13 Day Japan Autumn Northern Platinum Tour 2023 – Ainu Marimo Festival
11 days in Japan
Small Escorted Luxury Tour
Wednesday 4th October 2023
Per person / twin share / economy class flight land & air package. Plus taxes & fees. Land only package available
Learn about the hidden culture of Japan’s “Ainu” aboriginal people, with an itinerary organised to coincide with the Ainu Marimo festival in Hokkaido. This Platinum tour has been designed for experienced visitors to learn about the hidden culture of Japan’s “Ainu” aboriginal people. Experience the wonderful wild nature of the unspoiled Northern Mountains, the sea and rivers. Stay in a fishing village and explore the nearby Shiretoko peninsula and Oshinkoshin waterfall. Stay in the onsen resort of Lake Akan, where you can also enjoy the colourful torchlight evening procession and the haunting chants of the Ainu tribal representatives as they deliver the Marimo spheres to the village center. Visit the port town of Otaru and stroll along the beautifully restored canal and warehouses. The Autumn colours at this time of year start in Hokkaido and Kamikochi, the gateway to the Northern Alps’ climbing routes. We complete the tour in the Kamikochi mountain resort in Nagano, where one can enjoy walking through the vast virgin forests of birch and Japanese larch trees in this glacial valley. Or perhaps simply kick back and relax at the Alpine Resort, where we will also dine in style on gourmet meals prepared by a the Imperial Hotel chefs.
Platinum Series Tours Include
Chauffer Pick Up
Day 1 Sydney – Tokyo
Leave from Sydney by All Nippon Airways overnight flight NH880 at 21:45.
Day 2 Tokyo [B]
05:25 Arrive at Tokyo Haneda airport and on arrival a transfer service will take us to our 5 star hotel, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, where we check in for 1 night. For your comfort, an early check in arrangement is organised.
Land arrangement only passenger: check in at hotel after 2:00pm
Accommodation: 1 night at The Imperial Hotel Tokyo Superior type room or similar
Day 3 Tokyo – Shiretoko [B, D]
After breakfast, we check out from our hotel. 11:10, we fly to Memanbetsu to the east coast of Hokkaido. We head on to the peaceful rustic fishing village of Utoro in the World Heritage listed Shiretoko Peninsula National Park, home to deer, foxes and squirrels. We visit Oshinkoshin waterfall and may be able to see the salmon run in the local stream as they head upstream to spawn. We make our way to The Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel and check in for 2 nights
Accommodation: 2 nights at The Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel or similar
Day 4 Shiretoko [B, L]
Morning at leisure. This afternoon we will visit Shiretoko Goko (5 lakes) and do a little bush walking along carefully curated tracks and take in the scenery. Dinner at hotel.
Day 5 Shiretoko – Lake Akan [B, D]
We leave the hotel by chartered coach this morning to view the beautiful caldera lake, Lake Mashu. After viewing the lake we travel on to Lake Akan, the centre of Ainu culture in Hokkaido. Ainu from all over Japan congregate at Lake Akan each year for the ancient Marimo Festival, which we will be enjoying tomorrow. We check-in at the Tsuruga hotel hot spring resort for 2 nights. After dinner at the hotel we will soak up some of the local culture with a walk around the Lake Akan shopping strip, lined with little shops plying handicrafts and sculptures for which the Ainu are so famous.
Accommodation: 2 nights at Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings or similar
Day 6 Lake Akan [B, D] – Ainu Marimo Festival
Mid morning, we will take a stroll along the shore of Lake Akan and perhaps visit the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center on Churui Island. This evening, after an early dinner, we will watch the traditional Marimo festival of the Ainu people (Japanese Aboriginals) including the colourful torch-lit parade and ceremonial traditional folk dances of the different Ainu tribes
Day 7 Lake Akan – Sapporo [B]
After checking out from our hotel we travel by chartered coach to Memanbetsu domestic airport to catch a flight for Sapporo to arrive mid afternoon. Upon arrival at Sapporo, we transfer to our hotel and check in for 2 nights. No dinner is organised for this evening, but your tour coordinator will be happy to assist you with your dinner arrangements.
Accommodation: 2 nights at JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo or similar
Day 8 Sapporo [B]
Today we visit the picturesque port town of Otaru. From the early days of Hokkaido’s colonization in the late 1800s, Otaru served as a major trade and fishing port. Its beautifully preserved canals and herring houses are reminiscent of those times.
Day 9 Sapporo – Kamikochi [B, D]
We check out from hotel and transfer to Sapporo airport to travel to Toyama, situated in Hokuriku region on The Japan Sea coast. Upon arrival at Toyama, we will be transferred to The Kamikochi Imperial Hotel snuggled in a secluded glacial valley. The Azusa-gawa River valley is known as the gateway to the Northern Alps’ climbing routes. We check in for 2 nights. Dinner this evening is at the hotel’s French restaurant “Les Saisons” which has been awarded Michelin hats last every year for 17 years since 2005.
Accommodation: 2 nights at The Kamikochi Imperial Hotel or similar
Day 10 Kamikochi [B, D]
Today enjoy walking through Kamikochi and across Kappabashi bridge, one of the most scenic spots in Japan. Surrounded by The Hotaka Mountain Range, Mt. Yake-dake and Jonen Mountains, the area features vast virgin forests of birch and Japanese larch trees. Kamikochi is a small basin some 1,500 meters above sea level on the upper stream area of the Azusa-gawa River and was one of Japan’s first mountaineering resorts after the country was opened to the west in the late nineteenth century. Tonight enjoy a Japanese traditional Kaiseki Dinner at the hotel.
Day 11 Kamikochi – Tokyo [B, Farewell drinks with light meal]
This morning, we check-out from the hotel and travel back to Tokyo. We travel to Matsumoto by chartered coach where we will visit the Matsumoto “Crow” Castle, one of Japan’s premier historic castles and which was once the seat of the Matsumoto domain. We catch an express train to Nagano where we change to a Bullet Train to Tokyo. Arriving mid-afternoon in Tokyo, we check in at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo for 1 night. The remainder of the day is free to either relax or explore a bit of Ginza. Your tour coordinator will help you organise your activities. Enjoy farewell drinks and a light meal this evening at the hotel.
Accommodation: 1 night at The Imperial Hotel Tokyo or similar
Day 12 Tokyo
Today is our last day in Japan, so you might wish to do some last-minute souvenir hunting or an optional half day activity. Perhaps follow your escort to the Meiji shrine and Omotesando promenade of Harajuku, where Tokyo’s old & new cultures meet.
Land arrangement only: 12:00 tour concludes.
Air & Land package: Late afternoon, transfer to Haneda airport. Depart from Haneda by All Nippon Airways overnight flight NH879 at 22:20
Day 13 Arrive home
9:55 Arrive in Sydney
Other Tour Inclusions
JANESCO 12 Day Japan Spring Tour – Platinum 2023
- Fully Escorted by Experienced tour guide.
- 5 star accommodation and/or best available rooms at Onsen hot spring resorts.
- Gourmet dinners and variety of local cuisine.
- All transfers, sightseeing and baggage porterage as specified.
- Total Meals: 17 meals, Daily Breakfast (10) Lunch (0) Dinner (7).
Air and Land Package Price:
- Economy Class $10,940 + taxes & fees*
- Premier Economy $13,600+ taxes & fees*
- Business Class $15,890+ taxes & fees*
- Single room arrangement $2,960
Flights are subject to availability.
Air & Land package:
- Air & Land package: Return International flights, 3 domestic flights.
- Early check-in on arrival in Tokyo, Day 2. Imperial Hotel Tokyo.
- Return airport transfers on arrival and departure dates..
Land only arrangement Price:
- $ 8,990*
- Single room arrangement $2,960
Land Only Arrangement:
- Includes 3 x domestic flights in Japan.
- Does not include airport transfers on 05 October and 15 October between Tokyo airport and Imperial Hotel Tokyo.
- Does not include early check in on 05 October.
EXCLUSIONS: your travel insurance, beverages during meals (except where specified)
Reservation and deposit payments
To secure a booking on this tour, please complete the reservation request form and return it to JANESCO together with a copy of your passport and a deposit of AUD1,500 per person. The balance payment for the tour is due by 20 Aug ’23.
If either the Japanese or Australian government were to prohibit travel after full payment has been made, payments will be fully refundable. If a passenger cancels, normal cancellation conditions apply.
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