Winter wonderland in Japan
Japan is beautiful through the seasons, but it absolutely transforms in Winter – think expansive snowscapes filled with frozen lakes and snow-capped trees. Ice festivals are held all over the island, and it’s the only time of the year when you can try your hand at activities like ice fishing!
If you need more reason to make a trip there soon, here’s 10 activities you can book on Klook only during the Winter months!
1. Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya Day Trip from Sapporo (Hokkaido)
Lake Shikotsu and UNESCO-registered Lake Toya are two of Hokkaido’s most photographed lakes. On this tour, you’ll get to enjoy bus transfers from the meet-up location to the various destinations, lunch (salted chicken soup hot pot set) and a ride on the Mt. Usu Ropeway.
If you’re travelling in January and February, you’ll also have a chance to catch the Ice Festival held during those months! Optional activities include visiting the Mt Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch or the hot springs at Manseikaku Hotel.
Available from 1-21 Dec, 21-24 Jan, and 18 Feb-31 Mar
- 8:15am meet up at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
- 8:35am depart
- 10:20am visit Lake Shikotsu (30 min free time)
- 11:35am rest at Mushroom Kingdom Otaki (25 min)
- 12:45pm have lunch at Toyako Manseikaku, free time (85 min)
- 2:20pm ride Mt. Usuzan Ropeway, you can visit Mt. Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch at your own expense, (90 min free time)
- 4:15pm see sceneries of Lake Toya from Silo Observatory (15 min)
- 5:30pm explore Nakayama Pass (15 min)
- 6:10pm drop off at Jozankei Hot Springs
- 6:30pm drop off at APA Hotel
- 6:45pm drop off at Sapporo Park Hotel, Hotel Lifort Sapporo, Hotel MYSTAYS Premier Sapporo Park, Jasmac Plaza Hotel
- 6:50pm drop off at Susukino
- 6:55pm drop off at Sapporo Clock Tower
- 7:00pm drop off at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
Available from 25 Jan-17 Feb
- 8:15am meet up at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
- 8:35am depart
- 10:20am join Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival (50 min free time)
- 11:55am rest at Mushroom Kingdom Otaki (25 min)
- 1:05pm have lunch at Toyako Manseikaku, free time (80 min)
- 2:35pm ride Mt. Usuzan Ropeway, you can visit Mt. Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch at your own expense, (80 min free time)
- 4:20pm see sceneries of Lake Toya from Silo Observatory (15 min)
- 5:35pm explore Nakayama Pass (15 min)
- 6:15pm drop off at Jozankei Hot Springs
- 6:35pm drop off at APA Hotel
- 6:50pm drop off at Sapporo Park Hotel, Hotel Lifort Sapporo, Hotel MYSTAYS Premier Sapporo Park, Jasmac Plaza Hotel
- 6:55pm drop off at Susukino
- 7:00pm drop off at Sapporo Clock Tower
- 7:05pm drop off at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
2. Otaru Music Box Museum, Snow Light Path & Mt. Tengu Day Tour (Hokkaido)
Note: This tour is available from 8-17 Feb 2019 only.
This tour will put Hokkaido on your list of favourite winter destinations. Visit the Otaru Music Box Museum and learn about some of the oldest musical devices in Hokkaido including pianos, phonographs and music boxes dating back to the nineteenth century!
Next up is the Otaru Snow Light Path – a festival that only happens for ten days every February. Lanterns and candles light up the city, adding to the magical Winter wonderland vibe of the city. You’ll then end off your tour with a ride on the Mt. Tengu Ropeway which will take you all the way up to the 532m high Mt. Tengu. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of Ishikari Bay and Shakotan Peninsula. Do also visit the Tengu Museum for tales of the mythical tengu or goblin the mountain is named after!
- 2:10pm depart from Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
- 3:10pm depart from Otaru Station Bus Terminal
- 3:20pm visit at Otaru Music Box Museum, Kitakaro
- 4:25pm visit at Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
- 4:50pm visit at Otaru Light Path and Otaru Canal, and have lunch
- 7:10pm visit at Mt. Tengu Ropeway
- 8:25pm drop off at Otaru Station Bus Terminal
- 9:00pm drop off at Nishimachi Kita 20 cho-me (Miyanosawa Subway Station)
- 9:15pm drop off at Kita 1 jo Nishi 12 cho-me
- 9:30pm drop off at Sapporo Clock Tower
- 9:35pm drop off at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal, end of tour
3. Snow Monster Tree Watching and Snowshoeing in Noboribetsu (Hokkaido)
Don’t worry there are no real snow monsters lurking in Noboribetsu! These “monsters” are really the gigantic juhyo ice trees coated with frost, making them look like creatures living in the snow. Snowshoeing is also the perfect way to explore the frozen landscape at your own pace.
- 10:30am depart from selected hotel
- 11:15am Snow Monster Tree Watching and Snowshoeing Tour (around 60 mins)
1:00pm return to selected hotel, end of tour
4. Ice Fishing (Hokkaido)
This is a key ice activity when Winter descends on Hokkaido! Try your hand at fishing for smelt and dace with friendly staff on site to show you the works. You can even have your fresh catch tempura-ed for consumption on the spot! Even if you didn’t manage to catch anything, you can still have your fill at the sumptuous buffet.
If you’d like to soak in the hot spring, do take note that it is gender separated nude bathing only, and feel free to bring your own towels otherwise they go for JPY200 apiece.
- 7:50am meet up at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal (2/F)
- 8:10am depart
- 9:35am Shinshinotsu Lake & Shinshinotsu Hot Spring (fishing, having lunch, hot springs etc.)
- 2:00pm leave Shinshinotsu lake
- 3:10pm Sapporo Clock Tower (can get off the bus and leave the tour here if preferred)
- 3:15pm drop off at Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
5. Okhotsk Sea Drift Ice Sightseeing Cruise (Hokkaido)
All aboard the Ice Breaker Garingo II – a trusty vessel capable of ploughing its way through the sheet ice covering the Okhotsk Sea. Spot adorable wild seals, white-tailed eagles and other animals that call the ice home and tuck into a delicious Japanese bento meal for lunch. This is one experience you can only enjoy during Winter!
Please note that the itinerary is approximate and is subject to change depending on traffic, facility, and weather conditions.
- 6:40am pick up at ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo
- 6:50am pick up at Sapporo View Hotel Odori Park
- 7:00am pick up at Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu
- Have a rest at 2 service stations (15mins per station)
- 11:40am-12:40pm board Garingo II at Monbetsu
- 12:50pm-1:50pm visit Okhotsk Tokkari Center and Okhotskk Tower
- 2:00pm-2:20pm visit Marukaichi Suisan Seafood Market
- 2:20pm-2:40pm visit Dezuka Suisan Seafood Market
- Have a rest at 2 service stations (15 mins per station)
- 7:40pm drop off at Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu
- 7:50pm drop off at Sapporo View Hotel Odori Park
- 8:00pm drop off at ANA Crowne Plaza Sapporo
6. Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival (Hokkaido)
The Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is a spectacle especially for those who are experiencing snow for the first time! During this festival, hot water from the hot springs are sprayed and frozen onto frames, creating stunning ice sculptures of all shapes and sizes.
Kids will also enjoy playing on the ice slide and ice rink at the playground. To top off your experience, enjoy a grand fireworks display and indulge in a world-class buffet dinner.
- 2:10pm depart from Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu
- 2:20pm depart from Sapporo Tokyu REI Hotel
- 2:35pm depart from Century Royal Hotel
- 4:00pm-6:00pm visit Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival (free time sightseeing)
- 7:25pm-7:50pm arrive at drop-off hotels (Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu, Sapporo Tokyu REI Hotel, and Century Royal Hotel) in Sapporo, end of tour
7. Blue Pond, Shirahige Falls Light-up and Asahiyama Zoo Day Trip (Hokkaido)
Hokkaido’s Blue Pond looks straight out of a Windows screensaver in the spring, but it takes on a totally different look in Winter! The pond freezes over and the trees lose their leaves, giving the lake a ethereal look especially under the light. On top of the Blue Pond, you’ll also get to see the Shirahige Falls light up. The frozen falls look almost unreal!
Asahiyama Zoo is not your ordinary zoo – their enclosures allow visitors to get as close as possible to the animals. The penguin enclosure even has a glass tunnel that runs through the penguin pool, giving visitors the opportunity to watch the birds swimming underwater.
Please note that the itinerary is only an approximation and may be subject to change depending on weather and traffic conditions on the trip date.
- 10:00am meet up at Sapporo North Exit Kane no Hiroba
- Take a break and have lunch on your own in Sunagawa Highway Oasis (60 mins)
- Visit Asahiyama Zoo (90 mins)
- Shop at the Sun Kurodo flagship store (20 mins)
- Shop at Biei Shirogane Birke Roadside Station (20 mins)
- Enjoy the Shirahige Falls events (10 mins)
- Visit the Blue Pond light-up event (40 mins)
- 9:30pm Arrive at Sapporo North Exit, tour ends
Please note: Your mode of transportation will be a travel bus
8. Snow Activities (Hokkaido)
Located just 15 minutes away from JR Sapporo Station, participate in numerous snow activities like sledding, snow rafting or even horseback riding! Included in your Klook package is also a delicious warm meal of Shabu Shabu Nabe (take your pick from pork, chicken or curry). A great place to have fun with the whole family!
Meet Up Location: Chitose North Snow Land
Address: 〒066-0068 Rankoshi 26, Chitose, Hokkaido (inside The North Country Golf Club) North Snow Land in Chitose
9. Fujiyama Snow Resort Yeti Day Trip (Tokyo)
This ski town has been in operation since 1971! Located by the foothills of Susono in Shizuoka, visitors can even catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji on clear days. There are four levels of difficulty to choose from and everyone can join in the fun.
The ski resort often stays open all night, which means limitless fun for everyone. Klook your package to enjoy pick-up from Shinjuku, ski/snow board set, ski suits and a ski lift or cable car pass included in your tour.
- 7:45am pick up at 三菱UFJ銀行 新宿中央支店 (MUFG Bank, Shinjuku-chuo Branch)
- 8:00am leave for Snow Town Yeti
- 10:00am equip with ski kits
- 11:00am start skiing! (for Package A, ski lesson)
- 12:30pm lunch (own expense)
- 1:30pm continue skiing
- 4:30pm return ski kits
- 7:00pm return to 三菱UFJ銀行 新宿中央支店 (MUFG Bank, Shinjuku-chuo Branch)
10. Gokayama & Shirakawago Bus Tour
If Santa Claus ever had a holiday home, Gokayama would be it. Known for their whimsical farmhouses, this remote village has attracted tourists from all over the world specifically for this very purpose.
Visit the two heritage sites of Shirakawago and Ainokura villages and immerse yourself in the local folk culture. For lunch, tuck into a hearty meal of local cuisine with a view of the beautiful farmhouses.
- 8:20am meet up at Takayama Nohi Bus Center Ticket Office
- 8:30am depart Takayama Nohi Bus Center
- Explore Gokayama Ainokura Village by yourself (50 min)
- Lunch at Shirakawago (Countryside Cuisine)
- Explore Shirakawago Village and Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum by yourself (120 min)
- 3:10pm arrive at Takayama Nohi Bus Center