Review Hokkaido tour package by Singapore tour agencies

Hokkaido, it is a popular destination among Singaporeans spending their Christmas holiday. I plan to spend my coming Christmas (which is 10 more months to go) in Hokkaido and I've decided to do it free and easy.

Here is a comparison between packaged tour among different agencies and my free & easy itinerary.

Dynasty Travel
8D6N Southern & Central Hokkaido JSCH8, $3123 (inclusive of $185 airport taxes) twin sharing (Japan Airlines), covers Sapporo, Hakodate, Lake Toya, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Tomamu

EU Holidays
8D6N Winter Hokkaido Ski Resort, no price information, twin sharing, covers Sapporo, Hakodate, Lake Toya, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Sounkyo, Asahikawa

ASA Holiday
7D5N Hokkaido Winter Tour JHKD7N, no price information, twin sharing, covers Sapporo, Lake Toya, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Chitose

CTC Travel
7D5N Hokkaido Winter Wonderland JP7WW, $2488 (inclusive of $200 airport taxes) twin sharing (Japan Airlines), covers Sapporo, Otaru, Noboribetsu (or Lake Toya), Rusutsu/ Niseko, Chitose

My itinerary
9D8N, $3500-$4000 (inclusive of all expenses) twin sharing (ANA or JAL), covers Sapporo, Hakodate, Lake Toya, Otaru, Noboribetsu, Niseko

Package prices shown above exclude ... 
  • Snow activity and ski lesson expenses, lift ticket, rental of ski gear 
  • Shopping expenses
  • No hot spring experience in famous onsen town Noboribetsu, except Dynasty Travel (onsen at Lake Toya) and EU Holidays (Sounkyo onsen resort)
  • Not staying in traditional Japanese inn  
  • Tipping (can be as expensive as SGD400 per person)

Similarities among these packages 
  • All fly from Singapore to Hokkaido largest airport, Chitose CTS and airline is usually Japan Airlines which requires a transit at Tokyo, some may need to stay a night in Tokyo. All tours leaving Hokkaido via Sapporo Chitose airport. 
  • Visit to different museums, different factories and premium outlet

Meal plan
  • Dynasty Travel 8D6N: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunch, 5 dinners (remaining 5 meals on your own)
  • EU Holidays 8D6N: 6 breakfasts, 4 lunch, 5 dinners (remaining 6 meals on your own)
  • ASA Holidays 7D5N: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunch, 3 dinners (remaining 7 meals on your own)
  • CTC Travel 7D5N: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 3 dinners (remaining 7 meals on your own)

Special treats
  • Dynasty Travel 8D6N: Hoshino ski resort, visit to chocolate factory, konbu/ whisky/ music box museums
  • EU Holidays 8D6N: snowmobile adventure, Sounkyo waterfall, ski tour (unknown place), visit to sake museum, premium outlet
  • ASAHolidays 7D5N: Marine Park at Noboribetsu, Doraemon Waku Waku sky park, Asari ski resort, visit to white lover cookies chocolate factory, crystal museum, premium outlet
  • CTC Travel 7D5N: Rusutsu/ Niseko ski resort, visit to white lover cookies chocolate/ beer factory, shiraoi ainu/ music box museum, premium outlet
Shiroi Koibito Park (white lover cookies factory) - 9am - 6pm
Otaru music box museum - 9am - 6pm
Ainu museum - 8:45am - 5pm
Chitose premium outlet - 10am - 7pm

My own free & easy tour
  • Budget SGD3500 - 4000/pax (inclusive of airport tax)
  • 9D8N (including travel time), direct flight (via Tokyo) by JAL, no overnight stay in Tokyo
  • 1 night stay in luxury ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) with private open air onsen (hot spring) bath, ryokan room size (85m2) is as big as a smaller unit of 4 room HDB flat! 
  • 1 night stay in traditional Japanese onsen hotel with private open air onsen  
  • 2 nights of kaiseki dinner (Japanese multi course cuisine with appetizer, sashimi, grilled dish, meat dish, tempura, dessert and etc)
  • 2 mornings of Japanese breakfast with rice, miso, grilled fish, veggie and etc
  • 2 days skiing in Japan's most famous powder snow ski resort, Grand Hirafu
  • No visit to factories and museums and premium outlets. I'm not into all these but I will still visit 1 or 2 like that, maybe the Sapporo beer museum
  • NTUC travel insurance

Actually I wanted to book air ticket now but my baby is coming to see this world in April so I think I should hold the plan and proceed with the planning in June instead.

Read here to find out more about my itinerary.

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