Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Japan

When: Sept 28th ~ Oct 7th, 2018

Where: Tokyo, Nagano, Osaka, & Kyoto

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Description

Join pickleball national champion Daniel Moore and other pros for a cultural exchange to one of the world’s oldest civilizations as we continue to promote pickleball in Japan! Savor the fresh sushi, explore ancient temples, and witness breathtaking natural landscapes, all while interacting with locals and teaching them about the game of pickleball. This will be a true insider experience as Daniel Moore, who has lived in Japan for most of his life, will take you to all his favorite spots!

Itinerary

Day 1: Friday, September 28th – Arrival at Narita International Airport

Plan your trip to arrive in Tokyo on this day (this means you will need to leave the US on September 27th). We will be staying at a hotel near Narita International Airport this evening and will have our welcome dinner. There is a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel that takes about 20 minutes, please ask at an information desk about the shuttle times and departure platform.

Day 2: Saturday, September 29th – Narita ~ Hachioji

After breakfast, we take a bus from Narita Airport to Hachioji, about 2.5 hours. In the afternoon, we have our first pickleball session with the Hachioji Pickleball Club. This is the highest level pickleball club in Japan and will also feature special matches, demonstrations, prizes and of course lots of fun. Dinner is with the local club for those who are not too tired or jet lagged.

Day 3: Sunday, September 30th – Hachioji ~ Saku

This morning we drive 3 hours from Hachioji to Saku in Nagano Prefecture. We have a pickleball extravaganza planned with food, USA vs Japan matches and time for free rec play. We return to our hotel and go out to dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Monday, October 1st – Pickleball & Mallet Golf in Saku

This morning we have a pickleball session and clinic amongst ourselves. After various options for lunch, in the afternoon we play a round of the indigenous Nagano sport mallet golf before an optional shopping spree at the 100-yen ($1) store and/or grocery store. Dinner is at a local Japanese restaurant with some of the Saku pickleball club members.

Day 5: Tuesday, October 2nd – Shibu Onsen

This morning we pack up and head off to Nagano City, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. After a tour of Zenkoji Temple, we get on a train to Yudanaka, home of the famous Snow Monkeys, which we will see after lunch (please note that this is a 30 minute walk each way). Later, there is an optional walk of the 1300-year old hot spring samurai town. Dinner is in our traditional Japanese style inn known as a Ryokan.

  • Hotel: TBD
  • Facilities: Japanese-style accommodation*
  • *Note: Japanese style accommodation means sleeping on a comfortable futon mattress laid on top of a tatami mat floor. All the rooms will have showers but this inn has hot springs if you want to try soaking in them.

Day 6: Wednesday, October 3rd – Pickleball & Sightseeing in Shibu Onsen

This morning we have our second pickleball session/clinic on hard court tennis courts in Shibu Onsen. In the afternoon, we have an optional hike or drive through the mountains. Because we have a few trains tomorrow, you have the option of sending a suitcase ahead to Osaka, where we will pick it up tomorrow.Dinner is at a local izakaya (pub) style restaurant in Shibu Onsen.

  • Hotel: TBD
  • Facilities: Japanese-style accommodation

Day 7: Thursday, October 4th – Shibu Onsen ~ Osaka

We take the train from Shibu Onsen to Nagano City, then Nagano City to Osaka today, about a 5-hour journey in total. We have some free time in the afternoon to explore Osaka’s famous Dotonbori shopping area located just a few minutes from our hotel. Dinner is hosted by Daikichi Coverall, an Osaka-based company leading the efforts to start pickleball in the city. Prepare your karaoke song of choice because having to sing is a distinct possibility.

Day 8: Friday, October 5th – Kyoto Tour

Today we will take a day trip to Kyoto, about 30 minutes away. We will see shrines, temples and Japanese gardens, as well as many other sights along the way. Please be prepared to walk a lot this day. After returning to Osaka, dinner is on your own this evening. Daniel will be on hand to provide you suggestions if you would like them.

Day 9: Saturday, October 6th –  Pickleball in Osaka

This morning we visit Osaka Castle, a huge monument and museum overlooking the center of the city. In the afternoon we play pickleball with members of Daikichi Coverall, the company starting pickleball in the city. Dinner is a savory Japanese pancake called Okonomiyaki and our farewell dinner.

Day 10: Sunday, October 7th – Osaka ~ Narita International Airport

We take the final leg back to Tokyo and on to the airport. Please do not book your ticket earlier than 2:00 PM as the journey from Osaka to Narita International Airport will take around 4 hours.

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Please keep in mind that this itinerary is subject to change and should not be considered final.

*You will likely have to depart North America the previous day to arrive in Japan on September 28th.

Tour Package

Included

  • Nine nights of accommodation with complimentary breakfasts
  • All dinners and some lunches
  • All activities including tours, entrance & guide fees, pickleball clinics, transportation, etc.

Not Included

  • Airfare to/from Narita Int’l Airport (NRT)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • JR Rail Pass

Cancellation Policy

  • 60 ~ 31 Days Prior to Arrival: 20% of the Total Costs
  • 30 ~ 4 Days Prior to Arrival: 50% of the Total Costs
  • 72 Hours or Less Prior to Arrival: 100% of the Total Costs

Please contact us at pickleballtrips@gmail.com if you have any additional questions regarding our cancellation policy.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage all travelers to invest in travel insurance to both minimize your financial risks of traveling and provide you with peace of mind to fully enjoy the your trip. Travel insurance can provide many helpful resources including refunds or assistance for any of the following situations that may arise before or during a trip:

  • You need to cancel your participation on the tour
  • You need to cancel or change a flight
  • Lost baggage during the trip
  • Stolen items during the trip
  • Medical costs during the trip

We suggest you talk to your insurance provider to ask about the travel insurance plans available to you. You can also compare policies online. Here are two well-known travel insurance providers to consider:

Please contact us at pickleballtrips@gmail.comif you have any additional questions regarding travel insurance.

Past Reviews

“Spreading interest and love for pickleball is something Les and I enjoy doing. Traveling in Japan with Daniel allows us to do that. Daniel’s trip was well organized. It gave us the opportunity to meet people from another culture and do so with a guide who has made Japan his home. We were able to experience “real Japan” as well as see some tourist highlights. Daniel took great care of everyone on the trip. He makes the trip fun, exciting and comfortable for his entire group. We highly recommend this trip!” – Cookie D.


“I never thought I’d ever get a chance to go to Japan. But because I met Scott and I knew I was gonna be with good people who knew the language and we would get along… I enjoyed myself so much!” – Maurice P.


“A trip to Japan with Pickleball included with top flight instruction and an opportunity to introduce the sport to a new country. Well beyond the normal tourist experience! Daniel is a wonderful tour guide – he is very knowledgeable, very calm, and very caring  – and a rare American who is truly fluent in Japanese.  Be excited for a new experience!” – Barbara J.


“Who would have thought – pickleball in Japan – amazing! We met Japanese players, visited cultural sites, and because of Daniel’s fluency in the Japanese language, got to visit many non-touristy places.  The people were so receptive of the sport and what it has to offer.  I await the Japanese impact on the sport. Thanks for this experience!” – Angie S.


“I said to my husband, ‘this is a once in a lifetime trip,’ and it has been.” – Hillary M.