Introducing the Ultimate Indulgences Expeditions the Sapporo Edition
Jan 1st, 2020
The Ultimate Indulgences Expeditions is a series of five thoughtfully curated travel experiences — across Kyoto, Sapporo, Ishikawa and Wakayama — organized by the Japan Luxury Travel Alliance. Each singular experience showcases trends in wellness and gastronomy, from inspired innovations and rediscovered ancient traditions, found in some of the country’s finest establishments.
For centuries, the remote, mountainous northern island of Hokkaido and its magnificent, Lord of the Rings-type scenery was first inhabited by indigenous Ainu tribes, a people with a rich culture of fishing and a deep, spiritual connection to the water. Back then, the land was called Ezo province. By 1869 the island was christened “Hokkaido”, meaning “northern sea route”. A major trading hub, the city now boasts a population of over two million people and is home to a plethora of excellent restaurants — from ramen joints to cozy izakaya dens and Michelin-starred eateries — plus bars, shopping districts and festivals.
In Hokkaido, the seasons are a striking contrast to other parts of Japan. In the province’s ethereal winters, the land becomes a patchwork quilt of frozen lakes, fields blanketed in layers of snow and pine forests dusted in ice. Summers, meanwhile, are cooler than other parts of Japan, and lure in millions of tourists there to enjoy the region’s lush, fertile farmland and hiking through its vast national parks.
Just a 50-minute, scenic drive from downtown Sapporo lies the charming town of Jozankei. This healing mecca is one of Japan’s finest destinations for hot spring bathing, and there are now a number of luxurous onsens (open-air bathing facilities) and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) to visit.
- The newly opened, beautiful Kasho Gyoen puts a stylish, modern spin on the traditional Japanese inn, with a cutting-edge design, a speakeasy and a top quality spa
- Striking Kuriya Suizan is a study in Japanese minimalist design, but it’s pièce de résistance is its acclaimed contemporary kaiseki restaurant
- Surround yourself with nature at the gorgeous ryokan Tsuruga Resort Spa Mori no Uta (its name translates to “sonnet of the forest”) which boasts stunning views of the natural landscape outside
Hokkaido is renowned for its top-quality and diverse bounty of produce and seafood, from herring to sea urchin and snow crab; it’s therefore no surpise that some of the finest cuisine is served in Sapporo:
- With its beautiful blonde wood fit-out, Sekkatei is a stalwart on the Sapporo dining scene, renowned for its sublime seafood dishes — in particular its array of sweet and succulent crab
- Now with a Michelin star, the innovative fine diner Takao fuses Italian cooking styles and methods with fresh Hokkaido produce and indigenous Ainu ingredients
- Brasserie Coron with LE CREUSET serves up hearty French comfort fare using 100% local ingredients — even the bread is baked with Hokkaido wheat and meals can be washed down with a local pinot noir or rosé
From sumptuous meals to restorative retreats, follow your bliss in Sapporo
The Japan Luxury Travel Alliance introduces discriminating travelers to one-of-a-kind and thoughtfully crafted experiences, featuring some of the most revered establishments in wellness and gastronomy. Each six-day experience comprises a carefully crafted daily itinerary for an unforgettable dining and wellness holiday.
About Japan Luxury Travel Alliance
Formed in 2016, the Japan Luxury Travel Alliance (JLTA) is a group of several Japanese localities, each offering unique and inspired experiences in luxury travel. The members of the alliance are: Kyoto, one of Japan’s leading historical and cultural destinations; the city of Sapporo, renowned for its fine, powder-like snow; Ishikawa Prefecture, where the fascinating samurai culture endures to this day; and Wakayama Prefecture, home of Mt Koya and the spiritual trail known as the Kumado Kodo. The group’s objectives are to collaborate on delivering consistently high quality travel experiences and to promote Japan as an ideal destination for luxury travelers from around the world. The Ultimate Indulgences Expeditions Series is a project with curated content by luxury travel specialists members of Japan Luxury Travel Alliance project.
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About Bear Luxe Japan
Bear Luxe Japan is a network of the country's leading luxury travel suppliers dedicated to providing bespoke travel experiences with a human touch. Our industry-first digital portal seamlessly connects buyers and sellers at a one-stop window for marketing materials, negotiations, reservations and payments. Our goal is to contribute to the creation of meaningful luxury travel experiences that support the further development of Japanese culture and tradition and sustain local industries.