Discover Winter in Japan

16 Day Small Group Tour from Tokyo to Sapporo with Bunnik

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Bunnik's 16 Day Discover Winter in Japan. Experience the winter wonderland of Sapporo's famous Snow Festival on this journey through culture-rich Japan. See the snow monkeys bathing in hot springs, partake in a traditional tea ceremony, learn about samurai culture and visit more

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1 Depart Australia
2 Arrive Tokyo
Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's dazzling, ultra-modern capital city.
3 Tokyo
An exciting day exploring one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan cities. We begin the day at the Edo Tokyo Museum, then learn the age-old culinary art of making sushi (which we'll get to enjoy once we've finished). This afternoon we'll visit the Imperial Palace Plaza, Asakusa Kannon Temple and the Nakamise shopping arcade. (B/L/D) Special Experiences: Admire the city lights on a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay in a typical Japanese-style houseboat from the Heian Era, known as a yakatabune.
4 Tokyo - Hakone
We begin our morning with a stroll through the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden. We'll then travel to Lake Saiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes. Special Experiences: Visit a former farming village, Iyashi no Sato Nenba, recently reconstructed as a museum after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966. For the next two nights we stay in an authentic ryokan guesthouse. We'll have the chance to bathe in natural onsen (hot springs) and enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner. (B/D)
5 Mt Fuji
This morning we'll cross Lake Ashi for great views of the majestic and iconic Mt Fuji - a highlight of any trip to Japan! Later we'll ride the Hakone Ropeway to enjoy magnificent vistas of the Owakudani Valley, Lake Ashinoko and Mt Fuji. (B/D)
6 Hakone - Nagano - Yudanaka
Travel by bullet train to Nagano via Tokyo today, and visit the famous Zenko-ji Temple, built during the 7th century. (B/D) Special Experiences: See the famous snow monkeys bathing in Jigokudani Yaen Koen' hot springs in the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park.
7 Yudanaka - Takayama - Kanazawa
We make our way to the historic town of Takayama, where we'll wander the narrow streets of the old town. We'll then visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago with its famous gasshō-zukuri thatched roofs, designed to withstand the massive snowfalls of winter. (B)
8 Kanazawa
We explore one of Japan's most beautiful gardens, Kenroku-en Garden. Once part of the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle, it features stunning ponds, streams, waterfalls, bridges and tea houses. After lunch we'll visit Nagamachi Buke Yashiki, a samurai house complete with samurai residents, earthen walls, narrow lanes and canals. (B/L)
9 Kanazawa - Kyoto
Travelling via bullet train, we make our way to historic Kyoto, Japan's cultural capital. (B) Special Experiences: Spot the famous Maiko (Geisha apprentices) in Kyoto's famous district of Gion. Enjoy the atmosphere in the early evening as the narrow lanes full of bars, restaurants and traditional tea houses are lit by lanterns.
10 Kyoto
Spend the day discovering Kyoto's cultural treasures. We'll experience a typical tea ceremony at Kano-Shojuan along the philosopher's walk, which also serves ‘wagashi' (Japanese confectioneries). We'll then explore the incredible orange torii gates that make up Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake in the 8th century. The magical path consists of more than 5,000 gates that wind through the hills at the base of Inari mountain. Our last stop is the stunning Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). The temple's top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf and the pavilion is set amongst beautiful gardens. (B)
11 Kyoto
Today we discover the art behind Japan's unique crafts and culinary delights! Enjoy a variety of local activities including sake brewing and tasting, Japanese sweet-making and a chance to dress in a kimono. (B)
12 Kyoto - Sapporo
Enjoy the morning at leisure before we fly to Sapporo, on Japan's Northernmost island of Hokkaido. Famous for ramen, beer and the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, it was also host to the 1972 Winter Olympic Games. (B)
13 Sapporo
Our day begins with an orientation tour of the city. Highlights include the Clock Tower and the iconic Hokkaido Shrine, which enshrines three pioneering gods. (B/L) Special Experiences: With a history dating back to 1950, the famous Sapporo Snow Festival turns the city into a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and powdery snow. Enjoy the delights on offer this afternoon including the amazing ice sculptures that line Station Avenue and exquisite works of art in Odori Park.
14 Sapporo
Today is at leisure for you to enjoy more of the festivities. Why not visit Tsudome with its large snow slides and a snow rafting area, or Fureai Hiroba plaza where you can discover the sculptures up close and enjoy hot drinks in the Ice Bar? Later this evening we'll enjoy a traditional Japanese farewell dinner. (B/D)
15 Depart Sapporo
Today we begin our journey home. (B)
16 Arrive Australia
Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.

Bunnik Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • City tour of Tokyo including Edo Tokyo Museum, Asakusa Kannon Temple, Nakamise shopping arcade and the Imperial Palace.
  • Learn the art of Sushi Making and enjoy your creations for lunch.
  • Admire the bright lights of Tokyo from a yakatabune dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay.
  • Stroll through Hamarikyu Garden, a typical feudal lord garden from the Edo Period.
  • Visit a former farming village, reconstructed 40 years after being destroyed by a typhoon in 1966.
  • Travel to Mt Fuji and enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Ashi (for Dec 2020 departure).
  • Spend 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan.
  • Enjoy a gondola ride and the amazing 360 degree view of the volcanic Hakone mountains.
  • Visit Zenkoji Temple. Founded in the 7th century, it has played a significant part of Nagano's development.
  • A stop in Nagano is not complete without visiting the famous snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park.
  • Take in the sights of old historic Takayama on foot including the Takayama Jinya, a beautiful traditional Japanese building, and visit the morning markets.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its old gassho-zukuri thatched roof farmhouses. Gassho-zukuri means "constructed like hands in prayer" as the farmhouses steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer.
  • Stroll through Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's three best manicured gardens.
  • Step back in time and imagine life in the upper ranks of society during medieval and early-modern Japan as we stroll through Nagamachi samurai district where samurai and their families used to reside.
  • Spot Geiko and Maiko in Kyoto's famous Gion district.
  • Tour the temples of Kyoto, Japan's former capital and cultural heart. Our tour includes the Fushima Inari Shrine and Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion).
  • Learn more about traditional Japan - participate in Kimono wearing, traditional Japanese sweets-making and sake brewing and tasting.
  • Visit the iconic Clock Tower, a renowned symbol of Sapporo built in 1878.
  • Stop at the Hokkaido Shrine, built in 1869 by the Meiji Emperor to enshrine three Shinto Deities.
  • Take part in the festivities of the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Trip Inclusions
  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Japan. Taxes included
  • 2 economy-class flights within Japan
  • 3 rail journeys in Japan
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour (if using group tour flights)
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping is not part of the Japanese culture, so tips are not expected
Accommodation & Meals
  • 10 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 3 nights in a traditional Ryokan guesthouse including a typical Japanese onsen (hot springs) bath
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners
Your Tour Guides
  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout
Trip Notes
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Disruptions to itinerary may occur.

Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Bunnik. Full terms & conditions are available here.