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Traveling to Honshu through Seikan Undersea Tunnel on Hokkaido Shinkansen

October 16 - 27, 2023  (12 Days & 10 Nights)

Haneda, Chitose, Otaru, Sakaimachihondori, Music Box Hands-on-Activity, The Historical Museum of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Shiraoi, Upopoy National Ainu Museum, Noboribetsu, Jigokudani (Hell Valley), Mt. Showa Shin-zan, Usu-zan Ropeway, Hakodate, Goryokaku Tower, Hakodate Morning Market, Hokkaido Shinkansen, Seikan Undersea Tunnel, Aomori, Nebuta No Ie Warasse, Apple Picking Experience, Oirase River Valley, Morioka, Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Hiraizumi, Geibi-kei Gorge, Matsushima Bay Cruise, Miyagi Zao Kokeshi Doll Museum, Kokeshi Doll Painting Hands-on-Activity, Fukushima, Iimoriyama, Aizu Buke Yashiki (Samurai Mansion), Nihonmatsu, Kiku-Matsuri (Chrysanthemum Festival), Nikko, Tosho-gu Shrine, Tobu World Square, Tokyo, Haneda

(deposit of $100 per person received by 5/1/2023)

Land Twin Cost:
$3,695 per person

Single Supplement:

(Group airfare is not included in land tour cost)
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included) 


Monday, October 16  (Day 01)
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the Japan Airlines check-in lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures.  We will depart Honolulu for Haneda International Airport.  A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight. 

Tuesday, October 17  (Day 02)
On arrival at Haneda Airport, we’ll clear entry and customs formalities, then transfer with our luggage to check-in for our domestic flight to Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and second largest island.  On arrival at Chitose Airport, we’ll transfer to our hotel to check-in for the night.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, October 18  (Day 03)
This morning we’ll visit The Hokkaido Historical Museum located in the Nopporo Forest Park.  The two-story museum introduces the nature, culture and history of Hokkaido and the Ainu people with interesting exhibits and artifacts.  We’ll travel to Otaru, a charming port city facing Ishikari Bay, located in western Hokkaido.  A well-known symbol of the city is Otaru Canal, adorned with Victorian-style street lamps and old warehouses, providing a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere.  Many of the buildings along the canal have been restored into museums, restaurants, and shops.  Enjoy strolling through Sakaimachi-hondori, a preserved merchant street in the center of town, to browse through the sweet shops, glassware shops and a unique music box museum.  At the entrance of the music box museum stands an old-fashioned steam clock, presented to Otaru by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.  We’ll participate on a hands-on-activity to create your own music box to bring home as a souvenir.  Otaru is also noted for its intricate glassware featuring its most popular item - a drip-free soy sauce bottle.  Created in all sizes, shapes and colors, you’ll find them available at the glassware shops in the town.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Sapporo, the largest and capital city of Hokkaido.  This evening, a welcome dinner will be provided for you at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar


Thursday, October 19  (Day 04)
We’ll travel south to visit the recently opened Upopoy National Ainu Museum located nearby Lake Poroto in Shiraoi.  This interesting museum highlights the diversity of traditional Ainu history, culture and its people.  Subject to confirmation, enjoy a performance of singers and dancers performing traditional songs and dances in the theater.  We’ll continue on to spend the night at an onsen resort in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort.  Before we check-in at the hotel, we’ll visit Jigokudani (Hell Valley), a spectacular ravine located just above the town of Noboribetsu.  Hot steam vents, sulfurous streams, and other volcanic activity can be viewed at this magnificent site - the main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the fabulous onsen at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations at NOBORIBETSU GRAND HOTEL or similar


Friday, October 20  (Day 05)
Our travels continue on to Toya-ko, a large caldera lake located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.  This region features one of Japan’s youngest and still active volcano - Mt. Showa Shinzan, located on the east flank of Mt. Usu.  Mt. Showa Shinzan was created as a result of hundreds of explosive eruptions and mudslides.  Hissing steam still escapes through some of the fissures of this new mountain.  Weather permitting, enjoy a ride on the Usu-zan Ropeway to the observation deck to get a close-up view of the volcano’s summit with panoramic views of Lake Toya and the neighboring Mt. Showa Shinzan.  We’ll drive along Uchiura Bay to the seaport city of Hakodate, located at the island’s southern tip to spend the night.  Hakodate is best known for Fort Goryokaku, a massive star-shaped Western-style citadel, built originally for the defense of the city.  After the fort lost its military importance, it was eventually transformed into a public park.  Enjoy a breathtaking view of this star-shaped fortress and the city from the top of the observation deck at Goryokaku Tower.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening. 

Accommodations at HAKODATE KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

Saturday, October 21  (Day 06)
This morning, we’ll enjoy an exciting shopping adventure at the Hakodate (asaichi) Morning Market.  This busy marketplace features many indoor and outdoor local vendors offering a huge selection of dried seafood products such as scallops, squid, cuttlefish, konbu and a nice variety of seaweed-related products.  Have fun bargaining with the various vendors for the best discounted prices for your merchandise.  We’ll proceed to the Hakodate Railway Station to board the ‘Hokkaido Shinkansen’ and travel through the Seikan Undersea Tunnel that connects Hokkaido to the island of Honshu.  We’ll arrive in Aomori, the northernmost capital city of Aomori Prefecture, to spend the night.  On arrival, we’ll visit Nebuta No Ie Warasse, an interesting museum dedicated to the city’s famous Nebuta Matsuri (Nebuta Festival) held annually during the summer.  The museum is housed in a unique building along Aomori’s waterfront district and features photos and images to provide you with a glimpse of the 300-year history of the Nebuta Matsuri.  Admire the intricate craftsmanship and details of several floats used for past festivals displayed in the showroom.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations HOTEL AOMORI or similar

Sunday, October 22  (Day 07)
Aomori prefecture is also noted as Japan’s largest producer of apples, and you’ll find many apple-related products available at numerous souvenir shops in this prefecture.  We’ll visit an apple orchard to enjoy an apple picking experience (subject to availability).  Our travels continue on to enjoy a relaxing drive along the picturesque Oirase River Valley, one of Japan’s major tourist attractions of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park during the autumn season.  The Oirase stream flows along the scenic Oirase Gorge, winding among trees with brilliant red, yellow and orange colors (subject to weather conditions) together with scenic waterfalls cascading down into the stream from the walls of the gorge.  We’ll drive by scenic Towada-ko, the largest crater lake on Honshu Island.  Located on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, its bright blue color is due to its great depth and is noted as the third-deepest lake in Japan.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Morioka, one of the most appealing old castle towns in Japan with a long history of ironware production.  We’ll visit Morioka Tezukuri Mura (Handy Works Center), a village with various workshops featuring hand-crafted traditional goods such as wooden toys, pottery, tie-dyed merchandise, cast ironware and more (subject to availability).  Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local cuisine offered at one of the restaurants located at the train station near the hotel.  Specialties of Morioka are wanko-soba (soba noodles served in tiny bowls) and reimen (cold firm Chinese noodles).

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN MORIOKA or similar

Monday, October 23  (Day 08)
Our tour continues on to enjoy a relaxing ride on the peaceful waters of Geibi-kei Gorge in a flat-bottomed boat.  This scenic gorge is located outside of the city of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture.  Enjoy the natural scenery with impressive tall cliffs and rock formations as we glide on the shallow river through the gorge, navigated with a serenading boatman on board. Weather permitting, the fall colors should be at their peak this time of the year.  We’ll continue on to Shiogama Pier to board a ferry and enjoy a relaxing and scenic cruise on Matsushima Bay, featuring hundreds of tiny islands covered with pine trees - noted as one of the three most scenic views of Japan - Nihon Sankei.  We’ll arrive at the pier in the town of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture.  Enjoy strolling through the souvenir shops lined along the main street of this quaint little town.  Enjoy a fabulous dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs at our hotel this evening in Matsushima.

Accommodations at MATSUSHIMA CENTURY HOTEL or similar

Tuesday, October 24  (Day 09)
Kokeshi dolls (Japanese dolls) are one of the most popular and famous traditional folk craft products in the Tohoku area.  These dolls are handmade from wood with a simple trunk and an enlarged head with no arms or legs.  Enjoy a visit of the Miyagi Zao Kokeshi Museum to participate in a hands-on activity to paint your own features on a kokeshi doll to take home as a souvenir.  We’ll visit the famous Aizu Buke Yashiki (Samurai Mansion), a residence that served as the quarters for the region’s most important and highest-ranking samurai, including his family, employees and servants.  The original complex has been reconstructed and furnished to replicate its appearance during the Edo Period.  We’ll visit Iimoriyama, the site where twenty young Aizu soldiers of the Byakkotai (White Tiger Force) committed seppuku (ritual suicide) when they presumed that all was lost when their castle Tsuruga-jo was on fire.  On the top of the hillside are several monuments including the nineteen tombs for the Byakkotai soldiers.  Although there were twenty of them, one of the boys survived the suicide attempt.  Along the pathway down from the hillside are several monuments, statues and other buildings of interest devoted to the Byakkotai.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in the town of Inawashiro, located in the northern Aizu region of Fukushima prefecture.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL LISTEL INAWASHIRO or similar

Wednesday, October 25  (Day 10)
Our journey continues on to Nihonmatsu, a city located in Fukushima prefecture in northern Honshu.  The main attraction during the autumn season is to visit the Kiku-Matsuri (Chrysanthemum Festival), held annually on the grounds of Kasumigajo Castle.  Stroll through the grounds of the castle to view beautiful and unique displays of brightly-colored chrysanthemum flowers - draped on mannequins depicting various historical or mythical figures from Japanese culture, kabuki actors, and characters from the NHK Taiga drama historical TV series.  These flowers were introduced into Japan in the 18th century from China and the Emperor has adopted this flower as his official seal.  We’ll continue on to Nikko, a small town located at the entrance to Nikko National Park, one of Japan’s major tourist attractions with its splendid shrines and beautiful autumn foliage.  Nikko is famous for Toshogu Shrine - Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Consisting of many Shinto and Buddhist buildings set in a beautiful wooded forest, Toshogu Shrine is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ruled Japan for over 250 years.  A huge stone torii (Shinto Shrine Gate) and a beautiful red and gold five-story pagoda marks the entrance to the shrine.  This evening, enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs at our hotel in Kinugawa Onsen.

Accommodations at KINUGAWA GRAND HOTEL YUME NO TOKI or similar

Thursday, October 26  (Day 11)
Enjoy a visit to Tobu World Square, a theme park featuring replicas of famous structures from all around the world.  Detailed models include ancient monuments, cultural treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites reproduced with miniature cars, trains, gardens, and people.  Tobu World Square is divided into zones based on regions of the world: Japan Zone, Asia Zone, Europe Zone, Egypt Zone, and America Zone - featuring the White House and a section of downtown New York City.  We’ll continue on to spend our last night in Tokyo.  The afternoon is free for your own activities to explore Odaiba Island at your own pace.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.  Many dining and shopping are available at the malls located nearby the hotel.

Accommodations at GRAND NIKKO TOKYO  DAIBA or similar

Friday, October 27  (Day 12)
The morning is at your leisure to enjoy more shopping or to explore more of the area on your own.  In the afternoon, we will transfer to Haneda International Airport to check-in for our evening flight to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line.  A meal will be served on board the flight.

Land portion based on 130 Yen = $1.00 U.S.

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 6/1/2022. 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.


2023 Tour Registration Form

2023 General Conditions & Addendum (Japan/International)