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  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Fileds with lines of different brighly coloured flowers and snow capped mountains in distance.

Hokkaido and Sapporo

Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan’s four main islands.

With its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons and hikers, cyclists and campers from June to September. For those seeking breath-taking scenery with National Parks, wetlands, volcanoes and mountains, Hokkaido should certainly be high on your list.

Snow sculpture of a traditional Japanese building against a black sky.
Snow sculpture, Sapporo
Flower farmers, Hokkaido, Japan
Flower farmers
Sapporo, Japan

Highlights of Hokkaido

The capital city, Sapporo is one of the nation’s youngest major cities and is built on a North American style rectangular street system. The city hosted the 1972 Olympic Winter Games making it world-famous, and today, Sapporo is well known for its ramen (noodles), beer, and the annual snow festival held every February.

The downhill slopes of Furano and Biei transform into Lavender fields in July and August. The hot spring resort of Noboribetsu is surrounded by forested hills and at Jigokudani or “Hell Valley” the aromas of the sulphurous steam vents, streams and ponds can be smelt. This is an area of unspoiled nature, offering the opportunity to ski and snowboard in the winter and hike, cycle and walk from June to September.

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Steller's sea eagle in flight with prey on a background of the frozen sea, Shiretoko Peninsula. Shiretoko National Park, Japan, Hakkaydo
Steller sea eagle

National Parks and Wildlife

Shiretoko National Park, located on the Shiretoko Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido, is one of Japan’s most beautiful and unspoilt national parks. No roads lead further than about three-quarters of the way up the peninsula, and the northern tip can only be viewed from boats or reached on multi-day trekking tours. Home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, deer and foxes, in winter, the peninsula’s coast along the Sea of Okhotsk becomes one of the northern hemisphere’s southernmost regions to see drift ice. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the irreplaceable value of the peninsula’s ecosystem and biodiversity.

Another larger National Park, Daisetsuzan, preserves a densely forested, mountainous area of virtually unspoilt wilderness, which equals more than ten times the size of Osaka City. It is a paradise for hikers, outdoor lovers, deer and brown bears.

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Sapporo Snow Festival

Visit in February for the annual snow festival with snow and ice sculptures galore.

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Hokkaido Adventure

Go fishing, hiking, rafting and canoeing amidst crystal clear lakes and active volcanoes.

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Kushiro Wetlands National Park

See the countries only known population of Japanese Cranes at the Kushiro wetlands National Park.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.
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Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.
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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes