Japan All Over Dreams Tour 2022 – Dep. October

dREAM sERIES

Japan All Over Tour 2022

Duration

24 Days

Departs 6th October 2022

Prices From

Economy class from $13,870
Premium Economy class from $15,600
Business class from $17,530

*Please note that prices are twin share/person.  Airline Taxes and Fuel Charges not included

A true top-to-bottom experience, including an exploration of the elusive northern island, Hokkaido, and the colourful island paradise of Okinawa in Japan’s far south, once a separate kingdom.

A fully escorted tour over 22 days in Japan provides a wonderful opportunity to see Japan up close, from its famous destinations to sites off the beaten track. The beauty and tranquillity of Hokkaido and its fascinating Ainu (Indigenous Japanese) culture, the rustic charm of Tohoku in Northern Honshu and a stay in a traditional Japanese inn. Visit a mountain hot spring, see the bustle and excitement of vibrant Tokyo and the elegant cultural charm of the traditional capital Kyoto for a kaleidoscope of experiences. Wander through ancient streets, little changed over hundreds of years and zoom past rural Japan in the world-famous Bullet Train.

Tour Inclusions

Your Japan All Over Tour package includes:

  • Tour size: minimum 8, maximum 14 people.
  • Tour Fully Escorted by experienced guide.
  • Deluxe quality accommodation or best available in the region.
  • Comfortable travel.
  • Overnight large suitcase delivery service.
  • Total 29 meals included – Breakfast (21), Lunch (4), Dinner (4).

Exclusions: Airline taxes and fuel charges, your travel insurance, beverages with included meals (except where specified) and medical expenses.

*Please contact us and find out more about Tour & Air Package deals. Please enquire for special Air package prices from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth

Temple garden in Kyoto
Japanese chef making sushi at restaurant
Tempura Japanese set menu
Kanazawa, Japan Street Scene At Higashichaya District.
Deva gate of Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney → Haneda/Tokyo

Interstate travellers arrive in Sydney and connect with your flight for Tokyo. It is recommended that you check in at all Nippon Airways check-in counter at least 2 hours before the scheduled flight departure time. Depart Sydney for Haneda/Tokyo by overnight flight.

ANA flight, NH880 departing Sydney at 8:05 pm, arriving at Haneda at 5:30am the following day

Day 2: Tokyo - Sapporo

Upon arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, collect your checked luggage and exit customs and immigration.
Proceed to the ANA check-in counter for a domestic flight from Haneda/Tokyo to Sapporo.
ANA flight, NH053 departing Haneda at 8:00 am, arriving at Sapporo at 09:30am
Upon arrival at Sapporo, you will be met and greeted by one of our English-speaking staff who will assist you to your hotel. Check in at the Prince Hotel Sapporo for 2 nights. (Official check in time is 3:00 pm.) Perhaps stretch your legs with a stroll over to nearby Ōdori Park Boulevarde and explore some local shops. Evening is free at leisure.

Accommodation: Prince Hotel Sapporo or similar

Day 3: Sapporo - Otaru - Sapporo (B)

Morning at leisure. This afternoon we visit the small harbour city of Otaru with its beautifully preserved canal famous for its glassworks, music boxes, antique shops, and sake breweries. We visit the canal and see the buildings which decorate this picturesque city. Late afternoon we return to Sapporo.

Accommodation: Prince Hotel Sapporo or similar

Day 4: Sapporo - Shiraoi - Hakodate (B)

We travel from this morning from Sapporo to visit Shiraoi and learn about the mysterious Ainu people. The Ainu are an indigenous people in the northern region of the Japanese archipelago, particularly Hokkaido. The Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park serves as a national centre for the revival of Ainu culture and provides a great introduction to the Ainu who are more reminiscent of Native Americans than the Japanese people you will learn about during this tour. We then travel on to Hakodate by train along the coastline of Southern Hokkaido. We visit Goryōkaku, a historic fort built in the late 19th century as a defence against possible attack by the Imperial Russian fleet, before heading up to the peak of Mt. Hakodate for a view of spectacular Hakodate Bay. We will be staying in Hakodate this evening.

Accommodation: La vista Hakodate or similar.

Day 5: Hakodate - Oirase Gorge (B, D)

Morning, we travel by express train from Hakodate to Aomori on the northern shores of the main Japanese island of Honshu. We then head up into the mountains though Hakkōdasan National Park where we can enjoy visiting the spectacular Oirase Gorge. Weather permitting you might be able to take a short walk along the gorge track. Tonight, we will be staying at a hot spring resort and will have dinner at the resort.

Accommodation: Oirase Keiryu Hotel Hoshinoya or similar

Day 6: Oirase Gorge - Tokyo (B)

This morning for a complete change of pace and scenery, we travel to Tokyo by Bullet Train. Mid-afternoon, we arrive in Tokyo and take a sightseeing tour of Sensoji Temple and the colourful Nakamise shopping lanes. After soaking up the energy and mingling with the locals in the temple and surrounds we check in at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel for 2 nights.

Accommodation: Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar

Day 7: Tokyo - Mt.Fuji/Hakone - Tokyo (B, L)

We make an early start this morning to begin a full day tour of Mt. Fuji & Hakone. We visit Mt. Fuji’s “5th station”, a popular staging point for climbers hoping to climb the sacred mountain. Located about halfway up the mountain, it is the  farthest you can drive up the mountain and on a good day can provide a view of the snow-capped peak. We also visit picturesque Hakone National Park where after lunch we may, weather permitting, get another view of famous Mt. Fuji as we cross Lake Ashi and take a gondola ride up to a scenic lookout. In the early evening, we arrive back in Tokyo.

Accommodation: Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar

Day 8: Tokyo - Kiso Valley, Magome & Tsumago (B, D)

This morning we travel to the tranquil Kiso Valley with its quaint historical post towns, Magome & Tsumago, where cars are banned and signs of modernity such as power lines are hidden to maintain the old-style ambience. Kiso is  surrounded by Japan’s foremost high mountains, the Ontake mountain range to the west and the Central Japan Alps to the east. Prior to the Edo period, Kiso prospered as a key junction for transportation and as a production area of Japanese cypress, the main building material for shrines and temples. Deep mountain gorges and clear streams have been fostering Japanese cypress plantations here for over 300 years. The post towns were also used to offer lodging for weary travelers and merchants on the trail from Osaka to Tokyo. Traditions and cultures in Tsumago have changed little and the streetscape of the old highroad has been largely preserved. Check in at one of the Guest Houses in Tsumago village. Enjoy a traditional home dinner and breakfast, during your stay, including sleeping Japanese style on futon and a traditional Japanese bath.

Accommodation: Local Guest House

Day 9: Kiso Valley - Kanazawa (B)

Today we travel to the Samurai Town of Kanazawa. Afternoon, enjoy sightseeing tour of Kenrokuen Garden, Gold Leaf workshop and the Higashichayagai geisha district. Kenrokuen Garden is one of the 3 most beautiful gardens in Japan, so named because over its 300-year history it has become famous for its embodiment of all 6 of the attributes of the ideal Japanese Garden. Kanazawa currently produces 99% of domestic gold leaf and 100% of domestic silver leaf and platinum leaf. These products generically called “Kanazawa haku” are Japan’s designated traditional handicrafts. The workshop still uses traditional methods. We check in to our hotel for 2 nights.

Accommodation: ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky or similar

Day 10: Kanazawa - Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa (B)

This morning we visit the nearby historic town of Takayama. Once a castle town whose isolation protected it to some extent from the Shoguns, the town has worked hard to retain its links with the feudal past in the “Old Town” district. There we will find Edo period streets lined with tiny shops and eating places, much as they were hundreds of years ago. We will visit Takayama’s famous morning market, where we get to mingle with the locals as they stroll through the stalls selling foods, produce and brica-brac. Not too far from Takayama is the ancient World Heritage listed village of Shirakawago, nestled in the mountains beside a pristine mountain river. We take some time to stroll around this  fascinating and picturesque little village with its famous thatched roofed huts, rice paddies and archaic farming relics, before heading back to Kanazawa.

Accommodation: ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky or similar

Day 11: Kanazawa - Kyoto (B)

Morning, travel to Kyoto by train. Kyoto is the spiritual heart of Japan and is home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Cultural sites. It was the main centre for the evolution of religious and secular architecture and of garden  design for almost a thousand years. Today, as we take a Kyoto sightseeing tour, we visit two of the most interesting heritage sites- the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and Nijo Castle. Kinkakuji is a beautiful Zen temple once the retirement villa of the Shogun Ashikaga in northern Kyoto, and whose top two storeys are completely covered in gold leaf. The more austere Nijo castle (built in 1603) was the Kyoto residence of the first Shogun, Tokugawa, and is one of the best surviving examples of feudal Japan’s castle palace architecture. We will be  making Kyoto our home for a while and check-in at our hotel for 3 nights.

Accommodation: Karasuma Kyoto Hotel or similar

KYOTO Day 11 – Optional Geisha Dinner – must book at the same time as your reservation
Geisha Dinner 6:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm $290 /person – min 6 required
Enjoy a traditional Kaiseki style dinner with Geisha dance performances. The experience of a lifetime!
Inclusions: Dinner, Geisha accompaniment and transfers to and from venue.
Fully escorted with English speaking guide.

Day 12: Kyoto (B)

Kyoto has an estimated 2,000 plus temples (Buddhist) and shrines (Shinto). This morning we will explore one of its most iconic – Kiyomizu temple, nestled in a mountain on the east of the city and overlooking the town below. Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu temple is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes lined with tiny shops in the enchanting Higashiyama district as you share the narrow lanes with pilgrims and local Japanese. Afternoon is free at leisure. If you are feeling energetic, perhaps follow your tour leader to visit local shopping areas and historic Nishiki arcade where you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of this market street whose owners have been provedores to Kyoto’s leading restaurants for centuries.

Accommodation: Karasuma Kyoto Hotel or similar

Day 13: Kyoto (B)

Morning at leisure. In the afternoon we travel to the Sagano Arashiyama area at the foot of the mountains on the southwest corner of Kyoto. Once the exclusive domain of the feudal aristocracy and famous for its seasonal beauty and  bamboo groves, Arashiyama is now a popular spot for enjoying the dazzling colours of the maple trees in Autumn. Specialty handcraft shops including pottery, Japanese rice paper, bamboo craft and handmade clay bell shops in the local area also attract travellers from Kyoto and beyond.

Accommodation: Karasuma Kyoto Hotel or similar

Day 14: Kyoto - Iya Valley - Takamatsu (B, L)

Today we travel across The Inland Sea on the impressive (13 km) Seto Ohashi bridge to the mountainous island of Shikoku.  We make our way by train to the tiny village of Oboke which is a gateway into the deep gorges of the Iya valley. This area was a refuge for fleeing feudal warriors following their defeat by the Shogun in a decisive battle. The seclusion and treacherous terrain provided safe haven to the vanquished Heike clan. The deep gorges were impassible, save for some vine bridges, one of which (Kazura Bashi) we will visit today. This bridge is made of Actinidia auguta (a kind of kiwi vine) and is 45 meters long and 2 meters wide. Enjoy lunch and a dip, if you like, in a secluded outdoor hot spring at  Iyaonsen Hotel deep in the Iya Valley. Mid-afternoon, we arrive at our hotel in Takamatsu and check-in for 1 night.

Accommodation: JR Clement Takamatsu or similar

Day 15: Takamatsu - Hiroshima (B)

We start the day with a visit to the famous Ritsurin Koen, a strolling garden of sculpted landscapes officially recognised as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Mid-morning we leave Shikoku and travel back to the main island Honshu and to Hiroshima.  We visit the Peace Memorial Park and the poignant Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Hiroshima is recognized by people from around the world not only for the scars it bears of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, but also as a symbol of peace and hope. The city continues to aspire to the abolition of nuclear weapons and lasting world peace. The museum has displays on life before and after the atomic bomb and is dedicated to those who lost their lives or loved ones to the bomb. We transfer to our hotel and check in for 2 nights.

Accommodation: Hiroshima Granvia Hotel or similar

Day 16: Hiroshima - Miyajima Island - Hiroshima (B)

We will visit Miyajima Island in The Inland Sea, to enjoy sightseeing around the Sacred Goddess Miyajima Floating Shrine and the world-famous Torii gate, officially one of Japan’s ”Top 3 Views”. The shrine itself is built out over the bay on pylons, to give the impression of floating on water. It has been held sacred since ancient times prompting worshipers to build Itsukushima Shrine, now a World Heritage Site. The shrine is a strikingly beautiful icon with its vermillion-coloured buildings and torii gate rising from the sea.

Accommodation: Hiroshima Granvia Hotel or similar

Day 17: Hiroshima - Fukuoka (B)

This morning we visit Shukkeien, a famous garden that has a long history dating back to 1620. Around the garden’s main pond there are a number of tea houses which offer visitors ideal views of the surrounding scenery. Afternoon we travel by Bullet Train to the southern island of Kyushu and check in at our hotel in Fukuoka for 2 nights

Accommodation: ANA Crown Plaza Hotel Fukuoka or similar

Day 18: Fukuoka - Arita & Okawachiyama - Fukuoka (B, L)

We make a fairly early start today to travel to Arita & Imari pottery villages in the mountains of Kyushu. Centuries ago, a potter from Korea discovered a fine-quality white clay (kaolin), essential for making porcelain, in nearby Arita – Izumiyama, leading to the development of the pottery village, Arita. Now recognized as the cradle of porcelain manufacturing in Japan, it is a quiet and peaceful town hidden away in the mountains. Colourful Imari porcelain was first introduced to the west in the 17th Century through the Dutch East India Company and served as the inspiration for similar products in China and Europe. Porcelain with green and white colouring is know as Imari ware and the blue and white was known Arita ware. We will visit a master potter’s workshop for an insight into this delicate porcelain craft. While in the village will enjoy an exquisite traditional Japanese lunch, served in a beautiful Arita porcelain box.

Accommodation: ANA Crown Plaza Hotel Fukuoka or similar

Day 19: Fukuoka - Okinawa Naha (B)

Mid-morning today we travel south by air to the remote island of Okinawa. Okinawa was once an independent (albeit tiny) tropical kingdom called Ryukyu. Its aesthetics and the vibrant colours of its art and textiles reflect those of the tropical environment, full of light and contrast. Bright colours replace the subdued Wabi-Sabi of the main islands of Japan. Palm trees replace gingko trees and tropical fruits are in abundance. Upon arrival we will explore Kokusai Dori Street, a shoppers’ paradise lined by restaurants, cafes, bars, souvenir shops, boutiques and department stores. There are also a number of covered
bazaar like shopping arcades springing off the main street, offering everything from tasty snacks to souvenirs and trinkets.

We check in at our resort hotel for 2 nights.

Accommodation: Hewitt Resort Okinawa or similar

Day 20: Naha - Churaumi

Enjoy full day tour visiting Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Ryukyu Mura. The 10 meter deep aquarium holds 300m3 and is home to two huge whale sharks, 8 and 9 meters long, and a large variety of other fishes in near natural settings. Ryukyu Mura is  a recreation of a traditional Okinawan village that allows visitors to experience the local culture, performing arts, and nature first-hand. Dinner is at the hotel this evening

Accommodation: Hewitt Resort Okinawa or similar

Day 21: Okinawa/Naha - Tokyo

We bid farewell to Okinawa this morning and fly back to Tokyo, where we will be finishing the tour with 2 nights stay in the 5 star Imperial Hotel. After checking in at the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free at leisure. You might like to visit nearby Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous shopping area, just a short walk from the Hotel. Your tour coordinator will help you organise your activities.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 22: Tokyo

Today is at Leisure. A Farewell Dinner is organised for tonight.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar

Day 23: Tokyo

Today is our last day in Japan, so you might wish to do some last-minute souvenir hunting or an optional half day activity. Official check out time is 12:00 noon. Late afternoon, you will be transferred to Haneda airport. Depart from Haneda airport for Australia.
ANA flight NH879 departing Haneda at 10:30pm, arriving in Sydney at 8:55 am, the following morning (29 May /28 Oct’22)

Day 23: Sydney - Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne

Arrive in Sydney. Interstate passengers to connecting flights

Sayounara!!

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