Please Note:
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, many of the deals and offers mentioned are not currently available.
Please check with individual suppliers before making travel plans.


Thursday, 26 January 2023

Fwd: Secret Japan: where to go off-grid

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: James Cooley <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2023 at 09:05
Subject: Secret Japan: where to go off-grid


Secret Japan: where to go off-grid


The coast of Shimane Prefecture. Credit JNTO


Accelerated by the pandemic, international tourism is seeing a trend towards travellers seeking out 'hidden gem' destinations that are slightly off the beaten path and which offer authentic cultural experiences. While most tourist hotspots in Japan like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto are popular for good reason, Japan is home to an array of lesser-known destinations that are well worth exploring.


Whether you've been to Japan before and are looking for new things to do and see, or you just want to have a deeper first-time experience and explore lesser-known exciting spots, these underrated places in Japan should be on your list (before they get popular). In Japan, you'll find everything from secluded beach destinations and ancient samurai villages to almost empty national parks and Mt Fuji lookalikes – you just need to know where to look.


Akan-Mashu National Park, Hokkaido

For most Australian travellers, Hokkaido is known as a winter playground, but locals and regular visitors to Japan in the know have come to discover it's also a spectacular place to visit throughout the year.


Home to cooler, mild summers, and untouched national parks, it's an outdoor adventure playground just waiting to be explored. Akan-Mashu National Park is a perfect destination to dive deeper into Hokkaido's endless nature.


With the national park known for fishing, snowshoeing, canoeing, and soaking in hot springs, Akan-Mashu offers a full spectrum of fun activities without the crowds of nearby destinations. Don't miss Lake Kussharo's Wakoto Peninsula walk and its trail of open-air hot springs, some of which are so secluded that the only facility is a simple changing room.


Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture

Developed in the early 17th century as a city of samurai, Kakunodate is often referred to as 'Little Kyoto' and is one of Japan's most well-preserved historical pockets, located in Akita Prefecture in the northern region of Tohoku.


Kakunodate boasts authentic Edo-period architecture in two distinct areas: the samurai district and the merchant district. Around 80 samurai families once lived in the area, and you can get a glimpse of their lives through the architecture of the buildings.


For sakura seekers, a 2km stretch of over 400 cherry blossom trees line the riverbank, and just a few minutes' walk from the samurai district, you'll find what is said to be one of the most stunning cherry blossom viewing locations in all of Japan.


Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture. Credit JNTO


Mt Daisen, Tottori Prefecture

Evoking comparisons with Mt Fuji, but with far fewer visitors, Mt Daisen is one of Japan's best-kept secrets. Located in the sparsely populated Tottori Prefecture, the mountain provides fantastic hiking throughout the year and some of the best skiing on the west coast in the winter.


The mountain has many spiritual and religious connections, the area's Daisenji Temple was once a busy training site for mountain-worshipping practitioners of Shugendo and has been revered by followers of the religion for centuries.


Mt Daisen. Credit JNTO


Shimane Prefecture

As the second-least populous prefecture of Japan, Shimane Prefecture isn't as well-known as other prefectures, but it's still packed full of culture and history, pristine island beaches, and one of Japan's holiest shrines.


Shimane Prefecture is part of a region known as San'in, made up of the two prefectures of Shimane and neighbouring Tottori. The region is known as being in the "shadow of the mountains," due to its literal topography, but also for its reputation for finding itself in the shadow of other regions in Japan. With no bullet train access or major commercial centres, the Shimane Prefecture has preserved much of what gives Japan its appeal.


Locals pride themselves on preserving the old way of life and it's therefore a place to discover authentic Japanese culture and discover some of the most unspoiled countryside in Japan. The Izumo Taisha, a Shinto shrine in Izumo City, attracts pilgrims from around the country once a year during the tenth month of the old Japanese calendar.


Nagasaki Islands

Nagasaki's 594 islands, including both inhabited and uninhabited islands, are famed for their clear waters, stunning vistas, and relaxed vibe. Among the inhabited islands are Tsushima, Iki and Goto Islands that are most well-known for their uncrowded stunning beaches, outdoor land and water activities, and of course, fresh seafood.


If you want blissfully spectacular beaches, look no further than Fukue Island, the largest and most southern of the Goto Islands, located just a few hours away from Nagasaki by boat. With pristine waters and sparkling sand, Takahama Beach is a favourite among locals, boasting some of the whitest sands and bluest waters of all of Japan's beaches.


Tatsunoshima Island, Nagasaki. Credit JNTO




For media enquiries, please contact:

James Cooley

PR Account Director for Japan National Tourism Organization in Australia


Phone: +61 401 316 701


Andrew Coombs (Mr)

Media & Marketing Senior Assistant Manager, Japan National Tourism Organization Sydney Office


Phone: +61 2 9279 3177


Or visit  


About JNTO: Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is a government body whose aim is to promote Japan internationally as both a leisure and business travel destination. Consisting of offices around the world, JNTO is the ultimate resource for travel-related information on Japan.


Japan: Where tradition meets the future. Video by VisitJapanAU on YouTube







James Cooley

Director | PR & Digital Marketing



M: +61(0)401316701 | E: | W: LI:


Tuesday, 17 January 2023

G Adventures Great Adventure Sale is back

Savings up to 25 per cent for 2023 adventures

A new year brings new adventures as G Adventures offers travellers the opportunity to bag a bargain in its Great Adventure Sale, as it serves up to 25 per cent off trips throughout 2023, which is set to be the year of full recovery for travel.

Monday, 16 January 2023

Grand Slam dining experience at Pan Pacific Melbourne

The Australian Open will swing into action at Melbourne Park from 16 – 29 January, and to celebrate Pan Pacific Melbourne is launching its new mouth-watering Grand Slam menu.

First up, it's all about the cocktails! Treat yourself to the newly created 'Grass Court' signature tipple – a refreshing mix of Hendricks Gin, Midori, pineapple juice, lemon juice and rosemary, available for you to enjoy pre- or post-match at Pan Pacific's award-winning restaurant Dock 37 Bar and Kitchen.

Monday, 9 January 2023

Airasia: 23% OFF your 2023 getaway

Pack up! It's time for a vacay 🧳

Qatar Airways launches January sale

Qatar Airways has launched a January sale to celebrate the New Year, offering Aussies savings on international flights to selected destinations worldwide. Travellers can take advantage of the deals to fill their 2023 calendar with special offers to the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, United States and more.

Thursday, 18 August 2022

Resplendent Ceylon: A Welcome Return to Stability?

There has been a welcome return to stability in Sri Lanka in the last couple of weeks, with the new President firmly focused on law and order, leading to a settled economic restructuring critical to restoring the wellbeing of the people. The primary protest has ended and the protesters have vacated the site, the fuel situation has improved significantly, and it is anticipated advisories will be relaxed shortly.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Legends of Lanyon with Tim the Yowie Man

An exclusive COVID-safe experience with Tim the Yowie Man, with tales of Lanyon's untold stories. Tim will lead a guided walk around the Homestead, into the surrounding paddocks, and down to a convict stone hut by the Murrumbidgee River.

After the tour, enjoy a two course meal with Tim the Yowie Man by the wood fire at the Barracks Café.

$190, includes tour, two course meal and a hot chocolate on your walk.


Two dates only: Saturday 14 August and Saturday 18 September from 330pm. Deets here:

[Yes - refunds given should the tour be cancelled due to that C word]

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

European Gems River Cruise

 Europe River Cruising is back and Travelmarvel is celebrating with big savings for all 2022 cruises.

Enjoy the best of Europe on a 14-night premium river cruise aboard one of Travelmarvel’s brand new ships.

Cruise through some of the most beautiful landscapes along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Discover Germany’s well-preserved medieval towns. Wind through the world-famous Rhine Gorge. Admire Vienna’s elegance. From the grand network of Amsterdam’s canals to the splendour of Budapest, the treasures of this cultural continent are yours and not to be missed. Further enhancing the cruise is the inclusion of wine, beer and soft drink with onboard lunches and dinner and water stations enables you to refill at any time.

Trip details:

Price: From $4,995 per person, twin share

Flights Included + Save $2,000 per couple. Valid until 31 July 2022 or until sold out

Call Travelmarvel on 1300 300 036, visit

Or speak to your local travel agent.

(Conditions apply, refer to website for details)

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Cyber Sale - G Adventures’ biggest sale of the year


Up to 30 per cent off for travel before May 31, 2022

As the world reopens to international travel, G Adventures is offering up to 30 per cent off on more than 400 itineraries departing before October 31, 2022 with the launch of its biggest 'Cyber Sale' of the year. With the launch of the new sale, the small group adventure operator, and community tourism pioneer, is rewarding hungry travellers who are eager to get back out there with the biggest 30 per cent discounts to help them hit the road as soon as possible now Australian borders are starting to open.

G Adventures' annual Cyber Sale launched on November 11, 2021 and runs through to December 03, 2021. It applies to more than 400 itineraries across the company's selection of 18-to-Thirtysomethings, Active, Classic, Family, Local Living and Marine travel styles.

Tours that are on sale and depart before May 31, 2022 earn travellers a generous discount of up to 30 per cent, with additional departures before October 31, 2022 offering savings of up to 20 per cent off the original price.

Sean Martin, managing director for G Adventures in Australia and New Zealand, says the sale provides an added incentive for travellers at a time when the conditions are just right for booking travel.

"Our most recent consumer research panel* tells us that 39 per cent of respondents plan to take an international holiday by mid-2022, but only 19 per cent have actually booked, so there's still a lot of pent-up demand that is yet to be realised.

"This year's Cyber Sale has some of the biggest discounts we've ever offered, giving people the added incentive they need to secure their international holiday. And with our flexible Book with Confidence policy still in place, which enables travellers to cancel and rebook their tour up to 14-days before departure at no added cost, plus Vaccinated-Only and Travel Ready trip options, travellers can feel confident about their holiday booking and that we have their health and safety top of mind.

"Last month we celebrated operating our 1,000th tour in the past year, and the local communities we support could not be more excited to welcome our travellers back. Everyone booking a G Adventures trip can feel safe in the knowledge that they are helping support local people in communities that have been devastated by the lack of tourism as a result of the pandemic," says Martin.

Departures and options are subject to availability, and travellers are encouraged to take advantage of the deals as soon as they go live to secure their desired trip option and departure date. Sample itineraries in this year's Cyber Sale** include:


  • Classic Vietnam: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City - Travel from vibrant Hanoi, the natural beauty of Halong Bay, the atmospheric imperial capital of Huế, and the charms of Hoi An, to the modern day life of Saigon, and experience the energy of Vietnam in 10 jam-packed days. Save 30 per cent - was $1,549pp now $1,084pp for a 10-day trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. 

  • Walk the Camino de Santiago - On this eight-day trip, complete the last 100 km of the pilgrimage route to Santiago and receive a "compostela" at the finish to prove the accomplishment. Refuel with tasty Spanish food and take the time to stop and smell the flowers — it's active but at a slower, more picturesque pace. Save 30 per cent - was $1,599pp now $1,119pp for an eight-day trip from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. 

  • Absolute Turkey - This comprehensive tour of Turkey combines history and beaches, man-made wonders and natural phenomena, as well as a vibrant and welcoming culture. Begin the trip roaming the palaces and mosques of Istanbul before journeying into the bizarre to explore otherworldly Cappadocia. Save 30 per cent - was $1,999pp now $1,399pp for a 15-day trip from Istanbul return. 

  • Backroads of Japan - Wander off the beaten path away from Japan's big cities and popular sites with this 11-day tour that travels to destinations that are often overlooked. Visit the treasured castle of Matsumoto and learn about samurai culture, relax in a traditional hot spring-fed onsen, explore the quaint city of Hagi by bicycle, and settle in at a community homestay to truly immerse in the local culture. Save 20 per cent - was $4,999pp now priced from $3,999pp for an 11-day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. 


For more information or to book, please visit


Thursday, 21 October 2021

New travel deals from Intrepid Travel

Save 30 per cent on Intrepid Travel’s four day
Hobart & Southern Tasmania Explorer departing 12 November 2021. 

Prices now from $1,569 per person twin-share - was $1,845 per person twin-share.

Sample the homegrown flavours on a coastal adventure of Tasmania. On this trip, travellers will experience the best of southern Tasmania’s busy capital and quiet seaside, browse through local markets and speak to local vendors, visit a fourth-generation family-run apple orchard and taste a locally produced cider. Highlights include discovering the rugged beauty of national parklands and flavours on a tour of Bruny Island and visiting the rocky formations of the Tasman Arch, the secluded Crescent Bay and the iconic Port Arthur. 

Inclusions: Accommodation, transport and some meals and activities

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