NORTHERN JAPAN END SAPPORO (OPTION 1)
NORTHERN JAPAN (OPTION 2)

OPTION 1: NORTHERN JAPAN END SAPPORO / DAY 1-8

01 THU. Tokyo 

Welcome to Japan! Transfer by coach to hotel. Meeting with guide. Late in the afternoon, we will pay a visit to this fascinating country by taking a trip on the metro (tickets included) to the Shinjuku district and see the crowds of people who use this modern and efficient collective transport system. Shinjuku is one of the most important nightlife districts. The visit includes an ascent to the Metropolitan Tower, which has a wonderful view of the city from the 46th floor. Dinner included and return to hotel.   

02 FRI. Tokyo

In the morning, we take part in a 5-hour trip with our guide to see this amazing city, with its hustle and bustle and extremely modern districts that coexist with quiet, peaceful areas. We will pass near the walls and gardens of the Imperial Palace and visit the Shinto shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, and their spirits.  In Yasukuni Jinja shrine we will have the chance to reflect on peace in this shrine, built in remembrance of the 2.5 million Japanese citizens who lost their lives in World War II. Passengers who wish to do so can visit the War Museum. We will pass through the district of Akihabara, the “electric town” with icons from the popular Japanese Manga and Anime culture and then see Kokugikan, the Sumo stadium, home of this Japanese sport. We will also visit the Buddhist temple of Sensoji, the oldest and most important temple in Tokyo, with its 55-metre high pagoda. Then we will have some free time to visit the traditional commercial district of Asakusa. Lunch included. Free time in the afternoon. 

03 SAT. Tokyo – Nikko – Sendai

We leave for Nikko and arrive at this fantastic city at 10.30am. There we visit the impressive Nikko Toshogu Shrine with the room of the crying dragon. We will also visit the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, set in an impressive, peaceful site, followed by a walk near the river, in Kannanga Fuchi, under the watchful eye of hundreds of Jizo statues! Free time in the city centre before leaving for Sendai, a modern, bustling city with over 1 million inhabitants. Passengers can explore the city and have dinner in its busy, thriving centre.

04 SUN. Sendai – Matshushima – Hiraizumi – Morioka

We depart for the marvellous city of Matsushima, on the “Thousand Islands” Bay in the Pacific Ocean and considered one of the most attractive cities in Japan. After arriving, we will visit a magnificent “tea house” overlooking the sea and enjoy a cup of traditional tea while our guide tells us about the city. Then we will go on a 50-minute cruise (included). Free time to visit the historical museum, temples or take a walk to the islands which are connected by pretty pedestrian bridges. Lunch included. We continue to Hiraizumi to visit its temples and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Takkoku no Iwaya, carved in the rock in 1801, followed by a visit to the magnificent Buddhist temples of Chusonji. We take time to relax in the gardens of Motsuiji temple, where passengers can take part in a Zen ceremony (admission included). Then carry onto Morioka, the pleasant capital of Iwate province, where we settle in at our hotel and have some free time to explore.

05 MON. Morioka – Towada – Aomori – Hakodate

Our journey takes us through beautiful scenery to Towada, where we will visit the Towada Art Center, a magnificent contemporary art museum; there we will see works by Japanese and international artists. Then we continue to Aomori, the provincial capital, located on Mutsu Bay. Time for visit to Nebuta Museum where we will learn about the Japanese festival tradition, which reminds us of the Carnival, with its vivid, painted floats. Lunch included. Then we board the ferry to Hokkaido Island. The crossing takes just over three and a half hours. Before going to the hotel, ascend Mount Hakodate, which has wonderful views. We make the descent by cable car. Time in the beautiful city pedestrian centre in which to admire the influence of other cultures in the city (Russian Orthodox and Christian churches).

06 TUE. Hakodate – Onuma – Noboribetsu – Sapporo

In the morning we visit the impressive and busy fish market. Then we climb the Goryokaku Tower with its impressive views, from where we can make out the star-shaped fortress of Hakodate. Then we will take a stroll through the castle area before continuing to Onuma. Free time in this wonderful tourist site, with its countless small islands in which to explore the islands, go on a boat trip and have lunch included. In the afternoon our journey takes us towards the ocean and Noboribetsu, an impressive volcano site, where we can walk amidst geysers in Jigoku Dani (Hell’s Valley), admire the hot spring lake of Oyunuma and follow the path next to the hot spring to the site of the footbath. Then we carry on to Sapporo.-  At the end of the day, we arrive at this beautiful city, the capital of North Japan.-

07 WED. Sapporo – Otaru – Sapporo

City tour (included) stopping at the clock tower and Odori Koen avenue-park, dominated by the telecommunications tower. We will see the beautiful Shinto shrine of Hokkaido Jingu. The visit includes a ceremonial Kito (prayer session) in which we give thanks for the journey. Afterwards we enter Shiroi Koibito (admission included), an attractive theme park and chocolate factory. We then continue to Otaru, a small city with a European air and streets filled with shops, an old canal and tiny museums. Lunch included. We return to Sapporo at about 4pm. Free time in the afternoon.

08 THU. Sapporo

After breakfast, end of services.

OPTION 2: NORTHERN JAPAN / DAY 1-7 (AS PER ITINERARY)

08 THU. Sapporo – Toyako Onsen – Shiraoi – Tomakomai

Amidst beautiful scenery in the interior of Hokkaido Island, we pass lakes and mountains and eventually come to the spa city of Toyako, at the foot of an impressive volcano, on the banks of a pretty lake that occupies a former crater. Free time to wander along the bank. We will visit the volcanology museum to learn about the eruptions suffered by this region. Then we will take the cable car to the summit of the USU Volcano with time to walk around the volcano and its awesome landscape. Lunch included. Then our journey takes us along the coast to Shiraoi, where we visit the Porotokotan, an open-air museum with information about the Ainu culture, a people of Eskimo origin that lived in the North of Japan where we have the chance to see a traditional dance performance.  We then carry on to Tomakomai where we take a modern ferry for a night crossing. Accommodation in double cabins with private bathrooms. We spend the night on board crossing the Pacific Ocean.

09 FRI. Sendai – Bandai Plateau – Aizuwakamatsu

We reach Sendai port at 10am and continue to the Bandai Plateau, a beautiful National Park. We will visit Goshiki Numa, with its five-coloured lakes. Our intention is to go on a 4-kilometre walk along pretty trails amidst lakes; passengers who do not wish to walk can travel the route by coach and see the lakes near the stopping points). Lunch included in a local restaurant. Then we continue to Aizuwakamatsu where we will visit the Samurai Mansion Aizu Bukeyashiki, an impressive historical mansion where we will learn about the Samurai warriors. After the visit, we can take a stroll through the Castle gardens and perhaps see children practising martial arts at Dojo. Then we make the ascent to Iimoriyama to see the sculptures donated by Mussolini in memoriam of the children martyred in this city. Accommodation.    Note: In winter, as it gets dark earlier, we will not have time to go up to Iimoriyama.

10 SAT. Aizuwakamatsu – Ouchijuku – Nikko – Tokyo

On the way, we will stop at Ouchijuku, a pretty village with traditional houses that have thatched roofs. Then our journey continues to Nikko. We arrive at this fantastic place at 12 noon and pay a visit to the impressive Nikko Toshogu Shrine, with the crying dragon room. We will also visit the Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum, an impressive peaceful site. We can take a walk along the river bank in Kannanga Fuchi, under the watchful eye of hundreds of Jizo statues! Note: If you already visited Nikko on your previous route, during this stage you will be granted admission to Edo Wonderland, a theme park that recreates life during the Edo period, where different performances are staged. Free time in the city centre before returning to Tokyo – arrival at the end of the day. End of services.

Price: OPTION 1: From $3,029 Per Person Twin Share
For all tour options pricing and rooming, please enquire directly with JTB for a quotation.  
Departure Dates:  OPTION 1: 
Apr.17 : 20
May.17 : 04, 18
Jun.17 : 01, 15, 29
Jul.17 : 13, 27
Aug.17 : 10, 24
Sep.17 : 07, 21
Oct.17 : 05, 19
Nov.17 : 02
Guaranteed Departures: Yes
Pick A Sector: Yes. Able to book just the part of the tour that you want.
Pre/Post Accommodation: Flexibility to add additional nights at the beginning or end of the trip.
Inclusions: OPTION 1: 
Europamundo Services: Travel by bus with English speaking guide
Daily breakfast
Arrival transfer
Boat: Cruise in Matshushima
City tour in: Tokyo, Sapporo
Evening Transfer: Shinjuku, Tokyo
Ticket admission: Metro, Metropolitan Tower in Tokyo, Tshogu Temple in Nikko, Traditional tea in Matshushima, Chusonji and Zen practice in Montsuiji Temple in Hiraizumi, Towada Art Center in Towada, Nebuta Museum in Aomori, Goryokaku Tower in Hakodate, Sanctuary of Hokkaido Jingu and Kito (prayer session), chocolate factory and Shiroi Koibito Park in Sapporo.
Ferry: Aomori Hakodate (Hokkaido Island)
Funicular: Hakodate Mountain.
06 Meals: Dinner in Tokyo, Lunch in Tokyo, Lunch in Matshushima, Lunch in Aomori, Lunch in Onuma, Lunch in Otaru

ADDITIONAL SERVICES OPTION 2:
Ticket admission: Volcanology museum in Toyako, Ainu Poroto Kotan Museum with a traditional dance performance in Shiraoi, Samurai Mansion Aizu Bukeyashiki in Aizuwakamatsu, Nikko Toshogu Shreine, Taiyuinbyo Mausoleum in Nikko
Ferry: Tomakomai – Sendai (night ferry)
Funicular: Summit of Usu
02 Meals: Lunch in Usu, Lunch in Bandai Plateau
Expected Hotels: OPTION 1: 
Tokyo: Shinawaga Prince Hotel (****), Courtyard Marriott Ginza (****); Sendai: Hotel Westin (*****); Morioka: Hotel Metropolitan New Wing (****); Hakodate: Hotel La Vista Hakodate Bay (****); Sapporo: Ana Hotel (****); Additional
OPTION 2:
Aizuwakamatsu: Hotel Washington (****)

HOTELS IN JAPAN: Because of high hotel occupancy at certain times due to trade fairs, events and local international festivals, it may not be possible to stay at the hotel which is indicated. In such case, accommodation (equivalent category) will be offered in the same city or near city. Also in many hotels in Japan there are no double rooms (one bed), the room will be twin (two single beds).  
Tour ID:  Option 1: 13589 / Option 2: 13590