The 2011 March earthquake has damaged many areas of Tohoku area, but with diligent work and love of their country, the Japanese has made unbelievable recovery to this area. 2012, the people of Tohoku area will be ready for tourists to show off their beautiful land especially during the Cherry Blossom Season. The cherry blossom is one of the symbols loved by the Japanese, not only does it symbolize the beginning of spring, but also rebirth. One of the highlight of this tour is going to Kitakami City, famous for thousands of cherry trees in their park. Cherry Blossom Festivities will be an experience you will not forget.
Tour Highlights :
Matsushima: Matsushima is listed as one of the most scenic area in Japan and has dazzled many visitors with it's beauty. Located on the Northern Pacific Coast of Japan, the Bay of Matsuhima consists of 260 small islands covered with pine trees , hence the name Matsu (pine tree) SHIMA ( island)..pine tree island. It has been said that Matsushima reminds people of a large, life size bonsai garden with its beauty and glory. The town is also known for one the most important Zen temple called Zuiganji, and many worshipers visit the temple from far and near.
Kitakami's City: Kitakami City is located in Southern Iwate Prefecture. The city is famous for tens of thousands of cherry trees in Tenshochi Park During the CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL, visitors can stroll along the park's long path which is lined by cherry trees on both side, it is like walking under the beautiful tunnel of cherry trees . This is one of the reason Kitakami's Cherry Blossom is regarded as one of the best places in Japan to view cherry blossoms. Also, the City Park lies alongside the Kitami River, and the cherry trees are packed into 1.2 miles long stretch of the riverbank, a breathtaking sight to see during the peak of the cherry blossom season. Hundreds of visitors celebrate at the park during the cherry blossom season. Food stands serving festival food, variety of live performance including traditional Japanese dancers and taiko drummers all performing to entertain visitors.
Chusonji Temple with Golden Hall: Chusonji Temple is a Buddhist Temple in Hiraizumi, located in North East Japan. Currently, the town is a small agricultural town, however, in 12th. Century, this region was a leading producer of gold. Although the temple was originally built in 850, it was rebuild by the Fujiwara family from 1105, and took 21years to rebuild the temple. At the end of completion of the temple, there were over 40 temples and shrine, and one of the most beautiful temple was the Konjiki-do. This is one of the most beautiful and elaborately decorated building, made of wood entirely covered with gold leaf and mother of pearl. Inside the building was the Golden Hall , which is also the grave site of the three successive heads of the Fujiwara family. The altars where the three coffins are stored are rows of golden Buddhist statues, and the area is surrounded and decorated with gold, silver and jewels. In June of 2011, Chuson-ji was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments and SItes of Hiraizumi".
Day 1 10/25
04/21/2012(Sat) Depart from U.S.A
04/22/2012(Sun) U.S.A - Narita Arrive at Narita International Airport by your flights After clearance of immigration and customs formalities. Met by English Speaking Guide at the arrival lobby Exchange Rail Pass at JR Station at Narita Airport. Transfer to hotel by free shuttle bus. Arrive at your hotel. Dinner on your own.
04/23/2012(Mon) Narita - Sendai Breakfast at hotel. [ Your suitcases will be sent to Senadi,Please prepare overnight bag and work clothes for tonight & tomorrow ] 8:00 am Met by English Speaking Guide at hotel lobby. 8:50 am Transfer to Tokyo Station by Narita Express. 10:08 am Board bullet train to Sendai Station by Max Yamabiko #133. 12:17 am Arrive at Sendai Station. Lunch time at Sendai Station on your own. Sendai-Matsushima Half Day sightseeing tour by JR Train. * Matsushima Bay Cruise (50min) * Zuiganji Temple Kitakami Return to hotel by JR train.
04/24/2012 (Tue) Sendai – Ishinomaki or somewhere - Sendai Breakfast at Hotel. 8:00 am Full Day Tour for doing volunteer job by coach (or van). *Volunteer Works. Lunch box will be provided. 5:00 pm Return at hotel.
04/25/2012 (Wed) Sendai – Hiraizumi - Hachimantai Breakfast at hotel. 8:00 am Full Day Tour to Hachimantai via Hiraizumi by coach or van. * Chusonji with Golden Pavilion * Motsuji Temple Lunch at local restaurant (famous local soba noodle). * Best Sakrua view at Kitakami 6:00 pm Arrive at your hotel. 7:00 pm Dinner at your hotel.
04/26/2012 (Thu) Hachimantai – Shin Aomori – Lake towada - Aomori Breakfast at hotel. [ Your suitcases will be sent to Tokyo, Please prepare overnight bag for tonight ] 8:00 am Full Day Tour to Hachimantai via Hiraizumi by coach or van. * Oirase Mountain Stream * Lake Towada Lunch at local restaurant (Japanese local cuisine). * Hirosaki Castle - another best Sakura Spot 6:00 pm Arrive at hotel.
04/27/2012(Fri) Aomori - Morioka Breakfast at hotel. 8:00 am Morning Tour by local transportation. * Sannai Maruyama Iseki * Nebuta no Ie Warrase 1:00 pm Assemble at hotel and walk to Aomori Station. 2:10 pm Board JR Limited Express Super Hakucho #30. 2:28 pm Board JR Bullet Train Hayate#30 to Morioka. 3:35 pm Upon arrival, walk to hotel and free at leisure. Return to hotel.
04/28/2012(Sat) Morioka - Kakunodate - Tokyo Breakfast at hotel. 8:45 am Assemble at hotel. 9:24 am Board JR Bullet Train Komachi#13 to Kakunodate. 10:10am Upon arrival, you can put your over night bag at coin locker. Half day walking tour in Kakunodate. *Kakunodate Bukeyashiki You may be able to see beautiful weeping cherry trees. 1:42 pm Board JR Buellet train Komachi #28 to Omiya. 5:01 pm Take JR Shonan Shinjuku Line to Shinjuku. 5:32 pm Upon arrival, walk to hotel. 6:00 pm Walk to restaurant. 6:30 pm Shabu Shabu Dinner with all you can eat.
04/29/2012(Sun) Narita - USA Breakfast at hotel. Free time until your departure time. Board airport limousine bus to the airport. Fly back to USA.
＊Schedule is subject to change without notice.
Pricing Notes :
Price is based on double occupancy. Additional charge of $300.00/per person will apply for single occupancy. Above prices are as of 11/15/2011, and price will be subject to change depends on currency rate. There is no guarantee until we receive your full payment.
Accommodations Narita : Hotel Nikko Narita or Similar Sendai : Hotel Monterey Sendai or Similar Iwate: Hachimantai Royal Hotel or Similar Aomori: Hotel JAL City Aomori or Similar Morioka: Hotel Metropolitan Morioka or Similar Tokyo: Keio Plaza Hotel or Similar
Transportation 4/22 Free Shuttle bus(Narita Airport – Hotel) 4/23 Narita Express(Narita – Tokyo Station) Bullet Train Max Yamabiko#133(Tokyo – Sendai) JR Train (Half day sightseeing tour- Matsushima – Hotel) 4/24 Chartered coach or van(Full Day Volunteer) 4/25 Chartered coach or van(Full Day Sightseeing to Hachimantai via Hiraizumi) 4/26 Chartered coach or van(Full Day Sightseeing to Aomori via Lake Towada) 4/27 Local transportation(Half day Sightseeing in Aomori) Bullet Train Hayate #30(Aomori- Morioka) 4/28 Bullet Train Komachi #13(Morioka-Kakunodate) Bullet Train Komachi #28(Kakunodate -Omiya) Local Transportation(Omiya - Shinjuku) 4/29 Limousine bus( Hotel – Narita Airport)
Meals 12 meals (7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners)
English speaking guide & Assistant 4/22-4/28 English Speaking Guide
Admissions and fees Admissions and fees for sightseeing as it indicated in the itinerary.
Luggage Transfer 4/23 Narita- Sendai 4/26 Hachimantai – Tokyo
Travel Insurance Travel Insurance is NOT included in tour price. IACE Travel strongly recommends that you purchase a TRAVELEX TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN to protect you the trip investment and yourself while traveling in Japan. Medical evacuation, trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage are all important coverage available from Travelex.To learn about insurance plan, please visit link or contact with IACE Travel. http://www.travelex-insurance.com/index.asp?Location=05-03434G