Soul of Autumn | October 9-October 20, 2016
$670/month (payment plan)
W/FLIGHT FROM LAX: $3,995 | LAND ONLY: $3,195
*All prices in US Dollars.
Experience the best of fall in Japan on a tour that balances exploration with relaxation on the completely redesigned Soul of Autumn Tour!
Covering Tohoku and Hokkaido, the tour will focus on experiencing the best of Fall in Japan with a relaxed, “room party” kind of feel. We’ll be visiting one of Tokyo’s best festivals before visiting some of the highest rated destinations by our alumni: the picturesque islands of Matsushima, the breathtaking mountains and seashore of Akita, historic castles and cityscapes, breathtaking views from Mt. Hakodate, the vibrant city of Sapporo, and much, much more! To top it all off, we’ll be spending two nights at a five-star resort on Lake Akan, where all of our guests will be pampered with their own outdoor natural hot spring bath (double to triple occupancy rooms).
For our second Soul of Autumn, we’ve added a slew of extras: a new stop in the historical town of Kakunodate, a night on the Japan Sea Coast in Ajigasawa, and a full free day in Sapporo. We’ve also added extra time to almost all the stops on the tour, so you’ll have even more time to explore, eat, shop, and relax. If you’re wanting more time in Tokyo, you can even join an optional pre-tour extension as well.
From the festival lanterns to the waters of the hot spring, this in an Autumn trip you won’t soon forget!
|TOUR AT A GLANCE|
Baggage: 1 carry-on sized bag *Due to space constraints on Trains, no large “Check-in” sized bags are allowed – NO EXCEPTIONS.
Single Room: $1,000 additional – NO SINGLE ROOMS AT THE ONSEN
Tour price includes:
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles to Japan (NOT included with Land Only package)
- Tour dates: Departs October 9, returns on October 20
- Hotel accommodations: 2 nights Tokyo, 1 night Kakunodate, 1 nights Ajigasawa Onsen, 2 nights Hakodate, 2 nights Sapporo, 2 nights Akan Onsen Resort
- Stops in Tokyo, Matsushima, Kakunodate, Akita, the Resort Shirakami Line, Ajigasawa, Hirosaki, Aomori, Hakodate, Sapporo, Lake Akan, and more!
- Dinner and Breakfasts are included at Ajigasawa and Lake Akan (meals are otherwise not included)
- All transportation (train, ropeway, bus, shinkansen/”bullet train”, etc.) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Admission to all activities
- Customized tour guidebook
- Nightly turndown service with local snacks and homemade sweets
- Much, much more!
Tour cost: $3,995 total / Land Only: $3,195 (without flight to Japan from LAX)
OPTIONAL PAID ADD-ONS
Tokyo Guided Extension: +$595
Single Room: +$1,000 (Not available at the onsen)
All prices listed in US Dollars.
LAND ONLY GUESTS: Due to a late end time on the final day, PLEASE consult with PacSet before purchasing your flights to Japan – we will not be returning to Tokyo until the evening of the departure day!
ONSEN TATTOO NOTE:Guests with large, visible tattoos may be denied entry to the baths at the onsen. PacSet cannot offer any compensation if you are denied entry. All guests may use the in-room Onsens without any problems.
Day 1: Departure
We depart from Los Angeles for Tokyo!
Day 2: Arrival and Check-In
Upon arrival in Tokyo, we’ll head to our hotel and get settled in. In the evening, join us for a brief Welcome Reception to meet your fellow tour goers!
Day 3: Neighborhood Tokyo
Today we sneak a peek at some of Tokyo’s under-explored neighborhoods! After swinging through a café for breakfast, we’ll explore the up-and-coming neighborhood of Jiyugaoka. Shop indie boutiques, chill in a bunny café, or just sample some of the good local food – but don’t get too full! We’ll be taking a Soba Lesson in the afternoon to learn how to make some of Japan’s most famous noodles. After a break back at the hotel, we’ll head out to Ikegami for the main event of our time in Tokyo: the Oeshiki Festival!
Note: Passengers may choose to ship a suitcase to Hakodate from Tokyo if they wish to avoid carrying it on the train during Days 4 through 6. Bags will be re-acquired in Hakodate.
Day 4: Magic Matsushima
Say goodbye to Tokyo; we’re heading north! Our first stop: the island-filled bay of Matsushima, considred one of the three most gorgeous views Japan has to offer. We’ll cruise among the islands before visiting the caves and views of the recently restored Zuiganji Temple. Take a stroll to Fukuura Island to do some exploring or relax in a café to take in views of the sea before we regroup to pick up a bento for dinner. In the evening, we’ll relocate to Kakunodate.
Day 5: From the Mountains to the Sea
Welcome to Akita Prefecture! Our first stop of the day will be the aquamarine streams and waterfalls of Dakigaeri Gorge in the mountains – considered by many to be one of the most inspirational places to visit in Tohoku. After walking among the scenery, we’ll stop in Akita City for lunch before cruising among the scenery on the Resort Shirakami Train. Check out on-board performances and sample local snacks as the train winds past the cliffs and forests of the Shirakami Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In the evening, we’ll hop off at Ajigasawa and check in to a local hot spring to get a taste of Tohoku hospitality.
Note: In the case of inclement weather, Kakunodate’s Bukeyashiki Samurai Villas will replace the Dakigaeri portion of today’s itinerary.
Day 6: Castles and Apples
After a late check-out, we’ll move on to the city of Hirosaki in Central Aomori. Here, we’ll check out the fall colors set against the moats and traditional structures of Hirosaki Castle! You’ll have ample free time to explore the castle grounds at your pace and get to check out the castle itself before we swing north to Aomori for a dinner stop at A-Factory to sample some of the prefecture’s famous Apple desserts and wines. Finally, we board the brand-new Hokkaido Shinkansen to make our way to Hakodate.
Day 7: Hakodate in Autumn
Welcome to the city most beloved by our previous guests: Hakodate! We’ll begin at the city’s iconic morning market, where you can sample some of Japan’s freshest crab and scallops. Then we’ll head to Fort Goryokaku, where you’ll get a view of this famous star-shaped fortress from Goryokaku Tower before venturing inside to explore the fortress grounds and the recently reconstructed Hakodate Magistrate’s Office. After a lunch break, we’ll head back into town to check out the old “western” quarter of the city. Here, you’ll have the chance to have tea at the Old English Consulate, explore the picturesque lanes and alleyways past the Hakodate Public Hall, shop at the Kanemori Warehouses – or a little of all three! To top off the day, we’ll take in Japan’s most famous night view from the summit of Mt. Hakodate.
Day 8: Sapporo Central
In the morning, you’ll have some time to explore Hakodate more and pick up a bento for lunch before we board the train for Sapporo. When we arrive, we’ll visit the Hokkaido Shrine and Maruyama Park before taking a stroll through the city center through their famous Odori Park. Then it’s off to the Susukino Entertainment District, we’ll have the opportunity to do a little shopping and sample some of the food that makes Sapporo such a beloved destination for foodies.
Day 9: Free Day!
Today is a free day! Sapporo is yours to explore; check out the port town of Otaru, visit the Sapporo Beer Factory, or check out re-creations of indigenous Ainu homes at the Hakodate Historical Village.
Day 10: Laying back on the Lakeside
The time has come: we’re off to Lake Akan! We’ll board a bus to sail through Hokkaido’s highlands and stop at a few scenic spots before finally arriving at our resort. Upon arrival, you’ll get freshly prepared Green Tea and be escorted to your suite by the friendly onsen staff. Settle in and enjoy the baths, but don’t forget to join us for a huge buffet dinner in the evening!
Day 11: Onsen Exploration
Today is yours to do as you wish: relax, explore, or do a little of both. Your guide will be running two mini-excursions during the day: a quick trip out to the Bokke Mud Spring in the morning and stops on the seashore and Ainu Kotan Village in the afternoon.
Day 12: Free time in Akan and the journey home
Today, take it easy in the morning or hit the seashore for one last cruise around the lake before we transfer to Kushiro Airport for the flight back to Tokyo, when we’ll transfer straight to our flight back to Los Angeles.
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So you want to experience the best of Fall in Japan, but you also want more time to explore and shop your way across Tokyo? No problem! With our side excursion, you’ll get three extra days to check out the best of what the big city has to offer. We’ll visit Akihabara, Harajuku, the Ghibli Museum, Shibuya, Asakusa, and other destinations – plus we’ll have a full extra free day so you have the chance to visit a theme park like Tokyo Disney Sea, schedule a fancy meal, or just revisit a place where you wanted a little extra time.
When: October 6-October 10, 2016
– All flight deviation charges
– 3 extra nights hotel in Tokyo
– Bilingual Guide
– All rail and admissions
– Complimentary shipping of an extra bag to the Airport
– Much, much more!
Cost: +$595/person; price based on double occupancy