Take in the autumn of Hokkaido with all your senses! Experience a true autumn and the brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves among the magnificent mountains, gushing rivers and clear lakes of Hokkaido the treasure island.
Fall is not just about the outdoors: autumn, the season of harvest, is also called the season of appetite in Japan. This will be an excellent opportunity to stimulate your taste buds and meet the warm local residents to learn about their way of life surrounded by vast yellow fields ready to be harvested.
Relaxing in hot springs at the bottom of Hokkaido's highest mountain
Welcome to the highest mountain of Hokkaido, Mount Asahidake! The mountain is located in Daisetsuzan National Park. This is usually the first place in Japan, where one can appreciate the autumn foliage. At the bottom of Mt. Asahidake there is a lovely “onsen” hot springs village. On the first night of your private tour, just take a dip in the rejuvenating waters and feel your jet lag melt away.
– 2291 meters (7516 feet) high, Mount Asahidake is the highest mountain in Hokkaido.
– This active volcano is located in Daisetsuzan National Park (established in 1934).
– The mountain is popular among hikers in summer and skiers in winter.
– Being the highest point of Japan’s northernmost island, Mount Asahidake is usually the first place in the whole country to have autumn leaves and snowfall.
– The mountain area is home to beautiful alpine plants. Unlike other parts of Japan or southern Hokkaido, evergreens like spruce are common in the national park.
Trekking among captivating autumn colors in Daisetsuzan National Park
Today it’s time to go hunting for the autumn leaves among the mountainous scenery of Daisetsuzan National Park. This area is known for its clear cold waters and fresh mountain air. Your local nature guide will choose the route where the most beautiful autumn leaves can be found right at that moment. This private tour is entirely yours, so the hike can naturally be altered according to your stamina and interests. Be prepared for a magnificent sea of different shades of red, yellow, orange, purple, magenta and brown on the mountain sides of Hokkaido’s highest peak!
In the evening you will be arriving in Hokkaido’s second largest city, Asahikawa. Before leaping back into the wilderness, explore the city at night, and perhaps visit some unique “Izakaya” Japanese style bars while you are here.
Meet the local farmers
We would like to use this opportunity to acquaint you with the local Hokkaido community and culture with a seasonal twist. After visiting a local “sake” Japanese rice wine brewery in Asahikawa, it is time to head off the beaten path and enjoy some quality time with the local farmers.
Learn about the everyday life of these charming personalities and learn their unique world-view. There will also be nice home-made lunch and a chance to take part in real rice harvesting! This is an intriguing chance to think about what goes on to produce we eat as well as the seasonal cycle. An eye-opening opportunity to look at what you may have thought as mundane, from an interesting new angle.
Capture the reflection of the red and yellow of autumn leaves in the turquoise water of Blue Pond
Blue Pond in Biei village became a world-famous sightseeing spot after a picture of the first snow at this pond became a Mac desktop wallpaper. The pond with an interesting turquoise blue color was originally formed because of a man-made dam that was built to prevent the potential damage of the active volcano Mount Tokachidake which is found in the area.
Colorful autumn leaves reflecting on the peculiar colored water makes this an autumn spot seen nowhere else. Nearby you can find Shirahige Waterfall, a rare type of waterfall that seems to emerge out from solid rock. After the buzzing tourist location, you can make your way up to Tokachidake Observatory and take a breather gazing out into the surrounding autumn scenery.
Relaxing autumn canoeing and special "onsen" hot springs
Lake Kanayama is a man-made lake that came to be when the Kanayama Dam was built in 1960s. This calm, long lake is surrounded by forest on all sides, which makes it the perfect location for a relaxing canoe ride through the autumn foliage.
In the evening take a dip in the natural hot springs at a riverside onsen resort. Today’s hot springs will be something really special: Tokachigawa “Moor” Onsen is a hot spring that gets its unique, red-brown amber-like color from waters derived from reed and other local plants. The mineral rich water is very moisturizing and is known to be good for the skin and to have many health benefits such as soothing muscle pains and fatigue. Get ready for the relaxation of your lifetime!
– Classy but modern onsen resort located on the shore of Tokachigawa River.
– Famous for its special plant-derived Moor Onsen that is believed to have various positive health effects. There are even rooms with a private open-air Moor Onsen bath.
– High quality cuisine using fresh and local ingredients from the Tokachi area known throughout the country as the breadbasket of Hokkaido and all Japan.
Lakeside forest walk at the Lake in the Sky
After enjoying a good sleep at the Japanese style hotel, you can drink your morning coffee outside on the hotel’s terrace with a warm foot bath or maybe take a relaxing morning walk by the wide river with a view of the Hidaka mountain range in the distance.
After some me-time, it is time to head out to Lake Shikaribetsu in Daisetsuzan National Park for a nice day trip. This crystal clear lake is the only natural lake in Hokkaido’s largest national park. Lake Shikaribetsu is sometimes called “Lake in the Sky”, not only because of its transparent water, but also because it is the highest lake above sea level in all of Hokkaido. During this season, this lake surrounded by a forest reflects the vibrant autumn colors in a breathtaking way.
– If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a pika, a small mountain-dwelling mammal that looks a little like a mixture of a rabbit and a squirrel.
– Pikas require cold climates for survival and it can thus be spotted only in high altitudes. Hokkaido is one of the southernmost locations in the world to spot northern pika.
– Tokachi area is known as the “Breadbasket of Japan.” They produce a good share of agricultural goods consumed in Hokkaido and throughout the country.
– Tokachi is one of the few flat areas in this otherwise mountainous island, making it an ideal location for agriculture and dairy farming.
– The area is especially famous for baked goods and sweets. There are various famous brands we recommend sampling on while you are in the city.
Harvesting seasonal vegetables with the locals
Before hitting Hokkaido’s capital city, Sapporo, there is still an opportunity to savor some freshly harvested seasonal goods and authentic culture off the beaten path.
Visit a local farm to harvest some seasonal mushrooms and sweet potatoes and enjoy a lunch made with what you have gathered. For a nice cultural experience and something to go with the meal, you can try making “soba” buckwheat noodles with the help of the locals. There is something truly satisfying at getting to eat what you have gathered and made from scratch with your own hands.
Seasonal food culture in the capital of Hokkaido
Today you will get to enjoy some free time in Sapporo city. There is plenty of time for sightseeing, shopping and of course, more excellent Japanese cuisine. If you haven’t yet had enough of seasonal Hokkaido food, no worries; Sapporo Autumn Festival is held in September and the city is pulsating with life!
We hope you enjoyed your autumn journey full of local Hokkaido culture, seasonal foods and colorful fall foliage. Today it is time to head to the airport and say goodbye to Japan’s northernmost island. At the airport there will still be an opportunity to get some last-minute souvenirs and maybe even catch a Japanese movie at the theater within New Chitose Airport before it is time to return home. Each season brings with it something fun that can only be enjoyed at that moment. Please look forward to an entirely different side of Hokkaido the next time you pay us a visit!
8 Nights Accommodation
8 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 5 Dinners
8 Days Jumbo Taxi with Local English speaking Driver
*2-3pax Toyota Alphard with Local English speaking Driver
Parking, Fuel and Highway Fees
Taxes (10% Consumption Tax)
*Prices are in JPY（Japanese yen）, per person, based on double occupancy.