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November 3 - 16,  2016 (14 days and 12 nights)

** Guranteed Departure **

Tours are operated by Aloha World, a tour division of Kobayashi Travel Service

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 05/01/2016)

Narita, Tokyo, Shinkansen, Niigata, Senbei Okoku,Furusato Mura Sado Island, Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Toki Forest Park, Sado Rekishi Densetsukan, Tsubame Sanjo, Nagano, Kawanakajima, Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, Kurobe Dam, Tateyama, Shirakawa-go, Kenroku-en Garden, Kanazawa, Tojinbo, Noto Peninsula, Wajima, Wajima Asa-Ichi (Morning Market), Wajima Kiriko Art Museum, Chirihama Beach Driveway, Tojinbo, Mikata Go-ko, Miyazu, Amanohashidate, Tottori, Tottori Sand Dunes, Izumo Taisha Shrine, Matsue, Matsue Vogel Park, Oshima Island, Hawaii Museum of Japanese Emigration, Hiroshima, Yamadaya Manju Factory, Miyajima Island, Haneda

TWIN RATE:
$ 4,695 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 695 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 3,965 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Thursday, November 3 (Day 01)
HONOLULU - NARITA
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu on Japan Airlines to Narita International Airport. A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Friday, November 4 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA (D)
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and upon completion of entry and customs formalities, we'll transfer to our hotel in Tokyo to spend the night. A welcome dinner is provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

Saturday, November 5 (Day 03)
TOKYO - NIIGATA (B)(D)
This morning, we'll transfer by foot to the Ikebukuro Station to board a local train to Ueno Station. On arrival, we'll board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Niigata, the largest city on the coast of the Japan Sea. Niigata prefecture is known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice-related products, such as sake, senbei, and arare. On arrival, we'll board our chartered motor coach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city. Enjoy a visit of Senbei Okoku (kingdom of rice crackers) where we'll have an opportunity to try a hands-on experience to grill some rice crackers for you to taste. Enjoy shopping at Furusato-Mura, a large facility offering a selection of local traditional food, snacks, and craft products, including a wide variety of arare. We will spend the night in the city of Niigata, noted as the gateway to Sado Island. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL OKURA NIIGATA or similar

Sunday, November 6 (Day 04)
NIIGATA - SADO ISLAND (B)(D)
Sado Okesa Dance webThis morning, we'll board a hydrofoil from the port of Niigata and cross the sea of Japan to Ryotsu Port located on historic Sado-Ga-Shima (Sado Island). On arrival, we'll embark on a full day sightseeing tour of the island. Sado Island had an image of being remote and associated with political exiles and prisoners, yet has a distinguished history and culture all its own. Sado was the home in exile to some historical figures such as ex-Emperor 'Juntoku', Buddhist priest 'Nichiren', and drama master 'Zeami', who left a legacy of Noh theater on the island. We'll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado Historical Folklore Museum) where relics of ex-Emperor Juntoku and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including animated mannequins illustrating dioramas of Sado's history. At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine located in the town of Aikawa, we'll descend into the old mining cave to observe life-size animatronic mannequins dramatize the tough existence of the miners in the past. In addition to 'Noh', the island is famed for okesa (folk dances), ondeko (demon drum dances), and the toki bird (Japanese crested ibis). The visitor center at the Toki Forest Park will provide us with interesting information and history about these protected birds. We'll also have an opportunity to view some live birds in captivity. We'll spend the night at a ryokan on Sado Island. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs this evening. For your evening entertainment, a dance performance of okesa will be performed in the lobby (subject to availability).

Accommodations at HOTEL RYOTSU YAMAKI or similar

Monday, November 7 (Day 05)
SADO ISLAND - NIIGATA - TSUBAME SANJO - NAOETSU - NAGANO (B)
We'll proceed to the port of Ryotsu and board the hydrofoil, crossing the Japan Sea back to Naoetsu Port in Niigata city. On arrival, we'll board our chartered motor coach and travel to Tsubame Sanjo - a region known for its manufacture of kitchen cutlery and silverware. We'll visit a special shop that offers a wide selection of unique kitchenware items, knives, scissors, gardening tools and other merchandise. Our travels continue on to the city of Nagano to spend the night. Nagano is noted for its beautiful mountainous terrain consisting of the northern, central, and southern ranges of the breathtaking Japan Alps and is well-known as the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Before checking-in, we'll make a photo stop at Kawanakajima, the site of five fierce battles between two of Japan's greatest warlords, Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local cuisine offered at some of the restaurants nearby our hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar

Tuesday, November 8 (Day 06)
NAGANO - OMACHI - TATEYAMA KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE - KUROBE DAM - TATEYAMA (B)(D)
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route webWe'll travel along the Shio-no-Michi (Salt Road) - a road once used to transport salt from the ocean to the inland region of northern Honshu. We'll visit an interesting Salt Museum located at the Shinano-Omachi Station. This station is the starting point of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, a unique and spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps, connecting Toyama city in Toyama Prefecture with Omachi town in Nagano Prefecture. Our journey continues on to Mount Tateyama, visiting the magnificent Kurobe Dam, the tallest arch dam on the Kurobe River located deep within the Japan Alps National Park. We'll enjoy a scenic ride through the mountains via a tram and cable car to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Murodo and Midagahara Plateaus. Weather permitting, the fall colors should be at their peak during this time of the year. We will spend the night in Tateyama. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot spring waters of our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at TATEYAMA KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, November 9 (Day 07)
TATEYAMA - SHIRAKAWA-GO - KANAZAWA (B)(D)
We'll travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go - famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri (hands in prayer) farmhouses with steep thatched roofs resembling the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. Enjoy a stroll through Ogimachi Village, the largest village and the main attraction of Shirakawa-go with old farmhouses standing amid vegetable gardens and rice paddy fields. Many of the farmhouses are more than 250 years old and are now functioning as restaurants, shops, and small museums. We'll continue on to spend two nights in Kanazawa, capital city of Ishikawa prefecture. Enjoy a leisure stroll through the main attraction of the city - Kenroku-en - classified as one of Japan's three most beautiful landscaped gardens. The spacious grounds was once the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle. An iconic symbol of the garden is Kotojitoro Lantern, uniquely built with two legs instead of one that stands nearby the entrance of the northern bank of Kasumigaike Pond. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at ANA CROWN PLAZA KANAZAWA HOTEL or similar

Thursday, November 10 (Day 08)
KANAZAWA - NOTO PENINSULA - WAJIMA - KANAZAWA (B)
Kiriko Lantern Museum webThis morning, we'll travel north to 'Noto-Hanto', a scenic peninsula with rugged seascapes surrounded by the Japan Sea. The town of Wajima at the center of the Okunoto area is known not only for its fishing industry but also for its production of Wajima-nuri (lacquerware). A characteristic of Wajima lacquerware is found in the base coat being repeatedly applied to original wooden materials and decorated with chinkin (gold & silver inlaying) and makie (gold or silver raised lacquer painting). This whole process for one finished product takes months to complete. We'll visit a shop to observe a brief step-by-step demonstration in the production of these elegant pieces. Enjoy shopping and bargaining with the vendors at the asa-ichi (morning market), a huge indoor and outdoor marketplace in Wajima offering a wide selection of merchandise and dried seafood products including cuttlefish, scallops and semi-dried abalone. Kiriko is a form of lantern produced only in the Noto district and is used to lead portable shrines during festivals. We'll visit the Wajima Kiriko Art Museum to view some beautiful lacquered floats produced from the Edo period. On our return to Kanazawa, we'll travel along the west coast of the peninsula on the Chirihama Beach Driveway - a beach resembling a sandy motorway. Weather permitting, enjoy a unique and exciting drive as we roar on the sand near the breakers of the water. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local specialties of this prefecture at some of the restaurants located at the train station nearby the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWN PLAZA KANAZAWA HOTEL or similar

Friday, November 11 (Day 09)
KANAZAWA - TOJINBO - TSURUGA - MIYAZU (B)(D)
We'll continue our journey along the Sea of Japan to scenic Tojinbo, a series of basaltic cliffs in Fukui prefecture, designated a Natural Monument in Japan. View magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and cliffs created by volcanic activities formed through the years by sea erosion. We'll make a stop at Konbu Kan, a shop offering a nice selection of konbu, nori, and other konbu related products. We'll drive along the scenic ridge on the Mikata-goko-Rainbow Line to enjoy the beauty of Mikata Goko (Five Lakes of Mikata) located on the eastern shore of Wakasa Bay facing the Sea of Japan. A ride on a cable car or an individual chair lift will take us to the scenic observatory on top of Mount Baijo to enjoy a breathtaking view of Wakasa Bay and the Five Lakes of Mikata. Each lake has a different concentration of salt and are registered under the Ramsar Convention. We'll spend the night in Miyazu, a city located in Kyoto Prefecture. Relax and enjoy dinner at our elegant hot spring resort this evening.

Accommodations at MIYAZU ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Saturday, November 12 (Day 10)
MIYAZU - AMANOHASHIDATE - TOTTORI - MISASA (B)(D)
Amanohashidate webAmanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) is a scenic sand bar covered with pine trees resembling the shape of a bridge spanning across Miyazu Bay on the Tango Peninsula. We'll proceed to Kasamatsu Park and ride a chair lift or cable car to the top of the hillside to enjoy this spectacular view - ranked as one of the three most scenic sights in Japan (Nihon Sankei). To view the sand bar as a 'floating bridge to heaven' and bring good luck, turn your back towards the bay and bend over to see the view from between your legs. We'll continue our travel along the scenic coast of the Japan Sea to Tottori, one of the main cities in the San-in district and famous for its spectacular sand dunes - the largest in Japan. The Tottori Sand Dunes were created as sand from the Sendaigawa River washed out to sea and eventually re-deposited along the coast by the ocean's current. Climb to the top of one of the sand dunes to enjoy a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. Subject to availability, we'll visit Suna no Bijuitsukan (The Sand Museum), a unique museum displaying large sand sculptures created by artists from around the world. Each exhibition represents a theme, typically a region or a country, and changes annually. We'll continue on to spend the night in the hot spring resort of Misasa in Tottori prefecture, best-known for its radium-rich water - good for one's health. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at MISASA ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Sunday, November 13 (Day 11)
MISASA - MATSUE - TAMATSUKURI ONSEN (B)(D)
We'll continue our drive along the coast of the Sea of Japan to visit Izumo Taisha, a shrine constructed in the Taisha-zukuri style which is considered to be Japan's oldest form of shrine architecture. The wooded grounds are pleasant to wander through and the shrine itself enjoys the 'borrowed scenery' of Yakumo Hill in the background. Okuninushi - to whom the shrine is dedicated - is the kami (Shinto Spirit God) of marriage. Hence, visitors to the shrine summon the deity by clapping four times rather than the normal two - twice for themselves and twice for their partner or partner to be. We'll travel on to Matsue, a beautiful town in Shimane Prefecture that's surrounded by water. Enjoy a visit of the Matsue Vogel Park - an aviary park home to rare and exotic birds from around the world. The park also features a beautiful flower conservatory with colorful flowers in bloom throughout the year. Several trained owls will perform for you at a special owl flight show. We'll continue on to spend the night at Tamatsukuri Onsen, an ancient hot spring resort in Shimane prefecture. The waters of Tamatsukuri are said to aid in the recovery of several ailments such as rheumatism and skin conditions. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing onsen at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations at TAMATSUKURI GRAND HOTEL CHOSEIKAKU or similar

Monday, November 14 (Day 12)
MATSUE - OSHIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA (B)(D)
We'll travel south through Shimane and Yamaguchi prefecture through Yanai city to Oshima Island, one of the largest islands in the Seto Naikai Strait. On arrival, we'll visit the Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii located in the town of Suo-Oshima, the sister city of Kauai. The museum features an interesting video including many photographs, exhibits, and artifacts representing the hardship faced by the emigrants in Hawaii, the contributions made with the fortune accumulated through their efforts, and the history of cultural exchanges between the hometown and Hawaii up to the present. We'll continue on to spend two nights in the city of Hiroshima. The afternoon is at your leisure for independent activities. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HIROSHIMA HOTEL or similar

Tuesday, November 15 (Day 13)
HIROSHIMA (B)
Itsukushima Shrine Autumn webMomiji Manju is a maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with a variety of fillings and is one of Hiroshima's most popular sweets. We'll travel to the town of Hatsukaichi and visit the Yamadaya Manju Factory to see a short video showing the production of this delicious confectionary. Samples of some of their delicious products will be available for you to enjoy. We'll continue on to the Miyajimaguchi Pier and board a ferry to visit Miyajima Island, famed for its scenic Itsukushima-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a large torii gate extending into the sea, the shrine and the island's Mt. Misen-san as a backdrop, this scene is classified as one of Japan's three most scenic sights. Enjoy strolling through Omotesando - the island's main shopping street with many shops offering a large selection of souvenirs, including the specialties of the island: momiji manju, shakushi (wooden rice paddles), and fresh oysters. We'll leave the island by ferry and travel back to the city of Hiroshima. Dinner will be on your own this evening. Try some delicious Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the specialty of Hiroshima at one of the local restaurants located nearby the hotel.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HIROSHIMA HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, November 16 (Day 14)
HIROSHIMA - HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
The day is at leisure for your own activities until we depart for the airport in the late afternoon. We'll transfer to the Hiroshima Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival at Haneda, we'll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda International Terminal for our late evening flight home. We'll arrive Honolulu 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 2/15/2016. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare 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