2022 Discover the Hidden Treasures and Traditions of the Hokuriku Region of Japan


Day 1 – Leave home by April 13th. You will cross the International Date Line arriving at Haneda Airport near Tokyo on April 14th. One of your guides will meet you at the airport and escort you to Hotel Mystay Premium Omari for your first nights’ stay.

Day 2 – Breakfast is provided each day at all of your hotels with choice of Japanese and Western foods. Your large piece of luggage will be sent on to our hotel in Kanazawa. Bring a small bag or backpack with essentials for two nights. We’ll board a bullet train from Tokyo to Fukui, Japan. After dropping off our small bags at the Dormy Inn Hotel, where we will stay for two nights, we will take a short train ride to Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins, the historic ruins of a 400 year old castle town. Some of the walled homes and gardens of the samurai, merchants and craftsmen have been reconstructed. We will have dinner together this evening.

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Day 3 – At 9 AM a private coach will take us to Eiheiji, The Temple of Eternal Peace, founded in 1244 by Zen Master Dogen. It is an active monastery where practitioners eat, clean, chant, sleep and sit zazen sincerely.  In the afternoon we will explore the 1500 year old history of Echizen Washi Village. At the Udatsu Paper and Craft Museum you can see the entire paper making process.  Next, to Echizen Pottery Village. Echizen pottery is a style that appeared in the late Heian era. In modern times the spark of making Echizen pottery has been revived with a pottery school, Ceramic Center, and Sculpture Park.

Day 4 – This morning, we will travel by train to Kaga Yamashiro Onsen Midori no Yado, famous for its onsen baths, where you will need to share a room. A local bus will take us to the Yamanaka Onsen area in the mountains approaching the Japanese Alps. We’ll begin with an easy walk through Kakusenkei Gorge, where a stunning path runs along a river with small waterfalls and picture perfect rock formations. You can shop along Yuge-Kaido Street to visit craft shops which include local lacquerware. Next, to the Natadera Cave Temple founded in 717, located near Mount Hakusan. It has been a sacred place to pray to the deities of nature since ancient times (Jomon 10,000 to 300 BCE). If we have time we’ll stop at the potter, Rosanjin’s Iroha Soan. Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi and Rosanjin were close friends.

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Day 5 –We’ll travel to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen, considered one of the three most beautiful public gardens in Japan. The Karasaki pines here are famous for being secured by large ropes each year to protect from the heavy snow. Other famous features are Kotoji-toro, a stone lantern with two legs, one on land and one in the water, Flying Crane bridge, and the oldest fountain in all Japan, operated by natural water pressure. Kenrokuen is a large, naturalistic Edo style stroll garden and is much like a pilgrimage circuit with a sequence of lovely scenes.  At 12:30 pm, we’ll have lunch at the Contemporary Museum of Art’s Fusion 21 Café.  Afterwards, we’ll walk to the beautiful Nomura Samurai house and garden. Here, we can catch a glimpse of the life of a wealthy Samurai family in the Edo period when Japan was still secluded from the outside world. Cypress, ebony, rosewood, persimmon and paulownia woods were used to construct and decorate this house. The garden of this home is ranked as one the most beautiful in all Japan. The rest of your day is free to explore the many small museums, shops, and sites in Kanazawa. We will lodge at Hotel Resol Trinity for two nights

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Day 6– Today we will travel to Ogimachi Village in the beautiful mountainous Shirakawago area of Gifu prefecture. Here at this Unesco World Heritage site is a collection of 250 year old Gassho-zukuri houses (thatched roof farmhouses with triangular roofs constructed like hands in prayer). The roofs are made without nails and are built to withstand the weight of heavy snow. They have survived so long because of the custom of ‘yui’ in which villagers help each other re-thatch the roofs. This is a daunting task involving hundreds of workers and this cooperation is one of the reasons these villages received World Heritage status. You will have an opportunity to see how people lived long ago within these houses and how the silk production industry has been revived in this town. We’ll spend about 3 hours exploring the area and having lunch. We should be back in Kanazawa by around 2:30pm. The rest of your day is free to wander.

Day 7– After breakfast we’ll take the train to Nanao, on the Noto Peninsula lodging at Yumemurino Yado Biwanso for one night. You will need to share a room at this ryokan. All rooms have private bathroom. This is your chance to spend a restful day at the hotel’s onsen or next door at Wakura Onsen, a famous 1200 year old luxury hot spring resort. If you still have plenty of energy you can taxi to Noto Island to visit the Glass Art Museum. We’ll have dinner together this evening.

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Day 8 – This morning, a private coach will take us to Takaoka.  On the way, we’ll admire the Amaharashi seaside and stop at Himi Seaside Botanical Garden. In Takaoka we will lodge at Hotel Route-Inn for two nights

Day 9- This morning we’ll travel to Inami, known as the best wood carving town in Japan. We’ll walk through the temple shop street to visit the beautifully carved Inami Betsuin Zuisenji Temple established in 1390. Inami’s wood carving history goes back 230 years and we will also visit a Wood Carving Hall with displays of elaborate traditional carvings as well as modern wood sculptures. Upon our return to Takaoka we can stroll through the historic merchant and craftsman districts having homes with beautiful Senbon Lattice fronts. We will have dinner together tonight.

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Day 10 Board the Hokuriku Shinkansen train at 9:36 AM to travel to Tokyo Station arriving at 12:20 PM. We will stay at the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel in the Ginza area of Japan. Our activity for the afternoon will be decided at a later date.

Day 11 The tour ends when you check out of our hotel this morning.

Cost of the tour

(based on 100 yen per dollar)
$ 4450.00 per person for a twin room or  Double room (double occupancy) $4650.00 per person for a single room

Included in tour

10 nights with western style hotel including two onsen/ryokan hotels                                                   

All breakfasts with a choice of western and Japanese foods plus 6 lunches and 4  dinners

All transportation within the country including taxis, trains, private coach.

All entry fees per itinerary.

Luggage transfers.

Two knowledgeable guides throughout the tour, fluent in both English and Japanese.                                              

Not included in tour

International airfare and trip insurance    

personal expenses such as telephone calls and laundry

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