Welcome to Hokkaidō
Hokkaidō (北海道) is the Japan of wide-open spaces, with 20% of the country's land area but only 5% of its population. There are large swathes of wilderness here, with primeval forests, tropical-blue caldera lakes, fields of alpine wildflowers and bubbling, in-the-rough hot springs. In the summer, all this (plus the cooler, drier weather) draws hikers, cyclists and strollers.Winter is a different beast entirely: cold... Read More
Top experiences in Hokkaidō
Sights in HokkaidōSee all sights
Mountain Bike Tour with Hoheikyo Onse and Lunch
In the morning, assemble with your small group and guide at the starting point, approximately one hour after you’re picked up by air-conditioned minivan from Sapporo. Once you’re fitted with a mountain bike, helmet and gloves, you’ll hear safety precautions and get basic instructions for riding.Then follow your guide on an easy, 1.5-hour ride along a mostly paved road, starting from the upper Toyohira River, whose waters swell from mountain snowmelt into the Jozankei valley. Enjoy views above the river canyon and cross a suspension bridge, departing for Jozankei. It’s a steep, downhill ride to this traditional onsen town, which dates back to 1866 when an ascetic monk opened the spa upon discovering its healing waters.Amid forested banks along the bountiful Toyohira River, watch steam rise up from every angle. Stop to enjoy snacks like onsen manju, a bun stuffed with azuki-bean paste, before departing via a steep uphill route. After a ride down to the Shirai River, bike across the Toyohira River, dipping your feet in the cold water if time allows before heading back toward the Hoheikyo Onsen. Your 6-mile (10-km) route ends at this natural hot spring, which was ranked as one of the best hot spring day trips by TripAdvisor in 2013. Settle into mineral baths indoors or choose from three large outdoor pools, where you’ll have panoramic views of the mountains as you relax against the stones during a 1-hour soak. Hoheikyo is one of Japan's only onsen facilities to use 100-percent pure waters; the pools are fed by continuously flowing hot springs poured directly into the baths from the ground.Afterward, sate your appetite with a lunch of authentic naan bread and Indian curry — Jozankei’s most popular food — at the onsite restaurant.Complete your half-day tour with the return 1-hour drive to Sapporo.
7-Day Japan Rail Pass Including Shipping Fee
How to enjoy 7-days of unlimited JR rides in Japan:You must purchase this ticket prior to your trip to Japan. Select and purchase your shipping area and seating type from the tour options. At the checkout, you must provide your your full name and title exactly as they appear on your passport, gender (Mr or Ms), a mailing address (no P.O. Box addresses) and phone number. After the purchase is made, the local operator will send you a JR Pass Exchange Voucher and detailed instructions by FedEx within 4 business days to the provided address.Please take your exchange voucher and your passport to any JR Pass exchange office for the eligibility verification process upon arrival in Japan. Once eligibility is verified, you will be asked for the desired starting date, and you will receive your Japan Rail Pass. Exchange offices are located in main areas within Japan including Narita airport and Kansai airport.To use your pass, simply show your JR Pass to a train staff when entering the ticket gate. You cannot go through the automated ticket gate and must use the "manned" ticket gate. The beauty of the pass is that you can use the Japan Rail Pass on most railways and buses that are operated by the Japan Railway (JR) Group. What is a "Green Car” in comparison to a "Standard Car"?The Green Class Car is equipped with upscale comfortable seats that are wider and more spacious than those in the Standard cars. The car is also carpeted with extra room for luggage, and the attendant will provide you with a hot towel upon boarding. Depending on the season, the Standard Class Car can become very crowded, with little space to place luggage.Can I use the Japan Rail Pass to board any train, bus, or ferry in Japan?You can use the Japan Rail Pass on most railways including Hokkaido, Tohoku, Joetsu, Hokuriku, Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen. Tokyo Monorail and buses that are operated by the Japan Railway Group are also eligible for use. REQUIRED INFO: At time of booking, you MUST include the following details in the "Special Requirements" box: Your full name and title as they appear on your passport Passport country Gender (Mr or Ms) Mailing address (no P.O. Box addresses) Phone number
Lake Shikotsu Mountain Bike Tour from Sapporo
After morning pickup by air-conditioned minivan, you’re driven to the Chitose trailhead, located approximately 1.5 hours away from Sapporo. Once you’re fitted with a mountain bike, helmet and gloves, you’ll hear safety precautions and biking tips for moderately skilled cyclists. Then follow your guide along the pristine waters of the lower Chitose River toward Lake Shikotsu, immersing yourself in the natural splendor of Hokkaido. Soon the dirt and pebble path veers off into beautiful woods of white birch, taking you uphill for approximately 1.5 hours — a distance of 9 miles (15 km). Arriving at a clifftop, stop at a hydroelectric plant to enjoy views of the upper Chitose before continuing another 3 miles (5 km) to Lake Shikotsu.With a 24-mile (40-km) circumference and a maximum depth of about 1,180 feet (360 meters), the volcanic Lake Shikotsu is the second-deepest lake in Japan and boasts some of the country’s best-quality water. Enjoy the tranquil surroundings and views of neighboring volcanoes — Mt Eniwa, Mt Tarumae and Mt Fuppushi — from the shore, and pose for a group photo.Take an hour of free time to purchase lunch (own expense) at one of the lakeside restaurants. Choose from many options, including ones serving freshwater salmon (sushi or sashimi), hamburgers made with Hokkaido beef, or traditional Japanese plates like ramen and curry.Afterward, you can choose your return route, based on your skill level and energy. Select the mountain path for a moderate, off-road downhill course with more challenges and occasional uphill climbs, or ride through the woods on an entirely downhill slope; both options travel 15 miles (25 km) along a pebble road for approximately two hours past streams and across bridges. Note: If at any time the pace is too fast, you can ask your guide to slow down, take a break or even shorten the course. Enjoy panoramic mountain views and possible animal sightings — including Ezo deer, Hokkaido native foxes and raccoon dogs — before your small group returns to the Chitose area. Then hop off your mountain bike and relax during the comfortable drive back to Sapporo or New Chitose Airport.
Soba Cooking Class with Transport from Sapporo
Your private taxi driver whisks you from your Sapporo hotel or the JR Sapporo station to an eco-tourism farming community just outside of the city of Chitose, located southeast of Sapporo. Arrive at either Chitose Fureai Farm or Iwamoto Farm, and meet your instructor, a local resident and mother with many years of experience preparing traditional noodle dishes. During your 2-hour cooking class, you’ll learn how to make soba from scratch. Soba, usually made from buckwheat flour, refers to any thin noodle, unlike udon, the thick white noodle. Learn about shin-soba, made with newly harvested buckwheat, giving it a sweeter flavor than regular soba. Served either chilled with a dipping sauce or in hot broth as a noodle soup, soba is one of the popular dishes you’ll find all over Japan.Following your instructor’s lead, soak two kinds of buckwheat with water and then knead and roll the dough. Learn the proper techniques for cutting the dough, and enjoy the fragrant scents wafting up as you slice it into thin strips. Then, taste the fruits of your labor with a dipping sauce with flavorful and seasonal ingredients. Delight in slurping up the light and fresh noodles — luckily, you’ll have made enough noodles to take back with you for a snack later on.Pack your noodles, bid your instructor farewell, and then board your private taxi that returns to you to Sapporo.Please note: A minimum of two people per booking is required.
Japanese Red-Crowned Crane Observation Tour in Toro
At around 9:30am meet your guide at the Toro Nature Center or at JR Toro train station. Advise the tour operator beforehand if you plan to arrive by train.After filling some necessary documents at the reception and completing the safety orientation, proceed to the Red-crowned Crane House. Learn more about the cranes from the various materials available and then follow your guide to the best locations where you can spot cranes. Enjoy the surrounding nature while observing these cranes in their natural habitat. These birds are among the rarest cranes in the world, known in some places as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity.When the tour ends, your guide takes you back to the Toro Nature Center or to JR Toro Station.Please note: A minimum of two people per booking is required.
One Day Muslim-Friendly Tour of Sapporo
After leaving your accommodation, you will first visit the famous Nijo Market. This market is popularly known as the kitchen of Sapporo, with the best of seasonal seafood, fruits, and other specialties on display as you walk around. After Nijo market, you’ll ride the subway to the “Shiroi Koibito” Park. In this theme park, you will find an overflowing amount of candy charm, plus factory tours and of course the "white lover" confection itself, an institution in Hokkaido. You’ll not only enjoy a candy making experience, but it will also be an educational experience, specifically about the history of the brand and company, including a display of valuable antique cups. It goes without saying that there will be lots of chances to enjoy the chocolate, be it white, brown, or black. In September 2016, Shiroi Koibito opened a new prayer room to accommodate their Muslims visitors. Should you wish to do so, you are welcome to take your time of worship here. After finishing up at “Shiroi Koibito” Park, you’ll return to the city center and visit the popular ramen shop (founded in 1958) "Horyu," which is always bustling at lunch. The ramen here has a rich broth with a delicious infusion of miso, a perfect match for the perfect noodles and toppings. Particularly recommended is the "Genghis Khan Ramen," which allows you to taste the two major Sapporo specialties of Genghis Khan and ramen at the same time (*Lunch will be at your own expense). After lunch, by subway and bus, you will make way to the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. Okurayama is well known as the ski jump venue during the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, but even now, many international ski jumping competitions are held here. Ride the lift to the summit and admire the city of Sapporo and the Ishikari Plain spreading out before you. During winter, you can enjoy a particularly superb view, with the pure white snow dazzling the scene around you. Beneath the summit’s observatory is the starting line for the ski jump. Here, you can experience how ski jumpers must feel before they make their run. After enjoying the ski jump stadium, the tour will end with a transfer back to your accommodations. With your local guide leading the way, you will be able to enjoy Sapporo during this splendid one day tour.