NORTH JAPAN – TAIWAN
Hokkaido (Sapporo – Noboribetsu – Otaru – Hakodate) –
Taipei – Sun Moon Lake – Kaohsiung
Tour: Apr 27 – May 09, 2019 Price: $3,995 + Tax
Completely new destinations
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)
This morning we’ll 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-meter tower with an observatory overlooking 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.
Partake in the Usuzan Ropeway, which brings you close to the volcano’s summit. The upper station’s observation deck offers panoramic views of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan. From the second observation deck which is just a short walk away, there are even more views of the ocean and Mount Usu’s largest crater. (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)
Fly to Taipei in the morning. Begin our journey by heading towards Taichung to visit the famous Sun Moon Lake – the lake and its surrounding countryside have been designated as one of thirteen National scenic areas in Taiwan. We shall enjoy a boat ride on the lake. Visit the Wen Wu Temple, central hall of which is devoted to Guan Gong, the God of War, and the warrior-god Yue Fei; the rear hall is dedicated to Confucius. This is the only Confucius Temple in Taiwan that keeps its central door open. Visit the Peacock Garden.
Continue our journey to Mao Wan Yeh’s House – a native Taiwanese village. (B/D)
Transfer to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the most sacred Buddhist place of 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. Visit the Great Buddha Land where you will find a huge Buddha statue. Next, 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 for 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 a night market. (B/L/D)
Begin the Taipei city tour with a visit to the Liberty Square, which is located in the heart of Taipei City and is the most popular attraction visited by foreign tourists. Stop to take pictures with Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.
Visit the Chii Lih Coral Museum & Martyrs Shine.
Visit the National Palace Museum – originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925. It houses one of the world’s largest collection of priceless Chinese art treasures, one which spans China’s some 8,000-year history. (B)
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Los Angeles. (B)