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
Fax: 1-909-349-1736 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Land cost: from USD $5798.00
Single supplement: USD $1260.00
Tour duration: 15 days 14 nights
Hokkaido (Chitose / Shiraoi / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Shiretoko / Shari / Lake Mashu / Lake Akan / Kushiro), Honshu (Nara / Kyoto / Koka / Hakone / Mt Fuji / Tokyo)
Tour cost includes:
• 11 nights Western style and 3 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Sapporo New Chitose Airport
• Domestic flight from Kushiro to Osaka
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Breakfast everyday
• 9 lunches and 5 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
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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.
Welcome to Sapporo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.
We begin the day in Chitose, where we will make a stop at the Salmon Hometown Chitose Aquarium. You can learn about all about the life of salmon and observe them through a variety of exhibit rooms including an underwater room where you can watch the salmon swimming in the river Chitose and an aquarium that reproduces the bottom of Lake Shikotsu. From there, we continue to Shiraoi and the National Ainu Museum, home to over a thousand different artifacts related to the indigenous Ainu people. Then we travel to the Uyoro River which runs steadily through the green Shiraoi countryside. Against the flow of this river, hundreds of salmon swim energetically upstream, and the water is clear enough to make it easy for visitors to admire their progress as they observe this marvel of the natural world.
Today, we go into the Historic Village of Hokkaido where horse-drawn carriages and trolleys are still seen and used. The village offers insight on its history and an open-air museum as well as through their buildings, which exemplify architectural evolution from the Meiji and Taisho eras into the modern age. Then we take a trip to Hokkaido Shrine - one of the city's most beautiful locations, surrounded by natural beauty and protected by four Shinto kami (deities), including the soul of Emperor Meiji. Enjoy a crab lunch before heading to the Shiroi Koibito Park - a sweet theme park started by a local chocolate company, and featuring the Shiroi Koibito cookie, a buttery cookie with a white-chocolate filling. Next, we make our way to Odori Park - a long stretch of green, covered in bushes and trees in the center of the city. On one side is the Sapporo Clock Tower, with a museum inside the old colonial-style architecture which tells the history of the city, and a clock brought over from Boston, USA. In the evening, we explore Susukino - Sapporo's bustling entertainment district packed end-to-end with eye- catching storefront signs.
This morning we continue to enjoy a tour of Sapporo with a visit to Okurayama Ski Jump Observatory for an incredible view of Sapporo. After, we will tour the Asahi Beer Hokkaido Brewery, the largest beer brewery in Sapporo, which produces one of Japan's most popular beers. Then we will travel to Otaru for a leisurely stroll through the port city's heritage district. As you walk up Sakaimachi Street, you can see Otaru's history in old Western-style fisheries, shops and houses. On the way, we'll explore Otaru's reputation for excellent glass craftsmanship at the Kitaichi Garasukan, where glassmakers transitioned from making simple glass fishing buoys to crafting fine glassware and artwork. At one end of Sakaimachi Street we'll discover the Music Box Museum, a cozy museum and shop selling a large collection of charming music boxes. After, we will take a walk along the Otaru Canal, which had once fallen into disrepair at the introduction of modern docking facilities, and has since been converted into a charming vintage promenade. Finally, we will make our way to the Otaru Sushi District, where you will be free to find your own sushi dinner from among the shops selling various kinds of sushi.
Start off the day with a drive to Asahikawa and a visit to the Otokoyama Sake Brewery, where we can discover the production process behind one of Hokkaido's most popular sake brands, and taste the freshest sake brewed from Hokkaido's clean mineral water. Then we travel to Asahikawa Ramen Village to find some of Hokkaido's best ramen shops. After, we drive down to Sounkyo to see a pair of Hokkaido's most beautiful waterfalls. The Ginga, or "Galaxy" waterfall drapes over the rock like a white curtain, while the Ryusei "Shooting Star" waterfall rushes out from behind the rocks in the cliff face like a natural jetstream.
The morning begins with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a drive to Kitami, a small town in the countryside. We will stop for a visit to the Kitakitsune Farm, which cares for the well being of one of Hokkaido's native treasures - the Ezo red fox. These adorable creatures, noted for their gorgeous and fluffy coats, are considered heavenly messengers in traditional Shinto mythology, with statues of foxes decorating the grounds of many shrines. Next, we drive to the town of Abashiri for a tour of the Abashiri Prison Museum. This prison was notorious in the Meiji period for housing over a thousand political prisoners. At the prison, we can witness the prisoners' daily lives through life-like displays, and tour the various old prison facilities. Then we travel to the Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, which features interactive exhibits about the native environment around the Bay of Okhotsk, where you can see ryu-hyo, or drift ice. We will have a rare opportunity to observe the mysterious sea life known as clione "sea angels".
Today takes us into one of Japan's natural UNESCO Heritage Sites - the Shiretoko Peninsula. The scenic landscape known as the Shiretoko Five Lakes is especially gorgeous in autumn, when the treeline around the lakes is flush with autumn colors and a variety of wild animals and birds hide their homes. This region is a natural treasure of Japan, and a cruise around the peninsula offers visitors a chance to see this magnificent area in all its autumnal splendor. While on the peninsula, we will stop near the town of Shari to observe the spectacular Furepe Waterfall. The water for Furepe Falls comes not from a river or stream, but from underground, making it appear as though the water pours directly out of the rock face. We continue on from there to a large caldera lake in the Akan Mashu National Park - Lake Mashu, which is one of the clearest lakes in the country. It is gorgeous when one is lucky enough to view the lake on a clear day, though the thick fog which commonly hangs over the lake brings a mysterious atmosphere over the lake.
After breakfast, enjoy a cruise around Lake Akan, which is protected as a special natural monument of Japan for its green morimo algae, which form at the bottom of the lake in large, fluffy balls. Near the lake is the Ainu Kotan, a street that specializes in hand-crafts, cultural items, and other souvenirs from the native Ainu culture. Then we will drive to Kushiro for a visit to Akan International Crane Center. Kushiro is the home of the rare and beautiful Tancho "red-crowned" crane. The crane is an animal closely tied to Japanese folklore, and you can see many of these delicate birds here year round, and view exhibits about the breeding and ecology of cranes. Then we will explore the Kushiro Marshlands, a region protected by the Japanese as the winter roosting grounds of the red- crowned crane. The marsh feels most alive in this season, verdant and lush with grass and vegetation. Stop by at the Kushiro Marsh Observatory to enjoy a panoramic view of the marshland, the city of Kushiro, and the mountains of Akan. The Washo Market in Kushiro, Hokkaido is a market specializing in selling fish produce to the public. It is located close to the Kushiro Station within walking distance of the market. It is considered one of the top three markets to go to in Hokkaido.
After breakfast, free for leisure until transfer to Kushiro Airport for your domestic flight to Osaka. Upon arrival in Osaka, you will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
In the morning, travel by private coach to Nara -- Japan's oldest capital city. We will first visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses the world's largest bronze Buddha statue, which measures over 49 feet (15 m) high. Venture into the surrounding park, which is filled with over 1,000 Sika deer. Then, make your way to historic Kyoto and the lovely vermillion- colored Fushimi Inari Shrine, home to an almost 2.5-mile-long (4 km) tunnel of scarlet torii gates that were part of the film 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. The shrine complex wraps around a bamboo forest that features a backdrop of picturesque mountains, streams, and ponds. You will then take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience – tea with a Geisha in training, known as a Maiko. The Maiko will prepare your tea and show you the Japanese art of the tea ceremony. After, she will be happy to converse, answer questions, and tell tales about local life. (You'll stay two nights in Kyoto).
Today we will continue our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First is a visit to the Nijo Castle, built in the early 17th century. Ninomaru- goten, renovated in 1626, is a building renowned as a priceless example of the architectural style of that period. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos and even watch a kimono fashion show. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18 carat gold leaf. This three story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. Next is a visit to Arashiyama to see Tenryuji Temple where you can have a glimpse of traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then proceed through a dense bamboo grove, past several small shrines, tea shops and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Lastly, we will tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarter, and Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with night life.
This morning we will visit the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. We will then continue to Miho Museum. The museum has stunning architecture that accentuates the surrounding nature while exhibiting a variety of items from different ancient civilizations. It was designed by the renowned architect, I. M. Pei, and is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. This museum is also listed as one of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die". Next, our group will experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzanji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
After enjoying Japanese breakfast at the hotel, we will travel to Hakone and take a 20 minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakundani. Much of the area here is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. There, you can experience hot springs and hot rivers, where sulfurous fumes still linger. Owakundani also has splendid views of Mount Fuji in good weather. From Hakone we will proceed to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. We will stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world famous peak. In the afternoon we will travel to Tokyo. Our last visit for this day is Shibuya. We will be able to see the famed Shibuya Crossing in action and cross the street with the crowd. We will then take photos with the Hachiko Statue at the crossing, which is a monument dedicated to a loyal dog that waited even after his master passed away.
Today, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple,
an active place of worship where you can see the
paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore
the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the
temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping
street with centuries of history. Next, you will have the
chance to enjoy a sushi making experience with a
professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will
get to eat! Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji
Market, where various restaurants and shops line the
streets. Then, pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, the
former site of Edo Castle and current residence of
Japan's Imperial Family. In the afternoon, we will visit
the world's tallest self supporting steel tower. At 333
meters high, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than its
model, the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to sightsee 150
meters up at the main observatory deck and get a bird's
eye view of the city.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the last night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included. We will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.
NOTE 3: If you will be flying out from Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, airport transfer is not include. We will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Narita Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.
NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.