Jewels of Japan


Immerse yourself in the unique and fascinating culture of Japan. Encompassing the essentials with natural wonders, imperial heritage and mystical surprises, this tour incorporates a number of experiences that give your holiday a truly authentic edge.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Tokyo (3N) – Fuji Five Lakes (2N) – Kyoto (4N) – New Zealand

Days 1-2: New Zealand to Tokyo
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Tokyo, Japan’s capital, for a three night stay. Tokyo was once known as Edo and was a small fishing town. In 1868, as part of the Meiji Restoration, the emperor and capital moved from Kyoto to Edo, which was then renamed Tokyo, meaning the Eastern Capital.
Days 1-2: New Zealand to Tokyo
Day 3: Tokyo
Tour this energetic city starting with a trip to the top of Tokyo Skytree for amazing views of the city. Travel to Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s Old Town, and wander through the Nakamise shopping street before heading to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum, the Imperial Palace Plaza and East Gardens (closed Mon and Fri). This evening, enjoy a dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.
Day 3: Tokyo
Day 4: Tokyo
Enjoy a morning stroll through the traditional Hama Rikyu Gardens. Next, wander through a peaceful forest in the centre of the city to reach the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the spirit of Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan. After lunch, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 4: Tokyo
Day 5: Tokyo to Fuji Five Lakes
Travel by coach to Kawaguchi-ko, located in the Fuji Five Lakes region. En route visit the Oshino Hakkai, a series of fresh water ponds sourced from the slopes of Mt Fuji. While here, explore the Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, an open-air museum containing a traditional farmhouse with household items, samurai armour and weapons. Later, enjoy a soba noodle making experience. Your accommodation for the next two nights is located on the banks of the lake, from where you have great views of Mt Fuji (weather permitting). To enhance your stay in the Fuji Five Lakes region, your guest room will be Japanese-style with tatami mat floors and traditional futon bedding.
Day 5: Tokyo to Fuji Five Lakes
Day 6: Fuji Five Lakes
Visit the Fuji Visitor Centre to learn more about the formation, ecology and cultural history of Mt Fuji before heading up to the 5th Station (weather permitting). At 3,776m, Mt Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain. The perfectly shaped volcano, which most recently erupted in 1708, has been worshiped by the Japanese as a sacred mountain throughout the centuries. Later, visit the Iyashi No Sato historical village on the banks of Lake Saiko. The traditional thatched roofed houses were reconstructed in 1966 following a devastating typhoon and opened as a museum and craft village.
Day 6: Fuji Five Lakes
Day 7: Fuji Five Lakes to Kyoto
Travel by coach to Mishima Station and take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan from 794 until 1868. Kyoto was removed from the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and spared from air raids during World War II due to its historic value. It is home to countless temples and shrines. This afternoon, visit a tea house and enjoy the company of a geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha), to gain an insight into their mysterious world. This exclusive service is usually only available through a personal introduction.
Day 7: Fuji Five Lakes to Kyoto
Day 8: Kyoto
Stroll through the famous Kinkaku-ji, known as the Golden Pavilion. Later, visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ryoanji Temple. Explore the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, literally ‘pure water temple’, founded in 780AD on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto. This afternoon, head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse where you will learn about traditional Japanese handicrafts such as origami, ikebana and calligraphy and enjoy a tea ceremony.
Day 8: Kyoto
Day 9: Kyoto – Hiroshima & Miyajima
This morning you will journey by Shinkansen to Hiroshima, a city with origins that can be traced to the end of the 6th century. Hiroshima is most famous for one event in August 1945 when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb. Nowadays, it is a beautiful city that has rebuilt itself through the efforts of its citizens. Take a local coach to visit the famous Peace Park and Museum. Later, travel by coach and ferry to Miyajima Island, one of Japan’s most scenic spots, long been regarded as an Island of Gods. Marvel at the Itsukushima Shrine, also known as the Floating Torii Gate. Return to Hiroshima by ferry and coach, and travel back Kyoto by Shinkansen in the late afternoon.
Day 9: Kyoto – Hiroshima & Miyajima
Day 10: Kyoto – Himeji
Travel by Shinkansen to Himeji, famous for its magnificent UNESCO World Heritage listed Himeji Castle. Explore the castle, which has never been destroyed by war, earthquakes or fi re and stands in its original form. This afternoon, return to Kyoto by Shinkansen.
Day 10: Kyoto – Himeji
Day 11: Depart Kyoto
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Kansai airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Day 11: Depart Kyoto
Day 12: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Hotel Room Option – From $1,280
Land Only (Tokyo to Kyoto), 10 days From $7,800 per person twin share
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for travel to Japan.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. .
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is not part of the culture in Japan and is therefore not expected.
 

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 


Share