included
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour (based on arrival into Narita airport and departure from Kansai airport only)
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • 2 bullet train journeys in Japan
  • Limited express train from Takayama to Nagoya

Accommodation & Meals

  • 13 nights in 3-4 star hotels
  • 1 night in a traditional Ryokan guesthouse, Hakone
  • 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based national guide

Modern and traditional Tokyo

  • Enjoy a sumo wrestling demonstration and a traditional Chanko-Nabe lunch.
  • Visit Imperial Palace East Garden, a calm oasis in buzzing Tokyo.
  • Walk through the famous Ginza district and across Shibuya Intersection.
  • Admire the city lights of Tokyo Bay while cruising in a traditional Japanese houseboat.
  • Sushi making experience and lunch.
  • City sightseing of Tokyo including Asakusa Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Arcade.

Majestic mountains and historic towns

  • Visit Iyashi no sato Nenba, a former farming village, reopened as a museum.
  • Spend a night in a traditional ryokan guesthouse.
  • See the iconic Mt Fuji while riding the Hakone Ropeway (weather permitting).
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle built in the 16th century and one of Japan's premier historic castles.
  • Enjoy a soba noodle making class on the way to Nagano.
  • Wander through the historical old battlefield of Kawanakajima, where a famous provincial battle took place in 1561.
  • Take in the sights of historic Takayama by foot.
  • Wander through Shirakawago, with its famous gasshō-zukuri thatched roofs.
  • Learn about the Japanese tradition of washi paper-making in Gokayama.

Sobering and scenic Hiroshima

  • See Hiroshima's sites including the giant Itsukushima Torii Gate.
  • Tour the Hiroshima Peace Park, built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb. Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the city's only remaining bomb-damaged building, and the very moving Peace Memorial Museum.

Japan's cultural heart

  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and very much the cultural heart of the country. Our tour includes the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion), Tenryuiji Temple and the Fushima Inari Shrine.
  • Explore Kyoto and sample the famous sake beverage.
  • Learn how to wear a traditional Japanese Kimono.
  • Delve into the custom of a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto.
  • Stroll the Philosopher's Walk, the same path influential 20th-Century Philosopher & Kyoto University Professor Nishida Kitaro took during meditation.
  • Enjoy a Buddhist lunch at Shigetsu (Tenryuiji Temple).
  • Stroll through the Bamboo forest and see the Togetsukyo Bridge.
  • Learn the way of the Samurai in Osaka, Japan's pre-modern warriors.
  • Visit Himeji Castle, regarded as one of the finest examples of prototypical Japanese castle architecture.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Autumn & Spring Cherry Blossom departures

Colours-of-Japan-200px

Experience the magic of Japan's Cherry Blossom (Mar / Apr departures) or witness stunning Autumn Colours as they sweep the country (Oct / Nov departures)

Hurry, book now! Seats are limited!

 
 

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
19/04/20 05/05/20   $10,995 Guaranteed Departure book now
10/05/20 26/05/20   $10,895 Available book now
24/05/20 09/06/20   $10,895 Available book now
04/10/20 20/10/20   $10,895 Available book now
11/10/20 27/10/20   $11,295 Available book now
18/10/20 03/11/20   $11,295 Available book now
25/10/20 10/11/20   $11,295 Available book now
08/11/20 24/11/20   $11,295 Available book now
22/03/21 07/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
23/03/21 08/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
25/03/21 10/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
26/03/21 11/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
28/03/21 13/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
29/03/21 14/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
30/03/21 15/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
01/04/21 17/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
02/04/21 18/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
04/04/21 20/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
05/04/21 21/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
06/04/21 22/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
08/04/21 24/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
09/04/21 25/04/21   $11,295 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Please contact our office for applicable pricing
Tips: Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $245pp
Single supplement: from $1,750
  • 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, all taxes and tips. 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
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 without the use of any walking aid, on any given day
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 should be used as a guide only. Every effort is made to avoid changes, however should it be necessary then accommodation of a similar standard will be confirmed.

Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo

The Shinagawa Prince Hotel is located at the southern gateway to the Tokyo metropolis with breathtaking views of the city and Tokyo Bay. Besides its convenient location, this impressive multi-functional hotel complex offers a wide array of dining and entertainment options. The hotel is home to a 10 screen multiplex theatre, a cabaret, bowling centre, indoor swimming pool, indoor tennis courts, indoor golf centre, and a great selection of restaurants!

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

Hotel Metropolitan, Nagano

Hotel Metropolitan Nagano features elegantly decorated rooms and a wide range of dining options. All rooms feature carpeted floors, a seating area, and comes with a flat-screen TV, a desk and a wardrobe. 

Facilities: free wifi; safe deposit box; bar/restaurant

Hida Hotel Plaza, Takayama

Just a 5 minute walk from Takayama Station, Hida Hotel Plaza boasts a rooftop spa with mountain views, a heated swimming pool and 7 dining options including Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine. Hida Plaza’s rooms are elegantly furnished in either Western or traditional Japanese decor. The spa offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, massage, a hot tub and a mist sauna. The hotel is also only a 15 minute walk from the historical Old Private Houses, and a 20-minute walk from Higashiyama Temple.

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

Sheraton, Hiroshima

The Sheraton Hiroshima is conveniently located in the city next to JR Hiroshima Station with direct access to the bullet train and bus terminals. The property features two restaurants, a bar/lounge and a health club with spa, indoor poool and steam room.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachinjo, 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

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka

Centrally located and in close proximity to many restaurants and sightseeing attractions, the Sheraton Miyako offers 8 restaurants & lounges as well as fitness centre, indoor heated pool, massage, barber shop, florist, beauty salon, currency exchange and gift store.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge; safe deposit box; indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

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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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

Kyoto

Summer: June to August

Autumn: September to November

Winter: December to February

Spring: March to May

Kyoto

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28

22

17

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1

3

9

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18

23

24

20

13

7

2

Rainy Days

8

7

11

10

12

13

12

8

13

8

7

6

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 Japan Discovery 2020-21

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 4 reviews.

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

Japan Discovery 2020-21 Great experience of Japanese culture and history 5
Yumie was a fantastic guide. Great understanding of Japanese culture and history. Really embraced the needs of the group and had a great sense of humour. Everything about the tour was well organised and professional. We also liked the free time allocated. Rhonda Bamford - April 2018
Japan Discovery 2020-21 Excellent tour 5
Overall tour was excellent. Enjoyed the small group, good guide and the opportunity to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture - both ancient and modern. Graham Warner - April 2018
Japan Discovery 2020-21 Simply wonderful 5
We recently did a 17-day Japan Discovery tour. It was wonderful and great value for money because of what we saw and experienced. It was particularly special because we were there during the Cherry Blossom season. Our tour guide, Hiroko, was very passionate about her country and her job. She was also very knowledgeable and informative about the subject matter and bent over backwards to help all the group enjoy their stay in Japan. We highly recommend this tour for those who want to “discover” Japan. Rod Foran - April 2018
Japan Discovery 2020-21 A wonderful cultural and historic experience 5
This small group tour is one not to miss.Every detail, accommodation, travel comfort, organised program, history and culture of Japan. However the best planed itinerary is only as good as presented and organised. The outstanding part of our Japan experience was Naoko our guide, planner, organizer, who attended to every detail required by the 19 of us on a personal daily basis. Her knowledge and personal presentation was exceptional. Thank you again Naoko as I know this was the feeling of all who shared this wonderful Journey with us. Well done Bunnik Robert Hollins - April 2018

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Special Experiences!

  • Watch a sumo wrestling demonstration before enjoying a traditional Chanko Nabe (sumo stew) lunch at a local restaurant. 
  • Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat from the Heian period, known as a Yakatabune.
  • Immerse yourself in Japanese culture during a soba noodle making class on our way to Nagano. These delicious noodles are used in a variety of Japanese dishes. 
  • Sample the famous Japanese beverage, sake, and learn about the brewing process. 
  • Learn the way of the Samurai, the warriors of pre-modern Japan, during an interactive lesson. Samurai were elite soldiers and adept with the bow and sword. 

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 9 | Max: 20

Transportation

Cable car, local train, bullet train, coach & Japanese-style houseboat

Tips

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

Tour Highlights

• Watch a sumo wrestling demonstration • Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay • Ride on the Hakone Ropeway and see magnificent views of Mt Fuji • Enjoy a soba noodle making class • Sample sake, the famous Japanese beverage • Learn the way of the Samurai, the warriors of pre-modern Japan

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Bunnik Tours Reviews for Japan Discovery 2020-21

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 4 reviews.