Sake it to Me
||Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Slurping your food is considered a compliment. You get to wear slippers inside. You can buy beer, comic books and undies from a vending machine. And it's home to sushi, samurai and sumo wrestling. What's not to love?
(Was Empire of the Sun)
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Tokyo
Tokyo's all about old school versus new school. Ginza's department
stores, Akihabara's gadgets and Shinjuku's nightlight versus the
Senso-ji temples, cherry blossoms and Kabuki theatre.
- Arrive in Tokyo. Today is a free day to get acquainted with this city of contrasts
Pre-departure briefing with your tour guide in the early
evening (approx. 6 pm)
- Set off on a morning orientation tour of Tokyo
- Glimpse the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor
- Pass through Ginza, the city's main shopping street
Enjoy a free afternoon to explore this multi-faceted city
- Perhaps visit Yoyogi
Park to view the vibrant street scenes, temples, pagodas, and
shrines of Tokyo
- Opportunity to visit a
Kabuki theatre (dependent on season)
- Take a metro to Tokyo's major religious site, the
- Make the most of a chance to see a Kabuki play
- Why not make a day trip to
nearby Kamakura to see the Daibutsu (Great Buddha)
Day 3-4: Takayama
Hold your nose, grab some fresh sushi and watch the show unfold at
Tsukiji Market's famous tuna auctions. Then spend a full day exploring
Takayama, stopping at sake breweries along the way.
- Optional (but unmissable) early morning visit to the Tsukiji fish market
- Take the bullet train for the first time, and perhaps indulge in a ‘Bento' box for lunch
- Transfer at Nagoya and journey into the Japan Alps
- Arrive in Takayama, far from the modern life of Tokyo
- Spend a full day exploring the landscape of Takayama
- Set off on an optional bike ride
- Perhaps visit the ‘Praying hand’ houses at the Hida Folk
Village or the Festival Floats at Yatai Kaikan
around the houses and stop for a cup of sake at one of the local
- Why not embark on a forest walk past numerous small shrines
Day 5-6: Kyoto
Kyoto is home to three of our favourite things: geishas, the bamboo forest from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Nekokaigi - a cafe where you can play with kittens while sipping coffee.
- Arrive in Kyoto, former Imperial Capital of Japan and home of the country’s most treasured remnants of Japanese imperial life
Wander past huge wooden structures and multi-storied pagodas, all linked with famous walkways
- View the huge temples of the Hongan-ji sect or the Golden Pavilion
- Take time out to relax in Zen gardens like Ryoan-ji and the Silver Pavilion
Enjoy a leisurely stroll down the lovely Philosopher’s path to
Nanzen-ji or just walk around Gion and perhaps catch a glimpse of a
geisha going from tea house to tea house
- You have a full free day to discover the Zen gardens, huge wooden temples, pagodas and shrines
Day 7: Nara
Day trip to the ancient capital of Nara, which is more than 1300 years
old. Try kaki-no-hazushi, a local favourite of sushi wrapped in
- Day trip to Nara, Japan’s ancient capital and an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 8: Himeji - Nagasaki
Spend the morning at Himeji Castle, which was built in 1333 and is
often called the 'White Egret' (it's white). Then take a train ride to
- Visit the impressive Himeji Castle - one of the most spectacular castles in Japan - and continue to Nagasaki for the night
Day 9: Nagasaki
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Take time for a bit of quiet reflection, but as night falls and the
neon shines you'll see how far Nagasaki has come. The karaoke is strong
in this one.
- Visit Nagasaki, a city that refuses to be defined only as the target of the second atomic bomb that brought WWII to a close
- Explore the city and perhaps set off on a cruise around Nagasaki's natural harbour
- Gain great views of the city from the hills of Glover Gardens and Mt Inasa
Day 10: Yufuin
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Pack yourself a bento box and spend the day trekking up and around Mt Yufu. Reward yourself with a soak in the hot springs.
- Set off on optional mountain walks around Mt Yufuin
- Stroll alongside many small art museums, craft shops and small rivers
- Perhaps ave a soak in the onsen after your climb up Mt Yufuin
Enjoy excellent views over the village from Mt Yufuin
Day 11: Hiroshima
Wander through Peace Park, where a flame is waiting to be
extinguished when all the world's nuclear weapons are destroyed.
- Arrive in Hiroshima in the afternoon
- Visit the Peace Park in the centre of the city, dotted with memorials
Day 12-15: Osaka
'Kuidaore' means 'eat 'til you drop' and it's basically Osaka's
motto. Try takoyaki (round octopus fritters), kushikatsu (deep fried
kebabs) and board the sushi train one last time.
- Take a trip to Miyajima over the Inland Sea
- View what is perhaps the most photographed shrine in Japan - The Torii Gate
- Head to Osaka, Japan’s ‘second city’, and
- Enjoy two full days to explore dynamic city
- Take in some of the plentiful shopping and nightlife, as well as cultural sights such as
the National Museum of Art and the modern Osaka Science Museum
The trip ends this morning in Osaka. You can depart at any time
What to know
Departures between 01July and 28 August will include an ascent of Mt Fuji (Trip Code GCEMF). At all other times the itinerary will spend an extra day in Osaka (Trip Code GCEM).
Nuts and Bolts
Tour guide, accommodation, transportation, meals and sightseeing excursions as per itinerary.
Summary of accommodation, transport & meals
- 4 nights Ryokan
- 10 nights Budget/tourist class hotels
Visa costs, entrance fees, drinks, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature. International flights, departure and arrival transfers, meals unless stated in itinerary.
- Miyajima - Itsukushima-Junja (shrine) - Y300 ($US4)
- Miyajima - Mt.Misen cable car - one way/return - Y1000/1800 ($US 13/24)
Y1000/1800 ($US 13/24)
- Nagasaki- Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum - Y200 ($US3)
- Osaka - Osaka Aquarium - Y2000 ($US26)
- Osaka - Osaka-Jo (castle) - Y600 ($US8)
- Osaka - Shin-Sekai - Free
- Osaka - Suntory Museum - Y1000 ($US13)
- Takayama - Takayama Yatai Kaikan - Y820 ($US10)
- Tokyo - Kabuki Perfromance at Kabuka-za
Y2500-Y17000 ( $US30 - US250)
- Tokyo - Senso-Ji - Free
- Tokyo - Tsukiji Fish Market - Free
- Tokyo - Ueno-Koen - Free
- Tokyo - Yaksukuni-Jinja Yushukan (war memorial museum) - Y800 ( $US10)
- Yufuin - Shitan-yu (bathhouse) - Y200 ($US3)
Not included. Allow US$60-100 for the duration of the trip for all the sites you are likely to visit (including optional excursions).
Mt.Fuji is open only from 01 July - 31 August. Outside of these dates the group will stay in Osaka for an additional day and night. The tour guide can arrange additional excursions as appropriate. Mt.Fuji departures and ascent are dependant upon safety and therefore weather conditions.
Due to the style of accommodation on our trips it might not always be possible to book you in a single room throughout the trip. If you book a single supplement it will not apply to nights on the overnight trains, homestays, Longhouses, village huts, mountain huts, rainforest lodges ,on hill tribe treks, on boats, Camp 5 in Sarawak, Iban Longhouse, ryokan’s and on the Kokoda Track. If you are unsure of where a single supplement will apply please check with your travel agent before booking.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
6 January 2014
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