Forgotten Japan 15 Days Tohoku
Aizu-Wakamatsu, Morioka, Kakunodate, Aomori, Hirosaki, Oirase Gorge, Shimokita Peninsula (Osore-zan and Hoteke-ga-Ura), Sendai, Matsushima, Yamadera
|Duration||14 nights and 15 days|
|Departs||Daily (mid-April – mid-October)|
|Price||From $3,345 per person (based on twin share)|
After enduring a long, rugged winter, spring has come to Tohoku. The contrast between the spectacular seasonal nature and the historical buildings and cultures in Tohoku are just fascinating. The tour starts in the samurai village of Aizu. Visit the impressive Tsuruga-jo Castle, spectacular in all seasons and take a day trip to the fully restored post town of Ouchijuku. One of the highlights is Osore-zan, in Aomori, one of Japan’s three most sacred places. Discover the forgotten Japan…
Day 1: Tokyo
Upon arrival in Tokyo, explore the city or have a good rest for your new adventure starting on Day 2!
Accommodation: Tokyo – 1 night
Day 2: Tokyo – Aizu-Wakamatsu
Board the train to the historic castle town, Aizu-Wakamatsu. Upon arrival, have lunch and commence exploring the city. Stroll around the retro district of Nanoka-machi.
Accommodation: Aizu-Wakamatsu – 3 nights
Day 3: Aizu-Wakamatsu
Continue exploring Aizu-Wakamatsu city. You will not miss Tsuruga-jo Castle, an exquisite combination of historical buildings and seasonal aspects of nature – such as cherry blossoms in spring and coloured leaves in autumn. Make sure to stop by Oyakuen Garden and the Bukeyashiki samurai residence. Discover the history of the tragic samurai force, Byakkotai, in the Iimoriyama area.
Day 4: Aizu-Wakamatsu – Ouchijuku – Aizu-Wakamatsu
Take a day trip and savour the idyllic scenery of Ouchijuku. Ouchijuku was one of the station towns in the Edo period and contains many traditional thatched-roof houses, inns and shops. Try some local speciality soba noodles for lunch and rice cakes for a snack in this quaint little village.
Day 5: Aizu-Wakamatsu – Morioka
Enjoy the train journey to Morioka. Explore Morioka and its beautiful landscape with Mt Iwate and its two rivers, Kitakami River and Nakatsu River. Visit the local temple, shrine and Japanese sake brewery, or experience and make local crafts or snacks at Handi-Works Square. Feast on the famous Wanko Soba for lunch.
Accommodation: Morioka – 2 nights
Day 6: Morioka – Kakunodate – Morioka
Take an expedition to Kakunodate, a former castle town containing rows of samurai residences. Stroll around this charming historical town at your own pace. If time permits, visit Dakigaeri Valley and enjoy hiking with the magnificent nature.
Day 7: Morioka – Aomori
Explore Aomori. Visit Sannai-Maruyama Ruins, a Jomon period village (15,000 B.C. to 300 B.C.). This is the largest archaeological site in Japan and is designated as a national historic site. Make sure to stop by A-Factory to see the apple cider brewery and pop in to the Aomori Gyosai Centre for Nokke-don (seafood rice bowl), a local speciality for lunch!
Accommodation: Aomori – 3 nights
Day 8: Aomori – Hirosaki – Aomori
Board a train to Hirosaki, a castle town famous for its Neputa Festival and its sakura trees. Learn about and experience the local summer festival at the Tsugaru Neputa Mura museum. Amble through the peaceful Hirosaki Park, containing the Hirosaki Castle Ruins and thousands of cherry trees – a spectacular sight in spring. Afterwards, make your way back to Aomori.
Day 9: Aomori – Oirase Gorge & Lake Towada – Aomori
Catch a bus to the stunning Oirase Gorge, part of the Towada Hachimantai National Park. Enjoy a leisurely hike through the picturesque gorge to Lake Towada, the largest caldera lake on the main island.
Day 10: Aomori – Mutsu
Pick up a hire car and enjoy the drive to the Shimokita Peninsula, the northern end of Honshu – the main island of Japan. Visit Cape Shiriyazaki where you might meet wild horses if you are lucky. Take in the dynamic scenery of the Straits of Tsugaru and the Pacific Ocean, and enjoy the contrasts of the ocean and the white Shiriyazaki Lighthouse, which was originally built in 1876. Then head off to one of Japan’s three sacred mountains, Osore-zan, established in 862. Osore-zan is often compared to heaven and also hell. Feel the mountain’s mysterious ambience.
Accommodation: Mutsu- 2 nights
Day 11: Mutsu – Hotoke-ga-Ura & Cape Oma – Mutsu
Jump in your hire car and explore the peninsula more. Visit Hotoke-ga-Ura where deep sea volcanic activity created a precipice of green volcanic tuff around the village of Sai. The magnificent natural formative arts will be seared into your memories. Head off to Cape Oma, its famous for Oma tuna. Make sure to have tuna for lunch. Then visit Yagen Stream, a path featuring an expanse of untouched nature. Take a short walk and enjoy the tranquil nature.
Day 12: Mutsu – Sendai
Complete sightseeing in Aomori (stop by Yokohama during canola flower season and Asamushi Onsen), return the car and take a train to Sendai.
Accommodation: Sendai- 3 nights
Day 13: Sendai – Matsushima – Sendai
Take an excursion to Matsushima, one of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places. Stop by Shiogama, a port town famous for its large shrine with an approach of 202 steep, stone steps. Savour the delicious Sushi, one of Shiogama’s specialties, before moving on. In Matsushima, see the bay of islands close-up with a leisurely cruise, stop by the many sights including Zuiganji Temple, sacred Ojima Island, Kanrantei tea room, the beautiful garden at the Entsuin Temple, and don’t miss Godaido Hall.
Day 14: Sendai – Yamadera – Sendai
Take a day trip to Yamadera temple complex where a magnificent valley view awaits you. On the way back to Sendai, stop by the Nikka Whisky Distillery. Learn about the process of distilling and taste this famous and delicious Japanese whisky.
Day 15: Sendai – Tokyo – Narita/Haneda Airport
In the morning, explore the largest city in Tohoku, called the ‘City of Trees’. Stop by the tranquil Aoba Castle Ruins and enjoy a sweeping Sendai city view. Admire the glorious Zuihoden Mausoleum, the final resting place of the founder of Sendai, Date Masamune. Wander around the bustling shopping arcades and try a local speciality, “Gyu-tan”, grilled beef tongue for lunch!
Head off to the airport and depart Japan or head to your next destination.
*The order of the tour can be changed and the length increased or decreased to match your requirements.
– Hidden scenic place, Shimokita Peninsula
– One of Japan’s Three Sacred Mountains, Mt Osore-zan
– A pristine place, Hotoke-ga-Ura
– One of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places, Matsushima
– “Little Kyoto in Tohoku”, the samurai district Kakunodate
– Historic samurai castle town Aizu-Wakamatsu
|Duration||14 nights and 15 days (travel order can be changed, length of tour can be extended or decreased)|
|Departure Dates||between mid-April and mid-October|
|Route||Aizu-Wakamatsu, Morioka, Kakunodate, Aomori, Oirase Gorge, Shimokita Peninsula (Osore-zan and Hoteke-ga-Ura), Sendai, Yamadera, Matsushima|
|Tour type||Self-guided package: pick up/drop off service is not available|
|Price (land fee)||Twin share from $3,345 per person
Triple share from $3,260 per person
Single from $3,998 per person
|*Seasonal fee may apply (arriving in April, May, July, August and October)|
– 14 nights accommodation in a standard room in 3-4 star hotels
・ 1 night in Tokyo – remm Kyobashi or similar
・ 3 nights in Aizu-Wakamatsu – Aizu-Wakamatsu Washington Hotel or similar
・ 2 nights in Morioka – Hotel Metropolitan Morioka or similar
・ 3 nights in Aomori – Hotel JAL City Aomori or similar
・ 2 nights in Mutsu- Mutsu Grand Hotel or similar
・ 3 nights in Sendai- Daiwa Roynet Hotel Sendai or similar
・ Breakfast in Aizu-Wakamatsu and Mutsu
– Transfer in a hire car in Shimokita Peninsula
– Flights: We can assist with your flights to match your itinerary.
*If you have already booked your flight, please provide us with your flight details or send us copies of e-tickets when you book/enquire.
– Travel expenses (unless covered by the Japan Rail Pass and private car route around Oga Peninsula).
– Meals: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
– Activities or tours: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
*You can add any day tours or activities you like, we can arrange this for you.
– Admission fees: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance
*Private car/taxi can be arranged with a Japanese speaking local driver only
*Non-smoking rooms may be available on request. We book non-smoking rooms when available.
*Triple share can be used with one twin room and one single room, depending on the hotels/plans/availability.
*Please read our term and conditions.
*Package inclusions are subject to availability.
*Prices are subject to currency fluctuations.