Ideal Itineraries: Fall 2013 by Hoshino Resorts x JR EAST

Travel with the JR EAST PASS, and stay with us, Hoshino Resorts, at participating locations for the best value.

David and Uyanga, a couple currently living in Tokyo, but originally from France and Mongolia, went to Northeastern Japan following the Course One itinerary, for the first time. Here is what they had to say about their experience.

“You will experience Japan's countryside fully, beautiful nature and architecture followed with relaxing moments in quiet hot springs, and kind people always happy, eager to share their lifestyles and culture.”
- David, on the trip to Northeastern Japan

“I was utterly impressed. Now, this is a lasting impression, and a lasting culture that I would want to come back to, time and time again.”
- Uyanga, on the Shamisen guitar live at KAI Tsugaru.

JR Tokyo Station, a classic brick building recently renovated, is where our trip begins. We go to the Travel Service Center to get the JR EAST PASS.
JR EAST Travel Service Center »

We first get our hands on the JR EAST PASS. This pass allows for easy travel at a great discount – no need to calculate the fare, just enter the pass through the designated slot as we go.
For more information on the JR EAST PASS, please refer to the JR website. »

Off we go to Matsushima, one of the Top Three Landscapes in Japan.
The first leg is a 2.5-hour ride on the sleek, Tohoku Shinkansen.
We switch trains to the Senseki Line at Sendai Station, arriving at Matsushima Kaigan Station.

Time for a leisurely stroll in Matsushima, the town known for breathtaking famous pine clad islets of Matsushima Bay.

Next we are headed to Oirase Keiryu (River) in Aomori. The free shuttle from the station is waiting to take us to the inn.

Our final destination for the day is the Oirase Keiryu Hotel, with modern Japanese rooms, vivid local highlights and amazing hot springs, where we spend the night.

After a good night’s rest, we wake up and go on an early morning stroll along the river. Breakfast by the river is absolutely refreshing.

After check-out, we are off to Mt. Hakkoda to see the beautiful fall foliage.
A swift ropeway takes us to the mountaintop, then a ride on a shuttle bus to Hachinohe Station. Take the Aoimori Railway to Misawa Station (JR EAST PASS route).
Tonight’s lodging Aomoriya is only minutes away, a Japanese inn rich with local culture and cuisine.

Tonight’s lodging Aomoriya is only minutes away, a Japanese inn rich with local culture and cuisine. Recommended: Experience the ‘Floating Bath’ at Aomoriya, a resort hotel rich with local culture and flavors. The Nebuta Festival Show at Michinoku Matsuriya Restaurant is a highlight.

After check-out, from Hachinohe Station, we hop on the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori Station. Switch to JR Ou Line to go to JR Hirosaki Station.

Time to sightsee in Hirosaki. The beautiful Hirosaki Castle and apple pie made with locally grown apples are musts.

From Hirosaki Station to Owani Onsen Station is a 10-minute train ride – KAI Tsugaru, our stay for the night is only minutes away.

Dip in the hot spring, slip into a comfortable kimono - it's time for dinner. At night, the live Tsugaru Shamisen concert is a true treat.

Final day – check out. Off to Owani Onsen Station for our return trip.

A swift ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen to Tokyo Station marks the end our unforgettable days in Tohoku.

Depart: Tokyo Station

Take Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station and take Nikko Line.
Get off at the last station, Nikko Station then go to Nikko Tosho-gu which is a must-see Shinto Shrine designated by UNESCO World Heritage and make a little side trip to Lake Chuzenji.

Back to Omiya Station and take Nagano Shinakansen to Karuizawa Station.

A leisurely two-day stay at HOSHINOYA Karuizawa for the ultimate luxury experience.

Check-out. Take JR Nagano Shinkansen to Nagano Station, then switch to Nagano Railway to Yudanaka Station. Meet the monkeys at Snow Monkey Yaen Koen.

※The JR EAST PASS is not valid for Nagano Railway. You are required to pay additional fare.

From Yudanaka station, return to Nagano Station. Take the Wide View Shinano to Matsumoto Station, then switch to JR Ōito Line to Shinano-Ōmachi Station. Check in at KAI Alps.

Experience the Japanese countryside classic ovens, fireplace, and in winter, see what it’s like inside a snow dome.

Check-out. Go hiking on the Kurobe Alpen route.

At Shinano-Ōmachi Station, take JR Ōito Line to Matsumoto Station.

Sightsee at Matsumoto Castle.

Check-in at KAI Matsumoto. Take a soothing bath in the hot spring, where centuries ago, Samurai warriors came to retreat.

Check out. Take the Matsumoto Dentetsu Line to Shin-Shimashima, then take the bus to Kamikochi.

Return to Tokyo on the JR Chuo Line. During the three and a half hour trip, why not take a scenic detour on Fujikyuko Line from Otsuki Station to Kawaguchi Lake to see Mt. Fuji?

※The JR EAST PASS is not valid for Nagano Dentetsu, Matsumoto Dentetsu and Fujikyuko Line.
You are required to pay additional fare.

Depart Tokyo Station.

Take the Nagano Shinkansen to Karuizawa Station.

Check-in: HOSHINOYA Karuizawa

Dinner: Gourmet game meat course dinner at Yukawatan

Check out: HOSHINOYA Karuizawa. From Karuizawa Station, go to Saku-Daira Station. Switch to JR Koumi Line to Kobuchizawa Station.

Check in: RISONARE Yatsugatake

Dinner: Enjoy the marriage of wine from our vineyard and authentic Italian cuisine.

Check out: RISONARE Yatsugatake

Return to Tokyo on the JR Chuo Line. During the three and a half hour trip, why not take a scenic detour on Fujikyuko Line (JR Kanto Area Pass) from Otsuki Station to Kawaguchi Lake to see Mt. Fuji?

※JR Kanto Area Pass is valid for Fujikyuko Line.

JR EAST PASS & JR Kanto Area Pass

Before or after your trip to Northeastern Japan, take full advantage of the JR EAST PASS and JR Kanto Area Pass on all JR lines in Tokyo area, including the Narita Express and Tokyo Monorail. This is the must have pass if you want to venture out to other areas of Japan from Tokyo.

JR EAST PASS

The JR EAST PASS is an unlimited ride pass, offered at a special discounted price, available only to foreigners visiting Japan (with a short-term visa no longer than 90 days) with a non-Japanese passport.
Go on unlimited rides on all JR East train lines.
Start with from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport to Tokyo, then ride around the city - then hop aboard the Shinkansen, limited express to Sendai or Nagano, or on any line in the JR East train area.
The JR EAST PASS can also be used on some trains in the Izu and Nikko areas.
Take full advantage of this great offer - see a lot more, for a lot less.

JR EAST PASS Price List
Pass Type Ordinary Car
Flexible five-day pass (any five days within 14 days of issuance, including the day of issuance) Adults(12 and older) Children(6 to 11)
22,000 yen 11,000 yen

For details on JR EAST PASS, please refer to the JR page »

Purchase JR EAST PASS here, please refer to the JR page »

JR Kanto Area Pass

The JR Kanto Area Pass is an unlimited ride pass, offered at a special discounted price, for rides in Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto area.
Valid for three days, the pass is good for unlimited rides for reserved seats on ordinary cars on Shinkansen, limited express and other trains.
The JR Kanto Area Pass offers the best discount fares to visit popular tourist destinations such as Mt. Fuji, Izu and Karuizawa.

JR Kanto Area Pass Price List
Adults(12 and older) Children(6 to 11)
8,000 yen 4,000 yen

For details on JR Kanto Area Pass, please refer to the JR page »

Purchase JR Kanto Area Pass here, please refer to the JR page »

Enter now to win JR EAST PASS and a stay at KAI Tsugaru!
Go to Hoshino Resorts Official Facebook page – just answer a short questionnaire to enter.

Sweepstakes Details

Dates: September 6th 2013 – October 31st, 2013
Winners will receive the following prizes:
1st prize: A pair of JR EAST PASS and 2-nights stay at KAI Tsugaru - 1 winner
2nd prize: JR EAST PASS – 3 winners
Prize must be claimed by March 20th, 2014
Eligibility:
- Must be holding a non-Japanese passport
- Like us on the official Hoshino Resorts Facebook Page
Drawing: November 5th, 2013
Sweepstakes will take place on the official Hoshino Resorts Facebook Page
Disclaimer:
Users must meet the following conditions to use the JR EAST PASS.
1) Must be holding a non-Japanese passport
2) Must be visiting Japan on a short-term visa no longer than 90 days (will verify the Short Term Stay sticker in your passport). Pass will be issued to the winners at the JR East Travel Service Centers (Narita, Haneda and Tokyo). Pass will not be issued to winners if eligibility is not met.

Hoshino Resorts in Eastern Japan

Now offering Special Weekday Rates for limited time. Book your stay now at participating Hoshino Resorts locations for the best available rates.
For details on JR EAST PASS, please refer to the JR page.

Hoshino Resorts x JR EAST PASS Campaign
Participating Locations

Unrivaled Hospitality in the Heart of Northern Japan
 

See & Feel the Dynamic Nature of Japan
 

A Perfect Blend of Modern and Traditional Art in a Historic Castle Town

A Secluded Mountainside Hot Springs Spa Resort

Japan’s First Winery Resort in a Mountain Village

Local Folk Traditions in a Parklike Setting

Scenic Waterfall Walks
 

A comfortable inn, your newest base for sightseeing in the serenity of nature

Sleep to Silence and the Sound of Waves
 

Relax in the Bountiful Thermal Waters and Mild Climate