TBC (10 nights)
Tokyo, Hakodate, Lake Toya, Muroran, Sapporo, Otaru, Furano & Biei
From £2,125 pp
Once the frontier of Japan, the spirit of pioneering still remains in Hokkaido and its people. The island offers a more rustic journey than the bustling metropolises on Honshu. Considered by some to be the most beautiful place in Asia, this itinerary allows you to see this beauty for yourself.
Explore Hokkaido, the old frontier of Japan
Enjoy whale watching in Muroran
Take in the wonderful scenery of the Lake Toya area
13 nights' hotel accommodation in a Double/Twin room on a bed and breakfast basis (for 3* option) or 10 nights’ hotel accommodation in a Double/Twin room on a bed and breakfast basis (for 4* option) + 3 nights' ryokan accommodation in a Japanese style room on a bed, dinner and breakfast basis (for 4* option)
JR Hokkaido 4 Day Flexi Pass
Train/bus tickets from Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
Meet & Greet service on arrival at Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN JAPAN
Welcome to Japan. Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby in Narita Airport (Tokyo) and will direct you to the Narita Express train or limousine bus bound for Tokyo. Check into your clean and comfortable hotel in Tokyo for 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis.
DAY 2: TOKYO
Your options are unlimited in this incredible city. Explore Tokyo’s past in the bustling, traditional Asakusa district, visit the world’s largest fish market at Tsukiji, shop in the fashionable districts of Shibuya and Harajuku, and dine on Japan’s finest cuisine. Tokyo is relatively straightforward to navigate, and our Information Pack will make travelling around the city a breeze.
OPTIONAL GUIDED EXCURSION: COACH SIGHTSEEING TOUR
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing by coach in Tokyo, with lunch included. Your guide will show you the highlights of this vast metropolis, from the Imperial Palace and serene Meiji Shrine to the ‘Electric City’ of Akihabara.
DAY 3: TOKYO TO HAKODATE
Fly from Tokyo to Hakodate (flights to be arranged by you). Check-in in a superbly furnished hotel for 3 nights. As the sun sets, enjoy a cable car ride up to the top of Mount Hakodate (can also be hiked), and take in the spectacular night view of the city.
DAY 4: HAKODATE
Take in all that lovely Hakodate has to offer. Start your day with a visit to the lively seafood market. Then travel to the Goryokaku Star Fort, and be sure to see the view from the top of Goryokaku Tower. Enjoy a delicious burger or curry in one of the many Lucky Pierrot restaurants (a Hakodate exclusive) for lunch. In the afternoon, explore the streets of Motomachi District. Being the first Japanese city to open to trade from overseas, fine architecture from across the globe can be found here – a particularly prominent spectacle is the Russian Orthodox Church. As the sun sets, enjoy a cable car ride up to the top of Mount Hakodate (can also be hiked), and take in the spectacular night view of the city.
DAY 5: TRIP TO ONUMA NATIONAL PARK.
Take a 30-minute train ride from Hakodate to Onuma National Park. When you first arrive, you will be greeted with the majestic sight of Mount Komagatake. You may wish to rent a bicycle and enjoy the various lakes that dot the area.
DAY 6: TRAVEL FROM HAKODATE TO LAKE TOYA
Start using your JR Hokkaido 4 day Flexi Pass
(This does not have to be used on consecutive days)
Visit the red buildings of the harbour district, then in late afternoon, travel by train to Lake Toya, where you will stay for 3 nights.
DAY 7: LAKE TOYA
Spend the day exploring the area around Lake Toya. In the morning, enjoy a boat ride to Nakajima Island at the lake's centre. Later on, take the ropeway up Mount Usu, an active volcano that last erupted in 2000. Pay a visit to Showa Shinzan, one of the youngest volcanoes in the world.
DAY 8: WHALE WATCHING IN MURORAN – WHALE WATCHING SEASON RUNS FROM JUNE TO AUGUST
Enjoy a short journey from Toya Station to Muroran, and spend the day watching whales and dolphins, in recent years, large groups of orcas have also been spotted and are a sight to behold.
DAY 9: LAKE TOYA TO SAPPORO
Enjoy one last morning in Lake Toya, and take the train to Sapporo in the afternoon. Enjoy a beer at the Sapporo Beer Festival, and marvel at the view from Sapporo Station’s JR Tower. Check in to your centrally located hotel for 4 nights.
DAY 10: SAPPORO – THE SAPPORO BEER FESTIVAL IS HELD THROUGHOUT AUGUST
Spend the day exploring Sapporo. Enjoy a morning hike up Mount Moiwa, and enjoy an excellent view of the city. Travel to the Historical Village of Hokkaido, an open-air museum that depicts life during the frontier settlement of the prefecture. Visit the Sapporo Beer Factory, and experience for yourself the making of what is considered by some to be the best beer in Japan. Eat your fill of soup curry, a native Hokkaido dish, at one of the city’s fine restaurants.
DAY 11: DAY TRIP TO OTARU
Take an express train and spend the day in Otaru, a small coastal town 1 hour northwest of Sapporo. Stroll along the town’s canal area, and explore Sakaimachi Street, with shops that sell all sorts of local souvenirs and cuisine.
DAY 12: DAY TRIP TO FURANO AND BIEI – THE FURANO LAVENDER FLOWERING SEASON IS FROM JUNE TO AUGUST
Today you might enjoy a day trip to the scenic areas of Furano and Biei. Take in the wonderful display and aroma of the purple lavender at Farm Tomita. See the majesty of “Aoiike” or the “Blue Pond”. You could also visit the Furano Winery (a working winery) as well as the Furano Cheese Factory where you can observe its production process and join hands-on workshops. Upon your return to Sapporo, you may want to enjoy an evening meal of “Genghis Khan” (pronounced jingisukan), another Hokkaido delicacy consisting of barbequed lamb, at the Sapporo Bier Garten restaurant.
DAY 13: SAPPORO TO TOKYO
Sayonara, Hokkaido! Return to Tokyo by plane from Sapporo (to be arranged by you). Enjoy your final night in the capital.
DAY 14: TOKYO
Transfer from your hotel to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
HOW INDEPENDENT TOURS WORK
ENJOY INDEPENDENT TRAVEL BUT NOT THE HASSLE OF PLANNING?
OUR INDEPENDENT TOURS COULD BE JUST THE TICKET!
Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries is designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailor-made for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.
It's quite straightforward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We'll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS & LOCATION GUIDE
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
3* Hotels/ryokan: from £2,125 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
4* Hotels/ryokan: from £2,675 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
5* Hotels/ryokan: on request
3* single room supplement: from £250
4* single room supplement: from £600
5* single room supplement on request
13 nights’ hotel accommodation in a Double/Twin room on a bed and breakfast basis (for the 3* option) OR:
10 nights’ hotel accommodation in a Double/Twin room on a bed and breakfast basis & 3 nights’ ryokan accommodation in a Japanese style room on a bed, dinner, and breakfast basis (for the 4* option)
Meet & Greet service on arrival at Tokyo
4-Day JR Hokkaido Flexi Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire Hokkaido Japan Rail network for 4 non consecutive days
Transfer from/to the airport for your international arrival/departure
Detailed Japan Journeys Information Pack including detailed train schedules, maps, & brochures.
Personalised Japan Journeys App to help manage your documents.
All Japanese sales taxes and service charge.
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Domestic flights to/from Hokkaido (10,000 JPY, i.e. approx. £75.00 per sector utilising a JAL Yokoso Pass)
Meals not mentioned above
Return train journey from Hakodate to Onuma National Park (1,080 JPY per person)
Train fares (other than the days using your JR Hokkaido 4Day Flexi Pass)
Boat ride to Nakajima Island (Approx. 1,500 JPY per person)
Taxi, subway, and tramway fees.
OPTIONAL GUIDED TOURS
Tokyo: £101 per person
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% of the total price is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment, and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low-cost cover to their customers.