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Discover Winter in Japan

? NEW TOUR!
Experience the winter wonderland of Sapporo's famous Snow Festival on this journey through culture-rich Japan. See the snow monkeys bathing in hot springs, partake in a traditional tea ceremony, learn about samurai culture and visit iconic Mt Fuji on this special winter tour.METROPOLIS TO MOUNTAINSThe most populous city in the world, Tokyo simply buzzes with energy! We'll spend time exploring the highlights of this amazing metropolis, its temples, gardens, and museums. Spend two special nights in an authentic Ryokan guest house in Hakone, and tour iconic Mount Fuji, where we'll soak up the stunning views.MONKEYS IN HOT SPRINGSWe take the train to Yudanaka Onsen and visit Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park, where we'll see the famous snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs! Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Shirakawago, in Takayama, with its famous gassho-zukuri thatched roofs, designed to withstand massive snowfalls in winter.JAPAN'S CULTURAL HEARTVenture to Japan's cultural heart Kyoto. We get hands-on and enjoy sake tasting, fan making and the chance to wear a traditional Kimono! Kyoto is also the perfect base from which to venture to Mt Hiei, where we enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony and visit a traditional Buddhist sanctuary.SAPPORO'S FAMOUS SNOW FESTIVALLocated on the northern island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is famous for its ramen, beer and its annual Snow Festival. Take a tour of the city and enjoy a traditional local lunch, then explore the winter dreamland that is the festival. See the amazing ice sculptures that line the city and enjoy all the delights on offer.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Japan. Taxes included
  • 2 economy-class flights within Japan
  • 3 rail journeys in Japan
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour (if using group tour flights only)
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping is not expected, however this is at your discretion

Accommodation & Meals

  • 10 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan guesthouse including a typical Japanese onsen (hot springs) bath
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout

Sightseeing

Modern and Traditional Japan

  • Visit Miraikan, the fascinating National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
  • City tour of Tokyo including Edo Tokyo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise shopping arcade and the Imperial Palace
  • Learn the art of Sushi Making and enjoy your creations for lunch
  • Admire the bright lights of Tokyo from a yakatabune dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay
  • Stroll through Hamarikyu Garden, a typical feudal lord garden from the Edo Period
  • Visit a former farming village, reconstructed 40 years after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966

Majestic Mountaintops and Traditional Japan

  • Travel to Mt Fuji's fifth station (weather permitting) to take in the magnificent views of the surrounding area
  • Spend 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan
  • Enjoy a gondola ride and the amazing 360 degree view of the volcanic Hakone mountains
  • Visit Zenkoji Temple. Founded in the 7th century, it has played a significant part of Nagano's development
  • A stop in Nagano is not complete without visiting the famous snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park
  • Take in the sights of old historic Takayama on foot including the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese building, and visit the morning markets
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its old gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer" as the farmhouses steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer

Japan's cultural heart

  • Stroll through Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's three best manicured gardens
  • Step back in time and imagine life in the upper ranks of society during medieval and early-modern Japan as we stroll through Nagamachi samurai district where samurai and their families used to reside
  • Spot Geiko and Maiko in Kyoto's famous Gion district
  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and cultural heart. Our tour includes the Fushima Inari Shrine and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion)
  • Learn more about traditional Japan - participate in Kimono wearing, traditional Japanese sweets-making and sake brewing and tasting

Highlights of Hokkaido

  • Visit the iconic Clock Tower, a renowned symbol of Sapporo built in 1878
  • Stop at the Hokkaido Shrine, built in 1869 by the Meiji Emperor to enshrine three Shinto Deities
  • Take part in the festivities of the Sapporo Snow Festival
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $10,995
Start Location
Japan
End Location
Japan
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Festival, Relaxing
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
29 Jan 201913 Feb 2019Guaranteed DepartureAUD $10,750
Itinerary
Discover Winter in Japan

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia
Day 2. Arrive Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's dazzling capital city. Our first visit is to Miraikan, the fascinating National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Day 3. Tokyo

An exciting day exploring one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan cities. We begin the day at the Edo Tokyo Museum, then learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi (which we'll get to enjoy once we've finished). This afternoon we'll visit Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Nakamise shopping arcade. [B,L,D]

Special Experience: Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat from the Heian Era, known as a yakatabune.

Day 4. Tokyo - Hakone

We begin our morning with a stroll through the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. We'll then travel to Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes.

Special Experience: Visit a former farming village, Iyashi no Sato Nenba, recently reconstructed as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966.

For the next two nights we stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse. We'll have the chance to bathe in natural onsen (hot springs) and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner. [B,D]

Day 5. Mt Fuji

A highlight of any trip to Japan is a visit to majestic and iconic Mt Fuji! We stop at the fifth station (weather permitting) to take in the stunning views of the surrounding area. Later we'll ride the Hakone Ropeway to enjoy magnificent vistas of the Owakudani Valley, Lake Ashinoko and Mt Fuji. [B,D]

Day 6. Hakone - Nagano - Yudanaka

This morning we'll travel by bullet train to Nagano via Tokyo, and visit the famous Zenko-ji Temple, built during the 7th century. [B,D]

Special Experience: See the famous snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs at Jigokudani Yaen Kn in the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park.

Day 7. Yudanaka - Takayama - Kanazawa

We make our way to the historic town of Takayama, where we'll wander the narrow streets of the old town. We'll then visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago with its famous gassho-zukuri ('like hands in prayer') thatched roofs, designed to withstand the massive snowfalls of winter. [B]

Day 8. Kanazawa

We explore one of Japan's most beautiful gardens, Kenroku-en Garden. Once part of the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle, it features stunning ponds, streams, waterfalls, bridges and tea houses. After lunch we'll visit Nagamachi Buke Yashiki, a samurai house complete with samurai residents, earthen walls, narrow lanes and canals. [B,L]

Day 9. Kanazawa - Kyoto

Travelling via bullet train, we make our way to historic Kyoto, Japan's cultural capital. [B]

Special Experience: Spot the famous Maiko (Geisha apprentices) in Kyoto's famous district of Gion. Enjoy the atmosphere in the early evening as the narrow lanes full of bars, restaurants and traditional tea houses are lit by lanterns.

Day 10. Kyoto

Spend the day discovering Kyoto's cultural treasures. We'll experience a typical tea ceremony at Kano-Shojuan along the philosopher's walk, which also serves 'wagashi' Japanese confectioneries. We'll then explore the incredible orange torii gates that make up Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake in the 8th century. The magical path consists of more than 5,000 gates that wind through the hills at the base of Inari mountain. Our last stop is the stunning Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). The temple's top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf and the pavilion is set amongst beautiful gardens. [B]

Day 11. Kyoto

Today we discover the art behind Japan's unique crafts and culinary delights! Enjoy a variety of local activities including sake brewing & tasting, Japanese sweet-making and a chance to dress in a kimono. [B]

Day 12. Kyoto - Sapporo

Enjoy the morning at leisure before we fly to Sapporo, on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. Famous for ramen, beer and the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, it was also host to the 1972 Winter Olympic Games. [B]

Day 13. Sapporo

Our day begins with an orientation tour of the city. Highlights include the Clock Tower and the iconic Hokkaido Shrine, which enshrines three pioneering gods. [B,L]

Special Experience: With a history dating back to 1950, the famous Sapporo Snow Festival turns the city into a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and powdery snow. Enjoy the delights on offer this afternoon including the amazing ice sculptures that line Station Avenue and exquisite works of art in Odori Park.

Day 14. Sapporo

Today is at leisure for you to enjoy more of the festivities. Why not visit Tsudome with its large snow slides and a snow rafting area, or Fureai Hiroba plaza where you can discover the sculptures up close and enjoy hot drinks in the Ice Bar? Later this evening we'll enjoy a traditional Japanese farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 15. Depart Sapporo

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 16. Arrive Australia

Group Tour Operators