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February 5 - 17, 2020 (13 days and 11 nights)

** Cancelled **

(featuring five Winter Festivals, Hokkaido Shinkansen through Seikan Undersea Tunnel to Aomori, Winter Stove Train and Bullet Train from Akita to Tokyo)

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

$100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 8/15/2019)

Narita, Chitose, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, Sapporo (2 nights), Susukino Ice Festival, Ramen Yokocho, Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, Otaru, Asahi Brewery, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Asahikawa, Asahikawa Heiwa Dori Kaimono Koen, Asahikawa Winter Festival, Otokoyama Sake Brewery, Tomamu Terrace of Frost Tree, Showa Shinzan, Hakodate, Goryokaku Tower, Hakodate Morning Market, Seikan Undersea Tunnel on Hokkaido Shinkansen, Aomori, Nebuta No Ie Warasse, Winter Stove Train, Hirosaki, Hakkoda Ropeway, Oirase River Gorge, Kiritampo Hands-on-Activity, Lake Tazawa, Kakunodate, Takashimizu Sake Brewery, Strawberry Picking, Akita Furusato Village, Yokote Kamakura Festival, Akita, Bullet Train to Tokyo, Ameyokocho, Narita

TWIN RATE:
$ 5,195 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
$ 495 per person
LAND ONLY:
$ 4,295 per person

(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Wednesday, February 5 (Day 01)
HONOLULU to NARITA to CHITOSE
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for check-in procedures for our flight to Narita International Airport. Lunch and a snack will be served on board the flight. After completing entry and customs formalities at Narita Airport, we will transfer to check-in for our domestic flight to Chitose in Hokkaido, the second largest and northernmost island of Japan.

Thursday, February 6 (Day 02)
ARRIVE CHITOSE
We’ll arrive at Chitose Airport in the evening, then transfer to our hotel located within the airport terminal to check-in for the night.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar

Friday, February 7 (Day 03)
CHITOSE - LAKE SHIKOTSU - SAPPORO (B)(D)
Sapporo Snow FestivalWe’ll travel to picturesque Lake Shikotsu, Japan’s northernmost ice-free caldera lake, visiting the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival. Enjoy strolling through this fantastic world of ice with various snow and ice sculptures lined around the lake. We’ll continue on to spend two nights in Sapporo, capital city of Hokkaido, best-known for ramen, beer, and the annual winter snow festival. We’ll travel to Susukino, a lively entertainment district of Sapporo - home to hundreds of bars, restaurants, and night clubs. Susukino also hosts its own spectacular winter event - the Susukino Ice Festival. Featured along the main street are hundreds of intricate hand carved ice sculptures created by various artisans and business establishments. Susukino is also noted for Ramen Yokocho, a narrow alley lined with many small shops serving a variety of delicious Sapporo ramen. This afternoon, enjoy a visit of the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival), the largest and most popular winter festival in Hokkaido. Centered on Odori Park, hundreds of spectacular snow sculptures and statues of all sizes are exhibited here, including a huge snow sculpture used primarily to host concerts and events. Created by various artisans, each block displays its own individual creation, turning Odori Park into a fabulous winter dreamland. In the evenings, the festival venue is beautifully illuminated with colored lights, providing a breathtaking sight. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Saturday, February 8 (Day 04)
SAPPORO - OTARU - SAPPORO (B)
OtaruWe’ll travel to historic Otaru, a charming and romantic port city located in western Hokkaido facing Ishikari Bay. A well-known symbol of the city is the historic Otaru Canal. Beautifully restored with old-fashioned gas lamps and preserved stone warehouses, this scene provides a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere. Enjoy strolling through Sakaimachi Dori, a preserved merchant street featuring many shops, museums and cafes. At the southern end of the street is a Music Box Museum featuring a wide variety of elegant music boxes. In front of the entrance of the museum 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 - 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 continue on to visit the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, a ski jumping venue located on the eastern slope of Mt. Okura. The stadium has hosted a number of winter sports events, including the 1972 Winter Olympics and FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2007. Currently, it is used primarily as a training facility for athletes at Nordic events. We’ll visit the Asahi Brewery - a leading brewery and soft drink company in Hokkaido. Enjoy an interesting guided tour to observe the process of beer production. At the conclusion of the tour, some of their delicious products will be available for you to sample in the tasting room. Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local cuisine at one of the restaurants in the underground shopping mall located near the hotel.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar

Sunday, February 9 (Day 05)
SAPPORO - ASAHIKAWA (B)(D)
Asahikawa Winter FestivalDiscover a fantasyland of snow and ice sculptures displayed on a beautiful white snowfield at the spectacular Asahikawa Winter Festival, Hokkaido’s second-largest winter festival. Located on the banks of the Ishikari River, the centerpiece of the festival is a magnificent giant snow sculpture created with a different theme every year. This huge sculpture is primarily used as a stage for concerts, events, and for the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival. Enjoy a stroll through Asahikawa Heiwa-dori Kaimono-koen, Asahikawa’s main pedestrian-only street featuring many shops, department stores and an international ice sculpture competition where teams from all over the world compete to create extraordinary ice carvings. Hokkaido has the ideal climate and water conditions to produce superior sake. For sake enthusiasts, we’ll visit the Otokoyama Sake Brewery & Museum, a spacious complex featuring exhibits and displays to observe the step-by-step process of sake production, including the tools utilized in the making of sake. At the conclusion of the tour, some of their delicious products will be available for you to sample and enjoy. We’ll spend the night in Asahikawa, Hokkaido’s second largest city. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOSHINO RESORTS OMO7 ASAHIKAWA or similar

Monday, February 10 (Day 06)
ASAHIKAWA - NOBORIBETSU - KITAYUZAWA (B)(D)
Noboribetsu WinterWe’ll travel south to the town of Noboribetsu, one of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring areas and visit Jigokudani (Hell Valley), a spectacular ravine located just above the town of Noboribetsu. Enjoy the view of hot steam vents and other volcanic activity at this magnificent site, the main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters. We’ll continue on along the scenic Uchiura Bay to spend the night at a hot spring resort nearby Lake Toya - a large and attractive caldera lake located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Subject to confirmation, we’ll visit the Terrace of Frost Tree on a gondola in Tomamu, a modern ski resort in central Hokkaido. The natural phenomenon of ‘Frost Trees’ occurs when the water vapor particles in the air attach to the trees, creating trees covered with shimmering white frost. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner and relax in the soothing hot springs at this hot spring resort.

Accommodations at MIDORINOKAZE RESORT KITAYUZAWA or similar

Tuesday, February 11 (Day 07)
KITAYUZAWA - HAKODATE (B)(D)
We’ll continue our drive around scenic Uchiura Bay to the seaport city of Hakodate, Hokkaido’s third largest city located at the island’s southern tip. En route, we’ll make a stop at Kombu-kan, a large kelp shop offering a wide variety of kombu and kombu-related products. On arrival in Hakodate, we’ll visit Fort Goryokaku, a massive star-shaped Western-style citadel, built for the defense of the city. After the fort lost its military importance, it was eventually turned into a public park. Enjoy a birds-eye view of this star-shaped fortress and the city from the observation deck of Goryokaku Tower. We’ll spend the night in the city of Hakodate. Dinner will be provided for you at the hotel.

Accommodations at HAKODATE KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar

Wednesday, February 12 (Day 08)
HAKODATE - SEIKAN UNDERSEA TUNNEL - AOMORI - HIROSAKI (B)(D)
Hirosaki Snow Lantern FestivalThis morning, enjoy an exciting shopping excursion at the Hakodate (asaichi) Morning Market, a busy marketplace where many indoor and outdoor vendors offer a huge selection of dried seafood products such as scallops, dried squid, cuttlefish, and a wide variety of seaweed-related products. Have fun bargaining with the various vendors for the best discounted prices for your merchandise. We’ll transfer to the Shin Hakodate Hokuto Station to board the ‘Hokkaido Shinkansen’ and travel through the Seikan Undersea Tunnel connecting the island of Hokkaido to the main island of Honshu. We’ll arrive in Aomori, the northernmost capital city of Aomori Prefecture on Honshu Island to enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of the city. On arrival, we’ll visit Nebuta No Ie Warasse, an interesting museum dedicated to the city’s famous Nebuta Matsuri held annually during the summer. The museum is housed in a unique building located along Aomori’s waterfront district and features photos and images to provide you with a glimpse of the 300-year-old history of the Nebuta Matsuri. Admire the intricate craftsmanship and details of several floats from past festivals displayed in the showroom. We’ll continue on to the culturally rich city of Hirosaki to spend the night. Enjoy a unique experience as we journey from Goshogawara on the Stove Winter Train - passenger train cars are warmed by old-fashioned potbelly coal stoves. Relax in the cozy train as surume (dried squid & cuttlefish) is prepared on the stove and served. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ART HOTEL HIROSAKI or similar

Thursday, February 13 (Day 09)
HIROSAKI - LAKE TAZAWA (B)(L)(D)
The Hakkoda mountains are a volcanic mountain range located to the south of Aomori city. The mountains, along with Lake Towada and the Oirase Valley, make up the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Weather permitting, we’ll board a cable car from the Hakkoda Ski Station up to the peak of Mt. Tamoyachi in the northern Hakkoda Mountain Range to view unique Ice & Snow Monsters. Clumps of snow caught in the branches of each tree or bush form eerie misshapen figures, creating an uncanny sight. Experience a mystifying walk through a world of these imaginary snow monsters on the mountain. We’ll continue on to enjoy a relaxing and scenic drive along the picturesque Oirase Gorge. Noted as one of the most beautiful river valleys in Japan, the crystal-clear Oirase River runs through a beautiful forest of trees covered with snow with a number of interesting rock formations and cliffs. Icy rapids and plunging frozen waterfalls add to the beauty of the gorge, creating a breathtaking sight. Enjoy a hands-on-experience to make kiritampo - a popular and traditional cuisine of the area. We’ll form the cooked rice around a stick, toast it on a grill, then spread some miso sauce on it to enjoy. We’ll continue on to spend the night at a hotel located nearby Lake Tazawa, a scenic caldera lake.

Accommodations at PLAZA HOTEL SANROKUSO or similar

Friday, February 14 (Day 10)
LAKE TAZAWA - KAKUNODATE - AKITA (B)(D)
Enjoy a stroll through Kakunodate, a former castle town and samurai stronghold in Akita Prefecture. Kakunodate is famed for its bukeyashiki (samurai houses) and gardens located behind wooden fences and gates along the main avenue. Among one of the most interesting mansions open to the public is the Ishiguro Samurai House - the former residence of Kakunodate’s highest ranked family. A visit to this house and garden offers a fine example of traditional samurai house architecture. Kakunodate is also noted for their traditional kaba-zaiku (wooden craft-ware) using the bark of wild cherry trees. Several of these intricate pieces are displayed in the Kakunodate Cherry-Bark Craft Museum. Takashimizu literally means ‘high spring water’ and we’ll visit the Takashimizu Sake Brewery, located in the city of Akita. The brewery is located in a place that is famous as a source of the purest water for sake brewing. We’ll spend the night in Akita. Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA or similar

Saturday, February 15 (Day 11)
AKITA - YOKOTE - AKITA (B)
We’ll travel to Yokote, located in the southeast corner of Akita prefecture. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat strawberry picking adventure at the Komachino Strawberry Farm. You’ll have 30 minutes to enjoy eating delicious strawberries from the vines in the greenhouse. We’ll visit the Akita Furusato Village to participate in a ceramic-bell-painting experience. The village features permanent exhibitions of prefectural crafts of Akita, a large planetarium, and other numerous attractions. This evening, enjoy a visit of the Yokote Kamakura Festival, featuring igloo-like snow houses - also known as kamakura. Within each kamakura, there is a snow altar dedicated to the water deity to whom people pray for ample water. Along the Yokote River, hundreds of mini kamakura are illuminated by candles to create a breathtaking sea of lights. We’ll spend the night in Akita. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA or similar

Sunday, February 16 (Day 12)
AKITA - BULLET TRAIN TO TOKYO (B)(D)
This morning, we’ll transfer to the Akita Station to board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo. On arrival at Ueno Station, we’ll board our motorcoach to enjoy a shopping adventure at Ameyokocho. This busy market street features many indoor and outdoor vendors offering a variety of food products and various merchandise at discounted prices. The afternoon is at your leisure for your own activities. We’ll spend our last night in the exciting city of Tokyo. Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar

Monday, February 17 (Day 13)
TOKYO - NARITA TO HONOLULU (B)
The morning is free at your leisure for your own activities. In the early afternoon, we’ll transfer to the Narita International Airport to check-in for our evening 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 5/1/2019. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase and fluctuation of the rate 0of 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 112 Yen = $1.00 U.S