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Hokkaido Winter Festivals

8 Days | 7 Nights

From $ 0

Sapporo - Sounkyo

Tour Highlights

Hokkaido Winter Festivals
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Konnichiwa! Welcome to Sapporo, lovely capital of Hokkaido Island. Upon arrival at Sapporo International Airport/Railway Station, you will be picked up by Asia Senses local guide then provided with transfer assistance via train or shared bus to hotel for checking in. There are no activities planned for today, so you could spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your own leisure.

Overnight in Sapporo.
Today, we will visit the Sapporo Snow Festival which is held annually over seven days in February. People from all over Japan and over the world gather in Sapporo. The festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site. The Odori Site takes the main part of the festival which is held in the 1.5km long main street of Sapporo city. The Susukino Site, located in and named after Sapporo's largest entertainment district, exhibits about one hundred ice sculptures. And the less centrally located Tsu Dome Site is a family oriented site with now attractions such as snow slope, snow maze and making snowman. During the festival, you will have opportunities to taste exciting food, take part in different activities and see the spectacular sculptures.

We will also pay a visit to the Sapporo TV Tower at the eastern end of Odori Park. From here, you can look out west for a sweeping view of all the event halls at once. It is one of the greatest views the Sapporo Snow Festival has to offer.

Overnight in Sapporo.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today, we take a train ride to Otoru, a historic port city not far from Sapporo, about 40 minutes away from Sapporo. It has developed and prospered as "the sea entrance of Hokkaido" over the last 100 years and it has gained the nickname "Wall Street of the North."

During this period of time, Otaru holds its magical Snow Light Path Festival. The whole city is decorated with lanterns and snow statues, which creates a fantastic fairytale-like scenery when it gets dark. In addition, many locals also put lantern displays in front of their shops and residences, which further adds to the festival spirit.

Upon arrival, we will visit the Nikka whiskey distillery to warm up with some strong Japanese whiskey. After that, pay visit to other sites like Herring Mansion & Aoyama Villa.

In the evening, take a stroll along the streets illuminated by gas lamps is a particularly romantic activity that allows you to see the city in a different way. Overnight in Otaru.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today, we will take a walk tour around Otaru’s snow-covered streets and its canal that stretches through the whole city. Observe the beautifully preserved buildings along the way. Discover the Kitaichi glass shop, Taisho glass shop, Music Box shop, LeTao, Kitakaro, Rokkatei, Samurai shop, and many others. You could also go to the ice cream shop which carries unusual ice cream, like sea urchin, potato butter, squid ink, and others. Enjoy walking around this beautiful town and don’t miss trying some of the freshest sushi in Hokkaido.

The tour also covers Tanaka Sake Brewery, the most famous local sake brewery in Otaru. Here, you can buy some special Sake only this factory.

Overnight in Otaru.
MEALS
Breakfast
Today, we will travel from Otaru to Sounkyo, is a touristy hot spring resort town in the north of Daisetsuzan National Park. As we use public vehicles for transportation, we will have a couple of changes in between from train to train or train to bus depending on the availability.

Located in a scenic narrow gorge that's flanked by 100-metre-high, forested cliffs, this region is also known as one of the coldest parts of Japan. The venue is from 10 to 20 degrees below zero, and it is very cold, so you had better wear a warm outfit. Sounkyo is well-known for its Ice Festival with the layout of the festival changes from year to year. It usually features large snow domes, ice sculpture, a snow tubing run and a stage built of snow where various shows and stage events are held.

After a hearty dinner, we will visit the Sounkyo Ice Festival in the evening when everything is illuminated with colorful lights.

Overnight in Sounkyo.
MEALS
Breakfast & Dinner
Today is free at leisure. You can wander on riverside paths where frozen waterfalls hang in mid-air or venture down to the gorge which runs along the Ishikari River. Along the way there are some beautiful views of the misty cliffs and mountain.

In the clear day, you can ride the Kurodake Ropeway to the higher reaches of Daisetsuzan National Park and near the summit of Mount Kurodake. The ropeway operates between 6pm and 7pm, and it takes about 3 hours to get to the summit and back. In the free time, you can take visit to the ultimate wintertime indoor/outdoor public onsen in the village or your resorts own onsens.

Overnight in Sounkyo.
This morning, we will travel back to Sapporo. Upon arrival in Sapporo, we will visit Nijo Market, a public market in central Sapporo that occupies about one city block. It's a major point of interest of Sapporo because you get the quaint feel of an authentic fish market of long standing. The market is popular among tourists, who come in search of Hokkaido souvenirs such as crabs and scallops. Here, you can enjoy some delicious seafood in several restaurants that can be found among the shops.

We then visit Hokkaido Jingu Shinto Shrine, the largest Shinto shrine in the Hokkaido to enjoy serene atmosphere surrounded by forest. Another great visit is the Clock Tower Building, the symbol of Sapporo and Hokkaido. Today, it serves as a museum with displays about the building's history and Sapporo on the first floor. Continue to the Sapporo Beer Museum, the only beer museum in Japan, was opened in July of 1987 to provide visitors with a varied knowledge of beer and brewing. You can also enjoy some tastings.

Overnight in Sapporo.
MEALS
Breakfast
Your “Hokkaido Winter Festivals” adventure comes to an end today. You are free at hotel until our representative come to provide with transfer assistance to Sapporo Airport/Railway Station. If you have any onward travel plans, you can contact with us for more Japan tour packages.
MEALS
Breakfast

Tour Price Includes

Tour Price Excludes


When to Go

See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary
JAN
Place
Place
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

Sapporo
-1ºC
110mm

Sounkyo
-7ºC
72mm