Day 1: Australia – – Osaka
Depart Australia today on your Qantas flight to Japan.
Upon arrival at Kansai Airport, clear customs and immigration before boarding the transfer to your accommodation. The tour guide or escort will be waiting at the arrival lobby exit gate (inside the airport) holding a ‘TOMATO/WEBJET’ sign. Please do not go away from the exit gate if you don’t see the tour guide immediately, the tour will come and meet you.
Day 2: Osaka – Himeji – Hiroshima (B)
After breakfast we make the trip to the moving city of Hiroshima. Largely destroyed when the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. Enroute, we stop in Himeji to visit the Himeji castle. The castle is regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture, comprising a network of 83 buildings with advanced defensive systems from the feudal period. It was registered in 1993 as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country.
Day 3: Hiroshima – Osaka (B)
Today we begin with the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, which commemorates the victims of the atomic bomb used in WWII. Then visit the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, where you can see the torii gate on the water at high tide. After we make our way back to Osaka.
Day 4: Osaka – Nara – Kyoto (B)
This morning we drive to the town of Nara and visit the Todaiji Temple, one of Japan’s most famous temples. The massive building houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). The 15 meters tall, seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is flanked by two Bodhisattvas. Along the approach to Todaiji stands the Nandaimon Gate, a large wooden gate watched over by two fierce looking statues. Representing the Nio Guardian Kings, the statues are designated national treasures together with the gate itself.
After the Todaiji Temple we wander back through Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara’s nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city. We then continue to the city of Kyoto. We begin with the UNESCO World Heritage, Kinkaku-ji, commonly known as the Golden Pavilion. A Zen temple and World Heritage site with two floors covered entirely in thin layers of pure gold and detailed architecture incorporating three distinct styles of Shinden, Samurai and Zen.
Day 5: Kyoto –– Shizuoka (B)
This morning we visit Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogunate and is designated a UNESCO world heritage site. After we relax in the Arashiyama District, visit to the Togetsu Bridge, the landmark of Western Kyoto for over four hundred years. Then stroll through Bamboo Grove, one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world.
Later, we board the technological marvel, the Shinkansen Bullet train from Kyoto to Shizuoka. Travelling at speeds up to 280km/h it provides an incredible experience as the Japanese countryside zips by. On arrival into Hamamatsu you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day 6: Shizuoka – Mt Fuji – Tokyo (B)
This morning we make our way towards the Mount Fuji area to Lake Ashinoko. Lake Ashinoko was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano’s last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone. The lake’s shores are mostly undeveloped except for small towns in the east and north and a couple of lakeside. Later, we visit Oishi Park to capture a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji, Continue your tour with a visit to the Mt Fuji 5th Station, which at 2300 meters above sea level, offers a commanding view of the Fuji Five Lakes area below. After we make our way to Tokyo.
Day 7: Tokyo (B)
Today we drive to Hama-Rikyu, a beautiful landscape garden in central Tokyo featuring seawater ponds which change level with the tides, and a teahouse on an island where visitors can rest and enjoy the scenery. Then we relax on a Sumida River cruise. Later, stroll through the Asakusa Kannon Temple one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples before browsing for souvenirs atN akamise Shopping Street. Your last stop today is Shinjuku Municipal Observation Building for panoramic views of Tokyo before heading to your hotel.
Day 8: Tokyo – – Australia (B)
Spend the day at your own leisure. At the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.
Day 9: Australia
Arrive home today.