Opulent Journeys

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

On arrival in Tokyo (on suggested flight), you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

After breakfast, we visit Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa for a taste of traditional Japan. Stroll along Nakamise Shopping Street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. We then enjoy a relaxing cruise on Sumida River to Hamarikyu and visit Hamarikyu Garden. After lunch, we visit the beautiful Rikugien Garden before moving on to the upmarket shopping district Ginza. Welcome dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, D)

This morning we will explore Nezu Museum, a private collection of Japanese and Asian art - from calligraphy to painting, ceramics and textiles. We will also visit Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.  This 1933 art deco mansion, fronted by both a Western-style rose garden and a Japanese stroll garden, was once the home of Prince Asaka Yasuhiko. After lunch we visit the historic Imperial Palace East Gardens, an oasis of calm in the middle of this giant city.

(Meals: B)

Depart our hotel by private coach to Kawaguchiko and visit Japan’s largest Shibazakura festival called “Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri”. Approximately 800,000 Shibazakura, covering 2.4 hectares of land, burst into life and carpet the ground in shades of pink and white. Continue travel to Takayama. En route, we stop at Matsumoto to visit the impressive Matsumoto Castle. Check into hotel upon arrival.

(Meals: B, D)

Work off your breakfast with a relaxing walking tour of Takayama Old Town, and the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum, including the cultural heart of the town, Takayama Jinya and the morning market. Many of the old town streets date from the Edo Period and are perfect for people who love to browse. Tonight enjoy a Hida beef dinner.

(Meals: B, D)

Travel by coach to Kanazawa, stopping en route in the remote mountains of Honshu to visit the UNESCO listed Shirakawa-go Village which is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

(Meals: B)

After breakfast, we set off to Kenroku-en Garden, one of the “Three Great Gardens” of Japan. Then we explore D. T. Suzuki Museum, dedicated to Daisetsu Suzuki, who played a key role in introducing Zen to the West. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Yoshio Taniguchi, best-known for the redesign of MoMA in New York, the museum is a reflection of Zen Buddhist philosophy and Suzuki’s work. We will also visit the dramatic 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. The dynamic permanent collection, much of which is integrated into the museum grounds, features works by James Turrell, Patrick Blanc, and Pipilotti Rist.

(Meals: B, D)

Today we visit Nomura Family House that shows us just how the Samurai would have lived in times past. We also visit Higashi Chaya district, a traditional place where geisha have been entertaining people since the Edo period. After lunch, we take bullet train to Okayama.

(Meals: B)

As a change of pace, we take a day excursion to the Benesse Art Site on Naoshima Island, home to a collection of some of the world’s most inspiring art, architecture and outdoor sculptures. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, our visit to the Lee Ufan Museum and Chichu Art Museum is akin to a spiritual experience. Lee Ufan Museum is the first museum devoted to the oeuvre of the Japanese-Korean artist Lee Ufan. The semi-underground structure houses paintings and sculptures by Lee spanning a period from the 1970s to the present day. The Chichu Art Museum building, designed by Tadao Ando is itself a work of art. Return to Okayama for overnight.

(Meals: B, D)

Explore the colourful and expansive Koraku-en Garden, another of the “Three Great Gardens” of Japan that celebrates the typical features of a Japanese landscape garden. Then we cross the Asahi River to view the magnificent Okayama Castle, nicknamed “Crow Castle” because of its very black colour. In the afternoon we travel by bullet train to Kyoto.

(Meals: B)

After breakfast, we visit one of the finest examples of Japanese landscape design at the Katsura Imperial Villa (Katsura Rikyu). Then we visit the garden of Saiho-ji Temple, acclaimed by many as Kyoto's most beautiful garden. It is especially famous for its moss garden. Later today we stroll at Gion District, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, filled with shops, restaurants and teahouses.

(Meals: B, D)

Today we visit the historic Unryuin Temple where you enjoy a cup of “Matcha” (powdered green tea) in the traditional tea room, and immerse yourself in the splendour and beauty of the Japanese garden located inside the temple walls. We will then visit Kodaiji Temple, one of the most well-known temples in Japan, and Nanzenji Temple where we will explore the Tenjuan Entrance with its two noteworthy gardens, a rock garden and a pond garden. We will also visit Sento Imperial Palace, the residence of the retired emperor in the 17th century. The garden, built around a pond, offers lovely scenery and diverse flora no matter the season. 

(Meals: B)

This morning we visit the I. M. Pei designed Miho Museum. The building itself is a work of art, and sits in perfect harmony with an incredible mountain landscape. It is best known for its Shigaraki pottery as well as an incredible collection of artworks belonging to the museum founder, Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan, and her daughter Hiroko. Afternoon is at your leisure. Enjoy our special farewell dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, D)

Transfer to airport for flight to Tokyo and connect your overnight flight home.

(Meals: B)

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