Japan - North to Hokkaido
Wednesday 25 September to Sunday 13 October 2013
A revised version of our successful 2004 tour. A combination of railways, both new and old and wonderful sightseeing. Travel on the famous Shinkansen Bullet trains, ordinary express and suburban trains and some remote branch lines. Once a prominent feature throughout Japan, the steam locomotive is a sight rarely seen today and we are pleased to include the famous Banetsu Monogatari steam train, a return to the popular Mooka Steam Railway and a first time journey on the Niseko Steam train.
Day 1 London to Tokyo
Scheduled flight from London to Tokyo.
Day 2 Arrive Tokyo
Arrive Tokyo and transfer to our hotel in central Tokyo for a 3-night stay.
Day 3 Sightseeing in Tokyo
Explore Japan’s capital city. Either join our guided tour or strike out on your own on the immaculately clean and efficient Metro and suburban trains.
Day 4 Mooka Railway
We sample three types of train in quick succession today. We race out of Tokyo by Shinkansen Bullet train to Oyama, then by local electric train to Shimodate and finally the Mooka Railway steam train to Motegi. Normally hauled by a C11 Tank engine this is a gentle introduction to travel in Japan.
Day 5 Banetsu Monogatari Steam
Today we leave Tokyo for Niigata on the Japan Sea coast. Travel will be by steam in the form of the historic C57 hauled ‘Banetsu Monogatari’ for the 125 kilometres between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Niigata. We overnight in Niigata.
Day 6 By train to Akita
Today we board the ‘Inaho’ limited express train for the three and a half hour trip along the Japan Sea coast further north to Akita. Afternoon free to explore Akita.
Day 7 Onward to Hokkaido
Depart by ‘Komachi’ service along the ‘Mini Shinkansen’ line to Morioka, changing here for Aomori. We then travel through the Seikan Tunnel linking Honshu and Hokkaido to reach historic Hakodate for a 2-night stay.
Day 8 Hakodate Sightseeing
A day’s sightseeing in Hakodate. This city was the first to open to the west in the 19th Century and boasts an international feel with old churches and consulates connected. It’s interesting tram network is of particular interest!
Day 9 Across Hokkaido
We travel from the west of Hokkaido to the east. Our first stop is Sapporo for a brief lunch break before continuing to the south eastern port of Kushiro for a 2-night stay.
Day 10 At leisure in Kushiro
Day at leisure to look around Kushiro. You may wish to visit Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf where you will find a selection of restaurants serving gourmet meals. North of Kushiro is Japan’s largest Marshland, Kushiro Marsh, now a National Park and home to about 20 Tancho Cranes visible all year round.
Day 11 Return to Sapporo
Travel along the JR Senmo Line to Abashiri on the eastern coast where we have a brief stop for lunch, before continuing by ‘Okhotsk 6’ limited express train across the centre of Hokkaido to Sapporo where we stay for 3 nights.
Day 12 Niseko Steam Train
Today we take a return trip to Rankoshi, hauled by a C62 class steam engine. Marvel at the spectacular autumn colours as you journey through the mountain pass between Otaru and Rankoshi. On a clear day you can also enjoy stunning views of Mt. Yotei.
Day 13 At Leisure in Sapporo
Day at leisure to explore Hokkaido’s capital city, or you can take an all day trip to Wakkanai, Japan's most northerly station just across the water from Russia.
Day 14 Return to Honshu
Today we travel back to Honshu, this time down the Pacific side. From Hachinohe in northern Honshu we take the Shinkansen bullet service to Sendai for a 2-night stay.
Day 15 Matsushima Bay
Day 16 To Nikko
Travel by Shinkansen Bullet train to Utsunomiya where we continue by regional train to historic Nikko for 2 nights.
Day 17 Free day to enjoy magical Nikko
Day 18 To Narita
We return to Tokyo on the 3ft 6ins gauge ‘Bullet’ trains operated by the Tobu Railway. A final run takes us out to Narita for our final night.
Day 19 Fly Tokyo to London
Flight from Tokyo to London arriving same day.
|Single room supplement:||£395|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£200|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012