Hokkaido - Japan's wild paradiseNortheast Asia
Extend your tour through the volcanic clouds and deep forests of Hokkaido to witness some of Japan’s greatest natural marvels
From £4,120 per person for two + flights
Hokkaido – Japan’s wild paradise – extension idea over 4 Days / 3 Nights
Tokyo > Shinkansen – Bullet Train > Hakodate > Ofune > Lake Onuma > Lake Toya > Upopoy > Sapporo > Tokyo
Far from Japan’s big cities, there’s a tranquil paradise of untouched scenery where people have learned to live in balance with the environment. Welcome to Hokkaido: the northernmost of the Japanese islands – and the wildest. On this four-day tour, you will see a Japan most visitors never do, discovering the mysteries of Japan’s prehistoric past, her lakes and mountain peaks, whilst experiencing nature-friendly ways that might be the key to our future
DAY 1: Welcome to Hokkaido
Your journey starts with a relaxing train ride on the shinkansen – the Bullet Train – watching the stunning landscape unfold at 200 miles an hour. You’ll be greeted by a friendly English-speaking guide at Hakodate, the port city on the southernmost tip of Hokkaido.
After lunch, explore Goryokaku fortress (after the style of the star forts of Europe), the opulent Motomachi district, where many western traders once lived and enjoy a cable car ride to the peak of Mt Hakodate before dinner.
DAY 2: Exploring Ancient Secrets
Today, delve into the deep history of this region, orignally inhabited by the Jomon people – a mysterious culture that survived for nearly 15,000 years.
You’ll get to learn more about the Jomon and their beautiful artworks and wander around an authentic Jomon village in Ofune. Archaeologists have unearthed over 20,000 objects at this site, giving us tantalising clues about the lives and spiritual beliefs of these ancient people.
Next to Lake Onuma, a tranquil, glassy lake reflecting the magnificent slopes of Mt Komagatake. A network of walkways and charming stone bridges allows you to take in some glorious views while protecting the pristine wilderness between the lake’s tiny wooded islands.
After lunch you’ll head out for a gentle paddle around the lake’s hidden coves. The area is pristine, and you’ll stop off at one of the islands to drink tea surrounded by miles of blissful wilderness.
Tonight you’ll stay by Lake Toya – a volcanic crater with some of the clearest waters in the entire country.
DAY 3: Meet the Ainu in Upopoy
Drop in on the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, who have preserved their unique
culture for thousands of years, with stewardship of the environment being all-important.
You’ll be welcomed with a spectacular performance of traditional dance that has a sacred role in Ainu culture – being how they communicate with the kamuy, the gods and spirits of the natural world.
At the museum, you can see some beautiful examples of Ainu handicrafts, or join in with local masters who’ll help you participate in wood carving and embroidery.
DAY 4: Sapporo on wheels
Today, your guide will lead you on a cycling excursion through Sapporo. Criss- crossed by bike paths, it’s a great zero-carbon way to see the sights! Even in the heart of Japan’s fifth-largest city, the wild world is never too far away with its gorgeous fields of blooming flowers, or delicate pink plum and cherry blossoms.
Once you’ve completed your ride, enjoy lunch in the city, after which your guide will show you even more city sights in your private car, before heading back to the airport to continue your holiday.