• Grand Gion Festival Tour

  • 11 nights 12 days

Experience the Japan's Most Popular and Vibrant Festival

Japan Package - Grand Gion Festival Tour Travel Japan extensively by stopping at three major islands – Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku - with an added bonus of participating in Japan's largest and most vibrant festival, Kyoto Gion Festival.

Starting from Tokyo, we travel south to Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Arita Ceramic Village, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Takachiho, Beppu, Matsuyama, and a prolong stay in Kyoto. You will get to experience tea ceremony in Kyoto's Temple, a traditional kagura dance in Takachiho Gorge, the Tour of Hell in Beppu's hot springs, and a cruise in Lake Ashi with a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. We will visit famous landmarks like Nagasaki, Harajuku, and Dogo Onsen.

You will also get familiar with a luxurious ryokan, Japanese hotel, with a hot spring and a traditional multi-course dinner. This fully escorted tour will give you an assortment of experience from the metropolis city life to the off beaten track of Japan's countryside; including a visit to Gion Festival.

Price : From AUD4,710 (Per person twin share)
Tour Start : Tokyo Tour End : Osaka
Duration : 11 nights 12 days Departure Date : 12 July 2014
Hotels : 9 nights Western and 2 nights Japanese-style hotel
Meals : 24 meals (10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinner)
Route : Tokyo ⇒ Mt. Fuji ⇒ Hakone ⇒ Atami ⇒ Nara ⇒ Kyoto ⇒ Hiroshima ⇒ Miyajima ⇒ Arita ⇒ Nagasaki ⇒ Kumamoto ⇒ Mt. Aso ⇒ Takachiho ⇒ Beppu ⇒ Matsuyama ⇒ Takamatsu ⇒ Osaka
Visit : Tokyo :
Tsukiji Tuna Auction (except Sundays), Asakusa, Sensoji Temple, Akihabara Electric Town, Edo Tokyo Museum, Odaiba, Harajuku, Ginza
Hakone, Mt.Fuji, Atami :
Lake Ashi Cruise, Hakone Ropeway, Owakudani Boiling Valley, Mt.Fuji Fifth Station (if weather permits), Visitor Centre
Mie :
Iga Ninja Museum
Nara :
Todaiji Temple-Giant Buddha, Nara Deer Park
Kyoto :
Gion Festival, Kinkakuji Temple-Golden Pavilion, Kodaiji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, Gion Geisha District, Nishijin Textile Center-Kimono Show
Kurashiki, Hiroshima :
Bikan historical area, Miyajima-Itsukushima Shrine, A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Park
Nagasaki / Beppu :
Glover Garden, Oura Catholic Church, Arita, The tour of Hell
Matsuyama / Takamatsu / Tokushima : Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple, Ritsurin Garden, Naruto Whirlpools

Tour Start Date 2014 :

July 12

Accommodation :

CityHotel NameRoom Type / Overview
[Day 1-2] Tokyo The Prince Park Tower or similar

Tokyo Prince Hotel1 Tokyo Prince Hotel2

Western-style Room /
The Prince Park Tower Tokyo is a five star hotel, ranked 2nd best hotel in the world by Expedia. Every room is luxurious and spacious with panoramic views of Tokyo. It features state-of-the-art amenities including a Jacuzzi bathtub and separate shower stall. In the facility there is a swimming pool, indoor hot spring, gym, spa, and high-class restaurants. The hotel is walking distance from Tokyo Tower and Roppongi Hills.
Near by : Zojoji Temple Next to the Hotel, Tokyo Tower 5 mins by walk
[Day 3] Atami Atami Hotel New Akao Resort or similar

Atami Hotel New Akao1 Atami Hotel New Akao2

Japanese-style Room /
Akao is a beautiful ocean front resort located at the tip of Uomisaki Point in Atami. This hotel includes a Japanese garden, a herb and rose garden, and a private beach.
Near by : Atami castle within Walking Distance
[Day 4-5] Kyoto Kyoto New Miyako Hotel or similar

Kyoto New Miyako Hotel1 Kyoto New Miyako Hotel2

Western-style Room /
Directly across from Kyoto Station, the location is perfect for tourists. With easy access to great dining options and shopping experiences, the Kyoto New Miyako Hotel is in the heart of the city.
Near by : Ryozen Museum of History in 10 mins by taxi
[Day 6] Kyoto Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar

Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto1 Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto2

Western-style Room /
Nestle in the outskirts of Kyoto City lies the Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto near the forest and parks. The hotel's architecture is unique with circular body and beautiful Japanese Gardens that one can describe it as art. This four star hotel offers a spa, restaurants, banquet halls, and great access to beautiful parks for every season.
Near by : Near by : Takaraga-ike in 5 mins by walk, Sanzen-in, Daikaku-ji and Golden Pavilion in 20 mins by taxi
[Day 7] Hiroshima Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima or similar

Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima1 Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima2

Western-style Room /
Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima is located in the heart of Hiroshima's Downtown. The Hotel offers beautiful view of Hiroshima City. Hotel offers many modern facilities and services like the gym, hot springs, and spa (these are extra charges). Many famous sight see spots are within walking distance such as Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and Atomic Bomb Dome.
Near by : Mazda Museum in 10 mins by car, Peace Park Museum in 10 mins by walk
[Day 8] Nagasaki Hotel Nampuro or similar

Hotel Nampuro1 Hotel Nampuro2

Western-style Room /
Minutes away from Nagasaki is Hotel Nampuro near the Tarukidaichi Forest Park. This luxurious hotel faces Ariake Sea towards Kumamoto. It offers lots of entertainment and relaxation amenities like a petting zoo, outdoor/ indoor hot springs, spa, event showcase, and an award winning garden. Every morning, the hotel offers breakfast buffet with fresh local ingredients. Near proximity to the famous Mount Unzen, you will enjoy the beautiful wild nature in the comfort of your own hotel.
Near by : Mount Unzen in 30 mins by car, Shimabara Castle in 5 mins by car
[Day 9] Miyazaki Hotel Takachiho or similar

Hotel Takachiho1 Hotel Takachiho2

Western-style Room /
One of the most popular places to stay in Takachiho. As a Kokuminshukuha ("Peoples Lodging") they offer outstanding service and comfortable stay. There is a indoor hot spring in ground level. The hotel has great access down to Takachiho Gorge. Enjoy watching a traditional kagura performance close by at Takachiho Shrine.
Near by : Takachiho Gorge in 15 mins by walk, Takachiho Shrine in 5 mins by walk
[Day 10] Matsuyama Tsubaki-kan or similar

Tsubaki-kan1 Tsubaki-kan2

Japanese-style Room /
Tsubaki-kan is located in the Dogo Onsen district, its a great location for shopping and taking the trolley to visit downtown and Matsuyama Castle. The hotel in conveniently located 5 minute walk from the famous Dogo Onsen. Dogo Onsen is the oldest hot spring in Japan and is rumored to have healing qualities. The hotel provides both western and Japanese-style rooms. Everyday there is a taiko show at 9 pm in the ground floor. There is also free Wi-Fi at the lobby area.
Near by : Matsuyama castle 10 mins by car, The Dogo Park 12 mins by walk
[Day 11] Osaka Sheraton Miyako Osaka Hotel or similar or similar

Sheraton Miyako Osaka Hotel1 Sheraton Miyako Osaka Hotel2

Western-style Room /
The only hotel on the Kansai International Airport Island. We are directly connected to the airport and the railway station. In addition, as a resort hotel, we are popular.
Near by : Kami-honmachi YUFURA, Kintetsu department store Next to the Hotel

Tour Itinerary :

DayEvent / VisitHighlight
1 Arrival Tokyo / Narita International Airport

Welcome to Tokyo, you are greeted by a tour guide who will escort you to the hotel.


From Narita Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo - about 90 mins (Bus)
From Haneda Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo - about 30 mins (Bus)

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Meals : Breakfast : X / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : Tokyo
2 Full Day Tokyo

Morning - Tsukiji Fish Market (optional) / Edo Tokyo Museum / Akihabara
Afternoon - Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Harajuku
Evening - Hotel

Today will be devoted to exploring the multi-cultural spots of Tokyo.
Starting with an optional tour to the tuna auction live at the world famous Tsukiji Market. It's the biggest fish market in the world selling over 2,000 tons of fish per day. Though the tour starts at 3:30am, this district is buzzing with life and activities distributing fishes to all the sushi shops in Tokyo. After this tour, you will be taken to your hotel to pack and meet the group.

The tour will head out to Edo Tokyo Museum where you can get acquainted with the history of Tokyo. Close by, we will explore Akihabara famous for their abundance in electronic stores and the home of anime lovers. After lunch in Akihabara, we will delve in the old town district of Asakusa – shop around the Nakamise Shopping area and pray at the Sensoji Temple. We will also be stopping at the Imperial Palace Plaza today to get a glimpse at the current Emperor’s home.

In the evening, we will probe the stores at Harajuku. The unofficial fashion capital of Japan offers the latest pop culture and fashion. Returning to our hotel, we will be passing by the fame Shibuya Cross and Roppongi Hills.

Tokyo - Tsukiji Market Tokyo - Sensoji Temple Tokyo - Imperial Palace
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Tokyo
3 Tokyo - Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Atami

Morning - [Shizuoka] Mt. Fuji / Hakone / Lake Ashi Cruise
Afternoon - Owakudani-Boliling Valley / Bullet Train Ride
Evening - Japanese Style Hotel

In the morning, we shall begin by visiting Japan's most iconic symbol, the sacred Fuji-san, Mt. Fuji. It is 3,776 meters tall, making it Japan's tallest mountain. It's not surprising that the almost perfect shaped volcano has been worshiped through all the ages from poetry to art. From Fuji-san we will continue our journey to Hakone, where we will take a cruise in Lake Ashi. We will then take a ropeway to Owakudani, an active volcanic crater still steaming from its last eruption some 3,000 years ago. There you will get a taste of the local cuisine, the black egg, cooked in one of the craters.

travelling at 270 km/h, we are heading towards our hotel in Shizuoka prefecture using the "shinkansen," bullet train. The tour would not be complete without a long relaxing soak in the onsen, hot spring, to rejuvenate you for tomorrow's adventure. Yukata, a Japanese robe, will be provided for you. The onsen is located in our own ryokan, a Japanese style hotel, which includes a traditional Japanese cuisine.

Hakone - Mt. Fuji Hakone - Lake Ashi Cruise Hakone - Owakudani
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Atami
4 Atami - Nara - Kyoto

Morning - [Iga] Ninja Museum / [Nara] Todaiji Temple (Giant Buddha) / Deer Park
Afternoon - Sake Brewery
Evening - Gion Geisha District / Hotel

In the morning, We proceed to Nara, where you will be greeted by numerous deer that roam free around Todaiji Temple. Todaiji Temple holds the World Guinness Record as the largest wooden building. Inside the temple, you will behold the biggest Buddha statue in Japan. We then return to Kyoto to visit the Gion Geisha District where you can spot geisha walking along the ancient capital. After that, why not try a little sake tasting? We will be heading to a sake brewery to learn how sake is made and try different types of sake.

Afterwards, we offer options for our guest:
1) you may freely roam on your own in Gion
2) Head toward Gion Corner where you can see Geisha dances and other traditional performances (PRICE: JPY 3,150 TIME: 6:00pm, 7:00pm)
3) Go to a photo studio where you can dress as a Geisha with make-up or as a samurai (prices depends on number of exposures and location)

Nara - Todai-ji Temple Nara - the Great Buddha Kyoto - Gion Corner
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Kyoto
5 Kyoto

Morning - Golden Pavilion / Nijo Castle
Afternoon - Nishijin Textile Centre (Kimono Show) / Kiyomizu Temple / Ninenzaka / Kodaiji Temple (Green Tea Ceremony)
Evening - Hotel

We will begin our morning with a visit to the Golden Pavilion, a must see attraction where the two upper floors are covered in gold leaf. We will continue to Nijo Castle. Its walls and door panels are heavily decorated with gold and beautiful pictures of nature.

We will traverse to Nishijin Textile Centre, where you can witness the creation of a traditional kimono. The centre offers courses in handweaving, trying on elegant kimonos, and, if you like it, you can purchase it. You will be invited to see dazzling arrays of kimonos in a fashion show.

Next in our agenda will be a trip to Kiyomizu Temple. The most iconic temple of Japan, Kiyomizu Temple is a wooden structure that overlooks the city of Kyoto. On the base, three canals sprout water representing love, wisdom, and longevity. The last stop will be Kodaiji Temple, built in 1606 in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi by his beloved wife, Nene. This beautifully constructed shrine is well balance with nature maintaining a Japanese and Zen Garden with a Bamboo Forest. It is this location overlooking the scenery that you will be taking lessons in Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Kyoto - Kinkakuji Temple Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera Temple Kyoto - Sagano Bamboo Grove
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Kyoto
6 Kyoto

Morning - Kyoto Gion Festival
Afternoon - Kyoto Gion Festival
Evening - Hotel

Today is dedicated to the Gion Festival, the largest and extravagant festival in Japan. You will be joining thousands of people in the merriment by watching the performances and dancers, eating matsuri (festival) food, and listening to great taiko drums. This festival is renowned for their Yamaboko Junko, a procession of portable shrines that are 25 feet tall and weighing up to 12 tons! You can compare how festivals change atmosphere from the day time to night time where it's the peak of the processions.
Kyoto - Gion Fesrival 1 Kyoto - Gion Fesrival 2 Kyoto - Gion Fesrival 3
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : Kyoto
7 Kyoto - Hiroshima - Miyajima

Morning - Bullet Train Ride / [Hiroshima] Hiroshima Peace Park / A-Bomb Dome
Afternoon - Miyajima / Itsukushima Shrine
Evening - Hotel

After a ride in the Bullet Train, we will visit two UNESCO World Heritage site. Our first stop is Hiroshima Peace Park. Stroll along the park to see famous attractions like that of Sadako's statue and the freedom bell. One of the main highlights of the park is the A-bomb Dome, the only surviving building from the aftermath, and the Peace Park Memorial Museum where you see and read about the relics of the war.

Afterwards, we will take a boat toward a small island off the main shore to Itsukushima, famously known as Miyajima. It is the home of the floating torii, which at high tide seems to float on water. Along the torii, the Itsukushima Shrine complex is also built over water and is ranked one of Japan's three best sceneries. Then we will return to Hiroshima. The evening is open for your own leisure to sight see and go shopping maybe in Hondori.

Hiroshima - A-bomb dome Hiroshima - Itsukushima-jinja Shrine1 Hiroshima - Itsukushima-jinja Shrine2
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Hiroshima
8 To Kyushu / Hiroshima - Arita Village - Nagasaki

Morning - Bullet Train Ride [Fukuoka]
Afternoon - [Saga] Arita Village / [Nagasaki] Glover Garden / Oura Catholic Church / Peace Park
Evening - Hotel

Early morning, we will head out to Nagasaki via Bullet Train and bus. Along our way we will make a quick stop at Arita Village. It's located in the mountains near a great river connecting to the ocean, all the resources you need to make pottery. From late 17th century, this area is known to create ceramics using kaolin clay for the first time in Japan. The ceramics is often referred as "imari-yaki". You can tour around this old town and see the many art pieces of ceramics.

Then we will continue our trip to Nagasaki. The city was the only doorway to the outside world before Commodore Perry kicked open the door. Foreign influences can be seen in different sectors of the city, from Chinatown to Glover's Garden and Oura Catholic Church. We will be visiting those locations plus the Nagasaki's own Peace Park to commemorate the tragedy that struck there less than a century ago. Then we will head to Nanpuro Hotel, a Japanese ryokan hotel, where you can relax in a hot spring, wear a yukata, and eat delicious Japanese traditional dinner.

Nagasaki - Glover Garden Nagasaki - Oura Catholic Church Nagasaki - Peace Park
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : O
Hotel : Nagasaki
9 Nagasaki - Kumamoto - Mt. Aso - Takachiho

Morning - [Kumamoto] Kumamoto Castle
Afternoon - Aso Mountain / [Miyazaki] Takachiho Gorge
Evening - Kagura Dance Show / Hotel

Early morning we will take a ferry to Kumamoto, an old city cantering on its castle. Kumamoto Castle is considered the most impregnable fortress in Japan up to this day. The founder, Kato Kiyomasa, was renowned castle architect in the 17th century who constructed castles in Japan and Korea. We will be passing by Mt. Aso, so make sure you have your camera ready. Reaching opposite shore of Kyushu, we will reach Takachiho. This magical town holds a legend about Amatarasu and her cave. In the evening, we will go to Takachiho Shrine to see a traditional kagura dance base on the local legend.
Kumamoto - kumamoto_castle Kumamoto - Mt. Aso Miyazaki - Takachiho Shrine
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : O
Hotel : Miyazaki
10 To Shikoku Island / Takachiho - Beppu - Matsuyama

Morning - Takachiho Sightseeing
Afternoon - [Beppu] The Tour of Hell (Sea Hell / Blood Pond Hell)
Evening - [Matsuyama] Dogo Onsen / Japanese Style Hotel

Waking early in the morning, we will sightsee Takachiho Gorge and, if you like, you can take a boat ride. You will see the beautiful waterfalls in the canyon and unique rock formations. Then we will head North to Beppu. There we will take the pleasure in joining The Tour of Hell. This interesting little town is ranked second in the world to discharge water creating thousands of mineral springs. The Tour of Hell will focus on the eight most popular hot springs in town. You can purchase pudding from local markets that were cooked using the steam from the geysers.

After lunch, we will hitch a ride in a boat to Matsuyama, a castle city. Following the pattern of hot springs, we will soak in one of the oldest in the world, Dogo Onsen. It is said that its 3,000 years old with healing qualities. We can see the Imperial family own rooms and onsens that are reserved for them called Yushinden.

We will return to our hotel for a traditional kaiseki style dinner, a luxurious multi-course Japanese meal. Afterwards, you have time to roam the old streets of Matsuyama or take a soak in the hot springs. There is a Taiko Show you can enjoy at the Tsubakikan Hotel in the main building for free.

Miyazaki - Takachiho Gorge Beppu - The Tour of Hell Matuyama - Dogo Onsen
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : O
Hotel : Matsuyama
11 Takamatsu - Naruto - Osaka

Morning - Ishiteji Temple
Afternoon - [Takamatsu] Ritsurin Garden / Naruto Whirlpools
Evening - [Osaka] Dotonbori / Hotel

We will be travelling around Shikoku, the fourth largest island of Japan. After one last look at Dogo Onsen, we will head towards Ishiteji Temple, 51st of the 88 temples along the holy pilgrimage route. This extraordinary temple has an underground labyrinth and caves that can date back to 8th century. There is a legend about Emon Saburo who returned to the temple after he was reincarnated.

travelling East, we will visit one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan that overlooks Mt. Shiun, Ritsurin Garden. Michelin Green Guide graded the garden three stars. Our last stop before hitting Osaka is Naruto, a small town off the coast.

Matuyama - Ishiteji Temple Takamatsu - Ritsurin Park Tokushima - Naruto Whirlpools
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : O / Dinner : X
Hotel : Osaka
12 Departure Osaka / Your home town or enjoy your extended stay.

Sadly, your pleasant and memorable Japan Tour ends today. Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan or in Asian Cities.


From downtown hotel in Osaka to KIX Airport - about 70 mins (Bus)
From downtown hotel in Osaka to ITM Airport - about 30 mins (Bus)

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Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : N/A

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