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Royal Adventure Travel

2012

Autumn in Japan Alps, Nihon Kai and Hiroshima

3229 Koapaka St. Honolulu, HI 96819

Contact: Patsy Orita Chun
cell phone: (808)497-9965
fax: (808) 833-9942
e-mail: patsyc@radtravel.net

Colorful leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. The viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries. On Royal Adventure Travel's autumn tour in 2012 you will have the opportunity to visit famous koyo spots both in the mountains and in the cities Come and be my guest in one of the nicest times to visit Japan.

$100 early booking discount expires January 31, 2012

Depart:  October 17, 2012      Return:  October 28, 2012      Tour No:  AJN-1017-12

Tour Price per person: *$6350 Twin, $6325 Triple, $7100 Single

                                                  *Based on 2012 land price and 2011 bulk air fare

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Day 1 - Wednesday, October 17    HONOLULU

We leave Honolulu via air with meal served on board.  Due to crossing the International Date Line,  you will lose one day.

Day 2 - Thursday, October 18                      KANSAI / KYOTO     

We arrive at Kansai International Airport in the afternoon.  After clearance of customs and immigration formalities transfer to our hotel in Kyoto by motorcoach. Tonight we will be having dinner on our own.  Our guide and escort will introduce you to some places where you can enjoy dinner.  Our hotel is in the heart of Kyoto .

Day 3 – Friday, October 19             KYOTO / TAKAYAMA    (B) (D)

Breakfast at the hotel.  We leave Kyoto and proceed to Takayama, an old town.  Yatai Kaikan Hall in Takayama holds four of its gorgeously decorated fall  festival floats on display.  The elaborately decorated floats are several hundred years’ old and beautiful examples of Takayama's legendary craftsmanship. We also visit the Kusakabe House which now houses a folkart museum. The Kusakabe family were merchants who flourished in Takayama.  In the late afternoon we walk through Sanmachi Suji in the center of the beautifully preserved old town.  The narrow street is lined with historical wooden inns, shops, sake breweries and antique shops.  Tonight we will enjoy dinner and the onsen at a conveniently located hotel.

Day 4 – Saturday, October 20         TAKAYAMA / SHIRAKAWA VILLAGE / TOYAMA     (B)(D)

Breakfast at the hotel.  Today we take an early morning stroll to the Takayama Asaichi Market for a bit of shopping.  We will be returning to our hotel for breakfast before we start our day to complete our tour of Takayama.  We will then depart for Shirakawa Village , which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. The village is  famous for the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer.  The thatched farmhouses are  large enough to accommodate three or more generations under one roof.  This evening we will dine at the hotel where we will be spending the night in Toyama .

Day 5 – Sunday, October 21  TOYAMA / TATEYAMA KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE /

                                                               OMACHI   (B)(D)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we transfer to Tateyama, the gateway to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. It is a spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps, which can be easily followed by using various means of transportation, including cable cars, trolley buses and a ropeway. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route was completed in 1971, and connects Toyama City in Toyama Prefecture with Omachi Town in Nagano Prefecture. First we take a cable car from Tateyama to go up to Bijyodaira, from where you board the mountain bus to motor through scenic Midagahara to Murodo.  This is the highlight of this sightseeing route.  The bus will run through the mountain road covered with snow piled up on both sides.  At Murodo, you will enjoy a breath-taking view of Mt. Oyama , the highest mountain in  the Japan Alpine Route. After sightseeing of Murodo, you will board the trolley driving through the Tateyama Tunnel to Daikanbo. Upon arrival, you will enjoy the scenic view of the high peaks of Northern Japan Alps from its observatory.  Then you take a ropeway from Daikanbo to Kurobe Daira, from where you ride the cable car to Lake Kurobe .  You will take a walk around Lake Kurobe and Kurobe Dam, the largest dam in Japan and enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding scenery. In the end, you will board a trolley bus from Kurobe Dam to Ogisawa, the final destination of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.  When we arrive in Ogisawa our motorcoach will be waiting to take us to our hotel in Omachi where we will have a delicious dinner and stay overnight at an onsen hotel.  It will be a great to relax your travel weary body in the onsen. 

Day 6 – Monday, October 22           OMACHI / KANAZAWA / FUKUI    (B)

Breakfast at our hotel.  We start our day by heading for Kanazawa via Itoigawa, Kurobe and Toyama along the Hokuriku Expressway.  We will enjoy a city tour of Kanazawa , which during the Edo Era was ruled by the powerful Maeda Clan.  During WWII it was the second largest city after Kyoto to escape destruction.  Here we will visit Kenrokuen Park which is said to be one of the three most beautiful parks in Japan .  Noteworthy are the stone lanterns that are found here and there in the park.  We will also visit a ceramic shop which specializes in making beautiful Kutani-yaki  At our next stop today we will be observing how bamboo dolls are made at the Echizen Takeningyo no Sato.  You will have an opportunity to purchase a souvenir doll here.  We'll travel on to Fukui where we will be spending the night.  Our hotel tonight is conveniently located in the city for easy access to shopping and dining areas.  Tonight dinner is on your own.  Your guide and escort will help you to locate great places to have dinner.  It's a good opportunity to seek out the area's specialty for dinner.

Day 7 – Tuesday, October 23  FUKUI / TSURUGA / OBAMA / MAIZURU / MIYAZU (B)(L)D)                                                                      

Breakfast at our hotel.  One of the favorite fall flowers in Japan is the chrysanthemum.  Today we start by enjoying the sights of the season at the Takefu Kiku Ningyo Festival, a historic pageant of dolls whose costumes are made of chrysanthemum flowers. 8,000 chrysanthemums, including ogiku and kogiku bloom at the venue.  Our next destination is our lunch stop at Echizen Soba no Sato.  Here the most famous noodle dish is Oroshi-Soba (buckwheat noodles with grated Japanese radish). In Fukui , people enjoy soba with a bland sauce and grated Japanese radish, but this custom is rare in Japan . We will enjoy freshly made soba as soon as we've made the noodles.  After lunch we will be take a short shopping stop at the Tsuruga Fish Market and Konbukan. a great place to pick up some excellent Konbu to give away as gifts or to save to savor when you get back home.  As we leave Tsuruga we will be heading to Miyazu by way of Obama and Maizuru.  We will enjoy the sights of Wakasa-wan Bay and the Mikata-goko Lakes along the way.  We will enjoy a sumptious dinner and a relaxing onsen at our hotel in Miyazu tonight. 

Day 8 – Wednesday, October 24    MIYAZU / AMANOHASHIDATE / KASUMI /

                                                                 TOTTORI    (B)(D)

Breakfast at the hotel.  Today our tour takes us to Amanohashidate, one of Japan 's three most beautiful scenic spots.  It is a thin strip of land connecting two opposite sides of Miyazu Bay . This sand bar is a little over 2 miles long and covered with about 7,000 pine trees.  We'll make a short visit to Chionji Temple, which was perceived to be the "heaven" end of Amanohashidate.  We will be taking a boat cruise across Miyazu Bay to Ichinomiya where we will be riding the cable car to Kasamatsu Park.  From there we will enjoy a panoramic view of the Amanohashidate Sand Bar.  After that we will proceed to Tottori traveling along the scenic Japan Sea coastline which is designated as the Sanin Coast National Park.  Along the way we will make stops at Hiyoriyama Park and Kasumi.  Next, you can test your stamina by climbing the huge Tottori Sand Dunes for a view of the Japan Sea.  This breathtaking, beautiful natural land formation, has been created by sand and winds over the last 100,000 years.  Tonight we will be having dinner at our hotel.  Our hotel this evening is in the heart of town, convenient for an exploration stroll around town before or after dinner.

Day 9 – Thursday, October 25        TOTTORI / YONAGO / MATSUE    (B) (D)

Breakfast at the hotel.  We leave Tottori for Yonago where we will visit the Hanakairo Flower Park.  Flowers of the season, Salvia, Chrysanthemums and Autumn Roses will be your pleasure.  We continue on to Yasugi Entertainment Hall, where the local lore depicted in music and dance for our pleasure will be the Yasugi-bushi a very popular dance called Dojo Sukui.  Dojo is a loach, an eel-like fish, which is caught with a scoop.  The dance which originated in the early 20th century is now known all over Japan .  We will then go to visit Matsue Castle and the Buke Yashiki Samurai Residences. The castle is one of only about a dozen original castles in Japan, meaning that its castle tower has survived the wars, fires, earthquakes and anti-feudal activities of the post-feudal era (since 1868).  We will also see some of Matsue's former samurai mansions which have been preserved along the busy road north of Matsue Castle's inner moat.  Tonight we will have dinner and spend the night at an onsen hotel. 

Day 10 – Friday, October 26           MATSUE / IZUMO TAISHA / MIYOSHI / HIROSHIMA     (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we will proceed to Izumo to visit the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, which is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is dedicated to Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, a Shinto diety who is traditionally credited with the introduction of medicine, sericulture and the art of farming.  We'll also visit Shimane Winery.  The winery offers an enjoyable tour and tasting of its own wine including white, red and rose, for free. Visitors can also enjoy shopping the variety of wine on-site after the tasting.  Then it's on to Hiroshima where we will be spending the next 2 nights in the heart of the city.  Dinner will be on your own with many places to explore the Hiroshima cuisine with the help of the guide and escort.  Great places to go shopping, too.

Day 11- Saturday, October 27   HIROSHIMA / IWAKUNI / MIYAJIMA / HIROSHIMA     (B)

Breakfast at hotel.   We depart our hotel to explore places in surrounding communities.  In Iwakuni, the Kintai Arch Bridge, which is one of the three most beautiful bridges in Japan , has five arches and spans the Nishiki River .  On the opposite side of the bridge is a little park and soft creme cones of many, many flavors.  You will want to try at least one flavor.  Then we will go to the terminal to take a ferry to Miyajima Island.  The famous Torii which sits in the water and the Itsukushima Shrine are beautiful.  The tame deer, heaven's messengers

are roaming freely everywhere.  This is a good place to have the special Kaki (oyster) lunch and enjoy the momiji manju for desert before we return to Hiroshima to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum.  The park, the memorials and the museum all remind us of the grim consequences of the atomic bomb and is devoted to advocating world peace.  Tonight we'll enjoy exploring the city of Hiroshima for our last night in Japan. 

Day 12 – Sunday, October 28         HIROSHIMA / KANSAI / HONOLULU                  (B)

Breakfast at hotel.  Today we will be leaving our hotel for the airport.  We will arrive at Honolulu International Airport on the same day.  We gain one day crossing the International Dateline.

                        

Tour Cost includes:

Hotel                           2 passengers in a room occupancy basis

Meal                            (10)Breakfast, (1)Lunch and (6)Dinner

Transfer/sightseeing by chartered motorcoach throughout the tour, with toll, parking fee and travel expense for bus driver

Transportation           cable car, ropeway, trolley bus, electric bus and mountain bus for Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

    Admission                  entrance fee to all the places as specified in the itinerary

    Photograph                memorial group picture at one of the most impressive scenic spot on the tour

    Guide                         an English speaking guide and Royal Adventure Travel escort will accompany during the entire tour

    Overnight Bag           well-designed overnight bag will be provided to all the participants

    This tour must have 20 committed members to be guaranteed.

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    Every effort has been made to produce this itinerary without error.

    Should any occur, we reserve the right to correct.

    Please join me on this beautiful fall tour. If you have any questions or need more information please contact me. I would be glad to help you.
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