This private summer tour has been designed to let you explore four magnificent national parks and of Hokkaido, Japan on a deeper level. This is an excellent chance to really understand what has shaped the nature of Japan’s nothernmost island and why the local geography, climate and culture of Hokkaido and its nature are like they are nowadays. See and feel the nature, wildlife, local food and seasonal flowers of Hokkaido’s early summer. We want to show you something that will stay with you for the rest of your life
Picnic in the middle of bright yellow flower fields
Before heading to the wilderness, we would like to show you a different side of the nature in this northern island. This is why your journey will start from the vast fields of Tokachi area, known for its agriculture. There is something extraordinary and hauntingly beautiful about this man-made scenery that continues as far as the eye can see.
One of the highlights of this day will definitely be enjoying a healthy lunch in the middle of bright yellow carpet of rapeseed flowers These are fields that are usually off limits, but our trusted local guide, who understands and respects the farmers and their work, will take you to the fields and tell you about the Hokkaido agriculture and the everyday lives of the local farmers.
– Tokachi area is famous for producing a good share of agricultural goods in Hokkaido and the whole Japan. The area is an excellent place for enjoying super fresh, high-quality Japanese food before it is transported all over the country. – Interestingly, Obihiro city is the biggest city in the area, but many city locals have an identity of being Tokachi residents rather than Obihiro citizens.
– In this otherwise mountainous island, Tokachi area is one of the few flat areas, making it great location for agriculture and dairy farming. The fields are a nice contrast to the scenery of the Easternmost parts of Hokkaido when you travel through the island.
– The area is especially famous for bakery goods and sweets. There are various famous brands we recommend sampling out while you are in the city.
The story and origin of Hokkaido nature at Kushiro Marshland
Here we go! After giving some thought to the delicate relationship between people and the nature on the previous day, today will be the actual start of your Hokkaido wildlife adventure. It’s time to head for Kushiro-shitsugen National Park with a local nature guide.
The experienced guide will take you on a stroll on a wooden broad walk that makes it possible to enter the surprisingly deep swamp area. These invaluable, mysterious wetlands are unbelievably similar to how they were 3000 years ago. They have been designed as a national natural monument and protected under The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as waterfowl bird habitat. The story and background of these ancient, deep wetlands will help you to understand the Hokkaido nature and wildlife on a deeper level as our journey continues.
Relaxing at gorgeous Lake Kussharo in Akan Mashu National Park
Today there is an opportunity to try out some calming private canoeing in Lake Kussharo, the largest caldera lake in Japan. You will land at the tip of Wakoto Peninsula, where a local guide will prepare you a healthy, handmade lunch with touching details, making full use of tasty, local ingredients such as fresh oyster. There are quite good chances to spot some wildlife, like ezoshika deer.
At the tip of the peninsula there is water so steaming hot, that you can boil an egg for your lunch there! Today it’s okay just to be yourself and let your hair down in the still quietness of the Akan Mashu National Park before heading further to the east.
– Japan is a country with plenty of volcanic activity, which is also the reason for its many natural hot springs.
– Volcanic activity does not stand just for hot orange lava or dangerous eruptions; Besides hot springs you can see beautiful steam that rises to the surface and it is possible to enjoy dipping your feet into a warm foot bath.
– Akan Mashu National Park’s best place for appreciating volcanic activity is perhaps the tip of Wakoto Peninsula, where you can find steaming hot “Oyakotsu Hell” in the lake.
Orca spotting in UNESCO World Heritage site Shiretoko National Park
The fourth day of your journey is dedicated for the ocean. Now is finally the time to take in the breathtaking wilderness of UNESCO World Heritage Site Shiretoko National Park. This is going to be an experience of a lifetime: An Orca (“Killer Whale”) Watching Tour!
The orca in Hokkaido are quite energetic and playful. Therefore, visitors have relatively good chances for seeing these impressive wildlife animals, especially in early summer, when they are the most active. Can you imagine what it will feel like to see this magnificent black and white marine mammal slowly sliding right under your boat…?
– This national park, located in a peninsula at the far east of Hokkaido island, has one of the richest ecosystems in the world, combining both marine and terrestrial aspects.
– The national park is a crucially important habitat for rare wildlife species such as world’s largest owl, Blackiston’s Fish owl.
– The unique nature here is strongly shaped by the massive amounts of drift ice that arrives annually all the way from Amur River at the border of Russia and China. Hokkaido is the southernmost place in this side of the planet where drift ice phenomena can be witnessed.
Hokkaido Wildlife: Orca
– Black and white wild Orca (Also known as “killer whale”) can be witnessed around Shiretoko Peninsula in East Hokkaido especially in early summer.
– These giant wildlife animals gather to Hokkaido because of the minerals brought in by massive amounts of drift ice and local sea currents.
– In Ainu culture orca is known as “Repun Kamuy” the God of the Sea.
Explore the stunning Shiretoko National Park on foot
Today it is time to explore the National Park on foot. During a three-hour nature trekking with an expert guide, you can take in the outstanding scenery and learn about the precious fauna and flora protected here.
Besides the famous five lakes Shiretoko National Park has some rather beautiful waterfalls, such as Furepe Waterfall right at the edge of the ocean. You can also join a bear watching cruise all the way to the tip of the peninsula. After getting up an appetite it will be the turn for some freshly caught crab cooked in a very local way!
– Shiretoko National Park has the highest density of brown bears in the whole world.
– It is so likely to see bears in the area, that one can join a bear spotting cruise. Staying on a boat is a safe way to appreciate these giant wildlife animals. Depending on the year the possibility of seeing bears is over 90 %.
– Bear has significant cultural importance for the Ainu culture. Bear is known as the “Kimun Kamuy” God of the Mountains in traditional Ainu beliefs.
Colorful tulips and bright pink moss phlox flowers
Before proceeding to the next national park, we will start this day by appreciating some more man-made natural sights for a chance: Fields full of vibrantly colorful tulips, something that can only be enjoyed in early summer. But why are there tulips in North Japan, Eastern Hokkaido? There is a truly interesting story behind this, just wait and see.
Another seasonal flower of East Hokkaido is pink moss phlox, also known as “shibazakura”, literally cherry blossoms on grass. The vibrant pink mat of flowers is really spectacular view and looks great in pictures.
Mountainous Daisetsuzan National Park
Today you get to ride the northernmost aerial lift in whole Japan to appreciate the fresh, bright green early summer scenery from up the air! After taking your time enjoying the views, it is time to steer towards wonderful views of a different kind.One of the highlights of the area are also the clear gushing waterfalls nestled in the Soun Gorge.
Especially two are well known. These charming natural spots have their own character and are almost like living creatures. Ginga Waterfall (lit.”Galaxy Waterfalls”) is the more delicate and sensitive of the two. This thin, almost sparkling waterfall with height of around 90 meters falls gently down a mountainside. Ryusei Waterfall, (lit. “Shooting Star Waterfalls”) is the bolder and more outward one of the two. It looks almost like this impressive 120-meter-high water force bursts out of nothing. In the evening you will be arriving to Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo. After all the stunning nature you are perhaps already eager to explore the culinary scene and nightlife of the million city.
City of Sapporo in full bloom
Today is the last day of your early summer East Hokkaido tour. Today you will be enjoying some well-deserved free time, shopping and sightseeing. Besides checking some of the must-see sightseeing locations, we warmly recommend strolling around to enjoy Sapporo Lilac Festival, that is held from middle to end of May. Sapporo’s central park Odori Park has approximately purple 400 lilac flower trees with a delightful fragrance.
8 Nights Accommodation
8 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 6 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.