12 DAYS ●
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.
Witness the fusion of past and present on a city tour in Japan's capital
Ascend Japan's iconic and inspirational tallest mountain
Discover the stunning white facade of the feudal Himeji Castle
Explore this quintessential Japanese town known as the 'thousand-year capital'
Our Jewels of Japan itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Tokyo, Japan's capital, for a three-night stay. Tokyo was once known as Edo and was a small fishing town. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to soak up the local culture.
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you’ll find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Today’s city tour starts on the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree, the world’s tallest tower, before seeking out the tranquillity of the ancient Buddhist Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest. Learn about Tokyo’s historical heritage at the Edo-Tokyo Museum, and explore Tokyo’s Imperial Palace Plaza.
Take a relaxed morning wander around the classical landscapes of the Hamarikyu Garden. Continue to the Meiji Shrine, the Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken before passing the famous Shibuya Crossing. The afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish. This evening, take a relaxed dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay.
Journey through the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji to its base, where you will find the Fuji Five Lakes. The region is spectacular with the calm waters of the five lakes, formed by past volcanic eruptions, reflecting Fuji’s picture-perfect cone. Head up Fuji’s 5th Station for spectacular mountain vistas. Please note it is only possible to reach the 5th station if weather permits. After lunch, visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations before exploring the Iyashi no Sato historical village, located on the western shores of Lake Saiko, famous for its thatched-roofed houses. Transfer around 1 hour to your hotel and check in.
Visit Oshino Hakkai, a scenic area of ponds full of crystal-clear spring water created by Fuji’s melting snow. Stroll around the area before trying your hand at making traditional Japanese soba noodles, which you will then tuck into for lunch. Drive around 2 hours to Mishima Station to board a 2-hour bullet train to Kyoto. An enchanting city, Kyoto was capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Check in to your hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a full day tour of Kyoto, starting with a visit to the spectacular Kiyomizu Temple. You will spend 1.5 hours on foot exploring the temple. Next, immerse yourself in the culture, learning the traditional Japanese handicraft of origami. After lunch, visit a traditional teahouse where you will be joined by a Tea Master, followed by a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine. With its thousands of vermillion torii gates, the Shrine stretches up Mount Inari (233m high). You will walk up part of the mountain and the incline allows a steady-paced walk.
Begin the day with a visit to Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan’s most famous zen garden, and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavillion due to its golden exterior. Continue around 1 hour by coach to Osaka to have lunch in the vibrant Dotonbori district. Transfer to the train station and take the bullet train to Hiroshima, a journey of 1 hour 40 minutes. A modern and prosperous city, Hiroshima will be forever remembered as the world’s first atomic bomb target.
Hop on the ferry to Miyajima Island, where sightseeing will be at a leisurely pace on foot. Visit Itsukushima Shrine and explore the traditional market town at leisure. Return by ferry and then coach to Hiroshima and have lunch. Later, visit the famous Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Please be aware that the museum may be confronting and upsetting for some group members and it is at your discretion if you wish to visit or enjoy time at leisure exploring the Peace Memorial Park. Also visit the Orizuru Tower.
Travel to Himeji, with a rest stop along the way. On arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the beautiful Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden. Himeji Castle is largely in its original condition so, please be mindful of your step when walking around. Transfer approximately 2 hours to Osaka for your overnight stay.
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day. (B)
Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Wendy Wu Tours inspects all hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service, which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family-run guesthouse in a smaller town. Hotels are also chosen for ease of navigation around tourist sights. View Hotels Here
New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Japan. Other passport holders should arrange visas well in advance of departure, if required. Please note that a visa will be required for the China section of our Ancient Empires of China & Japan tour.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +64 9 975 8117. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave New Zealand. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not part of the culture in Japan and therefore is not required during our tours in Japan, but if you would like to show your appreciation, you can do so in local currency. Note that tipping is customary in South Korea and China and for the tours that include those countries, a customary tipping amount is indicated.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Bento boxes are a common lunch option. A traditional bento contains rice, seafood or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and New Zealand's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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