Wendy Wu's most extensive tour of Japan includes all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical sights and beautiful landscapes, you get the most from this fascinating land.
Single Supplement from $2,250 pp
Fly overnight to the lively, fast-paced city of Osaka. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure, perhaps to sample this city’s famous shopping and food.
Spend the morning in Nara, the small, history-filled city that was Japan’s first capital. Stroll through Nara Park to Todai-ji Temple and admire the traditional Isui-en Garden. Return to Osaka and visit the impressive Osaka Castle before cruising along the Yodogawa River.
Depart Osaka for Hiroshima, stopping en route to explore the magnificent 17th Century Himeji Castle and the neighbouring Koko-en, a traditional-style garden.
Hiroshima is a vibrant, forward-thinking city that is a pleasure to explore. Reflect on the city’s tragic past at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Next, hop on the ferry across to the holy island of Miyajima to visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy some free time.
Catch a bullet train to Kyoto. Capital for a thousand years, this enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan. Visit Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan’s most famous Zen garden and Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as ‘Golden Pavilion’.
Enjoy one of Kyoto’s most delightful spots, Kiyomizu, a 17th Century Buddhist temple, before experiencing the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to further explore this amazing city.
Depart Kyoto and travel to Kanazawa. Meander through Kenroku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, before viewing the excellent art collection of the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
Visit the Nomura Samurai House and Garden before departing Kanazawa. Stop in Gokayama for lunch and a hands-on washi paper making workshop. Continue to Shirakawago, where you will explore the 300-year-old Gassho-style Wada House, before reaching Takayama.
Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market, wander past some of the lovely traditional houses and visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Festival Floats Museum, Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and Takayama Jinya followed by a stroll down Kamisannomachi Street.
Depart Takayama and travel to Matsumoto. Here you will have time to admire its formidable 16th Century castle and visit a Miso House. Transfer to Nagano.
This morning, travel deeper into the Japanese Alps to see the Japanese Macaques or snow monkeys at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Continue to Zenkoji, one of Japan’s most prolific Buddhist temples. Spend some time at a wasabi farm to learn about its cultivation.
Travel to the Fuji Five Lakes area. Ascend by road to the 5th station (weather permitting), roughly halfway up Mt Fuji, for fantastic views over the surrounding landscapes. Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku.
Begin the day with a cruise on the peaceful waters of Lake Ashi. Next, soar high on the Hakone ropeway over the hilltops to the volcanic Owakudani Valley and discover the dramatic natural hot springs of Mt Hakone. Later, continue to Tokyo.
A dazzling, high-tech metropolis, Japan’s capital will fascinate. Start your explorations at the Imperial Palace East Garden, visit Meiji Shrine and walk the famous Shibuya Crossing.
Stroll the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambience of Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Ascend to the observation deck of the 634-metre Skytree and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. The afternoon is free until the evening, when you will board a traditional yakata boat for a dinner cruise.
Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.