Opulent Journeys

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

On arrival in Tokyo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Walking through historic Imperial Palace East Gardens, an oasis of calm in the middle of this giant city, sense Tokyo’s past. Then we experience the intimate, traditional Mori Garden amidst towering high-rises that are home to the Mori Art Museum. Koishikawa Korakuen Garden featuring a central pond and hills is perfect for a stroll. Visit Senso-ji Temple and the bustling Asakusa for a taste of traditional Japan. Welcome dinner tonight.
(Meals: B, L, D)
Designed by Kengo Kuma, the flawless Nezu Museum in the Minato district houses a private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art - from calligraphy to painting, ceramics and textiles. The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art is another small, well curated space with both permanent and changing exhibitions. Omotesando, leading to Meiji Shrine, is a broad Zelkova-lined commercial precinct sometimes referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees. Its architecturally designed buildings house elite fashion brands.
(Meals: B)

 

We drive to Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, near Lake Kawaguchi, dedicated to textile artist Itchiku Kubota. From the garden and tea room we’ll look towards the artist’s beloved Mount Fuji, and the surrounding landscape radiant in its autumnal mantle.
(Meals: B, L, D)
En route to Takayama we stop at Matsumoto Castle with a history dating over four hundred years. Japan’s castles were more like fortes than residences. Matsumoto, with black wainscoting, is one of Japan’s few remaining, beautiful castles. Enjoy a Hida beef dinner. 
(Meals: B, D)
Work off your breakfast with a walking tour through the Takayama Old Town, the Kusakabe Folk Craft Museum, and Takayama Jinya. Many of the old town streets, perfect for browsing, date from the Edo Period. Later visit the striking Takayama Museum of History & Art (1977). Home to late 19th Century glass and furniture collections in European Art Nouveau and Art Deco style, it has views over the Northern Alps and city.
(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, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. We’ll walk by quaint cottages, water wheels and paddy fields. 
(Meals: B, D)
After wandering through Omicho Market, we visit Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenroku-en Garden, another of Japan’s ‘Three Great Gardens’ of Japan. Then onto D. T. Suzuki Museum, dedicated to Daisetsu Suzuki, who played a key role in introducing Zen to the West. Designed by 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 circular 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art where some of the permanent collection includes works by James Turrell, Patrick Blanc, and Pipilotti Rist.
(Meals: B, D)
Today we visit Nomura Family House that reveals how the Samurai lived in the past. Then it’s onto Higashi Chaya district, a traditional place where geisha have been entertaining since the Edo period. After a visit to Kanazawa Folklore Museum, we take the bullet train to Hiroshima. 
(Meal: B, L)
During a visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park we contemplate the legacy of the first nuclear attack. Renown as a spiritual sanctity it’s a treat to visit Miyajima, (‘Shrine Island’) in the city of Hatsukaichi. Home to the centuries-old, Shinto Itsukushima Shrine, it’s best known for its ‘floating’ torii gate. We’ll travel by cable car 500 metres above sea level to Mt Misen, the highest peak on Miyajima, to view Seto Inland Sea, and maybe as far as Hiroshima City. Catch a late afternoon train to Kyoto.
(Meals: B)
We’re invited to contemplate the powerful simplicity of Ryoan-ji Temple’s rock garden, then, at the Golden Pavilion we’ll marvel at autumn reflections around the shimmering gold leaf Zen temple. Discover how tea is taken in a traditional tea ceremony, then stroll around the famous Gion District filled with shops, restaurants and teahouses, and where geiko and maiko entertain.
(Meals: B)
Today we explore the World Heritage Listed site Arashiyama where the Buddhist Tenryuji Temple is surrounded by beautiful gardens. We’ll leave through the cathedral-like Bamboo Forest, and perhaps chat to a monkey or two. Then we can relax for a short, picturesque ride on the Sagano Romantic train as it runs by Hozigawa River, winding through a forested ravine into rural Kameoka.
(Meal: B, L)
This morning we visit the I. M. Pei designed Miho Museum. The building, itself a work of art, sits in perfect harmony with an incredible mountain landscape. Miho is best known for its Shigaraki pottery as well as a collection of artworks from different eras and countries belonging to the museum founder Koyama Mihoko and her daughter Hiroko. Afternoon is at your leisure. Enjoy our special farewell dinner tonight.
(Meals: B, D)
Transfer to Kansai airport for your departure flight.
(Meals: B)

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