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2024 AUTUMN NIHON KAI

Featuring Sado Island & Kurobe Dam

November 1-14, 2024 (14 Days & 12 Nights)

Haneda, Tokyo, Shinkansen to Niigata, Niigata, Furusato Mura, Northern Culture Museum, Jet foil to Sado Island, Sado Island, Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Toki Forest Park, Sado Rekishi Densetsukan, Ferry ride to Niigata, Tsubame Sanjo, Nagano, Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, Kurobe Dam, Tateyama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Higashi-chaya Geisha District , Kenroku-en Garden, Haku Koukan Gold Leaf Museum, Omicho Market, Tojinbo, Mikata Go-ko, Miyazu, Amanohashidate, Tottori, Tottori Sand Dunes, Suna no Bijuitsukan (Sand Museum), Izumo Taisha Shrine, Matsue, Matsue Vogel Park , Yamadaya Manju Factory, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Oshima Island, Hawaii Museum of Japanese Emigration, Hiroshima, Haneda

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit of $100 per person received by 7/15/2024 )

Twin Tour Cost$5,595 per person
Single Supplement: $750

(Includes group air arrangements on Japan Airlines from Honolulu)

Land tour only$4,495
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Friday, November 1  (Day 01)
HONOLULU - HANEDA
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the Japan Airlines curbside 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.

 

Saturday, November 2  (Day 02)
ARRIVE HANEDA  (D)
We’ll arrive at Haneda International 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 GRAND NIKKO DAIBA TOKYO or similar

 

Sunday, November 3  (Day 03)
TOKYO - NIIGATA (B)(D)
This morning, we will proceed to Tokyo Station by public transportation on the Yurikamome  to Shimbashi, then to Tokyo Station.  On arrival, we’ll board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Niigata, capital of Niigata prefecture facing the Sea of Japan.  Niigata is known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice-related products, such as senbei, arare and sake.  On arrival at Niigata Station, enjoy a brief stop at Ponshukan, noted for offering samples of various sake through a row of vending machines by using tokens for each sample.  We’ll board our chartered motor coach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city.  Enjoy a visit of Furusato-Mura, a unique village bazaar that offers a wide selection of local traditional food, snacks, sake and craft products.  In the afternoon, 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 at a peaceful serene garden.  We will spend the night in the city of Niigata.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NIIGATA or similar

 

Monday, November 4  (Day 04)
NIIGATA - SADO ISLAND  (B)(D)
This 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.  A visit at the Toki Forest Park will provide us with interesting information and history about the toki birds (Japanese crested ibis), which were on the brink of extinction. These birds have been protected and their population has been maintained with assistance from China and Korea.  We’ll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado Historical Folklore Museum) where relics of Emperor Juntoku and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including robots illustrating dioramas of Sado’s history.  In olden times, many political exiles and prisoners were sent to Sado Island to endure difficult conditions in confinement.  The climate, water and rice on the island of Sado are all perfect for making sake.  Enjoy a visit at the Hokusetsu Sake Brewery, a top brewery on the island and is famous as the sole supplier to the high-end Nobu chain of Japanese restaurants.  Samples of some of their products will be available for you to enjoy.  At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine 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 continue our drive to spend the night at our ryokan on Sado Island.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs this evening. 

Accommodations at SADO RESORT HOTEL AZUMA or similar

 

Tuesday, November 5  (Day 05)
SADO ISLAND - TSUBAME SANJO - NAGANO  (B)(L)
We’ll return to the port of Ryotsu and enjoy a leisure ride on a large ferry boat, crossing the Japan Sea back to Niigata city.  On arrival at Niigata pier, we will board our chartered motor coach and travel on to Tsubame Sanjo - a region best-known for its metalware production.  We’ll visit the Tsubame Sanjo Regional Industries Promotion Center 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.  Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local specialties of the prefecture.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar


Wednesday, November 6  (Day 06)
NAGANO - OMACHI - TATEYAMA KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE - KUROBE DAM - TATEYAMA  (B)(D)
We’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 Omachi, Toyama, and Tateyama.  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, you will enjoy the fall colors during this time of the year.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot spring waters of our onsen hotel this evening in Tateyama.

Accommodations at TATEYAMA KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

 

Thursday, November 7  (Day 07)
TATEYAMA - TOYAMA - KANAZAWA  (B)(D)
Our travel continues on to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go - famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri (hands in prayer) buildings, some of which are more than 250 years old.  Enjoy a stroll through Shirakawa-go Village, 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 continue on to spend two nights in the castle town of Kanazawa, a historic city in Ishikawa Prefecture.  Enjoy a stroll through Higashi-Chaya Geisha District, a beautifully preserved historical area of Kanazawa featuring many traditional wooden buildings.  The area is popular where wealthy customers are entertained by geisha with traditional music, dancing, and drinking.  Many of the buildings has been converted into restaurants, craft shops and geisha teahouses.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

 

Friday, November 8  (Day 08)
KANAZAWA  (B)
This morning, 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 Kasumiga-ike, a large artificial pond with a stone lantern designed in the image of the Japanese koto (harp) - the main symbol of the garden.  We’ll make a stop at Omicho Market, a busy marketplace on a covered street lined with shops selling local seafood, clothing and more.  Kanazawa is also noted as the largest producer of gold leaf throughout all of Japan.  Gold leaf is generally 22-karat gold that has been repeatedly beatened into thin sheets and carefully layered over other surfaces and products.  We’ll visit Haku Koukan, a gold leaf museum featuring exhibits and the production of some of their beautiful and intricate products.  Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the many restaurants located at the train station nearby our hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

 

Saturday, November 9  (Day 09)
KANAZAWA - TOJINBO - TSURUGA - MIYAZU  (B)(D)
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.  View the magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and sea cliffs created by volcanic activities and formed through the years by sea erosion.  We’ll drive along the scenic ridge on the Mikata 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 concentration of salt and may present a different hue.  We’ll travel down the coastline to spend the night in Miyazu,  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen resort this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL & RESORTS KYOTO MIYAZU or similar

 

Sunday, November 10  (Day 10)
MIYAZU - AMANOHASHIDATE - TOTTORI  (B)(D)
Amanohashidate (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, and use your imagination.  We’ll continue our travel west 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.  These sand dunes present an awesome sight backdropped by the Sea of Japan.  We’ll visit Suna no Bijutsukan (The Sand Museum), a seasonal unique exhibition hall that displays large sand sculptures created by artists from all around the world.  Every year, each exhibition represents a theme and you will be amazed at the detailed work of these delicate sculptures.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at our hotel.

Accommodations at NEW OTANI TOTTORI HOTEL or similar

 

Monday, November 11  (Day 11)
TOTTORI - YONAGO - MATSUE  (B)(D)
We’ll continue our drive along the coast of the Sea of Japan to visit Izumo Taisha Shrine, constructed in the Taisha-zukuri style, noted as  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.  The fabled god 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 visit the Matsue Vogel Park, a wonderful paradise of flowers and birds in one of the largest flower exhibition greenhouse in Japan.  Beautiful flowers bloom throughout the year elegantly displayed in the greenhouse and interact with waterfowl and tropical birds centered in the greenhouse.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Matsue at a quaint onsen town in Shimane Prefecture .  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing onsen at our ryokan this evening.

Accommodations at MATSUNOYU or similar

 

Tuesday, November 12  (Day 12)
MATSUE - HIROSHIMA  (B)
Momiji 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 on a short video. Samples of some of their delicious products will be available for you to enjoy.  We’ll continue on to the Miyajima Pier and board a ferry to visit Miyajima Island, famed for its scenic Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Together with a torii gate extending in 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.  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 continue on to spend two nights in 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 RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Wednesday, November 13  (Day 13)
HIROSHIMA - OSHIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA  (B)
We’ll travel south through Shimane and Yamaguchi Prefectures, passing through Yanai City to 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 of Kauai Island.  The Theater Room features an interesting video about the history of government-contract labor relationships between Hawaii, the Japanese people and the reality of the difficult work and life of the emigrants.  The museum also displays many artifacts and photographs featuring the history of the arrival of emigrants to Hawaii.  We’ll return to Hiroshima for you to enjoy more shopping adventures at Hondori Shopping Avenue located near our hotel. 

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Thursday, November 14  (Day 14)
HIROSHIMA - HANEDA TO HONOLULU  (B)
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 evening flight home.  A late meal will be served on board the flight.  We will arrive in Honolulu on the morning of the same day, due to the crossing of the International Date Line.

 

Land portion based on 145 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 3/15/24.  Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase 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.

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