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Charms of Tohoku

Rice Paddy Art & Autumn Leaves

9

Days

8

Nights

Sales
USD
$3,698
per person
$3,798

Tour Period

2024
Oct 6 - Oct 14

2025
Sep 28 - Oct 6

2026
Sep 27 - Oct 5

Included

Accommodations

  • 6 nights Western style and 2 night Japanese style accommodation

Meals

  • Breakfast everyday

  • 5 lunches and 5 dinners

Admission Fees & Activities

  • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Others

  • Meet and greet upon arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport

  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure

  • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan

  • Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide

  • Gratuities

Not Included

Airfares

  • International Airfares

Meals

  • Meals that are not included in the itinerary

  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks

Travel Insurance

  • Travel Insurance

Others

  • Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills

Rice art and autumn colors in Tohoku: Nature's masterpieces.

including fascinating rice paddy art, a day in the life of a mountain monk, a cruise around Matsushima Bay, Nikko's Toshogu Shrine, and much more!

In October, northern Japan starts to leave behind the heat of summer. All nature in the Tohoku region grows full and splendidly red, from the mountainside forests to the acres of rice paddies. This makes autumn the perfect time for visitors to enjoy the Charms of Tohoku. Passengers on this itinerary will be treated to the top nature spots and most popular locations Tohoku offers, including visits to Aomori, Inakadate, Hirosaki, Sakata, Mount Haguro, Matsushima, Nikko, and more.

Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy InakadateRicePuddy
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy InakadateRicePuddy
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy matsushima
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy matsushima
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy Hagoroyama
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy Hagoroyama
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy Mogamigawa
Charms of Tohoku Rice Puddy Mogamigawa

Itinerary

day-1
Tokyo Narita Airport
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day-2
AomoriInakadate
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day-3
HirosakiKakunodate
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day-4
Sakata
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day-5
Mt. Haguro
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day-6
Mogami River GorgeYamadera
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day-7
Matsushima
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day-8
Nikko
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day-9
Tour Ends
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day-1

Tokyo Narita Airport

Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met at the arrival gate by the representative holding a name sign.


Hotel iconHotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class

NOTE: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving at Narita Airport after 11:00 AM on the first day. If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT), we will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.

NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.

day-2

Aomori

Shinkansen “bullet train” to Aomori, Nebuta Warasse

In the morning, we transfer to Tokyo Station to board the Shinkansen "bullet train", traveling at high speed to Shin- Aomori Station. The bullet train is not only speedy, but smooth, so relax and enjoy the ride! When we arrive in Aomori, we will visit the Nebuta Warasse, a museum where visitors can get immersed in the atmosphere of the Aomori Nebuta Festival, including seeing the enormous Nebuta floats, experiencing the Haneto dance, and watching footage from the parade.

Inakadate

Rice Paddy Art

Then we go to Inakadate, to view the Rice Paddy Art. Rice has been grown in the area for over two thousand years, but in the early 2000s, the rice farmers of the town created different artistic patterns and pictures on their rice paddies. Using different colors and kinds of rice, these farmer/artists have created images of Mount Fuji, Geisha, Kannon Buddha, the Mona Lisa, Napoleon, Star Wars, Marilyn Monroe, and more. After, we will travel to Hirosaki and check into the hotel for a relaxing evening.


Hotel iconBreakfast & Lunch
Hotel iconArt Hotel Hirosaki City or similar class
day-3

Hirosaki

Hirosaki Castle / Fujita Memorial Garden

We begin our morning with a tour of Hirosaki Castle, an Edo-era keep acclaimed as one of Japan's Seven Famous Castles by author Ryoutaro Shiba in his travel series "Kaido wo Yuku". The magnificent fortress is especially popular in spring, but the castle grounds are lovely in every season. Then we will tour the Fujita Memorial Garden, one of the only traditional landscape gardens in the Tohoku region, featuring a Taisho-era Western house with tearoom which serves black English tea.

Kakunodate

Samurai District

Then, while in the Samurai District in Kakunodate, you can stroll past traditional houses once inhabited by wealthy and middle-class samurai. Some of the former houses are free to for visitors to explore. In the evening we will check into an onsen resort by Tazawako Lake to rest for the night.


Hotel iconBreakfast & Dinner
Hotel iconTazawako Lake Resort & Onsen or similar class
day-4

Sakata

Sakata Seafood Market

Today, we go to the city of Sakata for the Sakata Seafood Market, a good place to experience the real atmosphere of this charming city, where locals go for fresh seafood and produce. Then we make our way to the Somaro Tea House for lunch and a performance by the Sakata Maiko.

Somaro Tea House - Lunch and Enjoy a Performance of Sakata Maiko

This high-class teahouse has been entertaining guests since the Edo period with traditional dances by local maiko (apprentice geisha) in colorful kimono.

Sankyo Warehouses

After, we will tour the Sankyo Rice Warehouses. At over a hundred years old, these warehouses made Sakata especially important during the Edo period, when the volume of rice was used to determine how valuable a plot of land was to its owner. Finally, we make our way to the hotel for a comfortable evening.


Hotel iconBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel iconShonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse or similar class
day-5

Mt. Haguro

Yamabushi Experience

In the morning, we take a drive to Mt. Haguro, one of the Three Mountains of Dewa, and sacred both to the ascetic Shugendo and the Japanese Shinto religions. Once there, the group will have the opportunity to have a Yamabushi experience - an ascetic mountain training undergone by the Yamabushi mountain monks, including learning the preparatory prayers, wearing the traditional monk attire, hiking up the mountain in a guided ascent.

The Five-storied Pagoda / Shojin Ryori Lunch at the Saikan / Haguro-san Shrine

At the base, you will have time to marvel at the Five-storied pagoda - designated as one of Japan's national treasures. Then, at the base of the summit, we will stop at the Saikan (a temple building attached to the grounds) for a healthy vegetarian lunch of shojin ryori, or "monk's food". After, we press on to see the Haguro-san Shrine, which is the chief shrine of the Dewa Mountains, enshrining all three of the mountain's spirit deities.


Hotel iconBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel iconShonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse or similar class
day-6

Mogami River Gorge

Mogami River Basho Line Boat Ride

Today brings your group to the Mogami River, and a culture-infused cruise through the Mogami River Gorge on the Basho Line. This boat line takes its name from Edo- era haiku master Matsuo Basho, who wrote a memorable poem about the river. While on the cruise, the voices of the boatmen entertain their passengers by singing traditional river-boating songs.

Yamadera

Risshakuji Temple

After the cruise, we continue to Yamadera to tour Risshakuji Temple.

Once you ascend the tree-lined path of a thousand steps to this mountain temple, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the valley below. When we finish enjoying our temple experience, we will drive to our hotel in Matsuhima for a relaxing evening.


Hotel iconBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel icon Hotel Matsushima Taikanso or similar class
day-7

Matsushima

Matsushima Cruise / Godaido

We begin our sightseeing tour of breathtaking Matsushima, starting with a scenic cruise around the hundreds of little pine covered islets dotting Matsushima Bay. Next, we take a walk across a bright red bridge to visit Godaido, a symbol of the city of Matsushima, featuring images of the 12 animals of the zodiac around the temple exterior.

Zuiganji Temple

Then, we visit Zuiganji Temple, originally built in the Heian Period, refurbished during the Edo period by samurai lord Date Masamune. Then we continue to Tochigi Prefecture toward Nikko, stopping in Nasu for a comfortable evening at the hotel.


Hotel iconBreakfast & Dinner
Hotel iconHotel Floracion Nasu or similar class
day-8

Nikko

Toshogu Shrine

This morning, we make our way to Nikko, where we will see the city's most popular landmark: Toshogu Shrine. Toshogu enshrines the first Tokugawa shogun: Tokugawa Ieyasu, and is lavishly appointed with gold leaf decorations and carvings of various animals, including the Three Wise Monkeys.

Kegon Waterfall

Next, we take a drive up to the observation point for Kegon Falls, a spectacular waterfall rushing out of Lake Chuzenji down a narrow gorge, perfectly framed by the surrounding trees.

Lake Chuzenji

Then we take the group to explore around Lake Chuzenji, one of the most beautiful natural regions of Nikko, especially in fall. Finally, we take a drive back into Tokyo for your last night in Japan at your hotel.


Hotel iconBreakfast & Lunch
Hotel iconHotel Mystays Premier Narita or similar class

NOTE: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the last night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included. We can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.

NOTE 4: If you will be flying out from Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, airport transfer is not include. We can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.

day-9

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Narita Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.


Hotel iconBreakfast

Accommodations

1
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro exterior

1-6-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8505, Japan

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is centrally located in Ikebukuro, offering guests convenient access to Tokyo's vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment. This hotel features modern rooms, diverse dining options, and comprehensive amenities including fitness facilities and meeting rooms. Its proximity to major transport links makes it an ideal base for exploring Tokyo's key attractions, combining comfort and convenience for travelers.

NOTE: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving at Narita Airport after 11:00 AM on the first day. If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT), we will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.

2
Art Hotel Hirosaki City Main

1-1-2 Omachi, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, 036-8004, Japan

Art Hotel Hirosaki City or similar class

Art Hotel Hirosaki City, conveniently located next to JR Hirosaki Train Station, offers rooms with free WiFi and Simmons mattresses. The hotel features a tea lounge, teppanyaki restaurant, and meeting/banquet facilities. Air-conditioned rooms have soft lighting, wood furnishings, and amenities like an air purifier/humidifier. Guests can enjoy original cakes at the tea lounge and indulge in a buffet breakfast and lunch. The hotel is approximately 2 km from Hirosaki Castle and Hirosaki-koen Park.

3
Tazawako Lake Resort main

82-117 Shimotakano, Tazawako Obonai, Semboku City, Akita 014-1201, Japan

Tazawako Lake Resort & Onsen or similar class

Tazawako Lake Resort & Onsen, nestled in Senboku, offers a hot springs bath. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and free WiFi. Lake Tazawa, Japan’s deepest lake, provides a unique view with changing colors based on weather and time of day. Safe for swimming, it lacks waves typical of seaside beaches. The hotel serves delicious meals made from seasonal ingredients. Experience physical and spiritual relaxation amidst Tazawako’s healing natural landscape.

4
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse main

23-1 Kitakyoden Shimotorinosu, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0053, Japan

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse or similar class

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse, floating amidst rice fields in Tsuruoka, Yamagata, offers a serene escape. Designed by renowned architect Shigeru Ban, it seamlessly blends with the landscape. The hotel features 119 guest rooms named after Dewasanzan mountains, farm-to-table dining, a spa, and a library. Experience “SEI-KOU-U-DOKU” (calm and peaceful moments) in this simple yet comfortable atmosphere.

5
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse main

23-1 Kitakyoden Shimotorinosu, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0053, Japan

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse or similar class

Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse, floating amidst rice fields in Tsuruoka, Yamagata, offers a serene escape. Designed by renowned architect Shigeru Ban, it seamlessly blends with the landscape. The hotel features 119 guest rooms named after Dewasanzan mountains, farm-to-table dining, a spa, and a library. Experience “SEI-KOU-U-DOKU” (calm and peaceful moments) in this simple yet comfortable atmosphere.

6
Taikanso room1

10-76 Inuta, Matsushima, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun, Miyagi-ken 981-0213, Japan

Hotel Matsushima Taikanso or similar class

Hotel Matsushima Taikanso, nestled in the picturesque Matsushima—one of Japan’s top three scenic spots—is a resort hotel. With breathtaking views of the sea and greenery, it offers seaside guest rooms and reasonably priced mountain view accommodations. Guests can indulge in public baths while soaking up the beauty of Matsushima. The hotel boasts five restaurants serving Japanese, Western, and Chinese cuisine. A delightful retreat for travelers seeking tranquility and natural splendor.

7
Hotel Floracion Nasu onsen

Takaku Hei 1796, Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, 325-0302, Japan

Hotel Floracion Nasu or similar class

The Hotel Floracion Nasu in Nasu, Japan, offers serene retreats with public hot-spring baths and luxurious Western and Japanese-style rooms. Guests can enjoy relaxing massages, sauna, and views of Nasu Highland. The hotel serves Western-style meals and provides a free shuttle from JR Nasu-Shiobara Train Station. Ideal for both leisure and business travelers seeking tranquility and comfort. 

8
Hotel Mystays Premier Narita ext

31 Ōyama, Narita, Chiba 286-0131, Japan

Hotel Mystays Premier Narita or similar class

The Hotel Mystays Premier Narita is conveniently located just a 5-minute drive from Narita International Airport. It offers an indoor pool, tennis courts, and a Jacuzzi. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a sauna, and 24-hour room service. The hotel provides a blend of comfort and convenience for travelers.

NOTE: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the last night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included. We can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.

Notes

Please review the notes below for important details about your trip. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to contact us. These notes are designed to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

Price

  • All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy. Single Supplement: USD $720.00

Deposit

  • We require a NON-Refundable US$500 deposit per person to hold the space at the time of booking and the final payment is due 2 months prior to departure.

Transport

  • Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.

Arrival Departure Airports

  • This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Narita Airport (NRT).

  • If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT) on the first day, airport transfer is not included. We will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.

Meal Requests

  • Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.

Meet and Greet

  • Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.

Others

  • International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!

  • We can arrange international flights if needed, please ask for details.


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