13 DAYS ●
Go Beyond Tour
This is the chance to experience Japan in Winter, visiting Sapporo during the world's largest Snow and Ice Festival. Meet the snow monkeys in the beautiful Japanese Alps, and discover Japan's old and new capitals - Kyoto and Tokyo.
Witness the stunning Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine in Japan's capital
Spend a day at the popular Sapporo Snow Festival
Visit the famous Japanese Snow Monkeys at their hot spring home
Explore the ancient city of Kyoto also known as the 'thousand-year capital'
Our Sapporo & Snow Monkeys itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city. Depending on your
time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. (D)
Tokyo is the ultimate 24-hour city, but look behind its frantic, high-tech frontage and you will find plenty of tranquil backstreets and old temples to explore. Today begins with a visit to Edo Tokyo Museum before heading to the vibrant district of Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town. Here, at its heart, is Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple which you will explore before wandering down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and souvenirs for centuries. Later, cruise down the Sumida River, disembarking in Hamarikyu Garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport and fly to Sapporo. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, driving by the Clock Tower, an exquisite example of Meiji architecture. In the evening, visit the Sapporo Beer Museum followed by a 'Genghis Khan' dinner – barbeque lamb, a Sapporo special! (B,D)
February departure: Spend the day viewing the hundreds of ice sculptures on display at the 'Sapporo Snow Festival', which is the largest snow festival in the world! (B,L)
April & November departures: Head to the Sairo observatory to enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Toya. After lunch, explore Norboribetsu Jigokundani (Hell Valley), renowned for its volcanic activity, hot steam vents and sulphurous streams. Also visit Upopoy National Museum and Park before returning to Sapporo. (B,L)
This morning, ascend to the Okurayama viewing point, soaring up to the summit of the Sapporo Winter Olympics ski jump by chair lift – the views over the surrounding mountains are breathtaking. Later, visit the pretty port town of Otaru and take some time to walk along the streets of the village. Also visit the Nikka whisky factory in Yoichi, before returning to Otaru to visit the Tanaka sake brewery. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport fly back to Tokyo. On arrival, head to the famous Shibuya Crossing and enjoy free time for lunch. Visit the Tokyo Government Office Building's observatory deck for panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond and then transfer to your hotel. (B)
Start the morning with a visit to the Tokyo Government Office Building’s observatory deck for panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond, before transferring to Matsumoto to visit the magnificent 16th Century Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its black exterior. Continue to Nagano, famous for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics. (B,D)
Head to Jigokudani Yaen Koen. Walking through a picturesque forested valley, you will reach the steaming hot pools where you will spend time watching the beautiful Japanese Macaques, or snow monkeys bathe and play in the waters. This afternoon will be spent visiting the 7th Century Zenkoji Temple, one of Japan’s most popular. (B)
Transfer to the station and take a train to Nagoya, changing onto one of Japan's super-fast bullet trains to whizz your way through the countryside to Kyoto. Upon arrival, head to a restored wooded townhouse and experience the sacred rituals of a tea ceremony. (B)
An enchanting city, Kyoto was capital for 1,000 years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of tranquil temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Start your day at Kinkakuji, the 'Golden Pavilion', Kyoto's most famous temple. Continue to Nijo Castle, and after lunch visit Sanjusangendo Temple before ending the day wandering through Nishiki Market, known as 'Kyoto's kitchen'. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Osaka and fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Wendy Wu Tours inspects all hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service, which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family-run guesthouse in a smaller town. Hotels are also chosen for ease of navigation around tourist sights. View Hotels Here
New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Japan. Other passport holders should arrange visas well in advance of departure, if required. Please note that a visa will be required for the China section of our Ancient Empires of China & Japan tour.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +64 9 975 8117. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave New Zealand. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not part of the culture in Japan and therefore is not required during our tours in Japan, but if you would like to show your appreciation, you can do so in local currency. Note that tipping is customary in South Korea and China and for the tours that include those countries, a customary tipping amount is indicated.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Bento boxes are a common lunch option. A traditional bento contains rice, seafood or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and New Zealand's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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Wendy Wu Tours offers the best selection of tours to Asia, Central and South America.
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