This 13-day trip brings together two Japanese islands 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 the free time to discover new and historical districts in Tokyo and Kyoto, to the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Otaru Light Festival in Hokkaido, this tour is the best answer for anyone looking for a different sort of adventure.
What's Included: Recharge: Seninburo Hot Spring Visit, Hongu. CEO-led city tours of Tokyo and Kanazawa. Ninja Temple visit. Minshuku stay with traditional meals. 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.
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
Group Size Notes: Max 15, avg 12
Meals Included: 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Meals: Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.
Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your CEO will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.
Your CEO will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.
Please refer to the Meals Included and Budget Information for information regarding included meals on your trip. Japan's kitchen is at your fingertips!
Transport: Train, public bus, subway, plane, walking.
Minimum Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Physical Grading:3 - Average
➕ Day 1 Tokyo
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
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.
➕ 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.
➕ Day 4 Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa (1B)
Enjoy a traditional breakfast before travelling to Kanazawa by bus. Wander through the samurai village on a short guided walk and take a guided tour of the Ninja Temple. Opt to visit the impressive 21st Century Museum, the geisha district, or Kenrokuen garden.
Ninja Temple Visit
Nagamachi Samurai District Walk
➕ 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.
Traditional Minshuku Stay and Meal
Seninburo Hot Spring Visit
➕ Day 6 Kawayu Onsen/Osaka (1B)
Spend a free morning in the area. Opt to walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail 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.
➕ 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".
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.
➕ 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.
➕ 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.
Sapporo Snow Festival Visit
Snow Light Path Festival Visit
➕ 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).
Jigokudani Park Visit
➕ Day 12 Noboribetsu/Sapporo (1B)
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.
➕ Day 13 Sapporo
Can't get enough snow? Book post accommodation and head to Niseko to experience Japan's world-class skiing and snowboarding.