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2019 Spring Circle Kyushu

March 21 - April 9, 2019 (12 days and 10 nights)

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

 $100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 08/25/2018)

Narita, Fukuoka/Hakata, Hakata Machiya Furusato-mura, Fukuoka Tower, Hakata Traditional Craft & Design Museum, Karatsu, Mount Kagamiyama, Niji-no-Matsubara, Imari Okawachiyama, Takeo, Sasebo, Kujuku-shima, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki International Peace Memorial Hall, Nagasaki Heiwa-Koen, Shimabara, Mizunashi-Honjin Fukae Michi no Eki, Kumamoto, Suizen-ji-koen, Kagoshima, Senga-en, Cape Nagasakibana, Ibusuki, Chiran, Tokko Heiwa Kaikan, Chiran Samurai District, Nichinan Kaigan Coast, Miyazaki, Takachiho-kyo, Mount Aso, Beppu, Beppu Hatto, Beppu Park, Yufuin Mingei Mura, Dazaifu Tenman-gu, Kyushu National Museum, Fukuoka/Hakata, Haneda

TWIN RATE:
$ 4,495 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 725 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 3,495 per person
 
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)
 

Thursday, March 21 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO 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 to Narita International Airport. A meal will be served on board the flight.

Friday, March 22 (Day 02)
ARRIVE NARITA TO FUKUOKA
We'll arrive Narita Airport in the afternoon and after completing entry and customs formalities, we'll transfer with our luggage to the domestic ticket lobby to check-in for our flight to Fukuoka International Airport on Kyushu, the third-largest and southernmost island of Japan. We'll transfer to our hotel to check-in for two nights in downtown Fukuoka, the largest city in Kyushu and capital of Fukuoka prefecture.

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW OTANI HAKATA or similar

Saturday, March 23 (Day 03)
FUKUOKA/HAKATA (B)(D)
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the city. We'll visit the Hakata Machiya Furusato-mura, a folk museum highlighting the lifestyle of early-20th-century Hakata artisans and the art of traditional doll making. Located nearby is Kushida-jinja, an important Shinto shrine that hosts the annual Hakata Gion Yamasaka Festival held during the summer. Fukuoka Tower is the tallest seaside tower in Japan located in the Momochihama area of Fukuoka. From the observation deck of the tower, enjoy a panoramic view of the city, Hakata Bay and the surrounding area. Hakata is known for its elegant Hakata ningyo (clay dolls) with a 400-year-old tradition. They range widely in size, and are delicately painted with lifelike features, generally representing figures of samurai warriors, geishas, or Kabuki actors. You'll find many of these precious dolls available for purchase at many of the souvenir shops in Hakata. Enjoy a visit of the Hakata Traditional Craft and Design Museum featuring exhibits focusing on the history and manufacturing methods of various traditional arts and crafts of Fukuoka. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW OTANI HAKATA or similar

Sunday, March 24 (Day 04)
FUKUOKA * KARATSU * IMARI * TAKEO (B)(D)
Niji no MatsubaraWe'll travel west to Mount Kagamiyama, famous for its view of Karatsu city, Karatsu Bay, including a spectacular view of Niji-no-Matsubara - a two-mile long grove of black pine trees. The forest was originally planted by the feudal Lord Terasawa as a counter-measure against the strong winds and tides in Karatsu Bay. This scene is noted as one of the most picturesque landscapes in Japan. The pottery towns of Arita and Imari in Saga prefecture have been a major manufacturing source of ceramics for centuries with Imari-yaki and Arita-yaki as the most famous and distinctive. Korean potters were brought to Imari to produce porcelain mainly for the Nabeshima domain. Enjoy a stroll through Imari Okawachiyama (The Village of Secret Kilns) - a small artisans' village in the city of Imari that has been producing unique pottery for centuries and kept its method a secret - hence the name 'The Village of Secret Kilns'. We'll continue on to overnight at a hotel in Takeo, a city located in the western part of Saga prefecture. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our hotel this evening.

Accommodations at TAKEO CENTURY HOTEL or similar

Monday, March 25 (Day 05)
TAKEO * NAGASAKI (B)(D)
Kujukushima KyushuWe'll board a sightseeing boat from Kashimae Pier to enjoy a relaxing and scenic cruise around Kujuku-shima (99 pine-studded islets) in the inland sea. Enjoy some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Japan as you cruise through the islands. We'll continue our drive on the Saikai Bridge to Nagasaki, the largest city of Nagasaki prefecture and noted as the second city to experience a nuclear attack on August 9, 1945. We'll visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum featuring displays, photos, relics and documents related to the bombing. The Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall located nearby, was constructed to commemorate the memory of those who perished in the atomic bombing with photos and memoirs of the event. The Nagasaki Heiwa-koen (Peace Park) was established near the hypocenter of the explosion and remnants of a concrete wall of Urakami Cathedral can still be seen. At the park's north end stands a 10-meter-tall Peace Statue and the south end features a Fountain of Peace. We will spend the night in the city of Nagasaki, the capital of Nagasaki prefecture. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW NAGASAKI or similar

Tuesday, March 26 (Day 06)
NAGASAKI * SHIMABARA * KUMAMOTO (B)
We'll continue our journey to the Shimabara Peninsula, passing by Mount Unzen, an active volcanic complex of several overlapping lava domes. We'll visit Mizunashi-Honjin Fukae Michi no Eki (Avalanche Stricken Homes Preservation Park), a preserved memorial site where the after-effects of the devastation caused by the 1990 Unzen eruption are featured. From the Shimabara Pier, we'll board a ferry and cross the Ariake Sea to spend the night in Kumamoto, capital city of Kumamoto prefecture. The city is home to Suizen-ji-koen, a beautiful Japanese-style landscape garden designed with an impression of views seen when traveling along the Tokaido - the old highway between Kyoto and Edo (present-day Tokyo). As you stroll around the park, you'll have a magnificent feeling of nature with its small ponds, lakes, and trees. Featured at the east end of the park is Horaitsukiyama, a beautiful representation of a miniature Mt. Fuji. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local specialties of this prefecture.

Accommodations at HOTEL NIKKO KUMAMOTO or similar

Wednesday, March 27 (Day 07)
KUMAMOTO * KAGOSHIMA * IBUSUKI (B)(D)
Japan Sakurajima smallWe'll travel south to Kagoshima, the southernmost major city in Kyushu and capital of Kagoshima prefecture. The city is often compared with its Italian sister city Naples due to its similar mild climate and Sakurajima, Kagoshima's Vesuvius. The city's principal attraction is Iso-tein or formally known as Sengan-en, a beautiful Japanese-style garden with one of the most impressive pieces of 'borrowed scenery' - Kagoshima Bay and the fuming peak of Sakurajima as a background. Enjoy a leisure stroll through this beautifully landscaped garden featuring small ponds, streams, and a bamboo grove. We'll continue on to visit Cape Nagasakibana, featuring views of nearby Mount Kaimondake. Due to its conical shape, it bears a striking resemblance to Mount Fuji and is often referred to as "Satsuma Fuji". We'll continue on to the southernmost tip of the Satsuma Peninsula to spend the night in Ibusuki, a coastal town best known for its sunamushi onsens (steaming black sand baths). As an option, (at own expense), you may want to experience being covered with warm black volcanic sand. The weight and heat of the sand feels so good and after rinsing off, you will feel relaxed and energized. Relax and enjoy dinner at our hot spring hotel this evening.

Accommodations at IBUSUKI ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Thursday, March 28 (Day 08)
IBUSUKI * CHIRAN * MIYAZAKI (B)(D)
This morning, we'll travel to the little town of Chiran, noted for its fine collection of preserved samurai houses and gardens. Enjoy a stroll through 'samurai street' to visit a few old samurai residences and beautifully landscaped gardens. The Tokko Heiwa Kaikan (Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots) displays an extensive collection of correspondence, photographs, relics, and mementos belonging to the members of the Special Air Force Attack Group also known as the Kamikaze Pilots. Subject to availability, a local guide will share photos and letters from some of the members, presenting a positive image of these pilots as they willingly gave their lives for their country and their families in order to establish peace and prosperity for Japan. We'll continue on to the scenic Nichinan Kaigan Coast, located in southern Miyazaki prefecture. On Ao-shima Island located in the northernmost part of the Nichinan-Kaigan Quasi-National Park, enjoy the view of palm trees, subtropical plants, and an eroded rock formation known as Oni-no-Sentakuita (devil's washboard). We'll spend the night in Miyazaki, capital city of Miyazaki prefecture located on the eastern coast of Kyushu Island. Dinner will be provided for you tonight at the hotel.

Accommodations at MIYAZAKI KANKO HOTEL or similar

Friday, March 29 (Day 09)
MIYAZAKI * NOBEOKA * TAKACHIHO * MOUNT ASO (B)(D)
Situated in the northwestern region of Miyazaki prefecture between Nobeoka on the coast and Aso-san in the center of Kyushu Island, is the quaint town of Takachiho. This little village is a remote mountain resort and considered one of the most sacred places in Japan, surrounded by many myths and legends. The town's major attraction is Takachiho-kyo (Takachiho Gorge), a scenic v-shaped ravine created by the Gokase River featuring breathtaking waterfalls, overhanging rocks, and sheer walls - all formed through the erosion of the Aso lava plateau. We'll continue on to spend the night at a hot spring resort in the vicinity of Mount Aso and Aso National Park. Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ASO RESORT GRANDVRIO or similar

Saturday, March 30 (Day 10)
MOUNT ASO * MT. TAKASAKI * BEPPU (B)(D)
Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park, home to thousands of wild Japanese macaques (monkeys), is located at the base of Mt. Takasaki just outside of Beppu city in Oita prefecture. The monkeys are fed regularly by park wardens in order to keep them on the mountain and prevent conflicts with farmers and residents in the neighborhood. As they wander down from the mountain to interact in the communal gathering area, you'll enjoy a rare opportunity to observe these wild monkeys in their natural habitat as they move about freely. We'll continue on to spend the night in the city of Beppu, one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. Beppu is noted for two types of hot springs: jigoku or hells - hot springs for viewing and onsen - hot springs for bathing. The city is blessed with eight different hot springs to bath in - known as Beppu Hatto and seven spectacular hot springs for viewing - known as Hells or Jigoku. We'll visit one of these 'hells' to observe a natural hot spring where the water bubbles forth from underground. Weather permitting, we'll visit Beppu Park, a large city park with pleasant flower gardens and noted as a popular spot to enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in bloom. Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen resort hotel this evening.

Accommodations at BEPPU SUGINOI HOTEL or similar

Sunday, March 31 (Day 11)
BEPPU * YUFUIN * DAZAIFU * FUKUOKA (B)
Beppu Hot Spring KyushuWe'll travel west to Yufuin, a countrified hot-spring town located on a flat river basin surrounded by mountains in Oita prefecture. A prominent feature of Yufuin's skyline is the twin-peaked Mount Yufu. Enjoy a visit to the Yufuin Mingei Mura (Folk Art Village) featuring small workshops with various artisans demonstrating the art of making lathe-turned toys, blown glass, pottery ware, tie-dying, and other crafts. We'll proceed to the cultural city of Dazaifu, visiting Dazaifu Tenman-gu, an important shrine dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician of the Heian period. His rise to power during his political career resulted in a rivalry with the Fujiwara clan and he was later exiled to Dazaifu. Michizane passed away in Dazaifu and the main shrine was built on his grave site. We'll visit the Kyushu Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan (Kyushu National Museum), the first national museum to elevate the focus on history over art. The modern architectural building hosts important collections of Japanese artifacts, particularly ceramics - all related to the history of Kyushu. We'll continue on to spend our last night in Fukuoka. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL NEW OTANI HAKATA or similar

Monday, April 1 (Day 12)
FUKUOKA to HANEDA to HONOLULU (B)
The morning is at your leisure for your own activities In the afternoon, we'll transfer to the Fukuoka Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda Airport. On arrival, we'll transfer by shuttle to the Haneda International Terminal for our flight home to Honolulu, arriving 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.

 

 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 6/1/18. 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
2019 General Conditions (Japan/International)

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