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October 11 - 22, 2024 (12 days & 10 nights)

Haneda, Chitose, Lake Shikotsu, Upopoy National Ainu Museum & Park, Jigokudani, Noboribetsu Onsen, Lake Toya, Mt. Showa Shinzan, Usuzan Ropeway, Otaru, Sapporo, Furano, Farm Tomita, Biei, Blue Pond, Otokoyama Sake Brewery, Asahikawa, Wakkanai, Wakkanai Koen, Cape Soya, Lake Kutcharo, Sounkyo Gorge, Abashiri, Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum, Abashiri Prison Museum, Oshin Koshin Waterfall, Shiretoko Peninsula Cruise, Shiretoko-Go-Ko, Lake Akan, Lake Akan Boat Cruise, Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center, Tokachigawa, Sapporo, Historical Museum of Hokkaido, Chitose, Haneda

(deposit of $100 per person received by 5/15/2024)

Twin Tour Cost$4,590 per person
Single Supplement: $800
Includes group air arrangements on Japan Airlines from Honolulu

Land Tour Cost: $3,350
Individual arrangements to meet group are not included

Friday, October 11 (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 our flight to Haneda International Airport.  Lunch and a snack will be served on board the flight.


Saturday, October 12  (Day 02)
On arrival at Haneda Airport, we’ll clear entry and customs formalities, then transfer to the domestic lobby for our domestic flight to Chitose in Hokkaido the second largest and northernmost island of Japan.  We’ll arrive at Chitose Airport in the evening, and transfer to our hotel located in the airport terminal to check-in for the night.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar


Sunday, October 15  (Day 03)
We’ll travel to visit picturesque Lake Shikotsu, Japan’s second deepest and northernmost caldera lake located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.  This scenic lake was formed from collapses in the earth after volcanic activity and is encircled by mountains, one of which is Mount Tarumae.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in an onsen resort in Noboribetsu, one of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resorts.  En route, enjoy a visit of the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, the first national museum in Hokkaido located nearby Lake Poroto.  The museum highlights the diversity of contemporary Ainu culture and its people as well as focusing on traditional Ainu culture.  We’ll visit Jigokudani (Hell Valley), a spectacular ravine located just above the town of Noboribetsu.  Displays of 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 a delicious dinner and relax in the soothing waters of our fabulous onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at NOBORIBETSU GRAND HOTEL or similaronsen mark


Monday, October 14 (Day 04)
Our travel continues on to view scenic Lake Toya, a large volcanic caldera lake located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.  This picturesque lake was chosen as the location of the G8 summit which Japan hosted in the summer of 2008.  In addition to the lake, this region features Mt. Showa Shinzan, one of Japan’s youngest and still active volcanoes.  Showa Shinzan originally emerged as a little bump, but after a series of earthquakes and mud slides, continued to surge upwards to reach its present height.  It is an awesome sight to see as it sits there hissing steam.  Mt. Usu-zan, the force behind the creation of Mt. Showa Shinzan can be seen in the distance.  From the small town at the foot of Mt. Showa Shinzan, enjoy a ride on the Usuzan Ropeway to the observation deck at the top of the Mt. Usu Ropeway Summit Station.  Weather permitting, enjoy a spectacular view of the volcano’s summit, panoramic views of Lake Toya and the neighboring Mt. Showa Shinzan.  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.  Many of the buildings along the canal have been restored into museums, restaurants, and shops.  Enjoy strolling through Sakaimachi Dori, a preserved merchant street featuring several cafes, glassware and sweet shops, and a unique music box museum.  Standing at the front entrance of the museum is an old-fashioned steam clock, presented to Otaru by the city of Vancouver.  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, this is a popular souvenir to bring home for your family and friends.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Sapporo, capital city of Hokkaido.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at SAPPORO GRAND HOTEL or similar


Tuesday, October 15  (Day 05)
Our journey continues on to Furano, a city located in the geographical center of Hokkaido.  The city is best-known for its spectacular fields of lavender flowers in bloom during the summer season.  We’ll visit Farm Tomita, one of Hokkaido’s premier flower farms, to view beautiful seasonal flowers neatly planted in rows - creating a colorful rainbow field of flowers (subject to availability).  The farm features several fields of flowers, greenhouses, cafes and souvenir shops.  We’ll drive north through the picturesque town of Biei, noted as the ‘town of beautiful hills’.  The landscape of its vast fields, hills and trees has been used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and television programs.  Enjoy a visit to the Shirogane Blue Pond, a mysterious man-made senic pond in Biei, created to stop the flow of destructive volcanic mudflows from Mount Tokachi.  The color of the pond ranges from a vibrant turquoise to cobalt blue that is caused by minerals in the water.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Asahikawa, Hokkaido’s second largest city.  The island of Hokkaido is known to have the ideal climate and water conditions to produce superior sake.  For sake enthusiasts, Otokoyama is Asahikawa’s most famous sake, both within Japan and worldwide.  We’ll visit the Otokoyama Sake Brewery & Museum to view exhibits and learn about the sake making process.  At the conclusion of the tour, some of their delicious products will be available for you to sample and enjoy.  Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local specialties of the area at the train station located nearby the hotel.

Accommodation at JR INN ASAHIKAWA or similar


Wednesday, October 16  Day 6)
We’ll travel north through the towns of Horonobe and Toyotomi to spend the night in Wakkanai, a city located at the northern fringe of Hokkaido.  On arrival, we’ll visit Wakkanai Koen, a large park offering commanding views of the area.  Featured in the park are several historical monuments including the Monument to Nine Ladies, a memorial commemorating the nine female operators working at a Sakhalin Island telegraph station who committed suicide at the post office after they learned about the fall of Karafuto (Sakhalin) to Russian troops.  Also featured in the park is a Monument to Taro and Jiro, two Siberian huskies that an Antarctic expedition was forced to leave behind.  When the trainer returned with another expedition the following year, much to his surprise, he was warmly greeted by the two dogs who had survived a whole Antarctic winter.  Their story is detailed in the 1983 film Nankyoku Monogatari.  Weather permitting, you may be able to see Rishiri Island and Rebun Island, two windswept islands off the northern tip.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at SURFEEL HOTEL WAKKANAI or similar


Thursday, October 17 (Day 07)
This morning, we’ll visit Soya-Misaki (Cape Soya), located at the northernmost point of the island of Hokkaido and Japan - a lonely but significant spot.  To commemorate this fact stands a large Northernmost Point Monument, a gray concrete triangle engraved with accomplishments.  Located nearby is the Statue of Mamiya Rinzo, a Japanese explorer from the Edo period famous for his explorations and mapping of Karafuto (Sakhalin) and discovering that it was an island.  Soyamisaki Park, located nearby on the hillside, features additional monuments:  The Tower of Prayer, a memorial of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 that was shot down in 1983 with its tip pointing toward the direction where the plane went down and the Bell for World Peace, a replica of the bell located in the garden opposite the United Nations Building in New York.  We’ll continue our journey south to view Lake Kutcharo, a world famous wetlands area that is home to thousands of swans that migrate from northern Siberia to Japan during the winter season.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Sounkyo, a popular hot-spring resort located in the Daisetsu-zan National Park.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at SOUNKYO CHOYOTEI HOTEL or similar


Friday, October 18 (Day 08)
The largest of Japan’s national parks, Daisetsu-zan, contains the very essence of rugged Hokkaido: vast plains, soaring mountain peaks, hidden gorges, cascading waterfalls, forests, and wilderness.  The main route through the park is Sounkyo Gorge - a scenic ravine that extends into the park.  For a 5-mile stretch, sheer cliffs rise on both sides of the canyon as the road winds through the mountain.  This tame gorge is renowned for its picturesque waterfalls featuring two of the main ones:  Ryusei-no-taki (Shooting Star Falls) and Ginga-no-taki (Milky Way Falls).  We’ll make a photo stop to view both of these falls before continuing on to Abashiri, a city overlooked by Mount Tento-zan and the Sea of Okhotsk.  On arrival in Abashiri, we’ll visit the Abashiri Prison Museum, consisting of many buildings which were in use until the year 1984.  Only the most heinous criminals were banished to this forbidden northern outpost known as the Alcatraz of Japan.  The prison cells, watch towers, and prison farm buildings show how stark and monotonous life was for inmates, relieved only by restricted bathhouse visits.  Anguished looking mannequins bring it all to life as we retrace the history of convict labor and the harsh life of a prisoner on a tour of this open-air site.  A visit to the Okhotsk Ryuhyo (drift ice) Museum located on Mount Tento provides interesting explanations about the history of drift ice that flows into the Sea of Okhotsk.  We’ll enjoy a video in a hi-vision theater that features the four seasons of the Sea of Okhotsk and the surrounding area.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant onsen hotel in Abashiri this evening.

Accommodations At HOTEL ABASHIRIKOSO or similaronsen mark


Saturday, October 19 (Day 9)
We’ll proceed east to the Shiretoko Peninsula, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  En route, we’ll view Oshinkoshin-no-taki, a spectacular waterfall located along the main road to the peninsula.  Designated as “one of the 100 most beautiful waterfalls of Japan”, the waterfall is split into two sections midway down, known as Soubi-no-taki (Twin Beauty Waterfall).  At Utoro, a town located at the entrance to the Shiretoko National Park, we’ll board the Shiretoko Tourist Ship Aurora to enjoy a scenic cruise along the peninsula in the Sea of Okhotsk, skirting the shores with impressive views of rugged cliffs and mountains (weather permitting).  Located within the peninsula are the Shiretoko Go-Ko (Five Lakes), a collection of five small lakes grouped together between the sea and the mountains.  Weather permitting, enjoy a leisure stroll on the boardwalk through the marsh to catch a glimpse of one of the five lakes.  We’ll spend the night at a fabulous hotel in Shiretoko.  Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant hotel this evening.

Accommodations at SHIRETOKO DAI-ICHI HOTEL or similaronsen mark


Sunday, October 20 (Day 10)
Smoking volcanoes ‘Meakan’ and Oakan’ watch over Akan-ko (Lake Akan), but the lake is best known for its marimo, a rare spherical green algae designated as a Special Natural Monument.  Marimo is formed when separate pieces of algae at the bottom of the lake roll around and eventually form into balls, gradually growing larger and larger.  We’ll enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Akan, providing us with a closer view of the mountains, islands, and into remote sections of the lake.  A brief stop will be made at Churui Islet to view live marimo up-close in large tanks at the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Tokachigawa, a region noted for its golden-brown onsen waters and breathtaking scenery of the Tokachi Plains.  The Tokachi River creates rare botanical-based moor hot springs, known as hot springs for beauty, recognized as one of Hokkaido’s heritages.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our ryokan this evening.

Accommodations at TOKACHIGAWA DAIICHI HOTEL or similaronsen mark


Monday, October 21 (Day 11)
Our journey continues on to visit the recently opened Royce Cacao & Chocolate Town  in Tobetsu Town.  Enjoy an enchanting journey from cacao cultivation to chocolate production through this new facility. We’ll visit The Historical Museum of Hokkaido located in the Nopporo Forest Park.  The museum features interesting exhibits that document the history of Hokkaido from 2 million years ago to modern times in eight separate areas.  We’ll continue on to spend our last night in Sapporo.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar


Tuesday, October 22 (Day 12)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities until our departure to the Chitose Airport in the afternoon for our flight to Haneda Airport.  On arrival, we’ll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal to board our evening flight home to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line.  



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 1/31/2024 Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, increase in government taxes, 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.

Land portion based on 140 Yen = $1.00 U.S.


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