top of page
IMG_5369.jpeg

April 2024 prices
$7,465 pp twin share
Single supplement

$450
 

Prices ex Sydney

HIROSHIMA

KUMAMOTO

KYOTO

HAMAMATSU

TOKYO

Price will include return flight from Sydney to Tokyo, Japan Rail Pass, accomodation, breakfast and admittance to venues.  Not included: lunch, dinner and drinks

CONTACT IAN GREENWOOD
AT   TRAVELMANAGERS
0404 841 038
ian.greenwood@travelmanagers.com.au

October Itinerary - so far!  (scroll further down for April 2024 itinerary)

October 2023

Thur  19th


We will meet at the gate lounge in Sydney International Airport about half an hour before boarding. Then we have our overnight flight to Haneda.

 

Friday 


We land at Haneda International Airport, Tokyo at around 0600. After we collect our luggage and get through customs, we need to wait until the Japan Rail Office opens at 0645 to exchange our JR passes (I will have all these). The wait will be diminished by baggage collection and customs but we will get in line for the passes as soon as we can because the line grows quickly once the office is open.
 When we have the passes, we have a little train hop. We take the Monorail to Hamamatsucho (about 15 minutes) and then a suburban train to Tokyo Station where we will be first in line to board the Shinkansen (bullet train).  The unreserved cars on the Hikari Shinkansen are cars 1-3. We change to another Shinkansen at Shin Osaka and get to Hiroshima early afternoon. It’s a small cab ride to the hotel. Usually with luggage we get three in a cab - without luggage, four. I’ll have cash for each cab.
The hotel we're staying in has a complimentary happy hour from 5-7. It's free white, red and bubbly with a few other options. It's a pretty good way to warm up before heading out to eat somewhere.

 

Saturday 
We’ll make a time to meet after breakfast and take a stroll past the university my Grandfather taught at and the cathedral where Mum and Dad were married- also Mum’s old school. Right nearby is Shukkeien Garden which is a beautiful traditional display of nature. There’s a cafe there as well. After that we’ll wander down to Hiroshima Castle, then on to the famous Peace Park. It’s easy to get back to the hotel from here - a very quick tram ride or a half hour walk. My groups often split up here as some go to the Museum and some go shopping.
Tonight I’ll be doing a gig with my old mate Hiroki Maeta at a great little family run Okonomiyaki Restaurant. This is the one venue we visit that only has a Japanese style toilet.

Sunday 
After breakfast we’ll walk to Hiroshima Station and catch a train to Miyajima Guchi where we’ll get on the ferry across to Miyajima itself. Try to get a spot on the right hand side going over - it’s a great view - one of my favourite parts of my trips. 

There's a lot to do and see here. Plenty of places to eat. I'll be heading to a beaut little outdoor eatery in amongst the maple trees where you can order beautiful local oysters and a cold beer, if anyone wants to join me! There’s also an aquarium and a ropeway to the peak of the island for anyone wanting to put more time in at the island. Because we have a free night, we’ll make a time to meet back at the ferry but if anyone wants to stay late, that’s fine, too. Back in Hiroshima, I dare say a relaxing happy hour will be on the cards.

 

Monday
Today we will get to the station a bit before our train ride to Kumamoto and buy some lunch to have on the train. There are food shops everywhere, as you will well know by now. Our hotel is right near the station. Tonight we're going to Good Time Charlie, an iconic Honky Tonk in Japan. 
Charlie Nagatani is 87 years old and has been playing in his bar Good Time Charlie every night (except for outside shows, including the Grand Ole Opry 29 times) for 40 years.

 

Tuesday 


Today we travel to Kyoto. We change trains at Shin Osaka for the quick hop to Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. We'll drop our bags at the hotel and then head a couple of stations down to Inari that's home to Fushimi Inari Taisha , a famous Shinto shrine and also a great little family owned knife shop. There are knife shops all over Japan but I just love the style of this one.

We'll meet up for happy hour tonight and dissect the day!

 

Wednesday 


No need to get going really early today. We'll meet in the lobby and take the subway/bus to Kinkakuji, one of the most photographed temples in Kyoto. It's only a short hop from there to Imamiya Shrine where there is a mochi (Japanese rice cake) business that has been trading for about 1,000 years. It is well worth a stop here for a short but very Japanese experience - a taste of this traditional snack and a cup of local tea made with the well water from this ancient store.
My good friend Minoru Tanaka has a little shop of Japanese religious supplies nearby that includes some very nice incense. We will visit his shop before taking the subway back to Kyoto station.
There's no gig tonight so it would be a good opportunity to head up to Gion and see if we can spot any Maiko (Geisha) and enjoy Kyoto after sundown.
 
Thursday 


We will meet fairly early this morning to beat the crowds to Arashiyama and the beautiful walk though the bamboo grove. There’s a great little shop that sells bamboo products (all ok to bring home) and after a coffee and a spell, we'll head back to the hotel - free time until we gather again this evening
There's a bluegrass jam tonight at Japan's oldest Honky Tonk right on the outskirts of town.
 
Friday 
Today we travel to Hamamatsu. This is a real music town. My mother did her training for working at Yamaha Hiroshima in this city. Near our hotel, there’s a musical instrument museum which is well worth a visit. Tonight is still in the planning stages. 

 

Saturday 


When we get on the Shinkansen today try to get a seat on the left side in case the weather is good enough to see Mt Fuji. We will check into our hotel in Kamata. It’s a fairly bustling little area so plenty of ways to keep busy for the afternoon. One of my favourite ramen shops is around the corner from the hotel and there’s a great sushi place as well.
Tonight we’ll be listening to some country music from my friend Dicky Kitano

 

Sunday 


We’ll meet around 10:30 and head to Ginza where they usually shut the Main Street off after 12pm on a Sunday. There’s a great paper shop with all sorts of interesting items down the end. 

The group often splits up at this point but there are things to see afterwards like Harajuku (and it's crazy main street or the exact opposite- a peaceful Meiji Shrine)
Tonight we’ll be back in Ginza at Rocky Top for a night of bluegrass with Keep On The Grass.
 
Mon  
After we check out of our rooms, we can leave our luggage at the hotel and we’ll head into Ueno Park where there are museums, galleries and yes, more shops! It’s a nice way to spend our last day here, although if anyone wants to go solo elsewhere, do that, by all means. We’ll meet up back at the hotel later in the day, get to the airport and check in for our overnight flight back to Australia.

Tue
Arrive in Sydney

April 2024

Thur  18th


We will meet at the gate lounge in Sydney International Airport about half an hour before boarding. Then we have our overnight flight to Haneda.

 

Friday 
19th

We land at Haneda International Airport, Tokyo at around 0600. After we collect our luggage and get through customs, we need to wait until the Japan Rail Office opens at 0645 to exchange our JR passes (I will have all these). The wait will be diminished by baggage collection and customs but we will get in line for the passes as soon as we can because the line grows quickly once the office is open.
 When we have the passes, we have a little train hop. We take the Monorail to Hamamatsucho (about 15 minutes) and then a suburban train to Tokyo Station where we will be first in line to board the Shinkansen (bullet train).  The unreserved cars on the Hikari Shinkansen are cars 1-3. We change to another Shinkansen at Shin Osaka and get to Hiroshima early afternoon. It’s a small cab ride to the hotel. Usually with luggage we get three in a cab - without luggage, four. I’ll have cash for each cab.
Our hotel is not far from the action and Molly Malone's Irish Pub has a happy hour from 5-7pm. It's a great way to unwind and get to know each other before heading out somewhere to eat.

 

Saturday  20th
We’ll make a time to meet after breakfast and take a walk through the party street, Nagarekawacho and up past the university my Grandfather taught at and the cathedral where Mum and Dad were married- also Mum’s old school. Right nearby is Shukkeien Garden which is a beautiful traditional display of nature. There’s a cafe there as well. After that we’ll wander down to Hiroshima Castle, then on to the famous Peace Park. It’s easy to get back to the hotel from here . My groups often split up here as some go to the Museum and some go shopping.
Tonight I’ll be doing a gig with my old mate Hiroki Maeta at a great little family run Okonomiyaki Restaurant. This is the one venue we visit that only has a Japanese style toilet.

Sunday 21st
After breakfast we’ll walk or tram to Hiroshima Station and catch a train to Miyajima Guchi where we’ll get on the ferry across to Miyajima itself. Try to get a spot on the right hand side going over - it’s a great view - one of my favourite parts of my trips.
There's a lot to do and see here. Plenty of places to eat. I'll be heading to a beaut little outdoor eatery in amongst the maple trees where you can order beautiful local oysters and a cool beer, if anyone wants to join me! There’s also an aquarium and a ropeway to the peak of the island for anyone wanting to put more time in at the island. Because we have a free night, we’ll make a time to meet back at the ferry but if anyone wants to stay late, that’s fine, too.
Back in Hiroshima, I dare say a relaxing happy hour will be on the cards.

 

Monday 22nd
Today we will get to the station a bit before our train ride to Kumamoto and buy some lunch to have on the train. There are food shops everywhere, as you will well know by now. Our hotel is right near the station. Tonight we're going to Good Time Charlie, an iconic Honky Tonk in Japan. 
Charlie Nagatani is 87 years old and has been playing in his bar Good Time Charlie every night (except for outside shows, including the Grand Ole Opry 29 times) for 40 years.

 

Tuesday 
 23rd

Today we travel to Kyoto. We change trains at Shin Osaka for the quick hop to Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. We'll drop our bags at the hotel and then head a couple of stations down to Inari that's home to Fushimi Inari Taisha , a famous Shinto shrine and also a great little family owned knife shop. There are knife shops all over Japan but I just love the style of this one.

We'll meet up for happy hour tonight and dissect the day!

 

Wednesday 
24th

No need to get going really early today. We'll meet in the lobby and take the subway/bus to Kinkakuji, one of the most photographed temples in Kyoto. It's only a short hop from there to Imamiya Shrine where there is a mochi (Japanese rice cake) business that has been trading for about 1,000 years. It is well worth a stop here for a short but very Japanese experience - a taste of this traditional snack and a cup of local tea made with the well water from this ancient store.
My good friend Minoru Tanaka has a little shop of Japanese religious supplies nearby that includes some very nice incense. We will visit his shop before taking the subway back to Kyoto station.
There's no gig tonight so it would be a good opportunity to head up to Gion and see if we can spot any Maiko (Geisha) and enjoy Kyoto after sundown.
 
Thursday 25th


We will meet fairly early this morning to beat the crowds to Arashiyama and the beautiful walk though the bamboo grove. There’s a great little shop that sells bamboo products (all ok to bring home) and after a coffee and a spell, we'll head back to the hotel - free time until we gather again this evening
There's a bluegrass jam tonight at Japan's oldest Honky Tonk right on the outskirts of town.
 
Friday 26th
Today we travel to Hamamatsu. This is a real music town. My mother did her training for working at Yamaha Hiroshima in this city. Near our hotel, there’s a musical instrument museum which is well worth a visit. 
Tonight we’ll take a bus to a place called “Biscuit Time” for an evening of bluegrass with my good friend Tomoyuki Murata and co. There is snacky food here, but might be an idea to have a bite before we go - even if it’s late afternoon. It’s a good fun night here. 

 

Saturday 27th


When we get on the Shinkansen today try to get a seat on the left side in case the weather is good enough to see Mt Fuji. We will check into our hotel in Kamata. It’s a fairly bustling little area so plenty of ways to keep busy for the afternoon. One of my favourite ramen shops is around the corner from the hotel and there’s a great sushi place as well.
Tonight we’ll be listening to some country music from my friend Dicky Kitano

 

Sunday 
28th

We’ll meet around 10:30 and head to Ginza where they usually shut the Main Street off after 12pm on a Sunday. There’s a great paper shop with all sorts of interesting items down the end. 

The group often splits up at this point but there are things to see afterwards like Harajuku (and it's crazy main street or the exact opposite- a peaceful Meiji Shrine)
Tonight we’ll be back in Ginza at Rocky Top for a night of bluegrass with Keep On The Grass.
 
Mon  29th
After we check out of our rooms, we can leave our luggage at the hotel and we’ll head into Ueno Park where there are museums, galleries and yes, more shops! It’s a nice way to spend our last day here, although if anyone wants to go solo elsewhere, do that, by all means. We’ll meet up back at the hotel later in the day, get to the airport and check in for our overnight flight back to Australia.

Tue 30th

Arrive in Sydney

bottom of page