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Journey North by train to Hokkaido



12 Days

Prices Start from

$6,613pp (ex. flights)

For those keen on train travel, this fun and varied holiday to Japan showcases the ease and speed in which you can travel to the northernmost parts of the country, in comfort and style.

Combine the capital city of Tokyo with the natural beauty and volcanic landscapes of Hokkaido.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Two sumo wrestlers fighting. 1

Sumo in Tokyo

Peek behind the scenes of Japan’s national sport, Sumo, with a chance to see the wrestlers in training.

Sendai, Hokkaido, Japan 2

Local Transport

Combine travel on public transport from the super fast bullet train to local tramways and river boats.

Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan 3


Discover the pretty city of Hakodate, rich in history with breathtaking views.

Steaming waterfall cascading into a natural hot spring surrounded by woodland. 4


Experience the amazing hot springs at Noboribetsu.

Why we like it

Hokkaido is a scenically spectacular part of Japan. National Parks, wetlands, mountains, rivers and volcanoes offer plenty of opportunities to get back to nature with hiking, fishing, cycling, rafting and even skiing during the winter months. A Shinkansen bullet train links Tokyo and Hakodate on the island making a holiday here incredibly easy. This is a great trip for a second visit to Japan or anyone seeking wilderness landscapes, wildlife, great food and rich culture.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2 - 3


  • Day 4

    Tokyo - Sendai

  • Day 5

    Sendai - Hakodate

  • Day 6


  • Day 7

    Hakodate - Noribetsu

  • Day 8


  • Day 9

    Noribetsu - Sapporo

  • Day 10 - 11


  • Day 12

    Sapporo - Tokyo

Day 1


Day 2 - 3


Two sumo wrestlers fighting.

Peek behind the scenes of Japan’s national sport, Sumo, with a chance to see the wrestlers in training.

Day 4

Tokyo - Sendai

Day 5

Sendai - Hakodate

Day 6


Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan

Discover the pretty city of Hakodate, rich in history with breathtaking views.

Day 7

Hakodate - Noribetsu

Day 8


Steaming waterfall cascading into a natural hot spring surrounded by woodland.

Experience the amazing hot springs at Noboribetsu.

Day 9

Noribetsu - Sapporo

Day 10 - 11


Ice sculpture, Sapporo Snow Festival, Hokkaido, Japan

Visit Sapporo famed for its beer, ramen noodles and annual snow festival.

Day 12

Sapporo - Tokyo

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Snow sculpture of a traditional Japanese building against a black sky.
Snow sculpture, Sapporo

Sapporo - Festivals and Food

Capital of the mountainous north, Sapporo is famous for its beer, ramen noodles and its annual snow festival. It became world famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there. During your visit, join the locals to browse the stalls of fresh seafood at the 100 year old fish market, dine on ramen noodles and seafood at a local restaurant and sample locally brewed beers.

Alternatively time your trip to coincide with the snow festival in February when the city is filled with huge snow sculptures which are lit at night – a magical time to visit and hugely popular with the locals.

Read More
Onsen, Japan
Traditional onsen

Hot Spring (Onsen) Experience

Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japans four main islands and most of the countries volcanoes are found there. As a result it is also the home of many hot springs which are a key symbol of Japanese culture. Dating back some 3,000 years the mineral rich steaming waters are proven to have health benefits, plus it is a wonderful way to engage in a pastime that is quintessentially Japanese. Hot springs or onsen baths can be found in hotels and outdoors in more natural environments. During this trip, take a dip in the thermal waters at Noboribetsu.

Field of sunflowers with blue sky.
Sunflower field, Hokkaido

Hokkaido Flower Fields

Flower fields can be found across Hokkaido between the months of April and October. Furano is well known for its lavender fields, but there are many more flowers that begin blooming in springtime, welcoming visitors to the area. In May there are lupines and tulips. In June, there are blue salvia and poppies. From late June the early lavender begins to bloom, and by mid July reaches its peak season. August brings sunflowers and cosmos, and from September to October yellow mustard and dahlias decorate the refreshing fall season.

It is also fun to search for wildflowers that bloom in the mountains, wetlands and highlands.

Read More

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From $6,613 Per person

When to travel

Japan in January

The weather is generally cool, dry and sunny in many parts of the country. In the north, there is heavy snowfall, making for excellent skiing conditions.

Japan in February

Ski season is in full swing in the north. Winter continues to bring some of the coolest but driest conditions to the rest of the country.

Japan in March

The start of the cherry blossom in southern Japan, as the weather warms. A popular time to visit Japan, especially towards the end of the month.

Japan in April

Perhaps the busiest month, as the cherry blossom spreads northwards across the country. A stunning time, but expect to plan accommodation and excursions in advance.

Japan in May

The cherry blossom reaches the far north of the country around Sapporo at this time, and temperatures are generally warm. It is generally dry in most parts, with vegetation vibrant and lush. It is worth avoiding Golden Week, a national holiday during the first week of May.

Japan in June

Many parts become hot and humid, with the rainy season occurring in Okinawa. A consequence of the rain is that the countryside and most gardens are at their best.

Japan in July

It can get very hot and humid in many parts of the country at this time, making it the perfect time to escape to the mountains. In particular, this time of year has the best conditions for the hike up Mount Fuji.

Japan in August

There are many festivals at this time and locals are on holiday, making it a busy time of year for travel. It is a great time to explore the Sapporo area, with cooler and less humid conditions.

Japan in September

September brings a quieter time for travel, with most locals back at work. The temperatures start to cool off a little, but the humidity generally remains.

Japan in October

The start of autumn for the majority of Japan, showcasing a wonderful array of autumn colours across the countryside. The weather is still pleasantly warm, with less rain.

Japan in November

Across the country, this is the best month to see the beautiful autumn colours. There are fewer visitors, and the temperatures remain mild, especially in the south.

Japan in December

The first couple of weeks of December are some of the quietest times to travel, and you can enjoy the natural thermal hot springs with snow on the ground.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. 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 once again?

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