Happiness is…. Japan 15 – 27 March’ 2025

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Happiness is…. Japan 15 – 27 March’ 2025 2024-03-21T18:01:14+10:00

‘Embracing Happiness’  in Japan

15 – 27 March’ 2025

March is chilly but comfortable. The temperature averages out at 9.4℃ (48.9℉), with highs of 14.2℃ (57.6℉) and lows of 5℃ (41℉)

Plum blossoms bloom in parts of central Japan and further north and cherry blossoms start blooming in Tokyo and other warmer locations to herald the start of spring proper.

 

Our tour takes in Tokyo, Kyoto,

and Okinawa, one of five Blue Zones, and home to the world’s longest-lived women,

What is true happiness?

Happiness is sharing a journey – making friends for life.

Happiness is having a group of friends, sharing meaningful conversations, shopping, laughing and sharing a meal together

Happiness is getting away from ‘it all’..  identifying your interests – become curious, fully engaged in others interests.

Happiness is becoming likeable – some are born that way, others have to learn how to become likeable, flexible, and traveling with a group of self minded ladies, helps us become likeable.

Happiness is moving – physical activity, walking, etc, and this boosts happiness, and helps you sleep better.  We’ll not do a marathon whilst on tour, but we’ll walk and be active, daily, and guaranteed, we’ll sleep well, for at least seven hours every night.

Happiness is being able to focus on meaningful things, and set goals, and on tour, we’ll have time to set some goals.

 

One big observation about happiness and it’s benefits, is one cannot do it alone – to use the old clichéit takes a village!

so, please join our tour to discover happiness and Japan .. we need each other

 

Day 1: March 15 – Tokyo Arrival  – B D

Arrive in the Dynamic Metropolis

Transfer: Upon arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be whisked away to the vibrant district of Tokyu East Shinjuku.

Hotel Check-In: Take some time to settle into your accommodation and refresh after your journey. Tokyo East Shinjuku Hotel or similar

Tokyo SkyTree: Your first stop is the iconic Tokyo SkyTree, where you’ll ascend to breathtaking heights and soak in panoramic views of the sprawling city below.

Shinjuku Tour: Dive into the heart of Tokyo’s bustling entertainment and shopping district, Shinjuku, where neon lights, towering skyscrapers, and an eclectic atmosphere await.

Welcome Dinner at Ginza Enkai: Conclude your day with a delightful dinner at Ginza Enkai.

 

Day 2: March 16 – Tokyo Exploration – B L

Immerse Yourself in Tokyo’s Rich Culture and Energy

Toyosu Fish Market: Begin your day at Toyosu Fish Market, the beating heart of Tokyo’s seafood scene, where you’ll witness the frenetic energy of early morning auctions and explore stalls brimming with fresh catches.

Sushi Making Workshop: Dive deeper into Japanese culinary traditions with a hands-on sushi making workshop, where you’ll learn the art of crafting delicious sushi rolls under the guidance of skilled instructors.

TeamLab Tokyo: Step into a world of digital art and innovation at TeamLab Tokyo, an immersive exhibition that seamlessly blends art, technology, and imagination to create awe-inspiring experiences.

Shibuya Crossing: Experience the iconic chaos of Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world, where a sea of pedestrians ebbs and flows with mesmerizing precision.

Included – English speaking guide, and transfers.

Tokyo East Shinjuku Hotel (or similar)

 

Day 3: March 17 – Tokyo Highlights – B

Discover the Rich Heritage and Modern Marvels of Tokyo

Sumo Training Observation: Gain insight into the ancient sport of sumo wrestling with a visit to a sumo training stable, where you’ll observe wrestlers honing their skills and witness the rigorous training regimen firsthand.

Meiji Jingu Shrine: Find tranquility amidst the bustling city at Meiji Jingu Shrine, a serene oasis of greenery and spirituality dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

Imperial Palace: Explore the majestic grounds of the Imperial Palace, the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan, and stroll through lush gardens, scenic moats, and historic structures.

Ginza Shopping: Indulge in some retail therapy in Ginza, Tokyo’s upscale shopping district renowned for its luxury boutiques, department stores, and trendy cafes.

Tokyo East Shinjuku Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: March 18 – Tokyo to Kyoto – B Tea ceremony

Journey from Tokyo’s Urban Landscape to Kyoto’s Timeless Charm

Tokyo to Kyoto: Embark on a high-speed journey aboard the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, traversing picturesque landscapes and arriving in the cultural heart of Japan.

Kyoto Tower: Ascend Kyoto Tower for sweeping views of the cityscape below, offering a bird’s-eye perspective of Kyoto’s historic landmarks and modern neighborhoods.

Higashiyama District: Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Kyoto’s Higashiyama District, where narrow lanes, traditional machiya houses, and historic temples transport you to Japan’s feudal past.

Tea Ceremony with Maiko: Experience the elegance and grace of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, accompanied by the enchanting presence of a maiko (apprentice geisha), as you savor matcha tea in a tranquil setting.

Cross Hotel Kyoto (or similar) 

Day 5: March 19 – Kyoto’s Charms  – B

Delve into Kyoto’s Cultural Treasures and Natural Beauty

Arashiyama: Venture to Arashiyama, a picturesque district on the outskirts of Kyoto known for its bamboo groves, scenic riverbanks, and historic temples.

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion): Marvel at the gilded splendor of Kinkaku-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its shimmering golden facade reflected in the tranquil waters of its surrounding pond.

Kiyomizu-dera: Explore the iconic Kiyomizu-dera, a historic temple perched atop a hillside offering sweeping views of Kyoto and its lush surroundings, particularly stunning during cherry blossom season.

Gion District Stroll: Wander through the atmospheric streets of Gion, Kyoto’s famed geisha district, where traditional machiya houses, teahouses, and artisan shops evoke the bygone era of Japan’s geisha culture.

Cross Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 6: March 23 – Nara Excursion – B  D

Embark on a Cultural Pilgrimage to Nara

Transfer to Nara: Depart from Kyoto and journey to Nara, Japan’s ancient capital and a treasure trove of cultural and historical landmarks.

Nara Kofuku-ji Temple: Begin your exploration of Nara with a visit to Kofuku-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring a five-story pagoda and other exquisite Buddhist structures.

Nara Park: Encounter friendly deer roaming freely in Nara Park, a sprawling green space dotted with temples and shrines, where you can feed and interact with these revered creatures.

Fushimi Inari: Venture to Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates that wind through a forested mountain, creating a mesmerizing tunnel of vibrant hues.

Ramen Cooking Class: Conclude your day with a hands-on ramen cooking class, where you’ll learn the secrets of crafting this beloved Japanese comfort food and savor your creations for dinner.

Cross Hotel Kyoto (or similar)

Day 7: March 24 – Kyoto to Okinawa – B

Transition from Kyoto’s Tranquility to Okinawa’s Tropical Paradise

Transfer from Kyoto to Itami airport then fly to Okinawa: Bid farewell to Kyoto and journey to the subtropical paradise of Okinawa, where azure waters, white sand beaches, and rich cultural heritage await. (three hour flight).

Explore Okinawa: Begin your exploration of Okinawa with visits to Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site steeped in Ryukyuan history and architecture, and the Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum, where you can admire traditional Okinawan pottery craftsmanship.

Check-In at Kurashi no Hakko Okinawa: Relax and unwind at your accommodation in Okinawa, nestled amidst the island’s natural beauty and warm hospitality.

 

Day 8: March 25 – Okinawan Adventure – B

Immerse Yourself in Okinawa’s Natural and Cultural Delights

Ogimi Village Tour: Embark on a journey to Ogimi Village, known for its pristine landscapes, traditional architecture, and vibrant local culture, Discover Secrets of Long Life in Okinawa, this tour provides insight into Okinawa’s rural way of life.

Shukusawa Park: Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Shukusawa Park, a serene oasis featuring lush greenery, tranquil ponds, and scenic walking paths.

Ta-taki Falls: Discover the natural beauty of Ta-taki Falls, a picturesque waterfall cascading amidst verdant forests, offering a serene setting for relaxation and reflection.

Shisa Pottery Workshop at Ryukyu Kiln: Unleash your creativity at a Shisa Pottery Workshop, where you’ll learn to craft traditional Okinawan guardian lion statues known as shisa, believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune.

Day 9: March 26 – Okinawan Delights – B D

Explore Okinawa’s Coastal Splendor and Cultural Gems

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium: Dive into the mesmerizing underwater world at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, home to an impressive array of marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, and coral reefs.

Busena Marine Park: Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Busena Marine Park, where you can snorkel, swim, or simply relax on pristine beaches while soaking up the island sun.

Cape Manzamo: Marvel at the breathtaking vistas from Cape Manzamo, a scenic cliff formation renowned for its dramatic landscapes and panoramic views of the East China Sea.

Onna no Eki Nakayukui Market: Indulge in a culinary adventure at Onna no Eki Nakayukui Market, where you can sample a diverse array of local delicacies, fresh seafood, and artisanal products showcasing Okinawa’s unique flavors and ingredients.

Ogimi Village Visitor Center (departure) – 14:30 ⇒ Move to private homes by private car (arrival) – 15:00 ⇒ Interaction and cooking experience at private homes.
Farewell Dinner: Conclude your Okinawan sojourn with a memorable farewell dinner, savoring the tantalizing tastes of island cuisine while reflecting on your unforgettable experiences.

 

Day 10: March 27 – Departure from Okinawa

Bid Farewell to Okinawa’s Tranquil Beauty   Ogimi Village Visitor Center (assembly) – 9:00 ⇒ Visitor Center (departure) – 9:10 ⇒ Arrive at MOA Ogimi Farm – 9:30. Organic, natural farming experience & farm exploration, Ryukyu dance performance – until 11:30 (expected end) – 12:00 ⇒ Depart from MOA Farm ⇒ Hotel.

Transfer to Naha Airport: It’s time to say goodbye to the enchanting shores of Okinawa as you transfer from your hotel to Okinawa Naha Airport, where you’ll embark on your journey homeward with cherished memories of your Japanese adventure.

 

Cost (note quoted in Au$)

  • Twin share Au$6598
  • Single supplement – Au$1080

Included

  • Three nights accommodation Tokyo
  • Three nights accommodation Kyoto
  • Three nights accommodation Okinawa
  • Public transport in Tokyo and Kyoto and private transfer in Okinawa
  •  English Speaking guide
  •  4* hotel with daily breakfast
  •  Some dinners as indicated
  • Osaka to Naha on JAL Economy air flight
  •  All admission tickets
  •  Tipping for guide & driver
  •  Daily bottle of water
  •  Bullet train ticket Tokyo-Kyoto
  •  Luggage transfers during the train ride

Not included

  • International Airfare –
    • Tour starts in Tokyo on 15 March, 2025  and ends in Okinawa on 27 March’ 2025 (Naha International Airport)
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Drinks with meals
  • Laundry, telephone calls, room service, etc.,
  • Travel Insurance