Location: Tokyo
Price: From £1,299

The Great North Tour is a self-guided trip through Hokkaido & Tohoku in Northern Japan, and offers some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. In summer, it’s a great place to go to escape the heat whilst in winter you can luxuriate in some of the loveliest onsen (“hot springs”) whilst looking out over the snow covered landscape. This 9 night itinerary takes in some of the regions most lovely spots.

Download The Great North Brochure here The Great North Itinerary and a Reservation Form here The Great North Reservation Form

The Great North TourTOUR INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights’ accommodation including ryokan accommodation for 1 night
  • 7-day Japan Rail Pass
  • Bullet Train services, starting on Day 3.
  • Train/bus tickets from and to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
  • Meet & Greet service on arrival at Narita International Airport (Tokyo).

 

irase stream (Lake Towada)

HOW OUR INDEPENDENT TRAVELLER’S TOURS WORK

It’s quite straight forward to travel independently in Japan as so much of the signage is in English. Our independent itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions which coincide with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We’ll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run as smoothly as possible. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.

This Japan tour does not include international flights

Tour Location GuideTour ItineraryAccommodationInclusions
Tokyo embraces the modern and ancient like no other city on earth and offers something for everyone who wants to delve into the Japanese phenomenonTokyo

Home to over 12 million people, the vast metropolis of Japan’s capital must be seen to be believed. Tokyo embraces the modern and ancient like no other city on earth and offers something for everyone who wants to delve into the Japanese phenomenon: the towering skyscrapers and frenzied neon of Shinjuku, the pop culture and gadget paradise of Akihabara, the sophisticated chic of Ginza, the biggest and liveliest fish market in the world, the old downtown area of Asakusa, and the tranquil, understated beauty of Meiji Shrine. Not to mention superb restaurants and great bars as well as fabulous shopping and museums befitting the capital of the world’s second-largest economy.

 

Matsushima is located in the central part of Miyagi Prefecture. There are some 260 beautiful islands, scattered in picturesque Matsushima BayMatsushima

Matsushima is located in the central part of Miyagi Prefecture. There are some 260 beautiful islands, scattered in picturesque Matsushima Bay. The view of Matsushima changes from place-to-place and from-season-to-season, and its famous view is ranked as one of the Top Three Views of Japan.

Nearby cultural properties include Zuigan-ji, Entsū-in, Kanrantei, and the Satohama shell mound.

towadakoLake Towada / Oirase Keiryu Lake

Towada (Towadako) is the largest caldera lake on Honshu, Japan’s main island and is famous for its scenic beautyTowada (Towadako) is the largest caldera lake on Honshu, Japan’s main island and is famous for its scenic beauty. It is characterized by two large peninsulas, which extend nearly a third of the way across the lake.

The best way to fully appreciate the lake is from a sightseeing boat which offers close up views of the peninsulas that are otherwise difficult to see.

Home to Japan's native Ainu people, Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands.Hokkaido

Home to Japan’s native Ainu people, Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan’s four main islands.

It is home to the nation’s fifth largest city of Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, pleasant and picturesque rural towns of Biei and Furano, and Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort of Noboribetsu.

TOUR INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights’ accommodation in a double/twin room on a bed and breakfast basis (hotel accommodation for 8 nights and ryokan accommodation for 1 night)
  • 7-day Japan Rail Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire Japan Rail network including Shinkansen
  • Bullet Train services, starting on Day 3.
  • Delicious included dinners: on Days 4, 5 and 8 (for the 3* package), or, on Days 3, 4, 5 and 8 (for the 4* and 5* package)
  • Train/bus tickets from and to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
  • Meet & Greet service on arrival at Narita International Airport (Tokyo).

The Great North Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive in Japan
Welcome to Japan. Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby in Narita Airport (Tokyo) and will direct you to the Narita Express train or limousine bus bound for Tokyo. Check into your clean and comfortable hotel in Tokyo for 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis.

DAY 2 Tokyo
Your options are unlimited in this incredible city. Explore Tokyo’s past in the bustling, traditional Asakusa district, visit the world’s largest fish market at Tsukiji, shop in the fashionable districts of Shibuya and Harajuku and dine on Japan’s finest cuisine. Tokyo is relatively straightforward to navigate, and our Information Pack will make travelling around the city a breeze.

Optional guided excursion
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing by coach in Tokyo, with lunch included. Your guide will show you the highlights of this vast metropolis, from the Imperial Palace and serene Meiji Shrine to the ‘Electric City’ of Akihabara.

DAY 3 Tokyo-Matsushima
It’s time to say goodbye to Tokyo and speed on the Bullet Train to Matsushima. The journey takes less than 3 hours and you have a plenty of time in the afternoon to visit the sights of Matsushima including the famous Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple and Zuiganji Temple as well as nearby cultural properties. Visit some of the islands in the Bay (via the picturesque red painted bridge) or enjoy a cruise across Sendai Bay to take in the beautiful views of Matsushima. You will stay in a comfortable hotel in Matsushima for 1 night.

DAY 4 Matsushima – Lake Towada
Enjoy Matsushima at leisure this morning. Check out of your hotel and take a train to Sendai and then transfer by Bullet train to Hachinohe (Aomori) and bus to Lake Towada. Check into your comfortable hotel near Lake Towada for 2 nights.

DAY 5 Lake Towada
Relax in beautiful Towada. Take a hike along the Oirase mountain stream which flows into Lake Towada or ride the ropeway for a beautiful panoramic view of the volcanic Hakkouda Mountain range.

DAY 6 Lake Towada – Sapporo
Today depart for Aomori from where you’ll travel to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. You’ll spend most of today travelling by train as the journey time is around 8 hours. Check into your hotel in the central of Sapporo for 2 nights. (Alternatively, you can take a flight from Aomori Airport which will allow you to arrive in Sapporo in the afternoon for an additional amount). Whilst in Hokkaido you might want to visit the 147.2m Sapporo TV tower which offers a superb observation deck over the city. Hokkaido is also well known for its delicious local food so good places to visit include Nijo Food Market, Shiroi Koibito Park (a theme park run by a local chocolate company) as well as the Sapporo Beer Museum. Alternatively you may want to visit the lovely harbor city Otaru near Sapporo.

DAY 7 Furano
Today we suggest you make the day trip to Furano situated in the centre of Hokkaido which is famous for its beautiful scenery and fine farming. Visit one of Hokkaido’s premier flower farms complete with its own cafes, and delicious local ice cream stalls including the famous local lavender ice cream. You could also visit the Furano Winery (a working winery) as well as the Furano Cheese Factory where you can observe its production process and join hands-on workshops.

DAY 8 Sapporo-Noboribetsu Onsen
Today leave Sapporo and travel to Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort, Noboribetsu Onsen in southwestern Hokkaido. Jigokudani or “Hell Valley” is a spectacular, appropriately named valley just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen, where you can view hot steam vents, sulfurous streams and other volcanic activity. Check into your ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) in Noboribetsu Onsen for 1 night on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. Yourryokan has its own private indoor and outdoor hot springs where you can relax and unwind.

DAY 9 Sapporo-Tokyo
Enjoy the morning in the lovely surroundings of your ryokan before heading back to Tokyo. You have a choice of returning to Tokyo by train (approximately 10 hours) (included in the package price) or by plane (for an additional amount). Spend your last free day in Tokyo and check into your comfortable hotel for 1 night.

DAY 10 Depart Japan
Transfer from your hotel to Narita International Airport (Tokyo). Return to the UK (Arrive same day (UK).

railpassJapan Rail Pass

The JR Pass allows you almost unlimited travel for 7/14/21 days on all Japan Rail lines throughout the country. It allows you to travel on the world-famous Bullet Train (Shinkansen) as well as the popular ferry from Hiroshima to Miyajima.

Your selection of hotels in Tokyo

Toyoko Inn Ikebukuro (3* package)

toyoko-inn

Toyoko InnLocated just a 5 minute walk from Ikebukuro station (on the Yamanote Line). The hotel is close to several shops, restaurants and only a short walk from Sunshine City.

This business class hotel features compact well equipped rooms with flat screen TVs, refrigerators and bathroom amenities. All rooms have free wi-fi. Computer terminals are available in the lobby along with 24 hour coin laundry.

Breakfast is a light Japanese breakfast consisting of rice balls, miso soup, some salad items and also a little bread.

The b Ikebukuro (4* package)

B Ikebukuro twin

Located a short walk from JR Ikebukuro station which is serviced by the Narita Express and also Sunshine Road, the main entertainment area of Ikebukuro, the b is the ideal place to explore Tokyo from.

Rooms are compact and come equipped with refrigerator, TV and free wifi. Although the rooms have no bath they have rain shower heads and body jets and are stocked with Shiseido products.

A buffet breakfast is served in the second floor Italian restaurant.

Your selection of hotels in Matsushima

Hotel Matsushima Taikanso (3* package)

taikanso matsushima

This hilltop hotel is a 10-minute walk from Matsushimakaigan train station, or 3 minutes via Matsushima loop bus. It overlooks Matsushima Bay with breathtaking views from a seaside room. The hotel is close to Zuiganji Temple.

All rooms come equipped with a TV, mini-fridge, and tea and coffeemaker. They also have sitting areas with traditional short-legged tables.

Breakfast and parking are free. The hotel has 6 restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese and Western food, a tea lounge, a bar and a karaoke room. It also has communal public baths (men and women separated), along with an open-air pool with bay views.

Matsushima Ichinobo (4* package)

matsushima ichinobo

Matsushima Ichinobo is a 5 minute journey via a free shuttle bus from Matsushima station. It is close to Zuiganji temple, Date Masamune Historical Museum, and Kyohei Fujita Museum of Glass.

All rooms have a refrigerator, TV, and a safe-deposit box. Some rooms have their own private onsen (hot spring bath). All rooms have a refrigerator, TV, and a safe-deposit box. Some rooms have their own private onsen (hot spring bath).

The hotel has communal public bathhouses overlooking the bay (men and women separated). The hotel has communal public bathhouses overlooking the bay (men and women separated).

Your selection of hotels in Lake Towada

Towadako Lakeview Hotel (3* package)

Towadako lakeview hotel

From the restaurant and tea lounge, this hotel gives a fantastic view of lake Towada in any season.

All rooms come equipped with air conditioning, heating, refrigerator, a TV, and safe-deposit box.

The hotel has large public baths, a sauna, and you can go fishing nearby.

Oirase Keiryu Hotel (4* package)

OIRASEKEIRYU HOTEL

The only hotel located in the vicinity of Oirase Keiryu stream, you will find yourself surrounded by the beautiful and national treasure that is the Towada-Hachimantai National Park.

Relax at the hotel’s outdoor and 2 indoor hot springs while enjoying the naturally scenery.

You can have breakfast on the terrace right next to the Keiryu stream, or in the buffet restaurant. Dinner is prepared with locally sourced ingredients full of the many exquisite tastes of Aomori Prefecture.

Your selection of hotels in Sapporo

Toyoko Inn Sapporo (3* package)

Toyoko Inn

A short 5 minute walk from Sapporo station, and close to the convenience stores.

This business class hotel features compact well equipped rooms with flat screen TVs, refrigerators and bathroom amenities. All rooms have free wi-fi. Computer terminals are available in the lobby along with 24 hour coin laundry.

Breakfast is a light Japanese breakfast consisting of rice balls, miso soup, some salad items and also a little bread.

Sapporo Prince Hotel (4* package)

sapporo prince

Set in a striking hi-rise cylindrical tower, this upscale hotel is a 3-minute walk from Chuo-Kuyakusho-Mae train station and a 12-minute walk from the iconic Odori Park.

Every room is bright and elegant, with free Wi-Fi, a TV, mini-fridge, and tea and coffee-making facility.

You will find 4 different restaurants: French, Chinese, a buffet restaurant, and a teppanyaki eatery, along with a trendy top-floor bar and a coffee shop. The hotel also has a coin-operated laundry, and a communal bathhouse. Bike and ski hire are available.

Your hotel in Noboribetsu-Onsen

Dai-ichi Takimotokan (Your room category will depend on whether you choose the 3 or 4* package)

daiichi takimotokan

Locted 20 minutes from JR Noboribetsu station, the hotel is surrounded by volcanic hot springs.

The rooms are furnished in traditional Japanese style with tatami mat floors, shoji screens, and tokonomas (alcove). All of them come with a TV, mini-fridge, and free welcome tea and snacks.

The hotel has 2 restaurants which serve delicious Japanese Soba noodles, and Hokkaido’s famous Sapporo Ramen. After dinner, enjoy one the 7 hot springs available.

5* hotels available on request.

Price Includes

  • 9 nights’ accommodation in a double/twin room on a bed and breakfast basis (hotel accommodation for 8 nights and ryokan accommodation for 1 night)
  • 7-day Japan Rail Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire Japan Rail network including Shinkansen
  • Bullet Train services, starting on Day 3.
  • Delicious included dinners: on Days 4, 5 and 8 (for the 3*package), or, on Days 3, 4, 5 and 8 (for the 4* and 5*package)
  • Train/bus tickets from and to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
  • Meet & Greet service on arrival at Narita International Airport (Tokyo).

 

Not included in Price

  • International airfare.
  • Domestic flights to/from Sapporo
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Entrance fees
  • Taxi, subway and tramway fees.
  • Travel insurance.

 

PRICE:
The price for this Great North independent itinerary as detailed above is as follows:

3* Hotels/ryokan: from £1,299 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
4* Hotels/ryokan: from £1,575 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
5* Hotels/ryokan: from £1,875 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.

3* single room supplement: from £199
4* single room supplement: from £260
5* single room supplement on request

OPTIONAL GUIDED EXCURSIONS:

Tokyo: £101 per person

All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange and are subject to availability. All prices are good for travel before the end of 2012 but exclude blackout periods which coincide with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends.

To make a booking, a deposit of £200 per person is required.

Download The Great North Brochure here The Great North Itinerary and a Reservation Form here The Great North Reservation Form

The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.

Full terms and Conditions

All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange and are subject to availability.

TO BOOK NOW CALL 020 7766 5267 or EMAIL info@japanjourneys.co.uk

INSURANCE

Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.

Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low cost cover to their customers.

Please click on the image below for a quote.

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