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: email@example.com
Land cost: from USD $5998.00
Single supplement: USD $1260.00
Tour duration: 15 days 14 nights
Hokkaido (Chitose / Shiraoi / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Shiretoko / 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 view the Salmon Run in the river Chitose and an aquarium that reproduces the bottom of Lake Shikotsu. From there, we continue to Shiraoi and the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, home to hundreds of different artifacts related to the indigenous Ainu people. In the park, you can freely observe different aspects of Ainu culture, explore a replica Ainu village, and try your hand at some of their traditional handicrafts.
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 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 World Heritage Sites - the Shiretoko Peninsula. During the Bear Watching Cruise, you can study the nature and habits of the Yezo brown bear, which you can see prowling around the rugged coastline looking for food. Because Shiretoko is a protected habitat, there is a high probability of observing multiple bears throughout the cruise. From there, we proceed to Oshinkoshin Waterfall, a wide waterfall divided in half by a rocky outcropping. This roadside falls is considered one of the loveliest in Japan and is sometimes called "Twin Beauties" Waterfall. The tour continues to Akan-Mashu National Park to see Lake Mashu and Lake Akan - two of the park's captivatingly clear caldera lakes. They are a dazzling sight to view on a sunny day, though the lakes are commonly obscured by a thick fog, lending them a mysterious atmosphere. Near Lake Akan is the Ainu Kotan, a traditional village of the indigenous Ainu. While there, you are invited to observe a Traditional Ainu Dance, which tells time-honored stories of their native gods, or "kamuy", as represented throughout the natural world.
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. 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.
Today, we will travel to the ancient city of Nara, where we will visit one of Japan’s most famous temples and an icon of the city: Todaiji Temple, which is home to the Great Buddha of Nara – a massive, seated image of Rushana-butsu, known as the “Cosmic Buddha”. Outside the temple, spend some time with the friendly wild deer of Nara Deer Park. We go from there to Kyoto – onetime capital of Japan for over a thousand years, to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine – the chief shrine of the thousands throughout the country dedicated to Inari, the Shinto deity of economic prosperity, rice, and foxes. What sets this shrine apart is the sight of thousands of bright vermillion “torii” gates that form long pathways through the forest covering sacred Mount Inari.
In the morning, we explore Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from Japan’s feudal era, and former residence of the Tokugawa shogun. While you walk around the stately Edo-period buildings, listen for the chirping of the “nightingale” floors. The tour continues to Kinkakuji Temple (also called the Golden Pavilion), which is one of Kyoto’s most coveted sights. Shimmering walls wrapped in gold leaf are reflected in the Mirror Pond below; look carefully to see the dainty phoenix sitting on the roof. Next, we travel to the Arashiyama district to see Tenryuji Temple. Tenryuji is most famous for its Zen Garden, which has been carefully maintained for centuries using the technique of “borrowed scenery” to create a breathtaking landscape. We continue from there to the Sagano Bamboo Forest, where towering stalks of bamboo packed close together create an otherworldly feeling of mystery and awe as you walk the path through the center. Then experience a traditional Green Tea Ceremony – an elegant ritual of hospitality once accorded only to the social elite. The experience is made even more special as it is hosted by an elegant Maiko (an apprentice Geisha. We end our day in the Gion Geisha District, a heritage district where stone-paved streets are lined with exclusive ochaya (teahouses). While admiring the old-fashioned buildings, the fortunate visitor may spot Geisha or Maiko (Geisha apprentices) walking between these establishments.
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 visit Tsukiji Outer Market – a bustling
outdoor street market known for its fresh and delicious
seafood, produce, and kitchenware. From there, we
drive by the Imperial Palace, which offers splendid views
of the meticulously maintained front lawn and garden
areas, the moat, and the old stone walls. Next, enjoy a
fun and simple Sushi-Making Experience, where you
can enjoy creating your own sushi, and eating it
afterwards! Then, we visit Tokyo’s oldest temple
complex – Asakusa Sensoji Temple, featuring the
Kaminarimon Gate, in which hangs an enormous red
lantern. Leading up to the temple is Nakamise Street,
which is lined with shops selling all manner of Japanese
souvenirs. At the end of the day, we ascend Tokyo
Skytree to the observation deck, which offers a
panoramic 360-degree view of the Tokyo cityscape.
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.