Home / Luxury Escorted Tours / Essense of Japan – Tauck 2018

Essense of Japan – Tauck 2018

Prices from $12,860 for 13 Days – Tauck World Discovery

Priced in Australian Dollars, per person based on double occupancy

OVERVIEW

Inspirational, innovative and intriguing, Japan has always been a favourite Tauck destination, where gilded temples and glittering skyscrapers reign over streets steeped in history and tradition. Discover the revered customs and unique sense of beauty that infuse life here… On the main island of Honshu, from Tokyo to the hot springs resort town of Hakone and on through the “Japanese Alps” to Kanazawa and the cultural treasure trove of Kyoto, visit a private home, shoes off, for a tea ceremony and Origami… explore castles, temples, shrines, a samurai home, and world-class gardens… make sushi, taste sake, cruise Lake Ashi to see Mt. Fuji… enjoy a taiko performance, Shinto music, Kagura dancing, a sumo wrestling demonstration… and meet a geisha expert. Join us for a Japan trip to remember.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive Tokyo

Tauck’s Japan trip begins at 6:30 PM at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. A transfer is included from Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport to the five-star Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, conveniently located in the Nihonbashi district in the heart of the city. This evening join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

MEALS : D

LODGING : MANDARIN ORIENTAL, TOKYO

Day 2 Tokyo – Today and Yesterday

A drive through Tokyo gives you an overview of one of the world’s most dynamic capital cities, touching on both history and modern life, en route to an exhilarating taiko drumming performance; rhythm, melody, and movement combine to create an extraordinary musical experience. Your discoveries continue at a sushi-making experience followed by lunch. This afternoon explore the Edo-Tokyo Museum, focused on Tokyo’s development from its roots as a fishing village called Edo. The rest of the day and evening are free for further exploring on your own. Your hotel is near many good restaurants, and your Tauck Director can make suggestions for places to try.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : MANDARIN ORIENTAL, TOKYO

Day 3 Hakone, a lake cruise & Mt. Fuji

This morning board a bullet train (shinkansen) for a short ride south to Odawara and continue on to the scenic hot springs resort town of Hakone known for its open-air sculpture park surrounded by mountains; the sculptures, many by famous artists including Rodin and Picasso, are thoughtfully juxtaposed against nature’s everchanging landscape. Today, you’ll enjoy a guided visit to the sculpture park; a boat cruise on Lake Ashi and lunch on the shore of the lake; and an opportunity, weather permitting, for viewing Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and a sacred Shinto site that for many is an enduring symbol of Japan. This afternoon settle into your hotel, where dinner, with your choice of Japanese or French cuisine, is served this evening at your leisure.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : HYATT REGENCY HAKONE RESORT & SPA

Day 4 Explore Traditions Hakone

Today begins with a visit to the Itchiku Kubota Museum, where you’ll enjoy magnificent views of majestic Mt. Fuji and serene Lake Kawaguchi. Itchiku Kubota, (1917-2003) is considered one of the most important Japanese textile artists of the 20th century; he rediscovered, revived and subsequently modernized a traditional Japanese kimono dyeing technique, which was lost since the 15th century, creating exceptional artistic kimonos; the museum celebrates his art and legacy. Following lunch, return to the hotel where you have a choice. Join us for an excursion to the Hakone Open Air Museum, the first open-air museum in Japan, renowned for its outdoor sculpture park with beautiful views of the mountain. The grounds are the permanent home of approximately 120 works by well-known modern and sculptors including Rodin, Bourdelle, Miro, and Moore. Or, you might indulge in some pampering at your hotel’s spa, perhaps taking a dip in the healing hot springs (onsen). Later this afternoon you have an opportunity to learn ikebana – Japanese flower arranging – with a teacher who gives a class and demonstration. Dine in the French restaurant of the hotel this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : HYATT REGENCY HAKONE RESORT & SPA

Day 5 The Japanese Alps and Matsumoto

As your Japan trip continues, travel north through the forested mountain landscapes of the “Japanese Alps,” through winding valleys dotted with rice farms, lakes, rushing rivers, and small villages to the hot springs town of Matsumoto, where, after lunch you’ll see 400-hundred-year-old Matsumoto Castle, Japan’s oldest castle and a national treasure, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior. Arrive this afternoon at your hotel, Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, where you’ll have the choice of a traditional Japanese-style room (with a futon on the floor in place of beds) or a Western-style room. Enjoy a private dinner with musical entertainment this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : TOBIRA ONSEN MYOJINKAN

Day 6 Old Takayama and a Sake brewery

Depart Matsumoto this morning and head for Takayama, a mountain city long famed for its artisans and woodworkers. Do some sightseeing along the narrow lanes of its historic center, and have lunch at a local restaurant known for its Hida beef. Following a lesson in sake making and a tasting at a local brewery in Takayama, continue on to Kanazawa, just inland from the Sea of Japan. Arriving here marks your having crossed all the way from one side of Japan’s main island of Honshu to the other. Enjoy an included dinner at your choice of your hotel’s restaurants either tonight or tomorrow.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA

Day 7 Gardens, art & more in Kanazawa

A full day’s sightseeing in Kanazawa includes: a guided stroll through celebrated Kenroku-en Gardens, considered among the country’s top three landscaped gardens; time exploring the historic Samurai District, where samurai homes are tucked among narrow lanes and canals behind earthen walls and private entrance gates, with a visit to the restored Nomura Samurai Family Residence for a look at the lifestyle of the samurai during feudal times, when they were prosperous; lunch at a Paul Bocuse restaurant; and a choice of afternoon visits to either Kanazawa’s renowned 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, or Higashi Chaya, the city’s geisha district. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening as you please at your hotel or exploring on your own in Kanazawa.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA

Day 8 A train ride to beautiful Kyoto

Depart Kanazawa by train for Kyoto, arriving midday for a four-night stay at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto; small group departures will stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Have lunch and begin your exploration of the city considered one of Japan’s most beautiful. On your introductory sightseeing tour, discover a city center of glass and steel skyscrapers ringed by hidden temples, shrines, and gardens that exude the tranquility and charm of Japan’s ancient culture. You may choose to dine at our selected local restaurant either tonight or tomorrow.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO OR THE RITZ-CARLTON, KYOTO (SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES)

Day 9 A castle, a temple & a Kyoto geisha district

Kyoto sightseeing today begins with a visit to the famous golden-topped Kinkaku-ji Temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), set in an ancient garden on the edge of a lake – a position symbolizing its place “between heaven and Earth.” Hear the story of how this 14th-century temple was burned to the ground by a young monk and then completely reconstructed. Continue on to Nijo Castle, surrounded by stone walls and a moat; tour this 17th-century shogun’s residence and UNESCO World Heritage Site – and discover the secret of its “nightingale” floors. After lunch at a local restaurant, meet up with a geisha expert who leads an exploration of the back streets of one of Kyoto’s geisha districts, and shares insights on the “flower and willow” world of the geishas, past and present.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO OR THE RITZ-CARLTON, KYOTO (SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES)

Day 10 A private home visit in Kyoto

Start this day of your Japan trip with a prayer at the Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) established in 778; the current buildings were rebuilt in the 17th century. Drink the water here in long-handled cups as you wish for longevity, success or love. Kyoto is known as the craft capital of Japan, and many traditional arts have been passed down through the generations. You’ll have an opportunity to visit a private home here; take your shoes off, come in, and your gracious hostess will demonstrate the rituals of a tea ceremony and the paper art of Origami.

MEALS : B

LODGING : FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO OR THE RITZ-CARLTON, KYOTO (SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES)

Day 11 Kyoto as you please

Continue exploring Kyoto as you pursue your own interests today. The city’s classic cultural gems span the centuries, and your Tauck Director will have suggestions for places to visit. Join us for a special dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO OR THE RITZ-CARLTON, KYOTO (SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES)

Day 12 Traditions in Tokyo

Travel by rail from Kyoto back to Tokyo, arriving for lunch at the celebrated restaurant Nobu. After lunch, visit the Meiji Shrine – honoring the deified spirits of Japan’s Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, who died in 1912 and 1914, respectively – and take in a live performance of traditional Shinto music and Kagura dancing. As your Japan trip draws to a close, tonight’s farewell reception and dinner take place at a local restaurant, where you’ll witness a larger-than-life demonstration by sumo wrestlers.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : MANDARIN ORIENTAL, TOKYO

Day 13 Journey home

Your Japan trip ends at Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Fly home anytime. An airport transfer is included from Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo to Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

MEALS : B

DATES & PRICES

Date Triple Double Single
March 16, 2018 $12,143 $12,860 $17,068
March 18, 2018 $14,073 $15,360 $21,648
March 23, 2018 $13,221 $13,990 $18,341
May 4, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
May 20, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
May 25, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
June 3, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
June 8, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
June 22, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
August 24, 2018 $12,143 $12,860 $17,068
September 7, 2018 $13,221 $13,990 $18,341
September 9, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
September 21, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
September 23, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
October 5, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
October 7, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
October 14, 2018 $16,719 $17,490 $22,265
October 19, 2018 $14,018 $14,740 $19,034
November 4, 2018 $15,047 $16,240 $22,223
November 16, 2018 $12,143 $12,860 $17,068

 Small Group Departures – Select small group departures, averaging 24 Tauck guests, are priced from AUD $15,360 per person double; specific dates apply.

Special Solo Traveller Savings  – save AUD $500 on the single room price of select departure dates; specific dates apply.

Note: Small Group Departures will stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto on nights 8 – 11.

For further detail on this or any other packages, please contact us on 1300 968 787

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