For a limited time, book your 2020, 2021 & 2022 group tour packages with no deposit required!!!
These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.
These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.
Enjoy more than just sightseeing. These tours will allow you to eat in small local restaurants, visit hidden gems, stay at hotels with limited occupancy, take part in activities available only to small groups, and enjoy more interaction with your tour guides. Ultra-Deluxe small group tours are the ultimate way to visit Japan with hand-picked, top hotels and ryokans (traditional inns) to relax in. Select from a unique range of luxurious cultural experiences that are limited to smaller groups, which is why the maximum group size is 6 guests.
These tours allow you to enjoy Japanese culture firsthand in the intimacy of a small group. The maximum group size is 12 guests, which enables you to travel by public transportation, such as by train, subway, taxi, ferry or local bus. Walking the streets and taking the local trains will allow you to interact more with the locals and appreciate what everyday life in Japan is like. Each city will feature an expert local guide who will be able to share in-depth information on the featured attractions and sites, and provide assistance or recommendations if needed prior to your free time.
The price is per person, based on twin or triple room occupancy
For single travelers, this tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour
Prices are excluding international flights
Single room types are rooms for
single room occupants.
One person will be occupying the hotel room throughout the tour.
Twin room types are rooms set for two people who will occupy one room, but will have two separate beds.
A double room is a room that has one bed for two people to share.
A triple room is one room where three people may share the same room. It has three separate beds.
Japanese Style Room
A Japanese-style room traditionally does not have a western-style bed, it is a tatami floor room with futon bedding. However, if you prefer a western-style bed, you may request one though we cannot guarantee it.
Please note: If you would like to request neighboring rooms next to your traveling companions, you and your traveling companions must have the same room types in order to be next to each other. For example, if you have requested a double room, but your traveling companions have requested a twin, or triple room, then neighboring rooms cannot be accommodated. However, if both you and your traveling companions match in room type, then neighboring rooms will likely be arranged for your convenience.
Although Hokkaido is famous for the snowy festivals of its winter season, Japan's northern island is one of the best places in the whole country to spend the summer, appealing to visitors with beautiful weather and less humidity than Tokyo. Hokkaido delights midsummer travelers with majestic natural vistas, colorful summer flowers, and a mixed culture that is both Japanese and distinctly "Hokkaido", all at the same time. All Japan Tours offers this 9-day Charms of Hokkaido itinerary, t... View More
Although Hokkaido is famous for the snowy festivals of
winter season, Japan's northern island is one of the
places in the whole country to spend the summer,
appealing to visitors with beautiful weather and less
humidity than Tokyo. Hokkaido delights midsummer
travelers with majestic natural vistas, colorful summer
flowers, and a mixed culture that is both Japanese and
distinctly "Hokkaido", all at the same time. All Japan
offers this 9-day Charms of Hokkaido itinerary, taking
guests to experience attractions in Sapporo, Otaru,
Furano, Biei, Noboribetsu, and more - during one of
Hokkaido's best seasons.
One of the main attractions of summer in Hokkaido are fields of gorgeous, sweet-smelling lavender flowers, and we take you to the town of Furano - celebrated as the best place to frolic in fields full of lavender. Ever since Farm Tomita opened its flower fields to the visiting public, it has become one of the most enchanting summer destinations in the country, and the "Lavender East" field is especially admired. The nearby village of Biei has the "Shikisai Hill" Fields - where flowers are arrayed in broad stripes stretching over the landscape in a pageant of bold colors, like a great rainbow rolling around the hill. And these towns have even more to offer visiting travelers; let's enjoy making fresh Furano ice cream, then visit Biei's pastoral Panorama Road on the way to the otherworldly Blue Pond.
We can't wait to show off Hokkaido's rugged beauty and local culture to our guests: relax by peaceful Lake Onuma at the Onuma Quasi-National Park, enjoy fruit-picking near Lake Toya, and walk the primordial Jigokudani "Hell Valley" of Noboribetsu. Discover the unique history and customs of the Ainu with a visit to the National Ainu Museum at Shiraoi. Step back in time with a stroll through Otaru's Sakaimachi Street past old fisheries and glass workshops. Sip delicious whisky in Yoichi while touring the Nikka Whisky Distillery, and savor a lunch of live king crab while in Sapporo. Browse our itinerary below for more information on this Charms of Hokkaido Tour.
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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.
We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure.
Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.
This tour starts and finishes in Sapporo for arrivals and departures at New Chitose Airport (CTS).
Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.
Please note that 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.
Welcome to Sapporo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
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.
The day begins with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a drive to Lake Onuma, and the Onuma Quasi National Park. The two main features of the park are Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma, which are separated by a thin strip of land and several small islands, many of which are connected by bridges and easily accessed on foot. Next, in Shikabe-cho, we attend a fun and easy cooking class at a local Japanese home. Then we travel to the town of Nanae to visit the Hokkaido Kelp Museum, which celebrates Hokkaido as the Japan's largest producer of kelp products. Various kelp-related displays are supplemented with movies about aquaculture, and they even sell kelp-flavored ice cream (in addition to other flavors). Then we will drive into Hakodate for a restful evening at the hotel.
Today, we will enjoy touring all the best sights of Hakodate, starting with the Morning Market. City residents gather each morning to find deals on the freshest seafood and produce in a daily routine that can offer visiting travelers a taste of the local culture. From there, we will go to the city's largest, most beautiful park - Fort Goryokaku. Once a Western-style fortress built in the waning years of the Edo era, Fort Goryokaku was slowly landscaped into a prominent public park with its moats now bordered by over a thousand cherry trees. Moving on to the port district, we will explore the old Red Brick Warehouses, built in the early 1900s to accommodate the sudden influx of international trade that occurred around that time. The old buildings were renovated into a commercial shopping complex with a broad variety of stores. Then, at Motomachi, we'll see a district popular among the foreign traders that first came to the city for international commerce, which includes many Western-style buildings. Finally, take the Mount Hakodate Ropeway up to the observation point, which offers stunning views of the city below.
After breakfast, we drive to enchanting Lake Toya - a volcanic caldera lake near Mount Usu and surrounded by scenic landscape on all sides. A nearby farm offers visitors the rare opportunity to pick their own fresh seasonal fruit! From there we drive up to Noboribetsu, and into the mysterious, primordial beauty of Jigokudani "Hell Valley". Take the safe walking paths through this rocky crater, where water roils inside nearby bubbling pools and sulfurous steam rises from jagged cracks in the landscape. A hot river, flowing from out the area, eventually reaches the perfect temperature at the Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath. Here, we will take some time to relax and soak our feet in the refreshing hot stream. After, we head to our hotel in Noboribetsu for a relaxing evening.
In the morning we will go to Shiraoi, to the 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 take a drive to the idyllic town of Furano, where we will visit a local ice cream factory, which offers a hands-on experience making delicious ice cream! Later we will travel to Tomita Farm to view their famous lavender fields. Reaching full bloom in summer, the lavender flowers cover the fields of Farm Tomita in a sea of purple . There are also long fields of lavender arrayed next to other rows of white, red, and yellow flowers. Once we have finished admiring the beautiful fields, we go for a relaxing evening at the hotel in Furano.
After breakfast, we will spend the morning in the nearby town of Biei, starting with a stop at the Blue Pond. Natural deposits of aluminum hydroxide have changed the color of this pond to an especially striking shade of blue. We continue from there to Panorama Road, which features a view of peaceful farms and fields that have often been featured in Hokkaido advertisements, and make many travelers long for a life in the country. At Shikisai Hill, Biei presents a dazzling array of flowers in a great variety of bright colors, all arranged in long rows like a floral rainbow. Before returning to Sapporo, we will visit the Takushinkan, which displays works from one of Hokkaido's most famous landscape photographers - Shinzo Maeda. Maeda popularized the peaceful surroundings of Biei with his photographs. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Sapporo to explore Hokkaido's capital. We first make our way to the city center for a look at the Sapporo Clock Tower, with vintage American colonial architecture and a clock brought over from Boston, USA. From there we will walk through Odori Park - a central park stretching across twelve city blocks, offering a peaceful place of relaxation in the heart of busy Sapporo. Then we're off to experience some of that urban energy in Susukino - Sapporo's vibrant entertainment district, which is lined end-to-end with bright, eye-catching storefront signs.
Today we will drive to Yoichi to visit the Nikka Whisky Distillery. This distillery, opened by Masataka Taketsuru, produced and sold the first Japanese whisky. A tour of the facility provides visitors with insight into the whisky production process, as well as a tasting of the local Nikka label whisky. Next, we will travel to Otaru for a leisurely stroll through the port city's heritage district. As you walk up Sakaimachi 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 Sakaimachi 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.
In the morning, we go into the Historic Village of Hokkaido where horse-drawn carriages and trolleys are still seen and used. The village offers insight on its history and an open-air museum as well as through their buildings, which exemplify architectural evolution from the Meiji and Taisho eras into the modern age. Then visit Shiroi Koibito Park, a theme park founded by a local chocolate company. Its famous Shiroi Koibito cookies are buttery with a white chocolate center. They are a popular favorite with locals and tourists alike. For lunch, we enjoy a Sapporo specialty of fresh crab at a local restaurant, and after, we travel to Hokkaido Shrine, an elegant shrine complex situated next to Maruyama Park under the protection of four Shinto kami (deities). Then we will tour the Asahi Beer Hokkaido Brewery, which produces one of Japan's most popular beers. Finally, we will pay a visit to the Hill of the Buddha, a large Buddha statue standing in Makomanai Takino Cemetery. Designed by the Japanese modernist architect Tadao Ando, this statue sits in a large stone rotunda surrounded by thousands of lavender flowers and includes a pristine reflecting pool.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to New Chitose Airport by Airport Limousine Bus.
NOTE 2: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to the airport on your own.
NOTE 3: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Lake Onuma, located in the southern part of Hokkaido, is part of Onuma Quasi National Park, together with the nearby Konuma and Junsainuma marshes. Lake Onuma is 24 kilometers in circumference and was formed by the eruption of Mt. Komagatake. It has 126 islands, large and small, and is famous for the spectacular views of these islands connected by 18 bridges. It takes approximately 60 minutes to walk around the lake through a series of arched bridges, including Kogetsubashi, Ukishimabashi, and Hinodebashi.
National park 20 kilometers north of Hakodate.
Onuma Park (known as Quasi National Park) is located north of Hakodate in Hokkaido. Lake Onuma is located within Onuma Park. Lake Onuma is known for the resorts that permit year-round for guests at their hotels some of which offer golfing, canoeing and camping among other activities as part of their outdoor attractions. Even during winter, Lake Onuma has a ski resort for tourists, so people can try snow- based activities in the colder seasons. During colder seasons and even in spring, Lake Onuma is usually frozen until May due to the high altitude in its already cold prefecture of Hokkaido.
Shikabe is a town that borders the north of Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. Shikabe is home to the Shikabe Kanketsusen Park, which is a park that has a geyser. There are only a few geysers located in Japan, so this place is a popular destination for visitors to experience. There is a natural hot spring foot bath nearby so people can relax while they wait for the geyser to erupt. Every August the Shikabe Sea and Hot Springs Festival is held in Shikabe. The festival celebrates summer and holds a beautiful fireworks show at night.
Experience making home cooked meals from freshly caught seafood.
The Shikabe Hot Springs Tourism Association has classes available for visitors wishing to learn more about Shikabe cuisine. Guests are able to go out on catch their own fish or shellfish in some of the offered classes. Guests are shown how to prepared the food and cook it in Shikabe style from the locals.
Nanae is a large town in the southern Oshima subprefecture of Hokkaido. Prominent features of this town include idyllic Lake Onuma – a part of Onuma Quasi- National Park, and nearby stratovolcano Mount Koma-ga- take, which looks especially picturesque from across the lake. Nanae has a large farming and agricultural community, with travelers visiting the various orchards around town to enjoy seasonal fruit-picking. Apples are especially abundant, and are considered a symbol of the town. One major point of interest in Nanae is the Hokkaido Kelp Museum, which details the history and techniques involved in kelp aquaculture through various exhibits and movies – they even sell kelp-flavored ice cream!
The Hokkaido Kelp Museum is a unique museum which explores the various farming techniques and uses Japan makes of kombu kelp.
The Hokkaido Kelp Museum is a museum in the town of
Nanae, Hokkaido. This museum is all about kelp, and
explores at length Japan’s unique connection to this
strange sea plant. The museum has exhibits and movies
about the long history of kelp aquaculture in Hokkaido, as
Japan’s foremost kelp-producing prefecture. There is also
a factory where visitors can watch kelp being prepared
and a charming shop that sells a variety of kelp-related
foods – even kelp ice cream!
Kelp or “kombu” is a common ingredient in Japan cuisine, and is used in a variety of traditional dishes. Kelp is often used in miso soup to add that savory “umami” flavor.
Hakodate is a port city and is the third largest city in Hokkaido. It was one of the first ports to be open to foreign trade and the influences of other countries can be shown in the Motomachi area of the city. The architecture still survives even after the 1934 Great Hakodate Fire, which destroyed over 11,000 buildings and World War II bombings. The night view from Mount Hakodate is one of the top tourist spots people go to and is the symbol of the city. Since Hakodate is a port town there is a place called the morning market where you can buy a plethora of fresh seafood and other delectable items. Hakodate is a city of cultural importance that not only reflects the past, but possibilities of the future. As the gateway to Hokkaido it would be a great place to stop and visit all the sites.
Enjoy fresh seafood for breakfast.
Hakodate’s Morning Market is a market specializing in seafood. It was created after World War II and extends some four city blocks. This morning market consists of approximately 160 shops, however tourists from all over can buy and have their meals prepared for them at that moment. Seafood like sea urchins, clams, king crab, salmon and more amongst the fruit and vegetables that they sell as well. This market offers sales every day from early in the morning until around noon time.
Japan's first Western style fortress.
The Goryokaku Fort was first built over a hundred years ago, this established structure held the magistrate’s office where Hokkaido was administered and was the first western-styled stronghold of its kind in Japan. The fort was not always affiliated to military, once it lost its importance for military self-defense, it was employed as a park in 1910. This area is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in early May because it has more than a thousand trees blooming there each year. An observation tower is also available for public use to view the grounds from above.
Atmospheric shopping complex in the bay area.
The Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse refers to the several buildings lined up facing the Hakodate Bay. The Kanemori Youbutsukan is a shopping center, which offers a variety of goods. It is set up daily like a flea market for people to enjoy. The Hakodate History Plaza is where the Hakodate Beer Hall is located. Here you can have a chance to enjoy Hakodate beer, and there is an exhibition hall at the center of the plaza showcasing the history of the area.
One of the Japan's three best night views.
Known as “Lying Cow” for its shape, Mount Hakodate offers one of the best views from its summit some 334 meters high, overlooking both sea and land. The views that can be seen from Mount Hakodate include the peninsulas located south from the summit, the Tsugaru and Shimokita Peninsulas belonging to Aomori Prefecture. In addition to the peninsular views, the night time and daytime views in either direction are popular among the tourists, so tourists need only worry about the observation deck and ropeway operational times when visiting Mount Hakodate.
Lake Toya is located southwest of Sapporo, at the center of the lake are four islands called Nakajima. On the island called O-shima, which is the largest of the four islands, is the Toyako Forest Museum. Kannon-jima used to enshrine a sculpture of Kannon, Goddess of Mercy, from the Edo Period, but now there is just the temple in its place. Benten-jima is connected to Kannon-jima by a sandbank called Toppmoshiri. Benzaiten, Goddess of everything that flows like music, time, water, speech, rivers and knowledge, is enshrined on the island. Manju-jima is off limits to casual visitors because it is known for having many vipers thus it is called “Snake Island.” Another thing you can do around Lake Toya is rent out bicycles and pass by sculptures surrounding the lake shore.
In Hokkaido, near peaceful Lake Toya, a collective of orchards offer a rare country life experience – seasonal fruit picking.
Lake Toya is a volcanic caldera lake in Hokkaido, and is surrounded by a number of charming parks. A few are planted with orchards that offer guests the fun local experience of seasonal fruit picking. Largely concentrated around the southern rim of the lake, a variety of orchards open their gardens to visiting travelers to enjoy picking and eating various fruits. The fruit available depends on the time of year, but among the fruits grown in the area, apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, and peaches are among the most common. Over a hundred different varieties of fruit may be found there, which, in addition to the peaceful lakeside atmosphere, makes this an activity that draws people to return again and again. Lake Toya is also noted as the northernmost lake in Japan that never freezes over in winter, and has a series of small islands in the center, known collectively as Nakajima.
Noboribetsu is located in southwestern Hokkaido along the southern coast of Hokkaido. Noboribestu is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is located in southwestern Hokkaido. This place is known throughout Hokkaido and hosts Hokkaido’s best-known hot spring resort. Surrounding the area is a forest and if visitors wish to, they can travel to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are numerous outdoor activities within the park which include hiking, hot springs, camping, boat tours on the lakes, canoeing, and many other activities. Noboribetsu is also home to the famous Noboribestu Jigokudani. The Jigokudani (or known as “Hell Valley”) is just above the town, this valley is the number one destination for nature lovers making a visit to Noboribestu.
Hell valley - displaying volcanic activities.
There are many hot springs in Japan, one of which is located in Hokkaido with the name of Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley.” The very characteristics of the valley itself justify the name given to the location. Other physical features of the valley include its crater foundation that is more than a kilometer and half all around.
Just outside the Jigokudani “Hell Valley” of Noboribetsu, the river Oyunumagawa cools to just the right temperature for a pleasing foot bath.
Noboribetsu is known for its Jigokudani “Hell Valley” natural hot spring region. As a result, a number of local onsen resorts have sprung up around the local area, offering a hit mineral bath to weary travelers. But as the Oyunuma River winds around the valley, the temperature of the river cools to the perfect degree for a refreshing bath for to soothe your tired feet. The foot bath is free, and visitors may sit on a wooden deck and dangle their feet into the flowing river, or they may stand in the river’s flow. Those who choose to stand in the river, the natural silt and mineral deposits wash over and scour the feet clean.
Shiraoi is a small town in Hokkaido Prefecture. Though officially established in the mid-1800s by the lords of Sendai during the feudal era, this coastal town’s history goes back even further as a former settlement of the native Ainu. In recognition of this dual heritage, the town has constructed the Ainu Museum, which celebrates the language, history, culture, and legacy of the Ainu, through various exhibits and demonstrations for nearly every aspect of daily Ainu life. The museum apparently has collected over five thousand various folk items related to the Ainu people. Shiraoi is also noted for its beautiful nature, especially Lake Kuttara, which, according to Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, is one of Japan’s clearest lakes. Shiraoi wagyu beef is a famous local product, with local farms of black Japanese cattle scattered around the nearby countryside.
A replacement facility for the old “Porotokan” Ainu Museum, this newer exhibit space works to further expand visitors’ understanding of the Ainu People.
Initially opened in 1990, the Porotokan Ainu Museum was dedicated to cataloging, preserving, and teaching the history and culture of the original native peoples of Hokkaido: the Ainu people. In 2018, however, the Porotokan closed down in order to clear the way for the new and expanded National Ainu Museum. This newer museum’s philosophy is based on the ideals of multicultural coexistence and presents various exhibits divided into six separate Ainu-centered themes: history, language, lifestyle, livelihood, worldview, and trade with other peoples. The museum is one building in a larger facility called Upopoy (“singing in a large group” in Ainu language). This facility includes, in addition to the museum, a National Park near Lake Poroto, and a Memorial Site for deceased Ainu.
Furano is known for its flowers, television dramas, and for its ski resort fun. The city is located in the middle of Hokkaido and has been given the nickname of “The Bellybutton of Hokkaido.” The most popular flower to see in the area, when in season, is the lavender. In the summertime there are fields full of the purple colored flower that it just takes your breath away. At the Furano Ski Resort, whether guests are going by themselves, with friends, or family, there is enough entertainment for everyone. The Furano and the Kita-no-me zones are two areas that are divided, but are part of the same Furano Ski Area. Also around the winter time is the Furano Kan Kan Mura Snow Night Fantasy at the New Furano Prince Hotel, where there are snow huts, snow cafe and other fun activities to do.
The town of Furano – known largely for its gorgeous lavender flowers – also offers visitors the local experience of making creamy Hokkaido ice cream.
Hokkaido is famed for its fresh and creamy milk-based products – cheese, butter, and ice cream. A popular notion of Hokkaido ice cream production is the blending of their soft cream base with a variety of local flavors that Hokkaido is proud of. Not only fruity flavors like cherry, strawberry, grape, or peach, but vegetable flavors like asparagus and corn are sold – they even have really strange flavors like lavender, sunflower, kelp, and squid ink! A workshop in Furano offers visitors the chance to make their own sweet cream concoction using creamy Hokkaido milk – and you never know what interesting flavors they may have to try!
Farm with beautiful lavender and flower fields.
Among the various summer lavender fields to visit in Furano, Farm Tomita is one of the best known and oldest lavender farms in the region of Hokkaido. The Hanabito House has a souvenir shop where you can buy various lavender goods as well as cafes nearby to try lavender flavored goods. The museum is on the upper floor of the Hanabito House and on the same floor is the scent testing room, where you can compare different types of lavender fragrances.
Biei is a small town that is surrounded by landscapes of rolling hills and wide fields. The town is located in the Kamikawa (Ishikari) District of the Kamikawa Subprefecture near the center of Hokkaido. Since Mount Tokachidake’s eruption in December 1988, measures were taken to prevent damage to Biei. An erosion control was built to prevent disastrous outcomes, which created the Blue Pond near the Shirogane Onsen. There is also a famous photo gallery by Shinzo Maeda, who opened it in 1987, called Takushinkan. Shinzo Maeda was a well- respected landscape photographer whose photos put Biei on the map as one of the best sightseeing spots in Hokkaido back in the 1970s. Hill of Shikisai is a flower garden with over seven dozen varieties of flowers, which are lined up separately. Biei is a place where nature’s beauty is plentiful and barely tampered with.
A naturally blue colored pond outside of Biei.
The Blue Pond is located in the center of Hokkaido near Biei right outside the Shirogane Onsen. Many people that own Apple computer products will recognize this location from the Apple screen savers images. This pond gives off a deep rich blue color because of the natural minerals dissolved in the water. It was not until recently that this location started to become a popular tourist destination, so this location is still a little underdeveloped compared to popular locations. Besides the pond there is not much else to do, but to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
A scenic spot representative of the hillside atmosphere of Biei.
In Panorama Road there is Shin’ei Hill Observatory Park a popular tourist spot, which has a great view of the area, and is famous for the sunset view. Then East of Shin’ei is the San’ai Hill Observatory, which is closer to Mount Tokachidake and provides more of a panoramic view.
The panoramic flower gardens for casual enjoyment of the grand nature of Hokkaido.
Panorama Road is also known for Hill of Shikisai. Hill of Shikisai is a flower garden with over seven dozen varieties of flowers, which are lined up separately. It is seven hectares of flowers, which look like a rainbow. The name Shikisai uses the kanji for four seasons and coloring. There is a tractor bus you can ride that will take you to these popular viewing areas.
An exhibition hall with beautiful landscape photography by renowned photographer Maeda Shinzo and his eldest son Akira.
There is a famous photo gallery by Shinzo Maeda, opened it in 1987, called Takushinkan. Shinzo Maeda was a well-respected landscape photographer whose photos put Biei on the map as one of the best sightseeing spots in Hokkaido back in the 1970s. His photos of Biei were used in photo collections, posters, postcards, films etc. A former elementary school exhibits his landscape work of Biei as well as the photos done by his son Akira Maeda.
Located in Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo was once a dense forest with wildlife that included bears, deer, and wolves until its construction started in 1871. A man named Shima Yoshitake began the city’s development which eventually led to the current North American form it has as a grid-like system layout. Consequently, the northern and southern parts of the city are divided by the main boulevard called O-dori, which runs through the center of the city. Sapporo is known mostly for its beer, beer museum, dairy products, and its annual snow festival every February. One of the oldest standing structures established is the Sapporo Clock Tower, introduced by the North Americans, is now employed as a history museum. Dr. William Clark, a scholar from America, became one of the founders that established educational policies at the Sapporo Agricultural College. Later, this same college became the University of Hokkaido.
The symbol of Sapporo.
The Sapporo Clock Tower is a museum and a symbol of Sapporo’s city. Once used as a drill house for physical education and military training for the students in the Agricultural College, it now holds small displays of the origins of Sapporo’s development and local history. The clock itself was bought in 1881 from Boston, Massachusetts. Its appearance now consists of red roofs and white walls that stand out to people passing by this historical monument. It was once the tallest building when it was constructed, but is now overshadowed by the taller business buildings around it.
Pleasant public park in the city center.
Located in the center of Sapporo, running from east to west is Odori Park. It was supposed to be the main street separating Sapporo north from south as a fire break, but now represents the area holding the annual Snow Festival events. It has 92 types of trees and many flowerbeds, enough to attract tourists and locals for a relaxing time in its vicinity. For guests wishing for good views and photographs, there is the Sapporo TV Tower’s observation deck available to the public for a fee. The deck is especially popular during the Snow Festival’s events held every February.
Sapporo's entertainment district.
Nightlife plans for guests in Sapporo might include activities like hitting the pachinko machines, nightclubs, bars, karaoke, and restaurants. If that is the case, it will probably lead them to Sapporo’s biggest entertainment neighborhood, Susukino, which is similar to Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red light district. As such, it should not come as a surprise that expenses might run a little higher here than in other parts of the city. Susukino is one of the sites that hosts the annual Snow Festival held every February in Sapporo. Genghis Khan nabe, or Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho are local foods recommended to all.
Open air museum about Hokkaido.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido is a restored area based of what remained from the Meiji era and Taisho era. It is now an open-air museum with shops, households, and horse-drawn trams that run through the village. It displays various buildings and shops that were once constructed during Hokkaido’s growing development, including 60 different buildings from all over this northern island. It is also a place where many who lost their positions in the Edo Shogunate went to start their lives anew, especially samurai. It is located in the suburbs of Sapporo. It consists residential, mountainous, fishing, and agricultural zones.
Chocolate factory, shop, and museum.
Located in Sapporo, Shiroi Koibito Park is a factory for confectionaries and a theme park. It is known for its white chocolate and its famous souvenir cookies in Hokkaido. There are various indoor and outdoor activities and places to visit. Guests can enter the factory and see how cookies and candy are made by the Shiroi Koibito employees. The factory tours also include a hands-on experience for guests to create and design their own cookies. The park is opened year-round, including its seasonal rose garden, which is said to be at its best during summer seasons.
Asahi Breweries is one of Japan’s top beer labels, with breweries across Japan.
Asahi Breweries is one of Japan’s largest and most successful beer brands, known for their flagship product, “Asahi Super Dry”; a lager beer that is hugely popular in Japan. The Hokkaido Brewery opened as the largest beer production facility in Sapporo, as well as one of the most memorable, with large silvery beer canisters rising above the production building. The factory churns out over 50,000 kiloliters of beer per year, offering a guided factory tour which includes tasting its signature “Asahi Super Dry”. The restaurants at the brewery serve, in addition to Asahi beer, some of Hokkaido’s signature dishes, including “Genghis Khan” (pronounced Jingisukan), a type of Mongolian barbeque with vegetable and mutton.
The Hill of the Buddha, designed by architect Tadao Ando, is a great stone rotunda enclosing a statue of the Buddha and surrounded with thousands of lavender flowers.
The Hill of the Buddha is a Buddhist shrine and scenic monument in Sapporo. A massive stone statue of the seated Buddha is surrounded in a giant stone rotunda and preceded by a large reflecting pool. Designed in 2005 by modernist architect Tadao Ando, the Hill of the Buddha was constructed outside the Makomanai Takino Cemetery. The rotunda is covered in over a hundred thousand lavender flowers, one of the symbols of Hokkaido. Far from being the only monument at this unique cemetery, other picturesque points of interest include replica models of the Moai Heads of Easter Island, as well as the UK’s Stonehenge.
Yoichi is a small town on the northern coast of Hokkaido. Once a fishing port similar to nearby Otaru, overfishing forced the town to redirect their economy. Now the Yoichi is famed for its fruit, especially apples and grapes, with local products including apple juice and wines. But the largest industry in Yoichi is undoubtedly the local distillery, which has produced Nikka brand whisky since its establishment in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, “the father of Japanese whisky”. Surfers and Swimmers flock to Yoichi from spring to autumn to take advantage of its gorgeous beaches, with campers arriving in summer to frolic in the surf. And nearby Fugoppe Cave has become an attraction almost overnight, since the discovery of prehistoric cave paintings inside.
Nikka Whisky is mainly produced at a distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido since the founding of the Nikka label by “the father of Japanese whisky”, Masataka Taketsuru.
In 1937, Japanese businessman and chemist Masataka Taketsuru returned to Japan from Glasgow, Scotland, having studied the whisky production process there. Eventually settling down with his Scottish wife in the small town of Yoichi, Hokkaido, he founded the Nikka Whisky Distillery, selling the first whisky ever sold in Japan. Nikka Whisky is now an award-winning brand that produces eight different labels for whisky, vodka, and gin. The Yoichi Distillery offers guided tours of the production facility, granting visitors a window into the whisky production process, some whisky tasting, and some history about the life of Taketsuru.
Otaru is a small harbor city in Hokkaido near Sapporo. There are various activities in Otaru, including food (especially seafood), sightseeing and shopping. There are many hills, including the very steep slope called Jigoku-Zaka, thus is a popular location for skiing and other sports. Otaru beer is also well known in Hokkaido, places like the Otaru Soko No. 1 Brewery is a popular place for beer lovers. The Otaru Canal is a very popular place for tourist to gather. The Otaru Canal is also one of the locations of the Snow Light Path Festival held every February, where the area is decorated in lights and small snow statues. Tourist can visit the various glass workshops and shop for famous Otaru glassware or even make their glassware. The Music Box Museum is one of the most popular destinations in Otaru, guests can explore the sea of music boxes in this Museum.
Otaru's famous blown glass factory.
The glass made in Otaru is refined and is made in many workshops that also offer hands-on experience for guests who take interest in making their own glassware for a fee. Otaru is located in the prefecture of Hokkaido, neighboring the city of Sapporo. Aside from glass workshops, there are also many cafés, restaurants, and other shops that also allow guests to admire and purchase their artistic glass.
A unique museum about Music Box.
Among the many shops found on Sakaimichi Street is the Otaru Music Box Museum. It not only displays various objects, but also sells a wide range of music boxes, some of which are more elaborate than others; some move and others light up along with their melody. Midst the various types of music boxes are some made from glass, wood, or even traditional Japanese fabric, some are fashioned after sushi or Western-themed concepts. These music boxes also carry different songs according to a collection that the establishment has at their disposable.
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
The Otaru Canal was employed by businesses to transport their merchandise to warehouses with smaller ships since the bigger ships could not directly unload their goods to their destinations. However, eventually there was no use for the smaller vessels when the facilities were modernized, making the use of canals less necessary. Now the area is a tourist attraction, during the day people take leisurely walks about the scenic route where there are museums, restaurants, and shops. Furthermore, Otaru Canal is the main site of the Snow Light Path Festival which is celebrated annually during February as a winter festival.
Otaru is a port city known for fresh sushi, a natural complement to its thriving fishing industry. The Sushi District lines up some of the city’s top restaurants.
Otaru has been a thriving fishing town since the Edo period, when its network of canals allowed for easy unloading of fishing boats. Years later, though the canals are now a local promenade and tourist hotspot, the fishing industry survives, finding fresh appeal by supporting the city’s top sushi restaurants now lining the Otaru Sushi District. A couple of these restaurants have earned Michelin Stars, and some require a reservation in advance. Some of these restaurants are native to Otaru, but many are more widely established, with branch restaurants all over the world. Otaru has over a hundred sushi restaurants scattered throughout the city, offering a broad variety of sushi dishes to choose from. Select sushi, including the shrimp and sea urchin, are praised as Otaru’s finest offerings.
Chitose (Day 1)
Western Style Accommodation
Located just a five minute walk from JR Chitoise station and a 10 minute drive from the airport, the hotel offers guests comfort and convenience. The in- house restaurant serves up traditional Japanese dishes. However, if you are in the mood for other cuisines, just step out of the hotel and you will find numerous restaurants and bars where you can indulge with your favorite cuisine or drink.
Hakodate (Day 2 & Day 3)
Western Style Accommodation
Facing beautiful Hakodate Port, this hotel is located in exotic and poetic surroundings including Motomachi Park, a historical church and the morning market.
Noboribetsu Onsen (Day 4)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Noboribetsu Manseikaku is standing at the entrance of Hokkaido's famous hot-springs Resort, Noboribetsu Onsen and promises the stay in comfort and relaxation. It is the modern style ryokan which offers genuine courtesy services.
Furano (Day 5)
Western Style Accommodation
Furano Prince Hotel is located in Furano Ski Resort's Kitanomine Ski Zone. Rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A safety deposit box, an electric kettle and a refrigerator are also provided in each. The private bathroom comes with a bathtub, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Prince Hotel Furano offers a bar, a public bath and an on- site shop. Laundry services, luggage storage and a shared lounge are also provided. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including skiing and tennis. The main dining room serves buffet-style breakfast and dinner, featuring a wide range of cuisines.
Sapporo (Day 6, Day 7 & Day 8)
Western Style Accommodation
This modern luxury hotel and resort, situated in the northernmost major city of Japan, is a landmark for opulence and leisure. Guests will enjoy a location that is just a short walk from the Sapporo Subway Station and an additional six minutes from the JR Sapporo Station. ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo is an ideal choice for guests who want a central location close to public transport links and a vast selection of on- site facilities as well as first class professional service.
PLEASE NOTE: These are the hotels All Japan Tours generally uses on the touring styles and regions shown. There is no guarantee that you will stay in the lodgings listed on the website. We encourage you to check your travel documentation for confirmation of the exact accommodation you will be staying in.