23 JAN (SUN) HONOLULU,
Leave Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. A meal and snack will be served aboard the flight. Free Movies and Drinks.
24 JAN (MON) IKEBUKURO, TOKYO,
Arrive at Narita International Airport. After clearing entry formalities, by bus to Ikebukuro, one of Tokyo’s multiple commercial centers. Hotel is located within easy walking distance to Ikebukuro station and Shopping district. After hotel check in, Free time to meet your relatives and friends, go shopping or just rest. Tour guide will take you to Holo Holo around the hotel.
25 JAN (TUE) UTSUNOMIYA,
UTSUNOMIYA TOBU HOTEL GRANDE
Go to Kawagoe, called “Koedo” (Small Edo) as the town has retaining history, culture, and atmosphere of Edo period (1603-1868) and a whole town is designated as National Important Preservation District. Enjoy wandering through and shopping at Kurazukuri Street with old store and merchant houses. Also get a chance to shop at small alley “Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Alley)” carrying snacks made of sweet potato, etc. And visit Kawagoe Festival Museum with display of huge float and short movie of Kawagoe Festival which has over 370 years history. Then have fun with Strawberry Picking in season. Try tasting fresh and sweet Japanese Strawberry as many as you like in Strawberry Kingdom, "Tochigi." Later visit Sano Yakuyoke Daishi Temple for Hatsumode (The First Visit to a Temple / Shrine in New year) to pray for protection against misfortune, family health, traffic safety, good luck, etc., as Japanese visitors do. Stop at Aeon Shopping Center for shopping and dinner before going to Ashikaga Flower Park to enjoy its famous Night Illumination authenticated as the top three illumination of Japanese Night View Heritage. More than 5 million light bulbs illuminate the 23-acre park. (Hotel Check-in around 8:00 P.M. after dinner.)
26 JAN (WED) INAWASHIRO,
HOTEL LISTEL INAWASHIRO (ONSEN) ♨
In the morning go to a shoe store to buy your snowshoes before heading to To-no Hetsuri Valley, a scenic spot in Minami-Aizu district designated as an Important Natural Monument. The heaps of snow make you feel as if you are in another world. Then head to Ouchi Juku a former post town in Edo period which is designated as National important preservation district for a Group of historic buildings. The unpaved main street is lined by thick thatched roof buildings with a variety of shops all covered by snow. Winter Illumination will welcome you at the entrance of our hotel in Inawashiro. Also, you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the Onsen Hot Spring bath and Open-air Bath with a beautiful lake view.
27 JAN (THU) YAMAGATA,
HOTEL METOROPOLITAN YAMAGATA
Visit Lake Inawashiro, a symbolic lake in Fukushima and 4th largest lake in Japan to see Wild Swans visiting from Russia around this time of year. Then head to Kitakata, known as “Warehouse Town,” for the more than 4,200 traditional warehouses are scattered through the town. We will visit Lacquerware Museum to learn and enjoy their products which has 500 years history. Enjoy Kitakata Ramen known for its Niboshi (sardines), based Shoyu with Chicken broth for lunch. Later enjoy the ultimate winter fun. Riding on Snowmobile, Banana boat and Sledding. (for those who want to). Then proceed to our hotel located next to Yamagata Train Station. Enjoy Kaiseki dinner combined with some “Osechi Ryori” (Japanese traditional new year cuisine) Dishes.
28 JAN (FRI) YAMAGATA / MT. ZAO,
HOTEL METOROPOLITAN YAMAGATA
Head to Zao Mountain range offering a picturesque scenery throughout the year to ride Rope way to mountain top station (5,285 feet high). During the ride you will see beautiful fantasy world of “Juhyo (Snow Monster).” Numerous of trees covered by snow and ice look like imaginary monsters. (Weather permitting). This phenomenon only occurs in a few places around the world. These otherworldly shapes loom on the vast landscape are truly amazing! Then visit Miyagikyo Nikka Whisky Distillery to learn and sample their products that has been recognized and rank among the world’s best single malt whiskies and have won numerous awards. Later go to Tendo, the production center of where 90% of Shogi (Japanese Chess) pieces are produced and designated as a National Traditional Art craft. Enjoy shopping for their collection of Shogi products with many different Kanji character painted on it.
29 JAN (SAT) TSURUOKA,
TOKYO DAIICHI HOTEL TSURUOKA (ONSEN) ♨
Enjoy relaxing voyage on Mogami river cruise with Kotatsu (a Traditional Japanese heated table with a heater installed underneath and covered by a futon blanket). Cruising through Mogami Valley listening to traditional local songs sung by the boatman while enjoying spectacular views renowned for its stunning Wintry snow landscape. Then we will visit Sankyo Warehouse, built in 1893 and served as the backdrop of the legendary TV drama “Oshin”. Enjoy walking around the old warehouse with snow covered Zelkova trees. We will stay at a city hotel with Onsen Hot Spring Bath on top floor of the hotel that’s connected to a Shopping mall with 100 YEN shop, etc. After enjoy shopping, Soak in Open Air Hot Spring and Jacuzzi.
30 JAN (SUN) NAGAOKA,
HOTEL NEW OTANI NAGAOKA
Drive 7 miles stretch through Sasagawa Nagare a scenic coastline along the Sea of Japan with uniquely rock formations and submerged peaks. Proceed to Murakami City, Niigata to visit Iyoboya Salmon Museum (Iyoboya means salmon in this area) to see a small hatchery and inside view of Miomote River’s branch from glass wall in the basement floor. We will visit Northern Culture Museum, the former residence of a wealthy farming family during the Edo Period filled with Traditional Art that is well-harmonized within the Banqueting Hall exhibiting Calligraphy and Paintings. The Chanoma or Living Room was used by the head of the household to receive visitors as an Art gallery room. A well-preserved Japanese Garden can be seen from the building as well. Also enjoy watching expert doing “Mochi Pounding” in traditional way to welcome a new year by using traditional equipment Usu (wooden mortar) and Kine (wooden pestle) and if you wish to, you can participate on pounding. Afterwards everyone will be able to sample freshly made Mochi! Then proceed to our hotel located by Nagaoka train station. After hotel check-in, enjoy Holo-Holo near the hotel.
31 JAN (MON) KARUIZAWA,
HOTEL KARUIZAWA 1130 (ONSEN) ♨
Visit 340 years old Tamagawa Shuzo Sake Brewery. Learn the secret of their production with “Yukikura (Snow room)”, a storage room kept its low temperature by snow as a “Natural Refrigerator” and try some sample of their products including “Shiboritate Genshu” that is only available during the winter season and enjoy shopping. Then head to Naeba to ride “Doragondora”, Japan’s longest at 3.4 miles Gondola Lift to go up to middle of Mt. Naeba (4,416 feet) for 25 minutes one way. During the ride we will enjoy the endless wintry landscape of the up and down rolling hills like a dragon. Later head to Karuizawa. We will stay at the hotel in Karuizawa highland up in “1,130 meters” co-existing with deep forest. Another good chance to soak and warm up your body in the Hot Spring Bath and Open-air Bath.
1 FEB (TUE) LAKE KAWAGUCHI,
HOTEL REGINA KAWAGUCHIKO (ONSEN) ♨
Head to Nagano. Visit Nitta Jozo Miso Factory originally established in 1855 to learn about production of Shinshu Miso and try tasting Miso Soup and enjoy shopping for their products of Miso, Miso Senbei, etc. Then stop at Kawanakajima Battleground where Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin fought in Sengoku period to see 2 massive statues of these samurai warriors fighting. Then proceed to Yamanashi, the biggest producer of Grapes and Wine in Japan to visit Mars Yamanashi winery. Learn the history of wine in underground barrel cellar and sample wine poured directly from the barrel which can only be experienced at a winery. Then proceed to Lake Kawaguchi, a very popular resort area with spectacular views of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed. Tonight’s Hotel sits at the foot of Mt. Fuji with picture widows in all rooms that face Fujisan. Soak and Relax in Onsen Hot Spring Bath and enjoy delicious Sukiyaki Dinner in the evening. 1 bottle of alcohol per person allowed to bring at banquet room to enjoy!!
2 FEB (WED) YOKOHAMA,
YOKOHAMA BAY SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS
Head to Lake Sai, one of Fuji’s 5 lakes, to visit Saiko Iyashi no Sato Village where you can step into a restored old Japanese village with traditional thatched roof houses. Weather permitting, you can witness stunning views of Mt. Fuji between snow covered thatched roofs throughout the whole village. Later visit Fuji-Gotemba Kirin Distillery to discover their special distilling methods along with century old secret that yields a delicious taste. Their water is from a free-flowing underground stream that is beneath Mt. Fuji. This is a good chance to try their flagship product “Fuji Sanroku.” Then head to our hotel in the 2nd largest city in Japan Yokohama. Hotel is connecting to underground shopping mall and within easy walking distance to department store, electronics store, 100 Yen shop, etc. Enjoy shopping after hotel check-in.
3 FEB (THU) YOKOHAMA,
YOKOHAMA BAY SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS
Pass Yokohama Bay bridge opened in 1989 while overlooking Minato Mirai district, a large seaside urban area in Yokohama. Enjoy riding Yurikamome, a driverless, automated transit service to visit Toyosu Wholesale Market opened in 2018 to enjoy shopping for Dried Seafood, Tsukudani, Tsukemono, etc. Then enjoy shopping and lunch at big shopping mall in Daiba. Cross Rainbow Bridge a suspension bridge that runs across Tokyo Bay on the way to head back to hotel in Yokohama. After hotel arrival, Free Time to finish shopping, packing etc. (Lunch & Dinner will be at your own expense.)
4 FEB (FRI) YOKOHAMA / HONOLULU,
At checkout time our agent will come to tape and tie-up the boxes and take the baggage to be checked-in down. Afternoon proceed to Narita Airport to catch Japan Airline Flight in the evening to Honolulu. Arrive in Honolulu the same morning, 4 FEB (FRI) After clearing U.S. Customs, proceed home. (Lunch & Dinner will be at your own expense.)
Clients remaining back will be assisted in obtaining plane, train, and hotel reservations. Members may return to Honolulu individually, but no later than 90 days from day of departure. Weekend returns will cost more per person. Please call our office if you are extending your stay. MAHALO!
*Buffet meals are subject to change Set meals.
*At this moment Tohoku Travel Service are working on the prices for all our tours. They will be posted soon, as we are also waiting for airfare prices. Mahalo for your patience.
TOUR GET-TOGETHER LUNCHEON
TIME: 11:00 AM
COST: NO COST TO TOUR MEMBERS
PLACE: HOUSE OF WONG @ 477 KAPAHULU AVE, HONOLULU, HI.