Avanti Adds Two New Regions, FIT Vacations in Japan

Wholesale custom tour operator Avanti Destinations has just added two regions—Shizuoka and Tohuku—to its lineup of destinations for independent travel clients heading to Japan. The two regions and a customizable vacation in each region are highlighted in the company’s revamped and expanded 46-page e-brochure for travel advisors, Japan: A World Apart, available on Avanti’s advisor portal.

Designed to be passed along to clients, the new e-brochure introduces advisors to many less-touristed destinations, the advantages of visiting Japan in each of the four seasons, as well as the range of experiences Japan offers to clients interested in local food specialties, beer, sake, cooking, nature, adventure travel, gardens, history, culture, and wellness. 

The e-brochure includes videos and resources from the Japan National Tourism Organization, such as a Tokyo city map and guide to attractions, as well as an explanation of Japan’s highly efficient train system and recommendations on using the subway. The independent travel specialist additionally has tips for advisors on how to sell custom FIT itineraries in Japan. 

Ginzan onsen in Yamagata, Tohoku, Japan
Ginzan onsen in Yamagata, Tohoku, Japan  (Photo by thanyarat07/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Highlighted Destinations

Destinations highlighted in the new e-brochure, besides Tokyo and Kyoto, include:

  • Fukuoka — Known for its street food and a shrine dedicated to an ancient Japanese poet-politician (deified as the god of literature and learning);
  • Hakone — Famous for its open-air museum of art (over 300 works by Picasso) and sculpture;
  • Hida-Takayama — Gateway to outdoor mountain activities, as well as home to fine Hida beef and buckwheat noodles;
  • Hiroshima — With its Atomic Bomb Dome—now a memorial to peace—and restored 16th-century Hiroshima Castle;
  • Kamakura — Site of the nation’s second tallest Buddha statue and many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples;
  • Kanazawa — A well-preserved Edo-era town with historic castle, stunning gardens, art museums and handicrafts;
  • Kinosaki — Small riverside town famous for its many traditional inns (ryokans) and bathhouses (onsen) offering soothing hot spring soaks;
  • Koyasan — Small town sacred to Shingon Buddhism with a shrine reachable by walking on an ancient forest path, surrounded by over 200,000 gravestones;
  • Miyajima Island — One of Japan’s most sacred sites, with many shrines, including the picturesque “floating” red Torii gate;
  • Nagasaki — Usually remembered as the site where the second atomic bomb was dropped during WWII, the rebuilt city is picturesquely located on a large harbor and has many Japanese Christian sites;
  • Naoshima Island — Completely dedicated to contemporary art;
  • Nikko — Noted for its shrine to Japan’s most famous shogun;
  • Obuse — Small, charming town where famed woodblock artist Hokusai lived, near the snow monkey park and hot springs (onsen).
  • Osaka — Where clients can choose from crab restaurants, Osaka-style sushi, okonomiya (local grilled dish of cabbage, pork or seafood in a batter) and takoyaki (grilled octopus dipped in a batter);
  • Okinawa — Renowned for fresh seafood, scuba diving and snorkeling;
  • Sapporo — Home to a beer museum and annual snow festival, as well as an ideal place to ski;
  • Yokohama — Filled with parks, a traditional Japanese garden, and museums, including a ramen museum featuring replicas of old ramen restaurants.

New Experiences

Among the new experiences which may be added to any custom itinerary: A snorkeling tour (with guide) in Okinawa; private tea ceremony; traditional crafts tour in Kanazawa where clients will learn how to apply gold leaf to chopsticks or a small plate and how to dye cloth in the same manner used to make kimonos; evening food safari in Okinawa with private guide; a private tour of Osaka’s street food culture; sushi-making in a local restaurant after a tour of Tsukiji in Tokyo, where clients can sample fish and seafood in a multitude of restaurants and shops delivered directly from Toyosu, the world’s largest wholesale fish market.  

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