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Furano / National Parks / Lake Toya / Hakodate / Sapporo

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Tour Highlights for Explore Hokkaido
Motomachi District

Motomachi District

Visiting historical buildings, such as a Russian Orthodox Church and old brick warehouses.

Goryokaku Park,

Goryokaku Park,

A park surrounding a western-style citadel in the shape of a star. 

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Explore the area around Mt. Usu, an active volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years.

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ITINERARY

Explore Hokkaido - 7 Days / 6 Nights

DAY 1 - Arrival in Hakodate

Exo TravelHakodate Airport (HKD) to preferred hotel: 10 min (drive)

Upon arrival to Hakodate Airport, our representative will be waiting to provide an escort to the hotel. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure.

After dinner, we recommend a trip by ropeway to the top of Mt. Hakodate, home to a famous night view, said to be one of Japan’s best.

Overnight in Hakodate

DAY 2 - Hakodate, Day Trip to Onuma Park MealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelHakodate to Onuma Park: 45 min Time: Start (guided tour): 09:00 Duration: 8 h *including pick-up/drop-off, and transit times

Enjoy a guided day exploring Hakodate, a city rich in history and maritime culture, and nearby Onuma Park, a picturesque quasi-national park.

The guide will provide a pickup from the hotel, followed by transport (via train) to Onuma Quasi National Park, about 20 kilometers north of Hakodate. This park is known for its beautiful lakes dotted with small islands and Mt. Komagatake, an impressive dormant volcano.

After some time exploring the park, travel back to Hakodate by train for a visit to the Bay Area and the Motomachi District, with its distinct historical buildings, such as a Russian Orthodox Church and old brick warehouses.

Next, take the tram to Goryokaku Park, a park surrounding a western-style citadel in the shape of a star. Originally built in 1866 to defend against the western imperialist threat, this is now the favourite spot of the locals to enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring.

To finish the day, take a ride on the elevator up 107 meters to the top of Goryokaku Tower to catch a bird’s eye view of the beautiful park.

Overnight in Hakodate

DAY 3 - Hakodate – Shikotsu-Toya National ParkMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelHakodate to Noboribetsu area: 3 h (drive) Noboribetsu area to Toyako Onsen area: 60 min (drive) Time: Start (guided tour): 09:00 Duration: 8 h *including pick-up/drop-off, and transit times

Make an early start to visit the Asa-ichi, or morning market, enjoying a breakfast of fresh sushi on rice and marveling at the variety of seafood on offer.

After breakfast, meet the guide at the hotel for transport via car to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. This park was named for the two famous lakes within its borders, Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu, both caldera lakes formed by years of volcanic activity.

This afternoon, head to Noboribetsu, an area famous for its volcanic activity and onsen (hot spring baths). Visit Jigokudani, or “Hell valley”, a spectacle of hot steam vents and sulfurous streams. From here, take the short 30 minute walk to Oyunuma, a steamy, sulfurous pond where the surface water temperature is up to 50 degrees Celsius.

Check into the ryokan just in time for a traditional Japanese dinner and enjoy the evening at leisure.

Note: Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request.

DAY 4 - Shikotsu-Toya National Park MealsMEALS [B|D]

Exo TravelToyako Onsen area to Fukidashi Park: 55 min (drive) Time: Start (guided tour): 09:00 Duration: 8 h *including pick-up/drop-off, and transit times

Spend the day alongside the guide exploring more of Shiktosu-Toya National Park by car.

In the morning, explore the area around Mt. Usu, an active volcano which has erupted four times in the past 100 years. Visit the Usu Volcano Science Museum and its exhibitions about the eruptions in 1977 and 2000. Then travel to the top of Mt. Usu by ropeway, enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean, Lake Toya and Mt. Usu’s large crater.

Continue the visit in the afternoon exploring the area around the impressive volcano Mt. Yotei. Make a stop at the Kyogoku Fukidashi Koen, a mineral water source with pure spring water from Mt. Yotei and try some of Japan’s mineral water. Continue to the internationally renowned mountain resort Niseko, enjoying some of Hokkaido’s best local delicacies in a cosmopolitan atmosphere.   

Finally, travel back to the ryokan to enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner with the rest of the evening free at leisure.

Note: Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request.

Overnight in Shikotsu-Toya

DAY 5 - Shikotsu-Toya – SapporoMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelToya Station to Sapporo Station: 2 h

This morning take the train to Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido and Japan’s fifth largest city.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring this exciting city.

Suggested self-guided itinerary:

At heart of the Sapporo is Odori Park, a 105m wide, 1.5km long Boulevard. Sapporo TV Tower stands at the eastern end of the promenade, and has an observation platform that commands a bird’s-eye view of the city and vicinity.

Another great visit is the Clock Tower Building, adjacent to city hall, the symbol of Sapporo. Continue to the Sapporo Botanic Garden. This is the oldest botanic garden in Japan, opened in 1886. The garden mostly displays Hokkaido’s native fauna and you can marvel at the beautiful old trees on the premises.

To finish the day, we recommend a visit to the Sapporo Beer Museum, a great place to sample the local specialty Jingisukan (Lamb BBQ). Alternatively, try exploring Susukino, Sapporo’s famous nightlife area.

For dinner, head to the famous Ramen Street, boating 16 long-established Ramen restaurants to choose from.

Overnight in Sapporo 

DAY 6 - Sapporo, Optional Day Trip to Otaru MealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelSapporo Station to Otaru Station: 30 min

Today is a self-guided day.

Enjoy a pleasant day trip to Otaru, half an hour northwest of Sapporo.

Suggested self-guided itinerary:

Otaru is a historic port city not far from Sapporo. It has developed and prospered as "the sea entrance of Hokkaido" over the last 100 years and it has gained the nickname "Wall Street of the North."

Many shops and restaurants along the canal have been converted from stone-built or brick-built warehouses, which were used for storage.

From there, head to Sakaimachi Street, a preserved merchant street with many restaurants, boutique shops and museums. Discover the Music Box Museum, Glass Workshops, and strangely enough, a museum of Venetian Art.

Enjoy walking around this beautiful town and don’t miss trying some of the freshest sushi in Hokkaido, maybe even Japan!

After a day of exploration, head back to Sapporo.

Overnight in Sapporo

DAY 7 - Sapporo, departure MealsMEALS [B|L]

Today is at leisure until your included transfer to Sapporo airport.

DAY 7 - Optional Extension (Rates on request) - Sapporo – FuranoMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelSapporo to Furano: 2 h Time: Start (guided tour): 09:00 Duration: 8 h *including pick-up/drop-off, and transit times

This morning, travel with the guide by car to Furano. Furano lies at the center of Hokkaido and is known for its great weather, beautiful scenery and perfect farming conditions.

This area is known for its colourful flower fields, and especially the Lavender fields which attract large numbers of visitors to the region every summer.

Also nearby is the Furano Winery; enjoy a local lunch made from fresh ingredients and a glass of Furano wine.

Continue along to Biei, visiting one of the most photographed sceneries of all of Hokkaido: the blue pond of Biei. Its color is of a nearly fluorescent blue, due to the high mineral content of the water. 

Note: Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request.

DAY 8 - Optional Extension (Rates on request) - Furano – Daisetsuzan MealsMEALS [B|D]

Exo TravelFurano area to Sounkyo area: 2 h (drive)

Today is a self-guided day.

Transfer by car to Sounkyo (2 hours), a small hot spring resort town in the north of Daisetsuzan National Park. This will be the homebase for exploring the park and all its natural wonders.

With 2,267 square kilometers, this large swath of unspoiled wilderness is Hokkaido’s largest national park, attracting visitors from all over Japan for its beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities.

Suggested self-guided itinerary:

This afternoon, ride the ropeway to the top of Mt. Kurodake and do some light hiking. Don’t forget to bring warm, waterproof clothes, as the weather up top can get very cold!

Note:

  • Transportation fees and entrance fees at own expense.
  • Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request.

Overnight in Sounkyo 

DAY 9 - Optional Extension (Rates on request) - DaisetsuzanMealsMEALS [B|D]

Today explore Daisetsuzan National Park by car with an English-speaking driver.

Enjoy a full day tour exploring some of the wonders of the park: waterfalls, old train bridges, imposing mountains and deep gorges. There will be plenty of chances to stop the car, walk around and enjoy the fresh air and mountain scenery.

Note: Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request.

Overnight in Sounkyo

DAY 10 - Optional Extension (Rates on request) - Departure from DaisetsuzanMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelSounkyo area to Asahikawa Airport (AKJ): 1.5 h

Enjoy the day at leisure until transport (provided) to Asahikawa Airport.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Our Services Include: 

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast.Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • English meet and greet at the airport and return transfers to the airport
  • English-speaking local guide on Days 2, 3 and 4 (supplementary charges apply for other languages)
  • Car rental from Day 3 to 5 (Car with chauffeur can be arranged upon request)
  • All entrance fees and public transportation as mentioned in the itinerary on Days 2, 3 and 4
  • Information Pack
  • For safety reasons, some public transport may stop operating in case of unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Please inform your travel agent of any special dietary requirements that you may have.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation).
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 15:00 on arrival day till 10:00 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all of the above services and tours have yet to be booked. They are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the time of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program. 
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