Known as a winter wonderland, Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island is a very special place. Snowboard and ski enthusiasts from all corners of the globe congregate in massive numbers to experience Hokkaido’s champagne powder. Whilst this winter playground is well established, Hokkaido during the summer months is vastly unknown and undiscovered.
Whilst winter is certainly spectacular, summer is a must see. After the long winter, Hokkaido comes alive with fields of flowers, grass lands and the very best produce. In fact, Hokkaido is Japan’s food bowl and produces most of the fruit and vegetables consumed all throughout the country. Hokkaido is also Japan’s dairy producing region, a little-known fact among international tourists.
From superb butter and cheese to the very best cherries and melons, Hokkaido’s ability to create world class produce is second to none, and, we haven’t even mentioned the seafood yet. All the very best seafood comes from Hokkaido, with much of it being at its prime in summer. The Japanese revere Hokkaido produce and know that it is truly a food lovers paradise.
But it’s not all about the food. Amazing scenery, fantastic locations, world class accommodation, rejuvenating hot springs, unique experiences and so much more makes this paradise what it is. Hokkaido is not populated like the main island of Honshu and as such is in a word, peaceful. Large open spaces and room to move make this northern destination a must see.
So, what is it like to tour Hokkaido? To answer this, we have decided to show one of our tours to explain. Our Hokkaido tours are limited to six (6) guests only and are ultra-exclusive. We do this because we want to provide our guests with the tranquil and peaceful Hokkaido experience. We travel via private vehicle so we can reach places not accessible to the regular tourist. A personal experience like no other, our Hokkaido Tour is simply Heaven on Earth.
“We had visited Japan many times before but had always wanted to see Hokkaido. My wife and I are so happy that we chose to travel with Luxury Japan Travel. The most amazing food, sights and activities. We really loved the fresh air, open spaces and lavender fields. Cannot recommend highly enough to future guests”
We Arrive in Hakodate by plane at the perfect time to check into exclusive luxury ryokan. A ryokan is a luxury traditional Japanese hotel, a very special experience. The first day is all about settling into the exclusive experience. We therefore recommend our guests enjoy the natural hot-spring bath before we wine and dine them with the world-renowned kaiseki cuisine. A special welcome drinks reception is always held to start things off with a bang.
After guests wake, they are able to enjoy a Kaiseki traditional breakfast before travelling to the Morning markets (Asa-Ichi). The morning markets are a great insight into local culture and a way to experience products unique to Japan. We spend the day discovering Hakodate, including Goryokaku Koen and other cultural landmarks. After enjoying another spectacular kaiseki dinner we head to Mt Hakodate to see one of Japan’s top views.
After a relaxed morning we board the first-class express train bound for Sapporo. This trip takes around four hours; however, the magnificent scenery makes every minute special. Guests become inspired by the scenic trip north through Japan’s wonderland. After arriving in Sapporo, we check into our beautiful hotel, centrally located for comfort and convenience. The hotel has the most magnificent view of the city and an amazing spa facility. Once settled in we venture out to discover the nightlife in Susukino, a local food and drink must see. A special dinner is prepared to welcome the group to Sapporo, our home base for the next few days.
After breakfast we travel to Otaru by private vehicle to and explore the famous canal, local specialty stores and glass museums. Otaru is a small town with lots of history and a place to really see the difference of western influence, compared to the main island cities. We dine on Michelin Starred Sushi made from the world’s best seafood; this is an exceptional experience. After a relaxed day we ascend the mountains shadowing Otaru for an exclusive Sunset Sake Experience. We provide guests with a luxurious picnic experience and watch the sun set over the Japan Sea to the west. Heaven.
We journey to the Shakotan Peninsula by private vehicle for some sublime sightseeing. This peninsula must be seen to be believed. Adjacent to a small town, the peninsula almost feels like the end of the earth. We enjoy a gourmet picnic in some of the most breathtaking country in the world. Relaxed, private and magical. We next travel to the nearby Yoichi Whisky Distillery for a tour and tasting experience. The Yoichi distillery is home to Japan’s father of whisky and is a fantastic cultural experience. Whether you enjoy whisky or not, the story behind this pivotal event in Japan’s history is awe inspiring. For dinner we experience first class yakitori, at an exclusive Sapporo restaurant. Excellent doesn’t even begin to describe it.
A day of discovery in Sapporo. Guests are given some free time and space to explore the sights, sounds and attractions of the northern capital. A comprehensive list of options is provided, and personal discovery of the local artisan producers is highly recommended. An ultra-luxurious Two-Michelin Star Tempura Banquet is the evening meal. This restaurant only seats eight guests and is simply magic. Every guest we have taken here is amazed at the cuisine and hospitality. The Michelin Guide is one hundred percent correct here.
We head out early for some exploration of the Sapporo markets, including tuna auctions before optional activities (cooking class, shopping, massage, spa-treatment) are offered to our guests. As the afternoon rolls in we travel to Sapporo’s famous beer factory for a special tour before enjoying the famous summertime lamb BBQ enjoyed throughout Hokkaido. These local activities are special experiences and something not available anywhere else. We of course add our own little touches to add to the luxury experience.
We say goodbye to Sapporo as we continue our journey through Hokkaido. We travel to Furano in a private vehicle and experience the endless world-famous lavender fields. A trip to some local farms is enhanced by sampling the local flavours and products. We then experience the local cheese and wine scene with special private tours. We check into our exquisite accommodation just in time to enjoy a sunset drink before another first-class dining experience
We travel to the exquisite Biei Blue Pond via our private vehicle and gaze upon the beautiful coloured water. A special sight unique to Hokkaido. Next we journey to the technicolored Biei flower fields where we walk amongst the natural beauty. We sample the extremely expensive, yet moreish Yubari Melons before returning to Furano to complete the day with a sunset drink and another firs-class dining experience.
“I travelled on my own for the Hokkaido Tour and I am so glad I was able to be part of a great group of people. Luxury Japan Travel thought about every little detail and made my trip a truly once in a lifetime experience. I loved the sushi, traditional accommodation and the beautiful countryside. Do yourself a favour and discover Hokkaido with Luxury Japan Travel.“
We say goodbye to the lavender clad fields of Furano and journey to the picturesque Akanko. We are heading to Akanko for one reason, supreme luxury. After checking into our traditional hotel (ryokan) we get in touch with nature as the country-side surroundings and glass like lake capture the imagination. Guests can rejuvenate in the natural hot springs before dining on first-class kaiseki cuisine.
Are penultimate day is all about relaxation. Guests are given free rein to discover the nearby natural wilderness including the pristine lake. Guests also can choose to experience the local Ainu Culture. The Ainu are the indigenous people of Hokkaido and their culture and ways have seen a resurgence in recent years. After a day of rest and relaxation enjoying the hot springs and other pampering activities we enjoy our final special banquet together.
The final day of the tour sees a relaxed start to the day before everyone is transported to the nearby airport. We hold a final drinks reception before we bid the tour closed and the guests farewell. Twelve days in Hokkaido with a small group of six is so special; a once in a lifetime experience.
Hokkaido is fast becoming a destination of choice, particularly for those who have been to other areas of Japan. We were one of the first to offer exclusive Hokkaido tours and as such can provide a personal experience not available anywhere else. We highly recommend discovering Hokkaido with us during the Japanese summer as it is simply Heaven on Earth.
We ensure everyone is looked after right to the end and thank them for sharing the wonderful Hokkaido Tour with Luxury Japan Travel.