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** NEW TOUR **

** Guaranteed Departure **

May 19 - 28, 2016 (10 days and 8 nights)

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

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 10/30/2015)

Narita, Chitose, Otaru, Sakaimachi-hondori, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Asahi Beer Factory, Odori Park, Sapporo, Takikawa, Sunagawa Highway Oasis, Yukara-Ori Folk Craft Museum, Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, Abashiri Prison Museum, Abashiri, Higashi-Mokoto Shiba-Sakura Park, Kushiro Shitsugen Norocco Train, Washo Market, Kushiro, Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, Kushiro Japanese Crane Reserve, Lake Akan, Marimo Exhibition & Observation Center, Ainu Village, Tokachigawa Onsen, Furano, Farm Tomita, Flower Land Kamifurano, Biei, Takushinkan, Shikisai-no-oka, Sounkyo, Mt. Kurodake Ropeway, Sounkyo Gorge, Susukino Ramen Yokocho, Shiroi Koibito Park, Sapporo, Chitose, Haneda

TWIN RATE:
$ 3,795 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 395 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 2,795 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Thursday, May 19 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at Honolulu International Airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Friday, May 20 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA TO CHITOSE
Upon arrival at the Narita Airport, we'll clear entry and customs formalities, then proceed to the domestic terminal to check-in for our flight to Chitose International Airport in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost and second largest island. On arrival at Chitose, we'll check-in for the night at a hotel located within the airport complex.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar

Saturday, May 21 (Day 03)
Hokkaido Sapporo Beer GardenCHITOSE - OTARU - SAPPORO (B)
We'll travel to Otaru, a charming port city facing Ishikari Bay - noted for its historic Otaru Canal, adorned with Victorian-style street lamps and old warehouses, providing a nostalgic atmosphere. Many of the buildings along the canal have been restored into museums, restaurants and shops. Enjoy strolling along Sakaimachi-hondori, a preserved merchant street in the center of the town to browse through the sweet shops, glassware shops, and a unique music box museum. A popular item for local residents to bring home as a souvenir from Otaru is a drip-free soy sauce bottle. The first beer brewed in Japan was in Sapporo and Hokkaido has since had a reputation of brewing the best beer. Enjoy a guided tour of the Asahi Beer Brewery, a leading brewery and soft drink company in Hokkaido - noted as one of the "Big Four" breweries. At the conclusion of the tour, samples of some of their products will be available for us to enjoy in the tasting room. Experience a ride on the chairlift at the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, a ski jumping venue located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Okura. The stadium has hosted a number of winter sports events including the 1972 Winter Olympics and FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2007, but is now used primarily as a training facility for athletes at Nordic events. We'll continue on to spend the night in Sapporo, the fifth largest city in Japan and capital of Hokkaido. We'll drive through the city to view Tokei-dai (Clock Tower), the symbolic landmark of Sapporo mounted on the Russian-style Memorial Hall and drive past Odori Park, a wide promenade bordered with beautiful flower beds, best known as the site of the Winter Snow Festival held annually during the month of February. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Sunday, May 22 (Day 04)
SAPPORO - TAKIKAWA - ASAHIKAWA (B)(D)
We'll travel north to Takikawa, a city best known for its fields of beautiful yellow nanohana (rape seed or canola blossoms) dominating the scenery (weather permitting). As we travel on the Hokkaido Expressway, we'll make a stop to visit the Sunagawa Highway Oasis, a large and bustling rest stop that was the first to open in Hokkaido. Enjoy sampling the many varieties of Hokkaido specialties offered and available for purchase. We'll continue on to Asahikawa, the second largest city in Hokkaido to spend the night. Enjoy a visit of the Yukara-Ori Folk Craft Museum, featuring displays of elegant textile works by famous artist Aya Kiuchi. Yukara weaving is wool dyed into various colors, spun into yarn, then woven into textiles - the traditional fabric of Hokkaido. We may be able to see a brief demonstration of this weaving procedure by one of the staff. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ASAHIKAWA GRAND HOTEL or similar

Monday, May 23 (Day 05)
ASAHIKAWA- YUBETSU - ABASHIRI (B)(D)
Abashiri Prison HokkaidoOur drive continues on to the town of Yubetsu, home to one of the most popular flower festivals in Hokkaido. Weather permitting, enjoy the breathtaking view of colorful tulips blooming vividly in the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, site of the annual Tulip Fair. Many of the tulips are imported from Holland with several varieties named after characters from the fairytales of Pinocchio, Aladdin, and Snow White. We'll continue on to spend the night in Abashiri, a small city located on the northern coast of Hokkaido, noted for its drift ice during the winter season and as the site of Japan's first maximum security prison. The history and science of the ryu-hyo (sea ice) that floes into the Sea of Okhotsk from Russia are introduced with exhibits and an interesting wide screen film at the Okhotsk Ryu-hyo (Ice Floe) Museum, a hands-on science center located on Mount Tento. The Abashiri Prison Museum consists of many buildings which were in use until the year 1984. Only the most heinous criminals were banished to this forbidden northern outpost known as the 'Alcatraz' of Japan. The cells, watch towers, and prison farm buildings show how stark and monotonous life was for inmates - relieved only by restricted bathhouse visits. Anguished-looking mannequins bring it all to life as we retrace the history of convict labor and the harsh life of a prisoner on a guided tour of this open-air site. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant ryokan this evening.

Accommodations at ABASHIRI KOSO HOTEL or similar

Tuesday, May 24 (Day 06)
ABASHIRI - MT. MOKOTO - KUSHIRO (B)(D)
We'll travel to the base of Mt. Mokoto to enjoy a spectacular view of shibazakura (pink & white phlox flowers) blooming vividly on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Takinoue at the Higashimokoto Flower Park. Winding paths leading up to the top of the hillside provides a magnificent view of delicate pink and white blossoms spread-out like a beautiful floral carpet. We'll travel south to spend the night in Kushiro, a misty port town situated in southeastern Hokkaido, capital of Kushiro Subprefecture. Relax on the Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko sightseeing train while enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh air to Kushiro Marsh, Japan's largest marshland. Before checking-in for the night, we'll make a stop to browse through Washo Market, a marketplace offering a wide variety of local delicacies of Kushiro. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA KUSHIRO or similar

Wednesday, May 25 (Day 07)
KUSHIRO - LAKE AKAN - TOKACHIGAWA ONSEN (B)(D)
Hokkaido Lake Akan SummerThe Kushiro Shitsugen National Park was designated as a national park in order to preserve the country's largest wetland and marsh habitat which supports the population of endangered tancho-zuru (Japanese red-crested cranes). The red-crested cranes are traditional symbols of longevity and designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan. We'll visit the Kushiro Japanese Crane Reserve, a facility created to preserve, reproduce, and protect the population of these endangered species. We'll travel to Lake Akan, a beautiful crater lake in Akan National Park, Hokkaido's oldest national park. Lake Akan is best known for its marimo, a rare algae species - designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan. Marimo is formed when separate pieces of algae at the bottom of the lake roll around and eventually form into balls, gradually growing larger and larger. We'll enjoy a scenic boat cruise on Lake Akan, providing us with a close-up view of the mountains, islets, and into remote sections of the lake. A brief stop will be made at Churui Islet to view live marimo kept in large tanks at the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center. We'll visit Ainu Kotan - a small Ainu village featuring many souvenir shops specializing in traditional Ainu handcrafts and woodworks. We'll continue on to spend the night in Tokachigawa, a region noted for its abundant sunshine and rich soil. The gently flowing Tokachi River creates majestic scenery with the backdrop of the Hidaka and Taisetsu mountain ranges and also creates rare botanical-based moor hot springs, also known as 'hot springs for beauty'. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing waters of our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at TOKACHIGAWA DAIICHI HOTEL or similar

Thursday, May 26 (Day 08)
TOKACHIGAWA - FURANO - BIEI - SOUNKYO (B)(D)
Hokkaido Tomita Farm LavendarThis morning, we'll travel north to Furano, a town located in the center of Hokkaido and best known for its fields of fragrant lavender flowers that bloom during the late summer season. We'll make a stop at Flower Land Kamifurano to enjoy the beautiful scenery as myriads of seasonal flowers bloom in succession on the hillside against a backdrop of the spectacular Tokachi Mountain Range. We'll visit Farm Tomita, one of Hokkaido's premier flower farms to enjoy the extraordinary sight of colorful seasonal flowers planted in rows, creating a rainbow field of flowers (weather permitting). We'll continue on to Biei, a small town surrounded by a picturesque landscape of gently rolling hills and vast fields. The scenic view of this landscape has been used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and television programs. The town of Biei is also noted for Takushinkan (Shinzo Maeda Photo Art Gallery) an exhibition hall displaying beautiful landscape photography dedicated to Shinzo Maeda, an internationally known photographer and his son. Beautiful photos of the Tokachi area are displayed - famous for their vibrant and unusual color and composition. Enjoy the fragrance of several varieties of flowers at Shikisai-no-Oka, a flower garden carpeted with colorful flowers blooming on a hillside. We will continue on to spend the night in Sounkyo, a hot spring resort nestled in the middle of Sounkyo Valley located in Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido's largest national park. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs of our hotel.

Accommodations at SOUNKYO KANKO HOTEL or similar

Friday, May 27 (Day 09)
SOUNKYO - SAPPORO (B)
Soun kyo Gorge HokkaidoWeather permitting, we'll board a gondola from the Sounkyo-Kurodake Ropeway Station and climb up to the fifth stage of Mt. Kurodake to enjoy a breathtaking view of the magnificent Daisetsuzan National Park and its surrounding areas. Sounkyo Gorge, a spectacular gorge extending along the Ishikari River, is renowned for its impressive waterfalls. We'll make a stop to see two of the most picturesque ones - Ryusei-no-taki (Shooting Star Falls) and Ginga-no-taki (Milky Way Falls) -both selected as two of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan. We'll continue on to spend our last night in the city of Sapporo - known for its delicious ramen. Time permitting, noodle lovers may want to try some for lunch at Ramen Yokocho, a popular narrow lane lined with small shops serving a variety of Sapporo's famous ramen located in Susukino, a lively entertainment and restaurant district. We'll visit the Shiroi Koibito Park, a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company in Sapporo. The company's flagship product is the Shiroi Koibito cookies, consisting of two thin butter cookies with a layer of white or dark chocolate in between. This is one of the most popular souvenirs to bring home from Hokkaido. We'll observe the process of cookie production through several large windows as we walk through the factory. Subject to availability, enjoy a hands-on-experience to create your own cookies in the workshop. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Saturday, May 28 (Day 10)
SAPPORO - CHITOSE - HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities until we transfer to the Chitose Airport for our domestic flight to Haneda International Airport. On arrival at Haneda Airport, we'll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal to board our evening flight home, arriving 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 7/1/15. 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 122 Yen = $1.00 U.S