Tours in Japan

9-day Japanese Gardens Small Group Tour

One for the garden lovers!

Join us as we explore the country's most awe-inspiring gardens - taking in local culture and mouth-watering flavours every step of the way.

FROM
$6,529PP
Get your quote
DURATION
8 nights
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Accommodation
  • Selected entry fees
  • Selected meals

About this holiday

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Tour map - Osaka to Tokyo

From buzzing fish and seafood markets and ornate, centuries-old palaces to dense bamboo groves and meticulously kept gardens, Japan is home to an array of experiences that will capture your heart.

  • Stroll the tranquil bamboo groves of Kyoto's famed Arashiyama district
  •  Visit Kenrokuen Garden: one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan
  •  Learn how to decorate a unique souvenir with traditional Kanazawa gold leaf

Inclusions

Your tour includes:

  • 8 Nights accommodation
  • 8 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • Tour Leader
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • Up to 18 Passengers maximum

Accommodation

8 nights in quality accommodation

Travel dates

Sat 28 Mar 2020, Sat 11 Apr 2020, Sat 26 Sep 2020:
From $7,299 pp twin share / $9,129 sole use

Sat 05 Sep 2020:
From $6,529 pp twin share / $7,839 sole use

For sole use prices call our friendly travel team on freecall 1300 414 198 today!

Itinerary

Day 1 - Osaka

Konnichiwa! Our sensory journey of Japan will begin in the spirited city of Osaka. Tonight, we’ll meet the group and get to know each other better over an included welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals - Dinner

Day 2 - Osaka - Himeji - Kurashiki

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take a private vehicle to the beautiful Himeji Castle – Japan’s biggest and best-preserved feudal-era castle – where we’ll take some time to stroll the 400-year-old complex and learn more about the building’s fascinating history. Then: we’ll make the short journey to Koraku-en Garden, one of Japan’s most famous landscape gardens. Here, we’ll wander expansive lawns broken up by large, glinting ponds and groves of plum, cherry and maple trees before moving on to Kurashiki – where we’ll have the evening to stroll the historic laneways and lamp-lit canals at our leisure.
Meals - Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 - Kurashiki - Matsue

Once a buzzing centre for rice distribution, Kurashiki’s former merchant history is most evident in the town’s well-preserved canal area. We’ll spend the morning exploring the wooden storehouses-turned-museums and old willow-edged canals before being escorted to the opulent Ohashi House – where we’ll stroll through the house’s tatami floored rooms and elegant sliding doors, and admire the samurai-style architecture reflecting the Ohashi family’s wealth and importance. Later, we’ll move on to the ‘Water City’ of Matsue – and enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals - Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Matsue - Izumo - Matsue

After breakfast, our guide will take us to picturesque Matsue Castle – one of only 12 original castles left in Japan. Perched atop a network of pine-lined waterways and charming bridges, the 16th century keep is something to behold! After, we’ll spend the afternoon wandering the beautifully landscaped gardens and carefully curated art collection at the Adachi Museum of Art where we’ll enjoy lunch overlooking the lush pond garden. Later, we’ll make our way to mythological Izumo to pay a visit to the country’s oldest and most sacred Shinto shrine: Izumo Taisha. Back in Matsue, the evening will be yours to spend at your leisure.
Meals - Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 - Matsue - Kyoto

Today we’ll take the bullet train to Japan’s spiritual heart: Kyoto. Our first stop? Nishiki Market, where we’ll spend some time browsing the lively market stalls and sampling delicious sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Later, we’ll discover Kyoto’s atmospheric dining district of Pontocho. Best explored at night, this narrow pedestrian-only walkway is lined with old wooden façades, glowing lanterns and buzzing restaurants serving up tantalising dishes – from inexpensive yakitori to modern Kyoto cuisine. Take some time to explore at your leisure, keeping your eyes peeled for the occasional geisha making their way between appointments.
Meals - Breakfast

Day 6 - Kyoto - Arashiyama - Kyoto

Nestled at the base of Kyoto’s western mountains, the tranquil district of Arashiyama is best known for its scenic temples and peaceful bamboo grove. We’ll begin our day with a visit to Gio-Ji Temple, which is known for its mossy gardens, simple thatched hall and tall maple trees. Next, we’ll wander the awe-inspiring gardens of Okochi Mountain Villa – the former estate of famed film actor Okochi Denjiro. Here, we’ll take some time to admire the grand residential architecture and impressive viewpoints before enjoying a complimentary matcha green tea and traditional sweets in this charming setting. We’ll have time to take a serene stroll through Arashiyama’s dense bamboo grove before heading to today’s highlight – the Tenryuji Temple. And later, we’ll make tracks to Higashiyama to partake in a traditional chanoyu tea ceremony. Back in Kyoto, you’ll have some free time to explore the gently sloping lanes and traditional shophouses of the Ninenzaka district.
Meals - Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 - Kyoto - Kanazawa

This morning we’ll travel by express train to the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture: Kanazawa. Here, we’ll meet our guide for a tour of the historic Omicho market – a network of buzzing restaurants and market stalls filled with fresh local seafood and colourful produce. We’ll have some free time to immerse ourselves in the market’s hustle and bustle before moving on to the tranquil Kenrokuen Garden. Drawing inspiration from the six attributes of perfection (seclusion, spaciousness, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views), it’s easy to see why this Edo period garden is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. We’ll round off our day in the Higashi Chaya District, where we’ll stop in at a local store to learn the art of gold leaf decorating.
Meals - Breakfast

Day 8 - Kanazawa - Tokyo

After breakfast, we’ll ride the bullet train to Tokyo. Upon arrival, we’ll be escorted to Tsukiji Outer Fish Market, the largest fish and seafood market in the world. We’ll have time to browse over 400 shops selling fresh ingredients and cooking utensils before we make tracks to the famous Meiji Shrine and the Imperial Palace – the official residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. We’ll take some time to wander the large grounds, moats and imposing stone walls before returning to our hotel – where we’ll clink glasses over a farewell dinner later tonight.
Meals - Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Tokyo

After one last breakfast with the group, our tour will come to a close.
Meals - Breakfast

Questions

Where do I meet my Tour Leader upon arrival?

Your Tour Leader will usually meet you in the arrival hotel’s reception area at the tour’s listed start time. If you can’t see your Tour Leader, look out for any notices posted in the lobby or ask a member of the hotel staff.

How much luggage can I bring?

Each of our guests may bring one piece of main luggage of a standard size of no more than 158cm (when the length, width and height is added together) and weighing no more than 20kg. You may also bring one small carry-on bag per person.

What clothes should I bring?

We suggest packing for variable weather conditions. If you are travelling through Italy, Spain or Southern France in summer, make sure you pack a hat and sunscreen. We also suggest a pair of good shoes for walking tours.

Top 10 items to bring:
  • Chargers and adapters
  • A waterproof jacket or umbrella
  • Layers
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Passport
  • Towel
  • Medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Reusable water bottle
Couldn't find an answer to your question? Ask us!

Fine print

Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply.

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