Fire and Ice | February 3-17, 2014
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s most legendary festivals, bringing guests from all over the world to Hokkaido. In 2014, PacSet Tours is proud to present you with the chance to experience the festival your way – with two unique tour offerings!
You can choose to tour Tokyo and Hokkaido for a little urban exploring before the festival, choose to go to a number of other winter festivals on a tour through Japan’s gorgeous Tohoku region, or do it all! Tokyo guests will get to check out the Ghibli Museum, Himiko ferry, and much, much more, while Tohoku guests will make their way back to Tokyo via train, stopping at numerous local festivals along the way – including the Yokote Kamakura Festival, where you can party in an Igloo with the locals. Of course, both groups will check out the Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the world’s largest winter festivals filling the streets of Sapporo with hundreds of snow and ice sculptures. You’ll also get time to shop, explore, relax in local hot spring (onsen) resorts, and more!
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles
- Tours dates from February 3-11 for PACKAGE A, from February 7-17 for PACKAGE B, from February 3-17 for PACKAGE C
- Stops in Tokyo, Sapporo, Tohoku, Hakodate, Hirosaki, and Kakunodate for PACKAGE C
- Hotel accommodations
- All transportation (train, ropeway, bus, shinkansen/”bullet train”, etc.) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Admission to all activities
- Customized tour guidebook
- Nightly turndown service with local snacks and homemade sweets
- Much, much more!
Pick a tour package:
Package A: Tokyo plus Hokkaido travels from February 3-11
Package B: Hokkaido plus Tohoku travels from February 7-17
Package C: All 3 locations – Tokyo, Hokkaido, plus Tohoku travels from February 3-17
Day 1: Departure!
Tokyo guests, this is when you’ll depart LAX for Japan!
Day 2: Arrival in Japan
Upon arrival in Japan, we’ll head to the hotel to check in before going out for a late post-arrival dinner.
Day 3: Urban Lights
We begin the tour with a trip west to the Ghibli Museum, a shrine to all things produced from Hayao Miyazaki’s famed animation studio. After that, we’ll head to Shinjuku to shop and explore. In the afternoon, take your pick of a trip to the Ikegami Honmonji Temple or take a little time to explore on your own!
Day 4: You’re on a boat!
We’ll begin our day in Asakusa, where the famous “Kaminarimon” gate and Sensoji Temple (not to mention the shops of Nakamise Dori) showcase Tokyo’s storied history. After that, leap into the future as you board the Himiko boat designed by Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 creator Leiji Matsumoto! Following the cruise, we’ll spend the afternoon in Akihabara to shop for the latest and greatest electronics and otaku-themed merchandise.
Day 5: Freedom!
Tokyo guests: today is a free day to do whatever you like! Your guide will be on hand to assist with directions and arrangements to local destinations and attractions. Meanwhile, Tohoku guests – this is when you’ll depart from LAX!
Day 6: To the O-dori!
We transfer to Sapporo. Upon arriving, we’ll check in and head to the main drag in town, O-dori, to see the snow sculptures and explore the Sapporo Snow Festival!
Day 7: Slipping and Sliding
On our second day exploring the festival, we’ll head to the outskirts of the city to ride on giant ice slides and enjoy more festival activities. The afternoon and evening are yours to shop and continue exploring the festival grounds.
Day 8: Lakeshore-ing
We depart Sapporo for the Lake Shiikotsu Ice Festival, where specially illuminated ice statues fill the lakeside area with bright colors. While there, you’ll also enjoy a stay at a local hot spring (onsen)!
Day 9: Top of the Peninsula
Our Tokyo friends depart today. ;_; For the rest of us, our destination today is Hakodate, a bayside city in south Hokkaido on a peninsula. We’ll check out the holiday illuminations in town before heading up the mountainside to see one of the most legendary city views Japan has to offer.
Day 10: Castle Crashers
Today, we pass through the world’s longest undersea tunnel on our way to Hirosaki, a town in Aomori that is also home to one of northern Japan’s best known castles. Explore the grounds before we hit the town for a little bar hopping and relaxation.
Day 11: Feudal Fire
We make our way to Kakunodate, a town that is known for its old rows of beautifully preserved Samurai homes. That evening, join us in Kakunodate’s town square for the Hiburi Kamakura, a festival where all those attending – you included – get the chance to swing giant balls of flame in a traditional ceremony!
Day 12: Free and Clear
New for 2014, we have a free day in Tohoku! Hit the ski slopes, check out a local hotspring, or just wander around and soak in the northen hospitality.
Day 13: Chillin in the Igloo
Ever wanted to party in an igloo? Here’s your chance! We visit Yokote’s Kamakura Festival today, where the locals will invite you inside giant igloos for snacks, warm drinks, and socializing among snowbanks illuminated with thousands of candles.
Day 14: Tokyo bound
We make our way back to Tokyo today to unwind after the festival hopping and explore the city.
Day 15: Depart for home
Board a flight for home.