18 days in Hokkaido, Tokyo & Higashimurayama Itinerary

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Sapporo — 2 nights

CIty of Ramen

A modern, bustling city known for its beer brewery, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors with its Snow Festival, during which elaborate ice and snow sculptures are exhibited all over town.
Get a sense of the local culture at Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura) and Susukino. Appreciate the collections at Sapporo Beer Museum and Royce' Chocolate World. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sapporo: Otaru (The Site of Temiya Line, Otaru Canal, &more). There's much more to do: stroll around Odori Park, get into the urban bustle at Sapporo Underground Shopping Centre Aurora Town, steep yourself in history at Sapporo Clock Tower, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokkaido Jingu.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Sapporo travel site.

If you are flying in from Singapore, the closest major aiports are New Chitose Airport, Asahikawa Airport and Hakodate Airport. Expect a daytime high around 0°C in December, and nighttime lows around -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) to allow time to fly to Abashiri.
Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Abashiri — 1 day

A coastal town with a smattering of things to do, Abashiri has an interesting history and arresting natural scenery.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): explore the activities along Lake Abashiri, then don't miss a visit to Abashiri Prison Museum, then see the interesting displays at Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read our Abashiri tour planner.

You can fly from Sapporo to Abashiri in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Sapporo in December since evenings lows in Abashiri dip to -8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Asahikawa.
Museums · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:

Asahikawa — 2 nights

Perched on the confluence of four rivers and surrounded by green hills, Asahikawa combines a modern city experience with the pristine nature nearby.
On the 27th (Tue), admire the masterpieces at Snow Crystal Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kamikawa Shrine, find something for the whole family at Asahikawa Ramen Village, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Asahiyama Zoo, then examine the collection at Otokoyama Sakezukuri Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Hokkaido Gokoku Shrine.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Asahikawa trip tool.

Getting from Abashiri to Asahikawa by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train. In December, plan for daily highs up to -2°C, and evening lows to -5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can travel to Hakodate.
Museums · Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:

Hakodate — 5 nights

City of Lights

A gateway to the island, Hakodate has gained a reputation for its waterfront attractions, its proximity to some of the island's most popular natural sites, and its seafood.
Popular historic sites such as Goryokaku Park and Trappistine Monasteries are in your itinerary. Museum-lovers will get to explore Goryokaku Tower and Hakodate Museum of Northern Peoples. Get out of town with these interesting Hakodate side-trips: Nanae-cho (Onuma Quasi-National Park, Onuma Park Walking Path, &more). The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Mount Hakodate, explore by horseback at Dosanko Farm Hakodate, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Motomachi Catholic Church, and get engrossed in the history at Hakodate City Northern Pacific Fishery's Document Museum.

To see maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Hakodate road trip website.

Do a combination of train and flight from Asahikawa to Hakodate in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. While traveling from Asahikawa, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Hakodate, ranging from highs of 3°C to lows of -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to fly to Tokyo.
Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 2:

Tokyo — 4 nights

Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Senso-ji Temple and Imperial Palace are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Let the collections at Edo-Tokyo Museum and National Museum of Western Art capture your imagination. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tokyo: Kamakura (Kōtoku-in, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, &more). And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Tokyo National Museum, wander the streets of Akihabara, engage your brain at National Museum of Nature and Science, and don't miss a visit to Shibuya Crossing.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Tokyo route planner.

You can fly from Hakodate to Tokyo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, Tokyo is somewhat warmer than Hakodate - with highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Higashimurayama.
Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Fun & Games
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 6:

Higashimurayama — 3 nights

Popular historic sites such as Kitain Temple 500 Rakan and Jindai-ji Temple are in your itinerary. Get some cultural insight at Ghibli Museum Mitaka and Yabo Tenmangu. Venture out of the city with trips to Inokashira Park (in Musashino), Chofu (Jindai Botanical Gardens & Jindai-ji Temple Ganzandaishido) and Kawagoe (Kawagoe Hachimangu & Kitain).

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Higashimurayama trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Higashimurayama takes 1.5 hours. When traveling from Tokyo in January, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Higashimurayama: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can drive back home.
Historic Sites · Museums · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Hokkaido travel guide

Bodies of Water · Landmarks · Parks
The northernmost of Japan's big four islands, Hokkaido seems a world apart from the rest of the country, with nearly a quarter of its total land area and only five percent of the population. To the Japanese, this island is synonymous with photogenic mountains and abundant wildlife. To most foreign visitors, a vacation in Hokkaido means exploring an area reminiscent of northern Europe, abundant in waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, mossy canyons, and peaceful lakes. Hokkaido also boasts the world's longest railway tunnel, the only land connection between this and Japan's main island Honshu.

Tokyo Prefecture travel guide

Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Parks
A tour of Tokyo Prefecture reveals many eateries, markets, and museums, with sightseeing opportunities available for every type of traveler. Bright bursts of lights and billboards on modern buildings contrast the ornate, traditional architecture there. Don't forget to visit Izu Islands, easily accessible from the capital as an ideal day trip option.