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2017 Spring Okinawa & Circle Shikoku

March 12 - 23, 2017 (12 days and 10 nights)

** Guaranteed Departure **

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

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 08/31/2016)

Okinawa (4 nights), Underground Imperial Navy Headquarters, Himeyuri Peace Museum, Mabuni-no-Oka, Okinawa World, Ryukyu Village, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okashigoten Onna, Shuri-jo, Shikinaen Royal Garden, Shikoku Island, Matsuyama, Mingei Iyo-Kasuri Kaikan, Uchiko, Yokaichi Old Town, Uwajima, Kochi, Katsurahama Beach, Harimayabashi, Kochi Castle, Kotohira, Kompira-san, Kanamaru-za Kabuki Theater, Takamatsu, Ritsuirin Koen, Tokushima, Awa Odori Kaikan, Naruto, Awaji Island, Awaji Ningyo Joruri, Sennen-Ichi Shuzo Sake Brewery, Awaji Hanasajiki, Kobe, Osaka

TWIN RATE:
$ 4,850 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 650 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 4,050 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Sunday, March 12 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO NARITA
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the All Nippon Airways Lobby #4 at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for our flight to Narita International Airport. Lunch and a snack will be served on board the flight.

Monday, March 13 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA to NAHA, OKINAWA
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the late afternoon and after clearing entry procedures, we'll transfer to the domestic ticket lobby to check-in for our flight to Okinawa. On arrival at the Naha Airport, we'll transfer to our hotel in Naha, capital city of Okinawa. We'll spend four exciting nights in Okinawa.

Accommodations at HOTEL JAL CITY NAHA or similar

Tuesday, March 14 (Day 03)
SOUTHERN OKINAWA (B)(D)
We'll embark on a sightseeing tour in southern Okinawa, the most populated area of Okinawa. As you wander through the maze of corridors at the Underground Imperial Navy Headquarters, visible shrapnel damage can be seen on the walls from the grenade blasts that took the lives of many men during the closing days of the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. We'll visit the Himeyuri Peace Museum built on the grounds of Himeyuri-no-to, a memorial site to commemorate the hundreds of high-school students and their teachers who sacrificed their lives during the Battle of Okinawa. They sadly committed mass suicide rather than submit to the approaching American Army. Visitors to the museum are greeted by a large stone monument located at the entrance. Mabuni-no-Oka is the memorial site where the final battle in Okinawa took place during World War II. The Cornerstone of Peace is a monument commemorating the Battle of Okinawa and the role of Okinawa during World War II. Names of the thousands who lost their lives are inscribed on the memorial. Share the pride of Ryukyuan culture at Okinawa World, a theme park promoting Okinawan history and culture with its main attraction, Gyokusen-do - Japan's second longest natural cave. The interior of the cave is well maintained with walking paths featuring spectacular stalactites and stalagmite formations. Stroll through old Okinawa at the Kingdom Village - a replica of a traditional Ryukyu village. Enjoy eisa dance performances at the Traditional Performance Plaza and various workshops introducing traditional Okinawan crafts such as weaving, dyeing, paper-making, glass-blowing, and more. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL JAL CITY NAHA or similar

Wednesday, March 15 (Day 04)
NORTHERN OKINAWA (B)(L)(D)
We'll travel north to visit Ryukyu Village, a small theme park providing traditional Okinawan culture in the form of a recreated village from the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The village includes a traditional residence with a red-tiled roof, a shrine, and various workshops featuring Okinawan crafts. A wide range of performances are held in the village, including eisa taiko drumming, dances, and re-enacted historical ceremonies. You'll have the opportunity to try some popular Okinawan dishes and shop for a wide range of local souvenirs. Enjoy an intriguing world of marine life at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Japan's largest aquarium located in Motobu at the Ocean Expo Park, the site where the International Ocean Exposition was held in 1975. The largest fish in the world - the whale shark - and the world's first successfully bred-in-captivity manta ray swim with ease in Kuroshio Sea, the main tank which reproduces the environment of coral reefs below the water's surface. In the Dolphin Theatre, enjoy some exciting shows performed by trained dolphins and manatees. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL ORION MOTOBU or similar

Thursday, March 16 (Day 05)
CENTRAL OKINAWA (B)(D)
Okinawa Shurijo Castle ParkWe'll travel south to visit some of the major attractions in central Okinawa. Enroute, we'll make a stop to visit Okashigoten Onna, an Okinawa specialty pastry shop offering a variety of delicious desserts, from melt-in-the-mouth cookies to dainty cakes and pastries. One of the specialty foods of Okinawa is a boat-like pastry filled with purple sweet potato paste (beni-imo) piped on top in a rippled pattern called Okashigoten. Beni-imo is an ingredient used in many desserts, including cakes, pastries, and ice cream. Subject to availability, we may be able to view the production of these delicious pastries. Shuri-jo, the reconstructed residence of the Okinawan royal family, is situated at the top of a small hill overlooking the city of Naha. Almost destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa, Shuri-jo is a good place to get a sense of Ryukyuan culture - designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shureimon, the second of Shuri-jo's main gates, reflects strong Chinese influence alongside indigenous religious traditions. Four Chinese characters are framed on the gate - Shu, rei, no, and kuni - which means 'Land of Propriety'. The structure of the gate is similar to Chinese three-bay turret gates and is covered with a red-tiled roof. We'll continue on to visit Shikinaen Royal Garden - built for the royal family and used to entertain guests and host foreign dignitaries - designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The garden contains a large pond with several islands, stone bridges, a wooden palace and a nice variety of shrubs, flowers, and trees. The walkways along the park are paved in Ryukyuan limestone along a scenic pond. We'll spend our last night in Naha city, where dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL JAL CITY NAHA or similar

Friday, March 17 (Day 06)
OKINAWA TO MATSUYAMA (SHIKOKU ISLAND) (B)(D)
We'll transfer to the Naha Airport to check-in for our afternoon flight to Matsuyama, the largest city on Shikoku Island and capital of Ehime Prefecture. Shikoku is Japan's fourth largest island and is divided into four prefectures: Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi and Tokushima. On arrival in Matsuyama, we'll board our chartered motorcoach and transfer to our hotel to check-in for the night. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at MATSUYAMA ANA HOTEL or similar

Saturday, March 18 (Day 07)
MATSUYAMA - UCHIKO - UWAJIMA (B)(D)
This morning, we'll visit Mingei Iyo-Kasuri Kaikan, a museum and shop devoted to the folk craft (mingei) of weaving with dyed yarn (kasuri). Examples of the dyes, cloths, and equipment used for the production of this material is featured in the museum. Subject to availability, we may be able to watch one of the staff at work on a loom. Many of the elegant products are available for purchase in the shop. We'll travel to the traditional town of Uchiko. Surrounded by natural beauty, it's located southwest of Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture, once a manufacturing center of Japanese wax and paper production. Enjoy a stroll through the traditional street in Yokaichi Old Town, a district in the city with its preserved street of historical houses. We'll also visit the Kamihaga Residence, one of Uchiko's most interesting buildings offering a glimpse of how the town prospered by its wax and paper industry. We'll continue on to spend the night in Uwajima, a scenic coastal city in southern Ehime Prefecture facing the Bungo Channel, separating Kyushu from Shikoku. Local specialties of Uwajima include taimeshi (a dish of rice & sea bream) and jakoten (fish cake). Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL CLEMENT UWAJIMA or similar

Sunday, March 19 (Day 08)
UWAJIMA - KOCHI (B)(D)
Shikoku Kochi CastleEnjoy a leisure drive through the mountains and forests to spend the night in Kochi, capital city of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku Island. We'll visit beautiful Katsurahama, a scenic beach south of central Kochi. Standing near the beach is the famous statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, who was instrumental in negotiating an alliance between the Choshu and Satsuma clans, bringing an end to Japan's feudal age in 1868. The famous landmark of the city is Harimayabashi, a small red bridge located on the west side of the main street in downtown Kochi. Harimayabashi is renowned for its role in a Kochi love story, centering around a priest at a temple on Mount Godaisan and a girl from Kochi who were forced to hide their romance. We'll visit Kochi Castle, a well-preserved original hilltop castle from the feudal period. A unique feature of the castle is that its main tower was not only used for military purposes but also as a residence for the lord. The lookout point from the top of the castle's tower offers a nice view of downtown Kochi. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at CROWN PALAIS NEW HANKYU KOCHI HOTEL or similar

Monday, March 20 (Day 09)
KOCHI - KOTOHIRA (B)(D)
Our travel continues along the Kochi Highway Road to spend the night in Kotohira, a small town in Kagawa Prefecture. The town is famous for Kompira-san, located on the wooded slope of Mount Zozu. Although Kompira-san has one of the most difficult shrine approaches in Japan, the site is visited by many pilgrims from across the country. The approachway to the shrine is lined with many souvenir shops and restaurants. We'll visit the historical Kanamaru-za Kabuki Theater, Japan's oldest surviving and complete kabuki playhouse. Kabuki performances are still held in the theater occasionally. Explore the audience hall, stage, dressing rooms and the basement to see the workings of the human powered rotating stage and trapdoors used by actors. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs in our onsen hotel.

Accommodations at HANANO YU KOBAI TEI or similar

Tuesday, March 21 (Day 10)
KOTOHIRA - TAKAMATSU - TOKUSHIMA - NARUTO - AWAJI ISLAND (B)(D)
Ritsuin Park webOur travels continue on to the city of Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture to enjoy a stroll through the city's main attraction - Ritsuirin Koen. Known as one of the famous historical landscape gardens in Japan, this was 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, including the 'borrowed scenery' of Mount Shuin in the background. We'll travel to Tokushima, capital city of Tokushima Prefecture to enjoy a lively dance performance of the famous Awa Odori, the pride of Tokushima at the Awa Odori Kaikan. Learn to dance and participate with the special dancers accompanied by the sounds of shamisen (three stringed guitars), taiko (drums) and fue (flutes). We'll continue on to Naruto city on Shikoku Island, the starting point of the Shikoku Pilgrimage of the 88 temples associated with the famous Buddhist Monk - Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. The city is also known for its swirling whirlpools occurring in the waters of the Naruto Strait along the Shikoku coast. Whirlpools are created by the height difference between the high and low tides moving between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean according to the rhythm of the tides. We'll cross the Naruto Channel on the Naruto Ohashi, a bridge connecting Shikoku Island to Awaji Island - the inland sea's largest island. We'll arrive Awaji Island to enjoy a performance of the Awaji Ningyo Joruri (Puppet Play) at the Awaji Puppet Theater. The separate arts of puppet manipulation, gidayu narration and shamisen accompaniment blend together to present a dramatic performance of a tragic drama. We'll spend the night in an onsen hotel on Awaji Island. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs this evening.

Accommodations at MINAMI ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, March 22 (Day 11)
AWAJI ISLAND - KOBE - OSAKA (B)(D)
This morning, we'll embark on a sightseeing tour of the island, visiting the Sennen-Ichi Shuzo Sake Brewery, a small brewery where you will have a chance to step right into the actual brewery and see the brewers at work. At the conclusion of the tour, samples of their products will be available for you to taste, including the high-grade Daiginjo. Weather permitting, tiptoe through the tulips and other flowers at Awaji Hanasajiki, an endless field of seasonal flowers on a hill overlooking the Akashi Strait and Osaka Bay. We'll travel on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, a suspension bridge linking Awaji Island to the city of Kobe on the main island of Honshu, crossing the busy Akashi Strait. We'll continue on to spend the night in the busy industrial city of Osaka. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL OSAKA HOTEL or similar

Thursday, March 23 (Day 12)
ITAMI (OSAKA) TO HANEDA TO HONOLULU (B)
This morning, we'll transfer to Itami Airport to check-in for our flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival, we'll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal for our evening flight to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line. A 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 6/01/2016. 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 110 Yen = $1.00 U.S


Tour Registration Form
2017 General Conditions (Japan/International)

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