B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
In Japan, the viewing of colorful fall leaves is known as koyo or momijigari, and is a popular pastime for Japanese residents. As the weather cools, red maples, Japanese maples, and other deciduous trees are ablaze with shades of red, orange, and yellow. The most adored leaves belong to momiji or Japanese maple trees that turn a beautiful russet red every year. The Tokaido Road was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period in Japan, connecting Kyoto to Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Today, it is the best place to see the leaves change from yellow to red in November.
Day 1**Nov 19 | Honolulu – Kansai (Osaka)
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**Nov 20 | Osaka |(D)
Arrive at Kansai International Airport. We will meet with an Air and Sea Travel Representative who will escort us to our hotel in the Kansai area. A Bento Dinner Will Be Provided.
Day 3**Nov 21 | Osaka – Nara – Osaka | (B, L)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Nara. 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 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. The park is also the home of Todaiji, also known as Great Eastern Temple, and 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. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”. After lunch, we will visit the Harushika Sake Brewery, a popular must-do experience for foreign visitors. The name Harushika comes from one of the Chinese characters in the shrine’s name, Kasuga, and the word for deer, which were considered gods. Today, Harushika sake has an excellent reputation and is exported to 10 countries in the world. After sake tasting here, we can enjoy shopping in 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 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 an icon of Osaka within Japan. Enjoy dinner on your own dinner on this busy street.
Day 4**Nov 22 |Osaka – Kyoto – Nagoya | (B, D)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Kyoto for our Momiji journey. Arashiyama is a nationally designated historic site and a place of scenic beauty. Our first stop is the romantic “Moon Crossing Bridge” (Togetsukyō), notable for its views of maple trees on the slopes of Mt. Arashiyama. The bridge will lead us to the amazing Sagano Bamboo Forest. We will board the Sagano Scenic Railway, a sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka. The views along the line change with the seasons, and the train is particularly popular from mid November to early December when the leaves along the ravine change color. Then, we will visit Tofukuji, a large Zen temple in southeastern Kyoto that is particularly famous for its spectacular autumn colors. The most popular view is of the Tsutenkyo Bridge, which spans a valley of lush maple trees. The view from the bridge is equally spectacular, and the 100 meter long, covered walkway becomes extremely crowded when the colors reach their peak. After that, we will visit 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 maple trees. 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 roads lined with traditional Japanese buildings that offer a taste of pre-modern Kyoto. Tonight, we will transfer to our Onsen hotel in Nagoya and enjoy our dinner in the hotel.
Day 5**Nov 23 | Nagoya – Aichi – Shizuoka | (B, D)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Inuyama, a city in Aichi Prefecture. Our first stop will be Jakkoin Temple, the oldest temple of Owari Province and well known as a power spot that even Oda Nobunaga came to visit. The shrine is known for flowers in spring, green maple leaves in summer, beautiful colors in fall, and a lingering “aura” around the area during winter. The fall leaves are particularly beautiful, to the point where the temple is referred to as the “Momiji-in” or “Autumn Leaves Temple“. Around the main hall are about 1000 maple trees that change into a vast multitude of beautiful colors every year in the fall. We will transfer to Shizuoka, a Japanese prefecture on central Honshu’s Pacific coast, and home to Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest peak. We will stop at Hamamatsu Castle Park, a reconstructed hirayama-style Japanese castle. It is also called Shusse Castle, because the people who became the owner of the castle during the Edo Shogunate were promoted to an important position. We will overnight in Shizuoka.
Day 6**Nov 24 | Shizuoka – Hakone | (B, D)
Today we head to Hakone. Our first stop is the Hakone Shrine, a nationally-significant Shinto shrine at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi. Its buildings are hidden in the dense forest, but are well advertised by its huge torii gates, one standing prominently in the lake and the other two over the main street of Moto-Hakone. Next we enjoy a sightseeing cruise on Lake Ashi on a medieval sailing vessel and enjoy the picturesque Mt. Fuji. We will have another breathtaking view of Mount Fuji at Hakone Peace Park, a famous and beautiful place with many maple trees. Tonight, we will relax and enjoy the hot springs at Onsen Resort.
Day 7**Nov 25 | Hakone – Kamakura – Tokyo | (B, L)
After breakfast, we will take an excursion to Kamakura, an ancient capital with many famous shrines. First, we will visit the Kamakura Great Buddha, the magnificent symbol of the ancient capital of Kamakura. The lord Buddha of Kotokuin featured here is one of Japan’s top three Buddha statues and is still one of the centerpieces of the city’s cultural heritage despite damage over time. Our next stop is Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura’s most important shrine. After Lunch, we will transfer to Tokyo, Japan’s capital. Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden is a large park and garden in Shinjuku and Shibuya. There are a lot of different types of trees that change colors around the park but the maple trees are particularly beautiful and can be seen in large numbers around the Japanese garden and Momijiyama (maple mountain) on the park’s eastern side. Ueno Park is a large public park next to Ueno Station in central Tokyo. The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city’s largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. Ueno Park is also ideal for viewing autumn leaves. After that, we will transfer back to our hotel and enjoy dinner on your own in the nearby train station.
Day 8**Nov 26 | Tokyo | (B)
Full free day at leisure. “Shop till you drop; eat till you overflow!” Enjoy the opportunity to shop around the city and eat whatever looks interesting on your own. You can visit The Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous upscale shopping, dining and entertainment district with its 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 or nearby Shibuya, a center for fashion and culture, and its whose streets are the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends.
Day 9**Nov 27 | Tokyo – Haneda – Honolulu | (B)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Senso-ji (,Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji), an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo. It is Tokyo’s oldest and one of its most significant temples 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. Rikugien is often considered Tokyo’s most beautiful Japanese landscape garden alongside Koishikawa Korakuen. Built around 1700 for the 5th Tokugawa Shogun, Rikugien literally means “six poems garden” and reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems. One of the best times to visit Rikugien is in autumn when the numerous maples trees turn the garden into one of Tokyo’s best autumn color spots. After that, we will transfer to Odaiba. We will visit the 19-meter tall Gundam RX 0 Statue, one of the most significant comic attractions in Japanese cartoon (manga) industry, located in Odaiba. Today Odaiba is a popular shopping and sightseeing destination for local residents and tourists alike. Enjoy our last minute shopping time here before transferring to the airport for our return flight to Honolulu, taking with us the lasting memories of this wonderful Momiji Trip to Japan.
We wish you a safe journey and with many wonderful memories to share with family and friends! ☺
CHECK OR CASH PAYMENT ONLY. A deposit of $ 350 per person is required at the time of application. The balance of payment is due 70 days prior to departure. In the event 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. $350 deposit is non-refundable if you cancel within 70 days before departure.
Within 70 days before departure, the cancellation fee will be as follow:
** 69-31 days prior departure, 50% of total price plus any other service fee caused from the cancellation;
** 30 days prior 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: $2,988.00
Includes: Tax and fuel surcharge
(SINGLE SUPP: $700)