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Central Hokkaido for Adventurers

Not for those looking to just lay on the beach, this seven-day Central Hokkaido for Adventurers itinerary will keep you excited and enjoying the great outdoors in Japan’s beautiful snow-covered nature. The trip takes you into Mt. Taisetsu, Sounkyo, Abashiri, Akan, Tokachigawa and finishes in Sapporo. Prepare yourself for trekking, snowshoeing, skiing and exploring the beauty of Japan’s countryside. Keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss spotting beautiful cranes or steam pouring out of a volcano.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Trek up to the summit of Mt. Taisetsu wearing snowshoes and peer over the edge to look for active volcanoes spitting steam into the chilled air
  • Relax in one of the peaceful, natural hot baths known as onsens in Sounkyo
  • Canoe down the Kushiro River and learn for yourself what makes this one of the most popular canoe destinations in the world
  • Savor delicious Japanese chocolate in Sapporo at the Ishiya Chocolate Factory
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in the snow ridden, mountainous Hokkaido region by flying into Asahikawa airport. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the diverse Asahikawa Zoo and enjoy the famous delicious local ramen.

Day 2

Sit back and enjoy the ride up the Asahidake Ropeway that crawls up the mountainside. Enjoy the rest because now you will embark on an exciting snowshoe trek with a professional guide. Make your way all the way to the top of the ropeway and peer down to search for steam coming out of the volcano. After an active day, relax in a natural hot spring known to the Japanese as an onsen. After exploring the hot baths, finish the day soaking in the area’s best onsen - the Sounkyo Onsen. The Sounkyo Choyotei or Sounkyo Onsen Hotel are fantastic hotel choices in Sounkyo.

Day 3

Journey into the chilly outdoors and explore the frozen waterfalls off Ginga and Ryusei. The waterfalls appear to be paused mid-rush. Smelt ice fish on the frozen lake with the locals. You can even sample piping hot fried smelt fish on the lake. A crab dinner in town is an indulgent and not-to-be-missed experience.

Day 4

Begin the morning by canoeing down the Kushiro River, the most popular canoeing river in the country. Keep your eyes peeled for sun pillars or diamond dust - natural phenomenons only appearing in the winter. Discover the natural, unspoiled beauty of Lake Mashu and Lake Akan. Relax your hard-worked muscles at your hotel this evening.

Day 5

Akan is the crane capital of the country. Watch these beautiful, elegant birds for long enough, and you may witness one of the beautiful dances performed by crane couples. Drive towards Kushiro city and stop at Kushiro Washo Market for lunch. Grab a bowl of rice and pick your fish and ingredients as you peruse the many options available. Locals love the dish with soy sauce on top! Fly onward to Sapporo to spend the night.

Day 6

Fix your sweet tooth as you begin the day with a tour of the Ryugetsu factory. Try the different authentic sweets and learn about how they’re made. The Baumkuchen, a layered type of cake originating from Germany, is to-die-for. Savor hot, fresh ramen in the famously-coined “Ramen Alley” in Susukino. It’s time for more sweets as you visit the Ishiya Chocolate Factory. The factory has a gorgeous museum and tons of chocolate for sampling or bringing to loved ones at home. Finish the day by burning off those goodies as you give the Mt. Okura Ski Jump a whirl. Spend a final night at your luxury hotel.

Day 7

Make the most of your last day in Sapporo, shopping the chic fashions at the Mitsui Outlet. Stock up on the latest accessories and any final souvenirs before catching your flight home out of the Chitose Airport. Don’t forget to squeeze in one last delicious ramen lunch before your journey to your next onward destination.


Suggested Accommodations

Sounkyo Onsen Hotel

Sounkyo Onsen Hotel

Enjoy a stay at Sounkyo Onsen Hotel in Hokkaidō, Japan. Nestled between mountains and beside the Ishikari River, this resort is a perfect natural retreat for those who like to be in nature, while also enjoying high-quality service and luxury accommodation. Year-round, guests can relax in the on-site hot springs baths and enjoy forest views from the relaxing sauna. For dining options, choices range from traditional Japanese, Chinese and western cuisine - all made with fresh, seasonal ingredients – as well as a buffet restaurant, and peaceful in-suite dining, decorated in traditional Japanese design, western design, or a fusion of the two. A natural oasis awaits at Sounkyo Onsen Hotel.

New Akan Hotel

New Akan Hotel

Welcome to the New Akan Hotel, located on the shores of Lake Akan in Akan National Park in Kushiro, Hokkaidō, Japan. Enjoy a visit to this beautiful natural landscape with a stay at this hotel, which consists of 370 rooms designed in both Japanese and western styles. The hotel features two restaurants: buffet restaurant Felice, and Kamon, which serves traditional Japanese cuisine, as well as Blue Night, an on-site night lounge. During the day, guests can enjoy a natural spring soak in the hotel’s Grand Public Bath, or a swim in the rooftop pool and hot tub, overlooking Lake Akan and the surrounding hills. They can also explore the surrounding natural areas by taking a cruise across the lake, exploring the traditional Ainu Kotan Village, the largest Ainu community in Japan, or visiting “Bokke”, a natural site of muddy craters where carbon dioxide gases from underground bubble through the mud. With so much to explore, guests will be thrilled to have such a comfortable place to rest their head at the end of the day. 

JR Tower Hotel, Sapporo Grand Hotel

JR Tower Hotel

The JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo provides sleek style and convenience in Hokkaido, Japan. Conveniently located above JR Sapporo Station with a direct link from Chitose International Airport by JR line, it is the perfect stop during a business trip for some rest, relaxation, and a dash of luxury. Guests can dine on French cuisine at MIKUNI Sapporo, seasonal western dishes at Sky J, traditional Japanese at Tancho, and casual European fare at Serena. Then, they can enjoy an indulgent treatment at the Sky Resort Spa and relax in the natural hot springs, air bubble baths and saunas. At the end of the day, guests can take in spectacular views from their room or suite, all located on floors 23 to 34 for the perfect sweeping panorama. 


Sapporo Grand Hotel

The Sapporo Grand Hotel is a mature hotel with decades of experience delighting its guests, having been the first European-style hotel to enter the Hokkaido market. Guest rooms combine a traditional Japanese feel with modern, high-tech touches. We recommend the Premium Floor, Grand in Grand, which provide guests with luxurious comforts in a homely atmosphere. Guests may choose from seven bars and restaurants, serving Western, Japanese (including local Hokkaido speciality cuisine), and Chinese favorites. Guests may also make use of the hotel’s chapel, shopping arcade, business center and library, and Healing Court spa, where all kinds of aesthetic treatments are available. The hotel is conveniently-located a mere eight-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station, and around 40 minutes by high-speed rail from Chitose Airport. 

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder Jay Tindall finds Japan both a challenging and rewarding travel destination, which requires several visits to truly understand. It's also his favourite food destination in Asia.
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