This is the most comprehensive escorted tour of Japan that you will find on the Web. No other tour will take you from the extreme north of Japan to the southern most terminus of the Japan Rail network.
By private charter coaches, domestic flights and the wonderful JR trains we will take you to see more of Japan than any other Japan Tour Operator. All our Japan Small Group Tours take you off the usual tourist route, as well as showing you the 'must see' attractions.
A fully escorted Nature, Spa and Gourmet Tour, this once in a lifetime event features Japanese food and accommodation, gardens, natural wonders, crafts, art and culture. Stay in a selection of superior quality traditional Japanese ryokan, hotels and spa resorts, enjoying local cuisine and customs.
Special highlights you will visit include Cape Soya, Daisetsuzan National Park, Sounkyo Gorge, Lake Toya, Lake Towada, Kyoto, Matsushima, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Shirakawago village, Kanazawa, Ibusuki sand baths and Mt Fuji Hakone National Park.
*Click on any photo to enlarge
Departure : 10 October 2011
Land Only Price AUD$ 13,988 ( about US$ 11,000 ) per person twin share
Your ' Land Only ' arrangements commence in Tokyo and finish in Tokyo.
Flights from Tokyo to Wakkanai and Kagoshima to Tokyo are included in the Land Only Price.
Something for everyone
We have designed this tour for people who wish to discover parts of Japan that are rarely seen by foreign tourists, as well as the 'must see' sights of Tokyo and Kyoto. We will take you into a traditional old thatch roof farmhouse in the village of Shirakawago, walk upon Cape Soya the most northern point of Japan, and visit the Atomic Bomb Peace Park and Memorial at Hiroshima.
At Miyajima you will see the famous giant vermilion coloured Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine, that looks like it is floating on the sea at high tide. We take you in to the middle of Naruto Whirlpool, in a 30 metre boat. At Ibusuki you can experience a Sand Bath by being partly covered with steaming hot black sand, and you can walk around the top of Mt Usu volcano, that erupted in 2000.
Architecture both old and new will be featured with visits to Matsumoto Castle (ca1590) , Byodoin, Zuisenji Temple, Todaiji Temple plus other not so well known locations, Samurai Houses, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Seto Ohashi Bridge and even a New Home Display Village to see the most innovative domestic dwellings of the 21st century.
To enhance your cultural experience of Japan we have included visits to Kurashiki's picturesque old canal street, MIHO museum of Art, and a selection of famous landscape gardens. Walk around the 5th stage of Mt Fuji at 2,475 metres above sea level, and through forests and gardens that should be starting to show their glorious autumn foliage.
Autumn Foliage, Gardens & Nature
October is historically the best month in which to see the most Autumn Colours in Hokkaido, northern Japan and in the high mountains of central Japan. This season is characterised by fine cool weather moving in from Siberia, accompanied by the first waves of winter bird migration, including ducks, thrushes and buntings that add to the endemics. Mixed deciduous forests are festooned with red, yellow and golden colours of Japanese Maple, Mountain Ash, Larch, Gingko, Birch and Cherry.
On this tour we will also take you to famous landscape gardens, Ryoanji Stone Garden, Kinkakuji with it's Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kenrokuen and Ritsurin Stroll Garden.
Nature lovers and bird watchers on this tour will appreciate walking amongst the natural surroundings of Sounkyo Gorge in Daisetsuzan National Park and driving up 2,475 metres onto Mt Fiji for a wander around the high altitude plants just below the snow line.
October is the time of year when the summer heat has gone, typhoon season is finished and the cooler weather ushers in the red, gold and yellow leaves of Autumn.
*Click on any photo to enlarge
A Culinary Adventure
Twelve dinners and a full breakfast every day are included in this tour. Tempt your taste buds with a variety of authentic Japanese styles of food presentation including Izakaya, Sushi, Kaiseki and Traditional Banquet. When Japanese people speak about gourmet foods they often refer to seasonal dishes, and autumn is one of the best times to experience the most delicious Japanese food. Every dinner is going to bring new visual and taste sensations which set Japanese food aside from that of other countries. Here food presentation will enthuse even the most amateur photographer to capture their meal in a photo.
Buying lunches can open up a whole new world of opportunities for you, such as enjoying the famous ' Bento ' Japanese lunch box and to savour the flavours of local culinary delights.
Accommodation & Baths
Traditional Japanese style accommodation for five nights on this journey will give you the opportunity to feel the rejuvenating effects of a therapeutic spa bath and sleep in the oriental splendour of a room with sliding paper doors, a woven tatami floor and a futon bed (with mattress).
In Tokyo and Kyoto you will be staying in elegant 5 star western style hotels with all the luxuries you would expect of a first class international property.
On this tour will you experience several of Japan's world famous Hot Springs, including a Sand Bath, traditional public baths, pools with a view, open air ' rotenburo ' baths and one of the biggest indoor Onsens in Japan. For our guests who are not accustomed to being in an Onsen spa with anyone else, your rooms all have private facilities, including toilets with seats.
Click HERE to see photos
taken by Daniel Attema on our
2008 Grand Tour of Japan.
*Click on any photo to enlarge
First Class Hotels and Transportation
Your accommodation has been especially chosen for its high standard of service and comfort. All hotels are 4 or 5 star rated and your rooms have all the private facilities and luxuries you would expect of a superior hotel. A full breakfast is provided daily and 12 special dinners are included featuring a selection of Japanese cuisine.
You will stay at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, overlooking the gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the elegant Granvia Hotel in Hiroshima and the Okura Hotel in Kyoto, offering all the luxuries you would expect of a 5 star hotel.
You will also stay in three Spa Resorts, where you can enjoy relaxing in traditional Japanese Spa Pools whose rejuvinating mineral waters are reputed to cure everything from sore muscles to fatigue. For 5 nights you will be sleeping in traditional Japanese rooms with tatami floors, soft futon beds and sliding paper doors, for a true cultural experience. To visit Japan without staying in traditional Japanese style accommodation would be to deprive you of enjoying much of the country's charm and cultural assets. After dinner you can wander around the villages dressed in your Yukata (gown with big sleeves) and Geta (wooden shoes) provided by your inn.
Private charter coaches will take you beyond the reach of public transport. Touring will be in 42 seat luxury private charter coaches even though we will only be accepting 20 guests and you will also be able to experience the famous Shinkansen ' Bullet Train' that reaches speeds up to 250 kph.
Our coach takes you across the gigantic bridges that span the Japan Inland Sea to the island of Shikoku, ride a ropeway up the side of Mt Kurodake, cruise across volcanic Lake Towada and take a train ride through the under sea tunnel between Hokkaido and Honshu Islands.
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