202302

TOHOKU TRAVEL’S OKINAWA & IZU JAPAN'S “EARLIEST SAKURA FESTIVAL” TOUR #2

Departure date: 30 January (Mon) 2023

Return date: 11 February (Sat) 2023

TOUR ITINERARY


30 JAN (MON) HONOLULU,

Leave Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. A meal and snack will be served aboard the flight. Free Movies and Drinks.


31 JAN (TUE) YOKOHAMA,

YOKOHAMA BAY SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS

Arrive at Narita International Airport. After clearing entry formalities, go directly by bus to the hotel in Yokohama, 2nd largest city in Japan. Hotel is located within easy walking distance to department store, big electronics store, 100 Yen shop and underground shopping mall. After hotel check in, Free time to meet your relatives and friends, go shopping or just rest. Tour guides will take you to Holo Holo around the hotel.


1 FEB (WED) GOTEMBA,

GOTEMBA KOGEN HOTEL (ONSEN) ♨

Head to the famed Izu peninsula one of the most popular resort areas in Japan. Atami is a picturesque seaside town famous for its early Plum (Ume) and Cherry (Sakura) blooming. We will visit Japan's earliest Sakura Festival. Take a stroll along the banks of river lined with many earliest-blooming Atami Sakura trees that making for a lovely pastel pink canopy. Later enjoy regional specialty in season "Strawberry picking" Taste sweet and fresh Japanese strawberries as much as you like! Then head to Gotemba that boasts a very magnificent view of Mt. Fuji on clear day. We'll stop at Shrimp Senbei Chips store where you can sample many varieties of flavor and buy fresh chips. Later go to hotel located at the Gotemba highlands resort complex. In the evening you can browse around the garden with spectacular Night Illumination featuring 5.5 million lights in a 1,200 feet long tunnel which is the longest illumination tunnel in Japan. Experience the fascinating display of lights which transforms the area into a twinkly holiday wonderland. Tonight, it’ll be good opportunity to try the Onsen Hot Spring bath to warm you up.


2 FEB (THU) IMAIHAMA,

IZU IMAIHAMA TOKYU HOTEL (ONSEN) ♨

This morning we will visit Numazu a port town famous for a variety of seafood from Suruga bay. We’ll enjoy shopping around the Port Area, with many kinds of dried seafood, processed food, etc. Later visit Mishima Taisha Shrine the first & most important shrine of Izu & once was the grand guardian of Japan. Then enjoy popular seasonal attraction in Izu “Mikan tangerine Picking” Taste sweet & juicy Mikan tangerine in season. Later drive through Mt. Amagi and Loop Bridge. This 147 feet high double loop bridge is landmark in this area. Then go to Inatori to see its beautiful Hanging Hina Doll Festival. From ancient times, people in this area have been displaying a pair of hanging ornaments decorated with many kinds of dolls during Girl’s Day Festival (Hinamatsuri), to wish for their children’s happiness. We will stay at a luxurious Hot-spring resort hotel with a panoramic view of Sagami Bay. Soak & relax in Onsen Hot Spring bath & Open Air Rotenburo bath.


3 FEB (FRI) YOKOHAMA,

YOKOHAMA BAY SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS

Visit Narcissus Festival in Cape Tsumekizaki. See a magnificent view of 3 million Narcissuses fill the entire hillside with their sweet fragrance. Then head to historic port town “Shimoda” and catch the Express train Odoriko-go to get to Atami while enjoying scenic view of coastline. Upon arrival, enjoy shopping & lunch around Atami station. It'll be good chance to eat freshest seafood caught in the area. Then transfer by bus to Atami Baien garden that famous Ume Flower Festival will be held. This plum-grove garden has 60 different species with 469 Ume (plum) trees some over 100year-old trees. See very Japanese picturesque sceneries with white, red, pink, etc., Ume flowers which is said to be the "Best in Japan." Then go back to Yokohama. Enjoy shopping after hotel arrival.


4 FEB (SAT) NAHA,

JR KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM NAHA

We will visit Yokohama Wholesale Market to enjoy shopping of Japanese traditional food items such as Tsukemono pickles, Umeboshi, etc., at a wholesale price. Then catch our domestic flight from Haneda to Naha, the capital and largest city of Okinawa. After arrival, visit the World Heritage site, Shurijo Castle Park. The main structures of Shuri Castle is being rebuilt after the 31 Oct 2019 fire. However we'll be able to visit other cultural heritages such as Shurei-no Mon Gate that is a historic and cultural symbol of Okinawa. We’ll also visit another World Heritage site Tamaudun Royal mausoleum. The huge, impressive stone building were built in 1501 during the golden age of the Ryukyu Kingdom. You will see distinctive culture of Okinawa. Then head to our hotel located close to Kokusai street, main shopping and entertainment strip in Naha. Tour guide will take you Holo Holo after hotel check in.


5 FEB (SUN) NAHA,

JR KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM NAHA

All day tour of Southern Okinawa main Island. Visit Okinawa Senseki Quasi National Park (a WW II battlefield). There are 67 monuments within the park, including Himeyuri Monument (for high school girls), Reimei Monument (for General Ushijima with his assistants) at Mabuni hill, etc. Visit Okinawa World, a big theme park focuses on traditional Okinawan culture. You can experience almost all the important aspects of Okinawan culture at park. Main attraction is Gyokusendo Limestone cave, an extensive natural limestone cave that is Japan's 2nd longest. Enjoy walking along spectacular stalactites & stalagmites. You can visit nice replica of Traditional Ryukyu village with traditional Okinawan style houses which were built over 100 years ago. We'll get a chance to see exciting Eisa (traditional Okinawan drum dance) show. Okinawa's traditional performing art with the sound of the drums will captivate you.


6 FEB (MON) ISHIGAKI ISLAND,

ART HOTEL ISHIGAKIJIMA

Catch interisland flight to idyllic Ishigaki Island which is often called "Japanese Natural Wonderland." Upon arrival, ride a high speed ferry to Taketomi Island, a lovely island that old traditional village landscape and lifestyle are preserved for centuries. Its sightseeing experience is unique and exclusive to step into Ancient Okinawa. We will ride on Suigyusha (Buffalo Taxi) which is a carriage, pulled by Water buffalo. Enjoy the good old-fashioned Okinawan air consist of white sand roads, old Okinawan style houses with traditional red-tiled roof, etc. You can immerse yourself in the islander traditions and culture still thriving today. Later visit Star sand beach. Taketomi is one of only few islands in Japan that accumulate “Star shaped sand” formed from shells of tiny crustaceans. Try your luck at finding your own “Star sand”. We will stay at Urban resort hotel with relaxing atmosphere with spectacular view from the hillside all the way to where the sky meets the sea. You can enjoy soaking and relaxing in big public bath. In the evening, you will enjoy dinner with an Okinawan Shamisen show. Shamisen is a Japanese traditional 3-stringed instrument brought from Ryukyu Kingdom about 500 years ago. Experience firsthand the Okinawan culture and performing arts that represents the identity of the Okinawan people.


7 FEB (TUE) ISHIGAKI ISLAND,

ISHIGAKI SEASIDE HOTEL

Ride a ferry to Japan's newest World Heritage site "Iriomote Island," the southernmost National Park in Japan and nearly 90 % of the island is covered by dense jungle and Mangrove forests thus called “Galapagos in Orient”. We will visit Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center that is designed to promote public awareness and understanding regarding local rare wild animals such as the Iriomote cats and the precious nature of the island. We will cross to Yubu Island riding on yet slightly antiquated looking Water Buffalo Cart. This paradisiacal island is separated from Iriomote island. Water Buffalo pulls cart through shallow ocean to the island. This will make for a fun experience and interesting story to tell. Then go back to Ishigaki Island and visit Minsaori Textile Museum. Minsaori is a traditional Okinawan handmade textile. Undoubtedly, Okinawa is home to most sophisticated traditional handicrafts notably in the unique local fabrics. Then visit Kabira bay considered to be “One of Japan’s most beautiful beaches” and praised as the “Most photographed sightseeing spot on the island.” Enjoy stunning scenery of lovely emerald blue water with a perfect yellow-white sand beach. Thus, awarded the maximum of “3 stars sightseeing spot in Japan” by French travel guidebook. Hotel sits on a white sand beach. You can enjoy walking on the beach & relaxing at beautiful seaside resort hotel.


8 FEB (WED) NAHA,

JR KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM NAHA

In the morning visit Ishigaki-yaki Pottery Studio. Their original style potteries have an impressive color of beautiful blue-green ocean. It's very popular souvenir that reminds you of the Island. Later enjoy walking around Yonekoyaki Craft Center Shisa Park. You can take pictures of huge and cute, rainbow-colored Shisa sculptures at the garden. Then head to Ishigaki airport to catch an interisland flight to go back to Naha.


9 FEB (THU) MOTOBU,

HOTEL ORION MOTOBU RESORT

All day tour of northern Okinawa main Island. Visit Kouri Island observatory tower, the perfect place for watching Okinawa's emerald green ocean, as well as 1 mile long bridge connecting Kouri Island and the main island. In the main building you can find a Shell Museum with more than 10,000 seashells from all over the world. Then enjoy Orion Beer Factory tour. Okinawa’s major beer company founded in 1957 during the American Occupation. See the process of making beer and tasting freshly brewed Okinawan beer made with Okinawan spring water. Then visit highlight of Northern Okinawa “Nakijin Gusuku” a castle ruin of Ryukyu Kingdom (13~15th century) which is known for its Sakura (Cherry Blossom) festival. Enjoy seeing earliest blooming dark pink Cherry blossoms (depending on climate) at the World Heritage site. We will stay at deluxe resort hotel right across from the Emerald beach. Enjoy Okinawan resort experience with great view of Emerald green ocean and symbolic Ie island that can be seen at the horizon.


10 FEB (FRI) NAHA,

JR KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM NAHA

Visit fantastic Churaumi Aquarium, widely considered "Japan's Best Aquarium". The highlight of the Aquarium is one of the world’s largest water tank contains a wide variety of marine species, the most striking of which are the giant Whale sharks and Mantas. It's astounding how massive they are. And there is underwater tunnel that make you feel like you are in ocean with the fishes. Enjoy amazing aquarium experience ranked #4 of the "Largest and Best Aquariums in the World" in 2022. Later enjoy lunch and shopping at Aeon shopping mall and proceed back to Naha. Upon arrival at hotel, Free Time for shopping, packing, etc. (Lunch and dinner will be at your own expense).


11 FEB (SAT) NAHA / HONOLULU

At checkout time our agent will come to tape and tie-up the boxes and take the baggage to be checked-in down. Then proceed by bus to Naha Airport to catch a domestic flight to Kansai airport. Then catch a Airline Flight # in the evening to Honolulu. Arrive in Honolulu the same morning, 11 FEB (SAT). 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.

In order for visitors to enjoy their Okinawa trip safely, we have summarized the quarantine control measures regarding where tourists are involved such as tourist facilities and transportation in Okinawa. By 2020 Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Congratulations

World Natural Heritage Registration!!

Japan's southern islands of Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima and Iriomote, as well as the Yanbaru Region in the north of Okinawa Island, just became Japan's newest UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in July 2021.

TOHOKU TRAVEL’S OKINAWA & IZU JAPAN'S “EARLIEST SAKURA FESTIVAL” TOUR #2 will visit one of those New World Natural Heritage site, "Iriomote Island".