SHORTLIST

Discover Japan

Japan is a country of captivating contrasts, where ancient gods rub shoulders with modern technology, skyscrapers give way to lush paddy fields and bustling crowds disperse into the tranquillity of a classical garden. This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating archipelago.
Price notes:
  • Prices include airline fuel surcharge and taxes. Correct as of 1 August 2023, subject to change.
  • Tipping is generally not part of the culture in Japan; however, you may wish to tip your National Escort at your discretion.
  • Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost.
  • Based on departures from Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch
  • Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request
  • Land only (Tokyo '“ Osaka) 12 days from $10,240 per person, twin share
  • Single Supplement from $2,450 (ds not apply to Solo Exclusive Departures)
  • Please note: cherry blossoms are weather dependent and it is not guaranteed that they will be in bloom at the time of your arrival.
Tour details
Tour Provider Wendy Wu
Price From
$11,230
Number of Days
14
Start Location
Tokyo, Japan
End Location
Osaka, Japan
Age Range
Avg. 60+
Group Size
10 to 28
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
No specific theme
Physical Rating
Easy
Includes Flights
Yes
Itinerary Open all
Days 1-2: Fly to Tokyo
Fly overnight to Tokyo, Japan's capital, for a two-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 start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3: Vibrant Tokyo
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Begin at the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree,, the world's tallest tower, before wandering through the old district of Asakusa. Stop to seek out the tranquility of the ancient Buddhist Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest. Next, drive by the Imperial Palace Plaza and later stroll through the classical landscapes of Hamarikyu Gardens. This evening, take a relaxed dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay for excellent city vistas.
DAY 4: Mount Fuji
Take the super-fast bullet train to Odawara. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi for spectacular panoramas of this beautiful area before venturing up the Komagatake Ropeway. Next, ascend over 2,000 metres up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station, (weather permitting) and take in the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes area below.
DAY 5: Matsumoto Castle
Transfer to Matsumoto and explore the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. Stop at a Miso House to learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning. Travel on to Takayama, nestled high in the mountainous Hida region, also known as the Japanese Alps.
Day 6: Takayama
Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market and wander past some of the lovely traditional houses. You'll also visit several of the excellent local museums '“ including the Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and Takayama Jinya. Also enjoy some free time in Kamisannomachi Street.
DAY 7: Shirakawago and Kanazawa
Get a glimpse of rural Japan at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shirakawago which is famous for its farmhouses built in the unique gassho-zukuri architectural style. Continue to Gokayama to have a go at washi paper making, then travel to Kanazawa and meander through the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.
DAY 8: Gold Leaf Making
Begin the day learning the process of making gold leaf. Next, stroll through traditional Higashi Chaya (Eastern Teahouse District), visiting Ochaya Shima '“ a historical geisha house. Later, journey to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, until 1879, today Kyoto is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens.
DAY 9: Explore Kyoto
Start the day with a visit to Ryoanji, the 'temple of the peaceful dragon' and the famous Kinkakuji, also known as the 'Golden Pavilion'. In the afternoon, head to a restored Japanese wooden townhouse and try your hand at origami and enjoy the age-old rituals of a tea ceremony with a tea master.
Day 10: Discover Nara
Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, remarkable for its 10,000 vermilion torii gates. Continue to Nara, a relaxed and charming town virtually untouched by the ravages of modernity. Home to many archetypal pieces of early art and architecture, stroll through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple, meeting the resident sika deer en-route, before exploring Isuien Garden.
Day 11: Koyasan
The holy mountain of Koyasan is home to over 100 monasteries nestled in a valley enclosed by peaks said to resemble a lotus flower. Arguably the most sacred mountain in all of Japan, Koyasan is the heart of Shingon Buddhism and the resting place of Japan's best known Buddhist, known as both Kukai and Kobo Daishi. Wander around Okunoin '“ a vast cemetery of 200,000 stupas and enjoy the tranquillity and spectacular views as you discover Kongobuji Temple and the Garan Temple Complex. Later, continue to Osaka.
Day 12: Explore Osaka
Begin the day exploring Osaka Castle, which is one of Japan's most famous. Next, take a short cruise along the Yodogawa River and stroll through Dotonbori, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample the local delicacies for lunch. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this fascinating city.
Day 13-14: Fly Osaka To New Zealand
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Inclusions
  • Domestic transportation
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Touring with guides and entrance fees
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
20 Apr 2024 02 May 2024 28 $11,740
14 Sep 2024 26 Sep 2024 28 $11,590
09 Nov 2024 21 Nov 2024 28 $11,590
16 Nov 2024 28 Nov 2024 28 $12,340
20 Mar 2025 01 Apr 2025 28 $12,380
22 Mar 2025 03 Apr 2025 28 $12,580
24 Mar 2025 05 Apr 2025 28 $11,830
26 Mar 2025 07 Apr 2025 28 $12,580
28 Mar 2025 09 Apr 2025 28 $12,580
30 Mar 2025 11 Apr 2025 28 $11,830
31 Mar 2025 12 Apr 2025 18 $14,380
02 Apr 2025 14 Apr 2025 28 $11,830
04 Apr 2025 16 Apr 2025 28 $11,830
06 Apr 2025 18 Apr 2025 28 $12,580
13 Apr 2025 25 Apr 2025 28 $11,980
20 Apr 2025 02 May 2025 28 $11,230
04 May 2025 16 May 2025 28 $11,980
11 May 2025 23 May 2025 28 $11,980
18 May 2025 30 May 2025 28 $11,980
01 Jun 2025 13 Jun 2025 28 $11,780
08 Jun 2025 20 Jun 2025 28 $11,780
15 Jun 2025 27 Jun 2025 28 $11,780
20 Jul 2025 01 Aug 2025 28 $11,780
17 Aug 2025 29 Aug 2025 28 $11,980
14 Sep 2025 26 Sep 2025 28 $11,830
21 Sep 2025 03 Oct 2025 28 $12,580
05 Oct 2025 17 Oct 2025 28 $12,580
12 Oct 2025 24 Oct 2025 28 $12,580
19 Oct 2025 31 Oct 2025 18 $14,380
02 Nov 2025 14 Nov 2025 28 $12,580
09 Nov 2025 21 Nov 2025 28 $12,580
16 Nov 2025 28 Nov 2025 28 $12,580