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Just Arrived: new tours unveiled in the beautiful Japanese Alps

| Words by Zoe Crane |

We set off on a new adventure into Japan’s Alps with three new tours around this unfrequented part of Japan. From Snow monkeys to national parks, ice festivals to ice breakers, this region of Japan is sure to enthral.

Have you ever been to Japan’s Alps? We’re excited to be taking our travellers there for the first time.  We’re going to some new destinations in Japan and even planning to visit a festival while we are there. This is the most exciting part of Japan to travel to in the winter for lots of snowy fun. Tailoring the itinerary to the season we’ll offer a Japan Discovery tour, a Japan Winter Discovery tour as well as a winter departure including the Sapporo Snow Festival. Here is a sneak preview of the new places you’ll discover on our latest additions.


See the adorable Snow Monkeys warming up in the hot springs of Yudanaka. Known for the adorable snow monkeys that bathe in the hot springs to keep warm, a stay in a traditional ryokan with its own onsen (a Japanese hot-tub - so you can make like a snow monkey) is also a highlight here.


The samurai castle in Matusmoto dates from the 16th Century. Acclaimed for dazzling landscapes and traditional culture, the samurai castle and wasabi farm are fascinating additions.


Chubu Sangaku National Park offers sensation alpine vistas. Chubu Sangaku National Park in Toyama offers sensational alpine views year-round and is ideal for a bit of light hiking.


Beautiful year-round, Ritsurin Garden changes with the seasons, seen here in autumn. Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu is one of Japan’s most famous historical gardens, while a ferry to the island of Naoshima will uncover the many art installations and galleries that dot the island.


The Japanese Crane which can be found in the Kushiro region is a symbol of longevity and good luck. The Kushiro region is rich in wildlife such as the symbolic Japanese crane, the sika deer and the red fox.


The ice-breaker ship in Abashiri gets you right out amongst the radiant drift ice. On the north coast of Hokkaido, Abashiri gives travelers the opportunity to experience drift ice off the coast in a purpose-built ice-breaker ship and is also known for its prison museum.


Sapporo is best known as the host of the 1972 winter Olympics, but has many other treasures. The site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, other highlights include a museum dedicated to Japan’s oldest beer brewery, the botanic gardens and a historic village called Kaitaku-no Mura dating back to 1868.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Giant snow and ice sculptures line the streets during the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. We’ll be running a special departure of our Japan Winter Discovery tour that takes in the snow festival in Sapporo, during which giant snow and ice sculptures adorn the city’s streets and parks.

Contact us if you’d like any more information on these trips or would like to join us on this exciting new adventure.