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2024 AUTUMN TOKAIDO ODYSSEY

October 24—November 5, 2024   (13 days & 11 nights)

Haneda, Tokyo (2 Nights), Tsukiji Outer Market, Asakusa Senso-ji, Nakamise-dori, Ameyokocho, Hakone, Lake Ashino-ko Boat Cruise, Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, Shizuoka, Shira-ito-no-taki, Greenpia Makinohara (Tea Factory), Nagoya, Nagoya Castle , Bullet Train to Kyoto, Kyoto (2 Nights), Kinkakuji, Nara, Kobe, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery, Awaji Island, Shikoku Island, Tokushima, Awaji Ningyo Joruri Puppet Play, Awa Odori Performance, Takamatsu, Ritsurin-koen, Fan Making Activity, Imabari, Shimanami Kaido, Hiroshima (2 Nights), Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum, Iwakuni, Kintai-kyo Bridge, Miyajima Island, Kurashiki, Koraku-en, Osaka, Kansai

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit of $100 per person received by 3/15/2024)

Twin Tour Cost$5,395 per person
(Includes group air arrangements from Honolulu)

Single Supplement: $640

Land tour only$4,100
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

 

Thursday, October 24 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO HANEDA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the 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.

 

Friday, October 25 (Day 02)
ARRIVE HANEDA - TOKYO  (D)
We’ll arrive Haneda Airport in the mid-afternoon and after completing entry and customs procedures, we’ll transfer to our hotel in Tokyo to check-in for two nights.  A dinner is planned for you at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations at SUNSHINE CITY PRINCE HOTEL or similar

 

Saturday, October 26 (Day 03)
TOKYO  (B)(L)
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this exciting metropolitan city.  This morning, we’ll visit the outer market of the original Tsukiji Fish Market, featuring many shops offering Japanese kitchenware and supplies, seafood products and a nice selection of shops selling prepared meals.  We’ll travel to Asakusa, the center of Tokyo’s shitamachi district where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades still survive.  Enjoy shopping at Nakamise-dori, a lively pedestrian street with many shops offering typical Japanese souvenirs and a variety of traditional snacks - located between the main hall of Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) and the famous red lantern Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate).  A delicious lunch will be provided for you at a local restaurant.  Enjoy a shopping adventure at Ameyokocho, a busy and exciting shopping area with many indoor and outdoor vendors offering a variety of snack & food products and various merchandise at discounted prices.  This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the restaurants in the shopping mall located adjacent to the hotel.

Accommodations at SUNSHINE CITY PRINCE HOTEL or similar

 

Sunday, October 27 (Day 04)
TOKYO - HAKONE - MT. FUJI - FUJI FIVE LAKES – LAKE YAMANAKA (B)(D)
We’ll travel to Hakone, a mountainous region - part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and noted as one of Japan’s most popular volcanic hot spring resorts.  Hakone was an important check-point for the Old Tokaido Highway - the old road that linked the ancient capital of Kyoto to Edo (now known as Tokyo) during the Edo period.  Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on scenic Lake Ashino-ko - a beautiful crater lake formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone.  Weather permitting a breathtaking view of Mr. Fuji (Japan’s most sacred mountain) can be seen as we cruise on the serene lake.  We’ll visit the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center located in Yamanashi Prefecture located at the entrance of the Subaru Line - the toll road leading up the slopes of Mt. Fuji.  The center provides interesting history and information about the Fuji Five Lakes and the value of Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage site.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our elegant hotel.

Accommodations HIGHLAND RESORT HOTEL and SPA or similar


Monday, October 28  (Day 05)
LAKE YAMANAKA - SHIZUOKA - NAGOYA  (B)(D)
We’ll travel on to visit the picturesque Shira-ito-no-taki (White Thread Falls) located in the southwestern foothills of Mt. Fuji.  Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, the wide cascade is fed by the volcano’s spring water and flows off the edge of a high cliff in thin white streams that resemble hanging threads.  Several souvenir shops line the path to the falls with a nice view of neighboring Otodome Falls.  Shira-ito-no-taki was recently added to the World Heritage List as part of the Fujisan Cultural Site.  We’ll continue our drive along the Pacific Coast through Shizuoka prefecture, the largest tea producing region in Japan and once home to the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu.  Enjoy a self-guided tour of Greenpia Makinohara (tea factory) to observe the process of tea production, including a close-up view of the tea plants growing in the fields.  After the conclusion of the tour, you’ll have time to browse through the shop offering a variety of tea and tea-related products available for purchase.  Our drive through Shizuoka Prefecture provides a beautiful view of the southern Japan Alps, a breathtaking view of Fuji-san, and miles of scenic coastline along Suruga Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  We’ll arrive in Nagoya, Japan’s fourth largest city and capital of Aichi Prefecture to spend the night.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at our hotel.

Accommodations at NAGOYA TOKYU HOTEL or similar

 

Tuesday, October 29  (Day 06)
NAGOYA - BULLET TRAIN - KYOTO  (B)(L)
This morning, we’ll visit the grounds of Nagoya Castle to visit its magnificent masterpiece, Honmaru Goten Palace, designated as a National Treasure.  Richly decorated with gold-covered walls and screens, experience the fragrant smell of hinoki cypress wood and the breathtaking beauty of the architecture, gilded artworks and fittings.  We’ll proceed to the Nagoya Train Station and board the shinkansen (bullet train) to experience a ride on this high speed train to Kyoto, formerly the capital of Japan.  A delicious obento will be provided for you to enjoy on board the train.  On arrival at the Kyoto Station, we’ll transfer to our hotel in Kyoto to check-in for the next two nights.  The afternoon is free at your leisure for your own activities.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Our hotel is located across the Kyoto Train Station offering many dining opportunities.

Accommodations at MIYAKO HOTEL KYOTO HACHIJO or similar

 

Wednesday, October 30  (Day 07)
KYOTO - NARA - KYOTO  (B)(D)
We’ll travel to the ancient city of Nara, located at the northern end of the Yamato Plain.  On arrival, we’ll visit the Todaiji Temple Complex, one of Japan’s most famous and significant Buddhist temples located in Nara Koen - a park that is home for many sacred deer roaming freely about.  Todaiji’s main hall, the Daibutsu-den (Big Buddha Hall), is considered the largest wooden structure in the world and home to the Daibutsu, an enormous bronze statue of Buddha, perhaps the most famous sight in Nara.  Within the hall is a large wooden pillar with a hole at its base and local tradition has said that those who pass through this opening will find their way to an afterlife of paradise.  We’ll visit Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara’s most celebrated shrine, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Kasuga Taisha is well-known for its hundreds of stone lanterns donated by worshippers lining the approach-way to the shrine.  In the afternoon, we’ll return to Kyoto city to view Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), an impressive golden Zen Buddhist Temple.  Designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, this magnificent golden structure was built overlooking a large pond and provides a beautiful reflection in the calm waters.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at MIYAKO HOTEL KYOTO HACHIJO or similar

 

Thursday, October 31  (Day 08)
KYOTO - KOBE - AWAJI ISLAND - TOKUSHIMA  (B)
We’ll continue on our journey to the port city of Kobe, Japan’s top sake-producing region due to its high quality rice, suitable water and favorable weather conditions.  We’ll visit the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum located inside a former brewery.  The museum features life-sized replicas of tools, containers and machinery used in the past and interesting video clips explaining the step-by-step traditional sake brewing process.  At the end of the tour, samples of some of their delicious products will be available for you to taste.  We’ll continue on the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, a suspension bridge connecting Honshu Island to Awaji-shima, the inland sea’s largest island.  On arrival, enjoy a performance of the Awaji Ningyo Joruri (Puppet Play) at the Awaji Puppet Theatre.  The separate arts of puppet manipulation, gidayu narration and shamisen accompaniment blend together to present a dramatic performance of a tragic drama.  We’ll drive across the Naruto Channel on the Naruto Ohashi, connecting Awaji Island to Shikoku Island, home of the 88 Temples Pilgrimage.  Tidal currents between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean passing undersea ridges creates uzushio (whirlpools) of various sizes and we may be able to see some as we drive on the bridge to Shikoku Island.  We’ll arrive in Tokushima, capital city of Tokushima Prefecture to spend the night.  Enjoy a lively dance performance of Awa Odori, the pride of Tokushima - performed by a local troupe at the Awa Odori Kaikan.  Learn to dance and participate with the Awanokaze dancers accompanied by the sounds of shamisen (three stringed guitars), taiko (drums) and fue (flutes).  Dinner will be at your leisure this evening.

Accommodations at JR CLEMENT TOKUSHIMA HOTEL or similar

 

Friday, November 1  (Day 09)
TOKUSHIMA - TAKAMATSU - IMABARI  (B)(D)
We’ll travel to the castle town of Takamatsu in central Kagawa Prefecture and enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens of Ritsurin-koen, the city’s major attraction.  Once the summer retreat for the Lords of the Matsudaira family, this scenic garden follows a classical Japanese design featuring pine trees winding around a series of ponds, bridges and rock formations.  Forming a backdrop in the garden is the ‘borrowed scenery’ of Mount Shuin.  Marugame City in Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its production of uchiwa (round paper fans) and was designated a traditional craft in 1997.  These fans are made with a decorated sheet of paper pasted over a thin bamboo frame.  Experience making your own fan to take home as a souvenir at the Uchiwa Minato Museum.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Imabari, the second largest city in Ehime prefecture, noted for its shipbuilding and towel industry.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the grand bath at our elegant hotel this evening.

Accommodations at IMABARI KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

 

Saturday, November 2  (Day 10)
IMABARI - SHIMA NAMI KAIDO - IWAKUNI - HIROSHIMA  (B)
We’ll depart Shikoku Island to Honshu via the scenic Shima Nami Kaido, a set of bridges connecting the many islands of the Seto Inland Sea.  Our drive will take us from Imabari in Shikoku through Onomichi on Honshu Island, arriving in the city of Hiroshima in the early afternoon.  En route, we’ll make a stop in Iwakuni and visit scenic Kintai-kyo (Brocade Sash Bridge), the city’s most distinguished landmark.  Its five linked wooden arches are built on massive stone pillars and form a span across the serene Nishiki River located at the foot of Mt. Yokoyama.  Statues of Kikkawa Hiroyoshi, the third feudal lord of Iwakuni and Sasaki Kojiro, a prominent Japanese swordsman are featured in the park.  We’ll continue on to spend two nights in the city of Hiroshima.  Before checking-in, we’ll visit the historic Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park.  Exhibits and photos within the museum relive the history of the atomic bomb and the destruction it brought on Hiroshima and its people.  The most poignant monument in the Peace Memorial Park is the Children’s Peace Memorial, inspired by leukemia victim Sadako Sasaki.  Thousands of colorful paper cranes brought by school children, various clubs and groups are displayed at this memorial.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.  Try some delicious okonomiyaki, the specialty of Hiroshima at one of the restaurants located nearby the hotel.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Sunday, November 3  (Day 11)
HIROSHIMA - MIYAJIMA - HIROSHIMA  (B)
This morning, we’ll proceed to Miyajimaguchi Pier and board a ferry to visit Miyajima Island, famed for its scenic Itsukushima-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Enjoy strolling through Omotesando - the island’s main shopping street with many shops offering a nice selection of souvenirs, including momiji manju (a maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with a variety of fillings), one of Hiroshima’s most popular sweets.  We’ll return to the main island by ferry and travel back to Hiroshima city.  The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore more of the city at your leisure.  Dinner will be at your leisure this evening.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HIROSHIMA or similar

 

Monday, November 4  (Day 12)
HIROSHIMA - KURASHIKI - KORAKU-EN - OSAKA  (B)(D)
Our travels continue on to Kurashiki, an old merchant town with a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period in Okayama Prefecture.  Enjoy strolling through Bikan Chiku, a historical area featuring old traditional buildings, storehouses and small souvenir and craft shops located along the picturesque willow-lined canal.  We’ll continue on to the city of Okayama, visiting its most famous attraction - Koraku-en - a beautiful, spacious Japanese garden, noted as one of Japan’s three best landscaped gardens.  A large pond, walking paths, tea and rice fields, a crane aviary, and groves of maple trees are featured in this scenic garden.  Okayama also serves as the locale for the popular Japanese fairy tale - Momotaro (Peach Boy).  We’ll continue on to spend our last night in Osaka, Japan’s third largest city.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL OSAKA or similar

 

Tuesday, November 5  (Day 13)
OSAKA - KANSAI TO HONOLULU  (B)
The morning is free to explore the city of Osaka at your leisure.  In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the Kansai International Airport to check-in for our evening 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 140 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 1/1/2024. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, additional 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.

  

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Autumn Tokaido Odyssey