March 25 - April 5, 2013 (12 Days & 10 Nights)
$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 11/01/2012)
Narita, Fukuoka/Hakata, Hakata Machiya Furusato-mura, Tenjin, Karatsu, Niji-no-Matsubara, Imari Okawachiyama, Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Takeo, Sasebo, Kyujukyu-shima, Nagasaki, Glover Garden, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki Heiwa-koen, Shimabara, Kumamoto, Suizen-ji-koen, Kagoshima, Iso-tein, Ibusuki, Chiran, Tokko Heiwa Kaikan, Nichinan Kaigan Coast, Miyazaki, Takachiho, Mount Aso, Uchinomaki, Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park, Beppu, Yufuin Mingei Mura, Dazaifu Tenman-gu, Fukuoka/Hakata
$ 4,895 per person
$ 495 per person
$ 3,895 per person
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
Monday, March 25 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. A meal will be served on board the flight.
Tuesday, March 26 (Day 02)
NARITA AIRPORT TO FUKUOKA
We’ll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, transfer to check-in for our domestic flight to Fukuoka International Airport on Kyushu, the third-largest and southernmost island of Japan. We’ll transfer to our hotel in downtown Fukuoka/Hakata, the capital city of Fukuoka prefecture to check-in for two nights.
Accommodations at NISHITETSU GRAND HOTEL or similar
Wednesday, March 27 (Day 03)
Originally two separate towns - divided by the Nakagawa River - Fukuoka & Hakata merged to become the largest city on Kyushu Island. The train station is still known as Hakata while the airport is called Fukuoka Airport. We will enjoy a full day of sightseeing including a visit to the Hakata Machiya Furusato-mura, a folk museum featuring displays of the culture of Hakata - mainly of the Meiji and Taisho eras. At Machiya Hall, an example of traditional architecture is restored to provide a glimpse into the past. Located nearby is the Kushida-jinja Shrine, featuring an enormous mikoshi (float) used for one of Kyushu’s largest festivals. A view of Fukuoka Tower can be seen as we drive through the city - the highest seaside tower in Japan and the landmark of the city. Enjoy strolling through Tenjin - a popular shopping district with an arcade and an underground shopping mall.
Accommodations at NISHITETSU GRAND HOTEL or similar
Thursday, March 28 (Day 04)
FUKUOKA * KARATSU * IMARI * TAKEO (B)(D)
After breakfast, we’ll travel west to enjoy a scenic view of Karatsu Bay and the two-mile long Niji-no-Matsubara, a grove of black pine trees extending along a sandy beach. The forest was originally planted by the feudal Lord Terasawa as a counter-measure against the strong winds and tides in Karatsu Bay. Today, this scene is noted as one of the most picturesque landscapes in Japan. Saga prefecture has been a major manufacturing source of ceramics for centuries with Imari-yaki and Arita-yaki as the most famous and distinctive. Korean potters were brought to Imari to produce porcelain mainly for the Nabeshima domain. Enjoy a stroll through Imari Okawachiyama (The Village of Secret Kilns) - a small ceramic village in the city of Imari lined with many porcelain shops with a few working kilns still in operation. We’ll travel to the pottery town of Arita, where a Korean potter first introduced the art of manufacturing porcelain. Learn about the history and culture of Kyushu porcelain through exhibits and photographs as we take a tour of the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. We’ll continue on to overnight in Takeo, a city located in the western region of Saga prefecture.
Accommodations at TAKEO CENTURY HOTEL or similar
Friday, March 29 (Day 05)
TAKEO * SASEBO * NAGASAKI (B)(D)
We’ll travel to Sasebo - gateway to Saikai National Park and board a sightseeing boat from Kashimae Pier to enjoy a relaxing and scenic cruise around Kyujukyu-shima (99 pine-studded islets) in the inland sea. Enjoy some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Japan as you cruise through the islands. We’ll continue our drive on the Saikai Bridge to Nagasaki, the capital and largest city of Nagasaki prefecture. We’ll visit Glover Garden - the former residence of British merchant Thomas Blake Glover. The mansion and other 19th century buildings are preserved on this spacious hillside garden with a breathtaking view overlooking Nagasaki Harbor. The story for Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly” was allegedly set here and the main character was based on Tsuru, Glover’s Japanese wife. Nagasaki became the second city to experience a nuclear attack on August 9, 1945. We’ll visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum featuring displays, photos, relics and documents related to the bombing and the Nagasaki International Peace Memorial Hall, built in memory of those who perished in the atomic bombing. The Nagasaki Heiwa-koen (Peace Park) was established near the hypocenter of the explosion and remnants of a concrete wall of Urakami Cathedral can still be seen. At the park’s north end stands a 10-meter-tall Peace Statue and the south end features a Fountain of Peace. Displayed on both sides of the park are unique monuments donated from various countries from around the world. We will spend the night in the city of Nagasaki. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.
Accommodations at HOTEL NEW NAGASAKI or similar
Saturday, March 30 (Day 06)
NAGASAKI * SHIMABARA * KUMAMOTO (B)
We’ll continue our journey to the Shimabara Peninsula, passing by Mount Unzen, an active volcanic complex of several overlapping lava domes. We’ll visit Mizunashi-Honjin Fukae, (Avalanche Stricken Homes Preservation Park), a preservation memorial site where the after-effects of the devastation caused by the Unzen eruption are displayed. From the Shimabara Pier, we’ll board a ferry and cross the Ariake Sea to spend the night in Kumamoto, the capital of Kumamoto prefecture. The city’s most famous landmark is Kumamoto-jo, a large and well fortified hill-top Japanese castle - considered one of the three premier castles in Japan. Architect Kato Kiyomasa designed and built this castle with ingenious engineering and its size and numerous interesting exhibits make it visit-worthy. The city is also home to Suizen-ji koen, a beautiful Japanese style landscape garden designed with an impression of views seen when traveling along the Tokaido - the old highway between Kyoto and Edo (present-day Tokyo). As you stroll around the park, you’ll have a magnificent feeling of nature with its beautiful lakes and trees. Featured at the east end of the park is Horaitsukiyama, a replica of a miniature Mt. Fuji. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local specialties of this prefecture at one of the restaurants located near our hotel.
Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO KUMAMOTO or similar
Sunday, March 31 (Day 07)
KUMAMOTO * KAGOSHIMA * IBUSUKI (B)(D)
We’ll continue our journey south to spend the night in Kagoshima, the southernmost major city in Kyushu. The city is often compared with Naples, its Italian sister city, due to Sakurajima - an active volcano known as Kagoshima’s Vesuvius. The Shimazu clan not only dominated Kagoshima’s history but also left the city with its principal attraction - Iso-tein - a beautiful Japanese-style garden with one of the most impressive pieces of ‘borrowed scenery’ - Kagoshima Bay and the fuming peak of Sakurajima as a background. Enjoy a leisure stroll through this beautifully landscaped garden featuring small ponds, streams, and a bamboo grove. The local delicacy of Kagoshima is satsuma-age, a delicious fried fishcake made with fresh fish filled with various ingredients such as lotus root, vegetables and a variety of seafood. Time permitting, we’ll visit a shop offering a variety of these delicious fishcakes. We’ll continue on to the southernmost tip of the Satsuma Peninsula to Ibusuki, a coastal town best known for its sunamushi onsens (steaming black sand baths). As an option, you may want to experience being covered in warm black volcanic sand. The weight and heat of the sand feels so good and after rinsing off, you will feel relaxed and energized. Relax and enjoy dinner at our elegant onsen resort hotel this evening.
Accommodations at IBUSUKI IWASAKI HOTEL or similar
Monday, April 1 (Day 08)
IBUSUKI * CHIRAN * MIYAZAKI (B)(D)
This morning, we’ll travel to the little town of Chiran, noted for its fine collection of preserved samurai houses and gardens. Enjoy a stroll through ‘samurai street’, visiting a few old samurai residences and beautiful landscaped gardens. The Tokko Heiwa Kaikan (Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots) displays an extensive collection of correspondence, photographs, relics, and mementoes belonging to the members of the Special Air Force Attack Group - known as the Kamikaze Pilots. Subject to availability, a presentation by a local guide sharing photos and letters from some of the members presents a positive image of these pilots as they willingly gave their lives for their country and their families to establish peace and prosperity for Japan. We’ll continue on to the scenic Nichinan Kaigan Coast, located in the southern part of Miyazaki prefecture. From Ao-shima Island, a tiny island in the northernmost part of Nichinan-Kaigan Quasi-National Park, enjoy the view of eroded rock formations known as Oni-no-Sentakuita (devil’s washboard), betel palm trees and subtropical plants. We’ll spend the night in Miyazaki, a city located on the eastern coast of the island of Kyushu. Dinner will be provided for you tonight at the hotel.
Accommodations at MIYAZAKI KANKO HOTEL or similar
Tuesday, April 2 (Day 09)
MIYAZAKI * NOBEOKA * TAKACHIHO * MOUNT ASO * UCHINOMAKI (B)(D)
Situated in northern Miyazaki between Nobeoka on the coast and Aso-san in the center of Kyushu Island is the town of Takachiho. This little town is a remote mountain resort and considered one of the most sacred places in Japan, surrounded by many myths and legends. The town’s major attraction is Takachiho-kyo, a scenic v-shaped ravine, featuring breathtaking waterfalls, overhanging rocks, and sheer walls - formed through the erosion of the Aso lava plateau. As we continue on to the hot spring town of Uchinomaki, enjoy a view of Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan in Aso Kuju National Park. Standing in the center of its large ancient caldera is the mountain’s active volcanic peaks, including Mount Nakadake. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen resort hotel in Uchinomaki this evening.
Accommodations at ASO NO TSUKASA VILLA PARK HOTEL or similar
Wednesday, April 3 (Day 10)
MIYAZAKI * MT. TAKASAKI * BEPPU (B)(D)
Mt. Takasaki Monkey National Park is home to thousands of wild Japanese macaques (monkeys) located at the base of Mt. Takasaki. As they come down from the mountain to interact in the communal gathering area, you will enjoy a rare opportunity to observe these wild monkeys in their natural habitat as they move about freely. We’ll continue on to the city of Beppu in Oita prefecture, one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts that produces more hot spring water than any other resort in the country. Beppu is noted for two types: jigoku or hells - hot springs for looking at and onsen - hot springs for bathing in. The city is divided into eight major hot spring areas known as Beppu Hatto and contains nine major geothermal hot spots referred to as the ‘Nine Hells of Beppu’. We’ll visit one of these ‘hells’ to observe the natural hot springs where the water bubbles forth from underground in various colors, sizes, and shapes. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our beautiful onsen hotel this evening.
Accommodations at BEPPU SUGINOI HOTEL MAIN TOWER or similar
Thursday, April 4 (Day 11)
BEPPU * YUFUIN * DAZAIFU * FUKUOKA/HAKATA (B)
This morning we’ll travel west to Yufuin, a countrified hot-spring town located on a beautiful highland plateau. Enjoy a visit to the Yufuin Mingei Mura (Folk Art Village), a showcase for artisans making lathe-turned toys, blown glass, pottery ware and more. We’ll continue on to Dazaifu, a small town located south-east of Fukuoka and was once the administrative capital of Kyushu. We’ll continue on to the cultural city of Dazaifu, visiting the Dazaifu Tenman-gu, an important shrine dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian period. His rise to power during his political career resulted in a rivalry with the Fujiwara clan and he was later exiled to Dazaifu. We’ll continue on to spend the night in the twin cities of Fukuoka/Hakata - best known for its Hakata-Ningyo (clay dolls). These clay dolls has a 400-year tradition and possess an elegant yet colorful beauty. You can find a nice selection of these dolls at any of the department stores or shops in the city. Dinner will be on your own this evening.
Accommodations at HAKATA MIYAKO HOTEL or similar
Friday, April 5 (Day 12)
FUKUOKA/HAKATA - NARITA TO HONOLULU (B)
This afternoon we’ll transfer to the Fukuoka Airport and check-in for our domestic flight to Narita International Airport. We’ll depart Narita on an evening flight to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A late meal will be served on board the flight
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 8/15/12. 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.
Land portion based on 85 Yen = $1.00 U.S.
2013 General Conditions (Japan/International)