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Travel to Japan has never been better.

Travel to Japan has never been better.

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2022 Spring Nihon Kai featuring Sado Island

 April 7 - 20, 2022 (14 Days & 12 Nights)

Narita, Tokyo, Shinkansen to Niigata, Northern Culture Museum, Furusato-Mura, Sado Island, Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Sado Rekishi Densetsukan, Toki Forest Park, Tsubame Sanjo, Takada Castle Ruin Park, Nagano, Zenkoji Temple, Daio Wasabi Farm, Takayama, Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan, Kamisannomachi, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Kenrokuen Garden, Noto Peninsula, Wajima Morning Market, Shioyasu Urushiware Company, Hakukokan Gold Leaf Shop, Wajima Kiriko Art Museum, Chirihama Beach Driveway, Tojinbo, Mikata Go-ko, Amanohashidate, Miyazu, Tottori, Tottori Sand Dunes, Matsue, Izumo Taisha, Matsue Castle , Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Jinja, Yamadaya Momiji Manju Factory, Hiroshima, Oshima Island, Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii Haneda 

 

LAND TOUR COST: 
$ 3,890 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 770 per person
 
(Group airfare to be advised when available) (Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Thursday, April 7 (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 for Narita International Airport. A  meal and a snack will be served onboard the flight.  

 

Friday, April 8 (Day 02) 

ARRIVE NARITA (D)

We’ll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities,  we’ll transfer to our hotel in Tokyo to spend the night. A dinner is planned for you this evening. 

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

 

Saturday, April 09 (Day 03) 

TOKYO - BULLET TRAIN TO NIIGATA (B)(D)

We’ll transfer by foot to the Ikebukuro Station to take a local train to Ueno Station to board the  shinkansen (bullet train) to Niigata, the largest city on the coast of the Japan Sea - noted as the gateway to Sado Island. Niigata is also known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice related products, including fine quality sake. On arrival, we’ll board our motorcoach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city. We’ll visit the former residence of the Ito Family, now pre-served as the Northern Culture Museum. The museum features an extensive art collection and within the peaceful garden complex are several relocated farmhouses, traditional earthenware,  and individual tea arbors. Enjoy shopping at Furusato-Mura, a large complex offering a wide selection of local products of Niigata, including their traditional sweet - sasa dango. We will spend the night in the city of Niigata. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NIIGATA or similar

 

Sunday, April 10 (Day 04) 

NIIGATA - SADO ISLAND (B)(D)

This morning, we’ll board a hydrofoil from Naoetsu Port in Niigata and cross the Japan Sea to  Ryotsu Port on historic Sado-Ga-Shima (Sado Island). On arrival, we’ll board our motorcoach  and embark on a full day of sightseeing. The 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 Noh drama master ‘Zeami’. At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine in the town of Aika wa, we’ll descend into the old mining cave to observe life-size animatronic mannequins dramatize the tough existence of the miners in the past. We’ll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado  Historical Folklore Museum) where the relics of Juntoku, Zeami, and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including lifestyle robots illustrating dioramas of Sado’s history. 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, including a view of some live birds in captivity. We’ll spend the night on historic Sado Island. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs this evening at our onsen hotel. For your evening entertainment, a dance performance of okesa will be performed in the lobby (subject to availability). 

Accommodations at SADO RESORT HOTEL AZUMA or similar

 

Monday, April 11 (Day 05) 

SADO ISLAND - NIIGATA - TSUBAME SANJO - NAGANO (B)

We’ll proceed to Ryotsu Port to board the hydrofoil and return to Naoetsu Port in Niigata. On arrival, we’ll board our motorcoach and travel to Tsubame Sanjo, a region noted for its metal ware production. We’ll visit a shop offering a wide selection of various merchandise - including some unique kitchenware products, knives, scissors, gardening tools and more. Our journey continues on to enjoy ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) on the grounds of Takada Castle. Although only the stone walls and fence of the castle remain today, the site was transformed into  Takada Castle Ruin Park with thousands of cherry trees planted all around the park. Weather permitting, the cherry blossoms should be in bloom at this time of the year. We’ll continue on to overnight in the city of Nagano, offering a beautiful view of the northern, central and southern ranges of the breathtaking Japan Alps. Dinner will be on your own this evening. 

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar

 

Tuesday, April 12 (Day 06) 

NAGANO - ABO TUNNEL - TAKAYAMA (B)(D)

This morning, we’ll visit Zenkoji Temple, one of the most important temples in Japan and stores the first Buddhist statue ever to be brought into Japan in the 6th century. Once in seven years, the Zenkoji Temple Maedachi Honzon Gokaicho event is held to welcome to the Main  Hall the Maedachi Honzon statue. Made in the Kamakura Period, the statue has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. Only during the Gokaicho period, the image is open to the public to have a chance to worship it directly. We’ll continue on to the city of Azumino and visit the Daio Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish) Farm, one of Japan’s largest wasabi farms. Large fields of wasabi with a network of  streams provides each wasabi plant with clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. A variety of wasabi-related products are available in the shops including wasabi-flavored ice cream. Enjoy a drive through numerous mountain tunnels and breathtaking scenery as we travel to the quaint and traditional town of Takayama - tucked away between the mountains of the Japan Alps. On arrival, we’ll visit the Takayama Matsuri  Yatai Kaikan, (Festival Floats Exhibition Hall), featuring elaborate decorated floats used during the annual Takayama Festivals held annual 

ly. Enjoy a stroll through Kamisannomachi, the quaint old town district preserved with many old homes, craft shops and sake shops. Enjoy  dinner and relax in the hot springs of our onsen resort in Takayama this evening. 

Accommodations at TAKAYAMA GREEN HOTEL or similar

 

Wednesday, April 13 (Day 07) 

TAKAYAMA - SHIRAKAWA - KANAZAWA (B)(D)

Our journey continues on to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go - famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri (hands in prayer) farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Many of them are now functioning as shops and small restaurants. Enjoy a  stroll through Ogimachi Village, the main attraction of Shirakawa-go, with old farmhouses standing amid vegetable gardens and rice paddy fields. The farmland around the area continues to be worked on by the local farmers. We’ll travel to the castle town of Kanazawa to enjoy a  leisure stroll through its main attraction - Kenroku-en Garden - noted as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. The name Kenroku  translates as ‘combined six’ - referring to a renowned Chinese garden from the Sung Dynasty that required six attributes for perfection: seclusion, spaciousness, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water, and broad views. The Kotojitoro Lantern, uniquely built with two legs stands at the northern bank of Kasumigaike Pond is an iconic symbol of Kenroku-en. Kanazawa is noted for its gold-leaf production and we’ll visit the Haku kokan Gold Leaf Shop that produces and displays these intricate products. We will spend two nights in the city of Kanazawa. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.  

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA or similar

 

Thursday, April 14 (Day 08) 

KANAZAWA - NOTO PENINSULA - KANAZAWA (B)

This morning, we’ll travel to Noto-Hanto’, a scenic peninsula with rugged seascapes surrounded on three sides by the Sea of Japan. Enjoy a  shopping excursion in the town of Wajima at the asa-ichi (morning market) - a large indoor and outdoor marketplace with vendors offering a  variety of merchandise including dried seafood products: abalone, scallops, and cuttlefish. Wajima, located 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 - taking months to finish - then decorated with chinkin (gold &  silver inlaying) and makie (gold or silver raised lacquer painting). . 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 featuring beautiful lacquered giant lanterns elegantly displayed in the showroom. On our return to Kanazawa, we’ll travel along the west coast of the peninsula to enjoy a unique and exciting drive on the sand along the breakers of the water on the Chirihama Beach Driveway, a beach resembling a sandy motorway. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local specialties of the area at some of the restaurants located in the train station nearby our hotel.  

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA or similar

 

Friday, April 15 (Day 09) 

KANAZAWA - TOJINBO - FUKUI - TSURUGA - MIYAZU (B)(D)

We’ll continue our journey along the Sea of Japan to scenic Tojinbo - featuring an impressive view of magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and basaltic cliffs formed through the years by erosion from sea waves. Standing gallantly against the raging waves, this scenic site is well-known for several legends and in the past, noted as a famous spot for suicides. We’ll continue on to enjoy a scenic drive on the Rainbow Line to visit  Mikata go-ko (Five Lakes of Mikata) - a picturesque view of five small lakes located nearby the coast of Wakasa Bay - all part of the Wakasa  Wan Quasi National Park. A cable car or an individual chair lift will take us to the park and observatory on top of the mountain to enjoy this breathtaking view of the lakes and Wakasa Bay (weather permitting). Enjoy dinner and relax at our luxurious hot spring resort this evening in  Miyazu. 

Accommodations at HOTEL & RESORTS KYOTO-MIYAZU or similar

 

Saturday, April 16 (Day 10) 

MIYAZU - TOTTORI (B)(D)

“Amanohashidate” (Bridge to Heaven), is a pine-tree-covered sand bar resembling the shape of a bridge spanning across Miyazu Bay and is noted as one of Japan’s three most scenic sights (Nihon Sankei). We’ll proceed to Kasamatsu Park and board an individual chair lift or cable car to take us to the top of the hillside to enjoy this spectacular view. To view the sand bar as a ‘bridge to heaven’, turn your back towards the bay, bend over, and view the breathtaking scenery from between your legs. We’ll travel along the scenic San-in coast of the Japan Sea to spend the night in Tottori, one of the main cities in the San-in district. The Tottori Sakyu (Sand Dunes) are the largest sand dunes in Japan and Tottori’s most famous attraction - part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park. The sand dunes were created as sand from the nearby Sen daigawa River was washed out to sea and eventually re-deposited along the coast by the ocean’s currents. The constant movement of the tides and coastal winds continuously shape the dunes and provides an everchanging landscape. Climb to the top of one of the dunes to enjoy a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW OTANI TOTTORI or similar

 

Sunday, April 17 (Day 11) 

TOTTORI - IZUMO - MATSUE (B)(D)

We’ll travel along the coast of the Sea of Japan to the town of Izumo, home to Japan’s oldest and largest Shinto Shrine - Izumo Tai sha - constructed in the taisha-zukuri-style of architecture. The wooded grounds are pleasant to wander through and the shrine itself enjoys the ‘borrowed scenery’ of Yakumo Hill in the background. Okuninushi, whom the shrine is dedicated to, is the kami (Shinto  Spirit God) of marriage. Hence, visitors to the shrine summon the deity by clapping their hands four times rather than the normal two - twice for themselves and twice for their partner. We’ll continue on to spend the night in the water city of Matsue, capital of Shimane prefecture, located at the eastern shores of Lake Shinji. We’ll visit Matsue Castle, one of the few original castles in Japan - sometimes called the ‘black castle or crow castle’ - due to its dark-colored exterior. This majestic castle is perched atop a hill and surrounded by a moat and thick walls. The interior of the main keep houses a museum displaying interesting and historic arms and artifacts.  Enjoy a delicious dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen hotel this evening 

Accommodations at MATSUNOYU or similar

 

Monday, April 18 (Day 12) 

MATSUE - MIYAJIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA (B)(D)

We’ll travel to Miyajima-guchi Pier to board a ferry to Miyajima Island, famed for scenic Itsukushima-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a large torii gate in 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 (Nihon Sankei). Enjoy strolling through Omotesando - the island’s main shopping street featuring many shops offering a nice shakushi (wooden rice paddles), and fresh oysters. We’ll leave the island by ferry and re-board our motorcoach to spend two nights in the city of Hiroshima. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.  

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Tuesday, April 19 (Day 13) 

HIROSHIMA - OSHIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA (B)

We’ll journey through Yanai City in Yamaguchi prefecture to Oshima Island, one of the largest islands in the Seto Naikai Strait. 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 about Hawaii and its people, including many photos, exhibits and artifacts of the hardships 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 now. Momiji Manju continues as one of Hiroshima’s most popular sweets. We’ll visit the Yam adaya Momiji Manju Factory & Shop where we’ll view a short video to see the production of momiji manju. A large selection of these confections with a variety of fillings are available in the shop. Dinner will be on your own this evening. You may want to try some delicious Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, the specialty of Hiroshima at one of the local restaurants located around the hotel.  

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Wednesday, April 20 (Day 14) 

HIROSHIMA TO HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)

The morning is at your leisure for your own activities. In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the Hiroshima Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival, we’ll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal to board our evening flight to  Honolulu, arriving on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A late meal will be served onboard the flight. 

Land portion based on 114 Yen = $1.00 U.S.

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 10/31/21. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, additional fuel surcharges 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.