Hokuriku Golden Arch

Experience travelling throughout the scenic Hokuriku Area visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Castles and the famous Snow Monkeys of Nagano. Explore Japan like never before with the Hokuriku Golden Arch Tour.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Narita Airport – Tokyo

Welcome to Japan! For your convenience, after arriving, you’ll be met at Narita Airport by an assistant holding a nameboard. You will then transfer via shared shuttle service to your accommodation.

Hotel: Shiba Park Hotel or similar

Day 2: Tokyo – Nagano

After breakfast, use your JR Hokuriku Arch Pass to transfer to Nagano where you will begin a two-day tour starting in Nagano. This tour will begin at JR Nagano station, taking you to see the famous Snow Monkeys that bathe in the natural hot springs in Jigokudani Park. The tour continues with lunch at a nearby restaurant before heading to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. Your guide will take you through the temples complex – explaining its legends and myths – before leading you through a guided sake tasting experience. After indulging in some of Nagano’s sake, you will be dropped-off at your hotel.

Hotel: Metropolitan Nagano or similar

Day 3: Nagano – Matsumoto – Takayama

After an early breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and transported to Matsumoto to see its iconic 400-year-old castle. You will be free to explore the castle until it is time for your tour of the Miso Factory. Learn the process of making Miso and the many products made from it. After your tour, enjoy lunch at the Factory. From Matsumoto, you will head towards the Edo like town of Takayama, and the mountain ranges of the Northern Alps. Once arrived in Takayama, your two day tour concludes, and you are free to spend your afternoon and night at your leisure.

Hotel: Hida Hotel Plaza or simila, 2 nights

Day 4: Takayama

Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be guided along a Food & Culture Walk through Takayama. This culinary tour will introduce you to the rich culture and history of Takayama. Along the way, meet some of the local food heroes found throughout the many authentic and traditional shops. This morning tour visits: Harada Sake Brewery, Miyakawa Morning Markets, Koji-ya and coffeehouse. Following this tour, you will have two hours until an afternoon cycling tour led by a trained and experienced guide. This tour will take you away from the tourist spots, visiting natural havens and local markets. You will come away from this tour with a full stomach and fascinating stories to share with family and friends.

Day 5: Takayama – Toyama

Have breakfast at your hotel before the Gokayama Ainokura and Shirakawago Sightseeing Bus Tour. Stroll around the Ainokura Village in the World Heritage site Gokayama. Enjoy lunch at Shirakawago with its panoramic views. While in Shirakawago, see over 100 thatched roof houses surrounded by breathtaking scenery. As the tour concludes, transfer from Shirakawago to Toyama via the Nohi Bus service.

Hotel: Hotel Grand Terrace Toyama or similar, 2 nights

Day 6: Toyama

Your luggage will be forwarded ahead to your Day 7 Hotel, so prepare an overnight bag for your last night’s stay in Toyama. After breakfast at the Hotel, join a half day tour of Toyama. Start with a sushi lunch with delicious raw fish, then visit Toyama Castle where you will be guided through the castle and a Tea House by an English-speaking Tea Ceremony Instructor. After being taken through the Tea House, continue with a short Tea Ceremony led by your Instructor. After the tour, head back to your hotel and spend the afternoon and night at your leisure.

Day 7: Toyama – Fukui – Osaka

After breakfast, take the train from Toyama to Fukui Station and spend the day at your leisure exploring Fukui before heading to Osaka. Upon arrival at Fukui Station, purchase a ticket for the Eihei-ji Liner Bus to Eihei-ji Temple, ‘The Temple of Eternal Peace’. One of the two head temples of Soto Zen, it is located deep in the mountains near the northwest coast of Japan. This temple was founded by Zen Master Dōgen in 1244. He was offered land and other help for this by Yoshishige Hatano, a samurai who was one of his most devoted lay followers. Dōgen thus founded Eihei-ji, where he devoted himself to training his followers in the perfection of Zen practice. Dōgen Zenji’s authentic Zen has been scrupulously observed and passed down by his successors. Today, more than 100 monks devote themselves to his practice of shikantaza (single-minded sitting). Head back to Fukui Station by the Eihei-ji Liner Bus and use your Hokuriku Arch Pass to head to Osaka.

Hotel: Hotel Vischio Osaka or similar, 2 nights

Day 8: Osaka

Spend the day at your leisure until the afternoon when you will participate in an Evening Street Food Tour of Osaka’s Shinsekai. Walk around the bustling Shinsekai and explore the downtown streets with an English-speaking guide. Listen to the stories from the guide and try 10 or more local foods and a drink.

Day 9: Osaka – Kansai Airport

After breakfast, spend the day at your leisure until it is time to make your own way to the airport via airport train for your departure from Japan. Sayonara!

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Daily from Tokyo:From $3,699.00Price on Application
Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 1 Dinner
Transport:Airport Transfer & air-conditioned vehicles while touring
Rail:7 Day Hokuriku Arch Rail Pass
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation
Guide:English Speaking guide included on day tours only
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Splendours of Japan

Discover the Splendours of Japan on a journey of discovery from iconic Tokyo to Takayama and Kyoto. At Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine, climb the extraordinary path lined with hundreds of orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains above the city. Indulge in a delicious kaiseki lunch at a traditional ryokan and gain an insight into Japanese customs.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Your in-depth exploration of Japan begins in Tokyo. On arrival at Narita or Haneda Airport, take a shuttle bus transfer to your centrally located hotel, where you’ll join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.

Hotel: New Otani Garden Tower, 2 nights

Day 2: Tokyo Sightseeing

We launch our City Tour in the old-time entertainment centre of Asakusa, where we’ll encounter the Sensoji Buddhist Temple. One of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples, Sensoji has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple site. Strolling down Nakamise next, we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of shitamachi (downtown Tokyo), admiring the wooden dolls, colourful chiyogami (origami paper) and traditional Japanese sweets. We’ll ascend Tokyo Skytree, the world’s highest free-standing broadcasting tower for panoramic views of the city, then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or on an Optional Experience where a professional stylist will dress you in a traditional Japanese kimono.

Day 3: Tokyo – Lake Yamanakako

Our first stop today is the Imperial Palace Plaza from where the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace can be viewed. We’ll have the opportunity to explore the leafy Imperial Palace East Gardens before continuing our City Tour. At the Edo-Tokyo Museum, we delve into the history and culture of Tokyo’s Edo era, then continue to the Ginza district where we’ll learn how to make sushi with a ‘Local Specialist’. We venture to the Five Lakes District next, keeping a keen eye out for the UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji which dominates the landscape.

Hotel: Fuji Marriott Yamanakako

Day 4: Lake Yamanakako – Mt. Fuji – Takayama

Visit Oshino Hakkai, a small rural village in the Fuji Five Lakes district, renowned for eight natural spring water ponds that are fed by melted snow from Mt. Fuji. Admire the reflections of the sky and landscapes in its clear waters, then ascend Mt. Fuji by road to 2,300 metres at the 5th station. Ride up Mt. Tenjo on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway next, for jaw-dropping views (weather permitting) of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. Then, journey through the Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama, before enjoying dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: Associa Takayama Resort

Day 5: Takayama – Gokayama – Kanazawa

Immerse yourself in tradition as you walk through the Edo-style streets of Takayama’s Old Town. Indulge a lunch of Japanese Hida-gyu – beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, renowned as one of the finest quality varieties of beef. Journey back in time this afternoon during a visit to the peaceful UNESCO-listed Gokayama, a mountain village set amidst five valleys. Admire the unique construction of the local Gassho-zukuri wooden houses that have been built without the use of nails with steeply sloped thatched roofs to prevent snow from building up on them. Next, meet a local family in one of these houses, then ‘Dive Into Culture’ observing local artisans making washi paper and trying your hand at making your own. ‘Make A Difference’ to the sustainability of this small business during your visit. Stay overnight in Kanazawa.

Hotel: Kanazawa Tokyu, 2 nights

Day 6: Kanazawa Sightseeing

Join a ‘Local Specialist’ this morning to learn the secrets of painting gold leaf, a delicate craft the Japanese have been perfecting since the 16th century. Continue to the tranquil gardens of Kenrokuen, which took shape over a hundred years to emerge as one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens. Connecting with your exquisite natural surrounds, you’ll stroll through ornate landscapes and past ponds and temples. Take a short walk through the Omicho market next to see the local fish catch and enjoy an insider’s view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Then, visit the Nagamachi District with its beautifully preserved samurai houses that line the traditional stone streets. Here you will gain first-hand insights into samurai life during a visit to the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion.

Day 7: Kanazawa – Kyoto

We board an Express train this morning to Kyoto, where we’ll ‘Connect With Locals’ at a traditional ryokan, built in 1932 to serve as the second residence of Emperor Akihito’s uncle. We’ll enjoy a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch and learn about local Japanese customs as our hosts welcome us into their beautiful home. After lunch, we visit the UNESCO-listed Kinkakuji Temple with its famous Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion), the proud symbol of Kyoto and a Zen temple, which has its origins as a 14th century villa.

Hotel: Nikko Princess Kyoto, 2 nights

Day 8: Kyoto

The blazing orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine guide our path through the forest, up into the mountains and to a sacred site that has heard prayers for prosperity and happiness since the 8th century. We continue to Sanjusangen-do Hall and admire the minute detail of each of its 1,001 “thousand-handed” goddesses of mercy statues, then enjoy a walking tour of the Gion area. This evening, we indulge in a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow guests.

Day 9: Depart Kyoto / Osaka

Our encounter with Japan’s age-old traditions and modern cityscapes at its end, we take a transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport for our onward flight.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
January: 05$5,375.00$6,665.00
February: 09$5,375.00$6,665.00
March: 08$5,650.00$6,940.00
March: 15, 22, 25, 29$5,750.00$7,040.00
April: 01, 05, 08, 11$6,395.00$7,835.00
April: 15$6,350.00$7,790.00
April: 19, 22, 29$6,650.00$8,430.00
May: 10, 31$6,350.00$7,790.00
June: 07, 14, 28$6,025.00$7,465.00
July: 05$6,025.00$7,465.00
September: 06$6,350.00$7,465.00
September: 13, 27$6,395.00$7,835.00
October: 04, 06, 11, 14$6,395.00$7,835.00
November: 01, 08, 22$6,395.00$7,835.00
December: 06$6,025.00$7,465.00
December: 22$6,650.00$8,430.00

Meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned coach
Rail:Express Train Ticket: Kanazawa / Kyoto
Accommodation: 8 nights accommodation
Guide:Experienced Travel Director & Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Discover Japan

From bustling cities to quiet mountain villages, experience the distinct flavour of Japan during this amazing holiday. Of course, you’ll visit Japan’s famous sights, including many of its castles and shrines. In Kyoto, see the Temple of the Gold Pavilion, a Buddhist temple covered in gold leaf, and be amazed at its beauty. In Nara, visit Todaiji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 752 AD and one of Japan’s most significant temples. You’ll also visit the traditional Gassho-Zukuri-style (joined hands) thatched houses in Shirawaka and Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, a magnificent Shinto monument set in a man-made garden.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Japan’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for midafternoon check-in.

Hotel: Park Hotel Tokyo, 3 Nights

Day 2: Tokyo

Meet your Tour Director and travelling companions prior to morning sightseeing in Tokyo. Your tour takes you to the Meiji Shrine, a magnificent 20th-century Shinto monument set in a man-made forest, followed by a drive to see the Imperial Palace. Next, visit an artist’s studio and learn to write like a local during a Calligraphy Class with a master calligrapher. Here, you’ll also have the opportunity to try on a traditional Kimono and partake in a Traditional Tea Ceremony, a wonderfully choreographed ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea. Last stop is the Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Nakamise Shopping Arcade. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, join your travelling companions at a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director.

Day 3: Tokyo – Mount Fuji – Tokyo

This morning, leave Tokyo and head south along the coast to the beautiful Five Lakes region. Here, take a Cable-Car Ride (weather permitting) for panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchi and spectacular Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. You will also have a spectacular view of Mount Fuji from Chureito Pagoda, part of the Arakura Sengen Shrine, built as a peace memorial in 1963. Return to Tokyo and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 4: Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama

Journey to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps. Visit famous Matsumoto Castle, dating back to 1593, and discover the history at the Matsumoto City Museum. Later, travel through the ruggedly beautiful Japanese Alps to Takayama. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Japanese-style dinner at your hotel.

Hotel: Hida Hotel Plaza, 2 nights

Day 5: Takayama

Today begins with a visit to the Morning Market, where farmers display locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Then, visit Takayama Jinya, a former government office during the Edo Period from 1692- 1868. This well-preserved building is a national historic site and the only remaining building of its kind in Japan. Continue on to the San-Machi Suji historic district-famous for lacquerware shops and sake breweries, and identified by the sugidama, balls made of cedar branches that hang over the entrances. Stop at one of the breweries for a Sake Tasting. The balance of the day is at leisure, providing you time to explore the narrow streets where merchants buy and sell as they have for 300 years.

Day 6: Takayama – Shirakawa – Kanazawa

This morning, enjoy a drive through the mountainous Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa. This remote region of Japan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the unique Gassho-Zukuri-style (joined hands) thatched houses that can be found only here. Continue to the scenic town of Kanazawa, situated between the mountains and the Sea of Japan-once the country’s richest region. Your Tour Director leads you on a tour of one of Japan’s greatest gardens, Kenroku-En, the “Garden of Six Qualities,” dating from the 1670s. Afterward, partake in a Gold Leaf Class, where you learn more about this ancient traditional craft and make your own bento box souvenir.

Hotel: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa, 2 nights

Day 7: Kanazawa – Kyoto

This morning, board the Thunderbird Express Train for your journey to Kyoto. Upon arrival, stop at Sanjusangendo Temple, famous for its 1,001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Flanking the main statue are 1,000 more life-sized statues, covered in gold leaf, with 40 arms said to have the power to save 25 worlds. After lunch, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly coloured Torii Gates. Afterward, continue on to the Higashiyama District to visit Kiyomizu Temple, the “Pure Water Temple,” with stunning views over Kyoto. Along the way, walk through the busy streets, where shops and restaurants have been catering to pilgrims for centuries. This evening, you have the option to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan (additional expense).

Hotel: Ana Crowne Plaza Kyoto, 3 nights

Day 8: Kyoto

This morning starts with a visit to stunning Kinkakuji, the Temple Of The Gold Pavilion. Next, visit Yuzen Handmade Corner to learn about the Yuzen dyeing technique used to decorate kimonos by painting dye directly on the cloth. You will be invited to participate in making your own souvenir using this traditional method. For lunch, participate in a special Japanese Cooking Class. Under the instruction of a local chef, you will learn how to make miso soup, teriyaki chicken, and makizushi, more commonly known as a sushi roll. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this fascinating city on your own.

Day 9: Kyoto – Nara Excursion

This morning, take an excursion to NARA, the oldest capital of Japan. Here, visit two separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First, at Nara Park, is Todaiji Temple, built in 752 AD and one of Japan’s most famous significant temples. Rebuilt after a fire in 1692, the temple is only twothirds its original size, yet remains the world’s largest wooden building. The Daibutsu (Giant Buddha) inside the main hall is made of copper and bronze, and is the largest in all of Japan, weighing 250 tons and standing some 49 feet tall! Nearby is Kasuga Shrine, known for its 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns. Return to Kyoto for some leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your discovery of Japan.

Day 10 Depart: Kyoto

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. Homebound flights from Kansai International Airport in Osaka should not depart prior to 11 am.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 24, 31$6,299.00$8,049.00
April: 07, 14, 21, 28$6,299.00$8,049.00
May: 05,19$6,299.00$8,049.00
June: 09$6,299.00$8,049.00
July: 14$6,299.00$8,049.00
August: 18$6,299.00$8,049.00
September: 08, 15, 22, 29$6,299.00$8,049.00
October: 13$6,299.00$8,049.00
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned coach
Rail:Thunderbird Express Train Ticket: Kanazawa - Kyoto
Accommodation: 9 nights accommodation
Guide:Experienced Travel Director & Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Treasures of Japan

Explore the Treasures of Japan on this 14 day tour. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony, Relax in a hot spring in Hakone, Step back in time and visit a traditional thatched roof village,  Sake tasting at the Sake brewery in Fushim and much more.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Upon arrival at Narita or Haneda Airport, take a shared shuttle to your accommodation.

Hotel: Shiba Park Hotel or similar, 3 nights

Day 2: Tokyo

After breakfast, start the Dynamic Tokyo Tour by firstly visiting Tokyo Tower. Then, join in a traditional Tea Ceremony followed by a Japanese-style lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, proceed to the Imperial Palace Gardens and take the Sumida River Cruise and see Azuma-bashi Bridge. Finally, head to the old downtown area of Asakusa to see Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street.

Day 3: Tokyo

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a full free day in Tokyo at your leisure.

Day 4: Tokyo – Mt, Fuji – Hakone

After breakfast, your main suitcase will be transferred directly from Tokyo to your hotel in Kyoto. Be sure to pack a bag for your stays before Kyoto. Travel by coach up to 2,300 metres on Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Fuji, and soak up the spectacular view. After lunch at a local restaurant, take a sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashi and ride the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway. After the tour, transfer from Hakone-en to your accommodation.

Hotel: Hakone Pax Yoshino or similar

Day 5: Hakone – Takayama

Depart your ryokan after breakfast, then head to Odawara to catch the Bullet Train to Nagoya. From Nagoya, take the limited express train to Takayama. After your arrival in Takayama, the rest of the day can be spent at your leisure.

Hotel: Hida Hotel Plaza or similar

Day 6: Takayama – Shirakawa-go – Kanazawa

Following breakfast, join the Takayama Shirakawa-go 1 Day Tour, visiting the famous markets of Takayama before proceeding to the World Heritage village of Shirakawa-go. Step back in time as you explore the traditional thatched roof houses of the Wada Residence. After lunch, continue by bus to Kanazawa.

Hotel: Hotel Intergate Kanazawa or similar

Day 7: Kanazawa – Kyoto

After breakfast, head to Kaikaro Teahouse for a relaxing day tour where you will try authentic green tea and gold leaf garnished Japanese sweets. In the afternoon, board the limited express train from Kanazawa to Kyoto and make your own way to your accommodation.

Hotel: Intergate Kyoto Shijo Shinmachi or similar, 5 nights

Day 8: Kyoto – Nara – Kyoto

Following breakfast, tour the sites of Kyoto, visiting the Kinkaku-ji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. After lunch, travel to Nara to visit Todai-ji Temple, home of the Great Buddha and the famous Nara Park, where many tame deer roam freely. Lastly, visit the colourful Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its 3,000 lanterns.

Day 9: Kyoto

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then spend a full day at your leisure in Kyoto.

Day 10: Kyoto

After breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of Fushimi, visiting Gekkeikan Sake Museum to enjoy Sake tasting. (Note: In Japan, drinking of alcohol by persons under the age of 20 is prohibited. Whilst participants under the age of 20 may join this tour, they will be served non-alcoholic beverages.)Visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, famous for the walkway of 1,000 orange Torii gates. The afternoon is free to spend at your leisure.

Day 11: Kyoto – Hirsohima – Kyoto

After breakfast, catch the Bullet Train from Kyoto to Hiroshima, where you will meet your guide. Your guide will show you the highlights of Hiroshima including Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Shrine, the Peace Memorial Park and Museum and the legendary Atomic Bomb Dome. As the tour concludes, take the Bullet Train.

Day 12: Kyoto – Osaka

After breakfast, make your own way to Osaka by train.

Hotel: Osaka Fujiya Hotel or similar, 2 nights

Day 13: Osaka

Enjoy breakfast, followed by a full day at your leisure in Osaka. Alternatively, you may like to add one of the many available day tours in Osaka.

Day 14: Osaka – Kansai Airport

Following breakfast, spend part of the day in Osaka at your leisure until it is time to depart to Kansai Airport via train.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Tuesday & Saturday from Tokyo (except peak season):From $3,999.00Price on Application
Meals: 13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 1 Dinner
Transport:Airport Transfers & air-conditioned vehicle
Rail:Japan National Rail Pass 7 Days (Day 5-11)
One way Kansai Airport train ticket
Accommodation: 13 nights accommodation
Guide:English speaking guide included on day tours only
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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