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13 – 27 NOVEMBER 2020

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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.
Friday 13 November 2020
Home – Tokyo (D)

Meet your Ross Tours’ representative at Sydney International Airport for your morning flight to Tokyo. Check into the Hotel New Otani Tokyo for the next 2 nights. Welcome dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Saturday 14 November 2020
Shinjuku Gyoen (B)

We start the tour with a visit to the extensive, world-class chrysanthemum exhibition held at Shinjuku Gyoen since 1929. Rikugien Garden is next, 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

Sunday 15 November 2020
Tokyo to Nikko(B/D)

Today our coach takes us to Nikko, an ancient imperial retreat north of Tokyo. On the way, we’ll stop at Omiya Bonsai Village home of some of Japan’s finest Bonsai. Visit the superb Omiya Bonsai Art Museum which houses a stunning collection of ancient bonsai masterpieces, some are 1,000 years old. Later we stop to see the Sacred Way of ancient Cryptomeria Cedar trees before visiting the recently restored original 18th C Kanaya Hotel Samurai House. Check into the historic Nikko Kanaya Hotel for two nights. It is the oldest Japanese resort hotel with more than 100 years of traditions. Dinner included at our hotel tonight.

Accommodation: Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Monday 16 November 2020
Nikko (B)

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.
This afternoon walk through the home and garden of the Tamozawa Imperial Villa, the summer residence of the royal family. The remainder of the day is at leisure to soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this quaint town.

Accommodation: Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Tuesday 17 November 2020
Nikko – Kanazawa(B)

Cross the spine of Japan’s main island with forests of Japanese Cryptomeria cedar, Chamaecyparis cypress trees and millions of different maples in stunning autumn colour. Take a short Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Kanazawa the capital of the 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 a Samurai home with a small but exquisite traditional garden.

Accommodation: Tokyu Excel Hotel

Wednesday 18 November 2020
Kanazawa (B)

Visit Kenroku-en Garden, 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, a symbol of Kanazawa City, are beautifully canopied with delicate maples in autumn colours.
The remainder of the day is free. Kanazawa is famous for traditional arts & crafts, gold leaf and Kutani – ware porcelain. Graham will direct you to the best shopping areas.

Accommodation: Tokyu Excel Hotel

Thursday 19 November 2020
Shirakawa-go (B/D)

A very different experience commences today as we travel deep into the snow-capped Japanese Alps to visit Shirakawa-go Village nestled in a rural setting reminiscent of old Japan. Listed by UNESCO in 1995 as a World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go is famous for its steeply thatch-roofed traditional farmhouses called Gassho 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

Friday 20 November 2020
Awazu – Kyoto(B/D)

Travel to Kyoto by bullet 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

Saturday 21 November 2020
Hakusa Sonso Garden (B/L)

Visit the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji Temple) dating back to 1489. This famous temple and it’s 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, ginkgos, maples and hundreds of other autumn trees.
At Hakusasonso witness a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony performed in the 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 today.

Accommodation: Westin Miyako, Kyoto

DAY 10
Sunday 22 November 2020
Kyoto (B/D)

Early morning visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) 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 included tonight at a local Shabu Shabu restaurant.

Accommodation: Westin Miyako, Kyoto

DAY 11
Monday 23 November 2020
Kyoto – Nagoya(B)

Travel to Nagoya by bullet train. Visit the iconic Nagoya Castle and spectacular chrysanthemum exhibition. A special treat today to walk through the recently restored, magnificent Hommaru Palace and see the lavish rooms. Precision timber joinery and artworks in the palace are breathtaking. Master craftspeople went to great lengths to recreate the opulence of the residence.

Accommodation: Marriott Associa Hotel, Nagoya

DAY 12
Tuesday 24 November 2020
Nagoya (B/D)

Free time this morning. In the afternoon visit Nabana No Sato in Mie prefecture. This botanical theme park is a new concept in world-class show gardens covering 30 hectares with beds filled with thousands of flowers including cosmos, roses and dahlias 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 13
Wednesday 25 November 2020
Nagoya – Tokyo(B/D)

Travel back to Tokyo via Bullet Train.
On arrival, we’ll discover more of Tokyo on our city sightseeing tour this afternoon. Check into the Hotel New Otani Tokyo. Farewell dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

DAY 14
Thursday 26 November 2020
Tokyo – Home (B)

Morning at leisure in Tokyo. Stroll down the famous Ginza, visit Hibiya Park, go shopping or enjoy the many temples this city has to offer. Evening transfer to Tokyo Haneda airport for our overnight flight home.

DAY 15
Friday 27 November 2020
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

Book Now

  • Return group economy airfare & taxes Sydney / Tokyo / Sydney
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • accommodation for 13 nights
  • Breakfast daily (B), 1 lunch (L) and 7 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 $13,595 per person
Twin Share including air $14,795 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 15/7/20 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

download the itinerary
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Read what our tour leaders have written about Europe here.


Singapore Garden Festival

Singapore is a city in a garden. An exciting mix of cultures, ultramodern ‘Supertrees’ and 19thcentury charm, all wrapped in
beautiful tropical gardens. Discover Gardens by the Bay, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest; a showcase of horticulture and garden
artistry at the 2020 Singapore Garden Festival.

England Rose Gardens

A flower-filled and rose-scented journey through England starting near the Scottish border at Newcastle, then York, Birmingham
and Richmond. Landmark gardens: Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, David Austin Roses, Castle Howard, Alnwick Castle… culminating at
Hampton Court Flower Show.

Chelsea Flower Show and the Gardens of England

Come with us to an England up to its knees in spring blossom, carpets of bluebells and meadows of wildflowers. Our
tour includes the cerulean Cornish Coastline. It’s a heavenly mix of gardens: Royal, public, and private with Opening
Day at the spectacular Chelsea Flower Show.

East Coast USA

From George Washington’s private garden at Mt Vernon to the contemporary Oudolf designed masterpiece on New York’s High
Line, we’ll visit majestic heritage homes and a trifecta of Pennsylvanian beauties: Longwood Gardens, Winterthur and
charming Chanticleer. It’s an East Coast USA garden adventure of a lifetime travelling with Graham and Sandra Ross through
Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Newport Rhode Island.

Portugal and the Madeira Flower Festival

Citrus scented streets, Art Nouveau buildings, mosaic pavements, blue/white ceramic tiles (azulejos) decorated walls, arcades, columns and water tanks, marble towns of the Alentejo; all go to make this spring journey through Portugal and Madeira one to remember. Highlight is Madeira’s famous Flower Festival.