Tour Provider: Wendy Wu
Duration: 15 Days
DAYS 1-2: FLY OVERNIGHT TO SAPPORO
Fly overnight to the vibrant city of Sapporo, capital of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
DAY 3: ASCEND OKURAYAMA
This morning, ascend to the Okurayama viewing point, soaring up to the summit of the Sapporo Winter Olympics ski jump by chair lift – the views over the surrounding mountains are breathtaking. Continue to the pretty port town of Otaru and take some time to walk along the streets of the village and stroll along the picturesque canal. This evening visit the Sapporo Beer Museum where there is an optional beer tasting before popping next door to the Sapporo Beer Garden to dine on a Genghis Khan dinner – barbeque lamb, a Sapporo special!
DAY 4: TRAVEL TO HAKODATE
Depart Sapporo and travel to a lovely lakeside spot to visit a museum of Ainu culture, an indigenous people of the area. Continue to Noboribetsu Jigokudani (Hell Valley) and walk through a volcanic caldera where you can see steam jets, vents and hot springs. After lunch, hop on a train to the harbour city of Hakodate, set on Hokkaido’s southern tip, where you’ll embark on a night tour with time to ascend the ropeway up Mount Hakodate, for magnificent views over the illuminated city.
DAY 5: EXPLORE HAKODATE ASAICHI
Start the day wandering Hakodate’s bustling asaichi (morning market), where hundreds of stores and stalls sell fresh local produce, seafood and the odd souvenir. Ascend Goryokaku Tower for views over Goryokaku Fort and Mount Hakodate before boarding the bullet train to the lovely city of Aomori in the north of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. Visit the Nebuta Warasse, a museum dedicated to Aomari’s famous, 300-year-old Nebuta Matsuri, a lively summer festival.
DAY 6: TSUNAGI ONSEN
Depart Aomari for Kakunodate, an old samurai stronghold still known for its samurai traditions. Visit the Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum for a fascinating look at samurai culture and stroll around Ishiguro House, a traditional samurai residence. Continue to the hot spring resort of Tsunagi, where you can make use of the onsen facilities at the traditional Japanese ryokan you will stay at tonight.
DAY 7: CRUISE MATSUSHIMA BAY
Travel to Hiraizumi, where you’ll explore the peaceful Chusonji with its beautiful old gold leaf-covered hall. Continue to Matsushima to enjoy a relaxed cruise on Matsushima Bay, passing amongst the small pine tree-covered islands of this picturesque seascape.
DAY 8: SENDAI TO NIKKO
Walk to Sendai station and take the bullet train to the culture-filled town of Nikko. Start your explorations in the beautiful surroundings of Nikko National Park, where you’ll visit Toshogu shrine. Built in the 1600s, this is Japan’s most lavish shrine, built as the final resting place of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Continue to the magnificent Kegon Waterfall, taking a 100-metre tall elevator up to the perfect viewing spot. Transfer to Tokyo.
DAY 9: EXPLORE TOKYO
Tokyo, Japan’s capital, 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. Start the day in the vibrant district of Asakusa, where you will visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, and wander down Nakamise shopping street before a visit to Edo Tokyo Museum. After lunch, stroll through the peaceful Meiji Jingu Shrine complex, before ascending to the observatory deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building for exceptional views over the city.
DAY 10: ADMIRE MOUNT FUJI
Travel by road from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, where you’ll ascend 2,400 metres up Japan’s most iconic sight to the 5th Station (weather permitting). Transfer to the Hakone area. Embark on a cruise on the spectacular Lake Ashi before flying high above the lake on the Komagatake Ropeway to the summit of Mount Komagatake where the views of Mount Fuji will be breathtaking, if the peak isn’t hiding in cloud of course! Return to Tokyo.
DAY 11: TRAVEL TO KYOTO
Take a bullet train to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, the city today is full of the legacy of ancient Japan and home to tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. This afternoon, visit Togetsukyo Bridge in the heart of the vibrant Arashiyama district and walk through the bamboo forest, with its towering bamboo thickets.
DAY 12: EXPLORE KYOTO
This morning, visit one of Japan’s most famous temples, Kinkakuji, the ‘Golden Pavilion’. Set amongst classical Japanese Zen gardens and on the edge of a reflecting pool, the temple’s main hall is covered in gold leaf. Then, stroll through Nishiki Market, dubbed ‘Kyoto’s kitchen’, where there are many interesting food and sake stores to explore before a free afternoon to spend as you wish.
DAY 13: SAKE TASTING
Try your hand at handkerchief dyeing and then experience the rituals of a tea ceremony. After lunch, walk the vermillion, torii gate-lined pathways of the Fushimi Inari Shrine and tour a traditional sake brewery, where you can have a few cheeky tasters. Drive to the booming city of Osaka.
DAYS 14-15: FLY OSAKA TO AUSTRALIA
This morning is free at leisure before you transfer to Osaka airport for your return flight home.
This is a tour of varying landscapes as it journeys south from Hokkaido uncovering the charming cities of Sapporo, Otaru and Hakodate.<br><br>
Your Guided Holiday Includes:
Price is based on 16 May 2020 departure. Other dates available.
Conditions apply. Subject to availability and change without notice. Full supplier conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only. Prices valid at the time of publication. Prices are per person based on twin share occupancy unless otherwise stated and displayed in $AUD. Member savings are calculated using the original advertised price.
Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share in Australian dollars based on departures from 16 May 2020. Tour prices and dates are correct as of 3 December 2019 but are subject to change and will be confirmed at the time of booking. Prices include international flights from Australia. Please speak to your travel consultant for further details.