Discover the fascinating natural and cultural worlds of Japan in a wondrous winter setting.

Starting at: $9,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Japanese snow monkeys  Matsumoto Castle  Traditional tea ceremony   Japanese tradition of Taiko drumming  The Bonsai Museum in Tokyo  World Heritage site of Shirakawago and the famed thatched-roof village  Snow monkeys enjoying the hot springs of Kanbayashi Onsen  Snow monkey at the hot springs  Traditional Japanese lanterns  Japan's bullet train with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Japan in Winter

Sapporo Snow Festival and Snow Monkeys

12 days from $9,995

Discover the fascinating natural and cultural worlds of Japan in a wondrous winter setting.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Travel to bustling and modern Tokyo and experience the dynamic energy of the city juxtaposed with its traditional culture. Continue to Sapporo to enjoy the world-famous snow sculptures and events of the Sapporo Winter Festival. Return to the main island of Honshu and settle into the beautiful natural setting of Kanbayashi Onsen, enjoying nature walks to see the famous snow monkeys in steaming hot springs. Visit the World Heritage site of Shirakawago and the picturesque thatched villages, set amidst a serene wintry backdrop. Tour traditional gardens, the Samurai quarter, and a kiln in Kanazawa.

Highlights Include:

  • Tokyo: Start your journey in one of the world’s largest and most dynamic cities. Experience traditional Japanese culture juxtaposed with the ultra-modern influence that Tokyo is famous for, visiting iconic neighborhoods and sampling diverse cuisine.
  • Sapporo Snow Festival: Witness the soaring ice sculptures, elaborate light displays, and unique snow activities at Sapporo’s internationally renowned winter celebration.
  • Snow Monkeys: Journey to the hot springs of Kanbayashi Onsen where you will come face-to-face with the famous Japanese Macaques, more commonly known as “snow monkeys,” as they sleepily soak and busily groom each other in naturally steaming pools of spring water.
  • Shirakawago: Visit the serene and picturesque World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for its traditional thatched-roof buildings surrounded by majestic mountains.
  • Cultural Immersion: Enjoy a private cultural performance of Taiko drumming and Samurai dance and at Kanbayashi Onsen, immerse yourself in one of Japan’s most acclaimed indulgences—a stay at a lovely ryokan – a traditional Japanese Inn.
  • Bullet Train: Return to Tokyo aboard the iconic Shinkansen, better known as the bullet train, at speeds rising above 150mph.

Itinerary

Day 1 and 2 – Depart the U.S. for Tokyo, Japan

Overnight flight to Tokyo, Japan. Arrive and transfer from Narita airport to your hotel, located in Shibuya, the bustling commercial and retail center of Tokyo. This evening is at leisure.

Day 3 - Tokyo

After breakfast, embark on a full-day coach tour starting with a visit to the Imperial Palace Plaza and the extensive collections at the Tokyo National Museum. In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the traditional culture at the Bonsai Museum, with an authentic tea ceremony and instruction in origami. In the evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 - Tokyo / Sapporo

Take a morning flight to Sapporo. Spend the afternoon touring the Olympic Museum and Mt. Okurayama Observatory. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Sapporo

Visit the Hokkaido Shrine, then head to the Sapporo Beer Museum for a tasting. Stop by the Nijo Fish Market to witness the bustle and gleaming piles of fish. Spend the evening viewing the impressive sculptures at the internationally renowned Sapporo Snow Festival. (B,L)

Day 6 - Sapporo / Matsumoto

Fly to Tokyo and take a coach this afternoon towards the Japanese Alps. Visit Matsumoto Castle, designated as a National Treasure of Japan and often referred to as “Crow Castle” because of its dramatic black walls. Overnight at a local hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Jigokudani

Drive to the charming town of Obuse and see the Walnut Path, Hokusai-kan Museum, and the ceiling paintings at Gashoin Temple. Continue to Kanbayashi Onsen, the closest accommodations to the snow monkeys in Jigokudani Park. The resort is a traditional ryokan in a beautiful setting with natural hot springs. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Jigokudani

Take a nature walk along a snowy trail to Jigokudani Park for an up-close visit with the snow monkeys in steaming hot springs. In the afternoon, explore the historic town of Shibu Onsen. Enjoy the delicate flavors and immaculate presentation of a traditional kaiseki meal this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Shirakawago / Kanazawa

Drive to the World Heritage site of Shirakawago to see the famous thatched villages. Visit a local home and take in the serenity of this remote winter wonderland. Continue to Kanazawa for a private performance of Taiko drumming and Samurai dance. (B,L)

Day 10 - Kanazawa

Explore Kanazawa’s rich culture and heritage at Kenrokuen Garden and Nomura Samurai Residence. Visit Omicho Market and a local pottery kiln to witness some of the wares for which Kanazawa is famous. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Kanazawa / Tokyo

Take a bullet train back to Tokyo and bid farewell to Japan at an elegant farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 12 - Tokyo / Home

Group transfers are provided to Narita airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)