Hokkaido Tour


Transportation: We travel by an 18 passenger bus in each day of the trip except for Day 3 when we use public transportation. Because train and bus schedules are infrequent and traffic is rather light in the countryside of Hokkaido, having our own bus is an efficient way of seeing everything.

Meals: Meals included in the tour are indicated in the itinerary as (B, L, D)

Day1: Arrive in New Chitose Airport. Transfer to Sapporo.

Participants arriving on our designated flight shown below will meet our tour representative at the Arrival Terminal and be transferred by bus to our hotel in Sapporo. (Let us know if you are taking a non-designated flight or other transportation. We will inform you how to transfer to the hotel or join the group.) As participants are arriving at different times, no activities are planned for this evening. Our hotel is conveniently located near many shops and restaurants. Enjoy dinner on your own.

Designated Flight (The schedule is subject to change.)
All Nippon Airways #4729
Lv. 3:50 p.m. Haneda Arr. 5:20 p.m. New Chitose

Day2: Sapporo City Walking tour

Enjoy the morning at leisure. You may rest up to recover from jet lag or see the campus of Hokkaido University near the hotel. Meet your tour leader in the lobby at 11 a.m. We will have lunch and a city walking tour. We will stroll through the fashionable city center, TV tower, historical Clock Tower, Tanuki-Koji Arcade, Odori Park, etc. Do you like ramen? Explore Ramen Alley in the Susukino district, where you will find many small, bar-like, ramen shops lined up. Here is a mecca for ramen lovers around the world. (B, L)

Day 3: Visit Open-air Historic Village and Historical Museum of Hokkaido

Free in the morning. In the afternoon we will take subways and buses to visit an open-air museum, Historic Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku no Mura). It showcases about 50 original buildings built in the frontier era between the mid 1800s to early 1900s. We will learn about traditions and daily lives of early settlers. We will also visit the Historical Museum of Hokkaido which documents the nature, history and culture of Hokkaido. (B)

Day 4: Overnight trip to Lake Toya/ Visit Shiranui Ainu Village

Leaving large suitcase at hotel in Sapporo, we will take a trip to Lake Toya carrying overnight bag only. On the way, we will visit an open-air museum, “Shiraoi Ainu village”, to learn the history and culture of Hokkaido’s native Ainu people. We will see an Ainu dance performance. Enjoy the local specialty, soup curry for lunch. In the afternoon, we will explore the Toya volcanic mountains and lakes and enjoy the view from Mt. Us ropeway. Tonight, we will stay at a hot-spring resort hotel overlooking crystal-clear Lake Toya and its surrounding verdant forest. (B, L, D)


Day 5: Visit Niseko/Food Adventure Drive to Niseko.

We will stop by at the Sairo Observation Deck for the impressive view of the lakes and mountains. We will then visit Lake Hill Farm to taste locally produced gelato. Niseko is known for great food. Our choice for lunch is hand-made soba noodle. The spring water from majestic Mt. Yotei makes a great soba. We will be back to Sapporo before dinner. Evening is free to explore on your own. (B, L)


Day 6: Transfer to Tokachi/ Visit Shintoku Cooperative Farm

Transfer to Tokachi area. After a 2 hour bus ride, we will arrive at a cooperative farm, Shintoku Kyodo Gakusha. The farm is known not only for their award-winning natural cheese making but also for their environmentally conscious natural farming. We will enjoy their cheese, pizza and salad for lunch, followed by their own ice cream. After the lunch, we will visit another dairy and experience hand milking. You will taste the fresh, rich milk. (B, L, D)


Day 7: Millennium Forest Garden/ Ban’ei Horse Race

Today we will visit the Millennium Forest Garden laid out in spacious Tokachi hills and forests. Dan Pearson, a famous British garden designer, won awards for the the Earth Garden and the Meadow Garden. We may have a chance to see Midori Shintani, the head gardener, to learn about their natural garden management. In the afternoon, we will visit Ban’ei Horse Race field to see (betting is allowed) the unique Hokkaido-style horse race in which powerfully-built horses, a special breed used in agriculture, compete by pulling heavily weighted sleds up sand ramps. (B)

Day 8:Visit Naka-satsu-nai Art Village/Rokkatei/Tashiro-no-mori

Today is art day. We will visit Naka-satsu-nai Art Village. Stroll the village in the forest park, visit arts and sculpture museums, browse around Rokkatei sweet shop - one of the most popular confectionary brands in Hokkaido. In the afternoon, we will visit a private garden, “Tashiro-no-mori”, and meet a master gardener, Mr. Izumi, who has created a serene primitive forest garden on his land. (B, L)

Day 9: Transfer to Kushiro/Visit On-Nenai Boardwak and Tsurui-mura villeage

Transfer to Kushiro. In the morning, we will walk the spectacular On-Nenai Boardwalk which stretches about 2-4 miles round-trip in the mystic Kushiro Marsh, Japan’s largest wetland which has 2000 varieties of wild flowers and birds. In the afternoon, we will visit a tiny village, Tsurui, known as a site of the protected tancho, or red-crowned crane. In May, the tancho fly back to the Marsh in pairs in order to raise their new chicks. Our lodge is located within a walking distance to the breeding grounds. Have your camera ready. (B, D)

Day 10: Tsurui-mura Village/ Visit Lake Akan, Mashu, and Kussharo

Free in the morning. In the afternoon, we will visit three spectacular lakes, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu and Lake Kussharo known for their crystal clear water and surrounding primeval lush forests. (B, D)

Day11: Last Day of the tour.

Transfer service to the Kushiro Airport will be provided for participants flying on our designated flight below. If you are taking a non-designated flight, you can also take the bus to the Airport.

Designated flight:
All Nippon Airways #4772 (The schedule is subject to change.)
Lv. 9:55 a.m. Kushiro
Arr. 11:40 a.m. Haneda

Safe trip home or to your next destination!