Ho Chi Minh City, Osaka, Mt.Koya, Kyoto, Gifu, Shirakawa-go ,Takayama, Nagano, Hakone, Tokyo

The Colours of Japan

Fully Inclusive Group Tour from Sydney & Melbourne

Duration : 12 DAYSCountry : JAPAN
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Mt. Fuji & Chureito Peace Pagoda (Sengen Park) ©JTA / ©JNTO
Osaka Castle ©JNTOShirakawa-go ©Akimasa Yuasa / ©JNTOTokyo Sky Tree ©Saori K / ©JNTOGion Maiko ©Q.Sawami / ©JNTOKiyomizu Temple ©Y.Shimizu / ©JNTOJapan Alps ©Matsumoto city / ©JNTO

Ho Chi Minh City, Osaka, Kyoto, Shirakawa-go ,Takayama, Hakone & Tokyo

Included in the price

  • Return economy class airfare to Japan and Vietnam
  • Airport taxes & Fuel Surcharges:A$680(Adult); A$600(Child)
  • Accommodation, transfers and tours as per itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • English Speaking guide

Day 1: Sydney/Melbourne – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) (D)

Fly with Vietnam Airlines on VN772 at 1115 from Sydney or VN780 at 1135 from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. Hotel: Golden Central Roh or similar

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D/)

Begin your city tour with the historic center, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall, the old opera house. Today’s tour highlights also including the Reunification Palace, the Emperor of Jade pagoda and the war remnant museum and end your tour at the central Ben Thanh market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste. Hotel: Golden Central Roh or similar

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho - Ho Chi Minh - Osaka (B/L/D)

Drive to My Tho in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, board your boat for a cruise in the Mekong River, passing river banks and floating markets to the area of the Four Islands of Dragon, Phoenix, Turtle, and Unicorn; land on the Unicorn Island, enjoying the seasonal fruits and listen to Southern traditional music performed by the locals. Later, transferred to the airport for your flight VN320 at 0010 (05 Nov) to Osaka.

Day 4: Osaka (L)

Arrive at 0720 into Kansai international airport, welcomed by your devoted local guide and transferred to Osaka city. On the way to city centre, you will visit the 【Osaka Castle】. The ancient castle is the symbol of Osaka with over 400 years history was first built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a well-known warlord who brought the whole country under his rule in the late 16th century. It has been burned down in a series of battles in the 17th century, and reconstructed later. Once again it was destroyed by fire; its donjon only reduced to ashes this time, and was reconstructed at last early in the 20th century. After your included lunch, you will have some free time to explore the famous 【Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade】.For food, why not visit the popular tourist district of 【Dotonburi street】.You may like to taste the famous Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Kushikatsu, Kitsune Udon or Teppanyaki, it has been said that the people in Osaka spend more on food than on anything else; the term "kuidaore" ("eat until you drop") is used to describe the food culture here. Hotel: Shin Osaka Sunny Stone Hotel or similar

Day 5: Osaka - Kyoto

This morning, we will travel to Kyoto, the amazing city with more than a thousand years of history. Your full day sightseeing tour starts from the world heritage listed 【Kiyomizudera Temple】; Kiyomizudera Temple is one of the most celebrated temples in Kyoto built at the end of the 8th century. Later, proceed to Kyoto’s famous 【Gion District】. The Gion Geisha district is a representative downtown area of Kyoto. Wooden teahouses, Japanese restaurants, and traditional town houses called machiya stand in line on the south side of Gion, which creates an appearance with atmosphere. Walking along at 【Hanamikoji Street 】and continue to the【Kamogawa River】, relax and enjoy the lovely view of the riverbanks. In the afternoon, we will continue our visit to 【Arashiyama】, where nature and temples make up the beautiful scenery in each season. The popular tourist district is date back from the 8th century, back then, the aristocrats often came to this area of rice fields and bamboo woods to enjoy the colorful leaves; the landscape today is still reminiscent of that period. Hotel: Grand Prince Hotel or similar

Day 6: Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Takayama (B/L/D/)

Embark on a drive across the Japanese Alps to the UNSCO World Heritage site Ogimachi in the 【Shirakawa-go】region in Gifu Prefecture, one of the best-preserved rural areas of Japan. Ogimachi is a quiet village among the hills surrounded by mountains, with rice fields and a river running through it. The village is famous for its farmhouses, which are built in a unique architectural style known as Gasshō-zukuri. You will have time to explore this enchanting villages and visit the 【Kandake house】 which is one of the best preserved farmhouses now turned museums. We will continue our drive to the city of Takayama. We will visit the 【Takayama Jinya (Government house) 】 and the 【Sanno-machi old Town】 where wooden houses are the still the main architectural style. Hotel: Associa Takayama or similar

Day 7: Takayama - Matsumoto Castle - Hakone (B/L/D/)

This morning we will visit Matsumoto city, situated almost right in the center of Nagano and known as the gate to the Northern Alps' climbing routes, the【Matsumoto Castle 】 is one of the most famous Japanese flatland castles and is designated as a national treasure. Afterwards, we will leave Matsumoto city behind and resume our journey to【Fuji Hakone National Park】.With Mt Fuji at the background, the placid Lake Ashinoko, scenic mountains, hot springs and historic places, Hakone is surrounded by the natural beauty. If the weather permits, we will visit the Mt Fuji 5th station or visit the【Oshinohakai Springs】 which is another scenic spots. Tonight, you can relax and enjoy a traditional “Onsen” (hot spring bath) at your hotel. Hotel: Regina Kawaguchiko hotel or similar

Day 8: Hakone - Tokyo (B/L/)

This morning, we will visit the beautiful scenic lake-【 Lake Ashi-no-ko 】 the Crater Lake formed after a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago in what is now Hakone National Park. Continuously, a visit to the 【Owakudani】,a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs bubbling pools inside the crater which still bear a trace of the Hakone Volcano. Afterwards, we will take a short visit to the 【Peace Park】. After included lunch, we are on our way to Tokyo, en-route visit the city of Yokohama- the 【Yokohama harbor】 and the World’s largest scale of 【China Town】. Shortly after, resume our journey to Tokyo. At last, we arrived in 【Ginza 】 a world-renowned shopping district; Ginza is a fascinating place where the latest trends and the oldest traditions meet. You will have some free time at the Ginza Dori before transfer to hotel. Hotel: Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar

Day 9: Tokyo (B)

A day for leisure Today is a free day; you can either visit a place you most eager to see or catch up with your rest. Optional tour ** Nikko National Park** is available with extra cost. Hotel: Shinagawa Prince Hotel or similar

Day 10: Tokyo - Narita airport (B)

Our full day city tour takes from Asakusa, the 【Nakamise shopping Street】and the【Asakusa Kannon Temple】. After we will visit the 【Imperial Palace Plaza】 and the 【East Gardens】.The Imperial Palace, where their Majesties the Emperor and Empress reside, is situated in the center of Tokyo. The palace is surrounded by a water-filled moat and tree-covered grounds - a precious taste of nature within the bustling metropolitan city. Continue our tour to【Meiji Jingu Shine】, which is located at the heart of the city in Shibuya with many large trees still growing in its grounds; Meiji-jingu is a precious wooded area founded in 1921 to enshrine the Emperor and Empress Meiji. After, we will have some free time in Harajuku until transferred to our airport hotel for an overnight stay. Hotel: Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu or similar

Day 11: Tokyo Narita airport – Ho Chi Minh City - Sydney/Melbourne (B)

After breakfast, transfer to Narita airport by hotel shuttle bus with guide for flight VN301 at 0930, arrives at 13:50 to Ho Chi Minh City and connect to your flight VN781 at 21:00 back to Sydney or VN781 at 21:00 back to Melbourne.

Day 12: Sydney/Melbourne

Arrive at 09:15 for Sydney or 09:35 for Melbourne.

LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Japan  

VISAS: Any foreign visitor who wishes to enter Japan must have a passport, which will remain valid during the period of stay. Australia and New Zealand have “Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements” with Japan for a period of 90 days or less. Upon landing Australian and New Zealand passport holders will be issued with a “Temporary Visitor” entry status stamp, which allows them to stay in Japan for a period of up to 90 days for non-remunerative activities such as sightseeing, participating in amateur sports, visiting relatives, taking inspection tours, participating in lectures or research, attending conferences, making business contacts or other similar activities. Nationals of countries that do not have “Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements” with Japan must obtain a visa.

MONEY: 1 AUD =82.9 JPY (23/05/2017). Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and is generally a safe place to carry cash. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at stores, restaurants and hotels in most major cities, but some smaller regional areas may only accept cash. If you wish to use travellers’ cheques, they are accepted by leading banks, hotels, ryokan and stores in major cities. Japan Post ATMs (JP Bank) and Seven-Eleven Convenience Store ATMs accept most international credit and debit cards for cash withdrawal, however international withdrawal fees apply. Shinsei Bank and Citibank ATMs also accept international cards.   

ELECTRICITY: The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in use; 50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka). Australian appliances can be used in Japan as long as they have a travel adapter, which can be purchased at airports or in the travel section of department stores. A 2-flat-pin plugs are used in Japan. Please note that when purchasing electrical appliances from Japan, be sure to only purchase dual-voltage appliances such as laptop computers, digital cameras etc. Otherwise, a step-down power transformer will be required when using the Japanese appliance in Australia. 

CLIMATE / WEATHER
Spring ( March - May):
The plum blossom is a good sign that the cold winter will soon end and spring is just around the corner, followed by the cherry blossom at its best in the Tokyo area between the end of March and the beginning of April to bring this beautiful season to a climax. Splendid views of mountains, fields and gardens all blanketed in gentle pink abound in this season.
  • Clothing: light jackets, light sweaters and other similar kinds of tops.
Summer (June - August): The Japanese summer begins in June with a three to four week rainy season. This is an important time for farmers to plant rice. It becomes seriously hot and humid from July onward and many Japanese enjoy bathing in the sea and relaxing at cool resorts in mountainous areas. Summer is when many interesting festivals and other events are held all over the country.
  • Clothing: light clothes (cardigans and other similar kinds are handy, since indoors are mostly air-conditioned.)
Autumn (September - November) :Autumn always brings such freshness with a light breeze and cool temperature after the hot and humid summer. All forests are dyed in glorious autumn colors. Chrysanthemums create beautiful displays with their abundance of flowers to enchant visitors to parks and gardens. Autumn is also the season for many exhibitions, music concerts and sports tournaments in Japan.
  • Clothing: light jackets, light sweaters and other similar kinds of tops.
Winter (December - February):The temperature rarely drops below 0°C in the plains along the Pacific coast during wintertime. It is also quite dry and very often sunny. Central Japan and Northern Japan are highly reputed regions for winter sports. Southern Japan is comparatively mild and pleasant in winter.
  • Clothing: overcoats, sweaters, etc.
 
TIME DIFFERENCE
Standard Time:
NSW, QLD, ACT, VIC & TAS: Japan is 1 hour behind
NT & SA: Japan is 30 mins behindWA: Japan is 1 hour ahead

Daylight savings time:
NSW, ACT, VIC & TAS: Japan is 2 hours behind
QLD: Japan is 1 hour behind
NT: Japan is 30 mins behind
SA: Japan is 1.5 hours behind
WA: Japan is 1 hour ahead

LANGUAGE: There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is of course Japanese. However, many Japanese are able to understand English to a certain extent since English is the foreign language that everyone must learn as part of compulsory education.

HISTORY 
Early History: Japanese civilisation can be traced back thousands of years to prehistoric times. Over the centuries, Japan alternated between feudal, empirical and government rule, with each period birthing different styles of art, architecture and ways of living. Agriculture, particularly rice-growing, was a very important part of life in early Japan, and craftsmanship like metal working was also highly developed and respected in Japan's early days. Recent History: Over the decades, Tokyo has grown to become an economic powerhouse and one of the most cosmopolitan, modern cities in the world. Enduring an earthquake in 1923 that caused widespread damage and civilian fatalities, as well as several bombings during World War II, Tokyo remains a global city focused on trade, tourism and technological advances. The Japanese Army were very aggressive during World War II, playing an important part in the war and therefore suffered many losses. Many troops were lost but the most notable losses were the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - two cities which were destroyed by atomic bombs dropped by the United States towards the end of the war. After World War II Japan slowly found its feet, creating a strong economy based on manufacturing and telecommunications. Enjoying decades of prosperity and abundance, Japanese arts, culture and cuisine flourished, allowing the rest of the world to see and enjoy Japan's unique heritage. Emperor Hirohito passed away in 1989 after reigning for many decades. This signified the end of the Showa era and the beginning of the Heisei era. In 1998, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics and fast became known as one of the hottest new places to enjoy snow sports. Currently, Japan is still in recovery from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. But with large parts of the country unaffected, Japan is still a very special place to visit. 

SHOPPING: Shopping in Japan is fun, but expensive! In cities like Tokyo there are loads of quirky stores and funky galleries showcasing the works of independent fashion designers and gadget-creators. From the outlandish to the kitsch, you're guaranteed to find loads of colourful clothing and edgy art that you won't be able to find elsewhere. 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 14: Coming of Age Day
Feb 11: National Foundation Day
Mar 20: Vernal Equinox
Apr 29: Showa Day
May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4: Greenery Day
May 5: Children's Day
Jul 15: Marine Day
Sep 16: Respect for the Aged Day
Sep 23: Autumnal Equinox
Oct 8: Health and Sports Day
Nov 3: Culture Day
Nov 23: Labour Thanksgiving Day
Dec 23: Birthday of the Emperor 

SAFETY / SECURITY: Japan is known for its clean, safe urban areas and for the quality of its healthcare and public safety infrastructure. Still, as is the case with travel in any unfamiliar place, it always pays to exercise common sense, and to be familiar with the resources at your disposal should you experience problems or need assistance. 

TIPPING: Tipping isn't customary in Japan and is not expected of you. Some inns or ryokans may leave a small envelope in your room where a small gratuity can be left for the maid staff. 

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you. 

Australian Embassy in Japan
2-1-14, Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8361
Tel:03-5232-4111

Australian Consulate-General in Osaka
Twin21 MID Tower 16Fl., 2-1-61, Shiromi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City 540-6129
Tel: 06-6941-9271

Australian Consulate-General in Fukuoka
Tenjin Twin Bldg. 7Fl., 1-6-8, Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0001
Tel: 092-734-5055

Australian Consulate in Nagoya
AMMNAT Bldg. 13Fl., 1-3-3 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya City 460-0008
Tel: 052-211-0630

Australian Consulate in Sendai
Aoba-dori Plaza 14Fl., 3-2-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai City 980-0021
Tel: 022-265-6810

Australian Consulate in Sapporo
Sapporo Center Bldg. 17Fl., Nishi 6-2, Kita 5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo City 060-0005
Tel: 011-242-4381