May 16 - 25, 2017 (10 days and 8 nights)
Tours are operated by Aloha World, a tour division of Kobayashi Travel Service
$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 01/1/2017)
Narita, Chitose, Sapporo, Otaru, Sakaimachi-hondori, Shiroi Koibito Park, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Takikawa, Sunagawa Highway Oasis, Yukara-Ori Folk Craft Museum, Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, Abashiri Prison Museum, Abashiri, Higashi-Mokoto Shibazakura Park, Lake Mashu, Washo Market, Kushiro,Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, Kushiro Japanese Crane Reserve, Lake Akan, Marimo Exhibition & Observation Center, Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikor, Tokachigawa Onsen, Furano, Farm Tomita, Flower Land Kamifurano, Biei, Takushinkan,Shikisai-no-oka, Asahi Beer Brewery, Sapporo, Chitose, Haneda
$ 3,695 per person
$ 495 per person
$ 2,795 per person
Tuesday, May 16 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at Honolulu International Airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight.
Wednesday, May 17 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA TO CHITOSE
Upon arrival at the Narita Airport, we'll clear entry and customs formalities, then proceed to the domestic terminal to check-in for our flight to Chitose International Airport in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost and second largest island. On arrival at Chitose, we'll check-in for the night at a hotel located within the airport complex.
Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar
Thursday, May 18 (Day 03)
CHITOSE - OTARU - SAPPORO (B)(D)
We'll travel to Otaru, a charming port city noted for historic Otaru Canal adorned with Victorian-style street lamps and old warehouses, providing a nostalgic atmosphere. Many of the buildings along the canal have been restored into museums, restaurants and shops. Enjoy strolling along Sakaimachi-hondori, a preserved merchant street in the center of the town featuring sweet shops, glassware shops, and a unique music box museum offering a wide selection of elegant music boxes. In front of the entrance of the building stands an old-fashioned steam clock, presented to Otaru by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Otaru is also noted for its intricate glassware featuring its most popular item to bring home as a souvenir - a drip-free soy sauce bottle. Created in all sizes, shapes, and colors, you'll find them available at 'Sa Shi Su Se So', an outlet shop specializing in soy sauce bottles. We'll visit the Shiroi Koibito Park, a theme park operated by Ishiya, a popular local cookie company in Sapporo. The company's flagship product is the Shiroi Koibito cookies, two thin butter cookies with a layer of white or dark chocolate in between - one of the most popular souvenirs to bring home from Hokkaido. We'll walk through the factory to observe the cookie production through several large glass windows. Subject to availability, enjoy a hands-on-experience to create your own cookie in the workshop. We'll visit the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, a ski jumping venue located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Okura to enjoy a ride on the chairlift to the top of the ski lift. The stadium has hosted a number of winter sports events including the 1972 Winter Olympics and FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2007, but is now used primarily as a training facility for athletes at Nordic events. We'll continue on to spend the night in Sapporo, the fifth largest city in Japan and capital of Hokkaido. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.
Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar
Friday, May 19 (Day 04)
SAPPORO - TAKIKAWA - ASAHIKAWA (B)(D)
We'll travel north to Takikawa, a city best known for its fields of beautiful yellow nanohana (rape seed or canola blossoms) dominating the scenery (weather permitting). As we travel on the Hokkaido Expressway, we'll make a stop at the Sunagawa Highway Oasis, a large and bustling rest stop that was the first to open in Hokkaido. Enjoy sampling the many varieties of local specialties offered and available for purchase. We'll continue on to Asahikawa, the second largest city in Hokkaido to spend the night. Enjoy a visit of the Yukara-Ori Folk Craft Museum, featuring displays of elegant textile works by famous artist Aya Kiuchi. Yukara weaving is wool dyed into various colors, spun into yarn, then woven into textiles - the traditional fabric of Hokkaido. We may be able to see a brief demonstration of this weaving procedure by one of the staff. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.
Accommodations at ASAHIKAWA GRAND HOTEL or similar
Saturday, May 20 (Day 05)
ASAHIKAWA - YUBETSU - ABASHIRI (B)(D)
Our drive continues on to the town of Yubetsu to enjoy the breathtaking view of colorful tulips blooming vividly in the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, site of the annual Tulip Fair - one of the most popular flower festivals in Hokkaido. Many of the tulips are imported from Holland with several varieties named after characters from the fairytales of Pinocchio, Aladdin, and Snow White. We'll continue on to spend the night in Abashiri, a small city located on the northern coast of Hokkaido, noted for its drift ice during the winter and as the site of Japan's first maximum security prison. A visit to the Okhotsk Ryuhyo (drift ice) Museum located on Mount Tento provides the history and science of the drift ice that flows into the Sea of Okhotsk. An interesting video projected on a wide-screen in a theater features the four seasons of the Sea of Okhotsk. The Abashiri Prison Museum consists 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 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 guided tour of this open-air site. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant ryokan this evening.
Accommodations at ABASHIRI KOSO HOTEL or similar
Sunday, May 21 (Day 06)
ABASHIRI - MT. MOKOTO - KUSHIRO (B)(D)
We'll travel to the base of Mt. Mokoto to enjoy a spectacular view of shibazakura (pink & white phlox flowers) blooming vividly on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Takinoue at the Higashimokoto Flower Park. Winding paths leading up to the top of the hillside provide a magnificent view of delicate pink and white blossoms spread-out like a beautiful floral carpet (weather permitting). Enjoy a view of Lake Mashu, a caldera lake in Akan National Park, one of Japan's deepest and most beautiful lakes with its clear blue water. Weather permitting, enjoy the breathtaking view of the lake from an observation deck. We'll continue on to spend the night in Kushiro, a misty port town situated in southeastern Hokkaido, capital of Kushiro Subprefecture. Before checking-in for the night, we'll make a stop to browse through Washo Market, a marketplace offering a wide variety of local delicacies of Kushiro. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.
Accommodations at ANA HOTEL KUSHIRO or similar
Monday, May 22 (Day 07)
KUSHIRO - LAKE AKAN - TOKACHIGAWA ONSEN (B)(D)
The Kushiro Shitsugen National Park was designated as a national park in order to preserve the country's largest wetland and marsh habitat which supports the population of endangered tancho-zuru (Japanese red-crested cranes). The red-crested cranes are traditional symbols of longevity and designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan. We'll visit the Kushiro Japanese Crane Reserve, a facility created to preserve, reproduce and protect the population of these endangered species. We'll travel to Lake Akan, a beautiful crater lake in Akan National Park, Hokkaido's oldest national park. On arrival, we'll visit the Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikoro to enjoy performances of Ainu traditional dancers expressing their lifestyle with wildlife, nature, and hunting through songs and dances. Iomante is one of their important rituals where they send a spirit of a bear to God's world. Lake Akan is best known for its marimo, a rare algae species - designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan. 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 scenic boat cruise on Lake Akan, providing us with a close-up view of the mountains, islets, and into remote sections of the lake. A brief stop will be made at Churui Islet to view live marimo kept in large tanks at the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center. We'll visit Ainu Kotan - a small Ainu village featuring souvenir shops specializing in traditional Ainu handcrafts and woodworks. We'll continue on to spend the night in Tokachigawa, a region noted for its abundant sunshine and rich soil. The gently flowing Tokachi River creates majestic scenery with the backdrop of the Hidaka and Taisetsu mountain ranges and also creates rare botanical-based moor hot springs, also known as 'hot springs for beauty'. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing waters of our onsen hotel this evening.
Accommodations at TOKACHIGAWA DAIICHI HOTEL or similar
Tuesday, May 23 (Day 08)
TOKACHIGAWA - FURANO - BIEI - ASAHIDAKE (B)(L)(D)
This morning, we'll travel north to Furano, a town located in the center of Hokkaido and best known for its fields of fragrant lavender flowers that bloom during the late summer season. We'll make a stop at Flower Land Kamifurano to enjoy the beautiful scenery as myriads of seasonal flowers bloom in succession on the hillside against a backdrop of the spectacular Tokachi Mountain Range. We'll visit Farm Tomita, one of Hokkaido's premier flower farms to enjoy the extraordinary sight of colorful seasonal flowers planted in rows, creating a rainbow field of flowers (weather permitting). We'll continue on to Biei, a small town surrounded by a picturesque landscape of gently rolling hills and vast fields. The scenic view of this landscape has been used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and television programs. The town of Biei is also noted for Takushinkan (Shinzo Maeda Photo Art Gallery) an exhibition hall displaying beautiful landscape photography dedicated to Shinzo Maeda, an internationally known photographer and his son. Beautiful photos of the Tokachi area are displayed - famous for their vibrant and unusual color and composition. Enjoy the fragrance of several varieties of colorful flowers blooming on a hillside at Shikisai-no-Oka, a large flower garden in Hokkaido. We will continue on to spend the night in Asahidake, a hot spring resort located in Higashikawa city.
Accommodations at ASAHIDAKE MANSEIKAKU HOTEL BEARMONTE or similar
Wednesday, May 24 (Day 09)
ASAHIDAKE - SAPPORO (B)
The first beer brewed in Japan was in Sapporo and Hokkaido has since had a reputation of brewing the best beer. Enjoy a guided tour of the Asahi Beer Brewery, a leading brewery and soft drink company in Hokkaido - noted as one of the "Big Four" breweries. At the conclusion of the tour, samples of some of their products will be available for us to enjoy in the tasting room. We'll continue on to spend our last night in the city of Sapporo. The afternoon is free to explore some of the shops located nearby the hotel. Dinner will be on your own this evening.
Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar
Thursday, May 25 (Day 10)
SAPPORO - CHITOSE - HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities until we transfer to the Chitose Airport for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival at the airport, we'll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda International Terminal to board our evening flight home, arriving Honolulu 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 9/1/16. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, increase in 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 110 Yen = $1.00 U.S