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2018 Country Trails of Honshu

New Tour
Featuring Shodoshima Island and Wakura Onsen

April 2 - 14, 2018 (13 days and 11 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 10/31/2017)

Narita, Chureito Pagoda, Oishi Park, Matsumoto, Matsumoto Castle, Matsumoto Museum of Art, Daio Wasabi Farm, Hirase Sake Brewery, Takayama Jinya, Takayama, Miyagawa Morning Market, Hida no Sato, Noto Peninsula, Wakura Onsen, Kami Tokikuni-ke, Shiroyone Senmaida, Gold Leaf Hands-on-Experience, Kanazawa, Yamanaka Onsen, Eiheiji Temple, Sanjusangendo, Kyoto, Shinkansen to Yamaguchi, Akiyoshi-do, Hagi, Hagiyaki Pottery Kiln, Shoin Yoshida Statue, Tsuwano, Shukkeien, Hiroshima, Marugame Castle, Kinashi Bonsai Village, Takamatsu, Ferry to Shodoshima Island, Soy Sauce Factory, Shodoshima Olive Park, Kankakei Gorge, Sanuki Udon Making Hands-on Experience, Yashima, Awa Ningyo Joruri, Osaka, Kansai

TWIN RATE:
$ 5,095 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 695 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 4,195 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Monday, April 2 (Day 01)
HONOLULU - NARITA
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the Honolulu International Airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu for Narita International Airport. Lunch and a snack will be served on board your flight.

Tuesday, April 3 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA (D)
We'll arrive Narita International Airport in the early afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, we'll transfer to our hotel located nearby the airport. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO NARITA or similar

Wednesday, April 4 (Day 03)
TOKYO - MT. FUJI - MATSUMOTO (B)(D)
Matsumoto CastleWe'll travel north through Yamanashi Prefecture to visit Chureito Pagoda, a five storied pagoda on the mountainside providing a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji, Japan's most sacred mountain (weather permitting). Oishi Park, located at the Lake Kawaguchiko northern coast, is a beautiful park to enjoy a magnificent view of the serene lake and Mt. Fuji. Lake Kawaguchi is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. We'll continue on to the city of Matsumoto to visit Matsumoto Castle, Japan's oldest and premier historic castle, designated as a National Treasure of Japan. The castle's black wooden donjon is the oldest structure in Japan and the black paint gave the castle its nickname 'Karasujo' (Crow Castle). Located on the grounds of the castle, we'll visit the Matsumoto City Museum, featuring displays of historical artifacts and folk art from around the region. We'll spend the night in Matsumoto, second largest city in Nagano Prefecture. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL BUENA VISTA MATSUMOTO or similar

Thursday, April 5 (Day 04)
MATSUMOTO - TAKAYAMA (B)(D)
We'll visit the Daio Wasabi Farm, one of Japan's largest wasabi farms. Located in rural Azumino city near Matsumoto, the farm has large fields of wasabi with a network of streams that provides each wasabi plant with clear, flowing water from the Northern Alps. A variety of wasabi-related products are available in the shops on the farm. We'll continue on to spend the night in the quaint city of Takayama, tucked away in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu prefecture in the Japan Alps. We'll visit Takayama Jinya, the local government building now open as a museum. This complex was in official use until 1969 and is now open to the public with beautifully maintained tatami-matted rooms once used as office & conference rooms, guest rooms and an interesting interrogation room. Hida Takayama is noted for many sake breweries and we'll visit one of the oldest sake breweries in the city that uses specialized rice from the Hida and Hyogo prefectures. The featured sake produced at Hirase Sake Brewery is 'Kusudama', a popular sake because of its good name and clear taste - served at many established restaurants throughout the country. Dinner will be provided for you at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL ASSOCIA TAKAYAMA or similar

Friday, April 6 (Day 05)
TAKAYAMA - NOTO PENINSULA - WAKURA ONSEN (B)(D)
Miyagawa Morning MarketEnjoy a leisure walk through the Miyagawa Morning Market (asaichi) located along the Miyagawa River in the old town district of Takayama. Featured are vendors offering local hand-made crafts and a variety of local snacks, including the local amulet: Sarubobo (baby monkey). These dolls bring happiness and protection and are generally offered from one woman to another. We'll visit Hida-no-Sato, a unique open-air folk village exhibiting traditional houses built during the Edo Period from the Hida region. This village-like atmosphere features massive gassho-zukuri farmhouses brought in from neighboring Shirakawa-go and are called gassho-zukuri due to their steep thatched roofs resembling a pair of hands joined in prayer. We'll continue our journey to spend the night at Wakura Onsen, a famous hot spring resort located beside Nanao Bay on the scenic Noto Peninsula. This resort town is dominated by massive ryokan complexes located all along the water's edge. The most famous is Kagaya, consistently ranked among Japan's best. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot spring waters of this elegant ryokan.

Accommodations at KAGAYA (NOTO KYAKUDEN) or similar

Saturday, April 7 (Day 06)
WAKURA ONSEN - KANAZAWA - YAMANAKA ONSEN (B)(D)
Shiroyone SenmaidaThis morning, we'll enjoy a stroll through Wajima Asa-Ichi (morning market) - a large indoor and outdoor marketplace with vendors offering a variety of merchandise including a selection of dried seafood products: abalone, scallops and cuttlefish. We'll travel to the tip of the Noto Peninsula to visit one of the former residences of the Tokikuni Family, descendants of the powerful Taira clan. Kami Tokikuni-ke (Upper Tokikuni) has been preserved and is now open to the public. Enjoy a magnificent view of Shiroyone Senmaida, a nostalgic rural landscape known for its scenic beauty of terraced rice paddies. Located at the foot of Mt. Koshu, this landscape is built on a steep slope with thousands of paddies forming a patchwork pattern, separated by stones and mud. Shiroyone Senmaida has been called one of Japan's original landscape, selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Rice Paddies and designated as a "Special Place of Scenic Beauty". We'll travel south to Kanazawa, capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, known for one of the three best landscaped gardens, traditional arts and handicrafts, and restored residences and chaya (teahouse) districts. Gold leaf is a specialty of Kanazawa and we'll enjoy a gold-leaf-hands-on-experience to make a special craft product for you to take home as a souvenir. We'll continue on to spend the night at a rustic hot spring resort in Yamanaka Onsen, a small town located along the Kakusenkei Gorge. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs at our hotel this evening.

Accommodations at KAJIKASO ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Sunday, April 8 (Day 07)
YAMANAKA ONSEN - FUKUI - KYOTO (B)
Senju Kannon 1000 armed goddess of mercyEiheiji, a large temple complex and active monastery, stands on a slope in the mountains just outside of Fukui City and is one of two main temples of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism. We'll visit this sizable temple complex consisting of buildings and structures connected to each other by covered walkways. Historical buildings include the Sanmon Gate - the oldest standing building on the grounds today and the Buddha Hall which houses statues of the past, present and future Buddha. Eiheiji is still an active monastery with hundreds of practicing monks living on its grounds. We'll continue on to spend the night in the cultural city of Kyoto. On arrival, we'll travel to eastern Kyoto to visit Sanjusangendo, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. The temple hall is Japan's longest wooden structure with a large wooden statue of Senju Kannon sitting in the center of the main hall. Flanked on each side of the statue are 500 human-sized 1000-armed Kannon statues standing in rows, creating an awesome sight. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at the various restaurants located at the train station near the hotel.

Accommodations at KYOTO RIGHA ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Monday, April 9 (Day 08)
KYOTO by SHINKANSEN to SHIN-YAMAGUCHI STATION - HAGI (B)(D)
This morning, we'll transfer to the Kyoto Station to board our super express train to Shin-Yamaguchi Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture. On arrival, we'll travel to Mine city to view the vast lands of Akiyoshi-dai, a plateau dotted with limestone pinnacles, presenting a rare landscape in Japan. Below the surface at the south end of the plateau lies Akiyoshi-do, Japan's longest limestone cave featuring various natural formations of underground waterfalls, terraces of limestone pools and a stream of cobalt blue water flowing along the path. Akiyoshido was named by Emperor Hirohito in 1926 while he was still the crown prince. We'll continue on to spend the night in the castle town of Hagi, best known for hagiyaki, one of the most famous pottery types in Japan. Over time, the color of hagiyaki changes with each use as tea residuals enter the openings on its surface - a characteristic highly appreciated by tea enthusiasts. We'll visit one of the pottery kilns in the city to view demonstrations of the production of these elegant pieces. Yoshida Shoin was one of Japan's most distinguished intellectuals in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate. The NHK Taiga Drama series "Hana Moyu" was based on his life story with his younger sister as the heroine of this drama. His statue can be viewed on the grounds of the Yoshida Shoin Memorial Hall. Located at the Shoin Shrine stands the Shokason-juku School, his private school where he raised many important figures of the Meiji restoration. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HAGI GRAND HOTEL TENKU or similar

Tuesday, April 10 (Day 09)
HAGI - TSUWANO - HIROSHIMA (B)
Shukkeien GardenWe'll enjoy a stroll through the town of Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture, surrounded by hills with a placid pleasant atmosphere. Old samurai mansions with white earthen walls, dark red roof tiles and wooden grated windows line the streets portraying scenes reminiscent of past centuries. A waterway flows by the main street filled with lively carp, adding color to the picturesque surroundings. We'll continue on to Hiroshima, visiting Shukkeien, an Edo-Period landscape garden centered around a large pond fed by the Ota River and features several islets, scenic bridges, and thatched teahouses. We'll spend the night in Hiroshima at a hotel located in Moto-Ujina Park on Hiroshima Bay, surrounded by the Seto Naikai National Park. Before checking in, we'll enjoy a stroll through Hondori Street, a pedestrian arcade lined with many shops and restaurants. Running parallel to Hondori is Aioi Street, the main street with a several large department stores. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the local specialty of Hiroshima.

Accommodations at GRAND PRINCE HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar

Wednesday, April 11 (Day 10)
HIROSHIMA - MARUGAME - KINASHI - TAKAMATSU (B)(D)
We'll travel on the Seto-Ohashi, a series of six double-deck bridges connecting the main island of Honshu to Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku Island, passing over five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Enjoy a nice view of the series of these suspension bridges and the Seto Inland Sea at Yoshima Island. On arrival on Shikoku Island, we'll travel to Marugame, a port city in Kagawa Prefecture visiting Marugame-jo, one of 12 castles with an original wooden tenshu (keeps) in Japan. The Ote Ichino Gate, Ote Nino Gate and the Tenshu (keep) are original buildings declared as Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. We'll continue on to enjoy a stroll through the Kinashi Bonsai Village, an area featuring hundreds of bonsai nurseries located in the outskirts of Takamatsu city. The Kinashi region is a leading producer of pine trees used to create bonsai - potted miniature trees carefully styled to achieve an aesthetic effect. We'll spend the night in Takamatsu, capital of Kagawa Prefecture, best known for sanuki udon, the city's most famous dish. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at JR. CLEMENT TAKAMATSU or similar

Thursday, April 12 (Day 11)
TAKAMATSU to SHODOSHIMA ISLAND (B)(D)
m Shodoshima Angels RoadThis morning, we'll transfer by ferry to spend the night on Shodoshima, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. The name Shodoshima literally means 'small bean island' referring to the azuki bean but now refers to the soy bean or olive. The island features beaches, coastal sceneries and a mountainous interior featuring Kankakei Gorge, one of Japan's most beautiful gorges. A ropeway will take us to the observation deck of the upper station to enjoy a panoramic view over the gorge, the island, and the Seto Inland Sea. Shodoshima has a 400-year history of soy sauce production with dozens of soy sauce factories producing soy sauce. We'll visit one of the leading soy sauce factories with a museum that explains the production process along with displays of all the vats and tools required to produce soy sauce. Enjoy a visit of Shodoshima Olive Park located on the southern side of the island, featuring a windmill which was a gift from Milos, Greece. The park is a working olive park and offers a variety of food, health, and beauty products produced and sold at the park (subject to availability). Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at RESORT OLIVIAN SHODOSHIMA or similar

Friday, April 13 (Day 12)
SHODOSHIMA ISLAND - TAKAMATSU - OSAKA (B)(D)
Ningyo JoruriWe'll return to Takamatsu city on Shikoku Island by ferry. On arrival, enjoy a hands-on-experience to make your own sanuki udon, the most famous dish of Takamatsu and noted as one of Japan's most famous type of udon noodles. We'll visit Yashima, a flat-topped mountain on the coast of Takamatsu city also known as roof island, offering great views of the city and the Seto Inland Sea. At the top of the mountain stands Yashima Temple, the 84th temple of the 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage. Yashima was also the site of an important battle during the Gempei War between the Taira and Minamoto Clans. Featured at the summit are attractions related to the mountain's history as a battleground, including a Monument to the Battle of Yashima. We'll continue on to the city of Tokushima to enjoy a performance of Awa Ningyo Joruri (Tokushima-based Japanese Puppet Show) at the Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater & Museum). In the exhibition room, observe how the puppets are manipulated with ningyo-zukai (puppeteers) and view exhibits of the puppets and costumes used for the performances. Our travel continues on as we cross the Naruto Channel on the Naruto Ohashi to Awajishima, the inland sea's largest island. Tidal currents between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean creates uzushio (whirlpools) of various sizes and we may be able to see some as we drive on the bridge to Awajishima. We'll drive through the island and cross the Akashi Strait on the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, a suspension bridge which links Iwaya on Awaji Island to Kobe on the main island of Honshu. We'll continue on to spend the night in Osaka. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at RIGHA ROYAL HOTEL OSAKA or similar

Saturday, April 14 (Day 13)
OSAKA - KANSAI to HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities. In the afternoon, we'll transfer to the Kansai International Airport to check-in for our flight home to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on 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 6/30/17. 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 113 Yen = $1.00 U.S


Tour Registration Form
2018 General Conditions (Japan/International)

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