Essence of Spring | Grand Tour 12 Days

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Kyushu-the Birth Place of Japanese Civilization to Neon lit of Tokyo via Ancient Capital of Kyoto

Grand Tour of Japan

Many say that sakura - Japanese Cheery Blossoms season is the best time to travel Japan, and they're correct. With sakura petals cascading in the background, Japan is dazzling in beautiful shades of pink and white. Travel cross-country as you visit major cities and country side like Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kumamoto, Takachiho, Beppu, Himeji, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Hakone, and Tokyo.

This fully escorted Grand Japan Cherry Blossom packages are one of our most comprehensive Japan tours, visiting three of Japan's major islands. This tour will start at Tokyo in Honshu and visit highlight spots like Imperial Palace, old town Asakusa, Shibuya Crossing, and more. During this spring time, the view of Mt. Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi is particularly beautiful. And what would a trip to Japan be without a soak in the hot springs of Atami's onsen resort? Japan is also known for its speedy bullet trains which we will take to Nara where the Great Buddha awaits at Todaiji Temple. Our tour has also packed all of the beauties and treasures of Kyoto including the gorgeous gold leaf covered Golden Pavilion, picturesque vermillion torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine, a dazzling kimono fashion show, and a Japanese green tea ceremony experience. To truly learn about Japanese history, a trip to Hiroshima is a must. A city with a dark past has revitalized yet preserved the atrocities of war to serve as a reminder of the tragedy and to symbolize its wishes for everlasting peace.

From here our Grand Essence of Spring Tour will explore the Southern treasures of Kyushu that many travellers have yet to uncover. Kumamoto Castle is considered one of Japan's three most premier castles, along with Himeji Castle which we will also visit. Natural beauty awaits in Miyazaki's Takachiho Gorge where the magical town's beautiful waterfalls in the canyon and unique rock formations will leave you speechless. The Tour of Hell might sound frightening but we're sure you will find the extraordinary coloured hot springs of Beppu intriguing. Shikoku's Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama might look familiar to those who have seen the famous Ghibli film "Spirited Away". The bathhouse is Japan's oldest hot spring destination and served as inspiration for the film. We will also take a stroll in Ritsurin Garden, an absolutely beautiful landscape garden built by feudal lords in the early Edo Period.

Join us in this action packed Japan journey as we travel from Honshu to Kyushu and Shikoku surveying many of Japan's major landmarks during this spectacular sakura - cherry blossoms season. You can also extend your vacation before / after the tour in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.

Price : Adult (age 12+)
USD4,998
Price : Adult (age 12+) USD4,998
Duration : 11 nights 12 Days
Tour Start : Tokyo
Tour End : Osaka
Departure Date :
2018
20 Mar, 25 Mar, 01 Apr
Route : Tokyo ⇒ Mt.Fuji ⇒ Hakone ⇒ Atami ⇒ Nara ⇒ Kyoto ⇒ Osaka ⇒ Himeji ⇒ Hiroshima ⇒ Arita ⇒ Kumamoto ⇒ Takachiho ⇒ Beppu ⇒ Dogo Onsen ⇒ Kagawa ⇒ Naruto ⇒ Osaka
Includes : 9 nights Western and 2 night Japanese-style hotel with hot-springs, Daily Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 1 Dinner, All ground transportation and airport transfers, Admission Fees, Tax & Gratuities at all included Destinations, Bullet train ride, Tea Ceremony, and other Japanese activities, Full time service of licensed English speaking tour guide, Handbook and Tour Goods Package, Free Wi-Fi in Bus & Most hotels
Download : PDF Itinerary
DayEvent / Visit
1
Arrival Tokyo

Narita Int'l Airport (NRT) or Haneda Int'l Airport (HND)

Welcome to Japan! We will have transportation services to take you to your hotel. Please refer to your tour handbook for more information. Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.

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

Meals : -
Hotel : Tokyo
2
Full Day Tokyo

Morning - Fukagawa Edo Museum / Kiyosumi Garden / Asakusa
Afternoon - Tsukiji Fish Market (Lunch) / Harajuku / Omotesando / Shibuya Crossing
Evening - Hotel

Fukagawa Edo Museum Asakusa Harajuku  Shibuya Crossing

Today will be devoted to exploring the multi-cultural spots of Tokyo. Our tour will first stop by the Fukagawa Edo Museum where you can get acquainted with the history of Tokyo. This charming museum is designed to replicate what life looked like during the old days of Edo. Walk through the city and enjoy walking into houses that recreate life during the period. We will also visit the Kiyosumi Garden located nearby. Enjoy a peaceful stroll through a Japanese garden, and be sure to take a picture of the tea house on the waters.

We will then delve in the old town district of Asakusa for some gift shopping at the Nakamise area. We will also be visiting the Sensoji Temple, one of Tokyo's most popular temples. This is the perfect place to appreciate Japanese culture and take some spectacular shots of the famous Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate).

For lunch, enjoy sushi with fish provided by the Tsukiji Fish Market, the famous fish market that provides freshest ingredients for thousands of families and businesses alike.

Following our time at the market, the tour will probe the stores at Harajuku, the unofficial fashion capital of Japan that offers the latest pop culture and fashion. Experience the chaos and beauty that is Takeshita Dori, the place to go for fashion and crepes. Before leaving Takeshita Dori, walk along Omotesando street, a popular shopping destination lined with trendy cafe's in between. Returning to our hotel, the tour bus will be passing by the famous Shibuya Crosswalk to be part of the thousands who cross daily, and to see the Hachiko Statue close to the station. The statue is based on the story of Hachiko, the dog who would come back to the station every day to see his owner.

Information
Tsukiji Fish Market is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. In the Event it is closed, we will skip this stop.

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel : Tokyo
3
Mt. Fuji & Hakone

Morning - Saiko Iyashi no Sato NEBA / Hoto (Lunch)
Afternoon - [Hakone] Owakudani Valley / Lake Ashi Cruise / Hakone Ropeway
Evening - [Atami] Hotel

Saiko Iyashi no Sato NEBA Owakudani Valley Lake Ashi Cruise Hakone Ropeway

Our morning begins with a visit to the Iyashi no Sato, a traditional craft open-air museum reconstructed from the village's thatched roofed houses. Each house features a different exhibit, workshop, or cafe, including some cooking lessons. Before making our way to the next destination, we will stop for Hoto, a Japanese noodle dish native to the Yamanashi area. A hybrid of miso soup and flat udon noodles, this dish is truly a local Japanese specialty. We will continue our journey to Hakone after our time in Tokyo.

Enjoy 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 Japanese food, the black egg, cooked in one of the craters. It's said eating one of these eggs will add years to your life!

This Japan tour would not be complete without a long relaxing soak in the onsen, hot spring, to rejuvenate you for tomorrowfs 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 meal known as Kaiseki Ryori!

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Hotel : Atami
4
Nara & Kyoto

Morning : Bullet Train
Afternoon : [Kyoto] Kizakura-sake Brewery / Fushimi Inari Shrine [Nara] Todaiji Temple / Deer Park
Evening : [Kyoto] Hotel

Kizakura-sake Brewery Fushimi Inari Shrine Todaiji Temple Nara Deer Park

Our day begins with a bullet train ride to Kyoto. The bullet train is the fastest way to travel on land and is considered an essential Japanese experience. Enjoy riding to Kyoto in comfort and speed, and be sure to take some photos of the scenery during your ride. We will stop at a sake museum for some sampling and to learn the history of Japan's national drink.

We will then head to Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Kyoto's many can't miss destinations that features hundreds of red tori gates. The path is perfect for photos or just to calm your mind.

Once we get all our photos done, it's off to Nara to Todaiji Temple. Todaiji Temple holds the World Guinness Record as the largest wooden building. Inside the temple, you will behold the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Just outside the temple is the Nara Deer Park, where you will be greeted by numerous deer that roam around freely. The deer here at the park are known to be friendly and may even bow at you for a little treat. We then return to the hotel.

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel : Kyoto
5
Full Day Kyoto

Morning - Arashiyama / Rickshaw Ride / Golden Pavilion
Afternoon - Ryoanji Temple / Nishijin Kimono Show / Tea Ceremony
Evening - Gion-Geisha District / Hotel

Arashiyama Kinkakuji Temple Ryoanji Temple Gion

Our day begins with a visit to Arashiyama to walk through the Bamboo Groove Forest. The morning's sunlight passing through the bamboo makes for a perfect morning sight. We will also enjoy a spirited rickshaw ride through Arashiyama. Guests can enjoy seeing many of the traditional-style shops and temples during the ride.

Following our time in Arashiyama, we will head to the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji Temple, a Japanfs must see attraction where the two upper floors are covered in gold leaf. The reflection of the golden temple on the lake adds to the stunning sight. After taking pictures, it's off to Ryoanji Temple to see the stunning rock gardens. Not all Japanese temples have them, so we made sure to include one of Kyoto's zen gardens.

To avoid getting too repetitive with the temples and shrines, we include a visit to the Nishijin Textile Center for a stunning kimono show! Keeping with the traditional feel, we included a tea-ceremony to help you relax before going back to the hotel. In the evening, we will head to the Gion Geisha District, Japanfs most famous geisha district. This area is filled with shops, restaurants, and tea houses and the area in Japan that you are most likely to run into real geisha and maiko on their way to perform at the Gion Geisha Centre.

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel : Kyoto
6
Osaka & Himeji

Morning - [Osaka] Dotonbori / Kuromon Ichiba Market
Afternoon - [Hyogo] Himeji Castle / [Hiroshima] Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (Dinner)
Evening - Hotel

Dotonbori Kuromon Ichiba Marcket Himeji Castle Hiroshima Okonomiyaki

We will begin today by heading to Dotonburi and Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka. These are great locations to sample some of Osaka's famous cuisine, or to get any kitchen suplies you may need.

Next our tour bus will make a stop at Himeji-jo, or Himeji Castle. Himeji-jo is a UNESCO distinguished site, representing Japanese castle architecture at its highest with almost all of the castle structure still intact from its original construction in the early 1600's, having survived all wars, earthquakes and natural disasters.

After our time in Himeji, we will head to Hiroshima.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Hiroshima
7
Full Day Hiroshima

Morning - [Miyajima] Itsukushima Shrine
Afternoon - Peace Memorial Park / A-Bomb Dome
Evening - [Fukuoka] Hotel

Peace Memorial Park Sadako Stature Itsukushima Shrine Genbaku Dome

Today our Japan tour begins with a visit to the iconic Itsukushima Shrine. Located off the main shore on the island of Miyajima, the iconic gate that floats is a must see. During high tide, the torii gate looks as though it is floating in water, creating a unique sight, considered one of Japan's three most beautiful sights. Miyajima is also known for its momiji manju (maple leaf shaped cake with red beans) and oysters which you can enjoy during your time on the island.

After our visit, we will spend more time sight-seeing in Hiroshima. One of the main highlights here in Hiroshima is the A-Bomb Dome, the only surviving building from the aftermath, and the Peace Park Memorial where you can see and read about the relic of the war. The A-Bomb Dome has been preserved to be a reminder of the tragedy for future generations and to symbolize its wishes for everlasting peace. Stroll along the park to see famous attractions like that of Sadako's statue and the freedom bell. Here you can see and read about the relic of the war.

Meals : Breakfast
Hotel : Fukuoka
8
Saga & Nagasaki

Morning - [Saga] Aritayaki / [Nagasaki] Nagasaki Champon (Lunch)
Afternoon - Glover Garden / Oura Church / Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park
Evening - [Kumamoto] Hotel

Aritayaki Glover Garden Oura Church Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park

Our day begins in Arita, where we will see some of the finest porcelain creations. Our day then takes us to Nagasaki where we have much to cover. We will head to Glover Garden which exhibits Western style mansions. After viewing these gorgeous mansions, we will continue with our foreign influences to the Oura Catholic Church. The Oura Catholic Church is Japan's oldest standing Catholic church.

Our last stop of the day is the Nagasaki Peace Park which was built to commemorate the Nagasaki atomic bomb. In the park is a large pillar engraved with the names of the victims.

We will check-in to our hotel for a traditional style dinner, a luxurious multi-course Japanese meal. Afterwards, you have time to take a soak in the hot springs.

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Hotel : Kumamoto
9
Kumamoto & Takachiho

Morning - Kumamoto Castle / Hosokawa Mansion
Afternoon - [Miyazaki] Takachiho Gorge / Sandanbashi / Tanada / Tunnel Station
Evening - Yokagura / Hotel

Kumamoto Castle Hosokawa Mansion Takachiho Gorge Yokagura show

Our day begins in Kumamoto to visit Kumamoto Castle. Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle. Thirteen structures in the castle complex are designated Important Cultural Property. Several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle.

Located next to the castle is the Hosokawa family Mansion, the family home for one of Japan's most powerful samurai families. Walk through the residence to get a better understanding of the life among the elites, and see some relics from the Edo period in the home-turned-museum.

We will then head to Mt. Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan and among the largest in the world. Before our day ends, we will enjoy watching a Yokagura show.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Miyazaki
10
Beppu & Dogo

Morning - [Beppu] Tour of Hell / Saga Ferry
Afternoon - [Ehime] Dogo Onsen / Rickshaw Ride
Evening - Taiko Show / Hotel

Sea Hell Blood Pond Hel Dogo Onsen Automaton clock

Our morning begins in the hot spring town of Beppu, where we are going for an exciting Tour of Hell. From the eight famous spots, we will visit three: the Sea Hell made up of bright cobalt blue hot water, the Blood Pond Hell where hot water containing red melted clay gushes out, and the Tornado Hell, a fiery geyser that erupts every 20 minutes.

Following the pattern of hot springs, we will visit one of the oldest hot springs in the world, Dogo Onsen, which is said to have over 3,000 years of history. The onsen is also widely known for welcoming the imperial family as guests and has a room called Yushinden on reserve exclusively for their use. Dogo Onsen's impressive wooden structure served as a model for the famous film Spirited Away. Enjoy an optional Rickshaw ride through the city grounds, or watch a traditional Taiko drum show in the evening (additional fee's may apply).

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Hotel : Dogo Onsen
11
Takamatsu & Tokushima

Morning - [Kagawa] Ritsurin Garden / Udon (Lunch)
Afternoon - [Tokushima] Awaodori Kaikan / Naruto Whirlpools
Evening - [Osaka] Hotel

Ritsurin Garden Ritsurin Garden - Shoko Shoreikan Naruto whirlpools Awa-odori Museum

Our day will begin heading towards Osaka. Traveling 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 and is a great place to take photos, especially from the highest point that overlooks the entire garden.

While making our way through Tokushima, we will stop at the Awa-odori Museum, a museum dedicated to the prefectural dance of Tokushima. During the annual Awa-Odori festival, thousands of spectators flock to Japan to watch the traditional dance. Enjoy learning some steps and history of Awa-odori at this great museum.

Our last stop before hitting Osaka is Naruto, a small town off the coast. Here in Naruto, many hope to observe the large Naruto whirlpools that can be seen under very ideal conditions. (*The whirlpool can only be seen at certain times of the day and thus we cannot guarantee seeing the whirlpool in action.)

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel : Osaka
12
Departure Osaka

Kansai Int'l Airport (KIX) or Osaka Int'l Airport (ITM) - Itami Airport

Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. The tour will disband after breakfast. Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan.

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

Meals : Breakfast
Hotel : N/A

9 nights Western and 2 night Japanese-style hotel with hot-springs.

Kanponoyado Atami Kanponoyado Atami Room Kanponoyado Atami Bath

※ Example images, actual hotels may vary.

DayCityHotel NameHotel Type
1-2 Tokyo Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
3 Atami Kanponoyado Atami or similar Hotel (Japanese-style Room)
4-5 Kyoto Kyoto New Miyako Hotel or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
6 Hiroshima Hotel Granvia Hiroshima or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
7 Fukuoka Hakata Excel Hotel or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
8 Kumamoto Hotel Nikko Kumamoto or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
9 Miyazaki Hotel Takachiho or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
10 Dogo Onsen Tsubaki-kan or similar Hotel (Japanese-style Room)
11 Osaka Sheraton Miyako Osaka Hotel or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
Tour Operator : Travel Oriented Inc T/A Japan Deluxe Tour
Participants : Minimum 1-30 (The maximum number of participants will not exceed 30 people during your Japan tour.)
Single Room Supplement : USD1,400
Hotels : 9 nights Western and 2 night Japanese-style hotel with hot-springs. All accommodation have been tested and carefully selected so you will enjoy the comfortable rooms and quality amenities. Accommodation listed above may change to the similar class hotels without prior notice.
Meal : 11 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 5 Dinner
Tour Guide : A tour guide will accompany the group throughout travelling with you from destination to destination. The tour guide is a professional guide, living and working in Japan, and will be abele to give personal insights about Japanese culture and society.
Admission Fees : All admission fees are included on itinerary.
Transportation : All motor coaches come equipped with air-conditioning, plenty of space, comfortable seats, and Wi-Fi. This tour includes a bullet train ride experience.
Luggage : We request one suitcase, plus one carry-on bag per person. The tote bag we provide can be used to hold any small merchandise/souvenirs purchased during your tour. When you check out, bring your luggage to the lobby and the bus driver will assist in loading it onto the bus. When you arrive at the next hotel, the bus driver will unload your luggage for you to bring to your room. You will be travelling with your luggage except during the bullet train ride.
International Flight : We offer the option of purchasing air inclusive tour packages, or land only tour packages, giving our customers the freedom to source their own flights. However, we are always more than happy to arrange your flights.
Extra Night: We suggest an extra night at the start of the tour or after the tour. If you would like to explore Japan further after the tour is over. Please let us know if this would interest you.
Remarks :
  • Package prices are per person, based on double occupancy (2 people sharing 1 room. Surcharge will be added to the basic fare for a single room or triple occupancy discount)
  • Itinerary and hotels are subject to change or cancellation without notice. No refund will be owed for any changes or cancellations if the tour still occurs.
  • Complimentary airport/hotel transfers are for designated airports only, on the designated tour arrival/departure date only.
  • Your group may be joined with other tour groups during the tour. Please make a note that your bus and tour guide may be changed once other groups join the tour.
  • Package price is based on US Dollar. The price will be frequently changed according to daily exchange rate.
  • Please read our terms and conditions carefully before you make a reservation.

Essence of Spring Tour

Miyajima
Miyajima
Todaiji Temple
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Kinkakuji Temple
Himeji Castle
Oura Church
Takachiho Gorge
Sea Hell
Naruto whirlpools
Dotonbori
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    Mon-Fri 10:00 - 18:00
    Sat : 12:00 - 16:00
    Sun, Public Holiday : close
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    Level 2 The Galeries,
    500 George Street, Sydney,
    New South Wales, Australia, 2000
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