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Overnight flight with Qantas to Tokyo.
On arrival in Tokyo, we will be met and transferred to hotel. The first visit on our tour will be to the historic Imperial Palace East Gardens, an oasis of calm in the middle of this giant city. The old site of the Edo castle now makes up the park and garden areas. Later we marvel at skyscraper views from the heights of iconic Tokyo Tower and visit Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa for a taste of traditional Japan. Senso-ji is one of the very popular temples in Tokyo while the Asakusa area that surrounds it provides a wonderful variety of snacks, restaurants and souvenir shopping. Welcome dinner.
Today is free at your leisure or you may choose to take an optional day excursion to Nikko.
After breakfast we travel by coach to Kawaguchiko. Lake Kawaguchi is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. We will enjoy a ride on the Kachikachi-yama Ropeway. At an altitude of 1,075m, the observatory gives a complete view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, making it the perfect location for sightseeing.
(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, and the morning market. Many of the old town streets date from the Edo Period and are perfect for people who love to browse.
Travel by coach to Kanazawa, stopping en route in the remote mountains of Honshu to visit the UNESCO listed Shirakawa-go Village and Gokayama. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, they are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Here we will see a fairy tale walk back in time with quaint original cottages, water wheels and paddy fields.
The Kibi Plain is a charming, rural flatland just outside central Okayama. We will enjoy a bicycle tour along the popular 17km long cycling route leads through the Kibi Plain, loosely follows the legend of Prince Kibitsuhiko and passes several important shrines, temples and burial mounds along the way.
Today we travel to Hiroshima by bullet train where we visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The park was established in 1949 after the Pacific War ended as a symbol of peace. After the visit we continue travel by bullet train to Kyoto, where we will stay for four nights.
Today we will experience a truly Japanese cultural event, a tea ceremony at Kodaiji Temple, one of the most well-known temples in Japan. Then we visit the peaceful Ryoan-ji Temple, home to the famous Zen rock garden. It is fortunately right next door to Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion), another treasure! This Buddhist temple’s main building is famous for its top two floors completely covered in gold leaf overlooking a pond.
Day at leisure. Enjoy our special farewell dinner tonight.
(Meals: B, D)
Transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport for flight to Tokyo and connect your overnight Qantas flight home.
Arrive Sydney in the morning.