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2022 Country Trails of Honshu

April 3 - 15, 2022 (13 Days & 11 Nights)

(Tour dates may be subject to change)

Featuring Shodoshima Island, Wakura Onsen  Shinkansen to Yamaguchi

A tour division of Kobayashi Travel Service 

Haneda, Chureito Pagoda, Matsumoto, Matsumoto Castle, Daio Wasabi Farm, Takayama Jinya, Takayama, Miyagawa Morning Market, Hida no Sato, Noto Peninsula, Wakura Onsen, Kami Tokikuni-ke, Shiroyone Senmaida, Gold Leaf Hands-on-Activity, Kanazawa, Eiheiji Temple, Sanjusangendo, Kyoto, Shinkansen to Yamaguchi, Akiyoshi-do, Hagi, Hagiyaki Pottery Kiln, Tsuwano, Hiroshima, Shukkeien, Marugame Castle, Kinashi Bonsai Village, Takamatsu, Ferry to Shodoshima Island, Soy Sauce Factory, Shodoshima Olive Park, Kankakei Gorge, Sanuki Udon Making Hands-on Activity Awa Ningyo Joruri, Osaka, Kansai

 

LAND TOUR COST: 
$ 4,330 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 815 per person
 
(Group airfare to be advised when available) (Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Sunday, April 3 (Day 01) 

HONOLULU - HANEDA

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

 

Monday, April 4 (Day 02) 

ARRIVE HANEDA (D)

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

Accommodations at KEIO PLAZA HOTEL TOKYO or similar

 

Tuesday, April 5 (Day 03) 

TOKYO - MT. FUJI - MATSUMOTO (B)(D)

We’ll travel north through Yamanashi Prefecture to visit Chureito Pagoda, a five-storied pagoda overlooking Fujiyoshida city. Located high on the mountainside, the scene with cherry blossoms, the pagoda and the view of Mt. Fuji in the distance provides a spectacular view (weather permitting). We’ll continue on to the city of Matsumoto to visit Matsumoto  Castle, Japan’s oldest and premier historic castle, designated as a National Treasure of  Japan. The castle’s black-colored wooden donjon is the oldest structure in Japan and its black color gave the castle its nickname ‘Karasujo’ (Crow Castle). We’ll spend the night in  Matsumoto, second largest city in Nagano Prefecture. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at MATSUMOTO HOTEL KAGETSU or similar

 

Wednesday, April 6 (Day 04) 

MATSUMOTO - TAKAYAMA (B)(D)

This morning, enjoy a visit of the Daio Wasabi Farm, one of Japan’s largest wasabi farms.  Located in rural Azumino city near Matsumoto, the farm has large fields of wasabi with a  network of streams that provides each wasabi plant with clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. A variety of wasabi-related products are available for purchase in the shop on the farm. We’ll continue on to spend the night in the quaint town of Takayama, tucked away in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu prefecture in the Japan Alps. We’ll visit Takayama  Jinya, the local government building now open as a museum, located in the historic old town section near the Nakabashi Bridge. This complex, officially used until 1969 features beautifully maintained tatami-matted rooms. Adjacent to the main building stands a large  storehouse, known as the largest traditional rice storehouse and now functions as a museum. Dinner will be provided for you at the hotel this evening. 

Accommodations at HOTEL ASSOCIA TAKAYAMA or similar

 

Thursday, April 7 (Day 05) 

TAKAYAMA - NOTO PENINSULA - WAKURA ONSEN (B)(D)

Enjoy a leisure stroll through the Miyagawa Morning Market (asaichi) located along the  Miyagawa River in the old town district of Takayama. Featured are vendors offering a variety of local snacks, and local hand-made crafts including the local amulet - Sarubobo (baby monkey). These dolls bring happiness and protection and are generally offered from one woman to another. We’ll visit Hida no Sato, an open-air museum exhibiting traditional houses and buildings in a village-like atmosphere, located in the mountainous district of  Gifu prefecture. The museum features a number of gassho-zukuri farmhouses, named due to its steep thatched roofs resembling a pair of hands joined in prayer (gassho). We’ll continue our journey to spend the night at Wakura Onsen, a famous hot spring resort located beside Nanao Bay on the scenic Noto Peninsula. This resort town is dominated by massive ryokan complexes located all along the water’s edge. The most famous is Kagaya, consistently ranked among Japan’s best. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot spring waters of this elegant ryokan. 

Accommodations at KAGAYA (NOTO KYAKUDEN) or similar

 

Friday, April 8 (Day 06) 

WAKURA ONSEN - KANAZAWA (B)(D)

Enjoy a stroll through Wajima Asa-Ichi (morning market) - a large indoor and outdoor marketplace with vendors offering a variety of merchandise including a selection of dried seafood products: abalone, scallops and cuttlefish. We’ll travel to the tip of the Noto Peninsula to visit Kami Tokikuni-ke (Upper Tokikuni), one of the former residences of the Tokikuni Family, descendants of the powerful  Taira clan. Enjoy a magnificent view of Shiroyone Senmaida, a nostalgic rural landscape known for its scenic beauty of terraced rice paddies. Located at the foot of Mt. Koshu, this landscape is built on a steep slope with thousands of rice paddies forming a patchwork pattern, separated by stones and mud. Shiroyone Senmaida has been called one of Japan’s original landscapes, selected as one of  Japan’s Top 100 Rice Paddies and designated as a “Special Place of Scenic Beauty”. We’ll travel south to Kanazawa, capital city of  Ishikawa Prefecture, known for one of the three best-landscaped gardens, traditional arts, and handicrafts, and restored residences and chaya (teahouse) districts. Gold leaf is also a specialty of Kanazawa and we’ll enjoy a gold-leaf-hands-on-activity to decorate a special item to take home as a souvenir at one of the shops that specializes in gold leaf products. We’ll spend the night in the city of Kana zawa. Dinner will be provided for you this evening. 

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO KANAZAWA or similar

 

Saturday, April 9 (Day 07) 

KANAZAWA - FUKUI - KYOTO (B)

Eiheiji, a large temple complex and active monastery, stands on a slope in the mountains just outside of Fukui City and is one of two main temples of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism. Weather permitting, we’ll visit this sizable temple complex consisting of buildings and structures connected to each other by covered walkways. Historical buildings include the Sanmon Gate - the oldest standing building on the grounds today and the Buddha Hall which houses statues of the past, present, and future Buddha. Eiheiji is still an active monastery with hundreds of practicing monks living on its grounds. We’ll continue on to spend the night in the cultural city of Kyoto. On arrival, we’ll travel to eastern Kyoto to visit Sanjusangendo, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy.  The temple hall is Japan’s longest wooden structure with a large wooden statue of Senju Kannon sitting in the center of the main hall.  Flanked on each side of the statue are 1,000 life-sized armed Kannon statues standing in rows, creating an awesome sight. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at the various restaurants located at the train station or mall near the hotel. Accommodations at MIYAKO HOTEL KYOTO HACHIJO or similar

 

Sunday, April 10 (Day 08) 

KYOTO by SHINKANSEN to SHIN-YAMAGUCHI STATION - HAGI (B)(D)

This morning, we’ll transfer to the Kyoto Station to board our super express train to Shin-Yamaguchi Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture.  On arrival, we’ll travel to Mine city to view the vast lands of Akiyoshi-dai, a plateau dotted with limestone pinnacles, presenting a rare landscape in Japan. Below the surface at the south end of the plateau lies Akiyoshi-do, Japan’s longest limestone cave featuring various natural formations of underground waterfalls, terraces of limestone pools and a stream of cobalt blue water flowing along the path.  Akiyoshi-do was named by Emperor Hirohito in 1926 while he was still the crown prince. We’ll continue on to spend the night in the castle town of Hagi, best known for hagiyaki, one of the most famous pottery types in Japan. Over time, the color of hagiyaki changes with each use as tea residuals enter the openings on its surface - a characteristic highly appreciated by tea enthusiasts. We’ll visit one of the pottery kilns in the city to view the production of these unique pieces. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at HAGI HONJIN HOTEL or similar

 

Monday, April 11 (Day 09) 

HAGI - TSUWANO - HIROSHIMA (B)

We’ll enjoy a stroll through the town of Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture, surrounded by hills with a placid pleasant atmosphere. Old samurai mansions with white earthen walls, dark red roof tiles and wooden grated windows line the streets portraying scenes reminiscent of past centuries. A waterway flows by the main street filled with lively carp, adding color to the picturesque surroundings. We’ll continue on to Hiroshima, visiting Shukkei-en, a scenic landscape garden featuring miniature mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes & islets.  The entire garden is connected by a path that winds around the main pond in the center. We’ll spend the night in Hiroshima. Enjoy a  shopping escapade at the Hondori Shopping Arcade lined with many shops and restaurants. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the local specialty of Hiroshima. 

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HIROSHIMA HOTEL or similar

 

Tuesday, April 12 (Day 10) 

HIROSHIMA - MARUGAME - KINASHI - TAKAMATSU (B)(D)

We’ll travel on the Seto-Ohashi, a series of six double-deck bridges connecting the main island of Honshu to Kagawa Prefecture on  Shikoku Island, passing over five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Enjoy a nice view of these suspension bridges and the Seto  Inland Sea. On arrival on Shikoku Island, we’ll travel to Marugame, a port city in Kagawa Prefecture visiting Marugame-jo, one of twelve castles with an original wooden tenshu (keep) in Japan. The Ote Ichino Gate, Ote Nino Gate and the Tenshu are original buildings declared as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. We’ll continue on to visit one of the local nurseries at the  Kinashi Bonsai Village, an area featuring hundreds of bonsai nurseries located in the outskirts of Takamatsu city. The Kinashi region is a leading producer of pine trees used to create bonsai (potted miniature trees) carefully styled to achieve an aesthetic effect. We’ll spend the night in Takamatsu, capital of Kagawa Prefecture, best known for sanuki udon, the area’s most famous dish. Dinner will be provided for you this evening. 

Accommodations at JR. HOTEL CLEMENT TAKAMATSU or similar

 

Wednesday, April 13 (Day 11) 

TAKAMATSU - SHODOSHIMA ISLAND (B)(D)

This morning, we’ll transfer by ferry to spend the night on Shodoshima, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. The name  Shodoshima literally means ‘small bean island’, referring to the azuki bean, but now refers to the soybean or olive. The island features beaches, coastal sceneries and a mountainous interior highlighted by Kankakei Gorge, one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges,  nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty. A ropeway will take us to enjoy a panoramic view over the gorge, the island, and the Seto Inland Sea. Shodoshima also has a 400-year history of soy sauce production with dozens of factories. We’ll visit one of the leading factories with a museum that explains the production process along with displays of all the vats and tools required to produce soy sauce. Enjoy a visit of Shodoshima Olive Park located on the southern side of the island, featuring a windmill which was a gift from Milos, Greece. The park offers a variety of olive-related food items, health, and beauty products produced and sold at the gift shop. Dinner will be provided for you this evening. 

Accommodations at OLIVIAN SHODOSHIMA YUHIGAOKA HOTEL or similar

 

Thursday, April 14 (Day 12) 

SHODOSHIMA ISLAND - OSAKA (B)(L)(D)

We’ll return by ferry to Takamatsu city on Shikoku Island. On arrival, enjoy a hands-on activity to make your own sanuki udon at the Nakano Udon Gakko. The teachers will provide you with instructions on how to roll and cut your own udon to enjoy for your lunch. Sanuki udon is the most famous dish of Takamatsu and noted as one of Japan’s most famous type of udon noodles. We’ll continue on to the city of Tokushima to enjoy a performance of Awa Ningyo Joruri (Tokushima-based Japanese Puppet Show) at the  Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater & Museum). In the exhibition room, observe how the puppets are manipulated with ningyo zukai (puppeteers) and view exhibits of the puppets and costumes used for the performances. The separate arts of puppet manipulation, gidayu narration and shamisen accompaniment blend together to present a dramatic performance of a tragic drama (live performance subject to confirmation). Our travel continues on as we cross the Naruto Channel on the Naruto Ohashi to Awajishima, the inland sea’s largest island. Tidal currents between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean creates uzushio (whirlpools) of various sizes and we may be able to see some as we drive on the bridge to Awajishima. We’ll drive through the island and cross the Akashi  Strait on the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, a suspension bridge that links Iwaya on Awaji Island to Kobe on the main island of Honshu.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Osaka. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel. 

Accommodations at HOTEL GRANVIA OSAKA or similar

 

Friday, April 15 (Day 13) 

OSAKA - KANSAI to HONOLULU (B)

The morning is at your leisure for your own activities. In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the Kansai International Airport to check-in 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.