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Hokkaido

Meet the Locals

Our most recommended Hokkaido Meet the Locals

Sapporo: Personalized Experience with a Local

1. Sapporo: Personalized Experience with a Local

Discover Sapporo as you would if you were visiting a friend who lived there, someone who will make you feel like they’ve known you and their city forever. The city itself is famed for its beautiful parks and gardens, regional cuisine (and beer), and its annual festivals. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Sapporo is also the gateway to Hokkaidō’s mountains and hot springs, providing you with urban and natural environments ripe for exploration. Although a young city, Sapporo is packed with exciting things to do and incredible cuisine to enjoy. Communicating directly with your guide beforehand to suggest an itinerary and agree on a meeting time and place, you can tailor your Sapporo experience to suit your interests and plan your dream day. If food is your thing, feast on the incredible seafood and miso ramen Sapporo is renowned for. Your guide can take you to places like Ramen Alley where you can sample Hokkaidō ramen made from a rich miso-based broth, which is perfect for cold winters. Or try seafood as fresh as it comes and indulge in local dishes like “kaisen-don,” a delicately balanced dish of raw seafood on top of a bed of fluffy white rice.  There is much more to Sapporo than food though. Your guide can lead you to the city’s most iconic sites, sacred shrines, and bustling, neon-lit neighborhoods. From landmarks like the Hokkaidō Shrine or the Mount Okura Ski Jump, you will explore pockets of the city where you can immerse yourself in the culture of Hokkaidō. As well as visiting the places you’d most like to see, your guide will share with you local spots and places of interest to stop by along the way, giving you an authentic insight into local life in Sapporo. Whether you’d like to see its historic sites, feast on specialty local dishes, or see the landmarks left behind after the Winter Olympics, your host will create a personalized experience just for you. With your thoughtfully matched host by your side, you can skip the tourist traps and discover the real Sapporo.

Sapporo: Private and Personalized Eat Like a Local Tour

2. Sapporo: Private and Personalized Eat Like a Local Tour

Get to know Sapporo in the best way: through its food. Join a local host to feast your way around the city together, and sample 6-8 tastings of various local food specialties carefully selected for you. Benefit from the personal touch of a private tour and a flexible itinerary allowing you to change your mind about what you want to do during the experience. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. From Hokkaido’s regional miso ramen (always yummier with a plate of gyoza on the side) to treats which may surprise you like soft serve ice-cream and Hokkaido cheese, you’ll discover how, what, and where the locals eat. Immerse yourself in Sapporo's unique culinary culture and probably find your new favorite dish along the way. Slurp soup curry (it’s good manners, don’t worry), a dish that was born in the city. Try kaisen don, a bowl of fresh, raw seafood on a bed of fluffy white rice. Set free your inner chef as you grill your own meat on a convex skillet at a classic Jingisukan BBQ restaurant — the ultimate soul food. Enjoy lush parks and shrines, and sample some of the city’s famous beer at the Sapporo Beer Museum. Cleanse your palette by indulging in a sake too, if you like. You might just be crawling back to your accommodation after all of that food.

Hakodate: Private Customized Guided Tour

3. Hakodate: Private Customized Guided Tour

Explore Hakodate in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4 hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. Hakodate has a long history of international trade and is home to European-style buildings, churches, and red-brick warehouses, as well as nostalgic streetcars that makes their way around the city. Meet up with your guide at your hotel or anywhere convenient for you in Hakodate. First visit Goryokaku park to get in touch with Japanese history. This popular tourist attraction is a star-shaped fort that became famous as the final battleground in the civil war about 150 years ago. From Goryokaku Tower you have a great view of not only Goryokaku, but also the mountains and the strait between Hokkaido and Honshu. Stop for lunch at Hakodate Morning Market. Also known as Hakodate Asaichi, this market boasts approximately 250 stores offering seafood and souvenirs. Try the mouth-watering "seafood rice bowl", a local specialty. The final stop on the tour is Mount Hakodate, which you can reach by cable car. Admire the incredible views of the city and the sea far below.

Sapporo: Private Customized Guided Tour

4. Sapporo: Private Customized Guided Tour

Explore Sapporo in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4-hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. Sapporo City, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, may be more famous for its winter activities, but with your guide, you will see how is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round. This tour feature a morning pickup at your hotel in Sapporo, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below.  This tour begins with your local guide greeting you at your accommodation or the nearest train station. You will then proceed to Okurayama Viewing Point. Take in the great panoramic view and experience the steep slope of a ski jump from 307 meters above sea level. Next, visit the historical village of Hokkaido. The village has a unique history and is home to 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating back to the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido developed quickly.  Then, have lunch at Nijo Ichiba Market, with all its delicious seafood. Enjoy a kaisen-don bowl made from freshly-caught seafood, a local specialty. After lunch, visit the Sapporo Beer Museum. Sapporo Beer is one of the best premium beers in Japan. You can taste a reissued version of the beer that was produced 130 years ago.

Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

5. Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

Explore Tokyo in your own way with a private licensed guide. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. If you want to experience authentic local life, the backstreets of Yanaka, Shibamata, Fukagawa, and Asakusa are recommended. This tour feature a morning pickup at your hotel in Tokyo, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the specific places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below.  First stop is the Shibamata neighborhood, where many historical shops can be found. Some have even been there for over a hundred years. It’s a great place to sample some classic Japanese snacks and street food, such as senbei, soy sauce crackers, and chewy rice balls. Next, head to the Yanaka Ginza neighborhood. Even among locals, it’s a lesser-known area that retains its old-Japan charm. Edo-era shops and restaurants line a small shopping street. Though the shops include modern 100-yen stores, there are many handicrafts, ceramics, and street food stores too. If you’ve become a fan of Japanese food during your travels, Kappabashi Street is a place to bring home something to cook or serve your own Japanese food with. Kappabashi is a long street lined with kitchen shops, plus the occasional kitchen clothing or fake food store. Other popular places you could visit on this tour include the Nezu and Sendagi areas, the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and the Asakusa district.

Otaru: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

6. Otaru: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

Discover Otaru’s historical sites, favorite local spots, and hidden gems on a private walking tour with nationally licensed guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour, whose itinerary can be customized to fit your interests. Be introduced to some of the best spots, restaurants, and sweet shops in Otaru, a famous historical city and a popular vacation spot in Hokkaido Take a relaxing stroll through the footpath of the Otaru Canal, the most famous sightseeing spot in Otaru, running through the central area of the city. Taste fresh seafood at Otaru Sankaku Ichiba, a historic triangular market established in 1957. Get a unique souvenir at Otaru Music Box Museum, featuring a brick-clad main building that exudes a nostalgic atmosphere. Feel and touch Otaru craftsmanship at Kitaichi Glass. See the impressive glasswork created here and learn about the company’s history and the important role it played in the city’s fishing industry.

Shizuoka: Private Guided Tour

7. Shizuoka: Private Guided Tour

Explore Shizuoka and Shimizu with a private nationally licensed guide. Choose a 6 or 4-hour tour depending on your schedule and preferences. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. Discover the city of Shizuoka which is home to amazing cuisine, history, culture, and natural beauty. Follow in the footsteps of ancient travelers along the Old Tokaido Road while taking in the majestic views of Mt. Fuji and other natural attractions. Sample 6-hour Itinerary Meet up with your guide at your hotel at 9:00 AM. First visit Nihondaira, a scenic viewpoint where you can enjoy the beautiful views of Mt.Fuji, the town of Shimizu, Shimizu Port, and the Izu Peninsula. Make your way to Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. Explore the complex with its many bright red buildings decorated with gold accents, colorful carvings, and paintings. Afterward, enjoy a traditional lunch at Shimizu Fish Market. After lunch, head to Miho Beach with its picture-perfect views of Mt. Fuji alongside the pine-tree-lined sandy beach. Alternatively, head to the Sunpu Castle, built in the 1600s. End the tour in the middle of the afternoon.

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What people are saying about Hokkaido

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 5 reviews

Asuka was a wonderful guide, very helpful and provided a great selection of activities which I enjoyed very much.