OVERVIEW

Solos Only

Discover the many different sides of fascinating Japan on this in-depth journey. Explore the metropolis of Tokyo, see iconic Mt Fuji, ride the bullet train, soak up the peace and tranquillity of historic Takayama and admire the culture of Kyoto.

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. We’ll learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi, visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and Sumo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple and the shopping districts of Ginza, Shinjuku and Akihabara. Leave the city behind and travel to Hakone and Mt Fuji to experience a more traditional side of Japanese life. Here we stay in old-style ryokan accommodation, have a chance to enjoy a hot springs bath and sample a delicious Japanese dinner. We’ll tour iconic Mt Fuji and ride a sky gondola for breathtaking vistas over the volcanic Hakone Mountains.

Travel to historic Takayama and wander through heritage-listed Shirawakago. We’ll learn the traditional art of Japanese rice paper making and explore a local market. Catch the famous bullet train to moving Hiroshima. We discover Miyajima Island, the Itsukushima Torii Gate and visit the Peace Memorial and Atomic Bomb Dome. Board the bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart. We see the stunning Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and the heritage-listed Kiyomizudera. We’ll get hands-on, enjoy sake tasting and have the chance to wear a traditional Kimono! Kyoto is also the perfect base from which to venture to Nara and Mt Hiei, where we visit a traditional Buddhist sanctuary and enjoy a traditional Buddhist lunch.

Our adventure ends in bustling Osaka, Japan’s capital of commerce. We tour the city, visiting the Dotonbori District and the floating garden at Umeda Sky Building, and bid farewell to Japan with a traditional-style group dinner

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PACKAGE DETAILS
  • Ages:
    40+
  • Duration:
    17 Days
  • Status:
    Bookings open
  • Region:
    Asia
  • Destinations:
    Japan
  • Travel Style:
    Tour
  • Accomodation:
    Hotels
  • Prices:
    tour & airfare from $12380 with your own room
  • Transport:
    Coach,Train
  • Pace:
    3
  • Group Size:
    maximum 20
  • Trip Code:
    japan18-3
  • Terms:
    Download Terms
REVIEWS

'I really enjoyed the traditional side of Japan ........ Had a wonderful time.'

Tracey, 56 years, QLD

' Japan is a very diverse place - the country is wonderful.'

Nikki, 50 years, QLD
VIEW ALL REVIEWS REQUEST A QUOTE > NEED MORE HELP?
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INCLUSIONS

  • Return economy class flights from Australia to Japan (taxes included)
  • 5 rail journeys in Japan
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • 12 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights in a traditional ryokan guesthouse including a typical Japanese onsen (hot springs) bath
  • A Japanese dinner party while dressed in traditional yukatas
  • 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners
  • English-speaking locally based national guide

Itinerary

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Edo Tokyo Museum
  • Asakusa Kannon Temple
  • Stroll through the Nakamise shopping arcade
  • Visit the Sumo Museum and learn about Japan’s national sport
  • Wander through the famous Ginza District
  • Night walk in Shinjuku
  • Visit Mt Fuji's fifth station (weather permitting) to take in the magnificent views of the surrounding area
  • Stay 2 nights in a traditional ryokan
  • Enjoy a gondola ride with its amazing 360o view of the volcanic Hakone Mountains
  • A walking tour of Takayama's old historic town including the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese building
  • Visit Takayama's morning markets which sell local crafts and farm products such as vegetables, pickles and flowers
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its old gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer" as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer
  • Tour the Peace Park, built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima.
  • Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the city’s only remaining bomb-damaged building, and the very moving Peace Memorial Museum (by audio tour)
  • Visit Miyajima Island, located 30 minutes from Hiroshima and classified as a sacred island, to see the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine which stands in the ocean during high tide
  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan’s former capital and very much the cultural heart of the country. Our tour includes the Heian Shrine, the Kinkaku-ji Zen Temple (Golden Pavilion) and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Pure Water Temple)
  • Enjoy a traditional Tea Ceremony enroute to Mt Hiei
  • Learn more on traditional and cultural Japan as we actively participate in sake brewing & tasting, Japanese fan making and kimono dressing
  • Visit the Buddhist sanctuary at Mt Hiei, founded in 788 AD, and one of Japan’s most important cultural, religious and artistic centres. Enjoy a tea ceremony
  • Visit Osaka Castle, built in the late 16th century
  • Explore the Doutombori district
  • Enjoy magnificent views over central Osaka from the Umeda Sky Building – Floating Garden

DAY 1 – SATURDAY 10 MARCH 2018
Depart Australia

DAY 2 – SUNDAY 11 MARCH 2018
Arrive in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo! On arrival, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

DAY 3 – MONDAY 12 MARCH 2018
Tokyo

Special Experience: Begin the day at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the world’s largest wholesale markets for fish, fruit and vegetables. We learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi (which we’ll get to enjoy once we’ve finished).

This afternoon we visit the Akihabara electric town and take a stroll through the shopping district of Ginza, before sharing a Japanese-style group welcome dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 4 - TUESDAY 13 MARCH 2018
Tokyo and Nikko

An exciting day exploring one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Our sightseeing includes the Edo Tokyo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple where the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy is enshrined.  We continue to Nakamise, and the famous Sumo Museum, dedicated to Japan’s national sport.

Special Experience: Enjoy a sumo wrestling demonstration by retired athletes over a traditional Chanko-nabe (hot pot) lunch.

This evening we’ll experience the neon lights and hustle and bustle of the Shinjuku District.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH 2018
Tokyo - Hakone

We begin our morning with a stroll through the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. This landscaped garden is surrounded by a seawater moat and was originally built as duck hunting grounds for the 17th century villa of the Shogun Tokugawa. Then we visit the famous shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. We continue to the Great Buddha (Koutokuin) before travelling in the early afternoon to Hakone. 

Special Experience:  For the next two nights we stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse. We’ll have the chance to bathe in natural onsen (hot springs) and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 – THURSDAY 15 MARCH 2018
Mt. Fuji

A highlight of any trip to Japan is a visit to majestic and iconic Mt Fuji!  At approximately 3,776m it is Japan’s highest mountain. Now a dormant volcano, Mt Fuji, or Fujiyama as it is known locally, can be seen on a clear day from Tokyo. We stop at the fifth station (weather permitting) to take in the stunning views of the surrounding area. Later we’ll ride a gondola to enjoy magnificent vistas of the volcanic Hakone Mountains and Mt Fuji, as well as the Sagami Bay.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 – FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2018
Hakone – Takayama

We travel by rail to the historic town of Takayama, and explore the narrow, traditional streets on foot. We visit the Takayama Jinya, a former government outpost established to bring the Hida Province under the direct control of the Shogunate.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 – SATURDAY 17  MARCH 2018
Takayama

We wander through the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago with its famous gassho-zukuri (‘like hands in prayer’) thatched roofs, designed to withstand the massive snowfalls of winter. This afternoon we discover the traditional art of Japanese rice paper-making in Gokayama.  Rice paper or washi is commonly used in the traditional paper folding art of origami, practiced in Japan since the early 1600’s.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9 – SUNDAY 18 MARCH 2018
Takayama - Hiroshima

We rise early today and visit a local market before continuing our rail journey to Hiroshima, via Nagoya. Hiroshima is a city with great historical significance, forever remembered as the site of impact from the world’s first atomic-bomb, where so much devastation occurred. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure in this naturally beautiful city.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 – MONDAY 19 MARCH 2018
Hiroshima

This morning we cruise out to tranquil Miyajima Island and see the giant Itsukushima Torii Gate which seems to float on top of the water at high tide. Renowned for being a World Cultural Heritage site today, Miyajima is an island where it is believed that people and gods once dwelt together. Since ancient times, the island itself has been worshipped and this belief has been passed down from generation to generation. We return to Hiroshima for lunch. This afternoon we’ll visit the Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the very moving Peace Memorial Museum, commemorating the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11 – TUESDAY 20 MARCH 2018
Hiroshima - Kyoto

Travelling by bullet train, we make our way to historic Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital. On arrival, we visit stunning Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). The temple’s top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf and the pavilion is set amongst beautiful gardens.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12 – WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018
Nara

We travel to Nara and visit the beautiful Todai-ji (Great Eastern) Temple. We’ll then stop at famous Deer Park, where more than 1,000 deer roam freely. This afternoon we’ll see one of Japan’s most celebrated temples, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu-dera. Founded in 780 AD on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, it derives its name from the fall's pure waters.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13 – THURSDAY 22 MARCH 2018
Kyoto

Today we discover the art of creating Japan’s unique crafts and culinary delights!

Special Experience: Enjoy a variety of local activities including fan making, sake brewing / tasting and a chance to dress in a traditional kimono.  Then witness a traditional dance performance by Maiko (Geiko apprentices).  Geiko is the term for Geisha in Kyoto.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14 – FRIDAY 23 MARCH 2018
Kyoto – Mt. Hiei - Osaka

We experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buddhist sanctuary of Enryakuji Temple. Located on the sacred mountain of Mt Hiei, it offers beautiful views over Kansai. Here we’ll enjoy a traditional Buddhist lunch. This afternoon we make our way to Osaka, stopping at the Umeda Sky Building (Floating Garden) for scenic views over the central city.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 15 – SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2018
Osaka

We travel by bullet train to visit Himeji Castle. Japan’s largest and most-visited castle, it is regarded as the finest surviving example of Japanese castle architecture. We’ll then venture into Osaka’s Dōtonbori District in the early evening to take in its famous lights and thriving food scene. In the evening we’ll enjoy a Japanese-style group farewell dinner. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16 – SUNDAY 25 MARCH 2018
Depart Osaka

We transfer to the Airport to begin our journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17 – MONDAY 26 MARCH 2018
Arrive in Australia

 

Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel.  Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

View Full Itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

HOTELS

Destination

Hotel Name

Tokyo

Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Hakone

Hotel Okuyumoto, Hakone

Takayama

Hida Hotel Plaza, Takayama

Hiroshima

Sheraton, Hiroshima

Kyoto

New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

Osaka

Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Hotels are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided.

HOTEL DESCRIPTIONS

SHINAGAWA PRINCE HOTEL, TOKYO
The Shinagawa Prince Hotel is located at the southern gateway to the Tokyo metropolis with breathtaking views of the city and Tokyo Bay. Besides its convenient location, this impressive hotel complex offers a wide array of dining and entertainment options. This hotel is home to a 10-screen multiplex theatre, a cabaret, bowling centre, indoor swimming pool, indoor tennis courts, indoor golf centre and a wide selection of restaurants!

HOTEL OKUYUMOTO, HAKONE
The Hotel Okuyumoto boasts a rustic open-air bath set beside a mountain stream. Surrounded by the peaceful natural scenery of Hakone, enjoy the hot springs and the beauty of Japan’s natural environment. The hotel is a 9-storey structure with mostly Japanese-style rooms and is located approximately 10 minutes from Hakone Yumoto station.

HIDA HOTEL PLAZA, TAKAYAMA
Just a 5 minute walk from Takayama Station, Hida Hotel Plaza boasts a rooftop spa with mountain views, a heated swimming pool and 7 dining options including Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine. Hida Plaza’s rooms are elegantly furnished in either Western or traditional Japanese decor. Room amenities include a plasma TV, personal safe, fridge and free internet. The spa offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, massage, a hot tub and a mist sauna. The hotel is also only a 15 minute walk from the historical Old Private Houses and a 20-minute walk from Higashiyama Temple.

SHERATON, HIROSHIMA
The Sheraton Hiroshima is conveniently located in the city next to JR Hiroshima Station with direct access to the bullet train and bus terminals. Amenities include: indoor swimming pool, in-room safes, Fitness and Spa areas while rooms boast hi speed WiFi, DVD, mini bar, refrigerator, AC.

NEW MIYAKO HOTEL, KYOTO
As the largest hotel in Kyoto with 986 rooms, the New Miyako Hotel combines comfort with functionality. Located virtually in front of the Shinkansen (bullet train), Japan Railways and Kintetsu-Kyoto Station, the New Miyako Hotel is in a prime location. The hotel’s many restaurants provide various buffet-style dining options including Japanese, Chinese and European. 

SHERATON MIYAKO HOTEL, OSAKA
Located on the Uemachi Plateau, the hotel is directly connected with Kansai International Airport by an airport limousine bus.  Boasting four restaurants, bar and café, amenities include: Health club, Internet Communications Lounge, concierge, drugstore, beauty salon, florist, photo studio, barber, hair salon, japanese pub and boutique stores.  All rooms include: Refrigerator, electric hot water kettle, tea set, mini bar, hair dryer, a/c and free WiFi.

 

Hotel descriptions are taken from the hotel website and edited to suit our page.

More About Accommodation

PRICES

 

THE ‘SOLO TRAVELLER SAVING’

SAVE an additional $75 with our ‘Solo Traveller Saving’ (STC)

In addition to any other savings, when you book this tour with your own room and also the airfare with us, we include a $75 saving on your total package price.  Offer is not available when you book to share a room or in conjunction with any Reduced Single Supplement Offer (RSS)  

Per Person  AUD

Your

Own Room

Package Price (tour & airfare package) SYD/MEL/BNE/ADL/PER*

$12380

Tour Only

$11358

 * Valid From:    Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth

OTHER PRICE INFORMATION:

SHARE & SAVE
If you are happy to share with a roommate of the same gender, save $1875 on package prices above that include your own room (not sharing).

TOUR & AIRFARE PACKAGE
* International airfare ex Australia is valid from: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth. Once the ticket is issued penalties are incurred for changes, and in some cases airfares may be non-refundable. Reservation are made in the name you provide to us with your booking form – this name must match your passport. Failure to provide your name as per your passport may result in an invalid ticket.

DAY/DATE VARIATIONS:
Due to airline flight schedules and availability, day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure. If additional nights of stay are required, the cost of any additional night/s of stay applies.

TAXES & FUEL COSTS, AND SURCHARGES:
The tour and airfare package includes air taxes to the value of $600 per person for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies are shown as a guide only. At the time final monies are due the amount for the airline tax & fuel surcharge will be updated if there has been any change.

An airfare supplement may apply depending on airline availability and departure cities, and this would be advised with your quote. 

UPGRADING ECONOMY FARE TO BUSINESS CLASS FARE WITH POINTS
The airfare included in a package, or otherwise purchased separately may not allow the use of flyer points to upgrade. However, there is the option of paying a surcharge where we would book the airfare which does allow you to upgrade. The surcharge can be quoted at time of requesting quote and is subject to availability.

ACCRUING FREQUENT FLYER POINTS
The airfare offered may not permit frequent flyer points to be accrued. If you wish to accrue frequent flyers points please check with us at the time of booking. We will advise the status and if any airfare supplement applies to book an airfare class that permits the accrual of frequent flyer points.

PRICE INFORMATION
Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change.  

Not included: 

  • Airfares when booking tour only
  • Airport Transfers when booking tour only
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage
  • Visa fees
  • Any tips or porterage at airports, hotels, drivers & local staff
  • Meals and beverages not specified on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry & medical expenses
  • Incidental expenses such as taxi fares, telecommunications
ROOMMATE MATCH 

Share and save with our roommate match option.

On your request and subject to availability, we will match you with another group member (same gender) so that you can share a room and take advantage of the twin share price.

Reduced Single Supplement:
If we are not able to offer you a roommate match, a 'reduced single supplement' price will be offered. This represents a $200 saving on the standard single supplement price. Alternatively, you have the option to decline and receive a full refund of your tour deposit. The supplement is due after we finalise the group and before departure.  Please note:  If a roommate becomes available after receiving advice of a reduced single supplement rate, your booking automatically reverts to the twin share price and any monies paid for the reduced single supplement will be refunded.

The reduced single supplement offer only applies to bookings secured with a deposit paid by Monday, 11 December 2017

Important note about airfares and progress payments
You should only make the progress payment when we have confirmed in writing to you that we have a roommate match for your booking; or, if you are prepared to pay the reduced single supplement, in the event a roommate match cannot be confirmed for your booking.

GETTING THERE

Arrive to: Tokyo
Depart from: Osaka

You must hold a valid passport with a minimum of six 6 months validity from your return date to your home country. Ensure you have at least two blank pages in your passport. See 'VISA' information in our MORE INFORMATION section below.

HOTEL CHECK IN /CHECK OUT TIMES
Consider the hotel check in time on arrival and the hotel check out time on departure.

Early Check In
If your flight arrives well in advance of the hotel check in time, then we recommend travellers consider booking an additional night at the hotel the evening prior to guarantee a morning check-in. Early check in without payment can be requested, and is at the discretion of the hotel, but cannot be guaranteed.

Late Check Out
If your flight departs after the hotel check out time we recommend that you make an enquiry with us about securing a late check out with payment.  Some hotels will require payment in full of the next night of stay while others may have a rate for a late check out such as a payment to extend check out until 6pm as an example.

Late check out can be requested but without payment cannot be guaranteed.

NOMINATED TOUR FLIGHT ITINERARY
SQ 638 10MAR SINGAPORE/TOKYO (NRT)        Depart 2355 Arrive 0730 11MAR
SQ 619 25MAR OSAKA (KIX)/SINGAPORE        Depart 1100 Arrive 1710

NOTE:  Please call Encounter Travel for any deviation of flights and to discuss best transfer option.

TRANSFERS
When you travel on the group flights airport transfers on arrival and departure are included as part of your package.

When you travel on other dates or not with the group flight additional charges apply for airport transfers on arrival and departure. 

Some information from this page has been sourced from other websites. Content is provided as a guide only.

DETAILS

Read on for other key trip information that you should know before you decide on joining the group.

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit.  Tour space is limited. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience 

FELLOW TRAVELLERS  ‘SOLOS MIX’
You will enjoy this small group experience with a maximum group size of 20 travellers. This tour is NOT exclusively for single/solo travellers.

THE PACE  [3 out of 5]
A moderate to faster pace. There are some days with early starts and full days of touring.  There are 2, 3 and 4 nights of stay for this itinerary.

A reasonable level of fitness or more is recommended for joining this tour.  You should be able to walk for two kilometres on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. You must be able to carry your own bags, as porter service may not always be available at all hotels.

A reasonable level of fitness or more is recommended for joining this tour.  You should be able to walk for two kilometres on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. You must be able to carry your own bags, as porter service may not always be available at all hotels. Travellers of 70 years or over will be required to return a Fit to Travel form that is completed by their doctor.

Requirements:
A minimum level of fitness is required to be able to participate on a Bunnik Tour, you are required to at least:

  • Be able to walk 3.5kms on uneven surfaces without the use of any walking aid
  • Carry your own luggage
  • Walk up two flights of stairs with ease

Passengers 70 years or over must provide “fitness to travel” letter from their doctor at time of making booking.

Passengers must inform us and the service provider of any medical conditions which may affect your ability to participate in the tour.

At our discretion we, including the service provider, can exclude you in a tour or in any activity if we consider that you are unable to safely participate in that tour or activity or if we consider your participation may place the safety of other guests at risk.

We exclude all liability for any illness, injury or death sustained by you on tour because of any pre-existing medical condition. You release us from all liability arising out of your medical condition, illness, or injury that you may suffer during the tour or as a result of the tour. 

ABOUT THE MEALS   
It’s regular that our trips include welcome dinners and farewell dinners for our groups. In addition, we include other group dining experiences to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefit of travelling and dining as a group.  There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. We always do our best to accommodate special diet needs and in most cases, special dietary needs can be met. However, in some destinations the variety of choice for certain special diets may be limited. If you are concerned please check with us before you book.

GROUP GUIDE
This is a private group tour with a coach driver and locally based English speaking guide. Your tour guide is there to assist with group arrangements and to act as the liaison for all tour services.

TRANSPORT
Coach and bullet train.

LUGGAGE INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
Due to the handling of luggage on our tours and coaches, we ask you to limit checked baggage to 20kg and a minimum of hand luggage.

ABOUT MOBILE PHONE USE / INTERNET 
Likelihood of free wi fi at hotel, does tour bus have wi fi etc etc. They are guidelines only and not a guarantee.

TRAVELLER REVIEWS

'I really enjoyed the traditional side of Japan ........ Had a wonderful time.'

Tracey, 56 years, QLD

' Japan is a very diverse place - the country is wonderful.'

Nikki, 50 years, QLD
Since 2006
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