Japan's Autumn Colours

Japan's Autumn Colours

13 or 17 Days
DEPARTS 2 October 2016

Price from$9,495

Enjoy a sensational burst of colour, during the peak of the autumn season in Japan. You'll see a world of contrasts from the red and yellow leaves of the maple trees and ginkgo trees shining among idyllic lakes and mountains. Our Autumn tour will visit some of the best areas to view this stunning scenery - Hakodate and Lake Towada. You'll enjoy many highlights of Northern and Central Japan - a region of Shogun history, colonial influences and tranquil villages. A highlight will be Yudanaka where we hope to see the famous 'snow' monkeys who bathe in the local spas during winter.

On this journey you will enjoy the following special experiences: •Take the ultimate sushi-lovers tour in Tokyo We'll visit Tsukiji to see the world's largest fish market. You'll try your hand at making sushi rolls and nigiri from a sushi master which we'll then enjoy for lunch.

•Visit steaming hot springs to see monkeys bathing Visit Yudanaka Onsen to see wild snow monkeys (Japanese Macaque) relaxing in the steaming hot springs surrounded by thick forest.

•Learn about the Ainu in the Shiraoi Village Learn about the indigenous people of Japan known as the Ainu in this replica village of 5 houses. Each of the houses demonstrate different aspects of Ainu culture and lifestyle, and you'll see a traditional Ainu folk dance and song.

If you have travelled on one of our Journeys before, we would like to offer you a saving of $400 per couple (or $200 per person) if you book this journey.

Japan's Autumn Colours map

Day 1: Arrive Sapporo (D) Meet your tour guide and other group members in your hotel bar or lounge. This afternoon, we visit Otaru famous for its canal lined with Victorian buildings. This evening, dine in a local restaurant.

Day 2: Sapporo (B,L) We visit Asahiyama Zoo known for its polar bear aquatic park and walk-through penguin aquarium. Afterwards, visit the small scenic town of Biei travelling along the "Patchwork Road" which offers beautiful colourful landscapes in the autumn months. Return to Sapporo to stay overnight.

Day 3: Sapporo > Noboribetsu (B,L,D) Today we travel to Shiraoi Village, where 15 Ainu families formed a village. We'll learn about the Ainu "“ the indigenous people of Northern Japan and enjoy a music and dance performance. Continue to Jigokudani or Hell's Valley with its lush autumn foliage and spectacular geothermal activity. We overnight in nearby Noboribetsu.

Day 4: Noboribetsu > Hakodate (B,L,D) Take the cable car to the summit of Mt. Usu for stunning panoramic views over Lake Toya. Continue via Onuma Park with its autumn foliage and lakes, to Hakodate.

Day 5: Hakodate > Lake Towada (B,L,D) Hakodate was one of the first Treaty Ports to open to the rest of the world in 1854 and many buildings stand testament to both the prosperity and the influence of the outside world especially the Goryokaku Pentagonal Fort. We cross the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by underwater train then continue to Lake Towada. Here we see vibrant colour from the yellow leaves of beech trees and the red of Japanese maple trees, made even more magnificent by the reflection of Mount Hakkoda on the lake.

Day 6: Lake Towada > Sendai (B,L,D) Today we drive to Hiraizumi, the heart of Buddhism and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will stroll through the Chusonji Temple Complex with its magnificent cedars and buildings before continuing to Sendai, with tree-lined streets that front a ruined castle. We check in to our hotel the Westin Sendai.

Day 7: Sendai (B,L,D) A full day tour to Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of pine tree covered small islands, where we enjoy a boat cruise and explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. After lunch we will then see two national treasures, Godaido Hall and Zuiganji Temple, the most famous in the Tohoku region and built by Date Masamune.

Day 8: Sendai > Tokyo (B) Travel by bullet train to Tokyo, on arrival the rest of your day is at leisure to relax and explore.

Day 9: Tokyo > Yudanaka (B,L,D) This morning depart for Nagano by bullet train and then travel by local train to Yudanaka, the spa town. Here we visit, Yudanaka Onsen where we hope to see monkeys bathing in the steaming hot waters. Check in to our hotel Ryokan Biyunoyado Yudanaka, a 5 star hotel complete with private open air baths.

Day 10: Yudanaka > Tokyo (B,L) Transfer to Yudanaka station, where we board the incredible bullet train to Tokyo.

Day 11: Tokyo (B,L) We have a full day tour of Tokyo visiting Meiji Shrine, Tokyo's most famous shrine. Visit Tokyo Tower, Omotesando Street, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Ginza, Akihabara Electronic Town and drive by Shibuya. Lunch is included at a local Japanese restaurant.

Day 12: Tokyo (B,L,D) Today we enjoy our special sushi experience with a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market before making our own sushi with a local chef. This evening we will have our farewell dinner.

Day 13: Depart Tokyo (B) We have a farewell breakfast before transferring to the airport where our journey ends.

Optional Independent Extension - Mt Fuji, Hakone & Kyoto

Day 13: Tokyo > Mt Fuji > Hakone (B,L) Travel to Mount Fuji, Japan's highest and most worshiped sacred mountain. Drive up to the 5th Station (roads permitting). At 2300 metres above sea, you'll enjoy commanding views of the mountain and Fuji Five Lakes area below. After lunch take a cruise on Lake Ashi then proceed to Hakone, a mountainous region known for hot spring resorts and Mt. Fuji views. Take a cable car ride up to the summit of Mt Komagatake for spectacular views of the lake. Enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 14: Hakone > Kyoto (B) Transfer to the station and board the bullet train for Kyoto. Japan's centre of artistic and cultural history is complete with classical Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, traditional wooden houses, colourful shrines and ancient speciality shops.

Day 15: Kyoto (B,L) Full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto visiting Nijō Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo Hall and Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Day 16: Kyoto (B) Full day at leisure to explore more of Kyoto.

Day 17: Kyoto (B) Transfer to Osaka airport.

• A World Journeys host (except on independent extension which is locally guided) • Accommodation in 4 star hotels (Japanese ryokans or inns may be used in some locations) • Transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary • Meals as indicated

Pricing (per person) $AUD

Type TWIN SINGLE

2 October 2016

Four day Extension

$9,495

$1,890

$10,535

$2,750

Departs

02 October 2016

Booking conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required, with the balance due 60 days prior to departure. As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Not included

• Flights to the start and from the end of your tour • Items of a personal nature • Visas • Travel insurance (mandatory) • Optional activities

Gratuity

Tipping is neither required nor expected in Japan.