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This package emphasises the charm of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. You will explore the city centres of Hakodate, climb mountains, soak in hot springs and experience a traditional Japanese onsen. Your private tour will allow you to explore the south west of Hokkaido at your own pace, staying at central locations to ensure you have more time to explore.
All our tours can be taken individually or joined together to give you the experience you desire. We take the time you have available to travel and build your adventure around this. Our experiences depart any day and include the exclusive use of a guide who will ensure you receive an experience that is all about you.
We include multiple-night stays in destinations to ensure you aren’t rushed off your feet. This allows you to add your own adventures to the already very generous inclusions list. To allow you to tailor the holiday to your level of comfort, we offer a choice of hotels in each destination from luxury resorts to boutique hotels.
Our itinerary is a starting point, which we will customise just for you during the booking process. As our short tours are just for you, if you book, we will deliver with guaranteed departures. Our guarantee means you can book your holiday in the confidence it will go ahead.
This discovery tour of Japan’s Hokkaido includes such a great variety of experiences that it is bound to appeal to people with a wide range of interests. It’s for anyone who loves to explore places not often visited and marvel in the unspoilt beauty of discovering new destinations.
We have detailed the experiences in the day-to-day program below. For a quick overview, we have provided a snapshot of what is included in your program:
On arrival at Shin Chitose Airport on the outskirts of Sapporo your english speaking guide will greet you and transfer you to the southern Hokkaido city of Hakodate.
Hakodate was one of the first ports in Japan to open its doors to foreign trade and thus is home to architectural influences from around the world. We explore the neighbourhood of Motomachi, where sloping streets provide great views to the harbour. Motomachi was the first area to flourish and has acquired a Western-influenced streetscape. Your guide will take you for a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood.
The massive star shaped fort of Goryokaku is our next stop as we explore Hakodate. This western style citadel was built for the defence of the city against the imperialist threat posed by Western powers. No longer serving any military function, the fort is home to a thousand cherry blossom trees, making it spectacular to view during the peak cherry blossom season.
As the day draws to a close we take the famous Hakodate ropeway to the summit of Mount Hakodate to take in the stunning views as the sun sets. The stunning Mount Hakodate dominates the city skyline and the night views from the summit are renowned as one of the best in the country. In the evening we return to our hotel where guests can enjoy a soak in the onsen spring on the top floor with views across the harbour and to the mountain.
Hotel: Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae Hotel
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast in your hotel we embark on a day excursion to the former castle town of Matsumae. This castle town is situated west of the southernmost point of Hokkaido near Cape Shirakami. Matsumae was once the northern limit of Japan and the castle was the gateway to the otherwise wild, untamed frontier of Hokkaido. The town attracted merchants and grew in prosperity, protected by a garrison we visit at Matsumae Castle. We spend the day exploring this town, home to over ten thousand cherry blossom trees which have an extended blossom season from April to May. In the afternoon we return to Hakodate where you are free to further explore this harbour city at your leisure.
Hotel: Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae Hotel
We explore the volcanic region of Mount Usu and the resort district around Lake Toya today. Mount Usu is a volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years, with the most recent eruption in 2000. We ride the Usuzan ropeway to the volcano’s summit’s observation deck. From here we take in the panoramic views of Showa Shinzan, Japan’s youngest mountain which still ventus sulfurous fumes. Below lies Lake Toya, our next stop.
Part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Lake Toya offers visitors a range of outdoor activities from hiking to relaxing soaks in volcanic hot springs. The spectacular scenery includes caldera lakes, onsen towns and volcanic mountains. We enjoy a local lunch at a local restaurant and there is time for you to undertake some optional activities in the park, including visits to hot springs or horse riding in the park.
In the afternoon we travel to the mountain resort district of Niseko and check in to our traditional Japanese inn steeped in warmth and comfort. You will be able to sooth your mind and body in the hotels Meisen no Yu hot springs, and retire to the warmth of your room.
Hotel: Niseko Kobu Onsen Tsuruga Besso Moku No Sho
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our journey today takes us towards the western coastline of Hokkaido. The stunning Shakotan Peninsula juts into the Sea of Japan and forms a beautiful coastline surrounded by clear ocean waters. The single road that hugs the peninsula coastline takes us from Nesiko to the city of Otaru. Stunning rock formations dot the coastline, culminating at the dramatic Cape Kamui & Cape Shakotan landscapes. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant as we travel along the coastline.
Take some time for a walk along the coastline or a soak in one of the local hot springs as the sun sets before arriving in Otaru in the evening. On arrival in Otaru we explore the historic canal which is lit with old fashioned gas lamps and provides a romantic atmosphere before enjoying a scrumptious dinner at our hotel.
Hotel: Grand Park Otaru Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
You can continue to explore Otaru today at your leisure. Explore the canal during daylight where artists present their works to passing visitors or learn about the history of the region at one of the local museums. Fresh fish and seafood are one of the biggest draw cards for this northern island so a visit to the local seafood market is a must.
When you are ready, depart for Sapporo for a guided tour of the city before exploring the city at your leisure.
Hotel: Route Inn Sapporo Elkimae
After enjoying 6 beautiful days in south western Hokkaido it may be time for you to return home. We include return transfers to Shin Chitose Airport as part of your package. Your guide will farewell you until the next time you visit Hokkaido. We also offer tour extensions. for those wanting a longer experience in Japans most northern island. YourTrip will assist you in making sure your Hokkaido experience is exactly how you want it.
What’s included and not included in this tour of Hokkaido is pretty clear, we think. We like to keep things simple, so you won’t find page after page of terms and conditions (although we are required to have some to protect both you and us).
For this program, we include 5 nights’ accommodation at the hotels at each destination. If that hotel is not available for whatever reason, we will substitute it for a comparable property. If we say we include an activity in the itinerary above, then we include it. Optional activities or what we suggest you could do in your free time are just that – optional and not included – although we have tried to include as much as possible so you get the best experience possible.
We do not include airfares to and from Japan. If you require airfares, please contact us and one of our partners will be happy to assist you.Click here to get a Personal Quote for this tour!
YourTrip tours are all about you, after all it’s your trip! Contact us to customise any of our journeys.