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201514

TOHOKU TRAVEL SERVICE, INC.
1741 NUUANU AVENUE, 2ND FLOOR
HONOLULU, HAWAII 96817
PH: (808) 536-8618/538-7854 TA #486
TOLL FREE PH: 1-888-966-3666                   
TOHOKU TRAVEL’S TRAVEL THROUGH NORTHERN JAPAN WITH AMAZING RICE PADDY ART TOUR #14
AUGUST 31, 2015 (MONDAY) TO SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 (SATURDAY) {GARY & MATT}
{REVISED 11/07/14}

AUG. 31 (MON) HONOLULU                                                                                                                         
Leave Honolulu Int’l Airport via Japan Airlines flight. Lunch and a Snack will be served aboard the flight. FREE MOVIES and DRINKS.
SEP. 1 (TUE) NARITA NARITA EXCEL HOTEL TOKYU
Arrive at Narita Int’l Airport and after clearing government formalities, proceed by bus to our hotel located close to Narita Airport. After hotel check in it will be "Free Time" to meet your relatives, friends or just rest.

SEP. 2 (WED) UTSUNOMIYA HOTEL HIGASHI NIHON UTSUNOMIYA
Visit the center of Japan's space network, Tsukuba Space Center. It plays an important role in Japan's research and development of spacecraft, such as satellites and rockets and also controls and tracks launched satellites. Visit the Space Museum with exhibits of various full scale satellite models displayed. See the H-II Transfer Vehicle, the experiment module "Kibo" and a real rocket engine, etc. Then go to Mashiko, renowned throughout Japan as a pottery production center which has produced pottery for over a thousand years. Mashiko-yaki Pottery is highly regarded today as a fine example of Japanese folk craft. You will get a chance to see a great variety of pottery and enjoy shopping. Then proceed to Utsumoniya and our British Style City Hotel.        

SEP. 3 (THU) MT. BANDAI HOSHINO RESORT MT. BANDAI ONSEN HOTEL (ONSEN) ♨
In the morning, visit Nasu Animal Kingdom where 150 species of lovely animals live in the center of a vast wilderness. You will get a chance to watch and come in contact with the animals. See a comical and amusing show of lovely small animals such as cats or parrots show and an impressive sheep dog show or a bird performance show (Show is subject to change). Later go to Ouchijuku a former Post Town founded in the 17th century Edo Period. Its well-preserved streets are designated as a "National Important Preservation District for a Group of Historic Buildings". The unpaved main street is lined by thick thatched roof buildings which house a variety of shops, restaurants, etc. Its pleasant atmosphere and the streetscape makes you feel as if you have slipped back through time to the Edo Period. Our hotel stands at the foot of Mt. Bandai, the "Symbol of the Aizu Region" and called "Treasure Mountain" in traditional folk songs. Enjoy the Hot Spring Bath to soak away your weariness.

SEP. 4 (FRI) YAMAGATA HOTEL METROPOLITAN YAMAGATA
Head to Aizu Wakamatsu popularly known by the TV Drama "Yae no Sakura" Heroine Yae Niijima was born here. Visit Tsurugajo Castle called the "Greatest Castle in Northern Japan". The castle gained fame as an impregnable fortress when it withstood heavy attacks during the Boshin War (1868). It is "the only castle in Japan today restored with red tile roofs". Along with the historical atmosphere surrounding the castle you can sense the changes that have occurred throughout Japanese history. Later proceed to Kitakata and eat Kitakata Ramen for lunch. Kitakata Ramen is a famous brand and ranks amongst "Japan's most famous types of ramen noodles". We also visit another specialty of Kitakata, a "Sake Brewery". Kitakata is famous for good sake made from Mt. Iide spring water and delicious Aizu Rice. Later go to our hotel located above Yamagata Station and connected to its Shopping Building. Tour guide will take you to enjoy shopping after hotel check in.      

SEP. 5 (SAT) SAKATA HOTEL RICH & GARDEN SAKATA
Visit Tendo known as a production center (90% share) for Shogi (Japanese Chess) Pieces that are designated as the "National Traditional Art Craft". Enjoy shopping at the store with their collection of Shogi products with many different Kanji characters painted on them. Then visit the Soba Flower Festival to see the tiny white flowers that is in the right season to bloom. It makes you feel like you are in a vast ground covered by a white carpet. It can only be seen during this season. Later enjoy a relaxing Mogami River Cruise Journey. Cruise while viewing the beautiful Mogami Valley scenery and listening to traditional local songs sung by the boatman. Then visit the Sankyo Warehouse built in 1893 and served as a backdrop for the famous TV Drama "Oshin". Enjoy walking around the old warehouse with old Zelkova trees and shopping for local specialties.    

SEP. 6 (SUN) MT. CHOKAI HOTEL FORESTA CHOKAI (ONSEN) ♨
Go to the Shonai Movie Village a large open air set of the Edo Period (1603-1867) and is the shooting location for a number of recent samurai movies and television dramas. It has been attracting people who are interested in the 2009 Oscar Winning Movie "Departures". See the real open air set of "Tsuru no Yu". You might remember scenes of a public bath from the movie. Then visit Kamo Aquarium "One of Japan's Most Popular Aquariums" because of its Guinness World Record for the "World's Largest Number of Jellyfish" in its collection. Its outstanding jellyfish exhibit takes on a very futuristic and mysterious atmosphere. Our hotel stands proudly at the foot of Mt. Chokai with its gorgeous natural colors surrounded by Primeval Japanese Beech Forest. Enjoy the Hot Spring Bath and Open Air Bath were you can feel the magnificent nature of Mt. Chokai. .           

SEP. 7 (MON) OUSHUKU HOT SPRING HOTEL MORINOKAZE OUSHUKU (ONSEN) ♨
Head to Yokote in Akita Prefecture and visit Furusato Village exhibiting Akita's local crafts and performing arts, etc. You can purchase Akita's local specialties such as Sake, Inaniwa Udon Noodle, Pickles, etc. Later go to Kakunodate Old Samurai Town. Enjoy browsing around this old samurai town that remains remarkably unchanged since its founding in 1620. We will visit the Samurai House which is a great example showing how the higher ranked samurai lived here. Then proceed to Oushuku. We will stay at a popular Onsen Resort Hotel surrounded by forest. After dinner enjoy a Local Taiko Japanese Drum, Song & Dance Show in the hotel lobby. Soak and Relax in the Hot Spring Bath and Open Air Bath where you can see Mt. Iwate on a clear day.

SEP. 8 (TUE) HIROSAKI HOTEL NAQUA CITY HIROSAKI
Go to Morioka Handicraft Village to see the process of making traditional handicrafts in Morioka such as Nambu Chinaware, Ironware, Woodcraft, etc. Also get a chance to try baking your own local Nambu Senbei yourself. Then head to Osarizawa Mine, a tourist facility of local industrial heritage using a national-scale mine tunnel with 1,300 years of history. You can walk through "One of Japan's Largest Copper Mine Tunnels" that was even used as a "Hideout for Christians" etc. Later have fun "Picking Apples" in season. Aomori is the "Largest Apple Producer in Japan". "Taste the Juicy and Sweet Aomori Apples". Then proceed to our hotel located close to the Supermarket and Hirosaki Station. After hotel check in your tour guide will take you to Holo Holo around the hotel.

SEP. 9 (WED) ONUMA HAKODATE ONUMA PRINCE HOTEL (ONSEN) ♨
Head to Inakadate and see the amazing "Rice Paddy Art". The huge pictures in the rice paddies are created by carefully planting different varieties of rice. From ground level the designs are invisible. However by going up to the top floor of the city hall building you can view the entire amazing art work image created with Rice Paddy Crops. Then go to Aomori Station to catch the Express Train to cross to Hakodate, Southern Hokkaido via the Seikan Undersea Tunnel (33.5 miles long and second longest undersea tunnel in the world). Upon arrival at Hakodate Station, visit the Trappistine Convent founded by eight nuns who came from France in 1898. The convent's beautiful brick building with a green roof contrasts with the religious institution. Statues of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc in its front courtyard, are indeed impressive. Then go to Hokkaido Kombu (Seaweed) Museum. You can learn how Konbu grow and the processing of Konbu. This is a good place to buy Hokkaido Konbu. Its shop carries a full assortment of seaweed and seaweed products including unique products made from konbu such as konbu ice cream, konbu candy, etc. We will stay at a popular resort hotel located in a National Park surrounded by a beautiful virgin forest of White Birches and Oaks. Enjoy relaxing in the Hot Spring Bath and Open Air Bath and viewing the beautiful forest over the pond while soaking in the Hot Spring Bath.      

SEP. 10 (THU) NOBORIBETSU _ NOBORIBETSU GRAND HOTEL (ONSEN) ♨
Head to Lake Toya one of Hokkaido's three most impressive landscapes and known as the venue of the G8 Summit in 2008. We will enjoy "Lake Cruise" while enjoying the spectacular views of Mt. Yotei, Mt. Showa Shinzan, Mt. Usu and the surrounding countryside. Have a pleasant time with beautiful views representing spectacular Hokkaido. Then enjoy "Grape Picking". Try tasting fresh Japanese Grapes in season. (If we cannot do Grape Picking due to seasonal conditions we will enjoy picking another kind of fruit). Later proceed to Hokkaido's most famous Hot Spring Resort "Noboribetsu". Our hotel has a huge Hot Spring Bath and Open Air Rock Bath. Enjoy soaking in the famous Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring and enjoy a big buffet dinner with local Hokkaido dishes with "Crab" in the evening.            

SEP. 11 (FRI) SAPPORO SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL
In the morning visit Jigokudani (Hell Valley) a spectacular sight where hot water, vapor and volcanic gas erupting from many vents. It is a main source of Noboribetsu's Hot Spring waters and designated as a "Hokkaido Treasure". Then proceed to Sapporo to visit the Wholesale Market where local people as well as Japanese tourists often visit. You can buy Dried Seafood, Local Specialties, etc. at wholesale prices. Also stop at the Big AEON Shopping Center for shopping and lunch. Our hotel is located next to Sapporo Station and department store with its underground shopping arcade. After hotel check in we will take you to "Holo-Holo" around the station area. Your rooms are paid for, but meals (LUNCH/DINNER) will be “At Your Own Expense” to let you eat your favorite dishes before returning home. We will give everyone a carton box to use for packing their gifts. (2 Pieces Per Person Baggage Allowance. Any excess will be paid for by the member).

SEP. 12(SAT) HONOLULU {ONLY BREAKFAST IS INCLUDED THIS DAY}
At check-out time our agents will come around to tape and tie-up the boxes and take the baggage’s to be checked-in down. In the afternoon, proceed to Chitose Airport to catch a domestic flight to Kansai (Osaka) or Nagoya Centrair Int'l Airport. Upon arrival transfer to an international flight to Honolulu, arriving the same morning, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 ( SATURDAY). After clearing U.S. Customs proceed home. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING OUR 2015 TOHOKU TRAVEL’S TRAVEL THROUGH NORTHERN JAPAN WITH AMAZING RICE PADDY ART TOUR #14! Clients remaining back will be assisted in obtaining train, plane and hotel reservations. Members may return to Honolulu individually, but no later than 3 months from day of departure. Weekday returns will cost less per person.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL: TOHOKU TRAVEL SERVICE INC.
JAPAN TOUR ARRANGED AND GUIDED BY: YOKOHAMA TRAVEL INC.
ITO BLDG. #502, 2-22-3 TSURUYA-CHO KANAGAWA-KU, YOKOHAMA, 221-0835 JAPAN PH: (045) 311-1011 FAX: (045) 311-1013
YEN/DOLLAR RATE GROUND TOUR ADJUSEMENT 1 MONTH PRIOR TO DEPARTURE DATE OR EARLIER TOUR #14
 
TOUR GET-TOGETHER LUNCHEON
DATE: AUGUST 9, 2015 (SUNDAY) **
TIME: 12:00PM (N00N)
PLACE: TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER
COST: NO COST TO TOUR MEMBERS
ATTIRE: VERY INFORMAL - CASUAL WEAR (LUNCHEON TAKES ABOUT 1 ½ HOURS)

TOUR CONDITIONS:
ESTIMATED AIRFARE : AIRFARE COULD COST MORE OR LESS AT TIME OF TICKET PURCHASE WITH LAND TOUR .
{$225.00 Cancellation Fee charged by the airlines.} Minimum stay is 3-Days and maximum stay is 3 Months.
INCLUDES: All transportation included in the itinerary, all hotel accommodations, meals and all sightseeing listed, all transfer of passenger and baggage, souvenir picture and tour tax. Roundtrip air transportation by Economy Jet.
DOES NOT INCLUDE: Individual expenses after termination of tour as stated in itinerary. Also, wine, liquor, mineral water, laundry and other items of personal nature, cost of obtaining passport and visa or other necessary documents.
BAGGAGE: Limited to (1) piece, 50 lbs. and (1) hand-carry.
RESPONSIBILITY: The tour organizer or any travel agencies involved, act only as agents for the passengers in regards to travel, sightseeing, hotel and meal arrangements, and other tour services. The organizer/agency will accept no responsibility or liability in respect of either person or property for any loss, damage, injury, accident, delay or irregularity, however, occasioned, sustained, or suffered in or during any journey, trip, or tour, or in carrying out of any arrangements booked by or through it.
If the agency becomes aware that a passenger has a special chronic health problem, the agency shall ensure that it is provided with a letter from the passenger’s personal physician stating the nature of such health problem and certifying that the passenger is physically fit to participate in the tour. Also, in our endeavor to ensure congenial membership, we reserve the right to refuse the application of anyone and / or to expel from the tour, members whose conduct is incompatible with the interests of the tour. Further, we reserve the right to refuse the application of any handicapped passenger if it is determined that such passenger would impede the schedule of the tour and greatly inconvenience the majority of tour members. However, if a handicapped passenger accepted for the tour requires any form of special assistance, he/she must be accompanied by a qualified helper who takes total responsibility for the handicapped passenger’s well being.
Baggage’s are at owner’s own risk. The right is reserved to make any necessary changes in tour if deemed advisable.
Also, the airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time passengers are not on board their carriers concerned. The airline ticket and passage contract in use by the airlines concerned when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and purchaser of the tour and/or passenger. The services of any IATA Carrier will be used as required. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
AIR SURCHARGE WAIVED FOR YEAR 2015: TOUR MEMBERS NOT PURCHASING THEIR AIRLINE TICKETS THROUGH TOHOKU TRAVEL SERVICE, INC. WILL NOT BE ASSESSED A $225.00 PER PERSON SURCHARGE. BUT YOU MUST FIND YOUR OWN TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOTEL. SAME GOES FOR DEPARTURES FROM JAPAN. YOU MUST FIND YOUR OWN WAY TO THE AIRPORT. THANK YOU!
TRAVEL HINTS:
TRAVEL ETIQUETTE: PLEASE NO SMOKING AND TO ROTATE SEATS ON BUSES. {BUS SEATING CHART WILL BE MADE}
FOOD REQUEST: If you cannot eat certain foods, please do not forget to turn in your request form, 1 week before departure or earlier, so we may try to comply with your request.
PASSPORT PHOTOS: Free for our TOUR MEMBERS ONLY. Taken at the Tohoku Travel Service office @1741 Nuuanu Ave. 2ndFloor Hon. Hi.
TOUR CONDITIONS REMINDER: The ground tour is based on ¥100 Yens to a U.S. DOLLAR RATE. In case of any re-valuation, the price shall be adjusted accordingly at time of payment. See Yen Chart. The airfares are present rates and should the airfares be changed, adjustments will be made accordingly. The YEN RATE OF THE DAY will be used at time of payment. THANK YOU!
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FINAL PAYMENT 45 days before departure:
Date: JULY 20, 2015
 
LAND TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY:
45 DAYS - 40 DAYS -$ 50.00
39 DAYS – 30 DAYS - $100.00
29 DAYS – 15 DAYS - $300.00*
14 DAYS – 07 DAYS - $400.00*
06 DAYS – 01 DAY - $800.00*
NO REFUND ONCE TOUR STARTS.
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
*MAY HAVE EXTRA CANCELLATION CHARGES FOR MIYAKO ODORI, TOKYO DISNEY SEA TICKETS, SHINKANSEN TICKET FEE, ETC. IF YEN WAS ALREADY PURCHASE TO PAY FOR THIS TOUR, THEN THE YEN EXCHANGE RATE AT TIME OF REFUND WILL AFFECT THE REFUND SINCE WE HAVE TO CONVERT THE YEN BACK TO U.S. DOLLARS AGAIN.