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July 5 - 16, 2024  (12 Days & 10 Nights)

Haneda, Chitose, Lake Shikotsu, Upopoy National Ainu Museum & Park, Jigokudani, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, Mt. Showa Shinzan, Usuzan Ropeway, Otaru, Sakaimachi-Dori , Sapporo, Furano, Farm Tomita, Biei, The Blue Pond, Otokoyama Sake Brewery, Asahikawa, Sarobetsu Primeval Flower Garden, Wakkanai, Wakkanai Koen, Cape Soya, Lake Kutcharo, Sounkyo Gorge, Abashiri, Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum, Oshin Koshin Waterfall, Shiretoko Peninsula, Shiretoko Boat Cruise, Shiretoko-Go-Ko, Lake Akan, Ainu Kotan, Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center, Tokachigawa, Yurigahara Park, Sapporo, Royce Cacao Town, Chitose, Haneda

(deposit of $100 per person received by 2/29/2024)

Twin Tour Cost$5,095 per person
(Includes group air arrangements on Japan Airlines from Honolulu)

Single Supplement: $1,380

Land tour cost only$4,095 per person
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Friday, July 5  (Day 01)
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 our flight to Haneda International Airport.  Lunch and a snack will be served on board the flight. 


Saturday, July 6  (Day 02)
On arrival at Haneda Airport, we’ll clear entry and customs formalities, then transfer to the domestic lobby to check-in for our flight to Chitose in Hokkaido, the second largest and northernmost island of Japan.  We’ll arrive at Chitose Airport in the evening, then transfer to our hotel located in the airport terminal to check-in for the night.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar


Sunday, July 7  (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.  Enjoy a visit of the Upopoy National Ainu Museum & 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 continue on to spend the night in an onsen resort in Noboribetsu, one of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resorts.  Before checking-in, 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 indoor and outdoor baths of our fabulous onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at NOBORIBETSU GRAND HOTEL or similar


Monday, July 8  (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 hosted in Japan 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 Showa Shinzan, can be seen in the distance.  Weather permitting, we will enjoy a ride on the Usuzan Ropeway to the observation deck at the top of the Mt. Usu Ropeway Summit Station to view a spectacular sight of the volcano’s summit, panoramic views of Lake Toya and the neighboring Showa Shinzan.  We’ll continue on to Otaru, a charming port city facing Ishikari Bay 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 along Sakaimachi Dori, a preserved merchant street featuring several cafes, glassware, 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, British Columbia.  Otaru is 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 one of the most popular souvenirs 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, July 9  (Day 05)
Our journey continues on to Furano, a city located in the geographical center of Hokkaido.  The city is best-known for its beautiful 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.  The farm features various fields of flowers, several greenhouses, and cafes.  The highlight is to enjoy the view of a purple carpet of lavender at one of the oldest lavender fields in Japan, together with the rural landscape of the Furano Valley and the Tokachi Mountains.  We’ll drive north through the picturesque town of Biei, noted as the ‘town of beautiful hills’.  The scenic view of its vast fields, hills and trees has been used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and television programs. Enjoy a visit of The Blue Pond named from the bright blue hue of its waters and is a result of the creation from a volcano on Mount Tokachi.  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 (subject to confirmation).  Dinner will be at your leisure this evening to try some of the local specialties of the area.

Accommodations at JR INN ASAHIKAWA or similar


Wednesday, July 10  (Day 6)
We’ll travel on a scenic route north through the towns of Horonobe and Toyotomi to spend the night in Wakkanai, a city located at the northern fringe of Hokkaido.  En route, we’ll visit the Sarobetsu Primeval Flower Garden, home to hundreds of alpine wetland plants and wild delicate flowers (weather permitting).  On arrival in Wakkanai, we’ll visit Wakkanai Koen, a large park offering commanding views of the area.  Featured in the park are several interesting 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 survived the 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, July 11  (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 some 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 travel 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 CHOYO RESORT HOTEL or similar


Friday, July 12  (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 spend the night in 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 this evening.

Accommodations at ABASHIRI KOSO or similar


Saturday, July 13  (Day 9)
We’ll proceed to Shiretoko Peninsula, a mountainous peninsula situated in northeast Hokkaido along the Sea of Okhotsk, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The peninsula is home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, deer and foxes.  En route, we’ll view Oshin Koshin-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).  We’ll travel to Utoro, a town located at the entrance of Shiretoko National Park, one of Japan’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks.  Weather permitting, we’ll board the Shiretoko Tourist Ship ‘Aurora’ and enjoy a scenic cruise along the peninsula in the Sea of Okhotsk, skirting the shores with impressive views of rugged cliffs and mountains.  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 hot spring resort in Shiretoko.  Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and relax in the onsen waters of our elegant hotel this evening.

Accommodations at SHIRETOKO DAI-ICHI HOTEL or similar


Sunday, July 14  (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 close-up 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.  Ainu are indigenous people with a cultural and racial background somewhat different from ethnic Japanese.  Most of them now live in Hokkaido.  We’ll visit Ainu Kotan, a small village in Akankohan, featuring a street lined by souvenir shops specializing in Ainu handicrafts and a small museum displaying traditional Ainu crafts, clothes and daily life utensils of the Ainu people.  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 KANGETSUEN or similar


Monday, July 15  (Day 11)
Our journey continues on to spend our last night in Sapporo, capital city of Hokkaido to visit a few attractions in the area.  En route, we’ll visit Yurigahara Park, featuring a lily garden, a rose garden and the World Gardens with four different types of floral gardens.  On arrival in Sapporo city, we’ll visit Royce Cacao Town, a newly opened facility to get an up-close view of the production line of Royce Chocolates.  Featured is a mini museum and a factory to view the products through glass panels.  You’ll also be able to shop at the Royce Chocolate Shops for your favorite chocolates.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at SAPPORO GRAND HOTEL or similar


Tuesday, July 16  (Day 12)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities or to do some last minute shopping in the mall located near our hotel.  We’ll transfer to the Chitose Airport in the afternoon to check-in for our domestic flight to the Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal.   On arrival, we’ll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda Airport 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 9/05/23. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, fuel surcharge 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.


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


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