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Featuring Sado Island & Kurobe Dam

November 4- 17, 2023  (14 Days & 12 Nights)

Haneda, Tokyo, Shinkansen to Niigata, Niigata, Furusato Mura, Northern Culture Museum, Hydrofoil boat ride, Sado Island, Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Toki Forest Park, Sado Rekishi Densetsukan, Ferry ride to Niigata, Tsubame Sanjo, Nagano, Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, Kurobe Dam, Tateyama, Shirakawa-go, Kenroku-en Garden, Kanazawa, Noto Peninsula, Wajima, Wajima Asa-Ichi (Morning Market), Shioyasu Urushi Ware Company, Wajima Kiriko Kaikan, Chirihama Beach Driveway, Tojinbo, Mikata Go-ko, Miyazu, Amanohashidate, Tottori, Tottori Sand Dunes, Suna no Bijuitsukan (Sand Museum), Izumo Taisha Shrine, Matsue, Matsue Vogel Park , Yamadaya Manhu Factory, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Oshima Island, Hawaii Museum of Japanese Emigration, Hiroshima, Haneda

(deposit of $100 per person received by 6/20/2023)

Land Twin Cost:
$3,875 per person

Single Supplement:

(Group air arrangements to be advised)
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)


Saturday, November 4  (Day 01)
Our tour to Japan commences this morning when we assemble at the Japan Airlines curbside lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures.  We will depart Honolulu for Haneda International Airport.  A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight.


Sunday, November 5  (Day 02)
We’ll arrive at Haneda International 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 at the hotel.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN IKEBUKURO or similar


Monday, November 6  (Day 03)
This morning, we will walk to Ikebukuro Station to take a local train to Tokyo Station.  We’ll then board the shinkansen (bullet train) to Niigata, capital of Niigata prefecture which faces the Sea of Japan.  Niigata is known throughout Japan for its high-quality rice and rice-related products, such as sake, senbei, and arare.  On arrival at Niigata Station, we’ll board our chartered motor coach and embark on a brief sightseeing tour of the city.  We’ll make a stop to have lunch at Furusato-Mura, a unique facility that offers a wide selection of local traditional food, snacks, sake and craft products. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the former residence of the wealthy Ito Family, an example of traditional Japanese architecture now preserved as the Northern Culture Museum.  An impressive feature of the home is the zashiki (formal tatami reception room) looking-out at a peaceful serene garden.  We will spend the night in the city of Niigata.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NIIGATA or similar


Tuesday, November 7  (Day 04)
This morning, we’ll board a jet foil from the port of Niigata and cross the sea of Japan to Ryotsu Port located on historic Sado-Ga-Shima (Sado Island).  On arrival, we’ll embark on a full-day sightseeing tour of the island.  The visitor center at the Toki Forest Park will provide us with interesting information and history about the toki birds(Japanese crested ibis), which were on the brink of extinction. These birds have been protected and their population has been maintained with assistance from China and Korea. At the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine located in Aikawa town, we’ll descend into the old mining caves to see mechanical puppets dramatize the tough existence of the miners in the past.  We’ll visit the Sado Rekishi Densetsukan (Sado Historical Folklore Museum) where relics of Emperor Juntoku and Nichiren Shonin are exhibited, including robots illustrating dioramas of Sado’s history.  In olden times, many political exiles and prisoners were sent to Sado Island to endure difficult conditions in confinement.    We continue our drive to our Japanese ryokan to enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs this evening. 

Accommodations at SADO RESORT HOTEL AZUMA or similar


Wednesday, November 8  (Day 05)
This morning, we’ll proceed to the port of Ryotsu and board a calm ferry, crossing the Japan Sea back to Niigata city.  Upon arrival at Niigata pier, we will board our chartered motor coach and travel to Tsubame Sanjo - a region known for its metalware production.  We’ll visit an interesting shop offering a wide selection of various merchandise - unique kitchenware products, knives, scissors, gardening tools and more.  Our journey continues on to the city of Nagano to spend the night.  Nagano is noted for its beautiful, mountainous terrain consisting of the northern, central, and southern ranges of the breathtaking Japan Alps.  Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some local specialties.

Accommodations at HOTEL METROPOLITAN NAGANO or similar


Thursday, November 9  (Day 06)
We’ll travel to the city of Omachi to the Shinano-Omachi Station, the starting point of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.  This route is a unique and spectacular journey through the Northern Japan Alps, connecting Tateyama, Toyama, and Omachi in Nagano Prefecture.  The main attraction of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route is the scenery of the Tateyama Mountain Range and the magnificent Kurobe Dam - the tallest arch dam on the Kurobe River.  We’ll enjoy a scenic ride through the mountains using various means of transportation: a cable car, a trolley bus, and a ropeway to enjoy the breathtaking view of the dam and the Murodo and Midagahara Plateaus.  Weather permitting, the fall colors should be at their peak during this time of the year.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing hot spring waters of our onsen hotel this evening in Tateyama.

Accommodations at TATEYAMA KOKUSAI HOTEL or similar


Friday, November 10  (Day 07)
Our travel 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 featuring old farmhouses standing amid vegetable gardens and rice paddy fields.  Many of them are now functioning as restaurants, shops, and small museums.  We’ll spend two nights in the castle town of Kanazawa, capital of Ishikawa Prefecture.  On arrival, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the main attraction of the city - Kenroku-en Garden - noted as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens.  The garden features ‘Kasumiga-ike’, a large artificial pond with a stone lantern designed in the image of the Japanese koto (harp) - the symbol of the garden.  Kanazawa is also noted as the largest producer of gold leaf in all of Japan.  Gold leaf is generally 22-karat gold that has been hammered into thin sheets by goldbeating and layered over other surfaces.  We’ll visit Haku Koukan, a gold leaf museum featuring exhibits and the production of some of their intricate products - also available for purchase.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar


Saturday, November 11  (Day 08)
This morning, we’ll travel north to ‘Noto-Hanto’, a scenic peninsula of rugged seascapes surrounded by the Japan Sea.  Enjoy shopping and bargaining at the Wajima Asaichi (morning market), a large indoor and outdoor marketplace offering a nice selection of merchandise and dried seafood products including partially-dried abalone.  The town of Wajima at the center 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 and decorated with chinkin (gold & silver inlaying) and makie (gold or silver raised lacquer painting).  We’ll visit the Shioyasu Urushi Ware Company where a nice selection of their elegant products are tastefully displayed and available for purchase.  Huge spectacular Kiriko lanterns are used for the festivals of the Noto Peninsula - a thousand year old tradition.  These large lacquered Kiriko lanterns, some as tall as four-story buildings, are on display at the Wajima Kiriko Art Museum, recreating the magical atmosphere of festivals with traditional music.  We will also make a brief stop at Senmaida (a thousand terraced rice paddies) to see this unusual landscape.  On our return to Kanazawa, we’ll travel along the west coast of the peninsula on the Chirihama Beach Driveway - a beach resembling a sandy motorway.  Weather permitting, enjoy a unique and exciting drive as our bus travels on the sand shore near the breakers of the water.  Dinner will be on your own this evening to try some of the local specialties of this prefecture at some of the restaurants located at the train station nearby the hotel.  

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KANAZAWA or similar


Sunday, November 12  (Day 09)
We’ll continue our journey along the Sea of Japan to scenic Tojinbo, a series of basaltic cliffs in Fukui prefecture, designated a Natural Monument in Japan.  Enjoy the view of magnificent pillar-shaped rocks and sea cliffs created by volcanic activities and formed through the years by sea erosion.  We’ll drive along the scenic ridge on the Mikata Rainbow Line to enjoy the beauty of Mikata Goko (Five Lakes of Mikata) located on the east shore of Wakasa Bay facing the Sea of Japan.  A ride on a cable car or an individual chair lift will take us to the scenic observatory on top of Mount Baijo to enjoy a breathtaking view of Wakasa Bay and all of the Five Lakes of Mikata.  Each lake has a different concentration of salt and may present a different hue.  We travel down the coastline and spend the night in Miyazu in Kyoto Prefecture.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs at our onsen resort this evening.

Accommodations at HOTEL & RESORTS KYOTO MIYAZU or similar


Monday, November 13  (Day 10)
Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) is a scenic sand bar covered with pine trees resembling the shape of a bridge spanning across Miyazu Bay on the Tango Peninsula.  We’ll proceed to Kasamatsu Park and ride a chair lift or cable car to the top of the hillside to enjoy this spectacular view - ranked as one of the three most scenic sights in Japan (Nihon Sankei).  To view the sand bar as a ‘floating bridge to heaven’, turn your back towards the bay and bend forward to see the view from between your legs, and use your imagination.  We’ll continue our travel west along the scenic coast of the Japan Sea to spend the night in Tottori, one of the main cities in the San-in district and famous for its spectacular sand dunes - the largest in Japan.  The Tottori Sand Dunes were created as sand from the Sendaigawa River washed out to sea and eventually re-deposited along the coast by the ocean’s current. These sand dunes present an awesome sight backdropped by the Sea of Japan.   We’ll visit Suna no Bijutsukan (The Sand Museum), a seasonal unique exhibition hall will display large sand sculptures created by artists from around the world.  Every year, each exhibition represents a theme and you will be amazed at the detail work of these delicate sculptures.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at our hotel in Tottori City.

Accommodations at NEW OTANI TOTTORI HOTEL or similar


Tuesday, November 14  (Day 11)
We’ll continue our drive along the coast of the Sea of Japan to visit Izumo Taisha Shrine, constructed in the Taisha-zukuri style, noted as  Japan’s oldest form of shrine architecture.  The wooded grounds are pleasant to wander through and the shrine itself enjoys the ‘borrowed scenery’ of Yakumo Hill in the background.  The fabled god Okuninushi - to whom the shrine is dedicated - is the kami (Shinto Spirit God) of marriage.  Hence, visitors to the shrine summon the deity by clapping four times rather than the normal two - twice for themselves and twice for their partner or partner to be.  We’ll visit the Matsue Vogel Park, a wonderful paradise of flowers and birds in one of the largest flower exhibition greenhouse in Japan.  Beautiful flowers bloom throughout the year elegantly displayed in the greenhouse and interact with waterfowl and tropical birds centered in the greenhouse.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Matsue at a quaint onsen town in Shimane Prefecture .  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing onsen at our Japanese ryokan this evening.

Accommodations at MATSUNOYU or similar


Wednesday, November 15  (Day 12)
Momiji 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 and visit the Yamadaya Manju Factory to see the production of this delicious confectionary through a short video. Samples of some of their delicious products will be available for you to enjoy.  We’ll continue on to the Miyajima Pier and board a ferry to visit Miyajima Island, famed for its scenic Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  With a large torii gate extending from 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 large 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 continue to the city of Hiroshima for two nights.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.  You may want to try some delicious Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the specialty of Hiroshima at one of the local restaurants located around the hotel.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar


Thursday, November 16  (Day 13)
We’ll travel south through Shimane and Yamaguchi Prefectures, passing through Yanai City to arrive on 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 Island.  The Theater Room features an interesting video about the history of government-contract labor relationships between Hawaii and the Japanese people and the reality of the difficult work and life of the emigrants.  The museum also displays many artifacts and photographs featuring the history of the arrival of emigrants to Hawaii.  We’ll return to Hiroshima for more shopping adventures at Hondori Shopping Avenue.

Accommodations at RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL HIROSHIMA or similar


Friday, November 17  (Day 14)
The day is at leisure for your own activities until we depart for the airport in the afternoon.  We’ll transfer to the Hiroshima Airport to check-in for our domestic flight to Haneda.  On arrival at Haneda Airport, we’ll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda International Terminal to board our late evening flight home.  We’ll arrive Honolulu 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.


Land portion based on 125 Yen = $1.00 U.S.

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 4/1/2023.  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.


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