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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
Toll Free: 1-855-325-2726 (US/CANADA) Tel: 1-909-988-8885
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Charms of Southern Japan (Reverse): Cherry Blossom Tour 2020 - 3/26, 4/5

Explore a little deeper into the rural, "must see" sights of Southern Japan and admire the season's renowned cherry trees.

Tour Code: GTA1562050

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $3198.00

Single supplement: USD $630.00

Tour duration: 8 days 7 nights

Destination:
Saga / Nagasaki / Takachiho / Beppu / Kitsuki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Kurashiki / Himeji / Kobe

Tour cost includes:
• 6 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Fukuoka Airport
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Gratuities
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 3 lunches and 4 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2020
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Thu. Mar 26, 2020 Thu. Apr 2, 2020 USD $3198.00 Fukuoka Osaka View Tour
Sun. Apr 5, 2020 Sun. Apr 12, 2020 USD $3198.00 Fukuoka Osaka View Tour
2021
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Wed. Mar 31, 2021 Wed. Apr 7, 2021 USD $3198.00 Fukuoka Osaka View Tour
Mon. Apr 5, 2021 Mon. Apr 12, 2021 USD $3198.00 Fukuoka Osaka View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Fukuoka Airport

Welcome to Fukuoka! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

Hotel Nikko Fukuoka or similar class

NOTE 1: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving after 11:00 AM

NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.

Day 2

Saga (Mifuneyama Rakuen), Nagasaki (Nagasaki Peace Park / Dejima / Glover Garden / Oura Church)

The day begins with a visit to Saga, where we will visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen. This 500,000 square meter park announces the arrival of spring with thousands of cherry blossom trees and azaleas all blooming against a backdrop of the rugged cliff of Mt. Mifune. From there, we proceed to Nagasaki to visit the Nagasaki Peace Park that holds the memorial for the victims of the second bomb that hit the land. A statue of a man pointing up and holding his other arm out is symbolic of the Nagasaki Peace Park. Our next site is Dejima, an area with over 400 years of history in Dutch trade. It features historical warehouses and residences, providing insight into the former Dutch Trade Post and how they lived during Japan's two centuries of isolation. Then, visit the Glover Gardens, an open air museum where we can see a fine collection of historic mansions of former Western residents of Nagasaki. Continue to the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan. It was also the first Western building in Japan to be designated as a national treasure.

Breakfast / Lunch

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Nagasaki Gloverhill or similar class

Day 3

Ferry from Shimabara to Kumamoto, Takachiho (Takachiho Gorge / Amano Iwato Shrine & Amano Yasukawara / Yokagura Performance)

Today, we will take a 30 minute ferry from Shimabara and cross the Ariake Sea to Kumamoto. From Kumamoto, we drive east to Takachiho, a town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture that is steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto Sun Goddess, was disturbed by her brother's cruel pranks and hid herself in a cave. This prompted the other gods and goddesses to try and lure her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi- no- Mikoto, descended to earth to establish Japan's Imperial Family. Takachiho is also known as a "power spot", a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty, which radiates spiritual energy. We will visit Takachiho Gorge, a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns, which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it was formed. Along the gorge is the 17 meter high Minainotaki waterfall, located against a backdrop of dense green foliage and surrounding grey cliffs. Then, visit the Amano Iwato Shrine and Amano Yasukawara. Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where Amaterasu is said to have hid herself. A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. Eventually, the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara. This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring Amaterasu out of hiding. After a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner, we will have the chance to see a special Yokagura Dance Performance. This dance supposedly caused Amaterasu to leave the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Hotel Takachiho or similar class

Day 4

Beppu (Beppu Hells / Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park), Kitsuki (Kitsuki Samurai Districts - Ohara Residence), From Kitsuki, take the "Sonic" express train to Kokura, then board the Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima

After your Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will tour to a bather's paradise - the famous hot spring resort of Beppu. Marvel at one of Beppu's most celebrated attractions, the Jigoku Meguri, or "Boiling Hells" hot springs. View two of the nine hot springs, or “hells” of Beppu. Ideal for viewing rather than bathing, the springs earned their name because it was said that these mysterious, steamy attractions resembled a scene from hell ("jigoku" means "hell"). Afterwards, enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park, where we will take a monorail up to the observation area. Mt. Takasaki is a forested mountain just outside of Beppu and home to over 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. Within this natural habitat, the monkeys have been fed regularly in order to keep them living on the mountain and prevent conflicts with local fruit farmers. The monkeys are quite accustomed to human visitors, and it is possible to get very close in order to take their pictures! From here, visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts en route to Kokura before taking a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Hiroshima.

Breakfast / Lunch

Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima or similar class

Day 5

Hiroshima (Peace Memorial Park - A-Bomb Museum / Miyajima - Itsukushima Shrine), Shimanami Kaido (Scenic Driving)

Today, we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, a solemn reminder of the importance of world peace. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima; one of the most scenic spots in Japan. At high tide, the island's famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine appears to float in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, experience driving through the Shimanami Kaido to Shikoku Island. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway.

Breakfast / Dinner

Imabari Kokusai Hotel or similar class

Day 6

Takamatsu (Shikoku Mura Village / Ritsurin Park), Seto Ohashi Bridge

This morning, we will continue our tour to Takamatsu to visit the Shikoku Mura Village. Shikoku Mura (Shikoku Village) is an open air museum situated at the base of Yashima. This pleasant hillside park preserves and exhibits traditional buildings and structures that have been relocated here from all over Shikoku Island. Then visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. In the evening, we will drive through the Seto Ohashi Bridge back to Honshu Island. Seto Ohashi Bridge, or the Great Seto Bridge, is a collective term for the six bridges that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Tonight, we will stay in a spa hotel in Kurashiki, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a buffet dinner.

Breakfast / Dinner

Washu Blue Resort Kasago or similar class

Day 7

Kurashiki (Canal Area), Himeji (Himeji Castle), Kobe (Wagyu beef)

Today, we will visit Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. Then, we will proceed to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle. It is known as the "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. In the evening, we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.

Breakfast / Dinner

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport or similar class
Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class (NOTE 3 & 4)

NOTE 3: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

NOTE 4: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

Day 8

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.

Breakfast

NOTE 5: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.