Sapporo Snow Festival & Japan Winter Highlights

This 13-day trip joins together two Japan winter tours to create one unforgettable experience that covers some of the major winter events this country has to offer. From the famous onsen hot springs throughout Japan that make the country so inviting in winter, to loads of free time to discover new and historical districts in Tokyo and Kyoto, to the Sapporo Snow Festival, the Otaru Light Festival, and the option to ski in Hokkaido, this tour is the best answer for anyone looking for a different sort of adventure.

  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 154068
  • Starts: Tokyo, Japan
  • Finishes: Sapporo, Japan
You will Visit
  • Tokyo
  • Sapporo



Day 1: Tokyo

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting


Day 2: Tokyo

Enjoy a morning tour of some of the city's highlights. With a free afternoon, opt to head out of town and view Mt Fuji or explore more of Tokyo's diverse districts.

Included Activities:
City Tour


Day 3: Tokyo/Shirakawa-go (1D)

It's a long travel day to reach the scenic village of Shirakawa-go. View the unique architecture before settling into a local style inn for the night. Enjoy a traditional dinner.

Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 62km)
Bullet train (2.50-3.00 hours, 400km)


Day 4: Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa (1B)

Enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Kanazawa by bus. Wander through the samurai village, geisha district and Kenrokuen garden. Take a tour of the Ninja Temple. Opt to visit the impressive 21st Century Museum.

Included Activities:
Ninja Temple Visit
City Tour

Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 62km)


Day 5: Kanazawa/Kawayu Onsen (1D)

It's a long, but scenic, travel day to reach the Wakayama prefecture. Kawayu Onsen is known for its large, outdoor onsen bath dug every winter into the river bed.

Dress in the yukata (cotton kimono) provided by the minshuku (inn) and stroll over to the seninburo (large public hot spring) to enjoy an unforgettable soak in the steamy natural hot spring water.

Included Activities:
Traditional Minshuku Stay and Meal
Seninburo Hot Spring Visit

Local train (4.50 hour(s))
Local bus (2.00 hour(s))


Day 6: Kawayu Onsen/Osaka (1B)

Spend a free morning in the area. Opt to walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, visit nearby Yunomine Onsen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or visit the Hongu Taisha Shrine and giant torii gate of Oyu No Hara. Travel to Osaka in the late afternoon and opt for a night out in buzzing Namba.

Local bus (2.00 hour(s))
Local train (2.00 hour(s))


Day 7: Osaka

Osaka has heaps to offer including Osaka Castle Park, Shinsaibashi shopping street and Dotombori Bridge. Be sure to try "takoyaki" the city's famous squid snack. Osaka is a unique culinary destination – opt for a group meal of "kushikatsu".

Included Activities:
Instant Ramen Museum Visit


Day 8: Osaka/Kyoto

Continue on to nearby Kyoto and enjoy a morning city tour. With options like a tea ceremony, a traditional costume photo shoot, and visits to temples or museums, there's tons to see and do.

Included Activities:
City Tour

Local train (0.50-1.00 hours)


Day 9: Kyoto/Sapporo

Catch a flight from Kyoto to the island of Hokkaido. Enjoy some free time in Sapporo with an optional welcome meeting for any new travellers joining the group here.

Plane (2.00 hour(s))


Day 10: Sapporo

Take an orientation tour of the city before spending the day at the Sapporo Snow Festival. In the evening, depart for Otaru to experience this town's Snow Light Path Festival. Head back to Sapporo for the night.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Sapporo Snow Festival Visit
Snow Light Path Festival Visit

Train (1.00 hour(s))
Train (1.00 hour(s))


Day 11: Sapporo/Noboribetsu (1D)

Travel to nearby Noboribetsu. Go for an easy hike through Jigokudani Park to view the scenery and geysers, or opt to visit the onsen town's spas. Enjoy a stay at a traditional inn for the night, complete with dinner dressed in a provided yukata (cotton kimono).

Included Activities:
Jigokudani Park Visit

Train (1.25 hour(s))


Day 12: Noboribetsu/Sapporo

Experience more of Sapporo with options to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum for a tour and tasting (complete with an optional all-you-can-eat-and-drink meal in the Beer Hall) or travel to the top of the Sapporo TV Tower for a new vantage point.

Local train (1.25 hour(s))


Day 13: Sapporo (1B)

Can't get enough snow? Book post accommodation and head to Niseko to experience Japan's world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

    • CEO-led city tours of Tokyo and Kanazawa
    • Ninja Temple visit
    • Minshuku stay with traditional meals
    • Onsen spa options
    • Instant Ramen Museum visit (Osaka)
    • CEO-led city tour of Kyoto, including entrance to Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion
    • Orientation walks in Osaka and Sapporo
    • Sapporo Snow Festival visit
    • Snow Light Path Festival visit (Otaru)
    • Jigokudani Park visit
    • Minshuku stay (Noboribetsu)
    • Internal flight
    • All transport to/from included activities and between destinations
    • Hotels (9 nts), farmhouse (1 nt), traditional inns (2 nts)
    • 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
    • Train, public bus, subway, plane, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
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Tour Highlights:
  • Lay eyes on the glitz of Tokyo
  • Combat winter's chill soaking in outdoor onsen spas
  • Go local at a traditional minshuku
  • Make your own instant ramen in Osaka
  • Celebrate the season at Sapporo Snow Festival