Hokkaido is Japan’s northern island. Low humidity makes the summers pleasant, while in winter the amount of high-quality powder snow makes it a great destination for winter sports. The JR Hokkaido Rail Pass is a great way to travel around the island.
Hokkaido has areas of great natural beauty: Daisetsu-zan National Park; the secluded Shiretoko-hanto Peninsula; Kushiro Marsh, home to rare flora and fauna such as Japanese cranes; and Shikotsu-Toya National Park, with its volcanoes and lakes. There are also numerous hot springs (onsen), such as Noboribetsu, Jozan-kei and Sounkyo, with many opportunities to relax and enjoy bathing Japanese style in the hot spring water.
Shiretoko National Park, on the Shiretoko Peninsula, is one of Japan’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks, home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, deer and foxes. In 2005, Shiretoko was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites because of the irreplaceable value of the peninsula’s ecosystem and biodiversity.
This tour suggestion includes flights from the UK – but of course you can add a stay on Hokkaido as an extension to your Japan trip. Just ask us for a quotation.
Our itinerary suggestion:
Visit Sapporo, Daisetsu National Park, the Shiretoko Peninsula and Kushiro with a 4-day flexi JR Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Any time, subject to flight availability.
Day 1 : Depart London
Leave UK on Finnair flight via Helsinki.
Day 2 : Arrive Sapporo
Upon arrival in Japan (Tokyo or Osaka), fly to Sapporo Chitose Airport (100min) and stay 2 nights at a hotel in Sapporo.
Day 3 : Sapporo + Lake Toya National Park or Otaru
Free at leisure in Sapporo, or start your JR Hokkaido 4-day flexi Rail Pass to travel to Lake Toya National Park (NP) (110min) or Otaru City (40min)
- Sapporo 08:34 – Toya 10:15 (Ltd.Exp Hokuto 6)
- Toya 16:52 – Sapporo 18:35 (Ltd.Exp Hokuo 13)
- Sapporo 08:42 – Otaru 09:29 (JR Hakodate line)
- Otaru 16:11 – Sapporo 16:51
Day 4 : Sapporo – Daisetsu National Park
Take an express train to Kamikawa (2hr 20min) using the Rail pass and take a bus to Mt. Daisetsu National Park (30min).
- Sapporo 07:21 – Kamikawa 09:41
(Ltd.Exp Okhotsk 1)
Day 5 : Daisetsu National Park
Explore the natural beauty of Daisetsu National Park, on foot and/or by local bus.
Day 6 : Daisetsu – Utoro
Take a coach to Kitami (110min) and use your Rail pass to Shari via Abashiri (2hr 20min). From Shari, take a bus to Utoro, the heart of Shiretoko Peninsula NP (50min).
- Kitami 11:57 – Abashiri 12:46 (Ltd.Exp Okhotsk 1)
- Abashiri 13:25 – Shiretokoshari 14:12 (JR Senmo Line)
Day 7 : Utoro/Shiretoko
Explore the Shiretoko Peninsula, on foot and/or by local bus.
Day 8 : Utoro – Kawayu- Kushiro
Take a bus to Shari (50min) and use your Rail Pass to Kushiro (2hrs 30mins).
- Shiretokoshari 10:46 – Kushiro 13:19 (JR Senmo Line)
Day 9 : Kushiro Airport - Tokyo
Take shuttle bus to Kushiro airport for flight to Tokyo Haneda (110min). Stay overnight in Tokyo
Day 10 : Tokyo - London
Take airport bus to Tokyo Narita airport, for Finnair flight to the UK via Helsinki, arriving the same day.
Guideline “from” price: £ 1,710 per person
based on using the 4-day Hokkaido JR Regional Rail Pass (Ordinary class).
- Return Flights on Finnair economy class
- 4-day flexi JR Hokkaido Rail Pass (Ordinary class)
- Accommodation sharing twin room at: Sapporo Monterey 2nts, Sounkyo Kanko 2nts HB, Shiretoko Grand Utoro 2nts HB, Kushiro Prince 1nt, Shiba Park Tokyo 1nt. (HB = dinner included)
- Travel Insurance
- Any meals and beverages not shown in 'included in the tour price'
- Incidental costs such as personal laundry, drinks, snacks
- Passport and other visa document fees (UK citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Japan)
- Any excess baggage (over 23kg on Economy flights)