Fire & Ice | February 8-17, 2013
The Fire & Ice Tour is a tour unlike any other: it starts up north in Hokkaido, but we make our way back to Tokyo via train, stopping at numerous local festivals along the way. You’ll visit ice giants on the shores of Lake Shiikotsu, explore the panoramic vistas of Hakodate, party in an Igloo at the Yokote Kamakura Festival, swing a giant fireball around your head, and more all in a unique trip full of discoveries that only Japan can offer. On top of that, we’ll check out the Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the world’s largest winter festivals filling the streets of Hokkaido with hundreds of snow and ice sculptures. You’ll also get time to shop, explore, relax in local hot spring (onsen) resorts, and more!
The tour includes:
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles
- 8 nights accommodations
- Stops in Sapporo, Lake Shiikotsu, Hakodate, Hirosaki, Kakunodate, Yokote, and Tokyo
- All transportation (train, bus, shinkansen/bullet train) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Custom tour guidebook
- Admission to all activities
- Much, much more!
Day 1: Departure!
Depart LAX for Japan!
Day 2: To the O-dori!
We arrive in Japan and 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: Top of the Peninsula
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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Tokyo bound
We make our way back to Tokyo today to unwind after the festival hopping and explore the city.
Day 10: Depart for home
Board a flight for home – or opt for a few extra days in Tokyo to explore!