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New Destination: Hoikkaido & Taipei 2019

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11 Days
Availability :
Tour: May 12, 2019 - May 22, 2019
Los Angeles Airport. If you prefer to depart from a different airport, please contact us for details and airfares
Tokyo

 

Rural Charms of Northern Japan

Tokyo – Nikko – MatsushimaHiraizumi – Morioka – Towada

Aomori (undersea train) Hokkaido – Noboribetsu – Shiraoi – Otaru – Sapporo

Tour: May 12, 2019 – May 22, 2019   Price: $3,895  +  Tax

Fly with Singapore Airlines, one of the best airlines in the world

 

Itinerary

Day 01

Depart from Los Angeles airport. AV Travel tour leader will fly with the group

Day 02

Arrive Tokyo. The capital city of Japan, is the largest metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 13 million residence. Tokyo is not only the center of politics and economy of Japan, but also the center of the global economy and culture

Day 03

Begin your journey to Nikko is a town at the entrance to Nikko National Park, most famous for Toshogu, Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa leyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Nikko had been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries before Toshogu was built in the 1600s. Visit Nikko Tosho-guis a Shinto shrine, is part of the “Shrines and Temples of Nikko “a UNESCO World Heritage Site, initially built in 1617. Continue to visit Futarasan Shrine stands next to Toshogu. Much older than its more lavish neighbor, was founded in 782 by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko. Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to the deities of Nikko’s three most sacred mountains: Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro Begin

Day 04

You will be visiting Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of pine tree covered small islands, where we explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. Matsushima is famous for being one of Japan’s three most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate. The bay is dotted by over 200 small islands covered by pine trees. We will take the best way to view the islands by boarding one of the sightseeing boat. We will then visit Godaido and Zuiganji Temple, the most famous in the Tohoku region, was built by Date Masamune and is designated as a national treasure

Day 05

This morning, we will head to Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and to stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. Hiraizumi is now listed as a World Heritage site and is home to Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) within Chusonji Temple, which attempts to recreate an ideal Buddhism world. As such, it is host to an ensemble of exquisite “culture of gold” remnants from the brand of Buddhism that developed independently in the Tohoku region far away from the cultural center of Kyoto in the late Heian era of the 11th century. UNESCO has recognized this area as being a globally rare example of local culture to manifest on such a high level in the transitional period from the ancient era to the medieval period. Then, we proceed to Morioka for a visit to the Morioka Castle Ruins, considered one of the most popular hanami spots in Tohoku area

Day 06

Visit Japan’s third deepest lake – Lake Towada, a volcanic crater lake 44 km in circumference. Enjoy a nature walk along the creek through Oirase Gorge. Over a dozen waterfalls cascade down into the stream all along its length from the walls of the gorge. The stream flows along the floor of the Oirase Gorge, winding among trees which a lush green in spring and summer and turn brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange from late October through early November. Then visit the Nebuta Warasse, a well done museum about the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori. In the afternoon, we will travel across the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by train via the undersea train tunnel, before arriving to Hakodate. It is a small city that has some of the most authentic and best preserved historic buildings in Japan. Upon arrival in Hakodate, we will take a tram and ropeway ride up to Mt Hakodate from where we can look down upon the twinkling lights that surround Hakodate Bay. The views from the mountain are spectacular and included among Japan’s three best night views alongside the views from Nagasaki’s Mount Inasa and Kobe’s Mount Rokko

Day 07

Continue our tour in Hakodate. Hakodate was one of the first Treaty Ports in Japan which opened up to world trade in 1854, so there are many preserved buildings around the area from that time. First is a visit to the famous morning market, where you will see a variety of fresh seafoods, local fruits and vegetables. Then visit the Goryokaku Pentagonal Fort, built in 1868 and the only structure of its kind in Japan. The surrounding moat and defensive grounds are now a city park and gardens. From Hakodate, we head to Lake Toya, along the way we stop at the Lake Onuma. In Lake Toya, we will take the Usuzan Ropeway to the observation deck and have a panoramic views of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan

Day 08

Visit the Jigokudani. The valley generates 10,000 tons of bubbling water everyday, and visitors can walk to the nearby Oyunuma Lake and watch the plumes of steam rise. Today we will have the opportunity to learn about the Ainu, the indigenous people of northern Japan. At the Shiraoi Ainu Village, you will experience an authentic Ainu performance with music, dancing, and singing. In the afternoon, we proceed to Sapporo city. The tour includes a visit to the Sapporo Clock Tower and Odori Park, where you can stroll along the promenade. The next stop is Susukino, Hokkaido’s largest entertainment district

Day 09

Our tour of Sapporo continues with a visit to the Historic Village, you can view architecture from the Meiji and Taisho periods when Japan experienced rapid expansion. From there we will visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, dedicated to all things beer. Sapporo is Japan’s oldest brewery and exports its beer throughout the world. Travel to Otaru, renowned for its canals and glassblowing. During the first half of the 20th century, the Otaru Canal was a vital part of the city’s busy harbor. The canal allowed large vessels to be unloaded onto smaller ones, then transported to local warehouses. Although the canal became obsolete when modern dock facilities allowed for the direct unloading of large vessels, the canal remains an integral part of the city’s history and culture. As part of a citizen’s movement in the 1980s, the canal was beautifully restored and former warehouses have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, museums, and shops. Visit glass workshops and Music Box Museum in Sakaimachi Street

Day 10

Fly to Tokyo. Enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo before you visit the Shinto shrine, stroll through the impressive Imperial Palace East Garden, once was the ground of an old Edo castle, where you can savor the splendid view of the moats and walls around the seat of Japan’s imperial household. Visit Asakusa, you will have fun browsing through many colorful stores lining along the Nakamise walkway that leads up to the Kannon Temple (also known as Senso-ji), which is the oldest and most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Enjoy the night in Tokyo

Day 11

Fly back to LAX Airport

Notes

Departure & Return

  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX)
  • If you prefer to depart from a different airport, please contact us for details and airfares

Tour Includes

  • Roundtrip economy airfares from LAX – Tokyo – LAX
  • 4-5 stars hotel rooms based on double occupancy
  • Additional charge for single occupancy is $900
  • Deluxe coach between cities
  • All meals a day. Gourmet meals
  • All entrance sightseeing and Seines river cruise fees are inclusive
  • Sightseeing tours are provided by professional English speaking local guides
  • International travel insurance. Please contact AV Travel if you want to inquire about cancellation insurance
  • AV Travel tour director will guide and escort travelers from departure location

Terms & Agreements

  • A deposit of $300 per person is required
  • The final payment is due 45 days prior to departure
  • A full payment is required in booking within 45 days prior to departure
  • Tour fare does not include: Gratuity to driver & tour guide, Porterage at hotel & Personal expense
  • Tour participants are required to have a passport valid for at least 6 months before the return date 
  • It is the responsibility of the tour participants to submit valid and proper travel documentation. Non-U.S. citizens should check for visa requirements