Gourmet Golden Route - 14 Days

Independent Travel
Grade: Moderate
FROM $7597*
Inclusions:
12 nights hotel accommodation (plus 1 night Ryokan accommodation)
Transfers and local transport
Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Shirkawago, Hiroshima, Kyoto
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
Includes touring and entrance fees

DAYS 1-3 TOKYO

On arrival in Tokyo, meet your local representative who will assist you with your transfer. The next day explore the tantalising culinary experiences Tokyo has to offer. Visit the largest fish market in the world, enjoy a fresh sushi breakfast at one of the local restaurants and explore Japan's largest shopping street, devoted to kitchen implements. Indulge in a crispy tempura or slurp through a soba noodle lunch in Kanda or Asakura. This afternoon visit traditional food, sweet and a broth shops, as well as the Mitsukoshi department store food floor. In the evening enjoy the highest rank A5 wagyu beef at a Japanese Wagyu Beef BBQ restaurant. Enjoy a free day to further explore Tokyo or opt to visit the centre of the sumo world.
Hotel: Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu

DAY 4: HAKONE

Today explore the charms of Hakone with its Shinto shrines, picturesque lakes and mountain views before relaxing in a serene outdoor hot spring surrounded by rocks and trees. Spend the night in a traditional Japanese property located among the forest and enjoy an authentic Japanese dinner served while sitting on the tatami mat-floored dining room.
Hotel: Hakone Yumoto Hotel

DAYS 5-6: TAKAYAMA

Reach Takayama by train and enjoy a free day. The next morning, set out on a guided walking tour of the Festival Floats Exhibition, Takayama Jinya, beautifully preserved wooden houses on Kami Sannomachi Street and some enticing sake rice wine breweries. Immerse yourself in the small town of Takayama, mingle with the friendly locals and dine at atmospheric eateries.
Hotel: Associa Takayama Hotel

DAY 7: SHIRAKAWAGO

Travel by bus to Shirakawago, hidden deep in the pine-covered mountains of Hakusan National Park. Shirakawago's landscape is dotted with pretty farmhouses, barns and sheds with steeply pitched thatched roofs designed to withstand the heavy winter snowfall. The World Heritage listed village is famed for its natural beauty as well as its houses which were constructed without nails. Return to Takayama in the afternoon. Evening at leisure.
Hotel: Associa Takayama Hotel

DAYS 8-9: HIROSHIMA

Travel through history in Hiroshima and visit the Peace Memorial Museum. See the Peace Memorial Park, a cenotaph honouring Hiroshima bomb victims, and the eerie A-Bomb Dome. Take the ferry to the tranquil island of Miyajima which is home to the Itsukushima Shrine and its famous red 'torii' gate. Dine on local oysters and white wine before returning to Hiroshima.
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hiroshima

DAYS 10-11: KYOTO

Spend a delightful afternoon walking through the centuries and wander the streets of Kyoto. Discover ancient temples and superstitious shrines in the former imperial capital of Japan. Explore the beautiful Kiyomizu temple, with a panoramic view of Kyoto, and uncover quaint stores and traditional buildings on Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka streets. Roam the Gion district, with traditional restaurants and tea houses (ochaya), and maybe spot a geisha scurrying along one of the alleyways to her next performance. Your tour ends in Gion.
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

DAYS 12: KYOTO TEA CEREMONY

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and learn the sophisticated philosophy behind serving a bowl of matcha tea which is a choreographed art that requires years of study to master. Sip the delicious brew and savour the traditional Japanese sweet that accompanies it. Try your hand at preparing the tea with the help of your instructor.
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

DAYS 13-14: KYOTO & GEISHA DINNER

LEARN to cook crispy tempura, fresh sushi, miso soup and salads with an emphasis on nutritional balance and presentation. After all your hard work, tuck into your degustation. Spend an incredible evening dining in Kyoto at an exclusive private restaurant accompanied by a geisha. On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer.
Hotel: Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

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*Conditions apply. Advertised price is per person twin share. Price based on low season. Price correct as at 30 June 2017 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offer valid for sale until 30 July 2017 or until sold-out. Price valid for departures from 27 August 2017 to 15 September 2017. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Offers may be withdrawn without notice. ABN 84 003 237 296 Lic. No. 2TA 002558. Valid for new bookings only. Issued 30 June 2017