Experience Japan’s remarkable winter festivals, travelling from Sapporo to Otaru and Asahikawa

Be entranced by winter in Japan. Experience the sensational Sapporo Snow Festival, be awestruck by the size of snow sculptures and watch the soft lantern light cast its magic over festival-goers in Otaru. These are some of the best and biggest winter festivals in the country! Try your hand at ice-hole fishing, hit the slopes or don some snowshoes and go trekking in beautiful Furano. Don’t forget to have a relaxing onsen afterwards. This is an adventure of natural, cultural and artistic delights that celebrates the splendour of Japan’s far north.

Sapporo, Japan
Sapporo, Japan
Festivals and Events
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
357kg pp per trip


  • Celebrate at the Sapporo Snow Festival
  • Light up at Otaru’s sensational Snow Light Path Festival
  • Take a dip in a relaxing hot spring in Sounkyo.
  • See the Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival. The landscape consists of magical frozen waterfalls, ice caves and igloos, your own magical fairytale land.
  • Go ice-hole fishing in the geographical centre of Hokkaido
  • Discover the secrets of Hokkaido’s stunning capital


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Experience the Sapporo Snow Festival in all its glory. Admire captivating light displays and stunning snow sculptures with a glass of hot wine in hand. Take a tour of the Sapporo Brewery, visit the Nijo Fish Market and if you’re up for it, try your hand at some exhilarating snow rafting.
Day trip out to the quaint harbour city of Otaru for the Snow Light Path Festival. See sparkling ice statues and glowing lanterns transform what was once the region’s most important trade and fishing port into a vista of fairytale proportions.
Venture north to Asahikawa which hosts a number of smaller and more local ice festivals such as the Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival.. Explore the city and surrounds. Perhaps stop by one of the many breweries or visit the zoo. Or don some skis and hit the slopes. Don’t forget to enjoy a relaxing soak in the local hot springs, better known as onsen.
Located in the geographical centre of Hokkaido, Furano is often referred to as Heso no Machi (‘the belly-button town’). Spend the day as you wish: try your hand at ice-hole fishing, go snowshoe trekking, pull on your skis and hit the powder, or participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Return to Sapporo to enjoy the final days of the tour in this fascinating city. How you spend this time is up to you: maybe sample the incredible seafood at the open-air Curb Markets or visit the Sapporo Beer Museum to learn all about (and taste!) one of the country’s oldest and most popular beers. Perhaps take a stroll around the Hokudai Gardens, wander through the Ainu Museum or check out the Sapporo clock tower – one of the oldest buildings in the city.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


8 breakfasts1 dinner
Train, Train (bullet)
Hotel (8 nights)
Included activities
  • JR Tower Observatory
  • Nijo Fish Market visit
  • Sapporo Beer Museum
  • Sapporo Brewery
  • Snow Festival Sights and Performances
  • Snow Light Path Festival
  • Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival


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Important notes

Please note there is no Single Supplement available for this tour.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Japan Winter Festivals trips score an average of 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Japan Winter Festivals , February 2015