14 day Best of Hokkaido and Japan Alpine Route Explorer

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Visiting: Lake Toya, Tokachikawa, Lake Akan, Sounkyo, Sapporo, Tokyo, Hakodate, Matsumoto Alpine Route, Toyama, Shirakawago, Kazanawa, Kyoto and Osaka

ALL IN PRICE INCLUSIONS:

Price includes land and air content, airport taxes and gratuities. If you are from another state, please let us know. Please contact our Friendly staff for more information

B = breakfast provided , L = lunch provided , D = dinner provided

DAY  01: MELBOURNE/BANGKOK/CHITOSE 

This afternoon, we depart from Melbourne (or your home city if a flight is available) via Thai Airways TG466 at 3:15pm for arrival into Bangkok at 9:45pm. After a short transit, we board our flight to Chitose airport.

Meals – As per flight

DAY  02: CHITOSE/TOKACHIGAWA/KUSHIRO/LAKE AKAN

Our flight arrives into Chitose airport in the morning. This airport is the largest airport on the island of Hokkaido. This morning, we visit Tokachikawa bridge and enjoy a view of the beautiful scenery. Along the way we’ll visit Ikeda wine factory where you will get to sample the finest Japanese wines. Afterwards, we make our way into Kushiro, often fondly regarded as the ‘the town of mist’ – which is situated in the southeastern part of Hokkaido and here, take in the magnificent view of the marshland. Tsurumi-dai is also on today’s itinerary – have the unique opportunity to take photos of the Japanese cranes. We then continue our journey to Lake Akan, famous for a rare water plant called Marimo. Lake Akan Hot spring area is considered as one of the most beautiful sights in eastern Hokkaido. Later tonight we head out for our first dinner together.

Meals – As per flight / L /D

Overnight – Akan Gozensui Hotel or similar

DAY  03: LAKE AKAN/SOUNKYO

This morning after breakfast we depart for Lake Mashu, which ranks first in terms of water transparency in the world. This mysterious lake is rarely seen because of the thick mist which lends to its nickname – Mysterious Lake. Afterwards we visit Mt Io, a mountain which is covered in yellow sulfur. Abashiri Prison museum is up next! In this museum, the buildings that were actually used in the Meiji era have been preserved and shown to the public. In those days, the construction wood was made by hand and not by machine. Hence you will be able to see the rough surface of the big beams and pillars that the prisoners made. As we drive along the coast of Okhotsk Sea, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the drift ice (Ryuhyo-kan). Today we will also drop into Kitami fox farm. By the end of today, we will have arrived into Sounkyo.

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight  – Sounkyo Kanko Hotel or similar

DAY  04: SOUNKYO/OTARU/SAPPORO

After breakfast our group will visit Sounkyo Ginga & Ryusei falls at the foot of Mt. Daisetsu. This great canyon  surrounded by cliffs on both sides is a sight to behold especially the two waterfalls (Ginga & Ryusei waterfalls). Thereafter we head towards Otaru. Here, enjoy a photo stop at the Otaru Canal where all the century-old stone warehouses are lined on both sides of the canal. The Kitaichi Glass Museum is on the agenda next – famous for its unique lamps and hand-blown glassware. This place also houses the historical red brick & Domoto music box museum where you can admire all the beautiful crated music boxes and listen to its heavenly music. In the afternoon we reach Susukino in Sapporo which is Japan’s largest entertainment district north of Tokyo for some free time!

Meals – B/ L /D

Overnight   –   Sapporo ANA Holiday Inn or similar

DAY  05:  SAPPORO / NOBORIBETSU

After breakfast we stop at Odori Park which is located in the heart of Sapporo, separating the city into north and south parts. This park stretches about one and a half kilometres and offers pleasant green space during the warmer months.   Today we also enjoy the view from the Sapporo TV Tower, and then visit the Clock Tower. Thereafter we drop into Sapporo Beer factory. We also visit the famous Ishiya Chocolate Factory. Afterwards, we drive to Date Jidaimura a historic theme park highlighting the Edo Period, one of the most attractive eras in Japanese history. Step back in time to enjoy traditional games, activities, theaters, street performances and more. Then it is off to Noboribetsu, a city in Iburi subprefecture, Hokkaido.

Meals – B/ L /D

Overnight   –   Manseikaku Noboribetsu Hotel or similar

DAY  06: NOBORIBETSU/LAKE TOYA

This morning, drive to the Shiraoi Ainu village, where you can get a better picture of the Ainu lifestyle through the display of the precious heirlooms and household utensils and traditional embroidery.  Afterwards, we head to Mt Showa Shinzan which is still an active volcano. At the foot of the mountain you can see Ezo grizzly bears and their cubs at the Bear Ranch. Tonight we stay in the region of Lake Toya.

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   –   Manseikaku Lake Toya Hotel or similar

DAY  07: LAKE TOYA/HAKODATE

After a good night’s rest we depart Lake Toya region for Hakodate – a Japanese city often called the gateway to Hokkaido. Upon arrival, enjoy a city tour covering Kanemori Red Brick warehouse, Goryokaku Fort and also a cable car ride at Mount Hakodate to see the city views! To finish off the day, enjoy a bit of free time at Motomachi shopping arcade.

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   – Loisir Hakodate Hotel or similar

DAY  08: HAKODATE/TOKYO via Bullet train

This morning, we bid farewell to Hakodate as we make our way to the train station for our bullet train experience to Tokyo! This relaxing ride should take at least 3 hours before arriving into the busy city of Tokyo. Upon arrival, we will check into our hotel and then enjoy a bit of free time to explore our surroundings before gathering again for our first dinner at Tokyo.

Meals – B/ Own arrangements / D

Overnight   –   Tokyo Metropolitan Hotel or similar

DAY  09: TOKYO/MATSUMOTO     

Enjoy a brief Tokyo city tour this morning which includes Asakusa Temple, a photostop at Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. Afterwards, drive to visit Shinjuku and Shibuya regions for a bit of free time to explore as well. Later, we drive to Matsumoto which is the gate way to the Alpine route for our overnight stay. Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   –   Buena Vista Hotel or similar

DAY  10 : MATSUMOTO/ALPINE ROUTE/TOYAMA

The major highlight of this itinerary will be the famous Alpine Route called the Tateyama Kurobe! A magnificent mountain sightseeing route, the pride of Japan, connects Toyama City and Omachi City. In spring, snow plow trucks carve out the road, creating 20m-high walls on both sides, called the “Yuki-no-Ohtani” (Towering Wall of Snow).  This is normally seen between mid April to June annually and is truly a unique experience.

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   –  ANA Crown Plaza Hotel or similar

DAY  11: TOYAMA/SHIRAKAWAGO/KANAZAWA

After breakfast we leave the area of Toyama and make our way towards Kanazawa whilst dropping into Shirakawago for a quick visit. Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa and is well known for its well preserved Edo Period districts, art museums and handicrafts. Enjoy a visit to Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s three most beautiful plantations and then spend some time in Higashi Chaya. This district is well-known as having the most tea houses in Kanazawa. Besides that, there are many long established and new craft shops, so you’ll enjoy strolling, having a coffee break, and enjoying the overall atmosphere.

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   –  ANA Crown Plaza Hotel or similar

DAY  12: KANAZAWA / KYOTO / OSAKA

After breakfast this morning we drive towards the famous city of Kyoto for a visit. Kyoto was once the capital of Japan and is home to thousands of classical Buddhist temples. Here we will visit the Kiyomizu temple – one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Afterwards we also visit the other well known temple – Kinkakuji – also known as the Golden Pavillion. In the afternoon, we continue our drive towards Osaka (with a photostop at Osaka castle along the way).

Meals – B/ L / D

Overnight   –  Osaka Plaza Hotel or similar

DAY  13:  OSAKA/ BANGKOK 

The city of Osaka is fully yours to explore for the morning! This large shipping port city is the commercial centre of the island of Honshu and is known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food! Just a bit after 1pm, we meet up and head to Osaka airport for our flight to Bangkok departing at 5:35pm. In a few hours, we will arrive into Bangkok airport and feel free to stretch your legs to do a bit of shopping!

Meals – B/ Own Arrangements

DAY  14:  BANGKOK / MELBOURNE

Shortly after midnight your flight for Melbourne departs – sit back and relax and not long you will arrive back home. We hope you enjoyed your trip!

Meals – As per flight      

All in Pricing package price includes :

– Return flights with Thai Airways (including airport taxes)

– Accommodation as per itinerary

– Sumptuous meals as per itinerary

– Tour guide and bus services

– Entries to places listed on itinerary including Shore excursions as mentioned in itinerary

-Daily bottle of water provided

This group is scheduled to depart on the 9 May 2019

All in price – $5,980* pp (twin share)

  *Early bird price before 31 October 2018!  – Afterwards, $6,380*/person  

 

ALL IN PRICE INCLUSIONS:

Price includes land and air content, airport taxes and gratuities. If you are from another state, please let us know. Please contact our Friendly staff for more information

DAY  01: MELBOURNE/BANGKOK/CHITOSE – N/A

DAY  02: CHITOSE/TOKACHIGAWA/KUSHIRO/LAKE AKAN  Akan Gozensui Hotel or similar

DAY  03: LAKE AKAN/SOUNKYO – Sounkyo Kanko Hotel or similar

DAY  04: SOUNKYO/OTARU/SAPPORO –   Sapporo ANA Holiday Inn or similar

DAY  05:  SAPPORO / NOBORIBETSU –   Manseikaku Noboribetsu Hotel or similar

DAY  06: NOBORIBETSU/LAKE TOYA   –   Manseikaku Lake Toya Hotel or similar 

DAY  07: LAKE TOYA/HAKODATE – Loisir Hakodate Hotel or similar 

DAY  08: HAKODATE/TOKYO via Bullet train –   Tokyo Metropolitan Hotel or similar 

DAY  09: TOKYO/MATSUMOTO   –   Buena Vista Hotel or similar 

DAY  10 : MATSUMOTO/ALPINE ROUTE/TOYAMA –  ANA Crown Plaza Hotel or similar 

DAY  11: TOYAMA/SHIRAKAWAGO/KANAZAWA –  ANA Crown Plaza Hotel or similar 

DAY  12: KANAZAWA / KYOTO / OSAKA–  Osaka Plaza Hotel or similar 

DAY  13:  OSAKA / BANGKOK – N/A

DAY  14:  BANGKOK / MELBOURNE – N/A

During May

Hokkaido – Japan Average High – 16 degrees Celsius / Average Low 8 degrees Celsius

Tokyo – Japan Average High – 21 degrees Celsius / Average Low 15 degrees Celsius

Toyama Alpine Route – Japan Average High – 20 degrees Celsius / Average Low 12 degrees Celsius

Osaka – Japan Average High – 23 degrees Celsius / Average Low 14 degrees Celsius

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