B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
Day 1**Apr 1 | Honolulu —> Kansai
We begin our journey by boarding an international flight to Kansai Airport, the gateway city to Osaka. Meals and snacks will be served on the plane.
Day 2**Apr 2 | Kansai – Osaka
Arrive at Kansai International Airport. We will meet with an Air and Sea Travel Representative who will escort us to our hotel in Osaka. As the third largest and second most important city in Japan, Osaka has been an economic powerhouse for many centuries.
Day 3**Apr 3 | Day trip to Kyoto | (B, L, D)
Today we will have a day trip to Kyoto and start our tour of the historic Kiyomizu-dera, an independent Buddhist Temple in Eastern Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beauty of the temple will be enhanced when you stand by the main hall looking down at the hillside covered with cherry blossoms. The neighborhoods next to this temple are Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka which literally means Two-Year Hill and Three-Year Hill. These are charming pedestrian only shopping lanes lined with traditional Japanese buildings that offer a taste of pre-modern Kyoto. After lunch, we will proceed to Kinkaku-ji (“Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (“Deer Garden Temple”), a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. The garden complex is an excellent example of Muromachi period garden design considered to be a classical age of Japanese garden design. Nothing is as symbolic of Kyoto as Kinkaku-ji’s golden reflection shimmering across the rippled surface of the pond in front of it. Kyo-Yuzen, a technique of painting dye directly onto cloth, was invented in the middle of the Edo era, towards the end of the 17th century. It has since become the ultimate art of kimono dyeing, famous for its use of distinctive and vivid colors seen nowhere else in the world. Today, we will have a hands-on experience dying a tote bag using this unique technique. Tonight, we will return to Osaka for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4**Apr 4 | Day trip to Nara | (B, L)
Nara Park is a public park and one of the “Places of Scenic Beauty” designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Over 1,200 wild Sika Deer freely roam in the park and have become a symbol of the city and designated a natural treasure. According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine. Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death until 1637. Today, visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them. Todaiji, also known as Great Eastern Temple, is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. Todaiji’s main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is the world’s largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall. The massive building houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu). The 15 meter tall, seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is flanked by two Bodhisattvas. After lunch, we will return to Osaka and enjoy shopping. We will visit Kuromon Ichiba Market, a lively covered market which stretches for 580 meters in Osaka’s Chuo Ward. Nicknamed “Osaka’s kitchen” because both local homeowners and restaurant chefs get their supplies here, the market is famous for its fresh seafood and has recently become a popular tourist location. One reason for its popularity is that many stalls will prepare, cook and serve their food to you right on the spot. This makes it an excellent venue for strolling, sampling, and snacking on a delicious variety of fresh foods. After that, we will enjoy more shopping in Shinsaibashi, the largest and best known shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops attract both locals and visitors. The Shinsaibashi evolved from the arcaded streets “Shinsaibashi Shopping Street”. With a history of 380 years, it was already an established shopping area in the Edo Period. Shops of all kinds and for all ages line the street, a roofed arcade 600 meters long. Dōtonbori is another principal tourist destination in Osaka. One of the area’s most prominent landmarks is “The Glico Man”, a billboard for confectionery company Glico displaying the image of a runner crossing the finish line and is an icon of Osaka within Japan. We can enjoy our dinner in this busy street.
Day 5**Apr 5 | Osaka | (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a free day to shop in the city and eat whatever looks interesting. Osaka is famous for labyrinthine, underground malls packed with fashion and accessories to suit anyone’s taste, along with foreign foods, sporting goods, and even such mundane vendors as drug stores and cobblers. “Shop till you drop; eat till you overflow!”
** Pack an overnight bag. Baggage will be delivered from Osaka to Tokyo the next day **
Day 6**Apr 6 | Osaka Atami | (B, D)
Today, we will take a bullet train from Osaka to Atami. On the way to the train station, we will visit Osaka Castle where the cherry blossom trees bloom beautifully during the spring. We will visit the Castle Tower which houses an informative museum about the castle’s history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Afterward, we will depart for Atami on the HIKARI & KODAMA SHINKANSEN. The Shinkansen is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. “Shinkansen” literally means new trunk line, referring to the high-speed rail line network. Japan’s Shinkansen network had the highest annual passenger ridership (a maximum of 353 million in 2007) of any high-speed rail network until 2011 and the total cumulative passengers are now over 10 billion. Tonight, we will have a Kaiseki dinner at our Onsen Resort. Later we can relax and rejuvenate at a traditional outdoor hot spring.
Day 7**Apr 7 | Atami – Hakone – Tokyo | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we head to Fuji Hakone National Park. Upon arrival, let us do some hand on activities. Yosegi Zaiku Karakuri, a traditional handicraft dating back to the late Edo Period was created by master craftsman Nihei Ishikawa. Japanese craftsmen recognized that the variety of woods used in the making of Yosegi –Zaiku Marquetry were plentiful and easily found along the beautiful slopes of the Hakone area. Today, let us make our own Hakone yosegi zaiku coaster. After that, we will enjoy a Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Ashi on a medieval sailing vessel and enjoy the picturesque Mt. Fuji. After lunch, we will take a Hakone Ropeway, allowing us to take in spectacular views of the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Ashi, the rising volcanic fumes of Owakudani and the grandeur of Mount Fuji on a fine, sunny day. After exiting the station, we will visit Owakudani Valley, a great boiling or volcanic valley with hot springs and active sulphur vents that smell like rotten eggs. The highlight of Owakudani is “black egg”. The boiled eggs turn black, and consuming them is said to increase your longevity. We will transfer to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, after this Fuji Hakone visit. “Kani Doraku” is the most well-known crab restaurant in Japan. Founded in Osaka in 1960, Kani Doraku has been operating the top crab restaurants in Japan. We will have our Special Farewell Dinner here.
Day 8**Apr 8 | Tokyo | (B)
Full day free at leisure. You can visit Tokyo’s most famous upscale market shopping, dining and entertainment district – The Ginza, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs and cafes. Or you can enjoy a shopping day at Shinjuku, Tokyo’s most vibrant commercial center, with many alleys, nooks, and crannies. Nearby, Shibuya is a center for fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends.
Day 9**Apr 9 | Tokyo – Narita –> Honolulu | (B)
On the last day in Japan, we will enjoy some historical visits with unlimited shopping time. Senso-ji (,Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo. It is Tokyo’s oldest and one of its most significant temples. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara). Dominating the entrance to the temple is the Kaminarimon or “Thunder Gate”, a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Beyond the Kaminarimon is Nakamise-dori with its shops, followed by the Hōzōmon or “Treasure House Gate” which provides the entrance to the inner complex. Within the precincts stand A Stately Five-story Pagoda and the Main Hall, devoted to Kannon Bosatsu. Catering to the visiting crowds, the surrounding area has many traditional shops and eating places that feature traditional dishes (hand-made noodles, sushi, tempura, etc.). These shops themselves are part of a living tradition of selling things to pilgrims who walked to Senso-ji. Then, we will visit the Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingū), the Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. It is located in an evergreen forest that covers an area of 700,000 square meters (about 175 acres). Many visitors to the forest use it as a recreation and relaxation area in the center of Tokyo. The Naien is the inner precinct, which is centered on the shrine buildings and includes a treasure museum that houses articles of the Emperor and Empress. The museum is built in the Azekurazukuri style. The Gaien is the outer precinct, which includes the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery that houses a collection of 80 large murals illustrative of the events in the lives of the Emperor and his consort. Today, Japanese hold Shinto weddings here. Harajuku, the most popular shopping district for younger generation in Tokyo, is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for adults and some historic sites. Daiso Harajuku (100 Yen Shop), one of the largest 100 Yen Shops in central Tokyo, offers a wide array of goods, including clothing, kitchenware, food and stationery on four floors at 105 yen per item. We can spend our entire time shopping here. After a long day, we will transfer to Narita International Airport for our return flight to Honolulu, taking with us the lasting memories of this wonderful trip in Osaka and Tokyo.
We wish you a safe journey and with many wonderful memories to share with family and friends! ☺
Written notice is required for any cancellation. The cancellation fee will be as follow:
** After Dec. 20, 2018, $350 deposit is non-refundable.
** Jan. 14 – Feb. 25, 2019, 50% of total price plus any other service fee caused from the cancellation;
** From Feb. 26, 2019 to departure or withdrawing during the tour shall be regarded as willingly giving up all rights concerned, 100% of total price, and request for other services as a substitute shall not be accepted.
**We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you make a reservation**
Price from: $3,588.00
Includes: Tax and fuel surcharge
(SINGLE SUPP: $850)