Soul of Autumn | October 8-18, 2014
If experiencing the splendor of Japan’s vibrant fall colors, breathtaking seaside views, and soaking in some of Japan’s best hot springs sounds like your ideal getaway, PacSet has the trip you’ve been waiting for. The Soul of Autumn Tour is all about experiencing Japan’s majestic fall season as you like it, while leaving lots of time for you to relax, explore, or do a little of both!
This itinerary includes some of the most amazing extras ever offered on a PacSet tour, including two nights in a luxury onsen with your own private outdoor hotspring bath (double to triple occupancy rooms). Not enough to win you over? We’ve also included a special free day where you can pick a number of different attractions and destinations to customize your trip — and we’ll pick up the tab! (see Day 4 itinerary for details)
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles
- 3 nights hotel in Tokyo, 1 night in Akita, 1 night in Aomori, 1 night in Hakodate, 1 night in Sapporo, and 2 nights in a luxury onsen ryokan with your very own private outdoor onsen bath
- Stops in Tokyo, Matsushima, Akita City, Shirakami Forest, Hirosaki, Aomori, Hakodate, Sapporo, Susukino, Lake Akan
- All transportation (train, ropeway, bus, shinkansen/”bullet train”, etc.) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Admission to all activities
- Customized tour guidebook
- Choose your adventure free day – pick from a dinner cruise, Tokyo Disney Sea, or other full-day destinations – and it’s included! (see Day 4 itinerary for details)
- Nightly turndown service with local snacks and homemade sweets
- Much, much more!
This is our most relaxing tour ever, but it’s a Pick because of the onsens and amazing autumn foliage views. We love hot springs, and we know you will love them too! Take a breather, soak in the sights while you soak in the hot springs, this is a CHOICE tour for friends or couples. Our PacSet Picks are a bit adventurous, but we’re hoping you’ll join us in this one of a kind adventure!
We depart LA for Japan!
Day 2: Arrival
Upon arrival in Japan, we’ll take time to exchange money and run errands before we are whisked to our hotel in Tokyo. A complimentary welcome drink/cocktail awaits you before we settle in for the evening.
Day 3: Terrific Tokyo
Today we explore the city of Tokyo as you like it! Your guide will be on hand to help you find any shopping or entertainment destinations you like, or you can stay with the group as we visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the fashion-forward streets of Harajuku and Shibuya, and the museums and tree-lined pathways of Ueno Park. In the evening, join us for a trip to Tokyo Tower to take in the best view of the evening city skyline.
Day 4: Travel Your Way!
This day is all about YOU. Select from one of the following options, and we’ll pick up the tab!
- Chichibu Onsen excursion – for those of you who can’t wait until we get to Hokkaido to experience the hot springs!
- Full day at Tokyo Disney Sea Theme Park
- Puroland Hello Kitty Theme Park
- Atami Onsen excursion
- Mt. Nokogiri/Nihonji Temple Visit
- Much, much more! If you don’t see something you like here, contact PacSet and we’ll help plan something special just for you! Want to go big? We can plan extra-extravagant day excursions as well for an extra cost – contact us for pricing!
In the evening, join your guides for an optional trip to the Oeshiki Festival in Tokyo to see float processions and snack on local delicacies!
Day 5: Island Love
We bid adieu to the big city and hop on a shinkansen for Sendai, where we’ll transfer to the seaside town of Matsushima. The beauty of Matsushima has been part of Japanese lore for centuries and was a focal point for the poetry of famed poet Matsuo Basho, and we’re sure the beautiful islands that make up this moss-covered bay will leave an impression on you too. In the evening, we relocate to Akita City, where your guides will escort you to a dinner of the local specialty, Kiritanpo Nabe – a delicious hot pot made with locally raised/grown chicken, vegetables, and Japan’s most famous rice (this meal is included). Afterwards, do a little bar hopping or simply return to your hotel to relax.
Day 6: Forests, Castles, and Crashing Waves
Two very special destinations and two very special train trips are the highlights of our sixth day. We begin with a departure from Akita on the Resort Shirakami, a special train that hugs the Japan Sea coast as it passes the world-reknowned Shirakami Forest, rocky sea cliffs and towering mountain slopes. We disembark in Hirosaki to visit Hirosaki Castle – one of Japan’s most well-preserved castles with over 400 years of history. Wander among the moats and park views before we visit Aomori for Dinner (we recommend the curry ramen or the legendary tuna sashimi) and sunset over the Tsugaru Strait.
Day 7: Hakodate!
A train through the longest undersea tunnel in the world will take us to the port city of Hakodate. After the journey, we’ll head to Hakodate’s Asaichi, a morning seafood market comparable to Tokyo’s Tsukiji, for lunch. Then we’ll explore the city’s famous trading quarter – where east has met west for centuries in both architecture and cuisine – before we hop on a ropeway to take in views of the ocean and city from the peninsula mountainside.
Day 8: Sights of the City
In the evening, we’ll relocate to Sapporo and you can join your guide for a night on the town in the city’s place to party, Susukino.
Day 8: Time to Kick Back
In the morning, we’ll take a mini-tour of Sapporo before boarding our last train – destination: relaxation. It’ll take a while to get to the shores of Lake Akan, but upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a warm reception and a deluxe room with your very own outdoor hot spring bath to enjoy. Dinner is complimentary, so come feast with us and settle in for a relaxing end to an amazing vacation.
Day 9: As You Wish!
Today, our resort in Lake Akan is all yours. Experience the multiple indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, wander the shores of the picturesque mountain lake, or just lounge around for the day. Whatever you do, don’t miss the complimentary feasts at Breakfast and Dinner time! An optional social night will cap off the final night of the tour.
Day 10: Depart for home
After one last breakfast, we head to Kushiro Airport for a connecting flight to Tokyo – and home.