Departure date:03 Jun, 2023 (Sat) Drive Tour
Assemble at Singapore Changi Airport for flight to Haneda.
– Obihiro – Tokachi
Arriving in Hokkaido today, admire some of its natural beauty at the Tokachi Millennium Forest at the base of the Hidaka mountains. A huge area designed for environmental conservation, immerse yourself in nature at the sprawling gardens, a couple of which have won awards for their beautiful garden designs.
Later, visit Hokkaido’s most popular sweets maker, Ryugetsu Sweetpia Garden. Famous for its delectable Sanporoku cakes, you can find all kinds of confectionary here, including exclusive ones sold only at the cafe. Pick up some delicious confections as souvenirs in this “kingdom of sweets”.
This evening, have a relaxing soak in the moor hot spring. Known as the hot spring of beauty, this therapeutic hot spring water is derived from plant matter and can only be found in two places in the world, in Germany and here in Tokachigawa. Enjoy this exceptional hot spring water from the comfort of your private hot spring bath in your room.
Day 02 (Mon, 05 Jun'23)
Tokachigawa Onsen Daiichi Hotel (Hot Spring) or similar
Feel the vastness of Hokkaido at Naitai Highland Farm, Japan’s largest public pasture at 1,700ha. Take a break and admire the panoramic views of the Tokachi plains from Naitai Terrace observation deck and perhaps catch sight of some of the approximately 2,000 cows which graze here.
An agricultural park located on a hill, Tokachi Hills features 7 different gardens and around 1,500 species of plants and flowers. Take a stroll round to enjoy the beautiful gardens and hilltop views, and even get a taste of Tokachi at the on-site restaurant which features local produce, some of which are grown right here.
Make a stop at Shichiku Garden as well to admire the beautiful blooms and seasonal colours that can be found here. This garden is the creation of flower-loving grandma, Akiyo Shichiku, who turned an empty field into a beautiful garden with 2,500 varieties of flowers and various native Hokkaido trees.
Day 03 (Tue, 06 Jun'23)
Tokachi – Urakawa
Comprising the 4 towns of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo and Hiroo, Tongari Road is a coastal area blessed with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Hidaka mountains on the other. Take part in a specially arranged Tongari Activity today where you will get to enjoy some fresh local seafood in a barbeque lunch. Then, learn more about a specialty of the area, konbu, and gain a greater appreciation for this seaweed essential to Japanese cuisine.
Drive to the dramatic Cape Erimo, where the Hidaka Mountain Range ends and the sea begins. The windy cape is where you can look out onto the Pacific Ocean from rocky cliffs up to 70m high and enjoy panoramic views along with sightings of the harbour seals that live here.
You can also view the cape from the other side on a Konbu Boat Cruise. Bringing you round the cape and offshore islands, adventure in the sea where splendid views of the mountain range spread out before you while harbour seals keep watch. As its name suggest, you can also see where kelp is harvested in this top production area of Hidaka Konbu.
Day 04 (Wed, 07 Jun'23)
This morning, go on a guided tour of Urakawa JRA, Japan’s top racehorse training facility. Established by the Japan Racing Association, this spacious facility follows strict quality management to create the optimal environment for training and raising racehorses. Take a peek into the stables and horse-riding grounds and learn what goes into producing a top-class racehorse.
*Extent of tour is subject to health and safety conditions at the time of visit.
After lunch, get right into nature at the Mt Apoi Geopark. A UNESCO Global Geopark, this mountain with an elevation of 810m is home to a rich geological heritage and around 20 indigenous alpine plant species. Bathe in the forests around the base, or challenge a climb up the mountain, and enjoy the wonderous nature in all its glory.
Take a break at Pan Paka Pan, a popular local bakery right on the coast. Munch on fresh breads baked using local seasonal vegetables and other ingredients, accompanied by shining ocean views and the sea breeze.
Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa MIZU NO UTA (Hot Spring) or similar
When in Biratori Town, you cannot miss trying their local branded wagyu, Biratori Wagyu! With clean water, fertile soil and the perfect climate for raising stress-free cows, this popular local wagyu is known for its tenderness and has gained a reputation as one of Hidaka region’s most famous meats.
The indigenous Ainu culture of Hokkaido is preserved and expounded on in a few museums across Hokkaido with the hopes of keeping rich traditions alive for future generations. One of these museums is the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum, where thousands of items showing the daily life and culture of the Ainu are on display. Hear stories of traditional Ainu culture from an Ainu artisan and watch how she makes traditional Ainu crafts.
Following the road from the museum will bring you along Nibutani Ainu Takumi no Michi, a collection of Ainu artisan workshops where you can find exquisite Ainu crafts, including Nibutani-ita (wood carved trays) and Nibutani Attus (textile woven from bark) which have been designated as Traditional Craft Industries. Drop by at Kita no Kobo Tsutomu, workshop of Kaizawa Toru, award-winning 3rd generation artisan and creator of famous Nibutani-ita, UKUOKU, to see some of his work.
Hotel: Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo or similar
(Car return in Sapporo City)
This morning, pay a visit to the beautiful Lake Shikotsu. This crater lake formed over 40,000 years ago is one of the deepest and clearest lakes in Japan. Take a glass-bottomed boat cruise on the lake to truly appreciate its natural beauty and the exceptional 'Shikotsu blue'.
Yuni Garden is the largest herb garden in Japan that comes complete with old manors and long vistas. With thoughtful landscaping presenting a well-manicured, English-style garden, it contains 230 kinds of herbs in 10 gardens and flowers that bloom in each season. Walk around and enjoy the flowers and herbs in this beautiful garden this afternoon.
Do some strawberry picking afterwards and get your fill of the sweet and tart fruit! Head into a strawberry farm where you can pick and eat all the fresh strawberries you want!
Hotel: Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo or similar
You will have a free and easy day in Sapporo to enjoy its myriad of shopping and dining options. On this weekend you can also get a taste of a Japanese festival at the Yosakoi Soran Festival held in central Sapporo. Merging Kochi’s yosakoi dance festival with Hokkaido’s traditional folk song, Soran Bushi, Yosakoi Soran is an energetic dance display to the sound of wooden naruko clappers. Watch as different teams dance their hearts out with original choreography, colourful costumes and lots of energy! Or if you’d like to be part of the action, rent a pair of clappers and sign up to dance along in the parade!
Flight back to Singapore