1.866.316.7268 [email protected]
WPCS 2.1.3
1.866.316.7268 [email protected]
WPCS 2.1.3

Eastern Hokkaido Mini Tour

Among the Japanese, Eastern Hokkaido has become synonymous with sensational food, stunning scenery and some of the best onsens in Japan. As the rest of the country heats up in the summer months, Hokkaido stays cool, making it ideal for relaxing by the crystal-clear waters of the island’s many caldera lakes.

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Tour Factors

Tour Immersion in Culture
Cultural Immersion
Tour Pace
Tour Physical Activity
Physical Activity

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Tour Details

After overnighting in Sapporo, you will travel to Sounkyo Onsen, where you will have your first opportunity to experience traditional outdoor onsens, along with the opportunity to hike in the Daisetsuzan National Park. Then, we will travel to Akanko, which has plenty of entertainment to offer, including fishing, boat cruises, and other water sports. Or just enjoy the Ainu Village located at Akanko. After visiting the International Crane Center in Akanko you will go to the northeastern coast of Japan and visit Abashiri. Here, you will be visit the Abashiri Prison Museum before moving onto the quiet town of Utoro Onsen, gateway to Shiretoko. A hiking tour of Shiretoko Goko will help you experience the outdoors and nature before departing back to Sapporo or Tokyo, where the tour will end.

  • Akan Crane Center
  • Ainu Dance Demonstration
  • Nature Walk around the Shiretoko Go-ko Lakes
  • Shiretoko Peninsula Boat Cruise
  • Travel Guard Gold Policy (for American tour members only)
  • Baggage transfer from city to city
  • Electronic version of Tour Handbook and Japanese History
  • Domestic Airfare at the end of the tour to Sapporo or Haneda
  • International airfare is NOT included.
  • A printed itinerary is not included
  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and desserts are NOT included
Tour Destinations
  • Sapporo
  • Sounkyo Onsen
  • Lake Akan
  • Akan Crane Center
  • Abashiri
  • Shiretoko
Expand All

Day 1Arrive in Sapporo

You will travel on your own to Sapporo, check into the hotel and staying overnight in the city of Sapporo. We will leave a message for you at the hotel informing you of the meeting time for the next day. No meals included.

Travel: TBD; Walking: TBD

Day 2Travel to Sounkyo Onsen; Sounkyo Onsen: Ropeway, Ginga no Taki and Ryusei no Taki Waterfalls

Before departing for the day you will need to prepare your luggage to be sent to Akanko. You will travel to Sounkyo Onsen with an overnight bag only. Prepare your overnight bag for two days and one night. After breakfast we will travel to Sounkyo Onsen. Sounkyo Onsen is a hot spring resort town in the north of Daisetsuzan National Park. This quaint village town is located in a scenic, narrow gorge that is flanked by 100 meter high, forested cliffs. After we check into the ryokan we will board the Kurodake Ropeway which will take us to higher parts of the Daisetsuzan National Park. Next, we will stop at Ginga no Taki and Ryusei no Taki waterfalls cascading down the 100 meter high cliffside. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel included.

Travel: 3 Hours; Walking: Light

Day 3Travel to Lake Akan; Free time at Lake Akan

After breakfast, we will travel by local public bus to Akanko. In addition to lakefront vistas and hot springs, Akanko is known for two things: marimo, a rare kind of algae that forms oddly perfect spheres; and its Ainu village. After checking into the ryokan, and picking up your main luggage you will have free time in the afternoon in Akanko. Use this opportunity to take advantage of the many attractions Lake Akan has to offer. Go fishing or take a sightseeing boat cruise. Or you can visit the Ainu Village with its many souvenir shops and restaurants selling authentic Ainu cuisine, or attend an authentic Ainu Dance Demonstration at the Ainu Village. We will return to the ryokan for a buffet dinner. Breakfast and dinner at the ryokans included.

Travel: 1 Hour;; Walking: Heavy

Day 4Akan Crane Center; Free time at Lake Akan

After breakfast, we will travel to Akan International Crane Center. Here we will learn about the Red-Crowned Crane, indigenous to this area of Japan. It was once thought the cranes were extinct. However, about 90 years ago, a few cranes were found, and extensive efforts were made to bring them back from the brink of extinction. While much work remains to be done, the crane population has stabilized and is even growing. Once we return to Akanko, you will have free time to do any of the activities that you did not get to do the day before returning to the ryokan for a buffet dinner. Breakfast and dinner at the ryokan included.

Travel: 2 Hours; Walking: Medium

Day 5Travel to Abashiri; Abashiri - Northern. Peoples Museum

Before departing for the day you will need to prepare your luggage to be sent to Shiretoko. You will travel to Abashiri and Shiretoko with an overnight bag only. Prepare your overnight bag for two days and one night. After breakfast at the ryokan, we will travel to Kitami, and then to Abashiri. Abashiri, on the northeastern coast of Hokkaido, is home to a prison and known for the drift ice on the coast in the wintertime. In the afternoon, we will visit the Northern Peoples Museum documenting the cultures and lifestyles of many different people including the Ainu living in the cold and inhospitable northern areas of the northern hemisphere. After checking in to our hotel, you can enjoy the baths before dinner. Breakfast at the hotel and kaiseki-style dinner at the ryokan or dinner at a local restaurant.

Travel: 3 Hours; Walking: Medium

Day 6Abashiri - Abashiri Prison Museum; Travel to Shiretoko

This morning, after breakfast we will tour the Abashiri Prison Museum to learn how the inmates lived and the role Abashiri prison played in the history of Hokkaido. After the Prison Museum we will travel to Utoro Onsen, the gateway to the remote and beautiful Shiretoko National Park. Shiretoko is an ancient Ainu word meaning ‘edge of the world’. Shiretoko National Park is famous in Japan for its beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife including deer, bear and foxes. We will enjoy a buffet dinner at the ryokan after checking in and picking up your main luggage. Breakfast at the ryokan and buffet dinner at the hotel included.

Travel: 2 Hours; Walking: Medium

Day 7Shiretoko Peninsula Cruise, Nature Walk around Shiretoko Go-ko Lakes

This morning we will take a boat cruise alongt the beautiful Shiretoko peninsula. In the afternoon we will take a walking tour exploring the Shiretoko Goko Lakes area to experience the nature and tranquility of the area. In the afternoon we will take a boat cruise along the Shiretoko coastline with it’s 100 meter lava-rock cliffs and waterfalls. You may even see seals and dolphins. We will return to the ryokan where you can relax in the onsen before a buffet dinner at the ryokan. Breakfast at the ryokan and buffet dinner at the hotel included.

Travel: 1 1/2 Hours; Walking: Heavy

Day 8Travel to Sapporo's Chitose or Tokyo's Haneda Airport

This morning we will travel by bus to Membanbetsu Airport, where we will fly to Sapporo Chitose Airport or Haneda Airport. After arriving at the airport of your choice, you will continue around Japan on your own. Breakfast at the ryokan included.

Travel: 4 Hours; Walking: Light

Walking level descriptions:
Light – 0 to 2 miles on level ground
Medium – 2 to 4 miles on level ground or 0 to 2 miles on hilly ground
Heavy – 4 to 6 miles on level ground or 2 to 4 miles on hilly ground

Dates & Pricing
DatesPrice (land only) / Single Supplement
(All prices are per Person)
StatusAssigned Lodging
Jun 18, 2023 - Jun 25, 2023
Jul 23, 2023 - Jul 30, 2023
Sep 24, 2023 - Oct 1, 2023
Oct 22, 2023 - Oct 29, 2023

Add-On Tours

Our tours and tour itineraries are the best, but as the saying goes, “you can’t make everyone happy all of the time”. There may a specific destination or a specific experience you may want to include in your visit to Japan that may not be included your tour. Choose from our Add On tours to include your interests and make your Japan tour even better.

Click HERE to view all of the Add-On Tours.

Or, use the arrows to scroll though the recommended list of Add-On Tours for this tour. 

  • Local, licensed, English-speaking, Japanese guides
  • Travel insurance from Travel Guard, one of the world’s largest travel insurance providers, will be provided to everyone from the United States. All others will receive a $100 per person credit and will be responsible for obtaining their own travel insurance in their own home country. (The insurance provided by Samurai Tours will cover the land portion only. Insurance to cover airfare and other additional expenses is the tour member’s responsibility.)
  • All transportation from Sapporo to Sapporo as described in the itinerary
  • Lodging for 7 nights in Japanese-style ryokans or western-style hotels
  • Meals:
    • Breakfast every morning from Day 2 through Day 8 of the itinerary
    • Six dinners
  • All transportation costs when traveling with the group (transportation costs during scheduled free times are the tour member’s responsibility)
  • Electronic version of itinerary
  • Admission fees to the destinations and activities listed in the Tour Highlights column on the right (itinerary specifics subject to change)

Each tour member receives an electronic copy of our tour handbook. This handbook is full of tips and suggestions taken from our Japan travel experiences that allow you to better plan and prepare for your trip, and therefore enjoy your trip even more. The tips and suggestions included cover everything from how to save while exchanging money, what to pack, some basic Japanese-language tips, general etiquette do’s-and-don’ts, ryokan customs, etc.


  • Airfare is NOT included. (Domestic flight from Membanbetsu Airport to Sapporo Chitose Airport IS included)
  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and desserts are NOT included
  • Transportation to Sapporo at the beginning of the tour
  • Transportation from Sapporo at the end of the tour
  • A printed itinerary is not included
1 Review

Jean Flanagan

This was an amazing experience and I am so happy to have done it!


Thank you so much for providing such positive feedback on your tour! We are thrilled that you had such a good time. Our tour guides are indeed very special and strive to provide the trip of a lifetime for all of our clients. We hope to see you again in Japan!

~ Samurai Tours Staff

Tour Date: Oct 27th, 2019