Japan's Far East 7 Day Wild Winter Tour Tour Information

View of Lake Kussharo from Bihoro Pass in winter

What Is Included?#

Included in the Tour

  • 6 nights accommodation on a twin share basis

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners

  • Guided canoeing tour at Lake Toro

  • All transport as described in the itinerary

  • English speaking local guide(s)

Not Included in the Tour

  • Airfare

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal expenses

  • Drinks with included meals

Gear#

Essential Gear#

There is no avoiding the fact that winter in Hokkaido is cold, however with good windproof and insulated jackets, it’s still possible to be nice and warm while enjoying our winter activities.

We recommend bringing lots of varied layers so you can adjust as you warm up while hiking, or when you step indoors out of the cold. For more layering tips see our What to Pack blog post .

  • Hardshell jacket and pants

  • Waterproof winter boots or insulated hiking boots with a pair of gaiters

  • Thick socks

  • Thick fleece or down jacket

  • Thermal layers top & bottom

  • Ski gloves, beanie, and items to keep you warm

  • Sunscreen, and sunglasses

  • Insulated drink bottle

  • Toiletries

  • Personal medications

  • Rain cover for backpack

  • Backpack between 20 and 30 litres 

  • Enough face masks for the number of travel days (available to purchase locally)

  • Eco-friendly shopping bag and any other item to reduce single-use plastic waste

  • Travel insurance

  • Passport - It is a requirement for accommodation providers to photocopy the passport of international visitors.

  • Cash in Japanese yen. Small restaurants and shops in rural parts of Japan do not accept credit cards. Lunch in general costs 1,000-1,500 yen and dinner 2,000-3,000 yen. You can withdraw cash from an ATM at a post office and 7-eleven convenience stores.

Tour Area & Access#

How do I get to the start of the tour?#

We will meet at 6:00 pm at our hotel in Central Abashiri. The closest airport is Abashiri Memanbetsu (MMB) and you can fly directly there from Tokyo Haneda (HND), Tokyo Narita (NRT), Sapporo New Chitose (CTS) and Sapporo Okadama (OKD). 

From Abashiri Memanbetsu Airport, airport shuttles depart for central Abashiri with the arrival of every domestic flight. The shuttle takes 26 mins from the Airport to JR Abashiri Station, and costs ¥920 per person. Our hotel is within walking distance of the station. 

Alternatively, you can take a JR train from Sapporo to Abashiri if you prefer. It takes 5.5 hours and costs just over ¥10,000 for a non-reserved seat. 

You can search train timetables in English on Japan Transit Planner website .

On Tour#

How much do I need to carry during the day?#

Your luggage will stay in our van, freeing you up to enjoy the day’s adventure with only a light day pack. We recommend bringing a pack large enough to fit a thermos of hot water, a warm layer, camera and any snacks you might need.

Will I be cold on this tour?#

We will be outdoors in subzero temperatures for up to 4 hours at a time before returning to the van and travelling to the next stop. Many of our experiences are active and you will be surprised how warm you get while moving. Because of this, it's important to layer well so you can regulate your temperature. You will also find there's a big temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, another reason layering is essential.

Make sure you check the gear list for an idea of what layers to bring.

What happens if the weather is bad during the tour?#

While we try to organise everything, mother nature is out of our control. If the weather is too bad to safely hike or snowshoe (such as during a snowstorm) we will travel to the next inn in our support vehicle. Along the way we will still stop at local restaurants and visit indoor facilities, so you can still experience the charm of the area while travelling safely and comfortably.

Booking & Payment#

How do I book this tour?#

We will send you a link to our online booking form, where we ask for the travel information of all the members travelling with you. 

Once we receive this, we will send you an invoice for your tour deposit, which is JPY 50,000 per person. We will confirm your booking upon receipt of your deposit payment.

The deposit is treated as a part of the tour price. Payment of the balance will be reminded by email, which is generally 30 days prior to the tour departure date.

We can accept payment via wire-transfer from local banks in a number of countries including but not limited to the US, UK, Australia, and Singapore. Payment will be made in your own currency via Wise (Wise’s transaction fees will apply).

For credit card payment, we use Flywire, which will incur an additional transaction fee of 1.5%.

By paying for a deposit or full amount, you confirm that you have read, understand and agree to these Terms and Conditions .

What Is Your Cancellation Policy?#

Our general cancellation policy is shown as below.

  • Cancelled more than 21 days prior to departure: Zero fees

  • Cancelled between 20 days and 8 days prior to departure: 20% of the Tour Price

  • Cancelled between 7 days and 2 days prior to departure: 30% of the Tour Price

  • Cancelled 1 day prior to departure: 40% of the Tour Price

  • Cancelled on the day of departure: 50% of the Tour Price

  • No refunds will be given after the tour has commenced

In addition, refunds will be given if travel becomes impossible due to government-imposed restriction of movement.

For further details, we recommend you read our refund and cancellation policy in more detail on our  Terms and Conditions page . Feel free to contact us at  info@adventure-hokkaido.com  if you have any additional questions.

How far ahead should I book this tour?#

Japan remains a popular travel destination and it is not unusual for accommodation in peak seasons to be booked out up to a year in advance. So, the sooner the better! Generally speaking, we ask for you to book 10 - 12 months in advance if you are looking at a custom departure. For scheduled departures, we make our dates available from up to a year in advance. If we feel that your date is too close for us to realistically put a trip together to the standard we pride ourselves on, we will let you know at the time of enquiry and will do our best to suggest alternative travel dates.

What is the minimum group size for this tour?#

This is a mixed group tour and we accept bookings from one person up . However, our scheduled group tours require a minimum number of bookings for us to guarantee the departure of the tour, and to offer the tour at the price quoted. The minimum number of booked guests to guarantee the tour is four people .

If you book with less than four people, we will hold your place on the tour and wait for another group to join the tour. If the number of guests has not reached the minimum number by 30 days prior to departure, we will give you the option to cancel or to upgrade to a private departure. 

If you choose to cancel, we will refund the amount you have paid us. You’re welcome to check with us at any time about the status of bookings. 

Please be advised that we will not be liable to compensate for any inconvenience or incidental expenses that might have incurred to you, including airline tickets.

Can I book a single room?#

Our tours are priced on a twin share basis. Those travelling by themselves will need to pay an additional supplement for use of a single room. If you enter the number of guests in your group and rooms you need, the dates and prices form will calculate the price for your group.

I am a solo traveler, can I share a room with someone else?#

Our tours are priced on a twin share basis and those travelling by themselves will need to pay an additional supplement for use of a single room. If you are happy to share a room with another guest - of the same gender - then let us know at the time of booking. If we match you with another solo traveller then we can discount the single supplement for both of you.

Can you organise a custom departure for this tour?#

Custom departures based on one of our pre-arranged scheduled tours is something that we can arrange, provided that we have guides available for your travel dates. The earlier it's planned the higher chance we can secure guides and our favourite accommodations for you. Requests made at least 10-12 months prior have a good chance of being accepted successfully, while 6 months prior is too late for peak seasons like August or February.

Travel & Safety#

Do I need travel insurance?#

Absolutely! This is a must for all travellers joining our tours. Please make sure you have a valid travel insurance, covering the kind of activities you are undertaking during our tour, cancellations, loss of personal belongings, and any unforeseen circumstances while travelling. We will require the details of your travel insurance provider such as the name, policy number and phone number prior to the commencement of the tour.

If you're a Japanese citizen and on Japan's national health insurance scheme, we can mitigate our insurance requirement, although we still strongly recommend that you have flight cancellations and related expenses covered by some kind of insurance. Often your credit card provider can offer this coverage.