Hidden Wonders of North Japan

16 Days
Tokyo to Sapporo
From (GBP)
£ 9,525
Dates & Pricing

2022 Tokyo > Sapporo

North of Tokyo lies many hidden treasures beyond the popular ski fields.

Often overlooked for the more familiar golden triangle of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, travelling north from Tokyo to Sapporo will reveal many natural and man-made treasures just waiting to be discovered. Explore the natural treasures of North Honshu such as the caldera created Lake Towoda and Oirase Stream, Bandai-Asahi National Park, Genbikei Gorge and Matsushima Bay – for centuries considered one of Japan’s three most scenic views.
Relish the full Japanese cultural experience of staying in an onsen in Hanamaki and try a variety of hands on crafts to bring home as mementos. Discover the breath of Japanese history from old postal towns with Samurai warlords, mansions and Endo Castles to ancient Jomon archaeological sites and thousands of years old temples, which rival those of Kyoto. Whether your fancy is tasting chocolate or famous Japanese beer, steak or seafood, this itinerary has it all either as a first time traveller or return visitor to the wonder that is Japan.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
DJTS
Duration:
16 days
Departure City:
Tokyo
Return City:
Sapporo

16 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - UK > Tokyo

    Fly to Tokyo from a choice of UK airports with selected airlines.

  2. Day 2 - Tokyo

    Arrive in Tokyo, capital of Japan and transfer to your hotel, your home for the next two nights.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Tokyo

    Gather your bearings of Tokyo from above as you take in the view from Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest tower at 634 meters. Afterwards visit the epicentre of Tokyo’s teenage youth as you wander along Takeshita Street Harajuku, known for its colourful street art, youth fashion, quirky vintage clothing and cosplay stores and dessert shops and carts that specialise in sweet crêpes, donuts, and bubble tea.

    Enrich

    Given by Taiko Masters, partake in an interactive, private group demonstration and lesson in playing the Taiko drums.

    Freechoice Dining

    Choose from dining at a ninja themed restaurant or culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese evening Izakaya bar scene serving Yaki-tori and Kushiyaki with your Tour Director as they show you their favourite places to go.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Tokyo > Ouchijiuku > Lake Hibara

    Begin the day with your first Shinkansen journey to Koriyma where we then drive to the preserved Endo postal town of Ouchijiku. Try the local delicacy of Soba Noodles for lunch and explore the restored buildings. Learn all about brewing of Saki at the Suehiro Brewery before moving to your picturesque resort for the night, located within Bandai-Asahi National Park.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Lake Hibara > Sendai

    Step back in time when visiting the rebuilt Aizu Bukeyashiki Samuari Mansion, originally destroyed in the Boshin War in 1868. Enjoy a scenic drive to Sendai.

    Freechoice

    Learn all about the history of the Date Clan and the history of the area around Sendai at the Sendai City Museum.  Alternatively visit the Kirin Brewery to discover the special production methods and the secret of the beer’s premium flavour.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Sendai – Matsushima

    Today take a short drive to Matsushima Bay, for centuries celebrated as one of Japan’s three most scenic view.

    Enrich

    Witness the creation if the wooden Kokeshi doll, an item originally created and sold at hot spring resorts in northern Japan.  Test your creative and imagination skills and paint your own as wooden Kokeshi doll.

    Visit the Zuigangi Temple, one of Tohoku’s most famous Zen temples, originally dating back to 828. Continue next door to the Entsuin Temple, built in 1647 as a mausoleum Date Terumune’s son. Following a quick lunch of local street food, board your boat for a cruise around the 200 small islands covered by pine trees in Matsushima Bay. Before returning to Sendai, enjoy a Japanese tea and traditional snack at the Kanrantai Tea House whilst overlooking the bay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  7. Day 7 - Sendai > Nobiru > Hanamaki

    Head north to Nobiru and visit the destroyed train station, now a Disaster Recovery Memorial Museum for the 2011 tsunami. Continue on to the scenic Genbikei Gorge before arriving at Chusonji Temple, establish in 850.  Located within one of the original buildings is Konjikido, a hall completely covered in gold dating back to 1124. Tonight enjoy a Special Stay at Hanamaki Onsen Kashoen and indulge yourself in the full onsen experience.

    Bedding Choice - For tonight’s stay, enjoy a unique insight into Japanese culture. Choose your bedding as either western style or traditional Japanese Inn style with a futon. All rooms have tatami mat flooring with mix Japanese/western style décor, a Japanese cypres bathtub and a provided Yukata, which can be worn to tonight’s traditional Kaiseki dinner. Be sure to also try the onsen hot spring baths.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Hanamaki > Towada City > Lake Towada

    Drive to Towada City, past rustic hot springs and the volcanic landscapes of the Towada - Hachimantai National Park. Admire the street art during your walk along the main street to the Towada Art Centre, featuring works from artists both inside and outside of Japan, including Yoko Ono, Yoshitomo Nara, and Jeong-Hwa Choi. Enjoy the picturesque drive toward Lake Towada and your 2 night Special Stay. The hotel is located on the Oirase Keiryu mountain stream, one of the most scenic locations in Japan.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  9. Day 9 - Lake Towada

    Enrich

    At the Oirase Stream Museum, using your creative skills create your own Mossball Lamp, a craft specialty of the region.

    Afterwards stretch your legs on a pristine walk along Oirase stream via the Deai-bashi Bridge before transferring to Yasumiya, a small town located on the lake shoreline. This afternoon enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Towoda, the largest caldera lake on Honshu and is particularly known for its Autumn foliage.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Lake Towada > Hirosaki > Aomori

    Visit one of the most beautiful locations in Japan for sakura viewing is Hirosaki Castle and botanical gardens. Known for its five original turreted gates and fortified moats, this castle ranks as one of the country’s most beautiful feudal ear castles. Continue onto Aomori, the capital of Aomori prefecture. Here view amazing giant papier-mâché doll floats used in the Aomori Nebuta Festival at Rassera Land., located along the waterfront. Enjoy an overnight stay.

    Freechoice

    If you are a member of the meat-eating fraternity, you will want to try the restaurant Tonkatsu Aki whose signature dish is crumbed port cutlets. Alternatively dine at one of Amori’s local Izakaya restaurants.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Aomori > Hakodate

    Travel back in time to learn about the original inhabitants of the area at the Jomon Museum and Sannai-Maruyama Archaeological Site. With the site dating back to the late early to middle Jomon period, some 5500-4000 years ago, it shows the Jomon were the first people in the world to create pottery. Return to Aomori and travel by Shinkansen through the undersea Seikan Tunnel to Hakodate on Hokkaido Island. Walk through the Motomachi Neighbourhood, an area full of historical buildings, before checking into your hotel.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Hakodate

    Choose to begin the day with an early morning visit the Morning fish market and try to catch some fresh squid for breakfast. Later visit the 107m tall Goryoki Tower to get a bird’s eye view of Mt. Hakodate, Tsugaru Strait and the Yokotsu mountain range. Afterwards walk through the Goryoki Park located inside the old star-shaped fort adjoining the tower, visiting the old Hakodate Magistrate office within. Spend the afternoon at leisure shopping around the historic Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses before meeting again to travel up the Mt Hakodate Ropeway at dusk to see that amazing view over the city. Enjoy dinner tonight in one of Hakodate’s beer halls.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Hakodate > Sapporo

    Travel by Super Hokuto Limited Express to Sapporo. Upon arrival, transfer to the Historic Village of Hokkaido, an open air museum which exhibits roughly 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926). After checking into your hotel, your home for the next two nights, move to Ramen Yokocho in Susukino, a narrow lane lined with shops serving Sapporo's famous ramen.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - Sapporo – Otaru

    Board a local train to Otaru and walk through Sakaimichi Street.

    Enrich

    At one of the Otaru’s famous glassware workshops, who once produced glass buoys, try your hand at making your own glassware masterpiece.

    Spend free time in the historic Otaru Canal area’s museums, shops and restaurants before returning to Sapporo.

    Freechoice

    Endulge your sweet tooth at Shiroi Koibito Park, which features a Chocolate factory, shop and Museum where you can get one of Sapporo’s famous souvenirs, the Shiroi Koibito cookie.  Alternatively visit the Sapporo Beer Museum where you can learn about the history of the famous beer, taste one of the original brews and visit the attached beer halls and museum shop.

    Afterwards enjoy your farewell meal with your fellow travellers.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Sapporo > UK

    Bid a fond farewell to the ‘land of the rising sun’ as you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  16. Day 16 - Arrive UK

    Welcome home.

    The itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons. As such Scenic cannot guarantee the tour will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

Tour inclusions

5 Star luxury inclusions
  • 4 exclusive Enrich experiences
  • Your choice of 10 Freechoice activities and dining
  • 2 Special Stays
  • 33 meals - 13 breakfasts, 08 lunches and 12 dinners

The Scenic Difference
  • Play the Taiko drums in an interactive, private group demonstration and lesson
  • Design and paint your own wooden Kokeshi doll, a Sendai specialty
  • Experience the full Japanese onsen culture in Hanamaki
  • Cruise Matsushima Bay, celebrated as one of Japan’s three most scenic views
  • Visit Hirosaki castle and park, one of Japan's best cherry blossom spots
  • Cruise on Lake Towoda, the largest caldera lake on Honshu Island
  • Visit the ancient Sannai-Maruyama Archaeological Site and Jomon Museum
  • Try your hand at glassblowing in Otaru’s famous glassware workshops
  • Visit preserved Endo postal town of Ouchijiku and Samurai Mansion
  • Relax in Green (Business) Class seats on the Shinkansen trains in Japan

Pricing & Availability