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Japan Inland Sea

November 16 - 28, 2017

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Tour Package Includes:
• Tour Escort from Hawaii
• Hotel Accommodations as indicated
• Ground and Sea Transportation as indicated in the Itinerary
• Daily Breakfast, Two Lunches, and Eight Dinners
• Admission to all sights, attractions, and tours as indicated by itinerary

November 16 (Thu)
Day One
Honolulu to Osaka

A late morning flight takes us from Honolulu to Osaka.

November 17 (Fri) Day Two
Osaka

We arrive in the early evening in Osaka.  After passing through immigration and customs formalities we will head to our hotel for the night.

November 18 (Sat) Day Three
Osaka to Awaji Island (B/D)

Yumebutai

In the morning we will drive to Awaji island, where we will visit the Yumebutai, a garden designed by architect Tadao Ando, and the Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum, a beautifully designed indoor garden.  We will also visit Tadao Ando’s Water Temple.  This is actually a functioning Buddhist temple that is housed within the cement structure that Ando designed.  On the top is a lily pond and one must travel below to visit the temple.

November 19 (Sun)
Day Four
Awaji Island to Shodo Island (B/D)

Eska Hill View

Today we leave Awaji Island for Shodo Island.  On the way we will see the Naruto Whirlpools which are formed in the Naruto Straits, the fastest current in Japan.  When we get to Shikoku, we will make a stop at Eska Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the Japan Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean.  We will then go to Takamatsu to sail for Shodo Island, the second largest island in the Inland Sea.  Upon arrival we will see Angel Road, a path that appears at low tide connecting two smaller islands to Shodo island.  It is said that couples who walk the path hand in hand will have happiness.

Angel Road

November 20 (Mon) Day Five
Shodo Island (B/L/D)

Kankakei Gorge

Our first stop will be a visit to the Kankakei Gorge followed by a visit to the Olive Park.  The gorge is considered one of Japan's top three gorges.  This island was the first place in Japan where olives were successfully cultivated.  It is also a major shoyu production center and we will visit one of the factories.  For lunch we will go to a somen factory.  From there we will head to the island's movie village, where the movie, Twenty Four Eyes, was filmed.  The novel the film was based on was written by a native of the island and dealt with living in Japan in the first half of the 20th century.

Statue of Twenty Four Eyes at Movie Village

November 21 (Tue)
Day Six
Shodo Island to Imabari (B/D)

Fun with the Moomins at the Imabari Towel Museum

We return to Shikoku’s port of Takamatsu, where we will then make our way west to Imabari.  We will visit the Asahi Beer Factory to learn about the various products they make from beer to soft drinks.  We will also visit the Imabari Towel Museum to see how high quality cotton towels are made.  They also have an art gallery with art that uses cotton and their towels.  There is also a large exhibit on the European comic characters, the Moomins. 

November 22 (Wed) Day Seven Imabari (B/D)

Oshima to visit the Murakami Suigun Museum.  This facility tells the tale of the pirates that roamed the Japan Inland Sea for centuries.  Their roles ranging from outright piracy to unofficial coast guards.  From there we move on to Omishima, where we will visit Oyamazumi Shrine with its vast collection of samurai swords and armor.  Approximately 80% of Japan's arms that are national treasures can be found here.  We will also stop at the Omishima Museum of Art, which displays one thousand pieces of Japanese modern art. 

Tsuruhime on Omishima

We then return to Imabari, where we will visit Imabari Castle.  A reconstructed castle, it is one of three castles in Japan to be built along the shore and uses ocean water to fill its moat.  It offers beautiful views of the city and the Japan Inland Sea.  It also houses a museum about the castle's history during the feudal period.

November 23 (Thu)
Day Eight
Imabari to Sensui Island (B/D)

We leave Shikoku and head for Honshu via the Shimanami Gaido.  Along the way we will stop at Ikuchijima to visit a museum dedicated to painter Ikuo Hirayama.  He was a traditional Japanese painter who specialized in landscape paintings of the Silk Road.  We will also visit Kosan-ji, a temple built in the early 20th century by a businessman to honor his mother.  For thirty years he populated the temple grounds with homages to famous temple buildings from all over Japan.  From there we head to Tomonoura.  This sleepy town was recently brought to the world’s attention when Hugh Jackman came to film his movie, The Wolverine in 2012.  Historically the town is known as the hiding place for Sakamoto Ryoma, as he waited for his insurance claim, the first in Japan, to be paid.  Our home tonight will be a small island just offshore, Sensui Island.

November 24 (Fri)
Day Nine
Sensui Island to Okayama (B/L)

Crab at Manabe Island

Sashimi at Manabe Island

Today we will head back to Honshu, but on the way we will stop on Manabe Island.  This small island is noted for preserving the feel of old Japan.  Here we will have a chance to try the local cuisine which is based on the catch of the day.  The cook is a retired fisherman and the meal served family style features several courses such as sashimi, tempura, soup, crab, fresh octopus, and live shrimp.  (Actual dishes are dependent on catch of the day)

Shrimp Tempura at Manabe Island

November 25 (Sat) Day Ten Kurashiki Excursion(B)

Kurashiki Bikan Canal Ride for Bride and Groom

In the morning we head to Kurashiki, where our first stop will be at the Ohara Museum, a small private museum noted for its excellent collection of 20th Century art ranging from Picasso to Andy Warhol.  We then explore the Kurashiki Bikan, a historical district that has been well preserved from its time as an administrative center during the Edo period.  Our last stop of the day will be Korakuen, one of Japan’s Three most beautiful gardens.  It is a landscape garden that features unusually spacious lawns, a large pond, streams, and walking paths.  It even uses a piece of borrowed scenery with the incorporation of nearby Okayama Castle.

Korakuen

November 26 (Sun) Day Eleven Okayama to Naoshima (B/D)

Haisha Art House Project

We venture back into the Inland Sea for Naoshima.  This island is a magnificent showcase of art and architecture.  Here we will spend our time walking the small island taking in the buildings and the art museums.  When we arrive, we will visit six art house projects, homes that have been converted into art showcases.  Then we will visit two of the three main art museums on the island.  The first we will visit is the Chichu Art Museum for its fine art collection and outstanding architectural design.  And then we head to the newest museum, the Lee Ufan Museum, which opened in June of 2010.

Sculpture on Naoshima

November 27 (Mon) Day Twelve Naoshima to Osaka (B/D)

Statue on Naoshima

We will enjoy a leisurely morning and visit the last of three main museums the Benesse House, which focuses more on modern art.  All three main museums were designed by Tadao Ando.  In the afternoon we will ferry back to Uno and then head to Osaka.

November 28 (Tue) Day Thirteen Osaka to Honolulu (B)

The day is free to relax and do any last minute packing.  An evening flight will return us back to Hawaii.

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