The richness of Japan’s history and art is immediate and tangible, but the culture that produced it often seems impenetrable. Move beyond appearances on this popular 16-day tour and gain comprehensive insight into the beauty and mystique of this wonderful land, from its Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and Zen gardens to its hypermodern cities and contemporary quirks. Explore old and new world Tokyo, understand the devastation at Hiroshima, and enjoy a week in Kyoto, discovering its temples, museums and traditions, with day trips to Nara, the ancient capital, and the bamboo groves of Arashiyama.
Hyper-modern Tokyo’s bright lights and a staggering range of museums
Kyoto’s Zen temples and stone gardens, colourful geisha and historic arts and crafts
Kanazawa’s famed Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s most significant and seasonal gardens
The moving display of human resilience at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial
Speeding through the countryside on the Shinkansen or bullet train
Soaring bamboo groves in Arashiyama and Japan’s early capital, Nara
Kaiseki dining: a multi-course, seasonal meal perfectly complemented by traditional Japanese architecture
Days 1–4: Explore Tokyo’s Koishikawa-Korakuen garden, Senso-ji Temple, Nezu and Ota museums and Ginza’s exclusive boutiques.
Days 5–6: Bullet train to Kanazawa; visit the Samurai district, teahouses and Kenrokuen garden.
Days 7–8: In Hiroshima, visit the Peace Memorial and Miyajima’s Itsukushima shrine.
Days 9–12: Bullet train to Kyoto. Stroll through the geisha district, encounter Zen Buddhism in temples, shrines and gardens, and participate in a traditional tea ceremony.
Days 13–14: Day trips to Arashiyama and Nara.
Days 15–16: Discover Nishiki market and Kyoto’s many traditional crafts.
Start & Finish
The tour begins at our hotel in Tokyo and ends with a transfer to airports in Osaka. Qantas, Japan Airlines and ANA offer daily flights from Australia to Tokyo’s Haneda or Narita Airports, with return connections through Tokyo from Osaka. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming weeks. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
One of Australia’s foremost experts in Japanese art and culture, she has over 20 years’ experience as a museum educator.
Ann holds degrees in Asian art and management from two US universities and from 1993 to 2015 was Senior Coordinator of Asian Programs for the Art Gallery of NSW. She speaks fluent Japanese and has led seven previous cultural tours to Japan, for the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
Ann was a curator for the Reflections of Asia exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in 2018. From 2019, Ann has been manager for the Buddhist Council of New South Wales, the peak body for Buddhist temples and centres in NSW and the ACT. Supporting member organisations from the variety of traditions and cultures from Sri Lanka to Tibet, China and the West, the role has been a natural extension of her Asian art background.
Ann played a key role in several of Australia’s most memorable exhibitions of Asian art and culture, including the highly-successful Buddha: radiant awakening held at the Art Gallery of NSW. As well as tour leading, Ann’s professional experience includes public lecturing and devising education programs relating to exhibitions.
In order to avoid unnecessary transfers and allow for individual exploration, we select comfortable, centrally-located hotels wherever possible. Where possible, most of the hotels we use are 4-star. We prefer smaller hotels if available, and we are constantly researching and reviewing our choices.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.