14 DAYS ●
Go Beyond Tour
Get off the beaten track on our most culturally immersive tour of Japan. This tour includes a one-night stay in a traditional ryokan as well as a one-night stay in a Buddhist lodge with basic shared facilities.
Experience the wacky Robot Restaurant in this buzzing ward of Tokyo
Watch a exhilarating Sumo Wrestling Tournament (on selected dates)
Hike around the base of Japan's stunning highest mountain
Meet the adorable Snow Monkeys in their natural habitat
Our Off-Beat 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 the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city, for a three-night stay. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Begin your tour of Tokyo and immerse yourself into the local culture by spending the morning trying your hand at traditional Japanese drumming with a Taiko class, where you will learn how to beat the 'wadaiko' with 'bachi'. Later, stop by Meiji Jingu Shrine and continue to the vibrant district of Harajuku before stopping by the famous Shibuya Crossing. Finally, it's time for a uniquely Tokyo experience - the Robot Restaurant! This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but well worth the insight into modern Japanese culture. (B)
Tokyo is a city that is always moving forward from the ever-changing skyline to the fashions and trends of the people who call it home. As modern as it may appear, behind the neon façade is a traditional soul that is easy to find amongst the old alleyways, temples and shrines of the Edo era. Sightseeing today begins with a stroll through the Imperial Palace East Garden and a visit to the observation deck of the 634m Skytree for views over the sprawling city below. You'll also stop by Sensoji Temple - Tokyo's oldest, and stroll along Nakamise shopping street. In the afternoon, explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Housed in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo, the museum powerfully illustrates Tokyo's past (known as Edo until 1869) right up to recent decades. (B)
Journey out of Tokyo to the foot of mighty Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes area. Pick up a walking trail and make your way through lush alpine forest at Fuji’s base, pausing often to admire the landscapes around you. (B,D)
Travel to Matsumoto and explore its magnificent 16th-century castle. Continue to Nagano, stopping in Yudanaka to watch the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) at Jigokudani Monkey Park bathe and play in and around their hot spring pool. (B)
Travel to Hotaka and ride up into the Japanese Alps on the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, reaching an observation platform at 2,156 metres, which gives breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains (weather permitting). Drive to Takayama where you will be staying at an onsen hotel. Here you can relax and bathe in the natural hot spring pools and experience this most traditional pastime. This afternoon you will have time to explore Kamisannomachi Street and sample the street food on offer (at your own expense). (B,D)
Take a Limited Express train to Nagoya, where you will change onto a Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. This afternoon, start discovering Kyoto's rich heritage with a visit to the enchanting Fushimi Inaritaisha Shrine with its pathway of torii gates before admiring the views over the city from Kiyomizudera Temple. Stroll around the old neighbourhoods of Higashiyama and Gion, the geisha district, with a stop at Gion Corner. (B)
Start today by visiting Kinkakuji Temple, known as the 'Golden Pavilion', and Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan's most famous zen garden. Continue to the Arashiyama district where you will have some free time to explore the Bamboo Forest as well as enjoying a rickshaw ride. Later, witness the rituals involved in the preparation and pouring of matcha tea in a traditional tea ceremony. (B)
Spend the morning discovering the craft of kimono creation at Nishijin Textile Centre, before learning the paper-folding art of origami and the complicated process of dressing in a traditional kimono. This afternoon, travel by road to Koyasan, where you will spend the night in a 13th century temple in a traditional tatami room. (B,D)
Rise early to join the monks for their morning service – hearing the recitation and chanting is a magical experience. After breakfast, take a walking tour of Koyasan. Visit Kongobu-ji and Okunoin before travelling to Osaka. (B)
Take a day tour to Himeji to visit the 17th-century Himeji Castle which is considered a prime example of Japanese feudal period architecture. Continue to a sake brewery, where you can learn about the brewing process of this potent rice wine and enjoy some tasters. Return to Osaka and experience the bright and brash Dotonbori district. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,D)
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. 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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Wendy Wu Tours offers the best selection of tours to Asia, Central and South America.
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and the UK.
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