Japan Post Conference Tour


 01-07 APRIL 2023

 B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner


SAT   01       Kyoto - Kanazawa

Enjoy a relaxing morning as we travel to Kanazawa by bullet train. We'll spend the afternoon at Kanazawa castle & the adjacent Kenroku-en gardens, which once formed the castle's private outer garden. The castle is a large, partially-restored castle which the Maeda family started constructing in 1583. It has burnt down several times over the years but two of the surviving structures remain - Ishikawamon Gate & Sanjikken Nagaya Warehouse - as well as reconstructions of some of the buildings. Kenroku-en Gardens are one of the three great landscape gardens of Japan. The gardens began in 1676 & was created over the span of several hundred years. You'll enjoy seeing the water features, bridges, teahouses, trees, flowers, stones & viewpoints    BL




SUN   02       Kanazawa - Shirakawa-go - Takayama

Before leaving Kanazawa we'll visit Myouryuji Temple, fondly known as the Ninja Temple. Originally founded in the late 1500s by the Maeda Clan, the temple is not associated with any Japanese ninja clans, but the building itself is quite the ninja since there are numerous secret passages, trap doors & hidden features within. Most of the temple complex is built around a 25 metre deep well & according to local legend, this connects underground to the nearby Kanazawa Castle.  There'll be a stop at Shirakawa-go known for a small, traditional village showcasing a building style known as gassho-zukuri, named after the appearance of the steep roofs that reduce snow buildup in winter. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village dates back to the 1800's & you have the chance to go inside one of the houses. We continue onto Takayama for the next 2 nights                   BL



MON   03       Takayama

Takayama is an old authentic traditional Japanese village known as "Little Kyoto", located in the central part of Japan surrounded by 3000 metre high mountains. Takayama gained importance as a source of high quality timber & highly skilled carpenters during the Edo Period (1600-1868) & the narrow streets of its old town have been beautifully preserved. On our walking tour this morning, you'll see wooden merchant's houses, museums, shops, coffee houses & sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. Several old sake breweries are found in the old town - one of Takayama's local specialties - and we'll visit one to see the sake-making process. Then there's time for you to wander this cute town for the afternoon. This evening there's the chance to watch a Japanese traditional show including drumming                                                                             B




TUE   04       Takayama - Hakone

It will be an early start today as we head down the mountains for Hakone. We'll stop at the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway to ride on one of Japan's most unique ropeways to the top observation deck at 2,155 metres, up the side of the Hotake Mountain Range. Its most distinguishing feature is its double decker gondola cars, the first of their kind in Japan. We continue on & weather permitting, this should be your first sighting of the famous Mt Fuji. Our hotel tonight is situated on the shore of Lake Ashinoko (Ashi), a crater lake known for its views of Mt Fuji                                          BL



WED   05       Hakone - Tokyo

This morning we'll ride a cable car up 1,783 metres to Mt Komaga-take for beautiful views of the lake & Mt Fuji (weather permitting) before contining onto Tokyo - Japan's capital city - for lunch, then spend the rest of the afternoon in Asakusa. Asakusa retains the vibe of an older Tokyo with traditional craft shops & street-food stalls along Nakamise St near the ancient Senso-ji temple, which we will visit. Senso-ji - with its five-story pagoda - is an ancient Buddhist temple, Tokyo's oldest temple & one of its most significant. There'll be time to browse the numerous shops on Nakamise St for souvenirs & snacks before checking into our hotel. Tonight catch the view from above at the observation deck on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building across from our hotel or wander Shinjuku to see the bright lights                                          BL




THU   06       Tokyo

More sightseeing in Tokyo today. We'll drive past Tokyo's Imperial Palace - home of the Emperor - which is surrounded by beautifully maintained parks & gardens. Our drive continues through Ginza, one of the city’s top shopping districts packed with upmarket boutiques & ritzy cocktail & sushi bars. In Shibuya you'll see its iconic landmark - the Shibuya Scramble Crossing - which sees upwards of 1,000 people crossing the multi-cornered intersection at a time. A lovely walk through a small forest leads us to Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji & his wife. This 19th century emperor opened Japan to the Western world. There'll also be free time for lunch & shopping before our farewell dinner at the Gonpachi Restaurant that became famous from the fighting scene from the movie Kill Bill that it was modelled on                                    BD




FRI   07       Tokyo - Sydney

Bid farewell to Japan this morning & arrive back into Australia this evening .. Sayonara!                                            




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