Hokkaido Tour

FAQs

Visit Japan National Tourism Organization’s Essential Information,
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/index.html, for general travel questions around Passports, Visas, healthcare, electricity etc.

Listed here are FAQs about our tours:

Weather and Clothes:
1. How is the weather in the area of Japan when we travel?
2. What kind of clothes/shoes should we bring?

Lodgings:
1. What class of accommodations do we stay at during the tour?
2. What amenities may we expect to find in our accommodations?
3. Do hotel employees generally understand English?

Luggage:
1. How much luggage will tour members be allowed?

Money:
1.Where should we exchange money?
2.How much spending money should we bring?
3.Can we use ATM cards in Japan?

Others:
1. Along with the ordinary things packed for travel, what specific item would you recommend for our trip?
2. How rigorous are CTS tours?



Weather and Clothes:

1. How is the weather in Japan when we travel?
The average daily temperature in the regions you travel in late May is between 47F and 63F in Sapporo and Niseko areas (Day 1, 2,3,4,& 5), and between 41F and 54F in Tokachi and Kushiro areas (Day 6,7,8,9,10 & 11) 

The daily average temperature in the regions you travel in early October is between 50F and 62F in Sapporo and Niseko areas (Day 1, 2,3,4,& 5), and between 45F and 61F in Tokachi and Kushiro areas (Day 6,7,8,9, 10 &11)

However, Japan has been experiencing an unusually warm weather in recent years. As your departure approaches, we recommend that you closely monitor current weather conditions through newspapers or internets sites.


2. What type of clothes/shoes/rain gear should we bring?
No formal wear will be needed during your tour. Pack casual wear. Layered clothes that can easily be adjusted to changes in temperature are best. Bring shoes suitable for walking. Japanese custom necessitates frequent removal of shoes when going indoors. Shoes that can be easily taken off and put on, such as ones with Velcro attachments, are highly recommended. Bring a light rain gear. It rains frequently in Japan.

Lodgings:

1. What class of accommodations do we stay at during the tour?
In Sapporo (Day 1, 2, and 4) and Obihiro (Day 5,6,and 7), we will stay at a Western-style, businessmen's hotel.  In Lake Toya (Day 3), we will stay at a resort hotel.  In Kushiro (Day 8, 9, and 10), we will stay at a mountain lodge.

2. What amenities may we expect to find in our accommodations?
Your rooms are all attached with Western-style toilet and bathroom. Your rooms are equipped with alarm clocks, hair dryers, refrigerators, thermal bottles, tea bags, teacups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioners. Yukata (a Kimono-style night robe) or pajamas will be provided at all lodgings. Coin-operated laundry machines are available at all accommodations except at Lake Toya on Day 3.

Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available at all accommodations.



3. Do hotel employees generally understand English?
Hotel staff generally understand some English. However, since rudimentary English grammar and vocabulary are part of Japanese public education, you should be able to communicate by writing simple English phrases.


Luggage:

1. How much luggage will tour members be allowed?
Each person is allowed to bring a maximum of three pieces of luggage: 1) one medium or large suitcase, 2) one carry-on bag, 3) one small backpack. 

For airlines' luggage regulations, check with you airlines or travel agency. 

Please do not lock your check-in baggage for international flights.  The transportation security Administration (TSA) screens every piece of checked luggage at commercial airports in the U.S.  According to the TSA, baggage-handling agents may require access to the contents of your luggage and will break locks as required.  For more information visit their website at www.tsa.gov.



Money:

1.Where should we exchange money?
We recommend that you exchange money at a bank in the airport after you arrive in Japan. Exchange rates are, in general, more favorable to you over in Japan than in the U.S.

We recommend you exchange enough money for the entire trip at the airport. Once the tour begins, you will not have time to exchange currency. It is also hard to find financial institutions in the small towns and villages.

Note: Japan is a cash society. Though most large stores and restaurants handle major credit cards, small, regional shops and restaurants still accept cash only.

2. How much spending money should we bring?
Besides the personal expenses such as laundry, phone call, souvenir, optional tours, etc, you will need money to buy meals that are not included in the tour.  On the Hokkaido Tour, you will need to buy 4 lunches and 5 dinners on your own.  Using the average costs of the meals that our past tour members spent ($15 per lunch and $25 per dinner without including drink), you will need about $200 for food only.  Add more for drinks.

Please note that craft and souvenir purchases are not included in this forecast.

3. Can we use ATM cards in Japan?
Foreign credit and debit cards can be used at ATM machines at any Post Office.

Others:

1. Along with the ordinary things packed for travel, what specific item would you recommend for our trip?
Handkerchief : Many restrooms in Japan are not equipped with paper towels.

Tissue paper: Restaurants in Japan don't customarily provide paper napkins.

Washcloths: Lodgings in Japan provide towel sets, but no washcloths.

Earplugs so you get a good night's rest. They can also ease jet fatigue.

Instant coffee or tea to save money

Over-the-counter drugs: They are expensive in Japan. Bring what you think you will need.

2. How rigorous are CTS tours?

The tour includes 2-4 miles of walking almost every day. You will walk on paved and unpaved streets, modest slopes and stairs with or without rails. Though the tours are not rigorous adventures, you should be confident of your physical mobility.