Tour Japan Itinerary
Winter Snow Festivals
tour to japan – 9 days, 8 Nights – 2021 Itinerary & dates to be confirmed
Japanese Winter Snow Festivals
Hokkaido, an area of 83454 square kilometres, is the most northern of all the Japanese islands. Hokkaido is known for its steaming volcanoes, natural hot springs (onsen), magnificent ski areas and the two largest snow festivals in Japan – one in Sapporo and one in Asahikawa.
This tour takes you on an exciting adventure across Hokkaido to both snow festivals where you can experience the peaceful serenity of standing out in falling snow, the romance of walking along lantern-lit canals or simply be in awe of some of the most amazing and enormous snow carvings and ice sculptures you have ever seen. From its snow-covered volcanic peaks and dense forests to the snow sculptures, snow stages, snow caves, ice skating, horse drawn sleighs or awesome ice bars, the scenery in this winter wonderland of Hokkaido will take your breath away and should not be missed.
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Included in the Japanese Winter Snow festival tour
All Flights & Taxes
8 Light Lunches
All transportation within Japan
All Tour Guides & Entrance Fees
24/7 Help and support whilst in Japan
Day 1 – Sapporo
Morning: Depart Australia and fly to Chitose in Hokkaido
Afternoon: Arrive Chitose at 19.00
Evening: At your Leisure
Fly direct to Chitose from Sydney Airport arriving at approximately 7pm. From the airport, we’ll travel for 40 mins into Sapporo which is the primary site of the world-famous snow festival, where you can spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Day 2 – Sapporo
All day: Sapporo
Evening: Odori Park
Today starts with a cold weather orientation and a quick tour of the Sapporo area before visiting the international ski-jump arena. Here we’ll ride the chairlift to the observation deck to look out over the 90m high ski-jump. Next, we head to the winter sports museum to see memorabilia from the 1972 Winter Olympics, browse the history of snow sports and have some fun on the snow sports simulators. After a short rest back at the hotel, we’ll head out to Odori Park in the centre of Sapporo to take a look at the jaw dropping snow sculptures and ice carvings. Everything is lit up at night and there’s a real party atmosphere as some of the larger sculptures come alive with awesome animations.
Day 3 – Sapporo
Morning: Sapporo, Yoichi
Afternoon: Yoichi, Otaru
After breakfast, we will explore the underground shopping city of Sapporo. Known for its underground shopping malls Sapporo boasts over 200 shops and restaurants and we’ll stop here for lunch. Next, we visit the small town of Yoichi, home to the Nikka Whiskey Distillery, built in 1934 and one of Japan’s top whisky distilleries. With its historic old buildings and working distillery you can see all the stages involved in distilling whisky and sample some of the finished product. Next, we head to the small coastal town of Otaru for the Snow Path Light Festival. This picturesque old town lights up the pathway along the canal with snow statues, floating candle holders and snow lanterns and looks absolutely delightful. The old town has many different types of shops and we’ll visit the magical Music-Box Museum before heading back to the hotel around 8pm.
Day 4 – Sapporo
Morning: Free Time
Afternoon: Mount Moiwa
Evening: Free time
Today is a fairly easy-going day and a chance for you to relax or wonder around the Odori Park snow sculptures in your own time. As darkness hits (around 4.30pm) we’ll head out to the 147-meter-high Sapporo TV tower to take in the magnificent views of the beautifully illuminated snow sculptures across Odori Park. Next, we take a short train ride to visit Mount Moiwa and take the ropeway and cable car to the upper summit station. Here we venture out on to the Mount Moiwa observation deck to look at the sensational night lights and scenery across the Sapporo district.
Day 5 – Asahikawa
Morning: Travel to Asahikawa
Afternoon: Tokiwa park
Evening: Hot Spring Baths (onsen)
This morning we take an 80-minute train ride through the countryside heading to Asahikawa to see Japans second largest winter festival. On arrival, we’ll drop our bags at the hotel and visit the beautiful Tokiwa Park, known for its peace and tranquillity where you’ll get a great view of the main snow stage. Next we head over to the main festival site to see the amazing snow sculptures and take a closer look at the huge snow stage before heading back to the hotel to relax and unwind in the onsite, natural hot spring baths.
Day 6 – Asahikawa
Morning: DaisetsuFzan National Park
Afternoon: Asahikawa Snow Festival
Evening: Ice Carving
Today starts with a scenic trip into the mountains to the beautiful Daisetsuzan National Park a gorgeous unspoilt wilderness where deer roam free. Here we take the ropeway to the top of the mountain for the most serene and stunning winter scenes you will ever see. After lunch, we head over to the snow festival too see the amazing ice pavilion, a man-made ice structure that features glorious illuminated ice caves built around a fast-flowing stream. Later, after a short rest back at the hotel we’ll head into the night to soak up the party atmosphere and watch the ice carving competitors sculpting their ice blocks into beautiful pieces of art.
Day 7 – Asahikawa
Morning: Snow Crystal Museum
Afternoon: Ice Carving Championships
Evening: Ice Carving Championships and free time
Today starts with a visit to the Snow Crystal Museum. Set in a beautiful European style castle on the hill, the crystal snow museum is dedicated to the beauty of snowflakes and showcases the amazing intricacies, patterns and glorious structures of snowflakes. You’ll see stunning ice columns; gorgeous snow crystal displays and there’s even a snow themed music hall. Later in the afternoon, we head out to the main street to marvel at the finished handiwork of the world’s best ice sculptors and their magnificent creations ready for judging in the 2020 International Ice Carving Championships. For the remainder of the evening you have some free time to relax, unwind and indulge in the glorious onsite natural hot spring baths.
Day 8 – Sapporo
Morning: Travel to Sapporo
Afternoon: Leisure Time
After a leisurely breakfast, we take the train back to Sapporo where you can spend the afternoon at your leisure. Later that evening we’ll visit the Susukino festival site for a warming drink at one of the open-air Ice bars and enjoy the hundreds of stunning ice sculptures on display.
Day 9 – Sapporo
Morning: Leisure Time
Afternoon: Fly to Australia
Evening: Fly to Australia
Today is our last day in Sapporo but there’s still plenty of time for you to catch up on some last-minute shopping before we head out to Chitose airport at 5:00PM. As we are flying overnight your flight will land in Sydney on the following morning.