Hidden Autumn Leaves Northern Japan 14 Days
Tokyo, Aomori, Oirase Gorge, Morioka, Kakunodate, Sendai and Yamagata
|Duration||13 nights and 14 days|
|Departs||Daily During October to early November|
|Price||From $2,518 per person (based on twin share)|
Discover the charms of Tohoku in the spectacular autumn leaves season. Experience the spirit of samurai, magnificent temples co-existing with nature and unique local food and culture. Tohoku is famous for its rice, its sake and its whisky. Visit the Nikka whisky distillery to learn about the craft and enjoy the idyllic surrounds. Tohoku’s pristine nature is on display at Oirase gorge where you can stroll along the river as it winds its way from Lake Towada into the forest. Discover the stunning gorges of Ichinoseki and the natural masterpieces of coloured leaves.
Day 1: Tokyo
Upon arrival in Tokyo, discover some new places around the city. Try strolling around the Yanaka, Nezu area, known for its numerous temples, a sloping maze of streets and narrow alleys, and unique small museums and galleries.
Accommodation: Tokyo – 1 night
Day 2: Tokyo – Aomori
Board a train to Aomori. Stroll around the bay area, spend a relaxing time discovering this port city.
Accommodation: Aomori – 3 nights
Day 3: Aomori – Hirosaki – Aomori
Travel by train to Hirosaki, a castle town famous for its Neputa Festival. 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 and maple trees dressed in their beautiful autumn colours.
Day 4: 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 5: Aomori – Morioka
Board a train to Morioka. Explore Morioka and its beautiful landscape with Mt Iwate and its two rivers, Kitakami River and Nakatsu River. Visit the local temple and shrine, local 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. Visit the serene, mysterious sapphire blue Lake Tazawako, Japan’s deepest lake. Its wonderful nature captivates you whichever season you visit.
Day 7: Morioka – Ichinoseki
Board a train to Ichinoseki. Visit the exquisitely beautiful Geibikei Gorge to see stunning coloured leaves. Take a calming tour along the river on a flat-bottomed, non-motorised vessel. You’ll be enchanted by the stunning seasonal vista and amazed by the impressive rock formations.
Accommodation: Ichinoseki – 2 nights
Day 8: Ichinoseki – Hiraizumi – Ichinoseki
Take a day trip to Hiraizumi, which contains over 3,000 national treasures, historical sites and cultural attractions. Visit Chusonji Temple, famous for its Konjiki-do Hall, and Motsuji Temple, best known for its ‘Pure Land Garden’.
Day 9: Ichinoseki – Sendai
Travel to Sendai. 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 the local snack food, Shyotan-age (Sendai style corndog).
Accommodation: Sendai – 3 nights
Day 10: 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 11: Sendai – Yamadera – Sendai
Take a day trip to Yamadera temple complex where a magnificent valley covered in autumn leaves awaits you. On the way back to Sendai, stop by the Nikka Whisky Distillery. Learn about the process of distilling whisky and taste this famous and delicious Japanese whisky.
Day 12: Sendai – Tokyo
Board a train to Tokyo. Upon arrival in Tokyo, discover more of the city. Visit Shinjuku Gyoen, a downtown oasis with approximately 500 different kinds of plants, one of the best places to see coloured leaves in Tokyo.
Accommodation: Tokyo – 2 nights
Day 13: Tokyo – Mt Takao – Tokyo
Take an excursion to Mt Takao-san. It takes only an hour to travel from the city to the middle of nature. You can see many colourful autumn leaves and more than 500 different kinds of plants as you travel around the mountain’s base and trails. Head to the mountain’s summit using the cable car and enjoy trekking through this lovely mountain in Tokyo.
Day 14: Tokyo – Narita International Airport
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.
– Tohoku’s largest city Sendai
– One of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places, Matsushima
– The sublime mountain temple, Risshakuji Temple in Yamadera
– World Heritage site Hiraizumi
– “Little Kyoto in Tohoku”, the samurai district Kakunodate
– Stunning Oirase Gorge
|Duration||13 nights and 14 days (travel order can be changed, length of tour can be extended or decreased)|
|Departure Dates||During autumn leaves season (October to early November)
*Please note that autumn leaves viewing is not guaranteed due to Mother Nature. Coloured leaves are dependant on the weather.
|Route||Tokyo, Aomori, Oirase Gorge, Morioka, Kakunodate, Sendai and Yamagata|
|Tour Type||Self guided package: pick up/drop off service is not available|
|Price (land fee)||Twin share from $2,518 per person
Triple share from $2,174 per person
Single from $3,089 per person
– 13 nights accommodation in a standard room in 3-4 star hotels
・ 3 nights in Tokyo – Shiba Park Hotel or similar
・ 3 nights in Aomori – Aomori Kokusai Hotel or similar
・ 2 nights in Morioka – Hotel Metropolitan Morioka or similar
・ 2 nights in Ichinoseki – Kura Hotel or similar
・ 3 nights in Sendai – Hotel Metropolitan Sendai or similar
・ Breakfast in Aomori, Morioka and Ichinoseki
– 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).
– 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
*Non-smoking rooms may be available on request. We book non-smoking rooms when available.
*Please read our term and conditions.
*Package inclusions are subject to availability.
*Prices are subject to currency fluctuations.