8 Nights Tohoku Experience Tour

Tour Departure Dates: 11/2, 3/20, 4/10
Tour Price: US $3,998 per person based on double occupancy

This tour takes you deep into Japanese culture, architecture, history and nature. Discover the rural towns of North East Japan and experience unforgettable activities, including Zen meditation, Japanese sake tasting, cooking class and much more.

Tour Highlights

Cultural Experience

Historic Sites

Japanese Cuisine

  • Experience cultural acitivities including;
    • – Young Geisha performance
    • – Zen & Buddha Drawing Sessions at a Buddhist Temple
    • – Japanese archery experience
    • – Japanese cooking class
  • Discover the hidden treasures of Shonai region, an ancient world that’s full of spirit
  • Explore Samurai town of Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Visit Historical temples and shrines
  • Indulge yourself in delicious Japanese food and Sake

What’s Included

  • 8 nights accommodation with combination of Western and Japanese style
  • 1 Bullet Train Ride
  • Meet and greet upon arrival at Narita Airport
  • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • Professional English speaking tour guide

Meals

  • Breakfast everyday
  • 4 lunches and 5 dinners

Admission Fees and Activities

  • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
  • Gratuities

What’s NOT Included

  • International Airfares
  • Meals that are not included in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrives in Tokyo
Day 2 Tokyo – Sendai – Ginzan Hot Spring
Day 3 Shonai, Yamagata
Day 4 Shonai
Day 5 Shonai, Niigata
Day 6 Niigata – Aizu Wakamatsu
Day 7 Aizu Wakamatsu – Kinugawa Hot Spring
Day 8 Nikko – Tokyo
Day 9 Tour ends in Tokyo

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in TOKYO

Welcome to Japan!
Meet with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at NARITA airport. We will transfer you to hotel in Tokyo, and you will enjoy free evening in the bustling capital of Japan before you embark on your tour the next day.

Day 2: TOKYO – SENDAI – GINZAN HOT SPRING

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Board a high speed bullet train to SENDAI, the largest city in the Tohoku region. The modern city of Sendai was founded around 1600 by Date Masamune, one of feudal Japan’s most powerful lords. — Visit Date’s mausoleum, ZUIHODEN
– View the scenic AKIU GREAT FALLS, one of Japan’s top-100 waterfalls
– Take a tour of NIKKA WHISKY SENDAI FACTORY AND MIYAGIKYO DISTILLERY

End your day in this old-fashioned Hot Spring Town of GINZAN in Yamagata prefecture

©JNTO

Zuihoden Mausoleum

Zuihoden is the final resting place of Date Masamune, one of the most powerful feudal lords of the Edo Period. The mausoleum is built in an elaborate Momoyama style architecture.

Akiu Great Falls

One of Japan’s best 100 waterfalls with a height of 55m (180ft)

©Miyagi Pref Industry,Commerce and Sightseeing Section

Nikka Whisky Sendai Factory and Miyagikyo Distillery

One hour tour of the historic distillery built as the second distillery of Nikka Whisky in 1969. Nikka Whisky was founded by Masataka Taketsuru, who pursued his dream of making authentic Japanese whisky.

Ginzan Hot Spring

A secluded hot spring town nestled in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. The area originally developed around a silver mine, but is now known as one of the prettiest Onsen towns.

Day 3: YAMAGATA – SHONAI

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Start your guided tour in YAMAGATA
– Pay a visit to the scenic YAMADERA, a temple located on a steep mountain.
Head to SHONAI, a region famous for delicious water and brand-name rice production.
– Visit the mystical KAMO AQUARIUM, the largest jellyfish aquarium in the world

Enjoy your evening with Japanese dinner while sampling Japanese sake.

Yamadera

Literally meaning “Mountain Temple,” this temple that stands high up a steep mountain founded over a thousand years ago.

Kamo Aquarium

This “Jellyfish Dream House” exhibits largest number of jellyfish in the world. It is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan.

Day 4: SHONAI

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Experience Japanese traditions and historic sites in SHONAI
– Visit the HAGURO MOUNTAIN, one of the three mountains of Dewa Sanzan where Haguro Shrine and five storied pagoda stands.
– After lunch, enjoy young GEISHA PERFORMANCE at a traditional tea house, SOMARO, and walk around town.
– Find local products to take home at SANKYO SOKO, a former rice storehouse.

Finish your day with locally produced black Wagyu beef Sukiyaki dinner.

Haguro Mountain

Symbolizing birth, Haguro-san is a gently sloping mountain with an elevation of 414 meters. At its summit is a shrine honoring the god of the Three Mountains of Dewa.

Somaro

Originally a traditional Japanese high-class restaurant built in Edo period, Somaro is a tea house hosting dance performances by Sakata Maiko (Geisha trainee).

Sanno Club

Originally a high-class restaurant, the Sanno Club reopened its doors in 2008 to share the unique history and culture of the port town. Enjoy making your own Kasafuku decoration (traditional dolls hung up on umbrella-like stands).

Sankyo Soko

The former rice storehouse built in 1893 are now home to museums, restaurants and local craft stores.

Sukiyaki Dinner

Enjoy Sukiyaki prepared with local Wagyu beef from Yamagata Nakajima Butcher Shop. Sukiyaki is a dish where the meat is slowly cooked at the table alongside with vegetables and other ingredients in a shallow iron pot in a tasty sauce.

Day 5: SHONAI – NIIGATA

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today will be a day filled with activities learning Japanese traditions and cultures.
– At ZENPOJI TEMPLE, participate in Zen meditation gathering, and experience Buddha drawing.
– Head over to KURAYASHIKI “LUNA” and learn to cook Japanese cuisine.

Later make your way to Niigata, a city along the coast of the Sea of Japan, and enjoy the night view.

Zenpoji Temple

First established in 938, yearly tens of thousands of worshippers visit the temple as one of the largest places of prayers in the country.

Kurayashiki “Luna”

At Luna, learn and experience Tsuruoka’s food culture with a friendly chef as well as food experts of Tsuruoka, certified by UNESCO as a creative city for its gastronomic culture.

Niigata

Niigata city is the largest port of the Japan Sea coast with a population of over 800,000.

Day 6: AIZU WAKAMATSU

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

– Enjoy a morning learning how to make Senbei (Japanese cracker) at NIIGATA SENBEI KINGDOM

Then, make your way to AIZU WAKAMATSU, a town known for its rich Samurai history.
– Stroll down the NANUKAMACHI-DORI STREET
– Experience Japanese archery at NISSHINKAN, a former Samurai school.
– Explore TSURUGA CASTLE, once a site of fierce fighting during the war. Sit down to sip Matcha green tea at RINKAKU TEA HOUSE in the Tsuruga Castle Park.

Niigata Senbei Okoku

Opened in 2002, this theme park of Senbei teaches you all about rice crackers, from its history to manufacturing process.

Aizu Wakamatsu

Aizu is a castle town in the interior of Fukushima Prefecture known for samurai traditions. It was a battle ground during Boshin War in 1868, a rebellion against the newly formed Meiji government which had taken over control from Tokugawa Shogun.

Nanukamachi-dori Street

A historic street with retro buildings hosting vast array of shops, perfect to fill out your collection of souvenirs and gifts.

Nisshinkan

Nisshinkan was the highest educational institution of its time. It was established in 1803 for the purpose of fostering Japan’s next generation of Samurais

Tsuruga Castle and Rinkaku Teahouse

Originally built in 1384, the castle was rebuilt in 1960s but the garden walls and moats are original. It is surrounded by immaculate Tsuruga Castle Park where the Rinkaku Teahouse is located, a perfect place to relax and enjoy traditional tea in the same spot where the feudal lords once had tea ceremonies.

Day 7: AIZU WAKAMATSU – KINUGAWA ONSEN

Included Meal: Breakfast

Continue your guided tour in AIZU WAKAMATSU
– Head over to IIMORIYAMA, a site where a group of teenage samurai (Byakkotai) committed ritual suicide during Boshin War.
– Climb up the temple of “snail-shaped” SAZAEDO, where a ramp spirals up to the top of the pagoda.
– Visit the BYAKKOTAI MEMORIAL HALL, a museum devoted to young Aizu soldiers.
– Board on AIZU RAILAWAY to KINUGAWA ONSEN where you can buy lunch box on board (Ekiben).

Enjoy a relaxing evening at KINUGAWA hot spring.

Sazaedo

A three-storied, hexagonal Buddhist pagoda was built in 1796. It is one of the oldest wooden structures of its kind, and Is most notable for its unique double helix-shaped stairway.

Byakkotai Memorial Hall

The museum sits at the foot of the hill of Iimoriyama. It displays portraits of the young White Tiger troops (Byakkotai) who committed seppuku upon seeing what they thought was Tsuruga Castle burning, which they have tragically mistaken.

Kinugawa

A popular hot spring resort along the Kinugawa River in Tochigi Prefecture.

Day 8: KINUGAWA – NIKKO – TOKYO

Meals Included: Breakfast,

Start your guided tour in NIKKO, a town at the entrance to Nikko National Park.
– Wander through the theme park EDO WONDERLAND and travel back in time to Edo Japan.
– Exlpore TOSHOGU, Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of Tokugawa shogunate.
– Visit the almost 100 meter tall KEGON WATERFALL ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful falls.

In the evening, we will depart Nikko to Tokyo.

Edo Wonderland

The theme park dedicated to bringing visitors the culture and atmosphere of the Edo period (1603-1867). It recreates a small Edo town where the guests can enjoy food, fun activities and performances.

Toshogu

nitially a simple mausoleum, Toshogu was enlarged into brilliantly decorated structures seen today by Tokugawa Ieyasu’s grandson Iemitsu. It is part of the Shrine and Temples of Nikko UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kegon Waterfall

The waterfall is one of Japan’s three most beautiful falls and is almost 100 meters tall. The waterfall is the only exit for the waters of Lake Chuzenji.

Day 9: TOKYO – Tour Ends

Meals Included: Breakfast

The tour officially terminates after breakfast.

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Dates & Prices

TOHOKU EXPERIENCE TOUR – 8 NIGHTS

Tour Departure Dates 11/2, 3/20, 4/10
Tour Price US $3,998 per person based on double occupancy
Tour Code Departure date
11/2: TET1102
3/20: TET0320
4/10: TET0410
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