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November 9  - 21, 2015  (13 days and 11 nights)

** Guranteed Departure **

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 04/30/2015)

Narita, Okinawa (4 Nights), Naha City, Southern Okinawa, Okinawa World, Gyokusen-do, Kingdom Village, Mabuni-no-Oka, Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, Himeyuri Peace Museum, Himeyuri no-to, Central Okinawa Shuri-jo, Tamaudun Mauseoleum, Northern Okinawa, Ocean Expo Park, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okashi Goten, Kyushu (7 nights), Fukuoka/Hakata, Karatsu, Niji-no-Matsubara, Imari Okawachiyama, Arita, Takeo, Sasebo, Kujuku-shima, Huis Ten Bosch , Nagasaki, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki Heiwa-koen, Shimabara, Mizunashi Honjin Fukae, Kumamoto, Kumamoto-jo, Suizenji-koen, Kagoshima, Samurai Street, Chiran, Tokko Heiwa Kaikan, Shinkansen to Hakata, Hakata, Hachiya Furusato-mura, Dazaifu Tenman-gu , Fukuoka/Hakata, Haneda

TWIN RATE:
$ 4,795 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 595 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 3,495 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Monday, November 9 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. Lunch and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Tuesday, November 10 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA - OKINAWA
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, we'll check-in for our domestic flight to Okinawa. On arrival at the Naha Airport, we'll transfer to our hotel in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa to spend the next four nights.

Accommodations at Hotel Doubletree by Hilton or similar

Wednesday, November 11 (Day 03)
SOUTHERN OKINAWA (B)(L)
We'll travel to southern Okinawa to enjoy a full-day of sightseeing. Share the pride of Ryukyuan culture at Okinawa World, a theme park promoting Okinawan history and culture with one of its main attraction - Gyokusen-do - a massive natural cave. The interior of the cave is well-maintained with comfortable walking paths and features spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations. Stroll through old Okinawa at the Kingdom Village - a nice replica of a traditional Ryukyu village located in Okinawa World. Workshops introducing various traditional Okinawan crafts such as weaving, dyeing, pottery, and paper making are available for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy eisa dance performances held at the Traditional Performance Plaza. The Peace Memorial Park is located on Mabuni-no-Oka, a memorial site where the final battle in Okinawa took place during World War II. At the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, wartime photographs and objects are displayed, including the names of those who perished during the Battle of Okinawa inscribed on the Cornerstone of Peace Monument. We'll visit Himeyuri Peace Museum, built on the grounds of Himeyuri-no-to, a memorial site to commemorate the hundreds of high-school students and their teachers who committed mass suicide rather than submit to the approaching American Army. Visitors to the museum are greeted by a large stone monument at the entrance. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at Hotel Doubletree by Hilton or similar

Thursday, November 12 (Day 04)
CENTRAL OKINAWA (B)
Okinawa Shurijo Castle ParkWe'll visit some of the highlights in central Okinawa, visiting Shuri-jo, the reconstructed castle of the Okinawan royal family and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to its role in Ryukyuan political and religious life, the castle is surrounded by various sites of historical interest, including Shureimon - the main gate to the castle; Tamaudun Mauseoleum - the royal tombs; and the stone gate of Sonohyan-utaki - designated as an important national cultural property. The Okinawa Prefectural Museum consists of two separate museums - a history museum that covers the entire history of Okinawa from the past to modern times and an art museum that features a variety of art forms in multiples galleries, including sculptures and paintings. The garden area features beautiful and simple wooden palace buildings with Okinawan-style red tile roofs and a spacious Japanese-style landscape garden with a pond. As you wander through the maze of corridors at the Underground Imperial Navy Headquarters, visible shrapnel can be seen on the walls from the grenade blasts that took the lives of many men during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Dinner will be on your own tonight to try some of the delicious local cuisine of Okinawa.

Accommodations at Hotel Doubletree by Hilton or similar

Friday, November 13 (Day 05)
NORTHERN OKINAWA (B)(D)
We'll travel to northern Okinawa to the city of Motobu, well-known for Ocean Expo Park, a site where the International Ocean Exposition was held in 1975. The park is home to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Japan's largest aquarium. An intriguing world of marine life found in Okinawa is spread out in the various exhibits at the aquarium. Kuroshio Sea, the main tank which reproduces the environment of coral reefs below the water's surface, features the whale shark, including the world's first successfully bred-in-captivity manta. At the Dolphin Theater, enjoy some exciting shows performed by several trained dolphins and manatees. We'll travel back to Naha city, en route visiting Okashi Goten (Palace of Sweets) in Onna Village. The shop features freshly baked confections using only natural raw materials of Okinawa, such as purple sweet potatoes and brown sugar. This evening, enjoy a delicious traditional Okinawan dinner.

Saturday, November 14 (Day 06)
OKINAWA * FUKUOKA/HAKATA (B)
This morning, we'll proceed to the Naha Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Fukuoka on Kyushu, the third-largest and southernmost island of Japan. On arrival at the Fukuoka Airport, we'll transfer to spend the night in the twin cities of Fukuoka/Hakata. Hakata city is one of the oldest cities in Japan and has served as the gateway to Korea and China in ancient and modern times. One place to visit where the past is still kept alive is the Hakata Machiya Furusato-kan, a folk museum with magnificent displays depicting the two major festivals held in the city during the year and features beautiful artwork and local crafts from the Meiji and Taisho periods. Adjacent to the museum is a working textile shop with craftsmen still weaving traditional Japanese designs, native to Hakata. Located nearby is Kushida-jinja, an important Shinto shrine that hosts the annual Hakata Gion Yamasaka Festival held during the summer. An enormous mikoshi (float) used for the festival is displayed on the grounds of the shrine. The Momochi Seaside Park is Fukuoka's modern waterfront area with tree-lined streets, futuristic buildings, and public parks. The area's main attractions are centered around Fukuoka Tower - the tallest seaside tower in Japan. Weather permitting, enjoy a panoramic view of the city, Hakata Bay, and the surrounding areas from the observation deck of the tower. The most famous of Fukuoka/Hakata's traditional arts and crafts are Hakata Ori (woven textile) and Hakata Ningyo (clay dolls) - passed down through the ages by their craftsmen. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at Hotel New Otani Hakata or similar

Sunday, November 15 (Day 07)
FUKUOKA/HAKATA * KARATSU * IMARI * ARITA * TAKEO (B)(L)(D)
Niji no MatsubaraWe'll travel west to enjoy a scenic view of Karatsu Bay and the two-mile long Niji-no-Matsubara, a grove of black pine trees extending along a sandy beach. The forest was originally planted by the feudal Lord Terasawa as a counter-measure against the strong winds and tides in Karatsu Bay. Today, this scene is noted as one of the most picturesque landscapes in Japan. The pottery towns of Arita and Imari in Saga prefecture have been a major manufacturing source of ceramics for centuries with Imari-yaki and Arita-yaki as the most famous and distinctive. Korean potters were brought to Imari to produce porcelain mainly for the Nabeshima domain. Enjoy a stroll through Imari Okawachiyama (The Village of Secret Kilns) - a small artisans' village located in the city of Imari that has been producing unique pottery for centuries and kept its methods a secret - hence the name 'Village of Secret Kilns.' A delicious lunch will be provided for you. We'll travel to Arita, a pottery town where a Korean potter first introduced the art of manufacturing porcelain. Learn about the history and culture of Kyushu porcelain through exhibits and photographs at the Kyushu Prefectural Ceramic Museum. We'll continue on to spend the night in Takeo, a city located in the western part of Saga prefecture. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at Takeo Century Hotel or similar

Monday, November 16 (Day 08)
TAKEO * SASEBO * HUIS TEN BOSCH * NAGASAKI (B)(D)
Japan Kujuku smallThis morning we'll travel to Sasebo, the gateway to Saikai National Park. We'll board a sightseeing boat from Kashimae Port to enjoy a relaxing and scenic cruise around Kujuku-shima (99 pine-studded islets) in the inland sea. Enjoy some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Japan as you cruise through the islands. Enjoy a drive through Huis Ten Bosch, a town recreated after the Netherlands and features many Dutch-style buildings along with canals, windmills, and a garden. Huis Ten Bosch was named after one of the three official residences of the Dutch royal family in The Hague in the Netherlands. Our journey continues on to spend the night in Nagasaki, the capital and largest city of Nagasaki prefecture. Nagasaki became the second city to be bombed by a nuclear weapon on August 9, 1945 after Hiroshima. We'll visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum featuring displays of photos, relics and documents related to the bombing and the Nagasaki International Peace Memorial Hall, built in memory of those who perished in the atomic bombing. The Nagasaki Heiwa-koen (Peace Park) was established near the hypocenter of the explosion and remnants of a concrete wall of Urakami Cathedral can still be seen. At the park's north end stands a 10-meter-tall Peace Statue and the south end features a Fountain of Peace. Displayed on both sides of the park are unique monuments donated from various countries around the world. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at Hotel New Nagasaki or similar

Tuesday, November 17 (Day 09)
NAGASAKI * UNZEN * SHIMABARA * KUMAMOTO (B)
Japan Matsumoto Castle smWe'll continue on to the Shimabara Peninsula to enjoy a view of Mount Unzen, an active volcano that has had several major eruptions. The volcano's most recent eruption occurred in 1990, sending clouds of volcanic gas and ash down toward the town below, burying some houses. We'll visit the Mizunashi Honjin Fukae (Avalanche Stricken Homes Preservation Park), a memorial site where the after effects of the devastation caused by the Unzen eruption are displayed. From the Shimabara Pier, we'll board a ferry and cross the Ariake Sea to spend the night in Kumamoto, capital city of Kumamoto prefecture. Its most famous landmark is Kumamoto-jo, a large and well-fortified hill-top Japanese castle, considered one of the three premier castles in Japan. Architect Kato Kiyomasa built this castle with ingenious engineering and its size and numerous interesting exhibits make it visit-worthy. The city is also home to Suizen-ji-koen, a beautiful Japanese-style landscaped garden designed with an impression of views seen when traveling along the Tokaido - the old highway between Kyoto and Edo (present-day Tokyo). As you stroll around the park, you'll have a magnificent feeling of nature with its small ponds and trees. The main feature at the east end of the park is Horaitsukiyama, a beautiful representation of a miniature Mt. Fuji. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local specialties of this prefecture at one of the restaurants located near our hotel.

Accommodations at Hotel Nikko Kumamoto or similar

Wednesday, November 18 (Day 10)
KUMAMOTO * KAGOSHIMA * CHIRAN * KAGOSHIMA (B)(D)
Mt SakurajimaWe'll travel south to Kagoshima, the southernmost major city in Kyushu. Dominating the skyline from Kagoshima is the brooding cone of Sakurajima, an active volcano with the summit split into three peaks, one of which is still active. The most violent eruption occurred when the volcano poured-out tons of lava, overwhelming villages and completely filling the narrow strait that separated the volcano from the mainland - thus converting Sakurajima from an island to a peninsula. We'll travel to the little town of Chiran, noted for its fine collection of preserved samurai houses and gardens. Enjoy a stroll through samurai street to visit a few old samurai residences and beautiful landscaped gardens. We'll visit the Tokko Heiwa Kaikan (Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots) featuring an extensive collection of correspondence, photographs, relics, and mementoes belonging to members of the Special Air Force Attack Group also known as the Kamikaze Pilots. Subject to availability, a local guide will share photos and letters from some of the members to present a positive image of these pilots as they willingly gave their lives for their country and their families to establish peace and prosperity for Japan. We'll return to the city of Kagoshima to spend the night. Enjoy dinner and relax in our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at Shiroyama Kanko Hotel or similar

Thursday, November 19 (Day 11)
KAGOSHIMA * SHINKANSEN TO HAKATA (B)
This morning, we'll proceed to the Kagoshima Chuo Station and board the shinkansen to Hakata Station. On arrival, enjoy some free time at the station for lunch (on own) and some shopping. In the afternoon, we'll embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city. Enjoy a stroll through Canal City, a large shopping and entertainment complex featuring numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, a theater, and a canal that runs through the complex. We'll check-in for two nights in the twin cities of Fukuoka/Hakata. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at Hotel New Otani Hakata or similar

Friday, November 20 (Day 12)
FUKUOKA/HAKATA * DAZAIFU * FUKUOKA/HAKATA (B)(D)
Dazaifu ShrineWe'll continue on to the cultural city of Dazaifu, visiting Dazaifu Tenman-gu, an important shrine dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian period. His rise to power during his political career resulted in a rivalry with the Fujiwara clan and he was later exiled to Dazaifu. Michizane passed away in Dazaifu and the main shrine was built on his grave site. The entire length of the approach-way to the shrine is lined with many small shops offering a wide selection of local products. After passing through the torii gate at the entrance, you'll come across a pond that was built in the shape of the Japanese character for 'heart' and a path that leads across two arched bridges and islands that represent the past, present, and future. The afternoon is at your leisure for your own activities. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at Hotel New Otani Hakata or similar

Saturday, November 21 (Day 13)
FUKUOKA/HAKATA TO HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities or do some last minute shopping for souvenirs and omiyage to bring home In the afternoon, we'll transfer to the Fukuoka Airport for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival at the airport, we'll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal for our flight to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A late meal will be served on board the flight.

 

Map of Tour Itinerary

The tour price is based on double occupancy and a minimum group size of 20 passengers. Fare adjustment may apply for groups of 20 or under. The rate is based on tariffs and exchange rates effective 1/31/2015. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, fuel surcharge increase and fluctuation of the rate of exchange between U.S. and foreign currency. In the event of revaluation, the land portion of the tour price may be adjusted prior to your final statement.

Land portion based on 115 Yen = $1.00 U.S.