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2017 Spring Nihon Kai with Sado Island

April 05 -  18, 2017 (14 days and 12 nights)

** SOLD OUT / WAIT LIST **

Tours are operated by Aloha World, a tour division of Kobayashi Travel Service

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 08/15/2016)

Narita, Tokyo, Shinkansen, Niigata, Northern Culture Museum, Furusato-Mura, Sado Island, Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Toki-Forest Park, Sado Rekishi Densetsukan, Tsubame Sanjo, Takada Castle Ruin Park, Nagano, Matsumoto, Daio Wasabi Farm, Takayama, Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Kenrokuen Garden, Noto Peninsula, Wajima Morning Market, Kiriko Kaikan, Chirihama Beach Driveway, Tojinbo, Mikata Go-ko, Amanohashidate, Miyazu, Tottori, Tottori Sand Dunes, Matsue, Izumo Taisha, Matsue Vogel Park, Oshima Island, Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii, Mazda Motor Corporation, Yamadaya Manju Factory, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Haneda

TWIN RATE:
$ 4,995 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 595 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 4,195 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Wednesday, April 5 (Day 01)
HONOLULU - 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 and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Thursday, April 6 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA (D)
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, we'll transfer to our hotel in Tokyo to spend the night. A dinner is planned for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

Friday, April 7 (Day 03)
TOKYO - BULLET TRAIN TO NIIGATA (B)(D)
Northern Cultural Museum NiigataWe'll transfer to board a local train to Ueno Station for our shinkansen (bullet train) ride to Niigata, the largest city on the coast of the Japan Sea - noted as the gateway to Sado Island. Niigata is also known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice-related products, including fine quality sake. On arrival, we'll board our motor coach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city. We'll visit the former residence of the Ito Family, now preserved as the Northern Culture Museum. The museum features an extensive art collection and within the peaceful garden complex are several relocated farmhouses, traditional earthen warehouses, and individual tea arbors. We'll visit Furusato-Mura, a large shopping complex offering a nice selection of local traditional food and craft products of Niigata. We will spend the night in the city of Niigata. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL OKURA NIIGATA or similar

Saturday, April 8 (Day 04)
NIIGATA - SADO ISLAND (B)(D)
Sado Okesa Dance webThis morning, we'll board a hydrofoil from Naoetsu Port in Niigata and cross the Japan Sea to Ryotsu Port on historic Sado-Ga-Shima (Sado Island). On arrival, we'll board our motorcoach and embark on a full day sightseeing tour. The island had an image of being remote and associated with political exiles and prisoners, yet has a distinguished history and culture all its own. Sado was the home in exile to some historical figures such as ex-Emperor 'Juntoku', Buddhist priest 'Nichiren', and Noh drama master 'Zeami'. At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine in the town of Aikawa, we'll descend into the old mining cave to observe life-size animatronic mannequins dramatize the tough existence of the miners in the past. We'll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado Historical Folklore Museum) where the relics of Juntoku, Zeami, and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including robots illustrating dioramas of Sado's history. In addition to Noh, the island is famed for okesa (folk dances), ondeko (demon drum dances) and the toki bird (Japanese crested ibis). The visitor center at the Toki Forest Park will provide us with interesting information and history about these protected birds, including a view of some live birds in captivity. We'll spend the night on Sado Island. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs this evening at our onsen hotel. For your evening entertainment, a dance performance of okesa will be performed in the lobby (subject to availability).

Accommodations at RYOTSU YAMAKI HOTEL or similar

Sunday, April 9 (Day 05)
SADO ISLAND - NIIGATA - TSUBAME SANJO - NAGANO (B)
Takada Castle smallWe'll proceed to Ryotsu Port and board the hydrofoil to return to Naoetsu Port in Niigata. On arrival, we'll board our motorcoach and travel to Tsubame Sanjo, a region known for its manufacture of kitchen cutlery & silverware. We'll visit a large shop offering a wide selection of various merchandise - including some unique kitchenware products, knives, scissors and gardening tools. Our journey continues on to enjoy ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) on the grounds of Takada Castle. Although only the stone walls and fence of the castle remain today, the site was transformed into Takada Castle Ruin Park featuring thousands of cherry trees planted all around the park. Weather permitting, the cherry blossoms should be in full bloom at this time of the year. We'll continue on to overnight in the city of Nagano - best known as the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. The area of Nagano prefecture offers a beautiful view of the northern, central and southern ranges of the breathtaking Japan Alps. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar

Monday, April 10 (Day 06)
NAGANO - MATSUMOTO - ABO TUNNEL - TAKAYAMA (B)(D)
This morning, we'll visit Kawanakajima Ancient Battlefield, the location where the five epic battles between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen took place to secure the northern territory of Nagano. We'll continue on to Azumino and visit the Daio Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish) Farm, Japan's largest wasabi farm, to see the production of this root. A nice selection of wasabi-related products are available in the shops including fresh wasabi and wasabi-flavored ice cream. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the mountains and tunnels as we travel to the quaint and traditional town of Takayama - tucked away between the mountains of the Japan Alps. We'll spend some time to enjoy a leisure stroll through Takayama Kami Sannomachi, a charming district featuring many old homes, shops, coffee houses, and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries. We'll visit the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan (Festival Floats Exhibition Hall) to view several magnificent yatai (floats) on display. These elaborate festival floats are several hundred years old and are spectacular creations with detailed carvings, decorative metalwork and beautiful lacquer work. A famous feature of these floats are the marionettes representing various gods and Japanese nobility - manipulated by accomplished puppeteers using strings to perform a series of gestures, turns, and other movements. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant hotel in Takayama this evening.

Accommodations at HIDA HOTEL PLAZA or HOTEL ASSOCIA TAKAYAMA RESORT

Tuesday, April 11 ( Day 07)
TAKAYAMA - SHIRAKAWA - TONAMI - KANAZAWA (B)(D)
Shirakawa go smallOur journey continues on to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go - famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri (hands in prayer) farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Enjoy a stroll through Ogimachi Village, the largest village and the main attraction of Shirakawa-go with old farmhouses standing amid vegetable gardens and rice paddy fields. Many of them are now functioning as restaurants, shops and small museums. We'll have an opportunity to visit one of the original farm houses that has been preserved partially as a museum and open to the public. The farmland around the area continues to be worked on by the local farmers. We'll continue on to the castle town of Kanazawa to enjoy a leisure stroll through its main attraction - Kenroku-en Garden - ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens. The name Kenroku translates as 'combined six' - referring to a renowned Chinese garden from the Sung Dynasty that required six attributes for perfection: seclusion, spaciousness, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water, and broad views. We will spend two nights in the city of Kanazawa. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

Wednesday, April 12 (Day 08)
KANAZAWA - NOTO PENINSULA - KANAZAWA (B)
This morning, we'll travel to 'Noto-Hanto', a scenic peninsula with rugged seascapes surrounded on three sides by the Sea of Japan. Enjoy a shopping excursion in the town of Wajima at the asa-ichi (morning market) - a large indoor and outdoor marketplace with vendors offering a variety of merchandise including dried seafood products: abalone, scallops, and cuttlefish. Wajima, located at the Kiriko Lantern Museum webcenter of the Okunoto area, is known not only for its fishing industry but also for its production of Wajima-nuri (lacquerware). A characteristic of Wajima lacquerware is found in the base coat being repeatedly applied to original wooden materials - taking months to finish - then decorated with chinkin (gold & silver inlaying) and makie (gold or silver raised lacquer painting). We'll visit a lacquer shop for a brief glimpse into the production of these elegant pieces and to browse through their beautiful merchandise and art work on display and available for purchase. Kiriko is a form of lantern produced only in the Noto district and is used to lead portable shrines during festivals. We'll visit the Wajima Kiriko Art Museum featuring beautiful lacquered giant lanterns elegantly displayed in the showroom. On our return to Kanazawa, we'll travel along the west coast of the peninsula and enjoy a unique and exciting drive along the breakers of the water on the Chirihama Beach Driveway, a beach resembling a sandy motorway. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local specialties of the area at some of the restaurants located in the train station nearby our hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar

Thursday, April 13 (Day 09)
KANAZAWA - TOJINBO - FUKUI - TSURUGA - MIYAZU (B)(D)
We'll continue our journey along the Sea of Japan to scenic Tojinbo - featuring an impressive view of magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and basaltic cliffs formed through the years by erosion from sea waves. Standing gallantly against the raging waves, this scenic site is well-known for several legends and in the past, noted as a famous spot for suicides. We'll continue our scenic drive on the Mikata-go-ko Rainbow Line to visit Mikata go-ko (Five Lakes of Mikata) - a picturesque view of five small lakes located southwest of Tsuruga city. The five lakes are located near Wakasa Bay and are connected with a narrow channel or a canal. A cable car or an individual chair lift will take us to the park and observatory on top of the mountain to enjoy this breathtaking view of the lakes and Wakasa Bay (weather permitting). We'll make a stop to shop at Konbu Kan, a shop offering a wide variety of konbu and other konbu-related products. Enjoy dinner and relax at our luxurious hot spring resort this evening in Miyazu.

Accommodations at MIYAZU ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Friday, April 14 (Day 10)
MIYAZU - TOTTORI (B)(D)
Amanohashidate Spring small"Amanohashidate" (Bridge to Heaven), is a pine-tree-covered sand bar resembling the shape of a bridge spanning across Miyazu Bay and is ranked as one of Japan's three most scenic sights (Nihon Sankei). We'll proceed to Kasamatsu Park and board an individual chair lift or cable car to take us to the top of the hillside to enjoy this spectacular view. To view the sand bar as a 'bridge to heaven', turn your back towards the bay, bend over, and view the scenery from between your legs. We'll travel along the scenic San-in coast of the Japan Sea to spend the night in Tottori, one of the main cities in the San-in district. The Tottori Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes in Japan, created as sand from the nearby Sendaigawa River was washed out to sea and eventually re-deposited along the coast by the ocean's currents. Climb to the top of one of the dunes to enjoy a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW OTANI TOTTORI or similar

Saturday, April 15 (Day 11)
TOTTORI - YONAGO - IZUMO - MATSUE (B)(D)
Izumo Taisha ShrineWe'll travel along the coast of the Sea of Japan to the town of Izumo, home to Japan's oldest and largest Shinto Shrine - Izumo Taisha - constructed in the taisha-zukuri-style of architecture. The wooded grounds are pleasant to wander through and the shrine itself enjoys the 'borrowed scenery' of Yakumo Hill in the background. Okuninushi, whom the shrine is dedicated to, is the kami (Shinto Spirit God) of marriage. Hence, visitors to the shrine summon the deity by clapping their hands four times rather than the normal two - twice for themselves and twice for their partner. We'll continue on to spend the night in the city of Matsue, capital of Shimane prefecture, located at the eastern shores of Lake Shinji. We'll visit the Matsue Vogel Park, a paradise of flowers, plants, owls, and rare birds from all around the world. The park features a beautiful flower conservatory that is the largest in the world, displaying a variety of begonias, fuchsias and other flowers in bloom all year round. A waterfowl aviary is also featured that is home to various aquatic birds. Several trained owls will perform for you at a special scheduled owl show. Enjoy a delicious dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at MATSUNOYU or similar

Sunday, April 16 (Day 12)
MATSUE - YANAI - OSHIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA (B)(D)
Our journey continues on through Yanai city in Yamaguchi prefecture to Oshima Island, one of the largest islands in the Seto Naikai Strait. On arrival, we'll visit the Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii - located in the town of Suo Oshima, the sister city of Kauai. The museum features an interesting video about Hawaii and many photographs, exhibits and artifacts of the hardships faced by the emigrants in Hawaii, the contributions made with the fortune accumulated through their efforts, and the history of cultural exchanges between the hometown and Hawaii up to now. Subject to availability, observe the fascinating process of automobile manufacturing as we watch workmen and robots assemble components to new cars on a moving assembly line at the Mazda Motor Corporation (Zoom Zoom). We'll spend two nights in the city of Hiroshima. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HIROSHIMA RIHGA ROYAL or similar

Monday, April 17 (Day 13)
HIROSHIMA - IWAKUNI - MIYAJIMA - HIROSHIMA (B)
Itsukushima HiroshimaMomiji Manju (a maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with a variety of fillings), is one of Hiroshima's most popular sweets. We'll travel to the town of Hatsukaichi to visit the Yamadaya Manju Factory where we'll view a short video to see the production of this delicious confectionary. We'll continue on to the Miyajima-guchi Pier and board a ferry to Miyajima Island, famed for it scenic Itsukushima-jinja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a large tori gate extending into the sea, the shrine and the island's Mt. Misen-san as a backdrop, this scene 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 the specialties of the island: momiji manju, shakushi (wooden rice paddles), and fresh oysters. We'll leave the island by ferry and re-board our motorcoach to travel back to the city of Hiroshima. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at HIROSHIMA RIHGA ROYAL or similar

Tuesday, April 18 (Day 14)
HIROSHIMA TO HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities. In the afternoon, we'll transfer to the Hiroshima Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival, we'll transfer by bus to the Haneda International Terminal to board our late evening flight to Honolulu, arriving on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A late meal will be served on board the flight.

 

 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 5/01/2016. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare 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 109 Yen = $1.00 U.S


Tour Registration Form
2017 General Conditions (Japan/International)

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