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11 – 26 NOVEMBER 2018

Graham Ross will tell you autumn is his favourite season with richly coloured gardens and landscapes. He’ll take you to ‘Master’ gardens to appreciate exquisite design. Share ancient traditions on this journey; it’s more than a holiday, it’s the total Japanese experience.
Sunday 11 November 2018
Sydney – Tokyo

Meet your Ross Tour Leader at Sydney Airport. Overnight flight to Tokyo.

Monday 12 November 2018
Tokyo (D)

Early morning arrival into Tokyo, meet your local guide and transfer to hotel. Early check-in to hotel. This afternoon visit the extensive, world class chrysanthemum exhibition at Shinjuku Gyoen. Welcome dinner at hotel.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Tuesday 13 November 2018
Tokyo (B)

Rikugien Garden is your destination this morning, a strolling garden laid out in 1695 and restored in the 18th century. Once the residence of powerful Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, there are 88 stops around the lake, symbolic representations of classical Japanese literature. The rhythm achieved by alternating dark and bright zones, spacious and confined areas, sunlit groves and mysterious forests, produces virtually a musical effect. The massed planting of Japanese maple along the river should set the scene for autumn.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Wednesday 14 November 2018
Tokyo – Nikko (B/D)

Today our coach takes us to Nikko, an ancient imperial retreat north of Tokyo. Visit Omiya Bonsai Village home of some of Japan’s finest Bonsai. Visit the new Omiya Bonsai Museum. Later we stop to see the Sacred Way of ancient Cryptomeria Cedar trees before visiting the recenty restored original 18th C Kanaya Hotel Samurai home. Early evening arrival at the historic, 144 year old Nikko Kanaya Hotel for two nights.
Dinner is a western style, silver service at your hotel tonight.

Accommodation: Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Thursday 15 November 2018
Nikko (B/D)

Sightseeing today includes a walking tour of the nearby Toshogu Shrine, built in 1542 with its ornate Yomeimon Gate. Rinnoji Temple is located on the avenue leading up to the shrine and contains three gigantic gilded wooden images of Buddha. Here Shintoism and Buddhism combine to commemorate the Taiyuin Mausoleum for Iemitsu, third in line of the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate Family. Hear the history behind this sacred region and its traditions.
See the giant cryptomerias over 1000 years old, the Shinkyo Sacred Bridge across the turbulent waters of the Daiya River, and giant bronze and stone lanterns all wrapped in a mountain mist and maples dotted amongst the lush green. The entire site is World Heritage listed.
Afternoon we walk through the home and garden of the Imperial Villa. Then at leisure walk around this quaint town, soak in the tranquil atmosphere. Dinner is included tonight.

Accommodation: Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Friday 16 November 2018
Nikko – Kanazawa (B)

Cross the spine of Japan’s main island with forests of Japanese Cryptomeria cedar and Chamaecyparis cypress trees with millions of different maple trees in stunning autumn colour. A short bullet train ride to Kanazawa the capital of maritime Ishikawa Prefecture and once a feudal castle town home to the powerful feudal Maeda clan. On arrival we walk the famed Samurai district where their families still live today and visit one Samurai home with a small but exquisite traditional garden.

Accommodation: Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel 

Saturday 17 November 2018
Kanazawa (B)

Orientation tour of the city and visit Kenroku-en Gardens, famous for its mature conifer trees and channel gardens of water iris. Kenroku-en combines the six essential features of true gardens: vastness, symmetry, solemnity, coolness, antiquity and pleasure. Japan’s first water fountain can be seen here surrounded by Japanese maples. This is one of Graham Ross’ favourite gardens in the world. The unique stone lanterns, symbol of Kanazawa City, are beautifully canopied with delicate maples in autumn colours.

Remainder of the day is free. This city is for famous gold crafts and Kutani Ware porcelain. Graham will direct you to the best shopping area.

Accommodation: Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

Sunday 18 November 2018
Kanazawa – Awazu (B/D)

A very different experience commences today as we travel deep into the snow-capped Japan Alps to visit Shirakawago Village nestled in a rural setting reminiscent of old Japan. Listed by UNESCO in 1995 a World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go is famous for its steeply thatch-roofed traditional farmhouses called Gasho Zukuri style from over 250 years ago. The architecture, horticulture and cuisine of the region will make this a unique experience of the tour. Overnight stay at a traditional Japanese Ryokan, including a Japanese style dinner. This will be a memorable evening.

Accommodation: Tsujinoya Hananosho, Awazu

Monday 19 November 2018
Awazu – Kyoto (B/D)

Depart for Kyoto by train. On arrival visit Nijo Castle, dating from 1603 and famous for its fortress-like interior and ingenious escape routes of the Tokugawa Shogun. The garden here, Ninomaru Garden, is planted with ancient, beautifully manicured pine trees.

A special dinner tonight attended by a Maiko Geisha and shamisen performance after a walk through the adjacent 16th C private garden.

Accommodation: Westin Miyako, Kyoto

DAY 10
Tuesday 20 November 2018
Kyoto (B/L)

Visit the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji Temple) dating back to 1489. This famous temple and its Zen garden, formerly the villa of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, silver in name only, he died before the silver leaf could be applied. See raked and moulded gravel mounds that represent sea and mountains. Designed in the ‘Zen’ style, this serene garden features ancient pines, ginkoes, maples and hundreds of other autumn trees.

At Hakusa Sonso witness a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony performed in its own beautiful garden built in 1915. This private garden is a showcase of Japanese plants and Chinese statuary. Our Tea Master is a descendant of the famous artist Kansetsu Hashimoto who created this villa garden and museum. A traditional Japanese lunch is included.

Accommodation: Westin Miyako, Kyoto

DAY 11
Wednesday 21 November 2018
Kyoto (B/D)

Early morning visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) or Rokuon-ji, built in 1397 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, which he used for entertaining, contemplation and to view the expansive landscape. This three tiered pavilion glows with a covering of 18-carat gold leaf. Admire the perfect reflection on the broad Mirror Lake before it. See the Shogun’s bonsai that become a garden masterpiece.

Ryoanji Temple is our next stop, renowned throughout the world as Japan’s finest example of a rock and sand garden (seki-taki). Take time here to reflect on the meaning of these raked patterns and enigmatic placement of rocks. It is also home of the stone water-basin, Tsukubai, engraved with famous Zen script. The outer is planted with hundreds of exquisite maples and rare Japanese Cedar tree varieties.

Dinner tonight a local Shabu Shabu restaurant.

Accommodation: Westin Miyako, Kyoto

DAY 12
Thursday 22 November 2018
Kyoto – Nagoya (B)

Travel to Nagoya by train. Visit iconic Nagoya Castle and spectacular chrysanthemum exhibition. A special treat today to walk through the recently rebuilt magnificent Nagoya Palace. Precision timber joinery and artworks in the palace are breathtaking.

Accommodation: Marriott Associa Hotel, Nagoya

DAY 13
Friday 23 November 2018
Nagoya (B/D)

Free time this morning. In the afternoon visit Nabana No Sato in Mie prefecture. This theme park is a new concept in world class show gardens covering 30 hectares with beds filled with thousands of every type of dahlia flower possible and huge glasshouses overflowing with tuberous begonias and more hanging baskets than you could count. Time this evening to experience the 8.5 million LED light show, voted Japan’s best illumination event.

Accommodation: Marriott Associa Hotel, Nagoya

DAY 14
Saturday 24 November 2018
Nagoya – Tokyo (B/D)

We’ll take the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Tokyo passing Mt Fuji (keep your camera handy). Our guide will take us on a city tour of Tokyo. Then we’ll check into New Otani Hotel overlooking the Imperial Guesthouse. Meet up tonight for our farewell dinner in the hotel.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

DAY 15
Sunday 25 November 2018
Tokyo – Home (B)

Morning at leisure either to stroll down the famous Ginza, visit Hibya Park, go shopping or enjoy the many temples this city has to offer.
Late check-out is included today. Evening transfer to Haneda airport for our flight home.

DAY 16
Monday 26 November 2018
Arrive Home

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.


Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

  • Return group economy airfare & taxes Sydney / Tokyo / Sydney
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • accommodation for 13 nights
  • Breakfast daily (B), 1 lunch (L) and 8 dinners (D) including dinner with a geisha performance
  • Guided tours of Tokyo, Nikko, Kanazawa, Kyoto
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Shinjuku Gyoen, Rikugien Garden, Nezu Shrine, Omiya Bonsai Museum, Kanaya Samurai Museum, Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple,Shinkyo Sacred Bridge, Tamozawa Imperial Villa, Kenrokuen Garden, Seisonkaku, Nomura Family Samurai House, Kanazawa Shinise Kinenkan Museum, Shirakawago Gasshozukuri Minka-en, Nijo Castle, Ryoanji Temple, Golden Pavillion, Heian Shrine, Hakusa Sonso, Hashimoto Art Museum, Silver Pavillion, Nagoya Castle, Nabana-non-Sato

Twin Share land only $12,495 per person
Twin Share including air $13,495 per person
Single Supplement $2,995
All prices in Australian Dollars.
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers.
Price is based on departure Sydney.


Book and pay in full by 6/7/18 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic™ Member Discount $50.00

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