Architecture Tour of Japan with Malcolm Carver

Oct 24
Including accommodation, guided sightseeing,
tours, entries

Our tour includes the top six destinations in Japan, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Mount Fuji and Hiroshima. Japan in autumn is more than just spectacular colour, it’s full of intrigue, with fascinating variety and a land of contrasts. We will visit not only significant modern and contemporary work in Japan but also traditional architecture, all with outstanding landscape design.

Timeless and traditional design has been the leading inspiration for the modernists worldwide through the influence of Japanese design principles. So following the success of several Travelrite tours of the USA we will visit a few of Frank Lloyd Wright’s projects outside of America. Japanese architects have now won the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture seven times since 1979 with four being in this past decade. We will not only focus on eminent Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, but also view exciting projects of ten other significant, internationally acclaimed architects. The best, most popular sites from our guest feedback of our 2014 tour are included plus 25 more memorable contemporary buildings and priceless temples.

We are delighted that Yasuko, our wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide from 2014, who also arranged many memorable authentic Japanese lunches, will also be joining our team to make this the ‘tour of a lifetime’.

Visiting Tange, Ando, Ito, Sanaa, Isozaki, Kuma, Kidosaki, Piano, Pei and Vinoly

Tour highlights

  • Welcome drinks
  • Explore some of Hirsohima’s fascinating contemporary buildings
  • Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum
  • Travel to Naoshima Island, known for its art museums, architecture and sculpture
  • Tazaemon Yamamura House
  • Journey to modern Buddhist Water Temple, Awaji Island
  • Viewing over Kyoto from Kiyomizu-Dera Temple
  • Take picture at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, one of most popular photographed area
  • Visit Ise Grand Shrine, the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan
  • Meiji-Mura, an open-air architectural museum near Nagoya
  • Sightseeing in Asakusa district, well-known as a region of Old Tokyo
  • Explore Tokyo's architectural wonder
  • Farewell dinnner
Architecture Tour of Japan with Malcolm Carver Map


  • Travel in first-class chartered coaches
  • Bullet train travel from Osaka to Hiroshima
  • Accommodation in first-class and moderate first-class, centrally located hotels with private facilities throughout the tour. Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Buffet breakfasts daily
  • Welcome drinks in Osaka
  • Entry to buildings, museums and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
  • A farewell dinner on Monday 9 November 2020
  • Tour leadership by well-known architect Malcolm Carver
  • Fully escorted by a professional tour manager and an accredited Japanese tour guide
Malcolm Carver

Malcolm Carver

Malcolm Carver (AIA AWI) is an Architect and former Principal of Scott Carver Architects, a highly successful Sydney-based practice which has won numerous awards for their work including the RAIA National Environment Award. Over the past 40 years Malcolm has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Americas having led over 14 Travelrite Tours. His passion for architecture is only matched by a keen interest in sketching and painting and he has many solo exhibitions of his work. His sketches appear online at


  • The best part of the tour, as always, was the camaraderie of the group
  • Tour was excellent for its architecture content, but also for the opportunity to experience a different culture
  • Malcolm was a wealth of information and a lot of fun
  • Third tour, very happy, would go again
  • Group was very good, had some fabulous food
  • Malcolm was excellent, contributed to the group’s congeniality
  • Saw and experienced far more than the itinerary could convey


  • Many thanks to you both (and Travelrite) for a fantastic US tour! A very memorable experience indeed…and nice to meet all the tour group as well!
  • What a delight and privilege it was for me to spend that time soaking in amazing architecture with such a lovely, interesting group of people. I enjoyed meeting all of you.
  • As one of the “non architects” I was impressed how you made every building interesting for me and simultaneously brought humour and bonhomie to each and every day. I learnt a lot from you, the guides and from many of our fellow travelers also along the way and for this I am grateful. A terrific, eclectic group of people and a well-oiled touring machine; a credit to you and your colleagues.

DAY 1 Saturday 24 October 2020 Osaka, Japan
Arrival day in Osaka. Check in is available after 3:00pm (Flight and pre tour accommodation options are available). This evening join Malcolm for welcome drinks.

DAY 2 Sunday 25 October 2020 Hiroshima
The tour begins this morning with a transfer to Osaka Train Station for a high speed Shinkasen train to Hiroshima. On arrival we will explore some of Hirsohima’s fascinating contemporary buildings including the MOCA Gallery and the Museum of Art (Kisho Kurokawa). We hope to visit the Itsukushima Shrine at sunset which is being renovated. If inaccessible we will visit the small chapel within the Crowne Plaza Hotel

DAY 3 Monday 26 October 2020 Kurashiki
This morning we visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Afterwards we travel to Kurashiki with a stop at the Kohtei Pavilion then a traditional house in Kamitomii (Shin Ohori) (subject to owner’s permission). Wander the historic town of Kurashiki in the evening.

DAY 4 Tuesday 27 October 2020 Kurashiki
This morning we travel to Naoshima Island, known for its art museums, architecture and sculpture. We will see the Ferry Terminal before visiting the spectacular, Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House and Ando Museum all by Tadao Ando. Chichu Art Museum has paintings from Monet’s “Water Lilies” series. Benesse House Museum shows contemporary sculpture.

DAY 5 Wednesday 28 May October Kobe
This morning we travel to Tazaemon Yamamura House (Yodoka Guest House), the first of two Frank Lloyd Wright buildings we will see in Japan. After lunch we arrive in Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan’s ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan’s most attractive cities. The afternoon will be free to explore the city.

DAY 6 Thursday 29 October 2020 Osaka
This morning we visit another of Tadao Ando’s spectacular works – the Water Temple, Awaji Island. This is a modern Buddhist temple built of concrete and located underground, with a circular pool of water planted above the prayer space. Tadao Ando was also the architect for the nearby Yumebutai Hotel & Observation Terrace research centre which we will also visit. We then continue on to Koshino Hiroko House. Ando designed the Koshino House for fashion designer Hiroko Koshino and her family during 1979 - 1984.

DAY 7 Friday 30 October 2020 Kyoto
This morning we drive past Ando’s Azuma House. This is a private residence so will not be able to enter. We continue on to Oyamazaki Museum (Ando). We then visit Katsura Imperial Villa (completed in 1645), one of the finest examples of Japanese architecture and garden design.

DAY 8 Saturday 31 October 2020 Kyoto
Kyoto is old Japan with atmospheric temples, sublime gardens, traditional teahouses and is the heart of Japan’s geisha world. It is most well known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years. Today we explore some of the outstanding modern works in Kyoto. We begin with a visit to the Garden of Fine Arts (Ando), followed by Kyoto Concert Hall (Isozaki) (external view only unless attending a concert) and Nishjin Lifestyle Museum. We the visit Shisendo Temple. Former samurai, Chinese classics scholar, and landscape architect Ishikawa Jozan built the shrine in 1641 as a retirement villa. We conclude the day with a visit to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, with a spectacular view over Kyoto.

DAY 9 Sunday 1 November 2020 Kyoto
This morning those that wish to do so can attend a service at the Church of Light (Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church) (Ando) (attendance at the service is subject to room being available for a group on the day) followed by a visit to the spectacular Arashiyama Bamboo Grove one of most photographed sights in Kyoto. We continue on to Ryoan-ji Temple. Originally an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450 and belongs to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. It is popular for its rock garden. After lunch we visit the famous Kinkaku Ji (Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

DAY 10 Monday 2 November 2020 Kyoto
A free day in Kyoto to visit some of its historic sites. You may wish to visit Gion, Kyoto’s geisha district made famous from the novel and film Memoirs of a Geisha. It is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geisha and maiko (geisha apprentices) entertain.

DAY 11 Tuesday 3 November 2020 Nagoya
We depart Kyoto and travel to Nagoya today. Along the way we will visit Miho Museum (I M Pei) and Ise Grand Shrine, Naiku. Ise Grand Shrine is Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine and dates back to the 3rd Century. It is considered to be the spiritual home of the Japanese and its national religion Shinto.

DAY 12 Wednesday 4 November 2020 Chino
Today we visit GC Prostho Museum Research Centre (Kuma) and the Imperial Hotel Foyer (photo below) at Museum Meiji-Mura (Wright). Meiji- Mura is an open-air architectural museum near Nagoya. The museum preserves historic buildings from Japan’s Meiji (1867–1912), Taisho (1912– 1926), and early Shōwa (1926–1989) periods. Over 60 historical buildings have been moved and reconstructed. The most noteworthy being the main entrance and lobby of Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark Imperial Hotel, which originally stood in Tokyo from 1923 to 1967, when the main structure was demolished to make way for a new, larger version of the hotel.

DAY 13 Thursday 5 November 2020 Tokyo
This morning we visit the House in Yatsugatake (Kidosaki Architects – photo above) a minimalist home cantilevered on the top of a hill overlooking the serene mountainscape and Hakone house (Kidosaki Architects) (subject to the owner’s permission). We arrive in Tokyo late afternoon.

DAY 14 Friday 6 November 2020 Tokyo
There aren’t many places on Earth that blend ancient tradition and the ultra-modern quite like Tokyo. Centuries-old gardens and cobblestone laneways live in perfect harmony with soaring skyscrapers and dazzling neon lights. We will visit the Asakusa district, well-known as a region of Old Tokyo, the Asakusa Kannon Temple, a Buddhist temple also known as Sensoji, built in 645 A.D with the finest Japanese architecture. In the afternoon we will visit Tokyo International Forum (Rafael Vinoly), Mikimoto Ginza 2 Building (Ito) and a special visit to Hirotaka Kidosaki’s own house (Kidosaki Architects).

DAY 15 Saturday 7 November 2020 Tokyo
A full day of exploring Tokyo’s architectural wonders including the Architecture Museum Edo W, Sumida Hokusai Museum and the National Art Museum.

DAY 16 Sunday 8 November 2020 Tokyo
Today we visit Nezu Museum, 2121 Design Sight (Ando), Omotesando Hills (Ando) and Tod’s Omotesando Building (Ito)

DAY 17 Monday 9 November 2020 Tokyo
Our final day in Tokyo We will see Sky House (Kitutake), St Mary’s Cathedral (Tange) and the Olympic Stadium (Kuma). The afternoon will be free for individual sightseeing or last minute shopping. We will have a farewell dinner this evening to celebrate a wonderful tour.

DAY 18 Tuesday 10 November 2020 Departure
We transfer to the airport for our flights back to Australia and New Zealand.

Twin Fare Single Fare
$9,890 $11,990


  • Travel in first-class chartered coaches
  • Bullet train travel from Osaka to Hiroshima
  • Accommodation in first-class and moderate first-class, centrally located hotels with private facilities throughout the tour. Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Buffet breakfasts daily
  • Welcome drinks in Osaka
  • Entry to buildings, museums and attractions as detailed in the itinerary
  • A farewell dinner on Monday 9 November 2020
  • Tour leadership by well-known architect Malcolm Carver
  • Fully escorted by a professional tour manager and an accredited Japanese tour guide


  • International airfares, air taxes, fuel and government surcharges
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and drinks unless specified in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and general expenses unless specified in the itinerary
  • Additional travel arrangements not in the detailed itinerary will be quoted for separately


Touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this tour without the need of assistance from others.

Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour organiser. All passengers must complete and sign a Travelrite International booking form.

A deposit of $1000 per passenger should be sent with a completed Travelrite International booking. As soon as the booking is confirmed, (usually within 24 hours), a confirmation advice will be posted to the client. A further deposit of $1500 is due by 20 April 2020. Final payments are due to be paid to Travelrite International 60 days prior to the commencement of the tour. A 1.5% administration fee will be added to payments by credit card.

CANCELLATION CHARGES:Number of days before departure.

Days prior to Departure Cancellation Fee
Over 180 days $1000 per person
180 - 91 days $2500 per person
90 days or less 100% of full fare

The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced.

All passengers will require a valid passport. If you hold another passport please check with Travelrite International.

Adequate travel insurance is highly recommended to cover tour members for the consequences of unforeseen events during the tour and for cancellation fees which could result from events such as illness, accident, death etc.

All passengers qualify for 1 piece free baggage allowance.

The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 90 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost. Travelrite International reserves the right to change advertised entrances if necessary for the smooth operation of the tour.

Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.

Travelrite International Pty Ltd. (ATAS No. A10538) is the tour organiser. Travelrite acts only as an agent in the making of arrangements for hotels, transportation, restaurants or any other service and does not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence or a default of any hotel, carrier restaurant company or person rendering any services included in the tour, or by act of God. Further no responsibilities are accepted for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labour disputes, machinery break-down, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism or other causes beyond their control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, re-routing or acts of any government authority. The passage contract between the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the purchasers of this tour and/ or the passengers. The right is reserved to withdraw any tour and/or make such changes in the tour as may be found desirable or necessary for the convenience of the parties and the proper carrying out of the tour. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia and any legal action must be undertaken in the State of Victoria.

You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.

Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $1000 to:

Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103

Further information or a booking form can be obtained by contacting Travelrite International on the following numbers:

Toll Free: 1800 630 343
Phone: (03) 8803 6868
Fax: (03) 9836 8068

Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a well-established travel company which has been operating in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for more than 30 years. It is has two fully accredited (ATAS 10538) IATA offices in Balwyn and Heathmont. As such, it directly represents the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international tour and transport operators. It has been operating successful tours for over 30 years. Travelrite International is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.



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