Tour Japan Itinerary
Winter Snow Festival +
tour to japan – 15 days, 14 Nights 2022
Dates and cost 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
14 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
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 the Sususkino area to take a look at the ice carvings and sculptures. Everything is lit and looks fabulous.
Day 3 – Jozankei
All Day: Jozankei
Evening: Odori Park
After breakfast, we take a private bus to the onsen town of Jozankei in the mountains just outside of Sapporo. Here we will visit the Hoheikyo Onsen, a large open-air natural hot-spring bath designed purely for the comfort and relaxation of the bathers. Here you can spend the day comfortably bathing yourself amongst the 1000 tons of landscaped rock garden of these open-air baths, in the snow, allowing you to melt into your own satisfying and relaxing world. There is also a fabulous Indian restaurant onsite or you may prefer to just chill in the relaxation areas. When we arrive back in Sapporo, we will go to Odori Park to take in the atmosphere and amazing sights of the Snow Festival and amazing snow sculptures.
Day 4 – 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 and old town with it’s many different types of shops and magical Music-Box Museum.
Day 5 – Asahikawa
Morning: Travel to Asahikawa
Afternoon: Tokiwa park
Evening: International Ice Carving
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 Iluminated international ice carving
Day 6 – Daisetsuzan
Morning: Tokiwa park
Afternoon: Sounkyo Onsen
Evening: Ice Pavillion
Today starts with a look around the beautiful Tokiwa park and the ice carvings before we take a scenic trip into the mountains to the beautiful Sounkyo Onsen in the Daisetsuzan National Park, a gorgeous unspoilt wilderness where deer roam free. Once we have checked in, we will head over to the Ice Pavillion, a man-made ice structure that features glorious illuminated ice caves built around a fast-flowing stream. Later, we will head back to the hotel and a relaxing bath in the mixed outdoor hot spring.
Day 7 – Sounkyo Onsen
Morning: Daisetsuzan National Park
Afternoon: Daisetsuzan National Park
Evening: Free time
Today (weather permitting) we will take the cable car to the top of the mountains to explore the most beautiful and serene Daietsuzan national park in all of its unspoilt wilderness. Then a leisurely and relaxing evening back at the hotel to do what ever you wish.
Day 8 – Sapporo/Osaka
Morning: Travel to Sapporo
Afternoon: Fly to Osaka
Today we bid farewell to the mountains and head back to Sapporo to catch a flight to Osaka, half way down the main Island of Honshu. Once we have checked into the hotel, we will make our way to the bright lights of Dotonbori, an area rich with restaurants, people and the start of a 2KM long shopping mall.
Day 9 – Nara
Full day trip: Nara
Today we will take the rain to the first permanent capitol of Japan – Nara, where history abounds and the deer roam free. We will visit the Todai-Ji temple, the largest wooden structure in the world, that houses a 5-storey high Buddha. We will take a leisurely stroll through the national park with its ancient, and still used, temples, past the turtle pond and into the township to see, first hand, how Mocchi is still made by hand. We will be joined by a local guide who will talk about his city and answer any questions that you my have over a traditional Izakaya dinner.
Day 10 – Hiroshima
Full day trip: Hiroshima
We start the day with a bullet rain ride to the historic city of Hiroshima. We will head to the beautifully landscaped Shukkeiein garden for a picnic lunch before heading down to the peace memorial and atomic bomb museum followed by a stroll through the memorial gardens to the famous atomic bomb dome – the last reminder of that fateful day in August 1945 when the first ever atomic bomb was dropped on a city.
Day 11 – Kyoto
Evening: Gion area
We start the day with a short train trip to the historic city of Kyoto where we will take a casual stroll around the landscaped gardens and pond of Kinkaku-ji or The Golden Pavillion. From here we will head over to the historic temple village of Kyomizudera, with its ancient temple built on the side of a hill.This evening we will head over to the famous Gion or Geisha district for a Geisha experience.
Day 12 – Himeji
Morning: Himeji Castle
Afternoon: Bullet train to Tokyo
This morning we will head to Himeji and the finest surviving example of a prototypical and one of the oldest Japanese castles originally built in 1333. The castle has undergone many renovations over the years but has remained unchanged since the last renovation in 1609. After lunch, we will catch the bullet train to Tokyo where we will check in to the hotel before heading out to Shibuya , a thriving entertainment and shopping area with many restaurants and home of the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.
Day 13 – Mount Fuji
Full day trip: Mount Fuji
Today we take our private coach for a full day trip to the magnificent Mount Fuji. Weather permitting we will drive up the mountain as far as possible before heading to Iyashinosato ancient Japanese village before heading to Fujikawaguchico with its cable car and beautiful view of Mount Fuji across the lake. If time permits we will head to the historic village
Day 14 – Tokyo
Morning: Imperial Palace
Afternoon: Tokyo Skytree/Asakusa
We start the day with a stroll around the Imperial Palace area before heading to the Tokyo Skytree for an impressive look over Tokyo from 450 meters above the ground (on a clear day you can even see Mount Fuji). After this, we will head to Asakusa and the oldest temple in Tokyo, an area that abounds with restaurants and souvenir shops. And if you are still feeling up to it, we will head over to the bright neon lit Akihabar, commonly known as electric town’ with its massive signs, Manga and many duty-free shops.
Day 15 – Tokyo
Afternoon: Depart for airport
Evening: Fly to Australia
Today is a last opportunity for some last minute souvenir shopping or look around Tokyo before we depart for the airport and our flight back to Australia