CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN HOKKAIDO
HIGHLIGHTS OF JAPAN – TAIWAN
Hokkaido (Sapporo – Noboribetsu – Otaru – Hakodate) –
Taipei – Sun Moon Lake – Kaohsiung
Tour: May 07 – May 19, 2023 From: $4,495 + Tax
Completely new Japanese destinations
Inclusive of international airfares
Check in at Los Angeles airport in the evening. Depart for Sapporo, Japan with AV Travel Tour Leader.
Across the Pacific Ocean.
Welcome to Sapporo. There’s no better introduction to Hokkaido than its biggest city, Sapporo. Compared to Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, this northern Japanese city gets little attention. And it’s not so surprising as Sapporo lacks the historical significance of Japan’s other major cities. In fact, Sapporo’s only been around since the mid-19th century! In spring, Hokkaido’s one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Japan. And in the summer, it’s all about flowers in Hokkaido. Get ready to be amazed by the vast flower fields that this beautiful prefecture has to offer: From tulip, sunflowers, to lavender. Visiting Hokkaido, you will get to enjoy the delicious fresh seafood here. (D)
Begin your journey with a visit to Hokkaido Shrine – the Shinto shrine of Hokkaido known as Hokkaido Jingu. It is one of the most important landmarks of the city. The shrine was built in 1869 after the Meiji Emperor decreed that the “three pioneering gods” be enshrined to uplift the spirit of the pioneers.
Next, we will learn about the Ainu, the indigenous people of northern Japan.
In the afternoon, we return to Sapporo city. The tour includes a visit to the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park, where you can stroll along the promenade. (B/L/D)
Today, visit Noboribetsu’s Date Jidaimura, a history theme park highlighting the Edo Period – one of the most glorious eras in Japan’s history. Step back in time to enjoy traditional games, theaters, street performances and more. The charm of ancient Japan is abundant as you mingle with the Ninja & Oiran courtesans, so symbolic of the Edo Period.
On the way to Hakodate, stop to visit Onuma Park, the picturesque park that is dotted with ponds and encompasses the volcano Komagatake. Enjoy the Hakodate nightscape viewed from Mount Hakodate. It is so stunningly beautiful that it has been honored as one of Japan’s great night view sites. (B/L/D)
Today visit the Hakodate Morning Market – a place brimming with energy and liveliness. One of the joys of traveling has to be experiencing the food. Here in Hakodate, all the food available is deliciously fresh! After that enjoy your time at Goryōkaku Tower, the 107-m. tower has an observatory with views of mountains & the star-shaped fort below. Visit Bear Shinzan Ranch, see frolicking baby bears and sense the might of adult bears. There’s also a feeding event you can take part in, and a special observation room where you can take a peek at the secret lives of bears. Enjoy the Usuzan Ropeway brings you close to the volcano’s summit. The upper station’s observation deck offers panoramic views of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan. (B/L/D)
Visit the city of Otaru and its Otaru Canal, which was a central part of the city’s busy port in the first half of the 20th century. Large vessels were unloaded by smaller ships, which then transported the goods to warehouses along the canal. Enjoy the natural scenery such as many cliffs, rocks and waterfalls at the Sounkyo Gorge. (B/L/D)
This morning, enjoy your time at Sapporo Chuo Fresh Market, is a collection of 71 small shops all grouped together along one of Sapporo’s main downtown streets, stocked daily with fresh merchandise from the oceans and mountains of Hokkaido. Visit the Historic Village of Hokkaido, an open-air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido’s development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village. Enjoy shopping at Tanukikoji, one of Sapporo’s most famous spots. At this shopping arcade, you’ll be able to experience shopping and tasting various Hokkaido specialties. (B/L/D)
Flight to the capital Taipei. Begin city tour with a visit Liberty Square is located in the heart of Taipei City and it is the attraction most visited by foreign tourists. Stop for photo-stop of Taipei 101, second tallest building in the world. Continue to visit Yehliu Geopark is famous for its sea-erosion landscape, while most of the spots are very close to the sea. Visit the Chii Lih Coral Museum & Martyrs Shine. (B/D)
Begin our journey by heading towards Taichung to visit the famous Sun Moon Lake – the lake and its surrounding countryside have been designated one of thirteen National scenic areas in Taiwan. Wen Wu Temple was built after rising water levels from building a dam forced several smaller temples to be removed. We shall enjoy a boat ride on the lake. Visit the Peacock Garden. Continue our journey to Mao Wan Yeh’s House – a native Taiwanese village. (B/L/D)
We will drive to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the most famous Buddhist sacred place of southern Taiwan. Here you will learn about Buddhism during the monastery walking tour. You will have the chance to communicate with some of the monks, nuns during the visit to the Main Shrine, Great Buddha Land where you will find a huge Buddha statue. Continuously, we will drive to Kaohsiung City, which is the second largest city of Taiwan. (B/L/D)
We head towards the West Bay National Scenic Area – a perfect spot of viewing the marvelous shoreline of Kaohsiung, also visit the British Consulate at Takao – built in 1865, it has been designated as a 2nd class historic site by the government. Back to Taipei. Enjoy your free time at night market with your own dinner. (B/L)
Visit the National Palace Museum – originally established as the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City on 10 October 1925, shortly after the expulsion last emperor of Qing Dynasty. The articles in the museum consisted of the valuables of the former Imperial family. Flight back to Los Angeles. (B)