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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
Toll Free: 1-855-325-2726 (US/CANADA) Tel: 1-909-988-8885
Fax: 1-909-349-1736 E-mail: info@alljapantours.com

Japan Winter Highlights: Winter Festivals, Kawazu Cherry Blossoms & Snow Monkeys

Discover the unmissable Winter Highlights of Japan on a 21-day itinerary, with exciting Hokkaido Winter Festivals, the Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka, and the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival.

Tour Code: GTC4566054

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $8698.00

Single supplement: USD $1800.00

Tour duration: 21 days 20 nights

Destination:
Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro / Tokyo / Hakone / Kawazu / Lake Kawaguchi / Matsumoto / Yudanaka / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Oobokekyo Gorge / Kotohira / Takamatsu / Kobe

Tour cost includes:
• 16 nights Western style and 4 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Sapporo New Chitose Airport
• Domestic flight from Kushiro to Tokyo
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 11 lunches and 9 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2025
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sun. Feb 2, 2025 Sat. Feb 22, 2025 USD $8698.00 Sapporo Osaka View Tour
2026
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Tue. Feb 3, 2026 Mon. Feb 23, 2026 USD $8698.00 Sapporo Osaka View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Sapporo New Chitose Airport

Welcome to Sapporo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Chitose or similar class

NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.

Day 2

Shiraoi (Upopoy National Ainu Museum), Lake Shikotsu (Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival)

In the morning we will go to Shiraoi, and the Upopoy National Ainu Museum, a newer museum facility that celebrates the cultural heritage of the native Ainu people, including exhibits on Ainu language, culture, history, crafts, music, and dance. Then, we venture out to Lake Shikotsu to walk among the incredible ice sculptures and multi-story snow buildings during the Lake Shikoku Ice Festival. In the afternoon, we will depart for Sapporo by a private coach and enjoy a dinner. Finally, we check- in to our hotel for a relaxing evening in Sapporo.

Breakfast / Dinner

ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo or similar class

Day 3

Sapporo (Sapporo Snow Festival)

This morning we will visit the Sapporo Snow Festival (the Odori Site), the biggest snow festival in Hokkaido, by train. The festival's famous large snow sculptures are crafted by citizens who compete against each other's work of arts. It is normal for these snow figures to measure more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high. Most are exhibited in the Odori site. Even so, many more snow sculptures of varied sizes and shapes are exhibited in events and concerts at other locations apart from the main stage in Odori's park. For those who want a view to remember, they can consider taking a view from the Sapporo TV Tower at the eastern end of Odori Park. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy, along with lunch on your own. Our tour guide will be there to help you make arrangements or take you to places depending on the group's need.

Breakfast

ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo or similar class

Day 4

Sapporo (Okurayama Ski Jump Observatory / Historic Village of Hokkaido), Otaru (Sakaimachi Street - Kitaichi Garasukan & Music Box Museum / Otaru Canal / Otaru Sushi District)

This morning we continue to enjoy a tour of Sapporo. Visit Okurayama Ski Jump Observatory for an incredible view of Sapporo. From there, we go into the Historic Village of Hokkaido where horse-drawn carriages and trolleys are still seen and used. The village offers insight into its history as well as an open-air museum through their buildings, which exemplify architectural evolution from the Meiji and Taisho eras into the modern age. From there, we travel into the romantic and nostalgic town of Otaru for a leisurely stroll through the port city's heritage district. As you walk up Sakaimichi Street, you can see Otaru's history in old Western-style fisheries, shops and houses. On the way, we'll explore Otaru's reputation for excellent glass craftsmanship at the Kitaichi Garasukan, where glassmakers transitioned from making simple glass fishing buoys to crafting fine glassware and artwork. At one end of Sakaimichi Street we'll discover the Music Box Museum, a cozy museum and shop selling a large collection of charming music boxes. After, we will take a walk along the Otaru Canal, which had once fallen into disrepair at the introduction of modern docking facilities, and has since been converted into a charming vintage promenade. Finally, we will make our way to the Otaru Sushi District, where you will be free to find your own sushi dinner from among the shops selling various kinds of sushi.

Breakfast / Lunch

Grand Park Otaru Hotel or similar class

Day 5

Asahikawa (Asahikawa Winter Festival / Otokoyama Sake Brewery), Sounkyo (Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival)

Today, we will take a 2-hour ride by private coach from Sapporo to Asahikawa for the Asahikawa Winter Festival. The biggest snow castle is found in the winter festival, entertaining all who come to visit it. The building may be cold, but you would always warm up with a nice cup of sake. Next, we visit the Otokoyama Sake Brewery where historical sake brewery tools are displayed and the history of Otokoyama sake was born. Enjoy a sake tasting experience to add to your experience. Then, we will proceed to Sounkyo Gorge in Daisetsuzan National Park. Lets enjoy the views of the Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival's snow creations that take shape in forms of creatures, cultural sites, and pop culture characters. After your evening stroll around the ice festival, you will check-in to your hotel and relax in the hot spring baths.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Sounkyo Choyotei Hotel or similar class

Day 6

Sounkyo (Ginga & Ryusei Waterfalls), Kitami (Kitakitsune Farm), Abashiri (Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum)

After breakfast, we will explore the Sounkyo Gorge area, including Ginga and Ryusei waterfalls, a popular ice climbing spot. The Ginga, or "Galaxy" waterfall drapes over the rock like a white curtain, while the Ryusei "Shooting Star" waterfall rushes out from behind the rocks in the cliff face like a natural jetstream. From there, we will drive to Kitami, a small town in the countryside. We will stop for a visit to the Kitakitsune Farm, which cares for the well being of one of Hokkaido's native treasures - the Ezo red fox. These adorable creatures, noted for their gorgeous, fluffy coats, are considered heavenly messengers in traditional Shinto mythology, with statues of foxes decorating the grounds of many shrines. Next, we drive to the town of Abashiri for a tour of the Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, which features interactive exhibits about the native environment around the Bay of Okhotsk, where you can see ryu-hyo, or drift ice. We will have a rare opportunity to observe the mysterious sea life known as clione "sea angels".

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Abashiri Kanko Hotel or similar class

Day 7

Abashiri (Ice Breaker Cruise / Abashiri Prison Museum), Lake Tofutsu (Whooper Swans Viewing), Lake Akan (Wakasagi Smelt Fishing)

This morning, we will experience an Ice Breaker cruise among the floating drifts of ice. Once there, you will notice the different species that come to migrate or live in the area year- round. We will also visit Abashiri Prison Museum. The original Abashiri Prison was constructed in the 1890s, it was set to hold over a thousand dangerous criminals, but soon was overcapacitated and created unliveable conditions for its inmates. Ishii Teruo's films, however, created a Yakuza image in the 1960's that was more interesting for the public. Eventually, the prison's original buildings were moved and remodeled, then finished in 1985. It is now an open air museum, for the public. In the afternoon we will take a tour of Lake Tofutsu and Lake Akan. Once at Lake Akan, we will experience a local practice and delicacy, Wakasagi smelt fishing.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

New Akan Hotel or similar class

Day 8

Lake Akan (Ainu Kotan), Kushiro (Akan International Crane Center / Kushiro Marsh Observatory / Washo Market)

After breakfast, visit Ainu Kotan, a street that specializes in hand-crafts, cultural items, and other souvenirs from the native Ainu culture. Then we will drive to Kushiro for a visit to Akan International Crane Center. Kushiro is the home of the rare and beautiful Tancho "red-crowned" crane. The crane is an animal closely tied to Japanese folklore, and you can see many of these delicate birds here year round, and view exhibits about the breeding and ecology of cranes. Then we will explore the Kushiro Marshlands, a region protected by the Japanese as the roosting grounds of the red-crowned crane. The marsh turns a pale brown in the fall as the land prepares for the coming winter snow. Stop by at the Kushiro Marsh Observatory to enjoy a panoramic view of the marshland, the city of Kushiro, and the mountains of Akan. The Washo Market in Kushiro, Hokkaido is a market specializing in selling fish produce to the public. It is located close to the Kushiro Station within walking distance of the market. It is considered one of the top three markets to go to in Hokkaido.

Breakfast / Lunch

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kushiro or similar class

Day 9

Kushiro Airport - Tokyo Haneda Airport

After breakfast, free for leisure until transfer to Kushiro Airport for your domestic flight to Tokyo. Upon arrival in Tokyo, you will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

Breakfast

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class

Day 10

Tokyo (Free day)

Today you will have a free day in Tokyo. Tokyo is Japan's most well known and populated city. From pop culture or historic temples to relaxation or shopping, there is no shortage of things to do here! You are free to plan your own route or we are happy to provide suggestions. Tokyo is well known for its culinary diversity so we recommend that you take this opportunity to explore and find yourself some great eats! Lunch and dinner are not included today so you will be free to choose from the wide range Tokyo has to offer.

Breakfast

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class

Day 11

Tokyo (Tsukiji Outer Market / Drive by Imperial Palace / Sushi Making Experience / Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Tokyo Skytree)

Today, you will visit Tsukiji Outer Market – a bustling outdoor street market known for its fresh and delicious seafood, produce, and kitchenware. From there, we drive by the Imperial Palace, which offers splendid views of the meticulously maintained front lawn and garden areas, the moat, and the old stone walls. Next, enjoy a fun and simple Sushi-Making Experience, where you can enjoy creating your own sushi, and eating it afterwards! Then, we visit Tokyo’s oldest temple complex – Asakusa Sensoji Temple, featuring the Kaminarimon Gate, in which hangs an enormous red lantern. Leading up to the temple is Nakamise Street, which is lined with shops selling all manner of Japanese souvenirs. At the end of the day, we ascend Tokyo Skytree to the observation deck, which offers a panoramic 360- degree view of the Tokyo cityscape.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class

Day 12

Hakone (Laka Ashi Cruise), Kawazu (Nanadaru Falls / Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival)

Travel to Hakone, which is among Japan's most popular hot-spring resorts, and view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will cruise around Lake Ashi will be taken not on just any boat, but on a pirate ship. There are three different ships called Royal II, Victory and Vasa. Each ship has something unique as with each port. Lake Ashi is famous for having Mount Fuji in the background in combination with the lake, for example. Travel to Kawazu to visit to the Nanadaru Falls, or Seven Waterfalls, Kanidaru, Odaru,Kamadaru, Ebidaru, Hebidaru, Shokeidaru and Deaidaru. The falls differ in sizes with the smallest one, Kanidaru, just 3 feet wide and 6 feet tall. The largest waterfall, Odaru, is about 20 feet wide and 100 feet high. Then, enjoy the famous Kawazu Cherry Blossoms Festival. Kawazu cherry blossoms are known as one of the earliest to bloom in Honshu region. They are different from Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms (the most common kind of sakura in Japan) in that Kawazu cherry blossoms are pink and last longer in full bloom. During the festival, more than one million people visit the town to see cherry trees lined along the Kawazu River in full bloom.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Izu-Imaihama Tokyu Hotel or similar class

Day 13

Lake Kawaguchi (Kubota Itchiku Museum / Kachi Kachi Ropeway), Matsumoto (Matsumoto Castle)

We will depart from Izu to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. At one of shores of Lake Kawaguchi is the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. The museum displays the beautiful kimonos done by Itchiku Kubota with the tsujigahana dyeing technique. His unfinished masterpiece called the “Symphony of Light,” is a kimono 80-piece set depicting the four seasons and his own universe. Currently 40 of the 80 set pieces were completed by Itchiku, the rest was continued by his children. Next, we get ready to ride the Kachi Kachi Ropeway, which often depicts a tanuki (racoon dog) in its vicinity due to a children's story based on that area. The ropeway extends from the top of Mt. Tenjo to the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko, along the way you can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount Fuji. We will then travel to Matsumoto where we'll visit the photogenic Matsumoto Castle, or Black Crow Castle, dating back over 400 years. Tonight, we will stay at the Onsen Ryokan at Yudanaka, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Ryokan Biyu no Yado or similar class

Day 14

Yudanaka (Snow Monkey Park), Takayama (Old Town / Takayama Jinya)

This morning Yudanaka gives us the chance to see the famous snow monkeys as they enjoy their hot spring baths. From Yudanaka, we will continue on to Takayama. This city is located amongst the Japanese Alps and is known as "Little Kyoto" for its preserved historical structures and environment. Due to its remote position in the mountains, it was cut off from the rest of Japan for most of its history and, thus, has maintained a very unique and traditional atmosphere. We'll explore the old town of Takayama, a place that creates a sense of tradition and nostalgia. Along the way you'll notice the huge cedar balls hanging from the eaves of several shops - these indicate that the shops are sake shops. Next, visit Takayama Jinya, the only traditional local government office in existence and a fine example of a miniature palace containing offices, an interrogation room with torture devices, and a 440 year-old rice granary.

Breakfast

Mercure Hida Takayama or similar class

Day 15

Takayama (Morning Market), Shirakawa- go (Shiroyama Viewpoint / Gassho-zukuri Minkaen), Kanazawa (Kenrokuen), Shinkansen Bullet Train Ride from Maibara to Kyoto

This morning we'll enjoy the lively city market before heading to the World Heritage site in the rural area of Shirakawa-go. In this very photogenic village, we will walk past thatched roof farm houses and cultivated fields and see unspoiled Edo period wooden buildings. Once there, we will also go the Shiroyama Viewpoint, which allows us to have a scenic view of Shirakawa-go from higher grounds. From Shirakawa-go, we will depart to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of three most beautiful gardens of Japan. The name "Kenrokuen" literally means a garden combining the 6 attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features, and panoramas. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern that is iconic of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. Next, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride from Maibara to Kyoto, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr. We will stay two nights in Kyoto, a historical city. During World War II it was spared from air raids and saved from the atomic bomb for its cultural and historical value.

Breakfast / Lunch

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or similar class

Day 16

Kyoto (Arashiyama - Tenryuji Temple & Zen Garden - Sagano Bamboo Forest / Golden Pavilion / Green Tea Ceremony with Maiko Interaction / Kiyomizu Temple / Gion Geisha District)

After breakfast, we begin our tour of Kyoto – the center of Japan’s traditional culture. We first go to the Arashiyama district to see Tenryuji Temple. Tenryuji is most famous for its Zen Garden, which has been carefully maintained for centuries using the technique of “borrowed scenery” to create a breathtaking landscape. We continue from there to the Sagano Bamboo Forest, where towering stalks of bamboo packed close together create an otherworldly feeling of mystery and awe as you walk the path through the center. Next, we go to Kinkakuji Temple (also called the Golden Pavilion), which is one of Kyoto’s most coveted sights. Shimmering walls wrapped in gold leaf are reflected in the Mirror Pond below; look carefully to see the dainty phoenix sitting on the roof. Then experience a traditional Green Tea Ceremony – an elegant ritual of hospitality once accorded only to the social elite. The experience is made even more special as it is hosted by an elegant Maiko (an apprentice Geisha). After, tour Kiyomizu Temple, also known as the Temple of Pure Water, a celebrated landmark famed for its iconic three-story pagoda, large wooden stage offering a spectacular view, and trio of sacred springs pouring from the base of the main hall. We end our day in the Gion Geisha District, a heritage district where stone-paved streets are lined with exclusive ochaya (teahouses). While admiring the old- fashioned buildings, the fortunate visitor may spot Geisha or Maiko (Geisha apprentices) walking between these establishments.

Breakfast / Dinner

Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or similar class

Day 17

Kyoto (Fushimi Inari Shrine), Nara (Todaiji Temple / Deer Park), Osaka (Dotonbori - Shinsaibashi)

Today, we travel to Fushimi Inari Shrine – the chief shrine of the thousands throughout the country dedicated to Inari, the Shinto deity of economic prosperity, rice, and foxes. What sets this shrine apart is the sight of thousands of bright vermillion “torii” gates that form long pathways through the forest covering sacred Mount Inari. Next, we will travel to the ancient city of Nara, where we will visit one of Japan’s most famous temples and an icon of the city: Todaiji Temple, which is home to the Great Buddha of Nara – a massive, seated image of Rushana-butsu, known as the “Cosmic Buddha”. Outside the temple, spend some time with the friendly wild deer of Nara Deer Park. These adorable creatures are largely accustomed to interacting with people, and some have even learned to bow when asking for the special deer crackers, which can be bought around the park. We go from there to Osaka to visit the colorful, neon-lit entertainment district of Dotonbori. This area is popularly known for being the heart of Osaka’s food culture. Osaka is known as the city of “Kuidaore” or “to eat until you drop”, and you will find Dotonbori to be filled with numerous eateries underneath large, eye-catching billboards, including the famed Glico “Running Man”. Lastly, make your way to Shinsaibashi, the largest shopping district in Osaka. Originally established during the Edo period, this historic district is now home to various modern retailers including jewelers, trendy boutiques, western clothing and footwear stores, even traditional kimono tailors.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class

Day 18

Himeji (Himeji Castle), Kurashiki (Canal Area)

Today we take a 2-hour ride by private coach to Himeji to visit the Himeji Castle. It is known as "White Egret Castle" and "White Heron Castle" because of its brilliant white exterior, resembling a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan, and is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan. This splendid example of traditional architecture was declared one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan. Next is a visit to Kurashiki. In merchant days, this scenic town thrived as a port for rice shipments. Several old rice granaries and examples of historic architecture still remain, in addition to the stone lined canal. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey to Hiroshima.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hiroshima Grand Prince Hotel or similar class

Day 19

Hiroshima (Peace Memorial Park / A-Bomb Museum / Miyajima - Itsukushima Shrine), Shimanami Kaido (Scenic Driving)

Today we will visit the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. After lunch, we will take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima. At high tide, the famed vermilion torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine looks like it's floating in the middle of the sea. The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Miyajima has been selected as one of Japan's three most scenic places (nihon sankei). In the afternoon, we will drive through the Shimanami Kaido to Shikoku Island. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway.

Breakfast / Dinner

Imabari Kokusai Hotel or similar class

Day 20

Oboke Gorge (Oboke Gorge Boat Ride), Kotohira (Kotohira- gu Shrine), Takamatsu (Ritsurin Park), Kobe (Wagyu Beef Dinner)

After breakfast, we continue our journey to Oboke Gorge, one of three hidden mountain regions of Japan. Oboke is the valley located upstream of the Yoshino- gawa River. "Boke" means "dangerous to walk along," and Oboke (big "boke") was named for its jagged V- shaped rocks and narrow path which, no matter how carefully or slowly you walk, makes walking dangerous. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride and take in the panoramic view of the valley. Then, climb the 1,368 stone steps to the Kotohira-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine. If you do not want to climb the stairs, there are many things to enjoy at the lower level: sweets stores, sake shops, places where you can learn to make ice cream or udon, and craft shops. In Takamatsu we will visit Ritsurin Park, a masterpiece of Japanese landscape 100 years in the making. This sprawling park features beautiful ponds and pavilions, with Mt. Shiun as the perfect backdrop. From there, our private coach takes us across Awaji Island through a series of spectacular bridges. In the evening we continue to Kobe, where we will savor the world famous Wagyu beef.

Breakfast / Dinner

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport or similar class
Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class (NOTE 2 & 3)

NOTE 2: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

NOTE 3: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

Day 21

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.

Breakfast

NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.