Opulent Journeys

Celebrating Gardens and Roses

25 October - 06 November 2017

From (AUD)


13 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

There is a peaceful tranquillity about the gardens of Japan that affects visitors and is never forgotten. This tour celebrates these traditional gardens in their autumn tones and also looks at a flower beloved by the Japanese people  – the rose. As well as visiting classic Japanese gardens and experiencing their serene beauty and elegance, we visit public and private rose gardens which have received Awards of Garden Excellence from the World Federation of Rose Societies, where the beauty of the rose and the scale of the collections is breathtaking. To appreciate Japanese history, culture and traditions we visit Takayama and ancient shrines and temples in Tokyo and Kyoto. Garden and rose lovers will travel and live in comfort while being inspired by this amazing country.


Dates & Prices

Tour Prices                                    


Per person, twin share                               $7,365
Single room supplement $1,755

 *Tour price is Land Only, starts in Tokyo and finishes in Kyoto

About your tour leader - Sophie Thomson
Sophie Thomson lights up the screen as ABC television's Gardening Australia South Australian presenter, where her enthusiasm and expertise for gardening inspires people of all ages. She is a talented horticulturist, popular newspaper columnist, in-demand national public speaker, TEDx presenter, author of three books, broadcaster and horticulturalist. She is passionate about the benefits that gardening can have on our individual and community health and wellbeing. As well as this she is a strong advocate for sustainable gardening practices, growing organic food, cooking from the home garden and creating backyards where kids can play and develop a connection with nature.


What's Included
  • 12 nights twin-share accommodation with breakfast daily
  • 18 meals including 12 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) and 5 dinners (D)
  • Admission into gardens and properties included on the itinerary
  • Reserved seating on train Odawara-Nagoya-Takayama//Nagoya-Okayama-Kyoto
  • Chartered coach as stated in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide 
  • Overnight luggage transfer Hakone-Takayama-Okayama-Kyoto 
Not included:
  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above


On arrival in Tokyo, make your own way to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
After breakfast we visit the Kyosumi Garden. Then we 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 Asukusa area that surrounds it provides a wonderful variety of snacks, restaurants and souvenir shopping. In the afternoon, we will visit the historic Imperial Palace East Gardens, an oasis of calm in the middle of this giant city. Edo Castle was once the residence of the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. The old site of the castle now makes up the park and garden areas. Later we marvel at skyscraper views from the heights of iconic Tokyo Tower. Welcome dinner tonight.
(Meals: B, L)
Today we will take an excursion to Keisei Rose Garden and Sakura Rose Garden. Keisei Rose Garden has over 1600 rose varieties and 10,000 plants. This rose garden is owned by the Japanese agent for many international commercial rose breeders, including the infamous French rose breeder Meilland. Sakura Rose Garden is a municipal rose garden with an emphasis on heritage roses.
(Meals: B)
We escape Tokyo and journey by private coach to Hakone via Atami. Hopefully weather permitting we will get an excellent view of Mount Fuji. We will visit Akao Herb & Rose Garden in Atami. Continue travel to Hakone, where we will visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum, home to over 120 permanent Japanese and Western sculptures, in a garden setting.
(Meals: B, D)

Transfer to Odawara station for bullet train to Takayama via Nagoya. Arrive in Takayama, we will visit Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum. This building dating from the 1890s showcases the striking craftsmanship of traditional Takayama carpenters. Tonight enjoy a Hida beef dinner.

(Meals: B, D)

Work off your breakfast with a relaxing walking tour of the morning market. Take a walking tour around the downtown area. Many of the old town streets date from the Edo Period and are perfect for people who love to browse. Then we take an excursion to the remote mountains of Honshu to visit the UNESCO listed Shirakawa-go Village, famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. It is a fairytale walk back in time with quaint original cottages, water wheels and paddy fields. Return to Takayama for overnight.

(Meals: B)

Today we travel by coach to visit the Flower Festival Commemorative Park in Kani which has over 7000 varieties of roses and 30,000 plants. The garden has two main sections with their own themes. The first is the Rose Theme Garden which contains 14 themed gardens such as the Fragrant Rose Garden, the Royal Rose Garden and the Blue Rose Garden. The second is the World Rose Garden with roses gathered from all over the world and planted by country. Then we take coach to Nogoya station for our train to Okayama.

(Meals: B, D)

We will visit Adachi Museum of Art, established in 1970, based on the private collection of Zenko Adachi. Works collected include Japanese paintings by famous painters such as Taikan Yokoyama, Shiho Sakakibara and Shunso Hishida. The museum’s gardens are also famous. A true lover of gardens, Adachi collected each of the pines and stones for the garden himself from around the country, creating a beautiful garden filled with his own passion.

(Meals: B, L)

After breakfast, we visit the magnificent Okayama Castle, nicknamed “Crow Castle” because of its very black colour. Then we 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. Later we travel by bullet train to Kyoto.

(Meals: B)

Today we visit Gio-ji Temple. It presides over a magnificent grove of thick magical moss that just about begs you to lie down on it (you are strictly forbidden), straight out of a fairytale. Then we head to the picturesque Arashiyama District for a relaxing walk through the peaceful Bamboo Forest.

(Meals: B)

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 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)

This morning we visit the I M Pei-designed Miho Museum in Shiga Prefecture. The building is a work of art in itself, as it 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 founder of the museum, Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan, and her daughter Hiroko. Afternoon is at your leisure. Farewell dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, D)

Our tour ends after breakfast. Make your own way to the airport for your onward flight.

(Meals: B)

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