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ITINERARY

Tokyo - Mt Fuji - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Hiroshima - Osaka: 16 days

Treat yourself to a Travelbay Private Tour of Japan and discover many amazing highlights. From bright city lights and shopping, to shrines, fantastic food, castles, smaller towns and hand-feeding deer – experience a wonderful taste of Japan's best.

See the big city of Tokyo, followed by Mt Fuji, beautiful rural areas and mountainous regions, the culture-rich city of Kyoto, Hiroshima and ending your tour in Osaka. This special tour is a mix of the ultra-modern with the traditional, combined with a beautiful backdrop and incredible cuisine all with the luxury and support of your own private guides. 

The hotels are all in great locations providing you with wonderful access to the delights of each location. 

This is a Private Tour with your own personal English speaking guide. Travel at your own pace and experience a much more intimate and relaxing holiday. Throughout the tour you will take public transport - at times with your guide and at times on your own (your guide will support you). This is rather fun and you have the opportunity to ride on the trains and buses as the locals do.

 

PRICING GUIDE

Pricing in Japan varies from season to season so we need to quote individually for your holiday based on your preferred date. Below is a pricing guide for this 16 Day Japan Private Tour (prices are per person twin share):

  • 3 Star option (2 people): from $8,890 to $10,490
  • 3 Star option (4 people): from $7,150 to $8,690
  • 4 Star option (2 people): from $10,590 to $11,690
  • 4 Star option (4 people): from $8,850 to $9,890

Please contact us for a quote.

 

* Price includes 15 nights' accommodation, all transport, all entrance fees, guides, 17 meals and more. Price does not include international return flights to Japan. 

We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from Australia to Tokyo are approximately $1,000 – $1,200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw! 

We also offer Japan Tailor Made Private Tours. Please contact us for more information. 

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

Your journey begins in Tokyo, Japan's capital and the world's most populous metropolis. Filled with shopping, dining, entertainment, history and culture as well as skyscrapers and green spaces – this city is a delight to explore.

On arrival in Tokyo you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel (shared transfer) in the central part of the city. 

Overnight in Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Keio Plaza Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star) 

Meals included: None included on this arrival day.

Day 2: Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Asakusa and more – the delights of Tokyo

This morning your guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby and begin your full day private tour with a visit to Meiji Jingu Shrine. Located in an evergreen forest in the middle of Tokyo, it is somewhat of an oasis. This shrine was built in 1920 only to be rebuilt after it was destroyed during WWII and is Japan's most popular shrine for hatsumode. Hatsumode is a time when people make their first visit of the year to a shrine or temple to pray for good fortune in the year ahead. 

After Meiji Jingu Shrine, your tour continues to Harajuku, a fashion and shopping hot spot a few minutes walk away. Takeshita-dori Street is the focal point and has many trendy shops and cafes – as well as people! Nearby is Omotesando Street – a picturesque tree lined street with more high-end shops, gourmet food and art. 

Then visit the Tokyo Tower – the bright red 333m tall tower in the city centre. It was modelled on the Eiffel Tower but is 13m taller. The main observatory is at 150m and from here you can appreciate great views of the city. 

You may like to lunch at one of the eating venues at the base of the Tokyo Tower before heading across town to Asakusa, Tokyo's Old Town. Visit Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji and wander Nakamise, a centuries-old shopping alley selling street foods, handicrafts, souvenirs and more. 

After you have completed your fabulous shopping, your guide will return you to your hotel on public transport.

Overnight in Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Keio Plaza Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star) 

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 3: Morning at Toyosu & Tsukiji Fish Market and a Sushi cooking class

Spend your morning at the local fish markets. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the market. Visit the Toyosu Wholesale Fish Market - said to be the world's biggest seafood market. You'll also visit the Tuskiji Outer Market, the traditional location of the fish market where you can find alleys filled with food stalls and sushi shops.  

After the fish markets, your guide will take you to your sushi cooking class. Learn how to make different types of sushi, which you can then enjoy for lunch. Special food requirements can be accommodated as the ingredients will be raw fish, meats and vegetables.

After lunch, your guide will take you to the nearest Metro or train station. You may like to explore more of Tokyo on your own or return to your hotel for the afternoon.

Overnight in Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Keio Plaza Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star) 

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Spend the day at leisure in Tokyo

Today is a free day to explore Tokyo at your leisure. 

Here are some ideas that you may wish to discuss (the day before) with your tour guide and explore on your own:

  • Shibuya crossing
  • Hamarikyu Garden and a water bus cruise to Odaiba
  • Edo Tokyo Museum adn Sword Museum in Ryogoku

Please note: Today your luggage will be forwarded to your accommodation in Kanazawa. This is to make is easier for you when you travel on the trains and buses in the following days. Please take an overnight bag or small suitcase with you for the next few nights that you can easily carry.

Overnight in Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Keio Plaza Hotel (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star) 

Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 5: Mt Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Today you will be met by your guide at your hotel and transferred to Shinjuku Station. This is said to be the biggest station in the world with up to 3 million people passing through the station daily, something to witness. From here your guide will accompany you on the coach up to Mt Fuji 5th Station (Subaru Line) at 2300 metres above sea level (this takes 2.5 hours).

Once you arrive at 5th Station, enjoy the panoramic view of the Japanese Alps from the observatory and stroll the Ochudo Trail before taking a bus to downtown Lake Kawaguchi. Visit the Kawaguchiko Natural Living Centre, which is located on the shores of Lake Kawaguchi with a spectacular view of Mt Fuji. Visit the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum – home to a collection of kimonos from the legendary designer Kubota Itchiku.

After your tour, your guide will escort you to your hotel where you can enjoy a hot spring bath and stay in a traditional Japanese-style room. 

Please note:

  • Mt Fuji is a shy mountain and views of the mountains are largely weather dependent.  
  • Kubota Itchiku Art Museum is closed on Tuesdays so if your visit falls on a Tuesday, you can enjoy a day at the beautiful and amazing Kawaguchiko Music Forest. This is a European-inspired garden with an antique music-box museum, vintage organs and stunning architecture.
  • If the coach is not available then you will travel by train from Shinjuku station.  
  • If the Mt Fuji 5th Station is closed due to bad weather during the winter months, your guide can take you to either of the following: 
    • Oshino Hakkai
    • Kachi Kachi Mountain Mt Fuiji scenic ropeway and Arakurayama Sengen Park

Overnight in Mt Fuji area: Yamagishi Ryokan (Japanese Room) or similar (3 Star); The Fuji Lake Hotel (Japanese/Western Room) or similar (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 6: Mt Fuji to Takayama, and discover sake

Today after breakfast at your hotel you will take the 5 hour scenic drive (via coach) from Kawaguchi-ko Station to Takayama (without guide).

On arrival at Takayama your local guide will meet you and show you the town, starting with the Takayama Jinya which housed the main government offices during the Edo Period. It was in use from 1692 to 1969 (yes that's right, 277 years) and is the only one left standing today out of 60 similar buildings throughout Japan's history.

A local Sake Brewery is up next. Here you can learn about the production of Sake and then taste the final product!

Please note: Today there will be no guide on the bus trip from Kawaguchi-ko to Takayama. Yesterday's guide will have explained how to get to the Kawaguchi-ko Lake bus stop for the trip to Takayama. Once you arrive at Takayama bus terminal, look out for your name/s on a board being held by a friendly local guide who will then escort you to your hotel to drop off your luggage before starting today's tour.

Tip: Have some socks or slippers handy on arrival into Takayama, as shoes are not allowed within the Takayama Jinya buildings.

Overnight in Takayama: Honjin Hiranoya Bekkan (Japanese Room) or similar (3 Star); Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan (Japanese Room with Onsen) or similar (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: Takayama to Shirakawago and Kanazawa

Today you will be met at your hotel by your guide to start with a tour of Shirakawago. Located in a mountainous region, the large houses with their steeply pitched thatched 'Gassho' style roofs are the only examples of their kind, built to withstand some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan. They are named in Japanese for their resemblance to hands joined in prayer. Discover this original way of life with your guide.

After this wonderful visit, continue on by bus to Kanazawa which served as the seat of the second-most powerful clan (Maeda Clan) during the Edo Period. The city boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts, as well as modern museums.

Start at the bustling Omicho Market where a wide range of locally caught fresh seafood is for sale, along with fruit and vegetables and other foods. If you're peckish, you can sample some in the plentiful market restaurants.

Then stroll around the historical Higashi Chayagai District, a lovely neighbourhood of beautifully preserved geisha houses, many of which have now been converted into restaurants or teahouses.

After the days touring, you will be taken back to your hotel.

Overnight in Kanazawa: Resol Trinity Hotel Kanazawa (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel or Nikko Hotel Kanazawa (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8: Explore Kanazawa including Market, Castle and Ninja Temple

Today is the day to explore Kanazawa. With your guide taking care of you all day. Visit the unique and amazing 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art followed by the Kanazawa Castle Ruin. It's not so much of a ruin anymore as it has been carefully reconstructed – the castle, the views and the park (located on a hilltop) are well worth enjoying.

Continue on to the Myoryuji Temple or Ninja Temple. Hiding within its demure exterior is a jaw-dropping labyrinth of passages, rooms, auto-locking doors, traps and many secure defences. Surprisingly there's not a Ninja in sight as the temple has no connection to the Ninja!

After a fascinating day, you will be returned to your hotel.

Please note: Today your luggage will be forwarded to your accommodation in Kyoto. Please take an overnight bag or small suitcase with you for the next few nights that you can easily carry on the train.

Overnight in Kanazawa: Resol Trinity Hotel Kanazawa (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel or Nikko Hotel Kanazawa (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9: Express Train to Kyoto ~ Temples, Shops and maybe Geisha

Say goodbye to Kanazawa this morning and catch the express train to Kyoto (2.5 hours). Your new guide will meet you at Kyoto Station, help you to drop your luggage at your hotel and then take you on a half-day city tour starting with Sanjusangendo Temple. 1001 golden statues of Kannon, Goddess of Mercy, greet you inside, with a 3.3m seated statue of Kannon in the middle – quite a sight to behold. Photography of the interior is not permitted, however there are good postcards available for purchase.

Further respect to the Goddess of Mercy is next paid at Kiyomizu Temple. The panoramic view from the huge wooden verandah that juts out over the cliff has inspired the famous Japanese expression, "Jump off the stage of Kiyomizu", with the English equivalent being, "take the plunge" or "take a risk" to make your dreams come true. This temple seems to be just about everything a temple shouldn’t be: noisy, busy and commercial, but it somehow manages to transcend all of this to become one of Kyoto’s most worthwhile temples to visit. 

From the temple your guide will direct you to follow the winding road – lined with traditional wooden shops selling kiyomizu-yaki, a type of pottery linked to the area and yatsuhashi, a Japanese confectionery – down to the Gion Area, home of the Geisha. Enjoy a walk and explore the shrines, temples and historic sites of Gion’s picturesque streets and you may even see some Geisha.

Please note:

  • Today there will be no guide on the bullet train trip from Kanazawa to Kyoto.
  • Photography of the interior of Sanjusangendo Temple is not permitted.
  • The main hall in Kiyomizu Temple is currently being renovated (due to complete in March 2020) and there may be some scaffolding outside, however it is still readily accessible.

Overnight in Kyoto: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Okura Hotel Kyoto (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10: Kyoto ~ Zen Temples, Food Market and Nijo Castle

Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and take you to Kinkakuji Temple (also known as The Golden Pavilion) by Metro or train.

Kinkakuji Temple is a gorgeous three storied building overlooking a large pond, with the top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. It is known as The Golden Pavilion and has been a Zen temple since 1408, after originally being a retirement villa for the shogun who bequeathed it after his death to the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism.

After enjoying your visit to Kinkakuji, you will visit Ryoanji Temple.

Ryoanji Temple belongs to the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism and its biggest attraction is the world-famous dry landscape garden. It measures about 25 x 10 metres and is an austere collection of 15 rocks in various sizes, arranged in five groups adrift in a rectangular sea of white sand. This rock garden, surrounded by low earthen walls may be thought of as the quintessence of Zen art, and is acknowledged to be one of the masterpieces of Japanese culture.

After Ryoanji Temple, time to have a break from temple-hopping. Nishiki Market is located in the centre of the town and Nishikikoji-dori, the "kitchen of Kyoto" is a street lined with shops selling Kyoto's specialties, such as Kyo-Yasai (Kyoto-vegetables), dried and pickled foods, fish and more. The variety of foods on display is staggering and the frequent cries of Irashaimase (Welcome!) are heart-warming.

After the market,  Nijo Castle is waiting for you to visit. Nijo Castle was built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). It was later used as an Imperial Palace before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as an historic site. Its palace buildings are arguably the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan's feudal era, and the castle was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994.

Once you've explored Nijo Castle, it's back to the hotel after a full day.

You will be with your guide throughout the day, who will pick you up from and return you to your hotel by public transport.

    Overnight in Kyoto: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Okura Hotel Kyoto (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 11: Fushimi-Inari Shrine

    Today your tour will begin with a visit to Fushimi-Inari Shrine – famous for the more than 5,000 vibrant orange, seemingly unending path of Torii Gates leading to the forest of Mount Inari. Inari is the Shinto God of rice and foxes are thought to be the messengers of Inari, which is why you will see many fox statues throughout the grounds of the shrine. Following this, the Sake Brewery Museum is then available for you to learn about the brewing process and to try the different tasting sakes.

    After the Sake Museum the rest of the day is yours. Your guide can take you to the nearest station for you to discover more sights on your own or accompany you back to your hotel by public transport.

    Overnight in Kyoto: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Okura Hotel Kyoto (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 12: Spend the day at leisure in Kyoto

    Today is a free day to explore the area in and around Kyoto. Here are some ideas that you may wish to discuss with your tour guide and explore on your own:

    • Arashiyama in West Kyoto, Tenryuji temple, the scenic Togetsu bridge and Iwatayama Monkey park
    • Pontocho & Miyagawa-cho geisha alley 
    • Kyoto Manga Museum

    Or you may simply prefer to have a relaxing day in the hotel. 

    Overnight in Kyoto: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Okura Hotel Kyoto (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 13: Nara ~ Temples, Deer, Shrine, Lanterns and Park

    Today your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you on the train for the one hour journey from Kyoto to Nara, an ancient capital of Japan. 

    Kofuku-ji Temple was founded in 669 and used to be the family temple of a powerful clan. The Temple is a towering pagoda set in gorgeous gardens and contains some priceless relics and Buddhist images and treasured artefacts.

    Todai-ji Temple is located in Nara Park. This is a Buddhist temple and enhouses gigantic Buddha statues – the largest bronze statue is over 15 metres tall. Nara Park is filled with many tame deer – they will come to you looking for shika senbei, special crackers for deer that you can buy within the grounds. 

    Continue on to Mt Kasuga and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine  look out for the hundreds of bronze lanterns hanging from the building with as many stone lanterns lining the walkways, creating a peaceful atmosphere. Here you can relax and enjoy the views of Nara. 

    After your time in Nara Park is complete, your guide will accompany you on public transport back to your hotel.

    Please note: Today your luggage will be forwarded to your accommodation in Osaka. This is to make is easier for you when you travel on the trains and buses in the following days. Please take an overnight bag or small suitcase with you for the next few nights that you can easily carry.

    Overnight in Kyoto: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Okura Hotel Kyoto (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 14: Kyoto Bullet train to Hiroshima ~ visit Park and Ferry to Island

    Today you will be transferred by taxi to Kyoto Train Station from where you will catch the world-famous Bullet Train (Shinkansen) to Hiroshima (2 hours). On arrival at Hiroshima your guide will take you to your hotel where your luggage will be left, after which you will catch a local bus or tram to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the centre of town.

    Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be bombed by a nuclear bomb and this beautiful Park and Museum comprehensively detail the devastation and subsequent events and rebuilding. When in season, the Park is also a great place for viewing the gorgeous and world-renowned cherry blossoms.

    After this informative visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, take a train and ferry ride to Miyajima Island where you will see the famous orange great floating Torii Gate* and floating Itsukushima Shrine.

    After your visit to Miyajima Island, you will be transferred to your hotel in Hiroshima.

    *Please note: Refurbishment works began on the Torii gate in June 2019 and is partially covered with scaffolding. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not yet been set but it is expected to take around 12 months. 

    Overnight in Hiroshima: Hotel New Hiroden (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Granvia Hotel Hiroshima (Standard Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 15: Travel to Osaka ~ explore or relax as you wish

    Today is about travelling to Osaka and exploring the city at your leisure. A guide will assist you to get to the Hiroshima train station to catch the Bullet Train to Shin-Osaka station. There you will find your new hotel transfer guide by looking out for a friendly person holding a board with your name/s on it; they will escort you in a taxi to your hotel. After settling in at your hotel, your last full day is yours to fill as you wish, perhaps exploring Osaka or simply relaxing at the hotel.

    Overnight in Osaka: Monterey Hotel Osaka (Standard Room) or similar (3 Star); Hilton Osaka (Hilton Room) or similar (4 Star)

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 16: Time to go home or on to your next adventure

    Today the tour ends. Your transfer assistant will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the nearest limousine bus stop for Kansai Airport for your flight home or onto your next adventure.

    Meals included: Breakfast

     

    * All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.

    INCLUSIONS
    Inclusions:
    • 15 nights' accommodation 
    • Daily breakfast, one lunch and one dinner
    • All transportation as outlined in the itinerary (including 2 bullet trains & 1 express train). 
    • All airport transfers (shared transfers) – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure.
    • English speaking guide for sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary (in each location you will have a different guide).
    • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as detailed in the itinerary. 
    Highlights:
    • Discover the mega-tropolis known as Tokyo. There is no city quite like Tokyo – it is a wonderous world of its own. 
    • In the heart of the bustle of Tokyo lies the serene Meiji Jingu Shrine. Wander the gardens and get a taste of traditional Japan. 
    • Be wowed by the pop-culture and fashion of Harajuku and the colours and giant video screens of Shibuya.
    • Enjoy the views from the Tokyo Tower, the atmosphere of Tokyo's old town – Asakusa and the traditional shopping street of Nakamise.
    • Visit the Toyosu and Tsukiji Fish Markets - the largest fish markets in the world. 
    • Learn the art of shushi making with you own sushi making class. 
    • Enjoy the area of Mt Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi and visit the famous collection of kimonos at the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum. 
    • Be wowed by traditional Japan, the beautiful mountainous region at Takayama and Shirakawago and explore historic Kanazawa. 
    • It was Japan who invented the bullet train and what better place to ride the shinkansen than in Japan. Journey to Kyoto travelling at over 250kms per hour. 
    • Discover the temples, shrines and authentic culture in Kyoto.
    • Walk through the tunnel of vibrant orange Torii Gates at Fushimi-Inari Shrine.
    • Visit the Todai-ji Temple in Nara Park and hand-feed the tame deer that abound in the park. 
    • Experience a second bullet train when travelling to Hiroshima to learn about an important part of 20th Century history.
    • Visit the beautiful Miyajima Island with the sacred Itsukushima Shrine with the great orange 'floating' Torii Gate.    
    • Spend a day in Osaka exploring at your leisure. 
    MORE INFO

    Travelbay Japan Tours - 16D Map 

    How to get there:

    This tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka. 

    Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and is happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange flights yourself you can find more information and suggestions here.

    If you are wanting to know more about how far it is between destinations and how long your flight will take, you can visit www.travelmath.com and use their trip calculator.

      Timezones:
      To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

      Visa information: 
      If a visa is required for any country you are visiting it is each travellers responsibility to ensure they have obtained a valid visa prior to travel. Every country has different requirements and it also depends on the nationality of the passport you are travelling on. 

      To find out the visa requirements for your destination, you can check here with Visalink.

      If a visa is required you can use the services on the same link, or you may wish to apply directly yourself.

      In addition to the above link, we have provided some more information on visas here: Visa Information page

      Please note: Every country has different visa requirements and charges. To support we attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

      Currency information:
      The currency used in Japan is the Yen. 

      What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines available and you should let your bank know that you will be using your card over there to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

      Vaccination information:
      Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

      Electricity and Adaptors
      A useful resource to find out what plug or adaptor you might need for any country can be found by clicking here: https://whatplug.info/to/ and then selecting the country or countries you are visiting.

      Climate:
      Japan has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Each season has its merits and Japan is a year round top travel destination. 

      Spring time is from March to May and temperatures are warm but not too hot. This is the time of the cherry blossoms and is a popular time to visit Japan. 

      Summer time starts in June and this time of year can be hot and humid with temperatures reaching over 30°C. 

      Autumn time is from September to November and is another popular time to travel due to the mild temperatures. This is also maple season when the countryside changes colour with the maple leaves. 

      Winter time is from December to February and the average daytime temperature in Tokyo is 10°C with the night time lows dropping to 2°C. Japan is a popular winter destination for skiing and snowboarding as well as sightseeing with the winter landscape. 

      Rainy season: June to mid-July.

      Dry season: April to June.

      Peak season: High season in Japan coincides with the cherry blossoms blooming. Exact cherry blossom dates vary but is sometime from mid March through to late April. If you do wish to travel at this time, we recommend booking well in advance.

      October to mid November is another popular time – this is autumn season when the foliage of Japan turns all kinds of reds and yellows. 

      Tipping tips:

      Tipping is entirely at your discretion. 

      For all bills in Japan (including services in hotels and restaurants), the service charge is already included.

      Staff in Japan do not rely on tips and the Japanese are not so familiar with receiving tips. In most of the hotels in Japan, staff are educated about how to respond to tipping from guests and they often gently and politely decline three times!

      You do not need to tip in Japan, however, for the guides if you want to tip as a gesture of your appreciation, you can put the money in an envelope and hand it to your guide on departure. The guides do not expect a tip.

        Population: 127 million

        Language: Japanese

        Predominant religion: Shinto and Buddhism. 

        Some interesting facts:
        Japan has 4 different alphabets: Kanji (imported from China); Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji (used to represent Japanese sounds using the western alphabet).

        Tokyo takes first place as the world's most populous city – Delhi, Shanghai and Mexico City follow rank. There are around 6,158 persons per square kilometre. 

        Sumo wrestling is Japan's national sport.

        Sleeping at work has an official word: Inemuri. It means sleeping on the job and is not frowned upon. It can be seen as a sign of working hard. 

        Travelbay Japan Tours - Inemuri - Nikki asleep at work
        Here is a behind the scenes shot of Nikki hard at work practising Inemuri

        Related blogs and articles:

        Travelbay Blog - Cherry Blossom Blooming in Japan

        TERMS
        Terms & Conditions

        Booking Process:

        Upon purchase of your tour you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

        As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 24 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

        We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport.

        Very Important:

        It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.  

        Booking Information:

        • Quoted prices are per person.
        • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
        • Please book at least 30 days prior to your desired date of travel. 
        • Bookings are subject to availability.
        • Bookings during Cherry Blossom season (mid March to late April) and Autumn (early October to mid November) are peak season - we recommend booking well in advance. 
        • Please contact us for child pricing as it will vary depending on the age of the child and group size. 
        • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you at very reasonable rates.
        • If you have any other special requests including having a quote for a tailor made private tour please let us know as we can make arrangements.
        • Prior to completion of your booking we take great care to go through all the details together with you until we get everything exactly as you would like it. At that point we confirm your booking and the details and you pay for it. If after payment, you decide to make further changes we will do what we can to accommodate them and will also need to charge an additional $50 administration fee.

          Inclusions:

          • 15 nights' accommodation.
            • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability and may generate additional full day room rate.
          • Daily breakfast (total of 15), one dinner and one lunch. 
          • All transportation throughout the tour:
            • Public transport in Tokyo (with guide)
            • Bus from Tokyo to Mt Fuji and then Lake Kawaguchi (with guide)
            • Bus from Kawaguchi-ko Station to Takayama (without guide) 
            • Bus from Shirakawago to Kanazawa (with guide)
            • Public transportation in Kanazawa
            • Bullet train from Kanazawa to Kyoto (without guide)
            • Public transport in Kyoto (with guide)
            • Train from Kyoto to Nara (with guide)
            • Bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima (without guide)
            • Public Transportation in Hiroshima
            • Bullet train from Hiroshima to Osaka (without guide)
            • Public transportation in Osaka
          • All airport transfers – a representative will be there to meet you on arrival and get you to the airport on time for your departure. Please note these are shared transfers and not private.
          • Please note: There is one airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure for the group booked. If within your group you will be arriving separately, please contact us for a quote.
          • English speaking guide for sightseeing as per the tour program (in each location you will have a different guide).
          • Entrance fees to the monuments and parks as mentioned in the itinerary.

            Exclusions:

            • International airfares to and from Japan (we can provide you with a quote for these).
            • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
            • Drinks for all meals.
            • Travel insurance. Please contact us if you would like a quote.
            • Any visa fee.
            • Travel insurance.
            • Tips and gratuities.
            • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
            • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

              General Terms & Conditions:

              • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
              • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
              • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
              • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
              • Some accommodation providers may require that you present a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred during your stay, for example mini-bar. You are responsible for the payment of any such additional expenses.
              • Please check baggage allowance prior to travel. The allowance may vary according to the destination, airline, cruise or coach operator. You are responsible for any excess baggage fees.
              • Travelbay recommends travel insurance. We would be pleased to provide you with a quote and support you in your insurance needs. Please click here or contact us on 1800 020 020.
              • It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid visa, if required. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.
              • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
              • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
              • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
              • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
              • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
              • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
              • It is your responsibility to review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the relevant government agencies prior to booking travel or departing to international destinations. For Australian travellers, information on conditions in various countries and the level of risk associated with travel to particular international destinations can be found on the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service website currently located at http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au. For travellers from other countries we recommend you check the travel recommendations of your country.
              • By offering reservations for travel-related products or services in relation to particular international destinations, Travelbay does not represent or warrant that travel to such points is advisable or without risk, and Travelbay is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
              • Travelbay sells tours on behalf of other Suppliers/Tour Operators. We rely on the relevant third party suppliers. Travelbay and the airlines, hotels and other Suppliers providing Services made available on or through this Website are independent parties and are not related parties. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Travelbay is not liable for the acts, errors, omissions, representations, warranties, breaches or negligence of any such Suppliers or for any personal injuries, death, property damage, or other damages or expenses resulting therefrom.
              • Whilst we take great care to provide clear and accurate information, there may be occasions where there are inaccuracies or errors. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims liability for, any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information, descriptions and activities displayed on this website and in our promotional material.
              • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
              • Hotel ratings displayed on this Website and in our promotional material are intended only as general guidelines, and Travelbay does not guarantee the accuracy of the ratings. Hotel room images are representative only and the actual room occupied may vary in inclusions and décor.
              • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
              • Subject to relevant laws, if Travelbay merges, sells or otherwise changes control of our business or this Website, we reserve the right, without giving notice or seeking consent, to transfer or assign your Personal Information, content and rights that we have collected from you and any agreements we have made with you.
              • Travelbay reserves all intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, copyright in material and/or services provided by us.

              If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

              You can start this tour on any date - pending availability

              Please contact us