Antarctica & Arctic
Explore Japan's northern island and spend time in Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Destinations > Japan > Hokkaido Explorer
Six nights hotel accommodation, meals as indicated, sightseeing as per itinerary with English-speaking guide on days 1-3, English-speaking meet and greet and return transfers to airport and information pack.
Hokkaido is Japan’s spectacular northern island, featuring Japan’s best nature experiences, some of its most beautiful landscapes, and unique culture and cuisine shaped by its pristine environment and spectacular winters.
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The relaxed atmosphere and cuisine of Hakodate
Spectacular Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Sapporo and its historic buildings, canals, bars and shops
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Upon arrival at Hakodate Airport, a representative will meet you for your transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. After dinner, we recommend a trip by ropeway up Mount Hakodate for spectacular views.
Enjoy a guided day exploring Hakodate. Take a train to Onuma Quasi National Park, about 20 kilometers north of Hakodate. This park is known for its beautiful lakes dotted with small islands and Mount Komagatake, an impressive dormant volcano. Back in Hakodate, visit the bay area and the Motomachi district, with its distinctive historical buildings. Also visit Goryokaku Park, and take a ride by elevator up Goryokaku Tower for a bird’s eye view of the beautiful park. (B)(L)
Make an early start to visit the Asa-ichi, the morning market, enjoying a breakfast of fresh sushi and marveling at the seafood on offer. Travel by car to Shikotsu-Toya National Park, named for its volcanic lakes. This afternoon, head to Noboribetsu, an area famous for its volcanic activity and onsen (hot spring baths). Visit Jigokudani, or “Hell Valley”, a spectacle of hot steam vents and sulfurous streams. Check in to your ryokan in time for a traditional Japanese dinner. (B)(L)(D)
Spend a day exploring more of Shiktosu-Toya National Park by car. Start with Mount Usu, an active volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years. Visit the Usu Volcano Science Museum, and travel up Mount Usu by ropeway, enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean, Lake Toya and Mount Usu’s large crater. Later explore Mount Yotei, another active volcano in the park. Continue to the renowned mountain resort of Niseko, enjoying some of Hokkaido’s best local delicacies in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, before returning to your ryokan. (B)(D)
This morning take the train to Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido and Japan’s fifth largest city. While Sapporo is most famous for its Snow Festival and winter sports, there is plenty to see and do year-round. In your free time, perhaps explore Odori Park, the Sapporo Botanic Garden, and the Sapporo Beer Museum, a great place to sample the local specialty Jingisukan (lamb BBQ). Alternatively, try exploring Susukino, Sapporo’s famous nightlife area. (B)
Today is a free day, in which we recommend a day trip to Otaru, half an hour northwest of Sapporo. This historic port city features many shops and restaurants along its warehouse- lined canal. Visit Saimachi Street, a preserved merchant street with many restaurants, boutique shops and museums. The city is also famous for some of the best sushi in Japan. (B)
Today is at leisure until your included transfer to Sapporo Airport. (B)
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3 Days / 2 Nights
A great introduction to Japan’s famous hot onsen, ancient ryokan and remarkable snow monkeys of Yudanaka.
15 Days / 14 Nights
Experience modern and ancient Japan on this 15 day journey exploring Honshu.
Experience Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu on this 15 day trip.
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