Super Value Tours - Northern Kanto + Niigata- 11 Days_Kinugawa, Nikko, Gunma, Niigata, Sado Island

Northern Kanto + Niigata- 11 Days

2019

Land Only from US $3999

Kinugawa, Nikko, Gunma, Niigata, Sado Island

Departs Oct 21

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Highlights

THE SUPER VALUE TOURS DIFFERENCE 

  • A BETTER WAY TO TOUR: To us, 'value' means making a better way to tour. We love to surprise our guests with unique experiences, top-notch service, hidden local delights, & memories of a lifetime. For travelers who love Japan, this is our most in-depth tour yet. Featuring some of Japan's best hot spring hotels, this itinerary is rich in ryokan, relaxation, and beautiful nature of the northern countryside.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN KANTO & NIIGATA (Kinugawa, Nikko, Gunma, Niigata, Sado Island):

  • Travel up Mt. Haruna (Mt. Akina from the famous anime series Initial D), ride the Mt Haruna Cable car for expansive bird's-eye scenery of the Kanto plains and Hamana Lake.

  • Board the Joetsu train line and cross the long tunnel into "snow country" setting of the namesake novel by Nobel Laureate Kawabata Yasunari

  • Hike the Suwakyo Gorge Trail and enjoy the brilliant colors of the seasons along mountain streams

  • Takaragawa Hot Springs - Named one of Japan's best hot springs by Lonely Planet (and locals too!), our visit here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

  • Niigata Furumachi (Old Town) - Meet elegant geisha and join in on fun games with a private performance. Tour the Northern Culture Museum and experience traditional mochi making.

  • Sado Island - Ferry to the island; learn taiko drumming, enjoy immense natural beauty, rich folk culture, and delicious foods from the Sea of ​​Japan

 

LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Lake Chūzenji Onsen: 2 nights in Hotel Shikisai, enjoy the milky white hot springs
  • Shima Onsen: 2 nights in Shima Tamura. An unforgettable stay. Soak in historic hot springs - view creekside waterfalls while soaking outdoors in pure waters.
  • Niigata Onsen: Hotel Ohashi Yakata no Yu. With a unique stone spa and natural hot spring, your whole being can feel relaxed.
  • Sado Onsen: 2 nights in Yahatakan, enjoy outdoor hot spring baths enclosed in a pine forest with a mountain view.
  • Tsukioka Onsen: Tsukioka Onsen Kahou, a soak in its "beautifying spring" will let you feel reborn and rejuvenated.

 

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

  • Arranging great culinary experiences is a specialty we are very proud of. Before a restaurant is selected for our itinerary, our development team spends countless hours sampling dozens of restaurants for comparison. On this trip, you will have a chance to taste Japanese specialties, including vine-fresh local fruits you can pick, hand made udon, fresh seafood, soba noodles, and much more.

SUPER VALUE STANDARD

  • Charismatic and knowledgeable Super Value trained guides.
  • A comprehensive travel insurance plan. Details  
  • High quality headsets to hear our tour guide's presentation clearly.
  • Porterage service is provided at most hotels (where available).

 

Tour Map
Itinerary
Day1

USA/Canada  Japan

Depart from your home airport, have a great flight!

Day2

Arrive in Narita (NRT) smiley(3 miles, 15 min)【Dinner】

  • "Yokoso" or "Welcome" to Japan! A Super Value Tours Representative will meet you at the arrival gate and bring you to the hotel via hotel shuttle. Airport pickup is available for flights arriving Narita (NRT) from 12:30P-6:00P.
    • We're sorry - airport pickup not included for arrivals in NRT Terminal 3. Please take the airport limousine bus directly to our hotel. Our group will meet in the hotel for dinner.
    • Narita T3 details available on the Narita Airport website.
  • If you arrive early, take the rest of the day to rest up. Or, if you’re up for it, board the local shuttle to explore local sights in Narita. For guests arriving after 6pm, we will refund 2,000 JPY per person for dinner.

DinnerJapanese Set Menu in Hotel HotelHilton Narita (Deluxe Room)

Day3

Narita (110miles, 2.5 hours) Nikko  (25 miles, 1 hour) Lake Chuzenji Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Nikko:
    • Chuzen-ji Temple: This quiet and unique location overlooking Chuzenji Lake creates a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere.
    • Senjogahara Plateau: This rare and relatively untouched park is one of the best nature hikes in Nikko. Each season offers dramatically unique views.
  • "Spring Limited Tour" (from mid-April to mid-May)
    • Ashikaga Flower Park: Listed by CNN as one of the "World's 10 Best Dream Destinations," the cascading purple waterfall of Wisteria flowers is a sight you won't forget. We make special arrangements to take you into the paradise of flowers - a floral tunnel composed of brilliant white and yellow vines, more than 350 wisteria flowers and more than 5,000 azaleas.
  • Summer Tour (June to September)
    • Kinugawa Boat: The calm summer waters of the Kinugawa River make our wooden boat ride an ideal and refreshing way to enjoy the beauty of the Kinugawa Valley up close
  • Autumn Tour (mid-October to early November)
    • Special arrangements for viewing the turning of the fall leaves. 
    • Ryuzu Waterfall (Ryuzunotaki): Known as the "Dragon Head Waterfall" for its unique shape, visit one of Nikko's best spots for fall foliage viewing.
Chuzenji Lake 春-中禪寺湖.jpg Senjogahara Plateau 春-戰場之原.jpg Kinu River Boat (Summer) 鬼怒川.jpg

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchTofu Set Lunch DinnerKaiseki Banquet HotelHotel Shikisai Hot Spring Hotel Chuzenji

Day4

Lake Chuzenji Onsen  (10 miles, 0.5 hours) Nikko  (10 miles, 0.5 hours) Lake Chuzenji Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Kegon Falls: One of Japan's three famous waterfalls, this 300ft high waterfall is prized for its perfect shape representing the prime beauty of nature.
  • Nikko Toshogu Shrine: A World Heritage site, famous for the Nikko-ji Temple, and the first general of the Edo period was Tokugawa Ieyasu. All the buildings are carved and lacquered by skilled craftsmen from all over the country, which is the ultimate in luxury.
  • Nikko Walking Tour: In the quiet town surrounded by nature, you can enjoy another kind of artistic conception.
  • Nikko Carving: Using classic carving techniques originating from the early Edo period, the smooth and curvy curve carved out with a triangular knife, you can create your own unique work with creativity.
Kegon Falls 春-華嚴瀑布.jpg Shinkyo Bridge 春-日光神橋.jpg Nikko Toshogu Shrine 04-3東照宮3.jpg

BreakfastHotel set breakfast LunchLocal Specialties DinnerLocally Sourced Kaiseki Banquet HotelLake Chuzenji Onsen Hotel Shikisai

Day5

Lake Chuzenji Onsen  (105 miles, 2 hours) Tomioka  (37 miles, 1 hour) Ikaho  (21 miles, 1 hour) Shima Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Tomioka Silk Mill: One of Japan's latest UNESCO world heritage sites, the mill compound is a national treasure marking the start of Japan's industrial revolution after the Meiji Restoration
  • Tomioka's country town: In the simple town, the Meiji café in the Meiji period enjoys the music of the 1930s, and tastes the local limited Miso pudding, full of happiness!
  • Fans of the racing anime Initial D will know Mt. Haruna Ropeway as Mt. Akina, the most famous togue (mountain pass). Take a cable car to the highest point for a panoramic view of the Kanto Plain and the famous lake, all overlooking peaceful mountain roads.
Tomioka Old Silk Mill N_tour_富岡製糸場1_20170127131312_20170321144117.jpg Miso Pudding N_tour_Miso布丁_20170206144220_20170321144117.jpg Mt. Haruna Cable Car N_tour_榛名山纜車2_20170323132855.jpg

BreakfastRyokan Breakfast Set LunchMizusawa Udon Noodles (the most delicious udon!) DinnerKaiseki Banquet with Local Ingredients HotelShima Tamura Onsen

Day6

Shima Onsen  (30 miles, 1 hour) Minakami  (10 miles, 30 min.) Takaragawa Onsen  (45 miles, 90 min) Shima Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Suwakyo: Follow the promenade for breathtaking views of the Tone River and nearby mountain canyons.
  • Minakami Fruit Land Mogitore: Tour a local farm for seasonal fruit picking. Taste unbelievably fresh fruits unlike anywhere else, delicious and fun!

*Mid Jan~late May: Strawberries. Mid Jun~Jul: Cherries or Blueberries. Early~Mid Aug: Peaches. Aug~Sep: Grapes. Sep~Nov: Apples.

  • Takaragawa Onsen: Noted as one of Japan's top 10 hot springs by Lonely Planet, and the world's largest open-air hot spring. The alkaline content is said to help fatigue and digestive troubles. Beware, the springs here are very traditional as they are mixed gender; visitors who prefer not to bathe may relax and enjoy the magnificent and serene atmosphere of the nearby Tone River rustling through the hot springs.
Suwa Canyon 春-諏訪峽.jpg Local Fruit Picking Mogitore.jpg Takaragawa "Best Riverside Onsen" 春-寶川溫泉.jpg

BreakfastLight Japanese Breakfast LunchRoasted Curry Rice Set DinnerKaiseki Banquet HotelShima Onsen Tamura

Day7

Shima Onsen  (31 miles, 1 hour) Minakami Stn.  (20 miles, 45 min) Echigoyuzawa Stn. (80 miles, 90 min) Iwamuro Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Takahan Ryokan: The famous novel, “Yukiguni’ (Snow Country), by Yasunari Kawabata, won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was set and written in this very ryokan.
  • Echigoyuzawa Station: Explore fun local markets where all of Niigata's most famous agricultural products are gathered in one place, including world famous Koshihikari Rice from Minami Uonuma.
  • Asahi-shuzo: Niigata's rice is considered the best in Japan, and from great ingredients comes great sake unique to the region! Try the especially popular Kubota series.
  • The hot stone spa in our hotel tonight is a unique feature. Make sure not to miss it!
Historic Ryokan Takahan 高半旅館.jpg Echigo Yuzawa Station N_tour_越後湯澤車站內COCOLO-_20170127133458_20170321144117.jpg Asahi-shuzo Sake N_tour_久保田_20170206144631_20170321144117.jpg

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchKoshihikari rice + Sushi from Sea of Japan DinnerExquisite Niigata Style Kaiseki HotelIwamuro Onsen Hotel Ohashi

Day8

Iwamuro Onsen  (24 miles, 60 min) Niigata-Nishi Port  (40 miles, 2.5 hours) Sado Island  (10 miles, 30 min) Yahata Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Yahiko Shrine: Surrounded by Mount Yahiko, the huge torii gate here is a symbol of Yahiko Shrine, the only shrine in Niigata Prefecture. Established 1300 years ago, it is considered a shrine honoring love and good fortune. National treasures including paintings and other valuable cultural assets are displayed in the treasure hall.
  • Yahiko Ropeway: Standing on the top of Mt. Yahiko, enjoy a panoramic view of the sea of Japan, Sado Island and the Echigo Plain at your feet
  • Tokinomori Park: Visit the conservatory to see one of the world's most endangered species up close, the Japanese Crested Ibis
  • Nanaura Seaside: Encounter beautiful and strange rock formations along the Nanaura coast paired with fading lights of sunset scenery - an unforgettable view of the Sea of Japan (we will adjust our schedule based on the season and sunset time).
Mt. Yahiko Cable Car 春-彌彥纜車.jpg Tokinomori Park N_tour_朱鷺之森_20170130162734_20170321144117.jpg Sunset over Sea of Japan N_tour_七浦海岸夕陽_20170130162734_20170321144117.jpg

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchLunch aboard Sado Island Ferry DinnerSado Island Seafood Banquet HotelYahata-kan Sado Island Hotel or Onsen Hotel Osado

Day9

Yahata Onsen  (17 miles, 30 min) Ogi  (25 miles, 1 hour) Aikawa  (8 miles, 30 min) Yahata Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Yajima: Picturesque like a postcard, the sight of "tarai bune" bowl boats bobbing in clear waters are unique sight.
  • Sado Island Taiko Centre: Learn the art of Taiko from local Taiko Masters, a fun invigorating activity which taps into the full energy of your body. Here, we even have a chance to try taiko drums over 600 years old, where we can hear echoes from ancient times.
  • Shukunegi: Unique even by Sado Island standards, Shukunegi was a village of shipbuilders who turned theirs skills to architecture as the local shipyard demand shrank. Through the course of years, they've managed to create a truly distinct style in this isolated town.
  • Senkakuwan Ageshima Park: Take a close look at the marine ecology of Senkaku Bay.
  • Sado-kinzan Gold Mine: The largest gold mine in Japan 400 years ago, the mine today is preserved as a national heritage site. Tour the actual mining tunnels for an up close understanding of what life was like from the mining era.
Sail Tarai Bune "tub boats" N_tour_矢島木盆舟_20170127133751_20170321144117 (1).jpg Sado Island Taiko Centre 佐渡太鼓_20170206011303_20170321144117 (1).jpg Senkakuwan Ageshima Park N_tour_尖閣灣揚島樂園_20170327112450 (1).jpg

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchLocally sourced pasta lunch DinnerSado Island Seafood Banquet HotelYahata-kan Sado Island Hotel or Onsen Hotel Osado

Day10

Yahata Onsen  (10 miles, 30 min) Ryotsu Port  (40 miles, 90 min) Niigatanishi Port  (20 miles, 60 min) Tsukioka Onsen【3 Meals】

  • Northern Culture Museum: relax your mind in the zen gardens and atmosphere of the museum. Try "3 person mochi pounding" for a fun and delicious experience.
  • Specially-arranged private geisha performance - enjoy elegant dancing and play games with authentic Niigata Furumachi Geigi  - Geisha of Niigata

*Wisteria blooms of the Northern Culture Museum usually take place late April to early May.

Northern Culture Museum N_tour_北方文化博物館_20170130162847_20170321144117.jpg Private Geisha Performance N_tour_新潟古町藝伎舞蹈_20170130162847_20170321144117.jpg "3 Person Mochi Pounding" N_tour_伊藤家三人搗麻糬_20170130162847_20170321144117.jpg

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchNiigata-style soba noodle set DinnerLocally-sourced Kaiseki Banquet HotelTsukioka Onsen Kaho

Day11

Tsukioka Onsen  (16 miles, 60 min) Niigata Station   (250 miles, 3 hours) Narita Airport (NRT)  Next Destination【3 Meals】

  • Niigata to Narita: We will board the Joetsu Shinkansen (Bullet Train) together from Niigata Station to Tokyo Station, then take Narita Express from Tokyo Station to Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Please arrange flights departing from NRT from 5:00PM - 9:00PM

 

 

BreakfastHotel Buffet Breakfast LunchRefund for lunch in Tokyo Station

Health & Safety 

  • This tour involves standing and walking for up to 1 hour at a time over inclined or uneven streets.
  • Guests in wheelchairs may be accommodated, but please understand some historic sites in Japan are not wheelchair accessible.
  • In traditional ryokan hotels, we will overnight in tatami rooms and sleep on futons on the floor. This is a very traditional itinerary - we stay in tatami rooms for eight nights on this trip.

Upgrades

  • In the spirit of "Travel Happy" we do not believe in hidden fees - no options are sold on tour.
 

 Dietary Restrictions

  • It's important everyone has a great dining experience while traveling with us! If you have a special meal restriction (i.e. no sashimi, no lamb, etc), please let us know two weeks before tour date. We will do our best to oblige, but we regret some dietary preferences may not be available due to cultural differences.

Luggage Handling

  • In order to travel comfortably, we recommend leaving large suitcases which may not be needed on the bus. Before taking the ferry to Sado Island, please prepare 2 nights/3 days of clothes in a small and light suitcase (or backpack). Large baggage will be retrieved from the hotel on the last night. 
  • On the last day of our tour, while we are on the bullet train, we will ship everyone's large suitcases to NRT airport via private truck freight. If you are extending your stay elsewhere in Japan, we would be happy to provide shipping instructions to your next destination, but this will be at your own expense.
  • Porterage service included in hotels where available (most ryokan hotels do not offer porterage).

 

Hilton Narita

Just 2.5 miles from Narita International Airport, the Hilton is the best in the area. Its proximity to Japan's largest international airport makes it the ideal resting point after a long flight. Available amenities include swimming pool, fitness center, and tennis court (fee required)

Hotel Shikisai

Sourced from nearby Oku Nikko mountains, the hot springs here replish over 58,000 gallons of fresh onsen water daily. The unique hot springs here are characterized by white mineral deposits which bloom in the water like flowers called "yubana." The yubana effect creates a distinct milky appearance in the onsen baths.

The atmosphere of this ryokan is warm and friendly. You may curl and with a book and cup of coffee in the spacious lobby, enjoy birdwatching through telescopes, or watch the faint lights dancing off the surface of Lake Chuzenji.

Shima Tamura

One of the oldest businesses in Japan, Shima Tamura was founded 450 years ago and is considered one of the best hot springs in the country. The name, Shima, originates from the word representing 40,000 - signifies the nickname for the natural hotsprings which were said to be able to cure 40,000 ailments. Our two night stay here lets you try each of its seven unique baths.

Hotel Ohashi

The ancient hot springs of Ohashi began flowing in 1713, making it one of the oldest local onsen. Super Value Tours includes special arrangements for our guests to enjoy the unique stone spa in the hotel. Created exclusively with natural water and ore, rejuvenate your body with a unique sauna experience.

Yahatakan Onsen - Sado Island

Cradled in a vast pine forest, this ryokan features a combination of modern facilities and Japanese tradition. It is a favorite for celebrities and members of the royal family visiting Sado Island. Enjoy beautiful local gardens and luxurious hot springs including a magnificent open air bath with views of the pine garden.

Hotel Osado

Located on the coastline of Sado Island, enjoy an unrivaled view of the Sea of Japan and Aikawa Bay which is reddish during the setting sun. When you soak in the open-air hot springs during the day, you can see the vast expanse of the Japanese seascape. At night, the view transforms into a starry sky to let you relax.

Kahou Ryokan

Drawn from 3000ft underground, the mineral content of the onsen here is rich in hydrogen sulfide, known as the "beauty mineral." Our hotel is one of the top ten hot spring hotels in Japan, combining natural hot springs, delicate and intimate service, and exquisite meals.

  • Exquisite Japanese Set Menu
  • Tofu Kaiseki Package
  • Japanese Hamburger Steak Set (choice menu)
  • Japanese Omelette Rice (choice menu)
  • Mizusawa Udon (top 3 in Japan)
  • Lake Chūzenji Four Seasons Kaiseki Banquet (menu based on season)
  • Shima Onsen Kaiseki Banquet (menu based on season)
  • Healthy Japanese Buffet Breakfast
  • Japanese Baked Curry Set
  • Iwatani Onsen - Niigata Wagyu Banquet (menu based on season)
  • Mixed Japanese and Western Breakfast
  • Echigoyuzawa Sushi (featuring Niigata Koshihikari Rice)
  • Sado Island Pasta (made with locally sourced ingredients)
  • Sado Island Kaiseki (menu based on season)
  • Seaweed Soba Noodle Set
  • Tsukioka Kaiseki Banquet (menu based on season)
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