Lantern Lights 2019 | August 1 – 12, 2019
What is SpotHolder/The Estimated Price?
Estimated Trip Price:
$3,095 total (Full Trip, estimate)
FINAL PRICE ANNOUNCED ON: September 13, 2018
(What’s included? Read the Trip Information)
Read Terms & Conditions and FAQ / Prices listed are per person, double occupancy
Sign up & payment deadline: CANCELLED
Don’t just watch Japan’s best festivals – join them!
Designed with the casual traveler in mind, Lantern Lights is all about experiencing the best of Japan in the summertime, the way the locals do – with a few extra touches to make the trip more special. We begin with a trip to the northern Tohoku area, where we’ll see the samurai homes of Kakunodate, sample Apple wine in Aomori, and cruise through the best restaurants in Akita. The catch? We’ll be attending the region’s biggest festivals at the same time, including Aomori’s massive Nebuta Festival and Akita’s lantern-balancing Kanto Festival.
A Tokyo stop is also on our menu, where we’ll shop across Harajuku, have a complimentary dinner on the waters of Tokyo Bay, see the picturesque Enoshima Island, and much, much more! Plus, in a nod to our former Summer Matsuri trip, Lantern Lights also marks PacSet’s return to the seaside village Ito for their huge yearly festival, the Anjinsai – where we’ll float lanterns, attend a taiko concert, and take in a massive fireworks display with the locals!
So if you want to immerse yourself in the pageantry, fun, and electric atmosphere of Japan’s summer festivals, hit that sign up button and get your sunscreen ready; you’re about to have the time of your life.
Baggage: 1 check-in sized bag, 1 carry-on sized bag (ALL checked bags will be shipped to the airport from Tokyo; no checked bags during the Ito portion of the trip.)
Single Room: $800 additional – NO SINGLE ROOMS AT THE ONSEN
Extend Your Trip: All trips can be extended! Mention your extension request during signup so we can follow up with you!
Today is the day you’ll need to depart your home country for the beginning of the trip!
Day 2: Arrival and Check-In
Upon arrival in Tokyo, we’ll head to Tokyo station for a shinkansen (“bullet train”) transfer to Aomori!
Day 3: Nebuta Power
Welcome to Aomori! Our first stop in the city is the Hakkoda-maru, the old ferry that once served as the gateway to Hokkaido form Honshu and vice versa. After learning about the history of the boat, we’ll have a break to check out alumni favorite A-Factory, which brews its own wine and other goodies from Aomori’s famed apple crop. Take a breather if you need one, friends – because the next stop for us are the streets for the Nebuta Festival!
Day 4: Castle by the paddies
After a night on the town, it’s time to venture further into the former Mutsu Province to their one time seat of power: Hirosaki, and the gorgeous Hirosaki Castle. Check out the castle’s well-preserved insides before wandering the grounds where the locals will be out doing a little festival partying of their own! After a lunch break, we head down south to Akita, where we’ll hit the streets to watch the locals balance lantern trees (“Kanto”) on their hips, heads, and hands and parade them through the streets for the Kanto Festival!
Day 5: Kakunodate!
We’ll have another night at the festival tonight, but first, we’ll drop in to the “little Kyoto of the north” known as Kakunodate. Wander through old samurai homes, try local delicacies like soy sauce, sake, and sweets, and rest by the riverside in the center of town. You’re sure to fall in love with this step off the beaten path, but don’t get lost in a daydream – tonight we try our own hand at balancing the Kanto!
Day 6: Tokyo Time!
After a night’s sleep, we’re off to Tokyo! The Meiji Jingu Shrine is our first stop today; we’ll take in the shrine views before descending into Harajuku and Shibuya where you can shop, relax in some of the area’s picturesque cafes, or do a little of both! You’ll also have the chance to get a yukata in preparation for the festivals to come. ^_^ In the late afternoon, we’ll hit the rooftop of a major mall in Harajuku for a pre-paid dinner at an outdoor “beer garden” hosted by one of Japan’s hottest microbreweries!
Day 7: Land and Sea
For our second Tokyo day, we begin in the up-and-coming Kichijoji neighborhood. Snack on Taiyaki or visit the local cafes, such as the incredibly detailed Temari no Ouchi Cat Cafe or Karel Kapek tea house. Speaking of detailed, we’ll stop at the Ghibli Museum next to get a better appreciation of the masterworks of this famous animation studio. Finally, we’ll head out onto Tokyo Bay for a fancy dinner on a Yakatabune long boat!
Day 8: Floating Islands and Lanterns
Today we depart Tokyo for the beautiful island of Enoshima! We’ll check out the famed temples and caves on the island before sailing around the island environs to round out the day. Then it’s off to Ito, where we’ll check in at the inn and partake in a huge dinner before getting to float lanterns down the river with the locals as the Anjinsai begins.
Day 9: Ito-intensity
Are you ready for some real exploring? For starters, we’ll walk the rope bridges and cliff sides of the region’s gorgeous Jogasaki Coastline. After a lunch at a local cafe, we’ll ascend Ito’s mossy green Mt. Omuro to survey the peninsula and get a fantastic view of Mt. Fuji. In the evening, we’ll head to the seaside Nagisa Park to check out a live taiko performance and sample snacks and goodies from the festival booths. We’ll also have a little in-room party tonight.
Day 10: The Majesty of the Anjinsai
This morning, you can just take it easy and relax in the onsen, or head out a little earlier to enjoy the festival’s early hours. In the afternoon, check out the festival in town and mingle with the locals before one final huge dinner and the final event: the hour-long Anjinsai Fireworks on the beach!
Day 11: Free Day!
After we return from Ito, your last full day in Tokyo is yours! Explore a new spot, return to a favorite, or just take it easy. Whatever you wish to do, your guide will be on hand during Concierge Time to help you plan your trip.
Day 12: Return home
Return home to tell your friends about how your summer vacation was way better than theirs was. ^_~
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