Those of us who love hot springs, wondrous lakes, and cultural escapades will absolutely adore explore Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Cities like Otaru and Sapporo are also a highlight of this convenient yet economical five-day trip.
Day 1: Cultural Therapy
After Singapore and Bangkok, Chitose is next on the list. A stopover at Shiraoi Ainu village is delightful– the museum is an open-air wonder that is modeled on a village along the Lake Poroto. The next stop is the Noboribetsu Hell Valley, known for its impressive volcanic activity. On arriving at Lake Toya, the first thing to do is relax in the mineral-rich hot springs.
Day 2: Winter Wonderland
The picturesque harbor city of Otaru is next on the agenda. Be closer to nature at Lake Hill Farm, which makes its own ice cream and cheeses. Fukidashi Park is the next stop, where you can admire the waterfall and taste the pure water. The well-preserved canal area and huge herring mansions will transport you back to the earlier days.
Day 3: Sapporo Stopover
On the way to the capital of Hokkaido the coach will halt at Ishiya Chocolate Factory, where we can explore the chocolate exhibits, learn how cookies are produced and even make our own cookies. Satiate yourself with the fresh seafood at the reasonably-priced Sapporo Curb Market.
Day 4: Varied Wildlife
We are taken to the Asahiyama Zoo the next day, which houses more than 800 animals. Characteristic features of this zoo include a Polar Bear Aquatic Park, a walk-in penguin aquarium and an orangutan trapeze! You get a chance to be up, close and personal with a variety of species here.
Day5: Shopping Paradise
Shop till you drop at department stores such as Stellar Place, Daimaru and Esta at Sapporo. As dusk approaches, take a stroll and witness the 33rd Sapporo White Illumination, where trees around Odori Park and Susukino are decked with over 400,000 bulbs. Nothing quite like this to brighten up a day of shopping!
Day6: Homeward Bound
The coach heads from Sapporo to Chitose, and it’s time to bid adieu to Hokkaido.
– the tourist