Gardens of Honshu and Hokkaido

Gardens of Honshu and Hokkaido


It’s time once again to expand our horizons in the land of the rising sun and explore more of this fascinating country. Hokkaido, the mountainous, arrowhead-shaped northern island, seems like the perfect place to start. We get the impression that it is such a beautiful place that the Japanese would really rather keep it a secret. Nevertheless, we can expect the usual warm welcome from our hosts, many of whom still find westerners highly intriguing! Compared to our regular garden holiday, this tour takes us deeper into Japan, both in terms of the countryside and the culture. This holiday should appeal both to those who have been with us to Japan before and want to discover more, and to those who want to explore a beguiling region of mountains, lakes and thermal springs, interwoven with a unique cultural experience.  


We begin in Honshu, the largest of the four main islands that comprise Japan, with two nights in Tokyo. This is one of the most modern cities in the world, yet offers surprises at every turn – where else can you find ancient temples and exquisite gardens, surrounded by skyscrapers? We then visit two of the top three landscape gardens in Japan as we visit Kairaku-en Garden in Mito and then take the Bullet Train to Kanazawa in the west to visit Kenroku-en Garden. A visit to the stunning wisteria gardens at Ashikaga is included en route to Tokyo from where we fly north to Hokkaido. On the eastern side of the island our exploration includes the Shiretoko Peninsula, a pristine wilderness typified by lush virgin forest, waterfalls and thermal springs; the strange, withered trees of Todowara Woods and the Notsuke Peninsula, home to a diverse range of birdlife. We then transfer to western Hokkaido and our base in Sapporo, from where we explore further gardens and the natural wonders of the Shikotsu Toya National Park. 


13 Days


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  • What to Expect

    • A visit to Kairakuen, ranked among Japan’s three finest landscape gardens
    • Kenrokuen, another of the top three landscape gardens 
    • Visit the Ashikaga Flower Park, famed for its spectacular display of wisteria
    • Lake Saroma, which is the largest lake in Hokkaido and the third largest in Japan
    • Visits to the Shiretoko Nature Centre, Furepe Falls and Shiretoko Five Lakes

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