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Sapporo Snow Festival & Japan Winter Highlights

This 13-day trip brings together two Japanese islands to create one unforgettable experience that covers some of the major winter events this country has to offer. From the famous onsen hot springs throughout Japan that make the country so inviting in winter, to the free time to discover new and historical districts in Tokyo and Kyoto, to the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Otaru Light Festival in Hokkaido, this tour is the best answer for anyone looking for a different sort of adventure.

  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AJWF/154068
  • Starts: Tokyo, Japan
  • Finishes: Sapporo, Japan
You will Visit
  • Tokyo
  • Sapporo

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Tokyo

Enjoy a morning tour of some of the city's highlights. With a free afternoon, opt to head out of town and view Mt Fuji or explore more of Tokyo's diverse districts.

03

Day 3: Tokyo/Shirakawa-go

It's a long travel day to reach the scenic village of Shirakawa-go. View the unique architecture before settling into a local style inn for the night. Enjoy a traditional dinner.

04

Day 4: Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa

Enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Kanazawa by bus. Wander through the samurai village on a short guided walk and take a guided tour of the Ninja Temple. Opt to visit the impressive 21st Century Museum, the geisha district, or Kenrokuen garden.

05

Day 5: Kanazawa/Kawayu Onsen

Travel to Kawayu Onsen in the Kii mountains. Settle into the traditional inn for the evening. Visit the seninburo onsen, dug into the riverbed, and soak in the natural hot spring. Savour a traditional dinner at the minshuku.
It's a long, but scenic, travel day to reach the Wakayama prefecture. Kawayu Onsen is known for its large, outdoor onsen bath dug every winter into the river bed.

Dress in the yukata (cotton kimono) provided by the minshuku (inn) and stroll over to the seninburo (large public hot spring) to enjoy an unforgettable soak in the steamy natural hot spring water.

06

Day 6: Kawayu Onsen/Osaka

Spend a free morning in the area. Opt to walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, visit nearby Yunomine Onsen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or visit the Hongu Taisha Shrine and giant torii gate of Oyu No Hara. Travel to Osaka in the late afternoon and opt for a night out in buzzing Namba.

07

Day 7: Osaka

Explore this vibrant city before an included visit to the Instant Ramen Museum. Make your own noodles from scratch. With free time opt to visit Spa World or discover artsy cafés and shops in Nakazakicho.

Osaka has heaps to offer including Osaka Castle Park, Shinsaibashi shopping street and Dotombori Bridge. Be sure to try "takoyaki" the city's famous squid snack. Osaka is a unique culinary destination – opt for a group meal of "kushikatsu".

08

Day 8: Osaka/Kyoto

Continue on to nearby Kyoto and enjoy a morning city tour. With options like a tea ceremony, a traditional costume photo shoot, and visits to temples or museums, there's tons to see and do.

09

Day 9: Kyoto/Sapporo

Catch a flight from Kyoto to the island of Hokkaido. Enjoy some free time in Sapporo with an optional welcome meeting for any new travellers joining the group here.

10

Day 10: Sapporo

Take an orientation tour of the city before spending the day at the Sapporo Snow Festival. In the evening, depart for Otaru to experience this town's Snow Light Path Festival. Head back to Sapporo for the night.

11

Day 11: Sapporo/Noboribetsu

Travel to nearby Noboribetsu. Go for an easy hike through Jigokudani Park to view the scenery and geysers, or opt to visit the onsen town's spas. Enjoy a stay at a traditional inn for the night, complete with dinner dressed in a provided yukata (cotton kimono).

12

Day 12: Noboribetsu/Sapporo

Enjoy a free day to visit the snow festival or explore more of Sapporo.
Experience more of Sapporo with options to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum for a tour and tasting (complete with an optional all-you-can-eat-and-drink meal in the Beer Hall) or travel to the top of the Sapporo TV Tower for a new vantage point.

13

Day 13: Sapporo

Depart at any time.
Can't get enough snow? Book post accommodation and head to Niseko to experience Japan's world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Recharge: Seninburo Hot Spring Visit, Hongū
    • CEO-led city tours of Tokyo and Kanazawa
    • Ninja Temple visit
    • Minshuku stay with traditional meals
    • Instant Ramen Museum visit (Osaka)
    • CEO-led city tour of Kyoto, including entrance to Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion
    • Orientation walks in Osaka and Sapporo
    • Sapporo Snow Festival visit
    • Snow Light Path Festival visit (Otaru)
    • Jigokudani Park visit
    • Minshuku stay (Noboribetsu)
    • Internal flight
    • All transport to/from included activities and between destinations
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts), farmhouse (1 nt), traditional inns (2 nts)
    • 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Train, public bus, subway, plane, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
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Tour Highlights:
  • Lay eyes on the glitz of Tokyo
  • Combat winter's chill soaking in outdoor onsen spas
  • Go local at a traditional minshuku
  • Make your own instant ramen in Osaka
  • Celebrate the season at Sapporo Snow Festival