Journey to the Heart of Japan & Kyushu
17 Nights

Duration:
17 Nights
Offer:
Fly & Tour Japan Holiday – an immersive small group tour that captures the magic of Japan
Offer Expires:
30/04/24
Reference Code:
MT-1572

From

AUD$5,990

Price per person

Package Details

Details

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive Fukuoka, Japan
Konnichiwa! Get ready to dive into the cultural wonders of Fukuoka, the lively gateway to this fascinating country! Make your own way to your hotel to begin the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 – Fukuoka
Today the tour starts with a captivating tour in Fukuoka exploring the rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking sights. The first stop is a visit to the revered Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. While the main hall is currently undergoing renovations, the grounds are stunning and offer an inspiring start to the day. Spend free time wandering around Monzen-machi, the street that leads up to the shrine. Here you will find delicious Japanese snacks, both sweet and savoury, to try and countless shops with unique Japanese souvenirs. Returning to Fukuoka city, delve into the Hakata Folk Museum, where the region’s history and traditions come alive. Here you can participate in a traditional Japanese craft activity of either Hakata doll painting or the delicate process of Chochin lantern painting. The evening is capped off with a delicious welcome dinner featuring the local flavours of Fukuoka.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 3 – Fukuoka – Kagoshima – Kirishima (approx 323 km)
A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the iconic bullet train (shinkansen). Reaching an average speed of 270 km, watch cities and countryside smoothly rush by as we head down the west coast of Kyushu to Kagoshima. In Kagoshima, the tour will take you to Shiroyama Observatory, where panoramic views of Kagoshima City and its majestic surroundings unfold before your eyes. The silhouette of Sakurajima, an active volcano across the bay, captivates with its raw beauty. Next, immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Sengan-en Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where traditional Japanese landscaping and historical charm converge harmoniously. In the afternoon we head to Kirishima to experience authentic Japanese hospitality in at a Japanese onsen (hot spring) resort. Nestled amidst the lush landscapes, the resort offers a serene retreat, complete with traditional tatami rooms, soothing hot springs, and a kaiseki (traditional course) dinner featuring regional delicacies.

*Please note: Due to luggage restrictions on the bullet train, you will need to pack a small overnight bag for tonight as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the accommodation of Day 4 in Miyazaki.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 4 – Kirishima – Miyazaki (approx 148 km)
Today we head east to Miyazaki Prefecture- famous for its lush green landscapes, scenic coastlines and its place in Japan’s ancient mythology. Discover Obi Castle Town, a well-preserved samurai treasure trove that is sometimes referred to as Kyushu’s own ‘little Kyoto’. Take your time exploring the town and keep an eye out for little canals with carp swimming in them. Next, we head to Udo Shrine, a truly unique and mythical cliffside shrine perched atop a cliff face overlooking the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. In the afternoon we visit Aoshima Island, a tiny but spiritual island with a beach and shrine set back in the tropical jungle that is said to bring luck to married couples. Surrounding the island is a natural rock formation known as ‘devil’s washboard’.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 5 – Miyazaki – Takachiho Gorge- Aso, Kumamoto (approx 188 km)
Today unfolds amidst the natural wonders of Takachiho Gorge, a breathtaking marvel shaped over 100,000 years ago by eruptions from the nearby Mount Aso volcano. Towering cliffs adorned with vibrant foliage contrast magnificently with the crystal-clear waters below. You can explore the gorge from two distinct perspectives: the first entails a serene row down the river aboard rental boats where the calm waters make for easy self-navigation (boats are available for an additional fee, with possible wait times). The second perspective, from above, involves a leisurely stroll along the paved path tracing the gorge’s edge, offering panoramic views and thrilling vantage points where you can gaze straight down to the river below. After enjoying the picturesque sights of Takachiho the tour will cross into Kumamoto Prefecture where the evening is spent in in the shadow of Mount Aso. Relax and indulge in a complimentary dinner at the hotel, capping off a day of picturesque exploration.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 6 – Aso – Bungo Ono – Beppu, Oita (approx 133 km)
This morning the tour visits Kusasenri- a vast grassy plain in the caldera that offers great views of the surrounding volcanic peaks. We then continue into Oita Prefecture with a stop in Bungo-Ono at the Harajiri Waterfalls. The beautiful horseshoe-shaped waterfalls almost appear out of nowhere and because of this shape the falls have received the nickname ‘Niagara of the East’. Explore the area including the nearby wooden suspension bridge and a Michi-no-eki (a Japanese roadside station) where you can try delicious foods such as Bungo Beef, Japanese dumpling soup, Toriten (a style of tempura chicken), and other local cuisines from Oita Prefecture. After lunch, we will visit a local sake brewery to learn about the traditional brewery process, and perhaps try some of the varieties. The day ends with arrival into Oita’s famed hot spring town of Beppu.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 7 – Beppu (approx 66 km)
With more hot springs (onsen) than anywhere else in Japan, Beppu takes the crown as the nation’s top hot spring destination. The morning is spent exploring the geological wonders of Beppu including a tour of some of the Hells of Beppu (Jigoku Meguri). These natural wonders, with names like Blood Pond Hell and Sea Hell, offer visitors a captivating and surreal experience of the Earth’s geothermal activity. The tour also includes entrance to the Beppu Onsen Museum which delves into the science, history, and culture of the hot springs in Japan. We then head out to the picturesque town of Yufuin. Here you can stroll through quaint streets, treat yourself to lunch, pop into some boutiques and handicraft stores, and admire the serene Lake Kinrin.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 8 – Beppu – Osaka
Today is a free day to relax and explore the town of Beppu at your own pace. Nestled along the coast, Beppu boasts a rich cultural heritage awaiting your discovery. Immerse yourself in the flavours of the region with delectable local cuisine, rejuvenate your senses with thermal sand baths, or peruse traditional bamboo handicrafts among other delights. For those looking to venture outside of Beppu and try a kimono experience, consider joining our optional tour to Kitsuki (additional cost, see information below). This picturesque town is renowned for its impeccably preserved samurai residences and timeless allure. Later in the afternoon get ready to board the Sunflower Ferry for an overnight voyage to Osaka. This is not your average ferry- with a seasonal buffet, comfy private cabins, an open deck and an onboard public hot spring, this is a great way to travel from Kyushu to the main island of Honshu. Settle into your private Superior cabin and enjoy a complimentary buffet dinner as we cruise through the breathtaking vistas of the Seto Inland Sea, a perfect opportunity to relax and unwind

*Please note: If the ferry is non-operational due to weather conditions or availability, an alternative overnight ferry or a land transfer will be provided. This may impact the tour itinerary and you will be advised accordingly.

  • Optional Oita Tour – Step back in time in Kitsuki with a kimono experience from $229pp

On this tour we invite you to time travel to Japan’s Edo era with a trip to Oita’s castle town Kitsuki along with a kimono experience to help you get into the spirit of the period. Kitsuki boasts a mesmerizing historic district adorned with former samurai residences, a quaint merchant area, gently sloping cobblestone streets, and what could possibly be Japan’s smallest castle. This town has meticulously preserved its historical charm, devoid of modern distractions like power lines and contemporary signage, fostering an atmosphere of authenticity. This makes it the perfect place to don traditional Japanese attire and stroll through its streets. As part of our tour, both men and women – or shall we say, feudal lords and ladies – will have the opportunity to select from a range of beautiful kimonos or yukatas (summer kimonos). The adept staff will guide you in the art of wearing these garments, then you are invited to wander through the town for a couple of unhurried hours, taking in its historical marvels. Kitsuki locals also actively encourage visitors to tour the town’s attractions while dressed in kimono and will offer complimentary access to select historical samurai residences and the Kitsuki Castle Town Historical Museum. Moreover, various cafes and eateries extend special discounts, inviting you to savour the local delights in this captivating setting. Afterwards, we’ll visit Kitsuki Castle before making our way back to Beppu.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 9 – Osaka (approx 30 km)
After an evening sailing through the Seto Inland Sea, the ferry will arrive at Japan’s main island, Honshu. After an early onboard breakfast, the tour will disembark around 6:30 am and head to the bustling city of Osaka. The first stop is the imposing Namba Yasaka Shrine. With a different look from most traditional shrines, this shrine is renowned for its towering lion-headed deity, symbolizing protection and prosperity, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. We then head to Osaka Castle, one of the world’s most visibly striking historical landmarks situated smack bang in the middle of the city. Experience the breathtaking surrounding gardens and delve into the rich history of the castle’s interior, where you’ll discover insights into the city’s feudal past while enjoying panoramic views of the cityscape. We then head to the lively Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi districts. Enjoy free time to wander around the bustling shopping arcade of Shinsaibashi and end up at the riverside area of Dotonbori, with giant 3D signboards and open-air ramen stands that fill the air with an appetite-whetting aroma. There will also be time to explore Osaka’s Kuromon market where the different street foods of Osaka can be found. We will check into the hotel around 3 pm and the rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to explore Osaka.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 10 – Osaka Free Day or Kyoto Optional Tour
Enjoy a free day to discover more of Osaka at your leisure. The commercial metropolis is renowned for sophisticated architecture, illustrious neighbourhoods, boisterous nightlife, and hearty street food. Distinguished for its extroverted locals, eating and drinking in Osaka is an unforgettable experience.

Alternatively, enhance your Japan experience with our Optional Guided Kyoto Tour (at your own expense).

  • Optional Kyoto Tour – Discover the history of Kyoto and join a tea ceremony from $279pp

Experience the timelessness of Kyoto on a captivating optional tour. We begin the tour at the iconic Kiyomizu-Dera, a temple complex perched gracefully on the hills, offering panoramic views and a spiritual ambience. Wander through the charming streets of Ninenzaka, steeped in history and lined with traditional machiya buildings. Explore the stores that sell local specialties such as sweets, crafts, and souvenirs. Amongst the streets of shops, you will also find the iconic Yasaka Pagoda and Yasaka Koshindo, a small shrine honouring the three wise monkeys decorated with balls of brightly coloured, photogenic fabric monkeys called Kukurizaru. Kyoto is renowned as the birthplace of the Japanese tea ceremony so we can’t pass up the chance of partaking in the serene art also called chado, “the way of tea”. Learn the art of the tea ceremony from a knowledgeable tea master who will guide you through every step. Gain insights into the significance of each movement, utensil, and the philosophy behind the ceremony plus enjoy the tea and a traditional sweet as an accompaniment. Lastly, step into the regal past at Nijo Castle, where the elegance of feudal Japan whispers through its architecture and immaculate gardens. The castle’s famed “nightingale floors” sing softly with each step, adding an enchanting allure to its exploration. Immerse yourself in its majestic corridors, adorned with intricate artwork, and experience the essence of ancient Japan within its walls.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 11 – Osaka – Gujo Hachiman – Takayama, Gifu (approx 313 km)
Today the tour takes us into Gifu Prefecture an area known for its grand outdoors, timeless traditions and living culture. We first head to Gujo Hachiman famed for having the cleanest water in Japan. Yanaka Komichi Lane is a symbolic spot in Gujo Hachiman, where you can spend time wandering the cobblestone streets and admiring the crystal-clear waterways lined with willow trees. Uniquely, Gujo Hachiman is also the leading producer of Japan’s food replicas that you see decorating restaurant windows across the country. You’ll have time to take a food replica workshop to create your own quirky souvenir- this is an experience hard to find anywhere else. In the evening the tour will continue up into Gifu’s mountain region with the night spent in Takayama.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 12 – Takayama – Hida – Takayama
Immerse yourself in a day of cultural exploration as you wander through the historic streets, visit iconic landmarks, and soak in the rich heritage of Takayama. Uncover the secrets of the Edo period as you explore the well-preserved Takayama Jinya, a historic government house. For lunch indulge with our included lunch featuring the famed Hida Beef, celebrated for its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and unparalleled taste (vegetarians will also have an option of delicious fresh local produce). After lunch, spend your free time exploring Sanmachi Old Street. Browse charming shops, sake breweries, and traditional food vendors – the Mitarashi Dango are highly recommended here. Next step into the open-air museum of Hida Folk Village, where traditional thatched-roof houses transport you to a bygone era. Admire the architectural marvels, each telling a story of rural life in the Hida region. Engage with interactive exhibits, participate in traditional crafts, and gain a deeper appreciation for the timeless customs that define this cultural gem.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 13 – Takayama – Gokayama – Kanazawa, Ishikawa (approx 128 km)
This morning, we depart from Takayama, making a delightful stop in Gokayama, a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its picturesque traditional Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. These unique thatched-roof structures, resembling hands in prayer (gassho), offer visitors an authentic and tranquil experience in the heart of rural Japan. Continuing our journey, we arrive in Kanazawa, a city nestled along Japan’s western coast. Kanazawa is renowned for its captivating blend of traditional charm and contemporary allure. Our tour will include entry to the breathtaking Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s three most exquisite gardens, boasting meticulously landscaped grounds, traditional teahouses, and a variety of seasonal flora.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 14 – Kanazawa Free Day or Optional Tour
Enjoy a day of exploration in Kanazawa at your own pace. Immerse yourself in the charm of traditional samurai districts, peruse contemporary art museums, stroll through bustling local produce markets, and admire the beauty of Kanazawa Castle. With an abundance of sights and activities, the city invites you to create your own memorable experiences.

Alternatively, enhance your time in Ishikawa Prefecture with our Optional Guided Kanazawa and Kaga Tour (at your own expense).

  • Optional Kanazawa and Kaga Tour – Delve into the samurai, ninja and artisanal history of Kanazawa and Kaga from $259pp

This guided day will take you through the traditions and culture of Ishikawa- from amazing food to wealthy samurai, and artisanal treasures. The journey commences at Omicho Market, a bustling hub of culinary delights where you can find fresh seafood and local produce stalls. Wandering through the lively aisles, one can sample local delicacies and engage with vendors passionate about their craft. Next, a stroll along the picturesque Higashi Chaya Machi street transports visitors to the bygone era of samurai, geishas and tea houses. We then venture out to Yunokuni no Mori, a themed village dedicated to Japanese handicrafts where you can enjoy an included lunch and a hands-on workshop. The village consists of traditional-style houses spread out over a wide swath of forest. Masters of their respective craft await in each house, teaching and helping visitors to make their own pieces. The type of hands-on workshop differs each day but may include Wajima lacquerware, adorning tableware with gold leaf, painting Kutani porcelain, or making Japanese washi paper. The day culminates with a thrilling exploration of the Ninja Weapons Museum, offering a glimpse into the clandestine world of these legendary assassins. Each stop along this captivating itinerary brings to life the essence of Ishikawa’s rich heritage and timeless allure.

Meals: Breakfast (lunch only as part of the Optional Tour).

Day 15 – Kanazawa – Snow Monkey Park – Matsumoto, Nagano (approx 348 km)
Our journey through the heart of Japan continues today into the Japanese Alps of Nagano Prefecture. Here we’ll visit the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park- the only place in the world where you can see wild monkeys soaking in hot spring baths. The Japanese Macaques, affectionately called snow monkeys, go about their daily routines – youngsters splash around the hot spring while mothers tend to their babies and the alpha male watches over the troupe. Their fascinating social structure can be observed up close, not from behind a fence but from right in their midst as they relax in the hot springs. Visiting Jigokudani Monkey Park also provides a memorable opportunity to walk amongst the towering forest and take in the beautiful peaceful setting of the Alps. After “monkeying around” the tour will head to Matsumoto for the evening. Feel free to wander the city at your leisure and maybe take in the stunning Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its dramatic black exterior. The castle is listed as a National Treasure of Japan and on a clear day, the backdrop of the Japanese Alps is the perfect touch on this majestic setting.

*Please note: Walking to the Jigokudani Monkey Park provides a unique and immersive experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the conditions. The trail leading to the park is an unsealed forest path, making it unsuitable for wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Travelers should be prepared for a 30 to 40-minute walk, which is generally easy, though it includes a staircase towards the end. It is recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes.

For those who may find the path challenging, there is a convenient option to wait at a café located at the start of the trail. If you choose not to travel into the park, you can relax, enjoy a refreshment at the cafe (at your own expense), and take in the atmosphere if the forest while others venture into the Monkey Park.

Additionally, it is important to note that the monkeys are wild. There are no barriers forcing them to stay in the park meaning that they are free to come and go as they please. It is therefore possible that occasionally only a small number of monkeys or sometimes no monkeys will be in the hot springs on a particular day. Regardless it is still a great opportunity to take the trail and enjoy in Japan’s fresh air and natural beauty.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 16 – Matsumoto – Tokyo (approx 230 km)
Today the tour will arrive at its final destination- Tokyo! Along the way, travellers can admire the changing scenery, from the rugged beauty of the Japanese Alps to the urban sprawl of Tokyo, with its iconic skyline looming in the distance. Keep your eyes peeled, as on a clear day you can get a glimpse of Mount Fuji en route. When we arrive in Tokyo your guide will give an orientation of this fabulous city starting with a stroll through the colourful streets of Harajuku. Head down bustling Takeshita Street, and marvel at the creativity and eccentricity that make this neighbourhood truly unique. We then pay a visit to the beautiful Meiji Shrine, nestled in the lush greenery of Yoyogi Park. As you wander through the towering torii gates and peaceful forest, you’ll feel immersed in the serenity of Shinto spirituality- you may even spot a Japanese wedding at the shrine. Wrapping up the first afternoon in Tokyo is a final stop in Shibuya offering a mesmerizing spectacle of crowds scrambling across the iconic Shibuya Crossing.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 17 – Tokyo Free Day or Optional Tour
Enjoy a free day to explore Tokyo to your heart’s content. Nowhere blends old and new quite like Tokyo. The world’s most populous metropolis, energetic Tokyo has something for everyone, from ancient shrines to futuristic skyscrapers and mouth-watering cuisine.

Alternatively, complete your Japan experience with our Optional Guided Afternoon Tokyo Tour (at your own expense).

  • Optional Tokyo Tour – Explore eastern Tokyo and enjoy a farewell dinner and boat cruise from $369pp

This guided tour afternoon tour explores the eastern districts of the city where the essence of old-school Tokyo still lingers. Starting from 1 pm, the guided tour starts with a visit to the Imperial Palace East Garden. Part of the inner palace area, the Imperial Palace East Gardens offer seasonal flowers and original moats, walls, entrance gates and guardhouses built by the Tokugawa shoguns. Next, we head to Asakusa, home to the iconic Sensoji Temple — Tokyo’s oldest and most photographed temple, adorned in vibrant red hues and intricate architecture. As you approach the temple, you’ll pass through the Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) with its large lantern taking prime position. Here is a fun hint, when passing under the lantern check the base to find a hidden dragon there! Wander along Nakamise Street, a lively thoroughfare teeming with colourful stalls offering traditional snacks and souvenirs — a perfect opportunity to pick up some last-minute souvenirs. We then head to Tokyo Skytree the tallest observation deck in Tokyo. With spectacular panoramic views from the 350-metre-high glass-clad Tembo Deck, take in the sights of Tokyo from above. As the afternoon draws to a close, board a yakatabune (a traditional Japanese pleasure boat) and feast on traditional Japanese cuisine accompanied by free-flowing drinks. What better way to end the evening and your tour than by admiring the riverside views as the sunsets and the lights of Tokyo come to life.

Meals: Breakfast (dinner only as part of the Optional Tour).

Day 18 – Depart Tokyo
Sayonara! At the appropriate time make your own way to the airport, bidding farewell to Japan and taking home incredible memories.

*Please note: Due to flight times and scheduling, you may arrive in Australia on Day 18 or 19. Final documents will confirm travel timings.

Meals: Breakfast

Itinerary Map

Inclusions

This in-depth 18-day tour takes you to some of Japan’s most famous locations as well as hidden gems that should not be missed. From the stunning natural landscapes of Kyushu to the unspoilt villages of Gifu and the old samurai towns of Kanazawa and Matsumoto. From the spectacular Japanese Alps to the vibrant bustling cities of Osaka and Tokyo, these are the sides of Japan you will remember. This tour offers several once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including an overnight stay in an onsen resort, a trip on the bullet train, hands-on craft workshops, up-close experiences with snow monkeys, and delicious local cuisine along the way.

Highlights

  • Savour the flavours of Kyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture
  • Take in the volcanic views of Sakurajima
  • Relax at a Japanese onsen resort in Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Uncover Japanese mythology steeped in the shrines and caves of Miyazaki Prefecture
  • Marvel at the natural hot springs of Beppu in Oita Prefecture
  • Learn about Japanese Sake in Bungo Ono, Oita Prefecture
  • Sail the Seto Inland Sea aboard a deluxe overnight ferry in a private Superior Cabin
  • Explore Osaka Castle and take in the vibrant lights of Osaka at night
  • Indulge in the perfectly marbled Hida Beef of Takayama
  • Try your hand at Japanese food replica making
  • Admire traditional thatched roof houses of Gokayama
  • Bask in the beauty of one of Japan’s best gardens in Kanazawa
  • Witness the bathing snow monkeys in Nagano
  • Discover the buzz and energy of one of the world’s great cities- Tokyo
  • Visit the serene Meiji Jingu shrine and explore colourful Harajuku

Inclusions

  • Flights to Fukuoka, returning from Tokyo
  • 15 Nights quality 3 and 4-star hotels throughout Japan
  • 1 Night at a Japanese onsen resort in a traditional tatami room
  • 1 Night on a deluxe overnight ferry from Oita to Osaka in a private cabin
  • Breakfast daily, 1 specialty lunch and 4 dinners
  • Private deluxe coach transportation
  • Bullet train experience with dedicated luggage transfer
  • Dedicated English-speaking tour leader throughout
  • Unique sightseeing and admissions as specified

Terms

Price based on tours starting:

  • 20 May 2025
  • 3 June 2025 – Hydrangea Blooms
  • 24 June 2025
  • 12 August 2025

Extra charges apply for:

2024 Dates

  • 3 September 2024 ($400pp)*
  • 24 September 2024 ($400pp)*
  • 8 October 2024 ($1000pp)*
  • 12 November 2024 ($900pp)* – Autumn Leaves

2025 Dates

  • 18 March 2025 ($1200pp)* – Cherry Blossom
  • 15 April 2025 ($1100pp)* – Cherry Blossom
  • 6 May 2025 ($400pp)
  • 02 September 2025 ($400pp)
  • 16 September 2025 ($400pp)
  • 14 October 2025 ($800pp)* – Autumn Leaves
  • 28 October 2025 ($1000pp)* – Autumn Leaves
  • 04 November 2025 ($1000pp)* – Autumn Leaves
  • 18 November 2025 ($1000pp)* – Autumn Leaves

Cherry Blossoms: In spring, late March to early April is historically the best time to view pink and white cherry blossoms (sakura).

Hydrangea: In the warmer and less crowded months, you may catch blue, purple and pink flowers such as native hydrangea (ajisai) from late-May to July.

Autumn Leaves: From mid-October to late-November, the colourful leaves (koyo) of autumn are what cherry blossoms are to spring. Witness fall foliage turn different shades of vivid red, orange and yellow.

Note: Bloom and fall timings are not guaranteed as they are highly seasonal and subject to changing climate conditions.

Price based on departing from Sydney

Extra charges apply for:

  • Melbourne ($100pp)
  • Brisbane ($300pp)
  • Perth ($300pp)
  • Adelaide ($300pp)
  • Hobart ($600pp)
  • Darwin ($800pp)

What To Expect On Tour

Itinerary: Our multi-stop Japan tours are carefully designed to give a real insight into the highlights, culture and beauty of each region. Each day will be different, with a combination of travel days, sightseeing and free time to explore or take a breather as you wish.

Pace: The pace of this tour is moderate. The tour covers several prefectures of Japan and involves some early starts and some long travel days – see the itinerary for an indication of the distances travelled by the coach. One to two nights at each destination is standard. Scheduled free days allow some downtime, or alternatively, you have the flexibility to explore further and book optional programs (at your own expense).

Fitness: A moderate level of fitness is required. You are required to move about unassisted, including boarding and alighting vehicles and other forms of transportation, walking up and down flights of stairs, and navigating occasional uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to carry your own bags to and from hotels, stations and terminals. This trip is not suitable for travellers requiring wheelchairs, mobility scooters or facilities for disabled guests. Other walking aids may be permitted if you are able to move about unassisted at the required pace. For advice on whether this trip is suitable for you, you are required to disclose physical ailments at the time of booking.

As mentioned in the itinerary, the Jigokudani Monkey Park trail leading to the park is an unsealed forest path, making it unsuitable for wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Travelers should be prepared for a 30 to 40-minute walk, which is generally reasonably easy, though it includes a staircase towards the end. It is recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes.
For those who may find the path challenging, there is a convenient option to wait at a café located at the start of the trail. This allows individuals to take a break, enjoy refreshments, and soak in the surroundings while others venture into the Monkey Park.

Accommodation: The size of hotel rooms in Japan are generally smaller than Western standards. Hotels are carefully hand-selected for room sizes of at least 18 sqm for your comfort. Single rooms are typically smaller than twin rooms. Hotels in Japan generally have very few rooms with double-bed configurations. Requests for rooms with double beds cannot be guaranteed in advance and if not available, twin beds will be provided. Hotel names referenced are to be used as an indicative guide for the standard of accommodation to expect. Actual hotels may differ and will be confirmed on your final documentation. All hotel ratings are local or self-ratings provided by the supplier. All rooms are lead-in category or run-of-house unless otherwise specified. Due to the popular culture of smoking in Japan, non-smoking or deodourised rooms will be requested by default – please notify hotel reception if this is an issue. The standard check-in time is after 3pm and check-out is before 10am – actual times may vary.

Transfers: Airport transfers are not included.

Meals: Breakfasts offered by the Japanese accommodation providers are typically buffet style, with limited vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options. For meals not included, you will be taken to places with options where possible. Please notify us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements and allergies. We endeavour to pass on your dietary requirements but cannot guarantee that they can be met as certain choices may be limited or not catered for. You are required to reconfirm dietary requests with your tour leader whilst on tour.

Baggage: Each person is entitled to a strict maximum of one bag not exceeding 20kg on tour, superseding any other baggage allowance. Excess baggage is not permitted. You are strongly encouraged to pack lightly. An additional light day bag or backpack is permitted on the coach. Due to bullet train baggage restrictions, your bag will be transferred separately, and you are required to pack a separate light bag or backpack containing overnight essentials. Porterage is not included, and you are required to carry your own bags. Luggage and personal effects are your own risk, and we hold no liability for lost or damaged belongings.

Optional Programs: Specially-crafted optional programs provide flexibility for you to explore further. Optional programs are expertly guided and include transportation, admissions and more. Optional programs will operate with a minimum of 10 passengers and must be booked at least 5 months before departure.

Group Size: You will meet like-minded travellers on tour and may even make lifelong friends. This tour will proceed with a minimum group size of approximately 10 passengers and a maximum group size of approximately 20 passengers. If the tour does not operate, you will be offered a credit. The operation of optional programs is subject to a minimum group size. If the minimum number for optional programs is not reached, you will be refunded.

Accommodation

While you will not spend much time in the hotels, each has been carefully selected to suit the size and needs of the group. They may not be centrally located, but are typically near public transport options, and your friendly guide will provide a helpful orientation tour on arrival into many of the cities you visit. Our accommodation is generally of a quality 3-star or higher local rating. The size of hotel rooms in Japan are generally smaller than Western standards. Hotel names referenced are to be used as an indicative guide for the standard of accommodation to expect. Actual hotels may differ and will be confirmed on your final documentation.

  • Fukuoka – Oriental Hotel Fukuoka Hakata Station or similar
  • Kagoshima – Kirishima Kanko Hotel or similar
  • Miyazaki – Hotel JAL City Miyazaki or similar
  • Aso – Kamenoi Hotel Aso or similar
  • Beppu – Amanek Beppu Yula-re or similar
  • Overnight Ferry – Ferry Sunflower or similar
  • Osaka – Hotel Gracery Osaka Namba or similar
  • Takayama – TOKYU STAY Hida-Takayama Musubi-no-Yu or similar
  • Kanazawa – Kanazawa Manten Hotel or similar
  • Matsumoto – Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring or similar
  • Tokyo – Shinjuku Prince Hotel or similar

Refer to Important Info for further details.

Important Information

Exclusions: Airport transfers, meals not stated, drinks on meals, optional programs, visas (if required), travel insurance (strongly recommended), tipping, personal expenses and anything not explicitly specified are at your own expense.

Payment: A first deposit from $499 per person is required to secure your booking. A second deposit (partial payment) is due 10 months before departure – the amount to be advised at the time of booking. The final balance will be due 5 months before departure. Full payment is due at the time of booking for departures within 5 months.

Fitness: A moderate level of fitness is required. You are required to move about unassisted, including boarding and alighting vehicles and other forms of transportation, walking up and down flights of stairs, and navigating occasional uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to carry your own bags to and from hotels, stations and terminals. This trip is not suitable for travellers requiring wheelchair, mobility scooters or facilities for disabled guests. Other walking aids may be permitted if you are able to move about unassisted at the required pace. For advice on whether this trip is suitable for you, you are required to disclose physical ailments at the time of booking.

As mentioned in the itinerary, the Jigokudani Monkey Park trail leading to the park is an unsealed forest path, making it unsuitable for wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Travelers should be prepared for a 30 to 40-minute walk, which is generally reasonably easy, though it includes a staircase towards the end. It is recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes.
For those who may find the path challenging, there is a convenient option to wait at a café located at the start of the trail. This allows individuals to take a break, enjoy refreshments, and soak in the surroundings while others venture into the Monkey Park.

Pace: The pace of this tour is moderate. The tour covers several prefectures of Japan and involves some early starts and some long travel days – see the itinerary for an indication of the distances travelled by the coach. One to two nights at each destination is standard. Scheduled free days allow some downtime, or alternatively, you have the flexibility to explore further and book optional programs (at your own expense).

Solo Occupancy: A single supplement from $1700 per person is payable in addition to the twin share price for solo occupancy. Single rooms are typically smaller than twin rooms in Japan.

Triple Share: Triple share is not available.

Extra Accommodation: Pre-tour accommodation in Fukuoka with breakfast in the same tour hotel can be added for one or two persons subject to availability from $350 per room per night. Post-tour accommodation in Tokyo with breakfast in the same tour hotel can be added for one or two persons subject to availability from $390 per room per night.

Child: This tour is best enjoyed by adult travellers and is not suitable for children under 10 years of age. Children 10 years and above are subject to the adult price and must be accompanied by an adult.

Price: Surcharges may apply for select travel periods and departure cities. Prices are correct at the time of publication and are subject to availability, change, cancellation or withdrawal without notice. All prices are in Australian dollars per person twin share unless stated otherwise.

Amendment: Each amendment is subject to a non-refundable fee from $75 per person. Additional fees and fare differences from third-party suppliers including air, tour, cruise and accommodation providers may apply.

Cancellation: Cancellation at any time is subject to a non-refundable fee from $550 per person. Additional fees and fare differences from third-party suppliers including air, tour, cruise and accommodation providers may apply.

Deviation: Any request to deviate from the original dates or routing, including early arrival and stay behind, is subject to a flight deviation fee from $150 per person plus applicable airfare and tax difference. Packaged tour extensions are not subject to the deviation fee (applicable airfare and tax difference may still apply) if booked according to the original advertised dates and routing.

Passport: For international travel, each customer must provide a copy of the passport photo page at the time of booking. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure all names are full names exactly matched to the passport with six months validity beyond trip completion. The customer is liable for all fees due to incorrect names, invalid passport information and expired passports.

Visa: A visa is generally not required for Australian passport holders visiting Japan for the purpose of short-term tourism; however, this policy is subject to change without notice. Visa requirements for each origin and destination country are the responsibility of the customer to check and obtain (if required) with the local consulate or embassy. The customer is liable for all visa application costs and fees due to the failure to obtain the required travel documents.

Health: It is the responsibility of the customer to check and comply with the health, vaccination, COVID-19 and immigration requirements of each origin and destination country, and health requirements imposed by air, tour, cruise and accommodation providers. Vaccinations, testing and quarantine costs are the expense of the customer. Comprehensive travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage is strongly recommended.

Baggage: Each person is entitled to a strict maximum of one bag not exceeding 20kg on tour, superseding any other baggage allowance. Excess baggage is not permitted. You are strongly encouraged to pack lightly. An additional light day bag or backpack is permitted on the coach. Due to bullet train baggage restrictions, your bag will be transferred separately, and you are required to pack a separate light bag or backpack containing overnight essentials. Porterage is not included, and you are required to carry your own bags. Luggage and personal effects are your own risk, and we hold no liability for lost or damaged belongings.

Transfers: Airport transfers are not included.

Meals: Breakfasts offered by the Japanese accommodation providers are typically buffet style, with limited vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options. For meals not included, you will be taken to places with options where possible. Please notify us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements and allergies. We endeavour to pass on your dietary requirements but cannot guarantee that they can be met as certain choices may be limited or not catered for. You are required to reconfirm dietary requests with your tour leader whilst on tour.

Accommodation: The size of hotel rooms in Japan are generally smaller than Western standards. Hotels are carefully hand-selected for room sizes of at least 18 sqm for your comfort. Single rooms are typically smaller than twin rooms. Hotels in Japan generally have very few rooms with double-bed configurations. Requests for rooms with double beds cannot be guaranteed in advance and if not available, twin beds will be provided. Hotel names referenced are to be used as an indicative guide for the standard of accommodation to expect. Actual hotels may differ and will be confirmed on your final documentation. All hotel ratings are local or self-ratings provided by the supplier. All rooms are lead-in category or run-of-house unless otherwise specified. Due to the popular culture of smoking in Japan, non-smoking or deodourised rooms will be requested by default – please notify hotel reception if this is an issue. The standard check-in time is after 3pm and check-out is before 10am – actual times may vary.

Tipping: Customary tour guide tipping from JPY500 (AUD$6) per person per day is strongly recommended as a gesture of appreciation for the service provided.

Flights: The outbound flight may depart one day prior to day 1 shown on the itinerary. The inbound flight may arrive one day after the final day shown on the itinerary. Flights are booked approximately 8 to 10 months prior to departure. The flights included in your package are based on a specific predetermined airfare allowance. Should there be a significant increase in airfares, fuel levies, taxes or government fees at the time of booking flights, then an airfare supplement may be imposed. The Air Team will discuss options with you prior to ticketing, should this situation arise. Flights may not operate daily or directly to your destination. No show of any flight sectors will result in the automatic cancellation of all onward flights by the airline.

Fuel: In the unlikely event of a significant increase in fuel costs levied by third-party air, land and cruise transportation operators before travel, a fuel supplement may be passed on to the customer.

Group Size: You will meet like-minded travellers on tour and may even make lifelong friends. This tour will proceed with a minimum group size of approximately 10 passengers and a maximum group size of approximately 20 passengers. If the tour does not operate, you will be offered a credit. The operation of optional programs is subject to a minimum group size. If the minimum number for optional programs is not reached, you will be refunded.

Blooms: The timing of cherry blossoms, autumn leaves and other blooms is not guaranteed as they are highly seasonal from region to region and subject to changing climate conditions. Suggested dates are only an estimate of the best viewing periods based on historical data. Cherry blossom full blooms last over a one-week time window but the actual dates vary depending on where you are across the country. Cherry blossom festival season is one of the most incredible times to visit Japan, but it is a busy period in Japan. It is lively and crowded every year and expected to be especially busy due to unprecedented pent-up demand for post-pandemic travel to Japan.

Optional Programs: Optional programs are subject to a minimum of 10 passengers and must be booked at least 5 months before departure. If the optional programs do not operate, you will be refunded.

Itinerary: The operating schedule and itinerary may be impacted without notice by adverse weather, seasonal factors, closures, local conditions, COVID-19 or other factors beyond our control including force majeure. If attractions are not available due to reasons beyond our control such as closures or adverse weather, alternatives will be provided where possible. The itinerary and its order, sightseeing and transportation may be adjusted as deemed appropriate by the operator for optimum safety, enjoyment and operation. Any reference to ‘optional’, ‘not included’ or ‘exclusions/excluded’ means at your own expense.

Breakaway: Customers must remain with the tour group at all times and must not leave the tour unless written approval is provided before departure.

Documentation: Final documentation will be emailed within two weeks of departure. For packages consisting of multiple tours or countries, documentation will be emailed individually within two weeks of departure of each respective tour.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is not included and is strongly recommended. Ask our holiday experts for great coverage options.

Force Majeure: Force majeure means any natural disaster, accident, fire, act of God, act of war, terrorism, legally binding judgment, injunction, action of a court or other relevant authority, emergency, unplanned repairs, maintenance, strike, industrial dispute, work ban, blockade or picketing, travel ban, pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of infectious disease, or other event beyond our reasonable direct or indirect control. In case of force majeure or other extraordinary event that prevents safe travel, the supplier reserves the right to adjust, postpone or cancel the trip.

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