My Favourite Small Group Tour — Winter Highlights

Like this post? Help us by sharing it!

Dates available for Winter Highlights 2025 — Book now!

Nobody knows our Small Group Tours better than the people who lead them. We have a fantastic group of Insiders, whose job is to know our destinations inside and out.

All of our team in Japan are bilingual and live locally, so they’re fully immersed in the way of life, where best to go, and what it means to be a part of Japanese culture. We caught up with one of our team members, Robert, who had plenty of great things to shout about why ‘Winter Highlights’ is his favourite small group tour. Robert has over 6 years of experience under his belt and leads this tour. Chances are you’d get to know him quite well if you booked it!

Winter in Japan is a truly spectacular time to visit. So special, we put together a dedicated tour to give our travellers a cultural trip to enjoy what makes this time of year so exceptional. From stunning snowy landscapes and spotting rare birds in Hokkaido to the cultural treasures on Honshu, the ‘Winter Highlights’ tour demonstrates the myriad attractions of the winter season on Japan’s two largest islands.

Over to Robert…

What is ‘Winter Highlights’?

This is a tour for those who want to go deeper into northern Japan, to see rare wildlife such as the Tanchōzuru (Red-crowned crane) which were once thought to be extinct, or to learn more about the indigenous Ainu people and culture. The scenery is different to the rest of Japan – rolling fields and striking mountains all covered in deep snow.

You will also have the chance to sample some of the seasonal local cuisine, such as fresh crab and unique concoctions such as butter corn ramen — a uniquely delicious twist on a classic dish. You just have to try it.

Why is ‘Winter Highlights’ your favourite?

It’d be hard to pick a single favourite thing about Winter Highlights. It’s that brilliant.

Probably, though, it’s about the alternative experience it can provide visitors to Japan, whether they’re first-timers or repeat visitors.

There’s the amazing, rare wildlife, beautiful scenery with some of the best snow you can experience (perfect for skiing and winter sports), and also a chance to hear about the Ainu — who are the indigenous community of Hokkaido — their people and culture.

Why should someone visit Hokkaido?

Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost outpost, and the winter tour shows the raw beauty of this region. Think vast, windswept plains and wild peninsulas where still-smoking volcanoes provide a stark and awe-inspiring backdrop. It also has the lowest population density of any region in Japan, with just 160 inhabitants per square mile.

Why would you recommend taking a small group tour?

It’s a great opportunity to maximise the experiences you can have over the duration of the tour. You get to see so much, bond with a group of other people and maybe even make some new friends!

Our Insider will be on hand to help support, translate, guide, and ensure you have the best time on the tour as possible. I truly believe our Insiders really bring our tours to life and show you an amazing time.

Ask me about…

The performing arts; the magic of the local theatre; All the best things to do in Hokkaido.

In a sentence, why should someone book on the ‘Winter Highlights’?

For those who want to visit a unique part of Japan that has been shaped by its nature, wildlife, and indigenous peoples, then Winter Highlights is for you (it also helps if you like cold places — some of our experiences such as bird watching can be out in the cold of around -20C!)

If you’re interested in booking the Winter Highlights tour, we’d love to help you plan the perfect experience. Get in touch.

Like this post? Help us by sharing it!