Take in the autumn of Hokkaido with all your senses! Experience a true autumn and the brilliant red, yellow and orange autumn leaves through the magnificent mountains, gushing rivers and clear lakes of Hokkaido the treasure island.
It is not just 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 and learn about their way of life surrounded by deep 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 whole Japan, where one can appreciate the autumn foliage. At the bottom of Mt. Asahidake there is a lovely “onsen” hot springs village. In the first night of your private tour it is alright to just dip into hot water and concentrate in curing your jet lag.
– 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 in 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 this moment. This is your completely private tour, so the plan 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 to Hokkaido’s second largest city, Asahikawa. Before leaping back to the wilderness, it is okay to explore the night city, and perhaps visit some unique “Izakaya” Japanese style bars while you are here.
Quality time with the local farmers
We would like to use this opportunity to let you experience 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 totally charming personalities and get to understand how they look at the world. 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 the food we eat as well as the seasonal cycle. An eye-opening opportunity to look at “the obvious”, from a new angle.
Reflection of the red and yellow of autumn leaves in the water of turquoise 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 potential damage of an active volcano Mount Tokachidake in the area.
Colorful autumn leaves reflecting on the peculiar colored water makes this an autumn spot really worth seeing. On the same area there is Shirahige Waterfall, a rare type of waterfall that seems to come out from solid rock. After the buzzy tourist location, you can get up to Tokachidake Observatory and take a breather looking at the surrounding autumn scenery.
Relaxing autumn canoeing and special "onsen" hot springs
Lake Kanayama is a man-made lake, that came to be because of building of Kanayama Dam in the 1960s. This calm, long lake is surrounded by forest from all sides, which makes it a perfect location for some relaxing autumn leaves watching on a canoe.
At the evening you will get to dip into natural hot springs at a nice riverside onsen resort. As if this was not good enough, today’s hot springs will be something really special: Tokachigawa “Moor” Onsen is a plant derived hot spring with a unique, red-brown amber-like color. The mineral rich water is very moisturizing and is known to be good for the skin and to have many health effects such as helping to recover from muscle pains and fatigue. Get ready for the relaxation of your lifetime!
– Classy but modern onsen resort located on the shore of Tokachigawa River
– Especially famous for 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 Tokachi area known also as the breadbasket of Hokkaido and whole Japan
Lakeside forest walk at 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 footbath 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 lake with very clear water is the only natural lake in this Hokkaido’s largest national park. Lake Shikaribetsu is sometimes called “Lake in the Sky”, not only because of its transparent water quality, but also because it is a lake located at highest point above sea level in whole Hokkaido. During this season the 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.
– Pika requires 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.
Harvesting seasonal vegetables with the locals
Before hitting Hokkaido’s capital city, Sapporo, there is still a final chance to savor some seasonal, freshly harvested goods and authentic culture off the beaten path.
Visit a local farm to harvest some more seasonal mushroom and sweet potato 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 million city Sapporo. There is plenty of time for sightseeing, shopping and of course, some more excellent Japanese cuisine. If you still have not had enough of seasonal Hokkaido food, no worries; Sapporo Autumn Festival is held in September and the city is pulsating with life!
All good must come to an end. 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 goodbyes 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 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.