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2022 CENTRAL HONSHU SPECIAL

Featuring Rice Paddy Tanbo Art 

September 15 - 26, 2022 (12 days & 10 nights) 

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT

($100 deposit per person received by 2/28/22)

(Tour dates may be subject to change)

Narita, Tokyo, Gyoda, Tanbo Art, Kodai Hasu no Sato Park, Tabi to Kurashi no Museum, Iwatsuki, Togyoku Doll Museum, Kawagoe, Kashiya Yokocho, Takasaki, Daruma no Furusato Daimon-ya, Konnyaku Park, Hands-on-experience, Kyu-Karuizawa, Karuizawa Ginza, Kumoba-ike Pond, Shiraito no Taki, Kusatsu Onsen, Yumomi Performance, NTA Fruit Farm, Hands-on-fruit-picking experience, Nagano, Zenkoji Temple, Matsumoto, Kofu, Mitake Shosenkyo, Shosenkyo Gorge Ropeway, Iyashi no Sato, Lake Yamanaka, Mishima Skywalk, Izu Fruit Park, Melon Tasting Experience, Inatori, Kamakura, Amida Buddha, Yokohama, Sankeien Garden, Yokohama Chinatown, My CupNoodles Factory, Odaiba , Imperial Palace Grounds, Meiji Jingu, Ameyokocho, Narita 

 

LAND TOUR COST: 
$ 3,750 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 1300 per person
 
(Group airfare to be advised when available) (Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

 

Thursday, September 15 (Day 01) 

HONOLULU - NARITA

Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. Lunch and a  snack will be served onboard your flight.  

 

 

Friday, September 16 (Day 02) 

ARRIVE NARITA - TOKYO (D)

We’ll arrive Narita International Airport in the early afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, we’ll transfer to our hotel in Tokyo. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

 

 

Saturday, September 17 (Day 03) 

TOKYO - GYODA - IWATSUKI - KAWAGOE (B)(D)

We’ll travel to Gyoda, a city in Saitama Prefecture, known for its scenic rice paddy fields.  The main highlight is to view a rice paddy field that has been created into a giant artistic canvas known as tanbo art. Different varieties of rice, which grow into colorful stalks are planted by hand in a pre-determined pattern. As the rice grows, an amazing picture is revealed. Subject to weather conditions, we’ll view this spectacular sight from the observation tower of the Ancient Lotus Hall located on the grounds of Kodai Hasu no Sato Park.  Gyoda city is also noted as the largest producer of tabi (Japanese socks with a split toe)  during the peak of the Showa era. We’ll visit Tabi to Kurashi no Museum, a small museum that preserves the image of a tabi sock factory. Subject to availability, we may be able to view craftsmen producing tabis available for purchase. We’ll travel to the city of Iwatsuki,  Japan’s largest “Doll’s Town” featuring hundreds of doll workshops and doll retail shops.  Enjoy a visit of the Togyoku Doll Museum featuring rare & historical dolls, including dolls used for celebration by children - Hina-ningyo for girls and Gogatsu-ningyo for boys. We’ll visit the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, an excellent garden museum showcasing the various aspects of bonsai and how to appreciate the art form. We’ll continue on to spend the night in Kawagoe, a charming town retaining an ambience reminiscent of the Edo period - thereby known as “Little Edo”. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.  

Accommodations at PALACE HOTEL OMIYA or similar

 

 

Sunday, September 18 (Day 04) 

KAWAGOE - TAKASAKI - KYU-KARUIZAWA (B)(D)

This morning, enjoy a stroll through Kawagoe on the main street of the Warehouse District  - a street lined with kurazukuri (clay-walled warehouse-style buildings) constructed with an  Edo architectural flavor. Try some traditional Japanese sweets available at the shops lined along the streets of Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Alley). Our journey continues on to Takasaki city in Gunma prefecture, famous as the hometown of the Daruma Doll, hollow round  Japanese traditional dolls in various colors modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the  Zen tradition of Buddhism. These dolls are a symbol of perseverance and good luck. We’ll visit the Daruma no Furusato Daimon-ya, a facility displaying a wide selection of daruma dolls in various sizes and colors. Enjoy a visit of Konnyaku Park, an interesting and unique theme park. featuring many varieties of konnyaku (a low-calorie, rubbery, block of jelly). The facility is divided into three zones: a konjac & shirataki zone, a jelly zone, and a  buffet and souvenir zone. Observe the production process of konjac jelly through large windows on a self-guided tour of the factory (subject to availability). Prepared in all shapes,  flavors and forms, we’ll enjoy some yummy samples of this product at the ‘konnyaku buf fet’. Enjoy a hands-on-experience to make your own konjac jelly in the kitchen.  (subject to availability) We’ll continue on to Karuizawa to leisurely stroll through the streets of Karuizawa Ginza, lined with many cafes, souvenir shops and sweet shops offering delicious fruit jams and honey, specialties of Karuizawa. We’ll spend the night in Kyu Karuizawa, a mountain resort area located at the foot of Mount Asama. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at THE PRINCE KARUIZAWA or similar

 

 

Monday, September 19 (Day 05) 

KYU-KARUIZAWA - KUSATSU (B)(D)

This morning, we’ll visit scenic Kumoba-ike Pond, an artificial pond also known as “Swan Lake” due to the many swans that visit here during the winter season. We’ll continue on to visit Shiraito no taki (white thread) Falls, an elegant and picturesque waterfall located in Karuizawa. The falls are impressive as multiple wide streaks of water drape over the mountain surface and form a white curtain of water falling into a pond. We’ll continue on to spend the night at Kusatsu Onsen, one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts located in Gunma prefecture. The sulfurous, highly acidic hot spring waters at Kusatsu is considered as Japan’s best and said to cure every illness. The symbol of Kusatsu is Yubatake, a hot water field considered one of the resort’s main sources of hot water and also ranked as one of Japan’s most productive hot spring source. Yumomi is the centuries-old traditional method of cooling down  Kusatsu’s hot spring water to bathing temperature. This cooling method is achieved by stirring the water using large wooden paddles performed by a troupe of locals together with the singing of traditional folk songs and dances. Enjoy this special Yumomi performance held in the Netsu-no-yu located adjacent to the Yubatake. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot spring waters at our onsen hotel this evening.  

Accommodations at YOROKOBI no yado TAKAMATSU or similar

 

 

Tuesday, September 20 (Day 06) 

KUSATSU - NAGANO - MATSUMOTO (B)(D)

Subject to availability, enjoy a fruit-picking adventure to pick and enjoy some fruits of the season at the special NTA Fruit Farm located in Iiyama city in Nagano prefecture. We’ll travel to Nagano, noted for Zenkoji Temple, one of the most important and popular temples in Japan. The temple’s main hall is nicely ornamented and contains various Buddhist statues. As an option, in the basement of the inner chamber is an underground passage where you can walk through in complete darkness in search of the ‘key to paradise’.  The key is attached to a wall along the corridor and is believed to grant salvation to anyone who touches it. The approach way to the temple is lined with many souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants. We’ll continue on to spend the night in Matsumoto, the second-largest city in Nagano prefecture. We’ll make a photo stop to visit its most famous attraction - Matsumoto-jo, one of Japan’s premier historic castles. Matsumoto Castle is one of five castles designated as a National Treasure of Japan and is also known as “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at HOTEL BUENA VISTA or similar

 

 

Wednesday, September 21 (Day 07) 

MATSUMOTO - KOFU - LAKE YAMANAKA (B)(D)

We’ll continue our journey to Kofu, capital city of Yamanashi prefecture located in the Kofu Basin. The main attraction of the city is  Mitake Shosenkyo, one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges - part of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Mt. Fuji and the Minami Alps Mountains on the Shosenkyo Gorge Ropeway to the viewing platform at the Panorama-dai  Station. We’ll continue on to visit Iyashi no Sato, the site of a former farming village located on the western shores of Lake Saiko, the smallest of the Fuji Five Lakes. After its destruction by a landslide in 1966, the village’s traditional thatched roofed houses were reconstructed and reopened as an open-air museum and craft village, offering local handicrafts. The village is made up of many houses converted into shops, restaurants, museums, and galleries. Each of the shops specialize in traditional craft such as pottery, tie dyeing or weaving. We will continue on to overnight at an onsen hotel in Lake Yamanaka - the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant hotel this evening. 

Accommodations at FUJI MARRIOTT HOTEL LAKE YAMANAKA similar

 

 

Thursday, September 22 (Day 08 

LAKE YAMANAKA - MISHIMA - INATORI (B)(D)  

We’ll travel to the city of Mishima to enjoy a spectacular view of Mr. Fuji and the surrounding Suruga Bay (weather permitting) as you stroll on Japan’s longest suspension bridge – the Mishima Skywalk. The bridge was constructed by Fujico Corporation and opened to the public in December, 2015. We’ll continue on to visit the Izu Fruit Park, a farm that cultivates seasonal fruits such as strawberries, mikan oranges, and melons. We’ll visit the greenhouse to see the production of musk melons growing on a vine. Subject to  availability, enjoy a yummy ‘melon tasting’ experience. We’ll continue on to spend the night at an onsen hotel located in east Izu in  Shizuoka prefecture. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.  

Accommodations at INATORISO TOKAI HOTEL YUEN or similar

 

 

Friday, September 23 (Day 09) 

INATORI - KAMAKURA (B)(D)

Izuhigashi wine or Japanese orange wine produced from oranges, is a popular souvenir of Izu Peninsula. We’ll make a stop at the Izu  Higashi Winery located in Higashi city to see some of their products produced there. We’ll continue on our scenic drive along the coast to the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture. On arrival, we’ll view the huge monumental bronze statue of Amida Buddha,  the second tallest bronze statue in Japan. Weighing close to 93 tons, the Great Buddha was originally housed in a temple but today sits serenely in the lotus position in the open court on the grounds of Kotoku-in Temple. We’ll spend the night in Kamakura. Dinner will be provided for you this evening. 

Accommodations at KAMAKURA PRINCE HOTEL or similar

 

 

Saturday, September 24 (Day 10) 

KAMAKURA - YOKOHAMA - TOKYO (B)(D)

We’ll travel to Yokohama, capital city of Kanagawa prefecture and enjoy a stroll through picturesque Sankeien Garden. This spacious Japanese-style garden features historic buildings, a pond, and several leisure trails. Among the historic buildings featured in the park are an elegant daimyo (feudal lord) residence, tea houses, and a three-storied pagoda of Kyoto’s old To myoji Temple. We’ll stroll through Japan’s largest Chinatown - Yokohama Chukagai, featuring delicious street food such as steamed buns and sweets at the food stands located along the main street for you to try. Enjoy browsing through the many variety of shops selling good luck charms, souvenirs, tea, herbs, seasonings and more. Subject to confirmation, enjoy a hands-on activity at the My CUPNOODLES Factory. Design your own cup and select your favorite soup and toppings to create your very own ‘Cup of Noodles’ to take home as a souvenir. We’ll continue on to spend two nights on Odaiba Island, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, across the Rainbow Bridge. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA HOTEL or similar

 

 

Sunday, September 25 (Day 11) 

TOKYO (B)

Enjoy a full-day tour of Tokyo, visiting some of the highlights of the city. We’ll visit the grounds of the current Imperial Palace,  residence of Japan’s Imperial Family, located in Kokyo, the former site of Edo-jo Castle - surrounded by moats and massive stone walls. We’ll view the Nijubashi - two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge at the front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge), resembling a pair of eyeglasses. We’ll continue on to visit Meiji Jingu, an important shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, noted as one of Japan’s most popular shrines. At the entrance stands a massive torii gate followed by a tranquil forest with thousands of trees. Enjoy a shopping adventure to purchase some last minute items to bring home for your family and friends at Ameyokocho, a district with many indoor and outdoor vendors offering a variety of snack and food products at discounted prices. Dinner will be on your own this evening. 

Accommodations at GRAND NIKKO TOKYO DAIBA HOTEL or similar

 

 

Monday, September 26 (Day 12) 

TOKYO - NARITA TO HONOLULU (B)

The morning is at your leisure for your own activities until we transfer to the Narita International Airport for our flight home to  Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. 

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.