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Japan Winter Discovery - 2018

Small group tour
14 days - From US$8915*PP

From incredible snow sculptures and rare birds in Hokkaido to snow monkeys and cultural treasures on Honshu; this tour demonstrates the myriad attractions of the enchanting winter season on Japan's two largest islands. Take an icebreaker cruise amongst the creaking floes of the Okhotsk Sea and in Yudanaka you'll witness the Japanese macaques as they stave off the cold in the mountain hot springs. Experience Japan's winter delights, whilst discovering her unique culture, fascinating history and contradictions.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation as mentioned above
  • with breakfast daily and four dinners
  • all sightseeing as specified
  • including entrance fees
  • luggage courier service (see Important Notes below)
  • tour leader (based on a minimum of 10 persons traveling)
  • local English-speaking guides
  • all transport as specified (including a 7-day Japan Rail pass which will be provided to you in Japan and a one way flight from Haneda Tokyo to Sapporo)
  • the assistance of an Insider Journeys representative in boarding a shared-service transfer bus to your Tokyo hotel and unassisted pre-booked taxi service to Sapporo Station and rail ticket from Sapporo Station to Shin-Chitose Airport.

Prices and Departures

Select your month
Select your start date
Start

JANUARY 31st
(Wednesday)

End

FEBRUARY 13th
(Tuesday)

Per person from:

US$8915*

Single supplement:
US$870*
Available

This departure is guaranteed to operate

Book now

Start

FEBRUARY 14th
(Wednesday)

End

FEBRUARY 27th
(Tuesday)

Per person from:

US$8915*

Single supplement:
US$870*
Available

Book now

Start

JANUARY 31st
(Thursday)

End

FEBRUARY 13th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$9275*

Single supplement:
US$810*
Available

Book now

Start

FEBRUARY 14th
(Thursday)

End

FEBRUARY 27th
(Wednesday)

Per person from:

US$9275*

Single supplement:
US$810*
Available

Book now

Small Group Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Tokyo
On arrival in Tokyo, transfer to your hotel and immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of the city. Meet your fellow travelers and Tour Leader (or local guide), and enjoy your first taste of Japanese cuisine.

Hotel: Shinjuku Washington (or similar)

Day 2: Tokyo City Tour
Join a walking tour of Tokyo and visit Yanesen, home to one of the most important Shinto shrines in Tokyo, Nezu-jinja. Wander through the maze-like alleyways of Yanaka and participate in a ‘shodo’ class – a traditional style of calligraphy art.

Hotel: Shinjuku Washington (or similar)

Day 3: Shunka-en
Travel to Shunka-en, home to a 1000-year-old bonsai pine tree. Visit Ueno Park, Tokyo’s most significant cultural center. Discover Ameyoko-cho, a street market that began as a black market during post-war Tokyo. Finish your day at Tokyo National Museum, Japan's oldest and largest museum.

Hotel: Shinjuku Washington (or similar)

Day 4: Tokyo to Matsumoto
Spend the morning at leisure before taking the train to Matsumoto, a beautiful castle town situated in the Japanese Alps.

Hotel: Matsumoto Tokyu Rei (or similar)

Day 5: Matsumoto
Discover Matsumoto’s highlight attractions including Japan’s largest wasabi grower, Matsumoto City Museum of Art filled with Yayoi Kusama’s work, and Matsumoto castle.

Hotel: Matsumoto Tokyu Rei (or similar)

Day 6: Matsumoto to Yudanaka
Travel by train to Nagano and visit Zenko-ji temple, a 7th century national treasure. Continue to Obuse and visit Hokusai Museum. See snow monkeys frolicking in the natural springs at Yudanaka. Spend a special evening at a ryokan, enjoy a traditional kaiseki dinner, soak in the onsite onsen, and sleep on a futon bed in a tatami-floored room.

Hotel: Yorozuya Ryokan (or similar)

Day 7: Yudanaka to Sapporo
Travel by train to Haneda airport and fly to Sapporo.

Hotel: Cross Hotel Sapporo (or similar)

Day 8: Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido is famous for its beer, skiing and the annual snow festival featuring enormous ice sculptures. Spread across three sites, the festival is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a fantasy world of glistening beauty and pure-white fun. Visit Nijo fish market, Okurayama Observatory, and Sapporo Beer Museum before enjoying the snow festival in the evening.
 
Hotel: Cross Hotel Sapporo (or similar)

Day 9: Sapporo
Explore the historic village of Hokkaido, an open-air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. The museum exhibits approximately 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods. Enjoy free time at the festival.

Hotel: Cross Hotel Sapporo (or similar)

Day 10: Sapporo to Kushiro
Travel by train to Kushiro City to explore the Tancho Crane Reserve. The area was designated as a national park in 1987 in order to preserve the country's largest wetland and marsh habitat, which supports the only known population of endangered Japanese cranes in the country.

Hotel: Hotel Ana Crown Plaza Kushiro (or similar)

Day 11: Kushiro to Lake Akan
Explore Akan National Park filled with large volcanic caldera lakes, thick forest, and rejuvenating onsen. Savor a sumptuous Japanese dinner at your traditional hotel before driving to Ainu Kotan village, home to one of the largest remaining Ainu communities in Hokkaido. Enjoy a traditional Ainu performance where dancing and singing are integral to the Ainu who live in harmony with the gods and with nature. Return to your hotel and enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the onsen.

Hotel: Akan Yuku No Sato Tsuruga (or similar)

Day 12: Abashiri
Board your icebreaker cruise for an unforgettable experience as the ship carves its way through the Sea of Okhotsk, smashing through blocks of drifting sea-ice. Visit the Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum to learn the science behind the sea ice and the small animals that inhabit the freezing waters. At the Abashiri Prison Museum, learn about the daily life of prisoners held captive here during the Meiji era over 100-years-ago.

Hotel: Sounkyo Grand Hotel (or similar)

Day 13: Abashiri to Sapporo
Visit Sounkyo, one of the largest canyons in Japan and see two of the most beautiful waterfalls in the canyon – Ginga No Taki and Ryusei No Taki, which freeze into enormous ice pillars in winter. In Asahikawa city, visit Otokoyama Sake Brewery to learn about the sake making process, enjoy the beautiful Japanese garden and sample some sake. Return to Sapporo and indulge in a sumptuous farewell dinner.

Hotel: Cross Hotel Sapporo (or similar)

Day 14: Sapporo
Transfer by private taxi to Sapporo Bus Station for your onward journey.

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* From prices subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Airfares not included unless otherwise specified. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. If you book with Insider Journeys an additional 2% fee applies to credit card or charge card payments (except in North America, where no fee is charged). Insider Journeys general booking conditions apply click here.