Beyond the Pickledome Tours

Pickleball Tours to destinations throughout Australasia and beyond.

Beyond the Pickledome Tours

What is Pickleball?

1. A fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis

2. Played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton sized court with a smaller tennis net

3. Played with a paddle and plastic ball with holes in it

4. Played as doubles, singles, or skinny singles

5. Can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels

It is a fun, social, friendly sport where the rules are simple, and the game is easy for inexperienced players to learn. For more experienced players it can be fast paced & competitive.

Welcome to Beyond the Pickledome!

What is the Pickledome? A Pickledome is to Pickleball what centre court is to tennis. It is the main court where the championship match is held.

Beyond the Pickledome was created due to the Pickleball community growing rapidly and to offer something new and exciting in the way of Pickleball travel tours to destinations far and wide both in Australia and abroad. Pickleballers are a bunch of enthusiastic, socially dynamic, passionate people who have all grown to love this crazy named sport. I believe by offering Pickleball tours with a fun and engaging recreational style of playing Pickleball will appeal to the many who join their local clubs across Australia for a regular hit.

Beyond the Pickledome specialises in customised travel Pickleball tours. Based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia our team of experienced travellers have created a Picklelball exclusive tour aimed at the passionate Pickleballer. Our tours provide a custom experience for all Pickleballers of all skill levels whether beginners through to advanced you will enjoy the many varied days from recreational play to skills and drills clinics offered by reputable coaches that will enhance your Pickleball journey. Our tours combine the love of Pickleball with travel, fun, sun, sightseeing, meeting new people, making new friendships and best of all no single supplements when sharing a twin room with a fellow Pickleballer. We will interact with the local Pickleball clubs at our destination with the chance to play amongst the locals and test our skills.

Japan Pickleball Tour

01 Dec to 16 Dec 2024
16 days / 15 nights
Maximum 20 guests
AUD 6995* pp

Japan Japan Cup Only

11 Dec to 16 Dec 2024
6 days / 5 nights
Minimum 2 guests
AUD 1995* pp

What to expect on one of our tours

Tour Overview:

Pickleball and travel, anyone?

If you love to play Pickleball, meet new people and enjoy travelling then come and join Beyond the Pickledome Tours for their latest Pickleball tour with a difference… JAPAN! This beautiful, most amazing cultural destination offers unique experiences unlike anywhere else in the world. It is where Eastern traditions meet Western modernity that will captivate and inspire you.

15 Reasons to visit Japan:

  1. Pristine Natural Scenery – a nature lovers paradise.
  2. Mount Fuji – a sacred site for Shintoism, the indigenous religion of Japan. It is an incredibly special, sacred place in Japanese culture.
  3. UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Japan is home to approximately 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – 19 of these are cultural & 4 are natural sites. From the historically important shrine “Itsukushima Shinto Shrine” on Miyajima Island to the unique natural treasure of Mt Fuji.
  4. Beautiful Temples, Shrines, Castles & Zen Gardens – Japan has an estimated 80000 temples and shrines of all sizes and some over 1000 years old. Inari Shrines are the most familiar to Japanese people and the “Fushimi Inari” in Kyoto is famous for its thousands of vermilion Torii gates – a remarkable sight to see with your own eyes.
  5. Unique Accommodation – a traditional Japanese Ryokan often features, tatami-floor rooms, futons, an onsen, a place where visitors can wear the famous Yukata – the traditional more casual kimono. A chance to try seasonal & local foods with a traditional Japanese dinner & breakfast.
  6. Onsens – a hot spring filled with mineral-rich spring water heated by geothermal forces that contains several minerals beneficial to the body. A wonderful way to relax after discovering the nature and culture of Japan.
  7. Food Lovers Paradise – sushi conveyor belts, sake bars, bento boxes, street food like Takoyaki in Osaka, Ramen, Tempura, Kaiseki in Kyoto, Konbini – convenient stores open 24/7. There is sure to be something for everybody to experience & enjoy.
  8. Shoppers Paradise – local brands dominate over international brands. Japan has some World class shopping centres as well as their traditional markets. In Tokyo, a visit to either Harajuku, Ginza or Akihabara is popular. In Osaka, Umeda and Shinsaibashi are popular.
  9. Traditional Arts & Crafts – Japanese culture has played a key role in producing several arts & crafts items such as their distinctive knives, pottery, kimono, yukata, tatami, kokeshi dolls, fireworks, Kendama, origami, rounded & folded fans …the list goes on. You can also enjoy hands-on experiences with pottery workshops and partake in tea-ceremonies.
  10. Strange and Weird Stuff – square watermelons, toilets that blow dry and play music, plastic food menus, Kawaii culture – cute & adorable pop culture covering colourful cafes, fashionable clothing, anime characters, animal mascots.
  11. Public Transportation – an incredible feat of engineering which is efficient and fast. The famous Shinkansen, known as the bullet train, takes you all over the country with reliable & frequent departures travelling at an average speed of 330km/hr!
  12. Friendly People – different to Western countries, the Japanese have the attitude to bother the people around them as little as possible! Everyone is respectful as feasibly possible, but incredibly helpful.
  13. Safety – low crime rates due to their cultural beliefs.
  14. Cleanliness – Japan is extremely clean! No rubbish lying around, no cigarette butts on the streets. The Japanese clean up after themselves and take their rubbish home.
  15. For Pickleball Lovers the World over - a new, up & coming, vibrant Pickleball scene with tournaments open to the world’s Pickleball enthusiasts. Both indoor & outdoor venues in Tokyo & Osaka with more opening in other cities. Playing with the locals is a dream of where the sport can take you.

Our tour will endeavour to inspire and delight you with a combination of touring and Pickleball throughout Japan this late Autumn season – Early December 2024.

Travelling with seasoned operators “Beyond the Pickledome Tours” you will be on an exclusive small group tour with other like-minded Picklers on an adventure of a lifetime. We have hand-picked the wonderful cultural sights and experiences to ensure you maximise your venture to Japan with our dedicated team in Japan providing local English-speaking guides, transport and quality accommodation options to suit our needs.

All picklers that play from an Intermediate level and above are most welcome to participate in the 4-day Pickleball tournament, the Japan Cup, in Tokyo at the end of the tour. We have the option to play with and against local Pickleballers from the various clubs in both Tokyo and Osaka whilst travelling around Japan. Tokyo Picklers have organised a 3-hour session with us which will sure to be a cultural insight to Pickleball in Japan. We will enjoy a couple of days Pickleball from instructional clinics to social rec play and games with our Australian based Japanese coach “Nay Pinkerton” from the Beenleigh Pickleball scene in Queensland. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Nay or been on our previous tours, then you will all agree Nay is the perfect person to help with your Pickleball game no matter your level. A PCI Internationally accredited Pickleball coach, Nay will ensure our Pickleball days will offer some coaching, social play, preparedness for the Tokyo tournament, but most of all it will be played in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

The tour highlights are many and varied so please check the itinerary below for a wonderful trip to Japan encompassing Pickleball never experienced before in a culturally diverse country as Japan.

For Non-Pickleballers/partners you may join the tour in its entirety as the days dedicated to Pickleball you will have the option to explore the region/city at your own leisure. The tournament in Tokyo is 4 days at the end of the tour so you have the option to return home early or explore Tokyo and its surrounds at your own pace & leisure.

Tour Includes:

  • 3.5 to 4* Quality Accommodation in Hotels/Ryokan – twin share
  • No Single Supplements if sharing. If you prefer your own room this will be an additional cost. Price on application.
  • A traditional Onsen stay at Mt Fuji/Hakone
  • Transport – combination of the Shinkansen (bullet train) & tour bus
  • Baggage Transport from city to city
  • Welcome Dinner in Tokyo & a traditional Japanese dinner at Mt Fuji/Hakone
  • Meals included – breakfast daily (Western & Japanese options buffet style) & 2 Speciality Dinners
  • English speaking, Japanese local tour guides
  • Entrance Fees for Temples, Castles, Shrines, Museums & Lake Ashinoko cruise as listed in itinerary
  • Pickleball with our Internationally accredited (PCI) QLD coach/3.5+ level player – Nay Pinkerton. Group coaching, skills & drills, social rec play and pickleball games designed for your level of Pickleball
  • Pickleball “Japan Cup” Tokyo Tournament – subject to events entered (two events included), any more at own cost. (Further details provided once Pickleball Japan Federation Tokyo finalise their plans. Maybe subject to price variation once tournament fees known). Note: tournament limited to 500 places!
  • Exclusive Tour Quality Sports Polo Shirt

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Airport arrival/departure taxes, levies, excess baggage charges
  • Travel Insurance – highly recommended
  • Meals not specified – lunches, dinners, snacks & alcohol
  • Pickleball gear - own Paddle Required
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages, drinks, souvenirs, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, email or phone charges, other activities not mentioned in itinerary.

Note: current tour price subject to minimum numbers, tournament costs (awaiting confirmation from Japan Pickleball Federation) & fx rates staying stable. Any fluctuations will result in revised tour costs.

Flight Information to/from your home location:

  • Flight arrivals/departures to/from either Narita or Haneda Airport in Tokyo
     
  • Note 1: Haneda is the closest airport to Tokyo Central known as Tokyo International Airport & the most convenient airport for Tokyo.
    • The distance from Haneda Airport to the heart of Tokyo is 15km.
    • By train – express trains from each terminal run to Shinagawa Station (11 mins) on the JR Yamanote Line
    • From Shinagawa Station to Tokyo Station is 13 mins
       
  • Note 2: Narita airport is roughly 50 to 60 kms from the city centre.
    • By train – the JR operated Narita Express is the quickest way into Tokyo connecting directly with Tokyo station, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebujuro.
    • Narita Express Train – 50 minutes to Tokyo Station
       
  • Note 3: Taxis from Narita Airport are pricey. Be sure to request a fixed fare for a stress-free travel option.
     
  • Note 4: Once the tour is fully booked we will advise the best flight details for those participating and wanting to meet a pre-arranged airport transfer to accommodation on Day One. Also free to make your own way to accommodation based on your preferred arrival day and time.

Itinerary:

Day 1 Dec 01 (Sun)

Destination: Tokyo

  • Arrival in Tokyo
     
  • Welcome to the dynamic city of Tokyo, where tradition seamlessly blends with innovation. As you disembark at Narita or Haneda Airport, you'll feel the buzz of excitement in the air. Tokyo's lively spirit and rich cultural heritage are ready to enchant you. After your journey, we'll transfer you from Narita or Haneda Airport to your hotel in Tokyo, giving you a chance to relax and gear up for the unforgettable experiences awaiting you. Note:(Subject to flight arrival day/times).

Day 2 Dec 02 (Mon)

Destination: Tokyo

  • Morning:
    • Imperial Palace: Your adventure starts with a visit to the Imperial Palace, a revered symbol of Japan's imperial legacy. Wander through the meticulously manicured gardens, where every tree and stone is thoughtfully placed. Take a leisurely stroll around the serene moat, and as you do, envision the tales of emperors and historic events that have shaped this iconic place. The palace grounds offer a peaceful oasis in the heart of bustling Tokyo, inviting you to connect with Japan's rich history and culture.
       
    • Asakusa: located in the heart of Tokyo, is a historic district famous for Senso-ji, Tokyo's oldest and most popular Buddhist temple. As you approach the temple, you'll pass through Nakamise-dori, a bustling shopping street lined with traditional shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and crafts.

One of the unique experiences in Asakusa is taking a jinrikisha (rickshaw) ride around the area. Pulled by friendly and energetic runners, these traditional Japanese carts offer a fun and nostalgic way to explore the neighbourhood's sights, including Senso-ji and nearby Asakusa Shrine.
 

  • Afternoon:
    • Shibuya: In the afternoon, make your way to Shibuya, one of Tokyo's most vibrant and iconic districts. As you step out onto its bustling streets, you'll feel the energetic pulse of the city. Your eyes will be drawn to the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, a spectacle that's become emblematic of Tokyo's urban life.

      Stand at the intersection and marvel at the mesmerizing choreography of thousands of pedestrians crossing in all directions when the lights change. It's a synchronized dance of movement and sound, a captivating display of Tokyo's dynamism and diversity. Take a moment to soak in the atmosphere, snap some photos, and maybe even join the throng to experience the rush of crossing this legendary intersection yourself.
       
    • Harajuku: Harajuku, a vibrant neighbourhood that's a haven for creativity and fashion-forward trends. As you wander through its lively streets, you'll feel the youthful energy and see the eclectic styles that define Harajuku's unique charm.

      Make your way to Takeshita Street, Harajuku's most famous and bustling thoroughfare. Here, you'll be immersed in a world of vibrant colours, quirky shops, and an array of kawaii (cute) fashion that's both playful and innovative. From trendy clothing boutiques to quirky accessories and themed cafes, Takeshita Street offers a shopping experience like no other.
       
  • Welcome Dinner: - a welcome to Japan dinner to get to know your fellow Pickleballers and travellers for the 16-day tour.

Day 3 Dec 03 (Tue)

Destination: Tokyo

  • Morning:
    • Explore Tokyo at your leisure
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Pickleball with locals: Enjoy a game of Pickleball with Tokyo locals!

Day 4 Dec 04 (Wed)

Destination: Tokyo to Kyoto

  • Morning:
    • Shinkansen Express from Tokyo to Kyoto: (Approximately 2 hours) Experience Japan's high-speed rail with a ride on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. Feel the thrill as the bullet train whisks you from Tokyo's modernity to Kyoto's traditional charm in just a few hours. Enjoy the scenic views and comfortable journey, arriving refreshed and ready to explore Kyoto's historic sites.
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Fushimi Inari Shrine: Your first stop in Kyoto is the renowned Fushimi Inari Shrine, celebrated for its thousands of vibrant torii gates that create an enchanting pathway winding up the forested hillside. Each gate, donated by individuals and businesses, stands as a testament to devotion and faith.

      As you walk beneath the vivid orange arches, you'll feel a sense of serenity enveloping you. The gentle rustle of leaves and the soft sunlight filtering through the trees add to the shrine's peaceful atmosphere. Many visitors find it a deeply spiritual experience, connecting with the shrine's long history and the reverence it commands.

Day 5 Dec 05 (Thu)

Destination: Kyoto

  • Morning:
    • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion): Your morning starts at Kinkakuji Temple, often referred to as the Golden Pavilion, a true gem of Kyoto's cultural heritage. This architectural marvel is adorned with shimmering gold leaf that glows brilliantly under the sunlight, making it a breathtaking sight to behold.

      Surrounded by tranquil gardens meticulously landscaped with ponds, moss-covered stones, and seasonal flowers, Kinkakuji offers a serene oasis in the heart of the city. The reflection of the Golden Pavilion on the still waters of the pond adds to the picturesque beauty, creating a scene that seems almost magical.
       
    • Arashiyama / Sagano - Bamboo Grove: Next, you'll explore the enchanting Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama, a highlight of Kyoto's natural beauty. As you enter this serene sanctuary, you'll be greeted by towering bamboo stalks that create a canopy overhead, filtering the sunlight and casting a mesmerizing play of light and shadow on the forest floor.

      After wandering through the Bamboo Grove, make your way to Togetsukyo Bridge, a scenic spot that offers breathtaking views of the Hozu River and surrounding mountains. This iconic bridge, known as the "Moon Crossing Bridge," has been a beloved landmark for centuries and is a perfect place to pause and soak in the beauty of Arashiyama.

      While exploring Arashiyama, you'll also find a variety of dining options offering delicious local cuisine. Whether you're in the mood for traditional Japanese dishes like sushi or tempura, or craving something sweet like matcha-flavoured treats, you'll find plenty of choices to satisfy your appetite.
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Nijo-jo Castle: Next, visit Nijo-jo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a fascinating window into Japan's feudal past. As you enter the castle, you'll encounter the famous "nightingale floors," designed to chirp softly with each step to alert occupants to intruders. This unique feature showcases the ingenuity of the castle's design and security measures from centuries ago.

      Inside the castle's grand halls, marvel at the intricate artwork and detailed craftsmanship of the fusuma (sliding doors) and ceiling paintings, which depict scenes from nature, folklore, and history. Each room tells a story, reflecting the wealth and power of the shoguns who once resided here.

      After exploring the castle's interiors, take a moment to wander through the peaceful gardens that surround Nijo-jo. Designed in traditional Japanese style, the gardens feature tranquil ponds, winding paths, and lush greenery that change with the seasons, offering a serene escape from the bustling city.

Day 6 Dec 06 (Fri)

Destination: Kyoto

  • Morning:
    • Kiyomizu-dera Temple: Your morning begins with a visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of Kyoto's most iconic and beloved landmarks. As you approach the temple grounds, you'll be greeted by the sight of its majestic wooden stage, which juts out over the hillside and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city below.

      Built without the use of nails, the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera is an architectural marvel, showcasing the incredible craftsmanship of ancient Japanese builders. Inside the temple, you'll find statues of Buddhist deities, beautifully painted screens, and ornate altars adorned with offerings from worshippers.

      After exploring the temple's interiors, take a moment to wander through the lush grounds surrounding Kiyomizu-dera. The temple complex includes several smaller shrines, pagodas, and a tranquil waterfall, creating a serene oasis in the heart of the city.

      As you stand on the wooden stage overlooking Kyoto, soak in the panoramic views of the city's rooftops, temples, and mountains in the distance.
       
    • Embark on a delightful Walking tour around the enchanting neighbourhood of Two-Year Slope (Ninenzaka) and Three-Year Slope (Sannenzaka), leading you to the iconic Yasaka Pagoda and the revered Yasaka Shrine.

      1. Two-Year Slope (Ninenzaka):

      Begin your journey at the historic Two-Year Slope, where preserved traditional architecture and charming shops transport you back in time. Meander through cobblestone streets lined with quaint teahouses and souvenir shops, offering a glimpse into Kyoto's rich cultural heritage.

      2. Three-Year Slope (Sannenzaka):

      Continue your exploration to Three-Year Slope, equally steeped in history. Admire the well-preserved machiya (traditional townhouses) and discover hidden gems such as traditional sweet shops and artisanal crafts along this picturesque slope.

      3. Yasaka Pagoda:

      As you ascend, the striking Yasaka Pagoda comes into view. A symbol of Kyoto, this five-story pagoda stands tall against the city's skyline. Capture breathtaking views and immerse yourself in the serenity of the surrounding grounds.

      4. Yasaka Shrine:

      Conclude your walking tour at Yasaka Shrine, a place of spiritual significance and cultural richness. Explore the vibrant precincts, adorned with lanterns that illuminate the shrine in the evening. Take a moment to appreciate the serene atmosphere and perhaps participate in a traditional ritual.
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Nishiki Market: Dive into Kyoto's vibrant culinary scene with a visit to Nishiki Market, often lovingly dubbed "Kyoto's kitchen." As you wander through this bustling covered market, you'll be surrounded by a dazzling array of stalls offering everything from fresh seafood and seasonal produce to traditional Japanese snacks and sweets.

      ​​​​​​​Start your gastronomic adventure by sampling some of the market's street food. Try skewers of grilled yakitori, savory okonomiyaki pancakes, or crispy tempura made with the freshest ingredients. Don't miss the chance to taste Kyoto's famous yuba (tofu skin) dishes, a local specialty renowned for its delicate texture and subtle flavour.

Day 7 Dec 07 (Sat)

Destination: Kyoto to Osaka

  • Morning:
    • Drive to Osaka (60 Km - 1.5-hour drive): Your day starts with a scenic drive to Osaka, a vibrant city known for its modern architecture, bustling streets, and diverse culinary scene. As you journey from Kyoto to Osaka, you'll pass through picturesque countryside and urban landscapes, offering glimpses of both Japan's rich history and contemporary life.
       
    • Osaka Castle: Upon arriving in Osaka, one of the must-visit attractions is Osaka Castle. Dominating the city's skyline, Osaka Castle is a majestic symbol of the city's rich history and feudal past.

      As you approach the castle grounds, you'll first encounter the expansive Nishinomaru Garden, which offers a peaceful oasis with its lush greenery, cherry blossoms in spring, and views of the castle's imposing walls and moat.

      Inside the castle complex, you'll find the main keep, a towering structure that houses a museum detailing the history of the castle and its significance in Japanese history. Exhibits include samurai armour, weapons, and artifacts from the castle's storied past.

      Climbing to the top of the main keep provides panoramic views of Osaka's skyline, allowing you to appreciate the blend of ancient and modern architecture that defines the city. From the castle's vantage point, you can see the contrast between the historic castle grounds and the bustling cityscape beyond.

       
  • ​​​​​​​Afternoon:
    • Dotonbori: Next, explore the vibrant district of Dotonbori, Osaka's bustling entertainment and food hub. As you stroll along the lively streets, you'll be greeted by a dazzling display of neon lights, towering billboards, and bustling crowds, creating an electric atmosphere that's quintessentially Osaka.

      Dotonbori is renowned for its eclectic mix of restaurants, street food stalls, and shops, making it a food lover's paradise. From local favourites like takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) to international cuisines, there's something to satisfy every palate.

      One of the most iconic sights in Dotonbori is the Glico Running Man sign, a symbol of the district and a popular photo spot. The sign overlooks the Dotonbori Canal, which is lined with historic buildings, vibrant murals, and lively entertainment venues.

      ​​​​​​​At night, Dotonbori truly comes alive with its neon lights illuminating the streets and reflecting off the canal waters. The district is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with bars, clubs, and theatres offering entertainment until the early hours.

Day 8 Dec 08 (Sun)

Destination: Osaka / Hiroshima / Osaka

  • Morning:
    • Shinkansen Express from Osaka to Hiroshima: (Approximately 1.75 hours)
       
    • Miyajima: Next, take a scenic ferry ride to Miyajima Island, a picturesque destination known for its iconic floating torii gate and tranquil atmosphere. As you approach the island by ferry, you'll be greeted by the sight of the famous Itsukushima Shrine, with its vermilion torii gate standing majestically in the water, seemingly floating on the surface of the sea.

      Upon arriving on Miyajima Island, you'll immediately feel the serene and peaceful ambiance that permeates the island. The island is dotted with lush forests, scenic walking paths, and historic temples and shrines, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

      One of the highlights of Miyajima is the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Japan's most iconic landmarks. The shrine's floating torii gate is particularly stunning during high tide, when the gate appears to float on the water, creating a magical and ethereal sight.
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a poignant and powerful reminder of the city's tragic history and a symbol of hope for peace. As you enter the park, you'll first encounter the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which offers a comprehensive look at the events of August 6, 1945, when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

      The museum's exhibits include personal belongings, photographs, and firsthand accounts from survivors, providing a sobering and emotional insight into the impact of nuclear warfare. While the museum can be a challenging experience, it's an important reminder of the devastating consequences of war and the urgent need for peace.

      Adjacent to the museum is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Dome. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the skeletal remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, which was one of the few buildings to survive the atomic bombing.

      The Atomic Bomb Dome stands as a stark and haunting symbol of the destructive power of nuclear weapons and a testament to the resilience of the people of Hiroshima. Its presence in the park serves as a constant reminder of the city's past and its commitment to promoting peace and nuclear disarmament.
       
    • Shinkansen Express from Osaka to Hiroshima: (Approximately 1.75 hours)

Day 9 Dec 09 (Mon)

Destination: Osaka

  • Morning:
    • Pickleball with locals: Enjoy a game of Pickleball with Osaka locals!
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Explore Osaka at your leisure

Day 10 Dec 10 (Tue)

Destination: Osaka to Hakone

  • Morning:
    • Shinkansen Express from Osaka to Odawara: (Approximately 2.5 – 3.5 hours)
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Lake Ashinoko: The day continues with a serene cruise on Lake Ashinoko. Enjoy the tranquil waters and, on clear days, catch glimpses of the majestic Mount Fuji in the distance.
       
    • Owakudani Valley: Journey into the heart of volcanic activity at Owakudani Valley. Here, you can witness steaming sulphur vents and even taste "Kuro-Tamago" or black eggs, believed to add seven years to your life for each one consumed.

Day 11 Dec 11 (Wed)

Destination: Hakone to Tokyo

  • Morning:
    • Hakone Open Air Museum: Art enthusiasts will be enthralled by the Hakone Open Air Museum, a unique museum set amidst natural beauty. Admire sculptures and art installations while surrounded by lush greenery.
       
  • Afternoon:
    • Drive to Tokyo
    • Upon arrival in Tokyo, free at leisure for shopping or exploring Tokyo.

Day 12 - 15 Dec 12 (Thu) 15 (Sun)

Destination: Tokyo

  • Full day:
    • Pickleball “Japan Cup 2024” Tournament:
      Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo

Day 16 Dec 16 (Mon)

Destination: Tokyo

  • Transfer for Narita or Haneda Airport. (Subject to flight departure day/times)
  • Departure from Narita or Haneda Airport

Accommodation in Japan

We choose to stay at 3.5 to 4* quality hotels within proximity to city centres, transport & facilities. All accommodation is on a twin/double share basis. With so many options for dinner & within walking distance of the accommodation you will be spoilt for choice to pursue your favourite Japanese, Western or International cuisines.

A traditional stay at a Ryokan in Hakone/Mt Fuji offers an authentic Japanese hospitality experience. A typical set dinner and breakfast, tatami matting in the guestrooms and an onsen onsite (a hot spring open-air bath). This will offer a wonderful time to relax and unwind before the upcoming Pickleball tournament.

If you are travelling solo we will offer to connect you with other solo travellers of the same gender and you only pay the twin share price.

For those requiring single accommodation this can be requested at time of booking and subject to availability. This will incur additional costs with a subsequent single supplement applicable.

Tokyo Optional Extras:

Super Mario Karts Tour – unique to Japan the Super Mario Kart Tours takes a fantasy gaming experience and turns it into a real-life adventure! It is the thrill of go-karting on the streets of Tokyo. This fun driving experience allows visitors to see the highlights of Tokyo on a self-drive group tour with a guide. Choose your super-hero costume from the likes of the iconic Super Mario Brothers, Pokemon or Donkey Kong and whizz along the streets in your multi-coloured Mario go-kart at up to 60km/hour. You will drive along regular roads through the city, past famous landmarks such as the Imperial Palace Gardens and the neon lit buildings at Shibuya Crossing, where they shot the film “2 Fast 2 Furious”. The tour continues through the fashion mecca of Harajuku & the tree lined Omotesando Avenue.

Tips before considering the Super Mario Karts Tour

  • You will need an International Driving Permit (booklet form with A-E classification) prior to arrival in Japan & your driver’s licence (original & physical copy of both must be presented or you may be denied the chance to participate)
  • Taking photos is not permitted whilst on the move
  • Carts are for one person only
  • Height restriction – 150-180cm
  • Weight restriction – under 100kg (drivers over 100kg are permitted but the kart will be slower)
  • Typical tour lasts 2-3 hours subject to route chosen

Let's Go!

If you're interested in joining this Pickleball Tour to Japan then let’s get ready to Pickle by contacting Karen Miles of Beyond the Pickledome Tours via our contact us page on the website, mobile phone 0468 702 954 or email karen@beyondthelenstours.com

Pickleball Co-ordinator & Tour Photographer Nay Pinkerton Beenleigh, QLD

Pickleball Co-ordinator & Tour Photographer  Nay Pinkerton  Beenleigh, QLD

Nay grew up as a child in Tokyo, Japan and excelled as a junior representative playing Badminton. As a 28-year-old she came to Australia to pursue a professional career in Surf-Lifesaving but quickly realised she needed something more substantial to pay her way. She undertook studies to learn English and become a nurse of which she has done for the past ten years. Married with four kids – 2 boys & 2 girls she has a ready made Pickleball team in the making.

Thanks to her new-found friends on the Coast, they introduced Nay to Pickleball, and she quickly found her passion for this new game excelling as a Level 3.5+ player competing in the QLD Pickleball Tournament (QPT) at the Open level. Nay and her doubles partner Travis won the golden ticket which allows them to go straight through into the tournament finals in the mixed doubles.

Nay’s passion for helping others learn this great game of Pickleball, with her infectious warm and engaging style of coaching will help any Pickler improve their game.

Nay’s other great passion in life is her photography. As she regularly plays on the QPT Pickleball circuit she has grown to know all the top players who allow her great access in their matches. The players relaxed in her company, leads to capturing amazing action shots and those full of emotion. With an understanding of the game, she knows when & how to get that money shot. The shot that captures the emotion of the moment.

Nay was the National Australian Pickleball Championships Photographer at the latest championships held in Brisbane in October 2022.

Nay describes her photography as “capturing moments of happiness.”