Sustainable Tourism: A Private Tour in Off-season Hokkaido

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November is a peculiar time, a serene season between autumn and winter. There is something calming in this stillness right before winter takes over. Traveling during off-season minimizes the burden caused by over-tourism and helps to support small local businesses when it is economically challenging.

Sustainable travel is always important for any travel plan created by Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel team. However, this itinerary takes the sustainable twist one step further. Travel more sustainably with Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel and:
– Visit rural locations. Support the local businesses.
– Engage in cultural experiences. Making sure it is the person in front of you that gets paid.
– Enjoy locally produced food. Eat at locally owned restaurants and avoid large chains.
– Stay longer in small villages, in accommodation facilities that employ locals. Avoid large chains run from abroad.
– Avoid the peak months and travel off season.
– Win the fight over big-tourism by avoiding crowded tourist spots.
– Instead of flying multiple times a year, travel less but stay longer.

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  1. DAY
    01

    New Chitose Airport - Kuromatsunai

    Learn about living in harmony with nature through Ainu traditions


    Starting from the very first moment of your sustainable Hokkaido tour, let’s head off the beaten path to a charming little forest called Poroto. It is in Shiraoi town, an area that has cultural importance for Ainu, the indigenous people of present Japan and Russia. Today you will have a relaxing stroll through the forest, after which you will enjoy an Ainu style lunch with a modern twist. By a bonfire,your local guide will tell you about traditional Ainu ways of living in harmony with nature. In the evening you will be staying at a small and homely local accommodation in Kuromatsunai village. You can pop in a small public bath house in the neighborhood for a cool cultural experience.

  2. DAY
    02

    Kuromatsunai - Kuromatsunai

    Cycling day and a November forest walk


    November Hokkaido can be chilly, but moving your body will keep you warm! Today you will be using a bicycle to get around the charming Kuromatsunai village. For starters, you will visit a local spring water spot to fill your personal water bottles and learn about the local water company and its business. In Kuromatsunai village, you will find the northernmost beech forest in Japan. A local will take you for a guided walk in the naked forest, a brown mat of leaves crunching under your feet. In the evening you will explore the village’s small boutiques together with your new friend.

  3. DAY
    03

    Kuromatsunai - Yoichi

    Local winery and reused crafts in Yoichi


    Let’s head to the small seaside town of Yoichi. Besides its famous whisky, Yoichi is also known for its small but high-quality wineries. Rita Farm & Winery is run by a lovely couple, who makes their natural yeast wine using only grapes from their very own vineyard. After some wine tasting and perhaps finding some unique souvenirs, let’s pay a visit to a local ceramics shop and try some handicrafts. Hinode gives new life to small crumbles of clay that are born in the pottery making process.

    Accommodation: Bed and Breakfast Sawa

    – Sawa is an old Japanese style house with a café and homely lodging in Yoichi town.
    – This traditional style building used to be a local herring fisherman’s house. Pacific Herring (“Nishin”) fishery was at its peak in Hokkaido around 1890s. Whole towns were once developed around the herring fishery.
    – Sawa serves traditional Japanese homemade meals.

  4. DAY
    04

    Yoichi - Yoichi

    Ecotourism morning walk on a beach and seasonal activities

    Good morning Yoichi! This morning, a local surfer will take you to a quiet November beach. The surfer has a habit of regularly collecting trash brought by the sea. Sometimes he can find objects the waves have brought all the way from neighboring countries. It really makes you understand how the world is connected and how small actions have far-reaching consequences. November is a time for preparing for the long winter to come. Besides wine, Yoichi is also known for its fruit orchards. Fruits and berries do not hold for long, so it is common to turn them into jam and other canned food that can be enjoyed during the long winter months. Today you can also join a local pâtissier for some jam making, a truly seasonal, local activity.

  5. DAY
    05

    Yoichi-New Chitose Airport

    Moerenuma Design Park

    Today marks the end of your private Hokkaido tour. Before saying goodbye to the island, we recommend popping by at Moerenuma Park in Sapporo. Moerenuma Park is a former waste treatment plant that has been turned into a beautiful design park. There are various inspirational art installations in the park, including a Glass Pyramid that has an air-conditioning system working with snow energy. Besides snow, ice can also be used as a source of energy. Snow energy might sound unique, but for a place with heavy snowfall like Hokkaido it is actually a surprisingly practical and easily accessible form of green energy.

    Hokkaido culture: Fuyu Kakoi

    – Hokkaido is famous for its heavy snowfall. “Fuyu kakoi” literally “winter fences” refers to special wooden structures that are arranged around trees and bushes just before winter.
    – The structures can look quite delicate, but they have been especially designed for this purpose: to protect the precious plants from being crushed by snow.
    – Around November, you can spot these arrangements here and there in the parks and streets of Hokkaido.

SERVICE INCLUDES

4 Nights Accommodation
4 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 4 Dinners
5 Days Jumbo Taxi with Japanese Speaking Driver
Parking, Fuel and Highway Fees
5 Days English speaking Licensed Guide
Taxes (10% Consumption Tax)
10% Service Fee (non-refundable)
Outdoor/Cultural Activities

The CUSTOM
TRAVEL PRICE

Calculate the average price for this plan

Number of Travelers
PRICE FROM000,000JPY per person

*Prices are in JPY(Japanese yen), per person, based on double occupancy.