This private trip is for art lovers and admirers of beauty. Let us show you the captivating splendor of Hokkaido’s midsummer and take you to Hokkaido’s local art galleries and huge open-air art museums. The middle of summer is the perfect time to enjoy the green season in Hokkaido. It is not as hot and humid here as on the main islands of Japan, and you can enjoy a wide range of beautiful seasonal flowers and tasty produce from the picturesque Hokkaido countryside.
Private tour with a photographer and immersion in modern Japanese painting
Hello Hokkaido! The village of Biei in central Hokkaido is popular with photographers from all over the world. The village is famous not only for the iconic Mac desktop background of the Blue Pond, but also for its breathtaking rolling hills of agricultural landscape. Today you will explore the area with a local photographer who will show you some of his favorite spots. At the end of this day your camera will be full of impressive and creative shots – and this is only the second day of the tour! Next, you will begin to get a glimpse of Hokkaido’s artistic repertoire through the works of Goto Sumio (1930 – 2016), known as a virtuoso of modern Japanese painting. At the Goto Sumio Art Museum in Furano you will have an opportunity to see a large collection of his paintings, some of which are quite massive in size.
– Kent Shiraishi is the very person behind the desktop background of first snow at Biei Blue Pond featured on iPhone, iPad & MacBook Pro (Apple Inc).
– This Hokkaido-born winner of the National Geographic Photo Contest (2011) lives here in Biei, Hokkaido.
– At Workshop & Hotel Tefutefu you can take part in private photography workshops with the artist and spend the night surrounded by his inspiring photography.
Brilliant yellow sunflower fields in full bloom
Today, you will enjoy the art of Hokkaido nature, as August is peak sunflower season in Hokkaido. Get lost wandering in a maze of vibrant shining-yellow flowers or enjoy a comfortable bus ride through these vast sunflower fields. After enjoying the sunflowers and taking your fill of beautiful floral photos, head to the charming town of Shintotsukawa, famous for its rice cultivation. The Japanese have an undying love for rice, and we promise that after this experience you will appreciate it just as much. With the help of locals prepare a hearty lunch using locally produced rice. In addition to cooking dishes and sweets made from local rice, you will even prepare a sweet rice sake called amazake. Amazake is a traditional non-alcoholic or low-alcohol drink full of vitamins.
Kan Yasuda Sculpture Park – Arte Piazza in Bibai
On the way to your next destination, take part in a private art tour at a must-see spot for art admirers in Hokkaido. Kan Yasuda is an internationally renowned Japanese sculptor, currently living in Italy, but born and raised in Bibai, Hokkaido. Here in his hometown, there is an inspirational open-air sculpture park that holds over 40 of his works made of marble and bronze.
Besides Kan Yasuda’s sensitive yet stoic art, Bibai is also famous for “Yakitori” Japanese skewered chicken. This sizzling hot dish is strongly rooted in the local history of this former coal mining town.
– Pacific Herring (“Nishin”) fishery was at its peak in Hokkaido around the 1890s. Whole towns, like the present day city of Otaru, were once developed around the herring fishery.
– The top of the fishing industry were true millionaires of their time: one relic of the glorious days of the historic herring industry is Former Aoyama Villa in Otaru. Construction of this summer villa took half as much as it cost to build a big department store in Tokyo in those days!
– Due to overfishing, Pacific Herring mostly disappeared from Japanese waters around the 1950s, and nowadays the fish has become a rare delicacy even for the locals.
Shimmering sea at the Cape of Gods
Today is another chance to showcase artworks of nature. From Otaru, it is not a long way to the edge of Shakotan Peninsula. Here, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, you will find Cape Kamui, literally “Cape of Gods” in the language of Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. The refreshing sea breeze will feel amazing on a warm August day.
After taking in a landscape of vibrant blue, let’s some astounding Hokkaido seafood: you will have a unique chance to try shucking sea urchin with your own hands. Afterwards you will get to taste this fresh delicacy and enjoy the natural and clean flavors of Hokkaido’s summer.
– Japanese sea urchin “uni” is a luxury local delicacy in high demand.
– First-rate quality sea urchin come from Hokkaido and Aomori.
Art in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido
Your private summer Hokkaido tour is winding down, but there is still time to enjoy the local art scene. Sapporo Art Park is an art connoisseur’s paradise in South Sapporo. Here, surrounded by green natural scenery and the symphony
of the cicadas, you can find not only Sapporo Art Museum, but lovely little galleries, a sculpture walk and charming handicraft workshops. While you are in the area, why not pay a visit to Takino Suzuran Park where you can enjoy a relaxing nature walk and seasonal flowers.
Traditional art of Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido
Last but not least: before your personal driver takes you to the airport, there is still one must-see genre of Hokkaido art to be enjoyed. One cannot talk about the true art of Hokkaido without mentioning the Ainu, the indigenous people of North Japan and Russia.
At Ainu Culture Promotion Center, Sapporo Pirka Kotan, you can appreciate the enthralling “Ainu-Siriki”, traditional patterns used in Ainu embroidery. These gorgeous patterns have different meanings in different regions of Hokkaido. The handicrafts displayed at Sapporo Pirka Kotan were created by local Ainu living in Sapporo.
5 Nights Accommodation
5 Breakfasts / 1 Lunches / 3 Dinners
6 Days Jumbo Taxi with Japanese speaking Driver
*2-3pax :Toyota Alphard is also available
6 Days English speaking Licensed Guide
Parking, Fuel and Highway Fees
Taxes (10% Consumption Tax)
*Prices are in JPY（Japanese yen）, per person, based on double occupancy.