I’ve never required even a scintilla of an excuse to visit Japan, one of my all-time favourite destinations, and nor, it would seem, have tens of thousands of other Japanophile Australians who are visiting the country in record numbers.
Year after year Japan continues to rank as the most searched for destination on our traveller.com.au website. But if you should require a reason to holiday in this fascinating land for the first time, or perhaps just need an excuse for a repeat visit, we have two compelling excuses for you as we launch our latest Traveller Tour, which has been specially designed for our readers.
Firstly, Traveller is offering the chance to join in an exclusive culinary odyssey through Japan next year accompanied by Adam Liaw, the immensely popular and respected cook, author, television personality and Sunday Life columnist.
Our second excuse for you to pack your bags is the fact that 2019 will see Japan host the Rugby World Cup, one of the largest events on the planet.
Even if you’re not a rugby devotee, September 2019 will be the time to visit Japan when the nation will also be caught up in the excitement of Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics.
As well as Adam Liaw, the tour, running in partnership with Gullivers Sport Travel, will also include appearances by Michelin-starred chefs and Fairfax Media’s own rugby correspondent, Georgina Robinson.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover the tantalising tastes of Japan through the eyes of Adam Liaw, against the backdrop of one of the world’s most exciting sporting extravaganzas.
DAY 1 SEPTEMBER 19
Depart Australia for Tokyo with Singapore Airlines.
DAY 2: SEPTEMBER 20
Meet your guide on arrival at Haneda Airport. Take in the iconic sights of Japan’s buzzing capital by coach, including a visit to the Meiji Shrine. Later, arrive at your hotel for afternoon check in. This evening, meet Adam Liaw – 2010 winner of MasterChef Australia, cookbook author and award-winning host of the SBS television series Destination Flavour – and join him for dinner. The meal will be at Tofuya Ukai, one of Adam’s favourite Tokyo eateries, which specialises in tofu-based cuisine. Set in a vast and beautiful Japanese garden with pine trees, a waterwheel and Koi pond, Tofuya Ukai will transport you back to Japan’s Edo era. Adam will join you for the remainder of the tour. Meals D, Shinagawa Prince Hotel
DAY 3 SEPTEMBER 21
TOKYO – YOKOHAMA – TOKYO
Today, explore Tokyo’s Asakusa district, home to Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Shopping Street and Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower. Later, transfer to Yokohama, about 40 kilometres south of Tokyo, for the first of your three Rugby World Cup 2019 pool-phase (preliminary) matches. The New Zealand v South Africa match will kick off at 6.45pm at International Stadium, Yokohama. After the match, transfer back to your hotel in Tokyo. Meals B
DAY 4: SEPTEMBER 22
TOKYO – YOKOHAMA – TOKYO
Spend the morning at your leisure. You could visit Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, exploring the architecture and skyscrapers in its Nishi-Shinjuku neighbourhood which includes City Hall and the mesh-covered Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower. Or, stop by the pubs and Ramen restaurants in Higashi-Shinjuku, or spend time in the Takashimaya Times Square shopping mall. In the afternoon, transfer to International Stadium, Yokohama for your second Rugby World Cup 2019 match, Ireland v Scotland, which kicks off at 4.45pm. Afterwards, transfer back to your hotel. Meals Bl
DAY 5: SEPTEMBER 23
TOKYO – OBUSE – NOZAWA
This morning, check out of your hotel. Your luggage will be transferred ahead to Kanazawa and you will keep a small overnight bag with you. Take a train to the town of Obuse, famous for its chestnut confectionary. A path made of blocks of chestnut woods in the centre of the town takes you past sake warehouses, galleries and traditional homes with distinct white walls, tiled roofs and brick chimneys. At one end of the path is the Hokusai Museum displaying works of Japan’s most highly acclaimed wood block print artist, Katsushika Hokusai. At the other end is the Takai Kozan Memorial Hall, a historical residence available for touring. Continue by coach to the village of Nozawa in Nagano Prefecture and check in at Ryokan Sakaya, traditional Japanese-style accommodation. Nozawa Onsen is one of the best ski resorts in Japan, but it is equally famous for its food, festivals and hot springs. Meals B D, Ryokan Sakaya
DAY 6: SEPTEMBER 24
NOZAWA – KANAZAWA
Travel by coach to Kanazawa via Takayama and Shirakawago. In Takayama, see the Hida Takayama Art and Festa Forest, with its intricate floats embellished with gold and lacquer. The floats are a feature of the Takayama Festival, one of the biggest in Japan. Stroll through the charming UNESCO World Heritage-listed village of Shirakawago, which is nestled in the mountains along the Shogawa mountain river. Later, arrive in Kanazawa. Meals B, Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel
DAY 7 SEPTEMBER 25
The capital of Ishikawa Prefecture is the perfect place to be introduced to regional Japanese cuisine. Start the day with a visit to Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market, Omicho Market, a busy and colourful network of covered streets lined with hundreds of shops and stalls. Later, Adam Liaw will introduce a unique cooking experience. Masakazu Yamada, one of Kanazawa’s top chefs and head chef at Kagaya Matsunomidori, will conduct a cooking demonstration showcasing the ingredients and dishes that make Kanazawa cuisine unique in Japan. Take the opportunity to learn about one of Adam’s greatest passions – traditional Japanese cooking using locally-sourced ingredients. Then, enjoy a kaiseki-style lunch, a traditional multi-course Japanese meal, at Kagaya Kanazawa Chaya. In the afternoon, explore Kenrokuen Garden, known as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the Samurai Residence, Nomura House before continuing onto the Sakuda Gold & Silver Leaf Company and its workshop. Meals BL
DAY 8: SEPTEMBER 26
KANAZAWA - KYOTO
Today, travel by express train from Kanazawa to Kyoto. Known as Japan’s ancient imperial capital, Kyoto is home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For lunch, enjoy a sumptuous feast of tempura at Endo restaurant, housed in an ornate wooden teahouse. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet Kyoto-based Australian Mark Hovane, who is a leading expert on Japanese garden history and design. Meals B L, Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto
DAY 9: 27 SEPTEMBER
KYOTO – OSAKA - KYOTO
Join Adam for a cooking demonstration taking in both the art and techniques of Japanese cooking, with a focus on local produce. Later, transfer to Osaka where you’ll spend the remainder of the day. Enjoy a Kushikatsu lunch – a Japanese dish of deepfried skewered meat and vegetables – in Osaka’s Shinsekai area. Tonight, head to the colourful Dotonbori area, known for its neon lights and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Osaka which specialises in a regional favourite, okonomiyaki. Later, return to Kyoto by coach. Meals B L D
DAY 10: SEPTEMBER 28
KYOTO - TOKYO
Board the Shinkansen for the journey back to Tokyo. The afternoon is at your leisure. You could visit Japan’s Harajuku neighbourhood, or experience the famous Shibuya crossing. At a cocktail reception this evening, meet Fairfax Media’s chief rugby reporter, Georgina Robinson, who will be in Japan covering her third Rugby World Cup. Georgina will share some of her experiences as a sports journalist, including stories about covering the Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby union team, under three different coaches. Meal B, Shinagawa Prince Hotel
DAY 11: SEPTEMBER 29
Enjoy the morning at your leisure. In the afternoon, transfer to Tokyo Stadium for the 4.45pm kick-off of the Australia v Wales pool-phase match. Later, transfer back to your hotel. Spend the evening at your leisure. Meals B
DAY 12: SEPTEMBER 30
TOKYO - AUSTRALIA
Spend the day enjoying the sights of Tokyo. Later, transfer to Haneda Airport for your overnight Singapore Airlines flight home. B
DAY 13: OCTOBER 1
Arrive in Australia.
WHERE, WHEN AND HOW MUCH
YOUR TOUR: DETAILS AND INCLUSIONS
Departing September 19, 2019
Tour name and code Traveller Tours – Japan with Adam Liaw 2019
Prices From $10,890 per person, twin share. Reduction of $800 for removing all match ticket
Days 13, including flight days
- Return economy flights with Singapore Airlines
- 10 nights accommodation in 3-4 star hotels
- 10 breakfasts, 3 dinners , 3 lunches
- English speaking Japanese guide
- Executive coach transportation
- Bullet train Tokyo-Obuse, standard class
- Bullet train Kyoto-Tokyo, standard class
- 3 Rugby World Cup 2019 Category C tickets (pool matches) including all Rugby World Cup royalties, and Rugby World Cup 2019 tour cap
- Return transfers by coach for all three Rugby World Cup games as per itinerary
Prices are per person, twin share. Single occupancy rooming by request. Subject to availability. Not included: airport taxes, airline levies and excess baggage, passport and visa costs, drinks at meal time, travel insurance.
Circumstances beyond Traveller’s control may affect the guest line-up. Any operational or logistical changes or issues arising from the itinerary before, during or after the tour will be addressed by Gullivers Sport Travel
Booking conditions available www.gullivers.com.au
MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9am to 5pm