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2014 Autumn Tokaido Odyssey

October 23 - November 4, 2014 (13 days and 11 nights)

** Sold Out/Wait List **

$ 100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 03/15/2014)

Narita, Tokyo (2 Nights), Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise-dori, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Ameyokocho, Hakone, Lake Ashino-ko Boat Cruise, Mt. Fuji Visitor Center, Oshino Hakkai, Shizuoka, Shiraito-no-taki, Greenpia Makinohara (Tea Factory), Nagoya, Nagoya Castle , Bullet Train to Kyoto, Kyoto (2 Nights), Kinkakuji, Nijo Castle, Nara, Kobe, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery, Awaji Island, Shikoku Island, Tokushima, Takamatsu, Ritsurin-koen, Imabari, Shimanami Kaido, Hiroshima (2 Nights), Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum, Iwakuni, Miyajima Island, Kurashiki, Koraku-en, Osaka, Narita

TWIN RATE
$ 4,890 per person

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
$ 575 per person
LAND ONLY
$ 3,890

(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Thursday, October 23 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Friday, October 24 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA - TOKYO (D)
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the 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 25 (Day 03)
TOKYO (B)(L)
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this exciting metropolitan city. We'll visit Senso-ji (Asakusa KannTokyo Sensoji Temple webon Temple), an ancient Buddhist temple and Tokyo's oldest. Dominating the entrance to the temple is Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), a massive paper lantern painted in red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Enjoy shopping at Nakamise-dori, a lively pedestrian street leading from the Thunder Gate to the temple, lined with many small shops offering typical Japanese souvenirs and a variety of traditional snacks. A delicious tempura lunch will be provided for you at a local restaurant in Asakusa. Enjoy a tour of the Edo-Tokyo Museum, illustrating the past of Tokyo (formerly Edo) to the present with interesting exhibits, photos, and artifacts. The entrance to the museum features a huge replica of the famous Nihonbashi Bridge. We'll drive through the main street of Ginza, to provide you with a glimpse of Japan's exclusive entertainment and shopping district with its upscale shops and restaurants. Enjoy a shopping adventure at Ameyokocho, a busy and exciting shopping district with many indoor and outdoor vendors offering a variety of 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 26 (Day 04)
TOKYO - HAKONE - MT. FUJI - FUJI FIVE LAKES – LAKE YAMANAKA (B)(D)
We'll travel to Hakone, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and famous for its volcanic hot springs, natural beauty, and the view of Mt. Fuji, Japan's most sacred mountain. Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on Lake Ashino-ko, a scenic crater lake that was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano's last eruption. The lake, together with a view of Mt. Fuji in the background, is the symbol of Hakone. We'll visit the Mt. Fuji Visitor Center to view an interesting video presentation of the history and formation of Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes. We'll visit Oshino Hakkai, a small village featuring eight ponds, fed by melting snow that filters down from the slopes of Mt. Fuji through porous layers of lava, resulting in very clear spring water. Many souvenir shops and food vendors around the ponds offer a variety of local products, traditional sweets, and crafts. We'll continue on to the scenic Fuji-Go-Ko region located at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture to spend the night at a beautiful hotel overlooking Lake Yamanaka, the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Weather permitting, a breathtaking view of the mountain can be seen from the grounds of the hotel. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at MT. FUJI HOTEL or similar

Monday, October 27 (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. Ranked among 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 trail to the falls and along the way, enjoy a nice view of neighboring Otodome Falls. Shiraito Falls 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 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 wide selection 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 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 elegant hotel facing Nagoya Castle.

Accommodations at WESTIN NAGOYA CASTLE or similar

Tuesday, October 28 (Day 06)
NAGOYA - BULLET TRAIN - KYOTO (B)
This morning, we'll visit Nagoya Castle, one of the largest and greatest castles in Japan, constructed on the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu in order to secure an important position on the Tokaido road. A main feature of the castle are the kinshachi (golden dolphins) adorning the main ridge of the castle roof, signifying prosperity. 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. On arrival at the Kyoto Station, we'll transfer by foot to our hotel located nearby to check-in for the next two nights. In the mid-afternoon, we'll re-board our motor coach and visit the Nishijin Textile Center, dedicated to the weavers who produced elegant textiles for the imperial family. The center displays some of their beautiful silk products produced with the superb Nishinjin silk. Subject to availability, we may have an opportunity to enjoy a kimono fashion show with elegant young ladies modeling some of the most fashionable silk kimonos. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some Kyoto-style cuisine at one of the local restaurants in downtown Kyoto or at the train station located near our hotel.

Accommodations at KYOTO RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Todaiji Temple Nara AutumnWednesday, October 29 (Day 07)
KYOTO - NARA - KYOTO (B)(D)
We'll travel to the ancient city of Nara, and visit Todaiji - one of Japan's most famous and historically significant Buddhist temple, a landmark of Nara. 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. Located nearby is the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara's most celebrated shrine, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kasuga Taisha is famous for its hundreds of stone lanterns donated by worshippers that line the approach-way to the shrine. In the afternoon, we'll return to Kyoto city to visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Officially named Rokuon-ji, it's an impressive 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, providing a beautiful reflection in the calm waters. A stroll through the garden complex provides an excellent example of a classical age of Japanese garden design. Enjoy a visit to Nijo-jo, a flatland castle built as the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu and designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. One of the features of the main building at Ninomaru Palace are the 'nightingale' floors. The corridors squeak like birds - designed as a safeguard against intruders. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at KYOTO RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Thursday, October 30 (Day 08)
KYOTO - KOBE - AWAJI ISLAND - TOKUSHIMA (B)(D)
We'll continue 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 featuring displays of life-sized replicas of tools, containers and machinery used in the past. Interesting video clips throughout the building explain 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 over 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 and check-in for the night. Enjoy a lively dance performance of Awa Odori, the pride of Tokushima - performed by a local troup 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 provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at AWA KANKO HOTEL or similar

Ritsurin Garden AutumnFriday, October 31 (Day 09)
TOKUSHIMA - TAKAMATSU - IMABARI (B)(D)
We'll travel to the castle town of Takamatsu 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 of the garden is the 'borrowed scenery' of Mount Shuin. We'll continue on to experience making your own fan to take home as a souvenir at the Uchiwa Minato Museum, a facility specializing in uchiwa (round paper fans). These fans are made with a decorated sheet of paper with various designs pasted over a thin bamboo frame. We'll continue on to spend the night in Imabari, the second largest city in Ehime prefecture. Enjoy dinner and relax in the grand bath at our elegant hotel this evening.

Accommodations at IMABARI KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

Saturday, November 1 (Day 10)
IMABARI - SHIMA NAMI KAIDO - IWAKUNI - HIROSHIMA (B)(D)
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, arriving in the city of Hiroshima in the early afternoon to spend two nights. En route, we'll make a stop in Iwakuni and visit scenic Kintai-kyo (Brocade Sash Bridge), the city's most distinguished landmark. Completely made of wood and without the use of nails, its five linked arch bridges built on massive stone pillars 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 Kikko Park. We'll return to Hiroshima city and visit the 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 are displayed at this memorial - brought by school children, various clubs and groups. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

Sunday, November 2 (Day 11)
Itsukushima HiroshimaHIROSHIMA - MIYAJIMA - 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 visit Yamadaya, a manufacturer of momiji manju to observe the production of this delicious confectionary. We'll continue on to Miyajimaguchi Pier and board a ferry to Miyajima Island, famed for its scenic Itsukushima-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A large torii gate extending into the sea, the shrine and the island's Mt. Misen-san as a backdrop, 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 nice selection of souvenirs, including momiji manju and fresh oysters. Another popular item on the island is shakushi (wooden rice paddles) and you'll find them in all sizes at many of the souvenir shops. Dinner will be on your own this evening. Try some delicious okonomiyaki, the specialty of Hiroshima at one of the local restaurants located nearby the hotel or at the popular Okonomiyaki Village - a special building with several floors of shops offering this specialty.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

Monday, November 3 (Day 12)
HIROSHIMA - KURASHIKI - KORAKU-EN - OSAKA (B)(D)
We'll travel to Okayama prefecture and visit the quaint city of Kurashiki with a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period when the city served as an important rice distribution center. Enjoy strolling through the historical streets of Bikan-chiku featuring many old traditional buildings, storehouses and small shops located along the picturesque willow-lined canal. We'll continue on to Okayama City, visiting its most famous attraction - Koraku-en - a beautiful Japanese garden, ranked as one of Japan's three best landscaped gardens. A large pond, walking paths, pavilions, a crane aviary, and groves of plum and cherry trees are featured in this scenic garden. Okayama also serves as the locale for the popular fairy tale - Momotaro (Peach Boy). We'll continue on to spend our last night in the commercial city of Osaka. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA OSAKA HOTEL or similar

Tuesday, November 4 (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 of the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line.

 Map of Tour Itinerary

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 1/1/14. 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.

Land portion based on 103 Yen = $1.00 U.S

 

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2014 General Conditions (Japan/International)

 

Narita

Tokyo (2 Nights)

Asakusa Kannon Temple

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Ameyokocho

Hakone Lake Cruise

Fuji Five Lakes

Mt. Fuji

Shiraito-no-taki

Shizuoka

Greenpia Makinohara Tea Factory

Strawberry Picking

Toyota Car Factory

Nagoya

Bullet Train to Kyoto

Kyoto (2 Nights)

Kinkaku-ji

Heian-jingu

Kyoto Handicraft Center

Nara

Kobe

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery

Awaji Island

Awaji Ningyo Joruri

Shikoku Island

Tokushima

Takamatsu

Ritsurin-koen

Imabari

Shimanami Kaido

Hiroshima (2 Nights)

Iwakuni

Miyajima Island

Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum

KurashikI

Koraku-en

Osaka