Opulent Journeys

Japan - Land of Beauty

07 May - 23 May 2017

From (AUD)

$7,925

15 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

Overview
To visit Japan is to step into another world, an enchanting one in which beauty is prized. Beauty comes in many forms, not only in the perfect gardens and exquisite flowers, but also in the country’s natural areas - the mountains and forests. There is beauty too in Japan’s cultural practices, architecture and many forms of art. 
We will see so much of it on this varied tour, from Mt Fuji and the Shibazakura Festival of Moss Phlox, the Moss garden in Saiho-Ji Temple, the Bamboo Forest, world famous gardens, and wonderful bonsai, to the modern sculpture parks, World Heritage village of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama in the mountains, the Golden Temple, and ancient castles. 
We will travel by air conditioned coach and by bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, experience a traditional tea ceremony and enjoy nights spent in modern Japanese style spa accommodation.

  

Dates & Prices

Tour Prices                                    

                               

Per person, twin share (Land Only )*                              $7,925
Per person, twin share (Land & Air)** $8,995
Single room supplement $1,990

*Land Only: Tour starts in Tokyo and finishes in Kyoto.

**Land & Air: Tour price includes international flights with Qantas Airways from Australia to Japan.

Tour Highlights
  • Visit world famous gardens including Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, Ryoan-Ji and the Moss Garden at the Saiho-ji Temple.
  • Marvel at views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting) from the very pink Shibazakura Festival in Kawaguchiko, which celebrates the moss phlox.
  • Travel in a gondola and enjoy 360 degree panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.
  • Visit the town that celebrates Japan’s devotion to bonsai, Omiya Bonsai Village.
  • Revel in the modern outdoor sculptures at Hakone Open Air Museum and on Naoshima Island.
  • Enjoy a change of pace in the unspoiled, Edo era mountain town of Takayama, en route visit Matsumoto Castle.
  • Take part in a tea ceremony at Kodaiji Temple, learn about the samurai at Nomura Family House, and visit the Higashi Chaya Geisha District.
  • Discover the traditional Japanese villages Shirakawa-go and Gokayama.
  • Ride on the famous bullet train that can travel at speeds of up to 500kph.
  
About your tour leader - Libby Cameron
Once trained as a pharmacist, Libby changed direction and studied horticulture in the early nineties for she sees gardening as preventative medicine. 
She has worked in all aspects of horticulture, in retail and design, as a garden tour leader, and writes about gardening for a number of publications. She wrote a basic gardening course and opened a school called Budding Gardeners, to help people learn to improve their soil and enjoy gardening with good plant choices and a knowledge of basic cultural techniques. Libby is passionate about Sydney's Botanic Gardens, and has been a 'Talking Friends' volunteer there for more than ten years.
As a tour leader, she has seen the world through its gardens, as well as following her love of the natural world. She is an energetic ‘peoples person’ and thoroughly enjoys taking her tourists to beautiful places. 
When she is not travelling, Libby enjoys a good laugh, loves pottering in her own garden, plays golf, and spends time with her husband, Ian, and large happy family.
 
  
What's Included
Inclusions:
  • 14 nights twin-share accommodation at 4-5 star hotels with breakfast daily
  • Arrival/departure group transfers 
  • 20 meals including 14 breakfasts (B) and 6 dinners (D)
  • Entrance fees as stated in the itinerary
  • Reserved seating on bullet trains Kanazawa-Okayama-Kyoto
  • Chartered coach as stated in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide throughout the entire trip
  • Luggage transfer Kanazawa-Okayama-Kyoto 

Not included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above

  

To enquire or book this tour, please contact

Phone: 1300 219 885            Email: enquiries@opulentjourneys.com.au

Please Click Here to download the tour details.

Itinerary

Overnight flight with Qantas to Tokyo.

On arrival in Tokyo, you will be met and transferred to your 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. Later we marvel at skyscraper views from the heights of iconic Tokyo Tower. We will spend two nights in Tokyo. Welcome dinner.

(Meals: D)

Today we enter the private world of the bonsai experts and visit Omiya Bonsai Village. Multiple bonsai nurseries and a superb bonsai art museum are situated along the district's peaceful paths. In the afternoon, we visit Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa for a taste of traditional Japan.

(Meals: B)

Journey by private coach to Hakone, the city famous for the view of nearby Mt. Fuji. We will visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum, home to over 120 permanent Japanese and Western sculptures, in a garden setting. Continue travel to Kawaguchiko, where we will stay for two nights in Japanese style.

(Meals: B, D)

Today we celebrate Shibazakura, moss phlox, whose name translates as ‘grass cherry’, at 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. Later we visit the excellent Itchiku Kubota Art Museum devoted to kimono artist Itchiku Kubota. Also take a ride on Kachikachi Ropeway to the hilltop for breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.

(Meals: B, D)

Travel to Matsumoto and visit the impressive fortress - Matsumoto Castle. From the top of the tower we enjoy spectacular views of the town and surrounding mountains. Continue by coach to Takayama, for a two night stay.

(Meals: B)

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. 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 and Gokayama, famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. We will stay in Kanazawa for two nights.

(Meals: B)

Off to Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en Garden, one of the “Three Great Gardens” of Japan. Nomura Family House 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.

(Meals: B)

Travel by bullet train to Okayama. We will wander through the Bikan area of Kurashiki, a time warp into ancient feudal times. Overnight in 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 and Cichu Art Museums is akin to a spiritual experience. Return to Okayama for overnight.

(Meals: B)

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 where we will stay for 4 nights.

(Meals: B)

After breakfast, we visit the beautiful garden of Saiho-ji Temple. It is especially famous for its moss garden. Then 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!

(Meals: B, D)

Today we head to the picturesque Arashiyama District for a relaxing walk through the peaceful Bamboo Forest. Later we will experience a truly Japanese cultural event, a tea ceremony at Kodaiji Temple, one of the most well-known temples in Japan.

(Meals: B)

Today is at your leisure. You may decide to enjoy the excellent shopping in Kyoto, or visit more of the city’s many sights. Enjoy our special farewell dinner tonight. 

(Meals: B, D)

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

(Meals: B)

Arrive Sydney in the morning.

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