B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
Day 1**Mar 25 | Honolulu –> Kansai
We begin our journey by boarding an international flight to Kansai Airport, the gateway to Osaka. Meals and snacks will be served on the plane.
Day 2**Mar 26 | Kansai
Arrive at Kansai International Airport. We will meet with an Air and Sea Travel representative who will escort us to our hotel.
Day 3**Mar 27 | Kansai – Awaji Island – Tokushima – Takamatsu | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will drive to Awaji Island, the largest island in the Inland Sea. Upon arrival, we will head to Naruto. The major attraction in Naruto is the Whirlpools in the Naruto Strait. This phenomenon occurs when opposing currents from the Seto Inland Sea and the Kii Channel meet in the Naruto Strait with a water level difference of as much as 1.5 meters made by the ebb and flow of the tide. During high tides from spring through fall, huge whirlpools rotating at 20 kilometers an hour and exceeding 20 meters in diameter occur. A Whirlpools Sightseeing Boat allows us to take in a really spectacular view of the roaring whirlpools and surging currents. We will go to Tokushima in the eastern part of Shikoku. Tokushima is an old castle town known for its passionate Awa-odori dance in the summer. The Awa-odori Dance is a traditional dance with sounds of ‘shamisen’ (Japanese guitar), gongs, and drums. We can experience this fun atmosphere at Awa-odori Hall. Then we will enjoy our dinner before transfer to our hotel.
Day 4**Mar 28 | Takamatsu | (B, L)
After breakfast, we will visit Ritsurin Garden, one of the most famous and beautiful historical gardens in Japan. There are various bridges, footpaths and small hills which offer stunning views of the garden and the surrounding scenery. Ritsurin Garden has a total of approximate 350 cherry trees and many beautifully sculpted pine trees. The contrast between the robust pine trees and pale cherry blossoms gives us a different perspective when viewing the flowers. Before lunch, we will have a hands-on opportunity to Make Udon at the Udon School. Uchiwa paper fans create a cool breeze by fanning with a flat surface. About 90 percent of all the uchiwa fans in Japan or a total of 100 million units are produced in Marugame, located in the western part of Kagawa. These fans are designated as traditional craft in Japan. We will learn about the history and culture of the traditional craft “Uchiwa paper fan” and experience its production in Uchiwa no Minato Museum. The 470 meter long Takamatsu Marugamemachi Shopping Arcades is renowned for its trendy shops, traditional stores, and eateries. We can do some shopping and have our own dinner here before we transfer to our hotel.
Day 5**Mar 29 | Takamatsu – Kochi | (B, L)
After breakfast at our hotel, we will visit the Asahiyama Forest Park, the best place to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Takamatsu. About 2,000 cherry trees, mainly Yoshino cherry trees, will blossom beautifully at the end of March or the beginning of April. There are also various events such as Sakura Festival and Tent Village held at this time. After lunch, we will visit Iya-no-Kazura Bashi, a suspension bridge made of Actinidia auguta (a kind of kiwi vine). This used to be the only access into the mountainous areas. Kazura Bashi over the canyon in this secluded mountain village is also associated with the legend of the fleeting Heike clan that was once the most powerful ruling family. Then, we will go to Nishijima Horticultural Park. The park holds strawberry picking during January to early June. It is an all-you-can-eat strawberry picking activity where we pick bright red strawberries ourselves and eat them!! Then we will transfer to Kochi, the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku. The city is small and friendly, with a casual atmosphere and a dose of southern flair. Tonight, we can have some shopping and enjoy our own dinner at the AEON mall before we check into our hotel.
Day 6**Mar 30 | Kochi – Matsuyama | (B, D)
Hirome Market is one of Kochi Prefecture’s most well-known sightseeing spots. Overflowing with shopping and entertainment, this market is a fun place to relax, socialize, and enjoy fresh food. Let us enjoy a walking tour and get some fresh seafood for our lunch. Then, we will transfer to Matsuyama, the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on Japan’s Shikoku Island. Matsuyama, it’s known for its central Dōgo Onsen Honkan bathhouse. We will take the Ropeway to the top for a panoramic view of Matsuyama City, before transferring to Matsuyama Castle, one of Japan’s twelve “original castles”. The castle was completed in 1627 and is one of the few castles in Japan preserved in its original condition. After walking through the castle, we will return to our hotel and enjoy the Kaiseki Dinner in the hotel.
Day 7**Mar 31 | Matsuyama – Okayama – Himeji | (B, L, D)
This morning, we will transfer to Okayama, the “Sunny Land”. Our tour will begin from Kurashiki. The name “Kurashiki” can be roughly translated as “town of storehouses”. It is located in Okayama Prefecture next to the prefectural capital of Okayama city. The beautiful streetscape of storehouses and merchant homes south of JR Kurashiki Station was selected as an Important Traditional Structures Conservation Area by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and is still protected today as the “BikanChiku” Historical Area. Korakuen (後楽園, Kōrakuen) is a beautiful landscape garden and Okayama’s main attraction. Along with Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen and Mito’s Kairakuen, Korakuen is ranked as one of Japan’s three best landscape gardens. It is located beside Okayama Castle, which can be seen from the garden as “borrowed scenery“. Built in 1700 in the Enshu Landscape style of a strolling garden, the 133,000 m² grounds has a tea-ceremony kiosk, several ponds, a small waterfall and elegantly designed landscapes. About 280 Yoshino cherry trees are planted within and outside of the garden. They should be blooming from the end of March to early April. After dinner, we will check into our hotel in Himeji.
Day 8**Apr 1 | Himeji – Kobe – Osaka | (B, L)
Himeji, originally a castle town in Japan, is home to Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as the “White Heron” Castle. It is the largest castle in Japan and is famous for its main tower and its highly effective and complicated defense design. Afterwards, we head out to Kobe to enjoy our Kobe Beef Steak lunch. Then, we will proceed to Osaka, a large port city and commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu. It’s known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food. After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy the rest of the day on our own. We can spend time at Shinsaibashi, the largest and best known shopping area in Osaka where many boutiques and specialty shops attract local people and visitors. The Shinsaibashi evolved from the arcaded “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 some shopping here before returning to the hotel on our own (hotel is near the shopping street).
Day 9**Apr 2 | Osaka – Kansai –> Honolulu | (B)
We can continue to explore the city on our own this morning. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. Tea gatherings can be classified as either informal or formal. Let us have an informal tea gathering before we transfer to the airport. After a long day, we will transfer to Kansai International Airport for our return flight to Honolulu, taking with us lasting memories of this wonderful Cherry Blossom Trip in Shikoku.
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CHECK OR CASH PAYMENT ONLY. A deposit of $ 350 per person is required at the time of application. The balance of payment is due on Jan. 13, 2022. In case balance of payment is not made within the required time period, Air and Sea Travel Center reserves the right to cancel reservations and charge a cancellation fee.
Written notice is required for any cancellation. After Jan. 13, 2022, the cancellation fee will be as follow:
** Jan. 14 – Feb. 22, 2022, 50% of total price plus any other service fee caused from the cancellation;
** From Feb.23, 2022 to the 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.
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Price from: $3,288.00
Includes: Tax and fuel surcharge
(SINGLE SUPP: $900)
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