Japan, here we come

JAPAN’S iconic cherry blossoms will be in full bloom when a group of Warrnambool tourists visit next year.

The Warrnambool City Citizen Tour of Japan 2015 is offering 22 people an opportunity to visit the land of the rising sun for 16 days in March/April.

Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Miura, Warrnambool’s sister city, are listed on the itinerary.

Warrnambool City Council International Relations Committee member and tour director David McKenzie said the trip would be a fantastic chance for locals to visit Japan.

“The whole aim of the tour is to introduce the city of Warrnambool to the culture, cuisine and people of Japan,” he said.

The tour will begin on Friday, March 27, with visitors flying to Osaka and then travelling by coach to Kyoto.

Three days in Kyoto will include a visit to world heritage listed temples and gardens plus a free day to explore.

Two days will be spent in Hiroshima, with visits to the peace memorial park and atomic bomb museum on the agenda.

A local train will take tourists to the island of Miyajima before heading to Hakone National Park, the site of Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji.

From Hakone, four days will be spent in Miura, with a two-day homestay visit planned.

Two days will be spent in Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, before flying back to Australia.

Mr McKenzie said the trip offered flexibility and free days for travellers to do their own thing.

“For those who have never been to Japan before it is a very good way to go,” he said.

“It’s quite a flexible tour. We are aiming to get 22 people and I don’t think we will have any trouble.”

Two similar trips to Japan were organised in the 1990s and Mr McKenzie said a couple who had been on one of them had already signed up to go on next year’s tour. So far seven people have signed up.

Mr McKenzie said the trip was open to anyone and included travellers aged from their 30s to 70s.

The cost of the trip is $5500 and includes airfares, accommodation and breakfast daily.

For more information contact Mr McKenzie on 5562 5376.

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