As flight times, hotels, logistical services and days of travel can be subject to availability and modifications beyond our control, if cancellations or delays should occur, we will make a conscientious effort to secure alternative arrangements of similar value to those in our booking agreement.
Sapporo – Hakodate – Matsushima – Sendai – Kanazawa – Osaka – Hiroshima - Kyoto
- Visit the iconic Sapporo Beer Museum
- Matsushima – Cruise around the inlets on this famous bay
- Visit beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, Omicho Market and the Higashi Chaya district, where geishas perform
- Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Genbaku Dome to understand the tragedies of Japan’s not so distant past
- See the enormous, UNESCO-listed Himeji Castle
- Visit the Zen temple Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion and breathtaking Nijō Castle in Kyoto
- Tokyo – Enjoy the buzz and energy of one of the world’s great cities
- Otaru– See the quaint canal, the famous Music Box Museum and walk the well-preserved Sakaimachi Street
Depart from home by boarding your flight to Sapporo.
Meals: In-flight meal
Welcome to Sapporo! You’ll be met in the arrivals hall by your guide who will assist you to transfer to your hotel by train. Once you check in and collect your welcome pack, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the capital of Hokkaido.Perhaps you could start with Odori Park, a popular picnic and relaxation spot in the centre of the city. A popular spot year-round, it’s about 1.5km east to west (12 blocks) and the site for major events like the Snow Festival in winter.This evening you’ll join your guide and the rest of the group for a welcome meeting and dinner, to give you a chance to meet your fellow travellers.
Your Japan Rail Pass will be activated today.We’ll enjoy a walking tour of Sapporo. Visit the famous Sapporo Clock Tower, built from timber in the late 1800s, the Sapporo Beer Museum and the lively Susukino district. It’s a haven for food, shopping and entertainment. It’s positively buzzing, with neon signs, noise, shopping and nightlife. The evening is yours to enjoy.
We’ll start with a half-day trip to Otaru this morning, a small harbour city known for glassworks, music boxes and sake distilleries. On our walking tour we’ll visit the quaint Otaru Canal, once an important commercial port. It’s well preserved and charming, lined with old merchant houses. We’ll visit landmarks like the Otaru Music Box Museum and the traditional shopping street Sakaimachi, all while learning about Otaru’s rich industrial heritage. Many of the buildings on Sakaimachi street have been converted into restaurants, cafes and shops – you’ll likely find some of the region’s fine glassware, a lovely souvenir.Later we’ll catch the train back to Sapporo where you can enjoy some free time in the evening.
The best way to get around Japan is on the country’s famous railway system, shinkansen, the bullet train. It’s efficient and ultra-modern. You’ll zip from place to place with your included Japan Rail Pass. We’ll board the train for the port city of Hakodate, on the southern tip of Hokkaido Island. On arrival we’ll enjoy a walk through the city and catch a glimpse of Motomachi – this Western-influenced neighbourhood was the heart of the city’s foreign settlement, one of only three allowed in Japan some 150 years ago. We’ll also visit Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, a quaint shopping mall housed in a complex that dates back to the 1860s.
This morning, we’ll visit the Goryokaku Tower and Hakodate Morning Market – be sure to check out the live crabs and shellfish in their massive tanks. It’s about a four-hour train ride to Sensai, we’ll arrive in the evening. In the north of Honshu island, Sendai is famous for several traditionally significant monuments. It’s home to the remains of 17th-century Sendai Castle, built for samurai lord Date Masamune on Aoba Hill, which overlooks the city.You’ll have free time to explore this city. Perhaps head to the top of the AER building to get a birds-eye view of the ‘city of trees’ from the observation terrace on the 31st floor.
We’ll take a day trip to Matsushima. It’s known for the hundreds of forested islands that dot Matsushima Bay, and is regarded as one of Japan’s three most scenic views; here, we’ll enjoy a cruise around the islets. Next, we’ll visit the Zuiganji Temple – one of the most famous in the Tohoku region. The Zen temple is designated as a National Treasure of Japan and was first founded in 828 CE. You will find yourself mesmerised by the exquisite artwork on the sliding screen doors in the Main Hall. We’ll then return to Sendai.
Today’s bullet train ride takes us right across Japan to the city of Kanazawa on the western coast. During World War II, Kanazawa was Japan’s second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. This means that parts of the old castle town, such as the Nagamachi samurai district and chaya entertainment districts, have survived. On arrival, we’ll enjoy a short visit to a samurai residence and Higashi Chaya district. The rest of the day is free for you. You’ll have a one day bus pass to explore this city.
This morning we’ll visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most beautiful in Japan. Developed over the course of more than 200 years, starting in 1620, the garden contains almost 9000 trees and 200 plant species. We’ll also enjoy a walking tour of Omicho Market – Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market since the Edo Period. Today, it is a busy and colourful network of covered streets lined with some 200 shops and stalls. We’ll finish our sightseeing with a visit to the Higashi Chaya District, famous for its well-preserved wooden teahouses where geisha perform. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore.
We’ll board a new type of train today, the Thunderbird, and pass through the picturesque Japanese Alps on our way south to Osaka. It’s about a three-hour trip. Your luggage will arrive today.The rest of evening is free. Perhaps you could visit the Dōtonbori area – one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, Dōtonbori Street runs parallel to the eponymous canal. It’s a popular shopping and entertainment district and an area famed for its street food and plentiful restaurants. At night the streets here are illuminated by hundreds of colourful neon lights and mechanised signs, including the famous running Glico Man sign and the KaniDoraku crab sign.
We’ll leave for Koyasan today, one of the most spiritual locations in all of Japan, and the centre of Shingon Buddhism – an important Buddhist sect that was introduced to Japan in 805 CE by Kōbō-Daishi, also known as Kūkai. A small, secluded temple town has developed around the sect’s headquarters that Kōbō-Daishi built on Mount Kōya’s wooded mountain top. Here you’ll experience an Inspiring Stay at a temple lodging, shukubō, where you’ll get a taste of a monk’s lifestyle. Enjoy vegetarian monk’s cuisine (shōjinryōri), sleep on futons laid on the Tatami floor and attend the morning prayers. Upon arrival, we’ll take the scenic and monumental walk to Okunoin Temple, one of the holiest locations in Japan; it’s said to be Japan’s largest cemetery with memorials and monuments to more than 200,000 souls.
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
We’ll experience a morning prayer chant and fire ceremony before leaving sacred Koyasan behind. We’ll make our way along the coast of Honshu to Hiroshima. Your luggage will arrive today. A modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, Hiroshima was largest destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. We’ll see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, home to the ruins of Genbaku Dome, one of the few buildings that was left standing near ground zero. In Hiroshima today, locals have mixed feelings about the UNESCO World Heritage Site structure: some see it as a reminder of war, while others consider it a tribute to the lost that ensures we’ll never forget the tragic events that took place here. We’ll then have a town orientation walk.
This morning we’ll pay a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in the Peace Memorial Park. It’s a sobering but important experience. The flame in the cenotaph is intended to burn until the last nuclear weapon has been destroyed. In the afternoon, you’ll board a ferry for the short trip to Miyajima.Known for its lush forests, ancient temples, and freely roaming sika deer, this island is just as popular with Japanese tourists as it is with international visitors. Just offshore we’ll spy a ‘floating’ vermilion torii, which becomes partially submerged at high tide. It marks the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine, which was first built in the 12th century. Nearby, the Museum of History and Folklore houses cultural artifacts in a 19th-century merchant’s home.
On the way to Kyoto, we’ll stop at Himeji Castle, the largest surviving example of a traditional Japanese castle. Comprising 83 buildings, the white roof of this UNESCO-registered complex is said to evoke the wings of a heron taking flight, hence the popular name ‘Shirasagi-jō’, meaning White Heron Castle. Himeji Castle is said to be the most visited in Japan, and the site offers some wonderful views of surrounding Himeji city. We’ll then continue to Kyoto, considered by many to be the jewel in Japan’s crown and one of the only cities in Japan to escape destruction during World World II, leaving its countless relics intact. You’ll have a bus/subway pass to get around and see this city.
Today we’ll visit some of Kyoto’s most iconic sites, like the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). This is a Zen temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold, set within a beautiful classical Zen garden.We’ll also take in breathtaking Nijō Castle. Constructed in the 17th century under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nijō Castle’s buildings are arguably the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era, and as such it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. We’ll visit Ryoanji Temple, the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden and finish at Nishiki Market, a five-block long shopping street where everything from seafood to handmade Japanese knives are sold.
After breakfast we’ll leave for a day tour to historic Nara, ancient capital of Japan. We’ll visit Todaiji Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan and home to the country’s largest Buddha statue. We’ll then see Kasuga Shrine, featuring over 3000 stone and bronze lanterns.Our last stop is at Nara Park, one of the oldest parks in Japan, to see over one thousand tame deer roaming freely in this vast, tranquil space.We’ll take the bullet train back to Kyoto and the evening is free time for you. Perhaps stroll the streets of Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. With any luck you might spot a geisha, otherwise known as a geiko or maiko.
It’s a free day in this historic city until your walking tour in the evening. You’ll have a one day bus/subway pass to get around Kyoto.In the evening, we’ll set out on foot and explore the Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto’s eastern mountains, one of the city’s best preserved historic districts. It is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizu and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops invoke a feeling of the old capital.
Your Japan Rail Pass will finish today, with your last bullet train trip to Tokyo. On the way you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji. Make sure to get a seat on the left-hand side for your best chance of spotting this sacred sight. Upon arrival, the rest of the day is free time until dinner. Head to the Tokyo Skytree for incredible panoramic views from its observation decks, at 350 and 450 metres high. Tokyo Tower – a bright orange Eiffel Tower-inspired structure – also has two observation decks. The Shibuya Crossing is a must-see, with its neon displays and hordes of people crossing the intersection. It’s hectic, crazy and so Tokyo. The Imperial Palace, previously home to samurai warriors, is a sprawling complex with its beautiful 17th-century parks in the heart of the city. Sensō-ji Temple is the oldest and most important Buddhist temple in Tokyo – which means it’s very busy. If you can head there at night, it’s much less crowded and very pretty with its lights. The Meiji Shrine, surrounded by a 175-acre evergreen forest, is an important religious site where visitors can write and hang their deepest wishes on the wishing tree.
Today your guide will accompany you to the airport by train to bid farewell. We hope you have enjoyed your journey through this magical country.
Meals: In-flight meal
- Return Economy flights from Melb & Syd. For any other city please enquire
- Accommodation and breakfast in the category chosen or similar (subject to availability)
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- All local boat rentals as mentioned in the program
- Water bottles during tours
- Air-conditioned transportation
- All entrance and sightseeing fees as mentioned in the program
- English speaking guides in Japan
- 24/7 customer service and your own Dedicated Support
- Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program.
- Visa fee to Japan (If you need assistance with your Visa, please request it upon filling in Booking Form).
- Tipping for driver and tour guide (not mandatory) & personal expenses.
- Travel insurance (we strongly recommend you hold a valid travel insurance policy for all domestic and overseas travel).
- Trip delay or interruption by airline schedule change.
- Extra cost or missing tour caused by flight delay or cancel.
- Any service not clearly mentioned in the program
*Actual accommodation may vary due to availability. However, equivalent quality is guaranteed.
Dates & Prices
* indicates Lowest Price for that region
10 Aug 2020
30 Aug 2020
10+ seats left
24 Aug 2020
13 Sep 2020
10+ seats left
07 Sep 2020
27 Sep 2020
10+ seats left
21 Sep 2020
11 Oct 2020
10+ seats left
05 Oct 2020
25 Oct 2020
10+ seats left
19 Oct 2020
08 Nov 2020
10+ seats left
HOW TO BOOK & PAYMENTS
Deposit & Payments
- Secure your package with a deposit of $500 per person.
- Pay a 2nd instalment of $2,500per person within 30 days.
- You will then be invoiced for final payment 90 days prior to departure.
Step 1: Customer selects one of our ready-made tour packages along with your preferred travel date based on the availability calendar.
Noted: In case you request a free quote for your planned vacation, simply fill in this Customize Request Form: https://www.asiavacationgroup.com.au/customize/
Step 2: Complete the Booking Form
Step 3: One of our Reservation team will contact you within 12 hours to confirm your booking request.
Please note that customers must book at least 90 days prior to departure to ensure your desired travel date and time.
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.
For the services of your guide, it is suggested that you budget for AUD$10-20 per person, per day. Tipping of your driver is also appreciated and we would suggest AUD$5 per person, per day.
As this particular tour does not collect a ‘kitty’, it is entirely up to the individual whether or not you would like to tip locals for the services of things like taxis or when dining at restaurants. In these cases, we suggest you allow 10-20% of the value of the service as a tip. Again, it is not compulsory and entirely up to the individual.
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences however any changes are beyond our control.
Single supplement is $2,774 per person in addition to the twin share price.
Paired Solo Traveller
Upon your request except for cruises
Travel insurance is required to protect yourself against the unexpected.
We have partnered with SureSave to offer you competitive rates for your travel insurance. You can book comprehensive or budget cover simply to arrange your policy
Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return and must have more than 2 blank pages.
If you’re visiting for less than 90 days as a tourist, for a business trip or conference, or to visit friends and family, you don’t need a visa to Japan. To qualify, you need to show evidence of sufficient funds and an onward/return ticket or confirmed accommodation arrangements.
Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.
Final documentation, including e-tickets and hotel details, will be provided approximately 30 days prior to travel.
6– 40 people
The total length of the tour in days includes time spent in flight and is subject to change depending on the flight schedule, please refer to the day by day itinerary for the time spent on land.
- Nikko full day tour – $296/person
- Kamakura & Yokohama tour – $296/person
- Tour to Disney Resort – $269/person
- Kyoto – Cycling Tour – $160/person
- Osaka Food Tour – $160/person
Asia Vacation Group shall not deliver a refund for any delay or change in program or expenses incurred or injury and damage due to airlines, accident, breakdown of transport and sickness.
In some cases, your chosen extra tours may be canceled by Asia Vacation Group due to force majeure you may choose to change to other alternative tour OR receive a coupon equal to the amount you paid for it. The difference in cost of the alternative tour will be paid by you or transferred to a coupon as applicable. This coupon is issued after the tour and is valid for two years. It is valid for any tour by Asia Vacation Group and cannot be redeemed for cash.
- Airline: Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines or similar (20kg for checked baggage per passenger and 7kg hand luggage per passenger, 01-piece check-in baggage each person only
- Some flights will require a minimum of 1 transit (maximum 2).
- All tickets will include 20 kilos checked baggage per person, along with 7 kilos of hand luggage.
- Despite the airlines baggage allowance, we recommend travelling with 20 kilos per person due to restrictions with internal flights (where applicable), as well as coach and train transportation. Also, you will be responsible for handling your luggage at all times as the services of porters is not included. If travelling over this amount, you will be liable for any excess baggage fees enforced by the airline, payable direct.
- Once ticketed, flights are non-refundable. Any changes will be subject to the airline rules and change fees.
- Full names as per passport (including all middle names) are required.
- Any airline schedule changes or cancellations are beyond our control.
- Any airline ‘extras’ such as pre-allocated seating is at your own arrangement (additional charges apply)
Premium Economy or Business Class upgrades
- Business Class upgrade available from an additional $3,000 per person (subject to availability).
Please specify this as a “Anything else we need to know?” when completing your booking and you will be quoted for the additional fare. In the event your selection is unavailable, or that you are dissatisfied with the quote, you will be provided with a full refund.
How to extend your stay
Some customers like to enhance their holiday by extending their stay before/behind and/or post-tour. $200per person is applied for trip extension or early arrivals.
If you wish to do so, please follow these steps:
- Follow the “Book Now” prompts, until you reach the “Anything else we need to know?” field
- Here, please specify your preferred flight arrangements and if you require additional accommodation, with the number of nights needed.
- After finalising your purchase and submitting your booking form, a member of our Reservation team will be in contact with you via email to verify your request.
The additional cost for these land arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice, due 90 days prior to departure, and is strictly subject to availability. From $200 per person is applied for trip extension or early arrivals (subject to availability and applicable fare difference).