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2024 Springtime in Hokkaido

May 8 - 17, 2024 (10 days & 8 nights)

Chitose, Sapporo, Otaru, Sakaimachi-hondori, Music Box Hands-on-Activity, Kaitaku Kinenkan , Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Takikawa, Sunagawa Highway Oasis, Otokoyama Sake Brewery & Museum, Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, Abashiri Prison Museum, Abashiri, Higashi-Mokoto Shibazakura Park, Lake Mashu, Kushiro, Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, Akan International Crane Center, Washo Market, Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikor, Lake Akan Cruise, Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center, Tokachigawa Onsen, Furano, Farm Tomita, Biei, Takushinkan, Asahi Beer Brewery, Shiroi Koibito Park, Sapporo, Chitose

(deposit of $100 per person received by 10/31/2023)

Twin Tour Cost: $3,975.00 per person
(Includes group air arrangements from Honolulu)

Single Supplement: $495.00

Land Tour Only: $2,900.00
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included)

Wednesday, May 8  (Day 01)
Our tour commences today when we assemble at the check-in lobby at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu on Japan Airlines to  Chitose International Airport in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and second largest island.  A meal and a snack will be served on board the flight


Thursday, May 9 (Day 02)
Upon arrival at the Haneda Airport, we’ll clear entry and customs formalities, then proceed to transfer our checked luggage to the domestic counter.  We’ll then transfer to the domestic terminal for our flight to Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, the second largest and northernmost island of Japan.  We’ll arrive Chitose in the evening, then transfer to our hotel located within the airport terminal to check in for the night.

Accommodations at CHITOSE AIR TERMINAL HOTEL or similar


Friday, May 10  (Day 03)
We’ll travel to Otaru, a charming port city noted for historic Otaru Canal adorned with Victorian-style street lamps and old warehouses, providing a nostalgic atmosphere.  Many of the buildings along the canal have been restored into museums, restaurants and shops.  Enjoy strolling along Sakaimachi-hondori, a preserved merchant street in the center of the town featuring sweet shops, glassware shops, and a unique music box museum offering a wide selection of elegant music boxes.  In front of the entrance to the building stands an old-fashioned steam clock, presented to Otaru by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Enjoy a hands-on-activity to decorate your own music box to take home as a souvenir.  Otaru is also noted for its intricate glassware featuring its most popular item to bring home as a souvenir - a drip-free soy sauce bottle.  Created in all sizes, shapes, and colors, you’ll find them at several glass shops located along the main street of Otaru.  Enjoy a visit of Kaitaku Kinenkan (the Historical Museum of Hokkaido), an interesting museum located in the Nopporo Forest Park.  The museum features well-presented exhibits that document the history of Hokkaido with artifacts and fossils including displays of the fascinating Ainu culture.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Sapporo, the fifth largest city in Japan and capital of Hokkaido.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar


Saturday, May 11  (Day 04)
We’ll travel north to Takikawa, a city best known for its fields of beautiful yellow nanohana (canola blossoms) dominating the scenery (weather permitting).  As we travel on the Hokkaido Expressway, we’ll make a stop at the Sunagawa Highway Oasis, a large and bustling rest stop that was the first to open in Hokkaido.  Enjoy sampling many selections of local products of Hokkaido that is available for purchase.  We’ll continue on to Asahikawa, the second largest city in Hokkaido to spend the night.  The island of Hokkaido is known to have the ideal climate and water conditions to produce superior sake.  For sake enthusiasts, Otokoyama is Asahikawa’s most famous sake - both in Japan and worldwide.  We’ll visit the Otokoyama Sake Brewery & Museum to see some tools and equipment utilized in the process of making sake.  At the conclusion of the tour, some of their delicious products will be available for you to sample and enjoy.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at the hotel.

Accommodations at ART HOTEL ASAHIKAWA or similar


Sunday, May 12  (Day 05)
Our drive continues on to the town of Yubetsu to enjoy the breathtaking view of colorful tulips blooming vividly all in rows at the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, site of the annual Tulip Fair - one of the most popular flower festivals in Hokkaido.  Many of the tulips are imported from Holland featuring several colorful varieties (weather permitting)  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Abashiri, a small city located on the northern coast of Hokkaido, noted for its drift ice during the winter and as the site of Japan’s first maximum security prison.  We’ll visit the Okhotsk Ryuhyo (drift ice) Museum located on Mount Tento, a hands-on science center providing the history of the drift ice that flows into the Sea of Okhotsk through an interesting video projected on a wide-screen in a theater.  Experience walking through a room with freezing temperatures while swaying a wet towel that freezes as you exit the room.  The Abashiri Prison Museum consists of many buildings which were in use until the year 1984.  Only the most heinous criminals were banished to this forbidden northern outpost known as the ’Alcatraz’ of Japan.  The cells, watch towers, and prison farm buildings show how stark and monotonous life was for inmates - relieved only by restricted bathhouse visits.  Anguished-looking mannequins bring it all to life as we retrace the history of convict labor and the harsh life of a prisoner on a guided tour of this open-air site.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the hot springs of our elegant ryokan overlooking Lake Abashiri this evening.

Accommodations at ABASHIRI KOSO HOTEL or similar


Monday, May 13  (Day 06)
We’ll travel to the base of Mt. Mokoto to enjoy a spectacular view of shibazakura (pink & white phlox flowers) blooming vividly on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Takinoue at the Higashimokoto Flower Park.  Winding paths leading up to the top of the hillside provides a magnificent view of delicate pink and white blossoms spread-out like a beautiful floral carpet (weather permitting).  Enjoy a view of Lake Mashu, a scenic caldera lake in Akan National Park, one of Japan’s deepest and most beautiful lakes with its clear blue water.  Weather permitting, enjoy the breathtaking view of the lake from the observation deck.  We’ll visit the Akan International Crane Center to view cranes (subject to availability) and to learn about the history and biology of these endangered species through audio-visuals and exhibits.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Kushiro, a misty port town situated in southeastern Hokkaido, capital of Kushiro Subprefecture.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening at a local restaurant.

Accommodations at ANA CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL KUSHIRO or similar


Tuesday, May 14  (Day 07)
This morning, enjoy browsing through Washo Market, a large marketplace offering a wide variety of fresh local seafood delicacies of Kushiro.  We’ll travel to Lake Akan, a beautiful crater lake in Akan National Park, Hokkaido’s oldest national park.  On arrival, we’ll visit the Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikoro to enjoy performances of Ainu traditional dancers expressing their lifestyle with wildlife, nature, and hunting through songs and dances.  Iomante is one of their important rituals where they send the spirit of a bear to God’s world.  Lake Akan is best known for its marimo, a rare algae species - designated as a Special Natural Monument of Japan.  Marimo is formed when separate pieces of algae at the bottom of the lake roll around and eventually form into balls, gradually growing larger and larger.  Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on Lake Akan, providing us with a close-up view of the mountains, islets, and into remote sections of the lake.  A brief stop will be made at Churui Islet to view live marimo kept in large tanks at the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center.  We’ll continue on to spend the night in Tokachigawa, a region noted for its abundant sunshine and rich soil.  The gently flowing Tokachi River creates majestic scenery with the backdrop of the Hidaka and Taisetsu mountain ranges and also creates rare botanical-based moor hot springs, also known as ’hot springs for beauty’.  Enjoy dinner and relax in the soothing waters of our onsen hotel this evening.

Accommodations at TOKACHIGAWA DAIICHI HOTEL or similar


Wednesday, May 15  (Day 08)
We’ll travel north to Furano, a town located in the geographical center of Hokkaido and best known for its fields of fragrant lavender flowers that bloom in abundance during the late summer season.  We’ll visit Farm Tomita, one of Hokkado’s premier flower farms to enjoy some seasonal flowers in bloom (weather permitting).  We’ll travel on through Biei, a small town surrounded by a picturesque landscape of gently rolling hills and vast fields.  The scenic view of this landscape has been used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and television programs.  The town of Biei is also noted for Takushinkan (Shinzo Maeda Photo Art Gallery) an exhibition hall displaying beautiful landscape photography dedicated to Shinzo Maeda, an internationally known photographer and his son.  Enjoy the vibrant and colorful photos of the Tokachi region displayed in the gallery.  We will continue on to spend the night in Asahidake, a hot spring resort located in Higashikawa city.  Dinner will be provided for you this evening.

Accommodations at LA VISTA DAISETSUZAN or similar


Thursday, May 16  (Day 09)
The first beer brewed in Japan was in Sapporo and Hokkaido has since had a reputation of brewing the best beer.  Enjoy a guided tour of the Asahi Beer Brewery, a leading brewery and soft drink company in Hokkaido - noted as one of the “Big Four” breweries.  At the conclusion of the tour, samples of some of their products will be available for us to enjoy in the tasting room. (subject to confirmation).  We’ll visit the Shiroi Koibito Park, a large theme park operated by Ishiya, a popular local cookie company in Sapporo.  The company’s flagship product is Shiroi Koibito cookies - two thin butter cookies with a layer of white chocolate in between - one of the most popular souvenirs to bring home from Hokkaido.  We may have an opportunity to observe the cookie production in the factory.  Subject to confirmation, we’ll enjoy a hands-on-activity to make your own cookie in the workshop.  We’ll spend our last night in the city of Sapporo.  The afternoon is at your leisure for your own activities or to explore the various shopping malls located nearby the hotel.  Dinner will be on your own this evening. 

Accommodations at SAPPORO CENTURY ROYAL HOTEL or similar


Friday, May 17  (Day 10)
The morning is free at your leisure until we transfer to the Chitose Airport for our flight to Haneda Airport.  On arrival, we’ll transfer by shuttle bus to the Haneda International Terminal for our flight to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line.  A meal will be served on board the flight.


Land portion based on 140 Yen = $1.00 U.S.

The tour price is based on double occupancy and a minimum group size of 20 passengers. Fare adjustment may apply for groups of 20 or under. The rate is based on tariffs and exchange rates effective 9/05/23. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, fuel surcharge increase and fluctuation of the rate of exchange between U.S. and foreign currency. In the event of revaluation, the land portion of the tour price may be adjusted prior to your final statement.


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Springtime In Hokkaido