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Package Overview

Uncover Japan’s rich history, art and culture on our 16-day tour. Explore old and new world Tokyo. Visit one of Japan’s best landscaped gardens in Kanazawa. Understand the devastation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and the tranquillity of Miyajima. Spend seven nights in Kyoto exploring temples, shrines and museums and glimpse the geisha’s floating world. Complemented by day trips to Nara and Arashiyama, this tour offers a comprehensive insight into the beauty and mystique of this wonderful land. Get to know The contrast of a contemporary metropolis against the backdrop of Edo period Tokyo Serenity in some of Japan’s finest landscaped gardens and shrines A bygone era at the well-preserved wooden teahouses of Kanazawa’s entertainment district The floating world of the geisha in Kyoto’s Gion district • An abundance of art, history and culture dating back to the 6th century A unique cuisine using the freshest produce that perfectly reflects the seasons HIGHLIGHTS The hustle, bustle and bright lights of Tokyo, its galleries, museums and shrines Kanazawa’s famed Kenrokuen Garden, one of the best landscaped gardens in Japan Speeding through the countryside on the shinkansen or bullet train The moving display of human resilience at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Day trips to Nara, and the bamboo grove and garden at Arashiyama Seven nights discovering Zen temples, stone and moss gardens and an incredible array of art and culture in KyotoReturn international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

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Day wise Itinerary

  • Day 1 : Arrive Tokyo

    The tour commences in the Tokyo hotel this evening. Your tour leader, Kathleen Olive will meet you in the lobby before a light dinner in the hotel. Overnight Tokyo

    • Meals & Drinks : Dinner
  • Day 2 : Tokyo

    Our touring commences with a visit to the National Museum in Ueno park which contains a large collection of Japanese artwork, cultural items and historical artefacts from ancient times to the 19th century. We continue to the Edo period garden of Koishikawa Korakuen built in the Tokyo residence of the ruling Tokugawa family. As with most traditional Japanese gardens, Korakuen seeks to reproduce famous landscapes in miniature using ponds, stones, trees and man-made hills to replicate Japanese scenery. After a welcome lunch in a Japanese restaurant, we visit the colourful and popular Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s oldest neighbourhoods. Ovenight Tokyo

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 3 : Harajuku

    This morning we head to the vibrant and fashionable suburb of Harajuku where our first stop is the Nezu Museum to see its large collection of calligraphy, painting, bamboo, sculpture, ceramics and textiles. We also visit the Ota Memorial Museum of Art to view its fantastic collection of Ukiyo-e woodblock print and painting masterpieces by renowned artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro. A stroll through trendy Takeshita street uncovers the many fashion boutiques and costume shops frequented by Japan’s teen subculture, while walking back along Omotesando is more akin to the Champs-Élysées. After lunch, we visit the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto haven of peace and tranquillity in the bustling city and dedicated to the reformist Emperor Meiji who led the end of feudalisation and the modernisation and westernisation of Japan. Overnight Tokyo

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 4 : Roppongi

    Today we head to Roppongi to visit the Mori Art Museum which presents innovative exhibitions of modern art. The museums 52nd floor location atop the Mori Tower also affords us wonderful views of Tokyo and beyond with the possibility of seeing Mt Fuji If the weather is clear. We may head to the Ginza district this afternoon to wander through the boutique shops and glamorous department stores. This evening we have dinner in a pub style Izakaya restaurant. Overnight Tokyo

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 : To Kanazawa

    From Tokyo station, we take Japan’s newest bullet train west to Kanazawa, packing only hand luggage for the next two nights. Your large suitcase will be transported by road to meet you in Hiroshima. During the Edo period, it was the second largest feudal seat after Tokyo’s Tokugawa clan. The city, like Kyoto, was left untouched by air raids during World War II and the old sections remain largely intact. This afternoon we explore the Higashi Chaya tea house and entertainment district. A Chaya is a teahouse where guests are entertained by geisha who perform song and dance on traditional instruments. We also visit the samurai district with its narrow lanes, remaining wood houses and water canals. We stop at the Nomura house, a restored samurai residence displaying artefacts from the samurai era. Enjoy a multi-course traditional kaiseki dinner this evening, prepared with fresh local ingredients aligned to the season and a good opportunity to try some local sake. Overnight Kanazawa

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6 : Kenrokuen

    This morning we visit Kenrokuen, considered one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens and designed using the six essential attributes that make a perfect garden; spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views. Located next to Kanazawa Castle, the garden would have served as the outer garden for the castle and the flowering trees are chosen to provide differing aspects according to the season. We visit the castle which was the seat of the powerful Maeda clan. The castle has burnt down several times with only two storehouses and the gate surviving the most recent fire of 1881. A project to reconstruct sections of the castle is ongoing. Overnight Kanazawa

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast
  • Day 7 : To Hiroshima

    Today we board a limited express thunderbird train to Osaka before changing to the bullet train to Hiroshima. On arrival, we check in before touring Japan’s most haunting and significant memorial, the Atomic Bomb Dome. The former industrial promotion hall was closest to the hypocentre of the nuclear bomb and along with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum serves as a stark reminder of the horrors of war. This evening for dinner we try the local speciality, Okonomiyaki, a type of pancake filled with vegetables and seafood or pork. Overnight Hiroshima

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 8 : Miyajima

    We travel the short distance by train and ferry to Miyajima, famous for the large torii gate that appears to float on the water at high tide. The gate symbolises the entrance to Itkushima Shrine, a site sacred to both Shintoism and Buddhism. The shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a large complex of hall and pathways built on stilts so that commoners could visit without defiling the island with their footprints. We also ascend Mt Misen, travelling above the autumn foliage by cable car. There is free time to enjoy a lunch of the local oysters, a speciality of the island, before we return to Hiroshima this afternoon. Overnight Hiroshima

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast
  • Day 9 : To Kyoto

    We board the bullet train to Kyoto, travelling only with our hand luggage as the large suitcases will once again be transported by road. On arrival, we visit the Kiyomizu Temple complex built entirely without using nails. The temple was first constructed in 798 but the present-day building is a re-construction from 1633. The main hall has a large veranda that juts out over the hillside and commands an excellent view of the city. From here it is a gentle walk down the hill through the shops and teahouses of the Higashiyama district. This evening we have dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 : Golden Temple

    This morning we head to the spectacular Kinkakuji, Golden Pavilion. It is difficult to believe the temple was razed to the ground in 1950 by a crazed young monk whose story was told in celebrated novelist Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. A short distance from Kinkakuji we stop for some quiet contemplation at Ryoanji temple, the finest example of a Zen rock garden in Kyoto. After lunch we visit the Daitokuji temple complex and its two dozen sub temples and their associated Zen gardens. The complex grew into a centre for Tea Ceremony associated with the master practitioner, Sen-no Rikyu in the 15th-century. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast
  • Day 11 : Art in Kyoto

    We head to Fushimi Inari Shrine in the south of Kyoto. Famous for its thousands of vermillion gates leading up the wooded paths, the shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. The shrine is decorated with statues of foxes which are Inari’s messenger. Returning to the city we visit Sanjusangendo, Japan’s longest wooden structure housing 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. This afternoon we visit the National Museum to see the collection of archaeological relics, sculptures, ceramics and costumes. We have dinner tonight in one of the many restaurants in the atmospheric Pontocho dining strip. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 : Silver Temple

    Today we visit Ginkakuji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion. Original plans to cover the main structure in silver foil like the Golden Pavilion were never realised and the building is now covered in black lacquer. The wooded grounds covered in mosses feature a sand garden with a carefully structured sand mountain designed to resemble Mt Fuji. Outside the temple is the Philosophers Path, where we enjoy a pleasant stroll alongside the canal lined with flowering plants, bushes and trees. After lunch in Gion we partake in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 13 : Arashiyama

    Today we venture outside of Kyoto to Arashiyama and the world class 14th-century Zen garden at Tenryuji against the backdrop of the Arashiyama mountains. Outside the temple grounds is the Sagano Bamboo Grove, forming a canopy over the footpath. This has become one of the most photographed sites in Japan. After lunch in the town and time to investigate some of the local handicrafts, we board a scenic train journey that takes us through the bamboo forests and along the Hozugawa River before returning to Kyoto. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 14 : Nara

    We travel to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital and second only to Kyoto in cultural significance with World Heritage status. We visit Todaiji, constructed in 752 as the main temple of all provincial Buddhist shrines in Japan. The main hall houses the 15-metre-tall bronze statue of Buddha (Daibutstu). We also visit the Kasuga Taisha, dedicated to the protection of the city and built by the powerful Fujiwara clan who ruled during the Nara and Heian periods. We return to Kyoto where the afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 15 : Free Day

    Today is at leisure to simply relax, shop or enjoy the many attractions of Kyoto not covered on the tour. We recommend a visit to Nishiki markets and a wander through the basement food halls of the local department stores. We gather for a farewell dinner in a local restaurant this evening. Overnight Kyoto

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 16 : Depart

    The tour concludes after breakfast. Transfers have been arranged to either Kansai or Itami airports in Osaka for passengers booking their flights through Academy Travel.

    • Meals & Drinks : Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing
  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
  • Airport Transfers
  • Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

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Exclusions

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

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Terms & Conditions

Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.

Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.

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This Tour is Offered by

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  • Level 1, 341 George St Bank of New South Wales Building, NSW, Sydney, Australia
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  • XXXXXXXXXX@academytravel.com.au View Mail ID

About Academy Travel

Academy Travel is an Australian-owned travel company, dedicated to providing tailored small group journeys for individuals and associations. Academy Travel is a qualified travel agency. As well as managing your tour booking, our experienced consultants are happy to assist with all aspects of your travel, including international flights, pre and post-tour accommodation and travel insurance. Read More...

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  • Budget | Private Tour Package
  • Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara
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Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nara Tour Package

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