Winter Adventure & Culture from Asahikawa

HOKKAIDO ADVENTURE

Getting up close to the fumaroles of Mt Asahidake

In the forest of Shirogane Onsen

Inside the Toma Limestone Cave

Takasago Sake Brewery

5 Days Heart of Hokkaido Adventure and Culture Tour

Tour Code: JPN-AHHKACT05

Join us on a Hokkaido snowshoe tour, visiting Mt Asahidake, the Biei Blue River and a limestone cave in Toma ~ the best picks of cultural and winter outdoors experiences in the Heart of Hokkaido.

Tour Highlights

  • Meet and learn about the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido.
  • Explore the ancient Toma Limestone Cave, open exclusively to our group.
  • See steam roaring out from spectacular volcanic fumaroles at Mt. Asahidake.
  • Use snowshoes to hike through serene forest to Biei’s famous Blue River.
  • Relax with overnight stays at Asahidake Onsen and Shirogane Onsen.

Who is this tour for?

  • Active travellers who enjoy walking for 3 to 5 hours a day.
  • Curious travellers who enjoy a mixture of activities & sightseeing and learning about the regions they visit.
  • Winter hikers & snow lovers interested in hiking in snow with the help of snowshoes (No prior experience required).
  • Adventurous travellers who enjoy rural hospitality staying in Japanese style accommodations with natural hot springs on site.

Tour Dates: 23-27 Jan 23, 30 Jan – 3 Feb 23, 13-17 Feb 23
Group size: 4-10 pax

Itinerary at a Glance
*B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

Day 1 Meet your group in Asahikawa (D)
Day 2 Visit Ainu Museum & Toma Limestone Cave (B, L, D)
Day 3 Snowshoe in the foothills of Mt Asahidake (B, L, D)
Day 4 Snowshoe to the Biei Blue River (B, L, D)
Day 5 Farewells in Asahikawa (B)

Itinerary (Subject to changes)

Day 1      Asahikawa (Dinner)
17:00 Gather and meet your guide at our hotel near the Asahikawa JR Station for introduction and tour details on the 5 days adventure.
Then proceed for dinner at a nearby restaurant on foot. This will be a good chance to get used to walking on snow and ice if this is your first time visiting Hokkaido in winter.

Overnight Hotel in Asahikawa
Activities: Nil

Day 2 Ainu Museum & Toma Limestone Cave (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast at hotel, meet guide for a quick drive to the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Museum. Established in 1916, the museum is the oldest Ainu museum in Japan, as well as the only privately owned one. Our hosts, Ainu descendants of the Kawamura family have been running the museum for three generations. They will welcome us in the Cise, a traditional Ainu house to learn about the culture and traditions of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. The Ainu have been living in harmony with nature in Hokkaido from long before Japanese people started to colonise the island. Enjoy a share lunch with our Ainu hosts before moving to our next destination Toma.

In Toma, meet our special local guide into the darkness of the ancient limestone cave. With no one else around, we have the silent cave all to ourselves! While walking through the cave, light by just our head torches, we will hear about the stories of how they discovered this cave and how a limestone cave came to form far from the sea.

After coming out of the warm cave, we will continue the drive up to Asahidake Onsen at 1,100m/3,609ft above sea level. Situated in Japan’s largest national park, the Daisetsuzan National Park, Asahidake Onsen is a popular hot-spring resort, as well as a base for adventures into the park. Relax overnight here enjoying the hot springs sourced directly from the Daisetsuzan Mountains.

Overnight Ryokan at Asahidake Onsen
Activities: Snowshoeing (1hr) & Caving (1.5hr)

Day 3 Snowshoeing at the foot of Mt Asahidake (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast at lodge, enjoy a scenic cable car ride to Sugatami Station (1,600m). Then start our snowshoes hiking towards the fumaroles with more than 20 vents energetically discharging the steam into the cold air. The cold winter temperature makes the scene look even more spectacular. During the regular hiking season, we are not allowed to leave the trail and approach the fumaroles. In winter, however, the trail is wherever our snowshoes take us!

On the return hike to Sugatami Station, depending on the snow condition, we may have some fun sledding on the slopes by the snow-filled ponds before taking the cable car back to the village. Enjoy a late lunch at a cozy cafe/restaurant in Higashikawa before continue to Biei, famed for its beautiful rolling hills and patchworks of farming fields. In winter the snow cover highlights the shape of the terrain, making it even more picturesque. We will briefly call by a local museum to learn about the secrets of Biei’s pretty landscapes before arrive at Shirogane Onsen, a small hot spring village at the foot of the Tokachi mountains in the south of the Daisetsuzan National Park. If you don’t mind the cold, you can take a stroll down to Shirahige Waterfall when it’s illuminated at night.

Overnight: Ryokan at Shirogane Onsen
Activity: Snowshoeing (2.5hr)

Day 4 Snowshoeing at the Biei Blue River (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast at hotel, proceed for a snowshoeing adventure from the hotel’s doorstep. Shirogane Onsen (600m) is surrounded by forests of birch and spruce. With our snowshoes on we venture into the forest to approach the Biei River. The Biei River is not easily accessible in summer due to thick bush. However in winter, the snow gives us complete freedom to wander around at our own will!

As we proceed deeper into the forest, we will start hearing the sound of water, the Biei River. The Biei River is also known as the Blue River and it is the source of the water that gives the famous Blue Pond their colour. The water, containing aluminium particles, emerges from the cliff face at Shirahige Waterfall, pouring into the Biei River at Shirogane Onsen before flowing into the pond.

After the hike, enjoy lunch at local restaurant in Biei before drive back to Asahikawa, and see some of the iconic trees and the rolling hills along the journey.

In the late afternoon, take a guided tour around the historic brewery – Takasago. This central Hokkaido region, with abundant spring water and the rice production, is home to two prime rice wine breweries. At Takasago, we can do some sake tasting before checking into our accommodation near the Asahikawa JR Station. We celebrate the completion of our tour at a local bar/restaurant in downtown Asahikawa.

Overnight: Hotel in Asahikawa
Activity: Snowshoeing (2.5hr)

Day 5 Departure (Breakfast)
The tour will end after breakfast. Our hotel is conveniently located near Asahikawa JR Station, from where you can take a train to Sapporo, as well as the airport shuttle to Asahikawa Airport.

Activity: None

5 Days Heart of Hokkaido Adventure and Culture Tour
Tour Code: JPN-AHHKACT05
Tour Dates: 23-27 Jan 23, 30 Jan – 3 Feb 23, 13-17 Feb 23
Group size: 4-10 pax

LAND Price per person in SGD :

Pax 4-5 6-10
Cost
Twin 2358 2118
Single 2568 2308

Price is subject to changes without prior notice

Please contact us for customize private rate.

LAND Price includes

  • 4 nights Accommodation with ensuite bathroom and Onsen Spa: 2 nights in Hotel at Asahikawa, 1 night in Ryokan at Asahidake Onsen, 1 night Ryokan at Shirogane Onsen
  • Meals (4 breakfast, 3 lunch, 4 dinner)
  • Transportation to all the sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All activities as indicated and admission fees and rides as per itinerary
  • English speaking guide in Asahikawa
  • Rental of Snowshoes and poles
  • Rental of Head torch
  • First aid kit support
  • Safety equipment and maps support

Price excludes

  • All airfare + taxes
  • All train tickets
  • Other transport not mentioned
  • All other meals not mentioned
  • All other entrance fees not mentioned
  • Travel insurance
More Information

All of the information provided, which does not relate directly to that which is included in the price of the trip, must be checked and X-Trekkers cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the supplementary information provided.

This Tour is FOR:

  • Active travellers who enjoy walking for 3 to 5 hours a day.
  • Curious travellers who enjoy a mixture of activities & sightseeing and learning about the regions they visit.
  • Winter hikers & snow lovers interested in hiking in snow with the help of snowshoes (No prior experience required).
  • Adventurous travellers who enjoy rural hospitality staying in Japanese style accommodations with natural hot springs on site.

ACCOMMODATION
DAY 1 Hotel in Asahikawa with Ensuite bathroom and Onsen spa
DAY 2 Ryokan at Asahidake Onsen with Ensuite bathroom and Onsen spa
DAY 3 Ryokan at Shirogane Onsen with Ensuite bathroom and Onsen spa
DAY 4 Hotel in Asahikawa with Ensuite bathroom and Onsen spa

FOOD

Dnner on D1 to breakfast on D5.

GUIDE

Qualified mountain & local guide, recognised by the Japan state.

GROUP
Private group from 4 to 10 people, subject to availability.
Join-In Group 4-10 people.
Exceptionally, the group may include one more person, for example if a couple comes to register when there is only one place left, or in the event of simultaneous registrations.

START / END

MEETING POINT: Day 1 5:00 pm at our hotel in Central Asahikawa

Upon booking, please let us know your travel plans to Asahikawa, so we can assist you with more concrete transportation plans to get yourself to our first night hotel. You can check in after 3:00 pm if you are arriving earlier than our meeting time.

END OF THE TRIP: Day 5 after breakfast at our hotel in Central Asahikawa

Extend your stay
Upon request we can book additional nights before or after the trip. Please note these bookings are non-refundable and the terms and conditions of the hotel apply.

Check your Essentials

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Cash in Japanese yen. Small restaurants and shops in rural parts of Japan do not accept credit cards. Lunch in general costs 1,000-1,500 yen and dinner 2,000-3,000 yen. You can withdraw cash from an ATM at a post office and 7-eleven convenience stores.
  • Gears for Japan Winter Hiking Tour
Getting There

Arrival/ Departure
By Plane to Asahikawa Airport (AKJ)
You can fly directly from Tokyo Haneda (HND).

From the Asahikawa Airport, there are seven buses a day departing for Central Asahikawa, which takes 30 to 40 minutes, and costs 630 yen per person.

By Train (Japan Railway, abbr. JR)
Train travels every 30-60 mins between Sapporo and Asahikawa.
You can search train timetable in English on Japan Transit Planner website.

Contact Us

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