Sapporo & Snow Monkeys

Experience Japan in Winter, visiting Sapporo during the world's largest Snow and Ice Festival. Meet the Snow Monkeys in the beautiful Japanese Alps, as well as discovering Japan's old and new capitals - Kyoto and Tokyo.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Tokyo (3N) - Sapporo (3N) - Nagano (2N) - Kyoto (2N) - New Zealand

Fly overnight 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)
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. Enjoy the evening at leisure. (B)
Travel by train for a half-day tour of Otaru, a pretty port town and one of northern Japan’s most romantic places. Take a walking tour of the Canal Area and Sakaimachi old town. Return to Sapporo by train. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B)
One of the largest events of its kind in the world, Sapporo Snow & Ice Festival attracts sculptors from all over the world to compete, which inevitably leads to bigger and better creations every year! Today, wander along Odori Avenue and through the Susukino district, where hundreds of ice sculptures will be on display. This afternoon, transfer to the Sapporo Beer Museum. There is an optional beer tasting before popping next door to the Sapporo Beer Garden where you will dine on a Genghis Khan dinner – barbeque lamb, a Sapporo special! (B,L,D)
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, stroll along the canal and feast on some of Japan's best sushi. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport and join a flight back to Tokyo. On arrival, head to the famous Shibuya Crossing and enjoy free time for lunch. Later, visit Meiji Shrine, a popular Shinto shrine set amongst a stretch of tranquil woodland. (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 train station and take a Limited Express train to Nagoya and then change onto one of Japan’s super-fast bullet trains to be whisked through the countryside to Kyoto. On arrival, head straight to a quintessential Japanese experience – a tea ceremony. This private tea ceremony, in a Kyoto tearoom, will demonstrate the traditional rituals of tea preparation and service. (B)
An enchanting city, Kyoto was capital for a thousand years; today it is the legacy of ancient Japan, full of serene temples, silk-clad geisha and sublime gardens. Start your day at Kinkaku-ji, 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’. Gather tonight for a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Osaka and fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day. (B)

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option – From $1,260
Land Only (Tokyo to Osaka) 11 days from $7,990 per person
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 5 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Japan is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.

Why Book This Tour?

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.