Northern Charm – Tohoku & Hokkaido
Sendai, Kakunodate, Matsushima, Oirase Gorge, Hakodate, Sapporo
|Duration||13 nights and 14 days|
|Price||From $2,669 per person (based on twin share)|
Leave the city behind as you slowly move further and further north seeing all the beauty that Tohoku and Hokkaido have to offer. Explore the unique local cultures, foods, history and breathtaking nature in Tohoku before your journey reaches the northern-most island, Hokkaido. The train ride takes you through the astonishing Seikan Tunnel – 53km long, with 23km lying under the seabed. You’ll be amazed by Hakodate’s enchanting night view and the volcanic Mt Usu. Unwind as you enjoy the onsen hot springs in Noboribetsu. Sapporo city has many places to discover and a day trip to the lovely canal city of Otaru will captivate you!
Day 1: Tokyo
Upon arrival in Tokyo, discover some new places around the city. Try strolling around the Yanaka, Nezu area, known for its numerous temples, a sloping maze of streets and narrow alleys, and unique small museums and galleries.
Accommodation: Tokyo – 1 night
Day 2: Tokyo – Sendai
Take a train to Sendai. Explore the largest city in Tohoku, called the ‘City of Trees’. Stop by the tranquil Aoba Castle Ruins and enjoy a sweeping Sendai city view. Admire the glorious Zuihoden Mausoleum, the final resting place of the founder of Sendai, Date Masamune. Wander around the bustling shopping arcades and try the local snack food, Shyotan-age (Sendai style corndog).
Accommodation: Sendai – 3 nights
Day 3: Sendai – Kakunodate – Sendai
Take an expedition to Kakunodate, a former castle town containing rows of samurai residences. Stroll around this charming historical town at your own pace. On the way back, drop in to Morioka for lunch and feast on the famous Wanko Soba. Explore the city, and its beautiful landscape with Mt Iwate and its two rivers, Kitakami River and Nakatsu River, at leisure.
Take a day trip to Yamadera temple complex where a magnificent valley view awaits you. On the way back to Sendai, stop by the Nikka Whisky Distillery. Learn about the process of distilling whisky and taste this famous and delicious Japanese whisky.
Day 4: Sendai – Matsushima – Sendai
Take an excursion to Matsushima, one of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places. Stop by Shiogama, a port town famous for its large shrine with an approach of 202 steep, stone steps. Savour the delicious Sushi, one of Shiogama’s specialties, before moving on. In Matsushima, see the bay of islands close-up with a leisurely cruise. Stop by the many sights including Zuiganji Temple, sacred Ojima Island, Kanrantei tea room, the beautiful garden at the Entsuin Temple, and don’t miss Godaido Hall.
Day 5: Sendai – Hirosaki – Aomori
Board a train to Hirosaki, a castle town famous for its Neputa Festival. Learn about and experience the local summer festival at the Tsugaru Neputa Mura museum. Amble through the peaceful Hirosaki Park, containing the Hirosaki Castle Ruins and thousands of cherry trees – a spectacular sight in spring. Afterwards, make your way to Aomori.
Accommodation: Aomori – 2 nights
Day 6: Aomori – Oirase Gorge & Lake Towada – Aomori
Catch a bus to the stunning Oirase Gorge, part of the Towada Hachimantai National Park. Enjoy a leisurely hike through the picturesque gorge to Lake Towada, the largest caldera lake on the main island.
Day 7: Aomori – Hakodate
Take a train ride through the Seikan Tunnel, connecting Aomori and Hokkaido. Discover the unique mixture of Japanese and Western architecture in Hakodate. Visit the vibrant, bustling Morning Market and savour the fresh seafood for lunch. Wander around the bay area, see the Mashu-maru Memorial Ship (the moored Seikan Strait ferryboat) and the historic Red Brick Warehouses. A brilliant night view awaits you from Mt Hakodateyama.
Accommodation: Hakodate – 2 nights
Day 8: Hakodate
Explore Hakodate at leisure. Stroll through the Motomachi area, with many Western style buildings such as the Old Public Hall, the Old British Consulate and the Russian Orthodox Church. Visit Fort Goryokaku, a grand, star-shaped citadel, one of the special historic sites in Hakodate. You can see the beautiful star shape of the fort from the 107 metre tall Goryokaku Tower.
Day 9: Hakodate – Lake Toya – Noboribetsu Onsen
Stop by Lake Toya, a caldera lake in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Stroll around the beautiful lake and onsen hot spring resort. Get a close-up view of the active volcano, Mt Usu, with a ride up the ropeway. On the peak, witness the crater and marvel at the wonder of nature with a stunning view of the picturesque lake and mountains. Make your way to Noboribetsu Onsen.
Accommodation: Noboribetsu Onsen – 1 night (Dinner and Breakfast)
Day 10: Noboribetsu Onsen – Sapporo
Take a walk through Jigokudani, ‘Hell valley’, in Noboribetsu Onsen, before heading off to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. Upon arrival, commence exploration of the city. Stroll through Odori Park, home to the fantastic Sapporo Snow Festival, see the Clock Tower and indulge in Sapporo ramen for lunch. When the sun goes down try out some of the local cuisine at Susukino, the largest entertainment district in northern Japan.
Accommodation: Sapporo – 4 nights
Day 11: Sapporo
Explore Sapporo. Learn about the history of the development of Hokkaido at the Hokkaido Kaitaku-no-Mura Historic Village, an open air museum. Visit Sapporo Beer Museum, learn the history of beer in Japan and the process of beer making and taste fresh beer.
Day 12: Sapporo – Otaru – Sapporo
Take a day trip to Otaru, a picturesque harbour and canal town. Wander around at a leisurely pace and view the canal area, with a row of old warehouses along the charming canal, and Sakaimachi Street, the merchant street. Visit and learn about Otaru at the Otaru City Museum.
Day 13: Sapporo
Discover more of Sapporo at your own pace. Admire the seasonal plants and flowers at the Hokkaido University Botanical Garden and venture through Shiroi Koibito Park, the local cookie and chocolate factory where you can taste, make and buy the local chocolate and cookies as gifts or souvenirs.
Day 14: Sapporo – Shin Chitose International Airport
Complete your shopping at the Sapporo Factory shopping mall before departing Japan or heading to your next destination.
*The order of the tour can be changed and the length increased or decreased to match your requirements.
– One of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places, Matsushima
– ‘Little Kyoto in Tohoku’, the samurai district Kakunodate
– Wonderful seasonal beauty of nature in Aomori
– Enchanting night view in Hakodate
– Volcanic Mt Usu and Lake Toya area
– Overnight stay at Noboribetsu Onsen hot spring resort
– Lovely northern city Sapporo & canal town Otaru
|Duration||13 nights and 14 days (travel order can be changed, length of tour can be extended or decreased)|
|Departure Dates||Available all year round|
|Route||Tokyo, Sendai, Kakunodate, Matsushima, Hirosaki, Aomori, Oirase Gorge, Hakodate, Lake Toya, Sapporo, Otaru|
|Tour type||Self-guided package: pick up/drop off service is not available|
|Price (land fee)||Twin share from $2,669 per person
Triple share from $2,422 per person
Single from $3,366 per person
|*Seasonal fee may apply (arriving in April, May, June, July, August and October)|
– 12 nights accommodation in a standard room in 3-4 star hotels, 1 night in Onsen Hotel
・ 1 night in Tokyo – Shiba Park Hotel or similar
・ 3 nights in Sendai – Hotel Metropolitan Sendai or similar
・ 2 nights in Aomori – Aomori Kokusai Hotel or similar
・ 2 nights in Hakodate – Loisir Hotel Hakodate or similar
・ 1 night in Noboribetsu – Oyado Kiyomizu, Tamanoyu or similar
・ 4 nights in Sapporo – Sapporo Aspen Hotel or similar
・ Breakfast in Aomori
・ Dinner and Breakfast in Noboribetsu Onsen
– Flights: We can assist with your flights to match your itinerary.
*If you have already booked your flight, please provide us with your flight details or send us copies of e-tickets when you book/enquire.
– Travel expenses (unless covered by the Japan Rail Pass).
– Meals: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
– Activities or tours: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
*You can add any day tours or activities you like, we can arrange this for you.
– Admission fees: Except as mentioned in the Package inclusions.
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance
*Non-smoking rooms may be available on request. We book non-smoking rooms when available.
*Please read our term and conditions.
*Package inclusions are subject to availability.
*Prices are subject to currency fluctuations.