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November 7 - 20, 2020 (14 days and 12 nights)

Featuring Sado Island and Kurobe Dam

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

(deposit must be made by 4/25/2020)

Narita Tokyo , Shinkansen to Niigata , Niigata , Northern Culture Museum , 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 , Noto Peninsula , Wajima , Wajima Asa-Ichi (Morning Market) , Shioyasu Urushi Ware Company , Wajima Kiriko Kaikan , Chirihama Beach Driveway , Tojinbo , Mikata Go-ko , Miyazu , Amanohashidate , Tottori , Tottori Sand Dunes , Suna no Bijuitsukan (Sand Museum) , Izumo Taisha Shrine , Matsue , Matsue Castle , Oshima Island , Hawaii Museum of Japanese Emigration , Hiroshima , Yamadaya Manju Factory , Miyajima Island , Haneda

$ 5,595 per person
$ 595 per person
$ 4,795 per person

(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Saturday, November 7 (Day 01)
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the All Nippon Airways (ANA) curbside 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 on board the flight.

Sunday, November 8 (Day 02)
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 at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

Monday, November 9 (Day 03)
This morning, we'll transfer by foot to the Ikebukuro Station to take a local train to Ueno Station. On arrival, we'll board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Niigata, capital of Niigata prefecture and facing the Sea of Japan. Niigata is known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice-related products, such as sake, senbei, and arare. On arrival at Niigata Station, we'll board our chartered motor coach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city. We'll visit the former residence of the wealthy Ito Family, an example of traditional Japanese architecture now preserved as the Northern Culture Museum. An impressive feature of the home is the zashiki (formal tatami reception room) looking-out on the peaceful serene garden. Enjoy shopping at Furusato-Mura, a unique facility offering a wide selection of local traditional food, snacks, sake and craft products. We will spend the night in the city of Niigata, the gateway to Sado Island. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NIIGATA or similar

Tuesday, November 10 (Day 04)
Sado Okesa Dance webThis morning, we'll board a jet foil 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. At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine located in Aikawa town, we'll descend into the old mining caves to see mechanical puppets dramatize the tough existence of the miners in the past. We'll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado Historical Folklore Museum) where relics of ex-Emperor Juntoku and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including 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. We'll have an opportunity to see these birds up-close in the park. We'll spend the night at a ryokan on Sado Island. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at the hotel this evening. Subject to availability, a performance of okesa (dance) will be held in the lobby this evening for your enjoyment.

Accommodations at SADO RESORT HOTEL AZUMA or similar

Wednesday, November 11 (Day 05)
This morning, we'll proceed to the port of Ryotsu and board a jet foil, crossing the Japan Sea back to Niigata city. We'll board our chartered motor coach and travel to Tsubame Sanjo - a region known for its metalware production. We'll visit an interesting shop offering a wide selection of various merchandise - unique kitchenware products, knives, scissors, gardening tools and more. Our journey continues 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. Time permitting, 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 local specialties.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar

Thursday, November 12 (Day 06)
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route webWe'll travel to the city of Omachi to the Shinano-Omachi Station, the starting point of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. This route is a unique and spectacular journey through the Northern Japan Alps, connecting Tateyama, Toyama, and Omachi in Nagano Prefecture. The main attraction of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route is the scenery of the Tateyama Mountain Range and the magnificent Kurobe Dam - the tallest arch dam on the Kurobe River. We'll enjoy a scenic ride through the mountains using various means of transportation: a cable car, a trolley bus, and a ropeway to enjoy the breathtaking view of the dam and 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

Friday, November 13 (Day 07)
Shirakawa go smallOur travel 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. Enjoy a stroll through Ogimachi Village, the largest village and the main attraction of Shirakawa-go featuring old farmhouses standing amid vegetable gardens and rice paddy fields. Many of them are now functioning as restaurants, shops, and small museums. We'll spend two nights in the castle town of Kanazawa, capital of Ishikawa prefecture. On arrival, enjoy a leisure stroll through the main attraction of the city - Kenroku-en Garden - noted as one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens. The garden features 'Kasumigaike‟, a large artificial pond with a stone lantern designed in the image of the Japanese koto (harp) - the symbol of the garden. Kanazawa is noted as the largest producer of gold leaf in all of Japan. Gold leaf is generally 22-karat gold that has been hammered into thin sheets by goldbeating and layered over other surfaces. We'll visit Haku Koukan, a gold leaf museum featuring exhibits and demonstrations of the craftsmanship of some of their intricate products. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

Saturday, November 14 (Day 08)
Kiriko Lantern Museum webThis morning, we'll travel north to 'Noto-Hanto', a scenic peninsula of rugged seascapes surrounded by the Japan Sea. Enjoy shopping and bargaining at the Wajima Asaichi (morning market), a large indoor and outdoor marketplace offering a nice selection of merchandise and dried seafood products including partially-dried abalone. 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 takes months to complete one finished product. We'll visit the Shioyasu Urushi Ware Company where a nice selection of their elegant products are tastefully displayed and available for purchase. Spectacular Kiriko lanterns are used for the festivals of the Noto Peninsula - a thousand-year-old tradition. These huge lacquered Kiriko lanterns, some as tall as four-story buildings, are on display at the Wajima Kiriko Art Museum, recreating the magical atmosphere of festivals with tradi- tional music. On our return to Kanazawa, weather permitting, we'll travel along the west coast of the peninsula on the Chirihama Beach Driveway - a beach resembling a sandy motorway. 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 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

Sunday, November 15 (Day 09)
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. Enjoy the view of magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and cliffs created by volcanic activities and formed through the years by sea erosion. We'll make a stop at Konbu Kan, a shop offering a nice selection of konbu, 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 east 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 con- centration of salt and is registered under the Ramsar Convention. We'll spend the night in Miyazu in Kyoto Prefecture. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen resort this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL & RESORTS KYOTO MIYAZU or similar

Monday, November 16 (Day 10)
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', turn your back towards the bay and bend forward to see the view from between your legs. We'll continue our travel along the scenic coast of the Japan Sea to spend the night in 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 the sand dunes to enjoy a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. We'll visit Suna no Bijuitsukan (The Sand Museum), a unique and interesting museum displaying large sand sculptures created by artists from around the world. Every year, each exhibition represents a theme, typically a region or a country, and changes annually. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at NEW OTANI TOTTORI HOTEL or similar

Monday, November 16 (Day 11)
Izumo Taisha ShrineWe'll continue our drive along the coast of the Sea of Japan to visit Izumo Taisha Shrine, constructed in the Taisha-zukuri style, 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 continue on to spend the night in Matsue, a beautiful town in Shimane Prefecture surrounded by water. 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. The majestic castle is perched atop a hill and surrounded by a moat and thick walls. The interior of the main keep now houses a museum displaying interesting period arms and artifacts. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing onsen at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations at MATSUNOYU or similar

Tuesday, November 17 (Day 12)
We'll travel south through Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures, passing through Yanai city to arrive on 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 with Kauai Island. The Theater Room features an interesting video about the history of government-contract labor relationships between Hawaii and the Japanese people and the work and life of the emigrants. The museum also displays many artifacts and photographs about the arrival of emigrants in Hawaii. We'll continue on to spend two nights in the city of Hiroshima. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HIROSHIMA or similar

Wednesday, November 18 (Day 13)
Itsukushima Shrine Autumn webMomiji Manju (a maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with a variety of fillings) is one of Hiroshima's most popular sweets. We'll travel to the town of Hatsukaichi and visit the Yamadaya Manju Factory to see the production of this delicious confectionary through a short video. 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. (Torii gate under going renovations) 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. 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 ANA CROWNE PLAZA HIROSHIMA or similar

Thursday, November 19 (Day 14)
The day is at leisure for your own activities until we depart for the airport in the afternoon. We'll transfer to the Hiroshima Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda. On arrival at Haneda Airport, we'll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda International Terminal to board 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  1/15/2020. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase and fluctuation of the rate 0of 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 110 Yen = $1.00 U.S