Start your tour in Tokyo, one of the world’s most contemporary city and travel upward north to Japan’s winter wonderland. The theme of this tour is winter. Japan’s winter is magical. You’ll revered in Japanese winter culture and traditions. From gorgeous winter scenery to staying in a traditional Japanese inns with hot springs, the experience is unforgettable. And in the best that Japanese winters have to offer, Japan has one of the world’s most remarkable winter festivals with giant snow and ice sculptures, colorful illuminations and fun snow activities. And you don some snowshoes for a wintery walk through the conserved Shiretoko Peninsula, a UNESCO world heritage site where wildlife of the deer, foxes and eagles make appearances. There you will learn about the irreplaceable value of our world’s amazing ecosystem and biodiversity. In other parks you follow some trials into Japan’s picturesque winter landscapes to see the Japanese macaque (aka the snow monkeys) bathe in hot spring water and contemplate the nearly-extinct Japanese red crowned cranes as mingle among each other. Also you meet with the Ainu people, the indigenous people of Japan and stay overnight in their village rich with history and culture. There are other exciting activities that including riding on an icebreaker shop that slash through ice and you may walk on the ice floes or try to swim among them in search for the glowing sea angels. Further more you dine on great Tohoku and Hokkaido foods and taste some of the region’s best-known breweries and whiskey distilleries as you enjoy an adventure of natural, cultural and artistic delights that celebrates the splendor of Japan’s far north.
Number of Days: 12 days / 13 nights
Style: Style: small group (6 participants)
Accommodation: mix of 3 to 4 star hotels or Japanese inns and one ryokan
Tour Activity: sightseeing, culture, snow festival and outdoor activity
Travel: Domestic flight, Japan Railway, private van and public transportations
Tour Manager: Peggy Prosser
Tour Guides: Peggy Prosser and Meri Hirose
Activity: cruising, sightseeing, nature walks, and cultural experiences
Language: American Sign Language & English
Physical: medium – walk on ice and and concrete in cities, some climbing stairs, nature walk on snowy trails, snowshoeing, snow activities, standing and using public transportation
Price: $4,100 double occupancy room
*single supplement additional $600
Your guide will greet you at the airport and escorted you to your hotel.
Day 2 ~ Sunday, February 2, 2020
Visit the Ryogoku, the center of the Sumo world, visit a sumo stable and watch the Sumo wrestlers practice, enjoy a welcome lunch of chanko-nabe, the stable food of sumo wrestlers, go up the Skytree for a view of greater Tokyo, then to Asakusa for the famous Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise-dori.
Travel to Nagano, the site where the 1998 Winter Olympics was held and visit Japan’s most important temple, the Zenkoji Temple, that holds the first Buddhists statue ever to be bought into the country and you stroll down the Nakamise Street lined up with traditional shops and galleries.
Go on a day trip to see the Japanese macaques also known as the snow monkeys, follow a trail through the woods to the hot spring water where the monkeys gather to bathe, explore the park with a culture center and stop for a foot-bath at the 1,300 years old Shibu hot spring resort.
Travel further up north, to Morioka for a fun lunch, then to Aomori for your stay at No Yado Aoni Onsen, the name translates itself as “Inn of Lamps”. It’s ryokan surrounded by nature and hot spring baths. At night the inn is lightened up with only oil lamps. Dinner is northern Japanese style foods.
On your way out, you stop at Kuroishi, one of Japan’s best preserved old town, visit the Nebuta Wa Rasee, a fascinating museum about the famous Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and take lunch at the Furukawa fish market, a fun place where you create your own rice bowl with fresh foods.
Join many people from around the world to the Sapporo Snow Festival, admire the massive snow sculptures built on the Odori Park, go snow rafting, play snow games, walk a snow labyrinth with thick and high walls, and go up the Sapporo tower to watch the Odori Park light up in colors.
Take an express train to Asahikawa to visit a Deaf school, students introduce themselves and present some information about Hokkaido, join the students for lunch. After the visit, you join some teachers for a coffee or tea social before returning back to Sapporo for the Susukino ice sculpture and illumination.
Travel to Kushiro where the endangered Japanese red-crowned cranes inhabit, watch the birds mingle before moving to Lake Akan, a village where the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, live, work and play. There are events on the frozen lake and a firework display which you can watch from your hotel room.
Visit an permeant art gallery that exhibits the late Masamitsu Takiguchi, a respected Deaf wood artist, travel in a private van to various landmarks, including Lake Mashu, where beautiful rime can be viewed and to the Shiretoko Peninsula, Japan’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks.
Go snowshoeing inside the Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site to see beautiful winter landscapes, the five frozen lakes and waterfalls, and watch for wildlife, and go for a walk on ice floes on the Okhotsk Sea. You may swim among the ice to search for the glowing sea angles.
Go on a scenic coastline train ride from Utoro to Abashiri, ride on an icebreaker ship that slash through ice to pave a way for fishing boats, you also look for wildlife of seal, puffins and eagle resting the ice floes or other animals at the shore. Take lunch local speciality before departure to Tokyo.
It’s time to say, “sayonara”. You will be transferred to your airport.
- Intra-flight from (Hokkaido to Tokyo)
- Japan Rail Pass (7 days)
- Other travel passes (subway, private train, driver hire with van, local bus and streetcar)
- 12-nights accommodations (including all hotel and spa taxes)
- Meals (12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners)
- Airport transfers
- Concierge services
- Admission fees to sites
A electronic handbook with list of tips, suggestions and more
NOT INCLUDED in the tour package:
- International airfare
- Flight insurance
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers
- All other meals not stated in the itinerary
- Other cultural or hands on activities not included in the itinerary
- Alcohol, soft drinks and desserts
- Other additional expenses such as laundry, internet, souvenirs