Private jet charter and flights to Asahikawa
The second-largest city on Hokkaidō, Japan’s northernmost island, Asahikawa is often dismissed as a gateway to nearby tourist hotspots and skiing resorts. However this vibrant winter wonderland has plenty to offer as a standalone holiday destination, from gourmet cuisine and eclectic attractions to breathtaking natural scenery. Experience it all: request a private jet charter quote from Air Charter Service.
If you’re visiting in early February, don’t miss the elaborate ice and snow sculptures at the Asahikawa Winter Festival, which are beautifully illuminated at night. Another icy attraction is the magical Snow Crystal Museum, a fantastical homage to snowflakes where you can walk down a corridor of ice and peruse hundreds of spellbinding photos of mystical snow crystals. Afterwards, head to the nearby Manyo no Yu springs and unwind in the open-air bath and sauna or admire stunning views while crossing the suspension bridge at Kamuikotan, a scenic valley held sacred by the indigenous Ainu people.
Discover the history of saké-making at the award-winning Otokoyama Brewery, where you can enjoy tastings and purchase special edition bottles of Japan’s famous rice wine, and spend a peaceful afternoon admiring the colourful blooms of Ueno Farm, where pretty English-style gardens are dotted with stone gnomes. Set aside a day to stroll through ‘Arashiyama of the North’, a charming hilltop neighbourhood where local craftspeople run workshops. Here you can create your own souvenir using a handmade potter’s wheel at Taisetsugama, the region’s oldest pottery studio.
Asahikawa’s main shopping street is Kaimono Koen, where you’ll find several department stores including Seibu, which stocks designer brands including Louis Vuitton and Chanel, and Okuno, which boasts an excellent gourmet food hall. The city is famous for its artisanal wooden furniture, hand-weaving and pottery, so be sure to browse the many craft shops for a unique memento of your trip.
Asahikawa has a reputation as a gourmet haven and you’ll find countless fantastic restaurants serving freshly-prepared delicacies made with organic local ingredients. Sit cross-legged on tatami mats with a steaming bowl of the city’s famous ramen soup in one of the Japanese barbecue restaurants, tuck into the freshest sushi at Niko and try the popular crab omelette at Kiyomoto Izakaya, an authentic Japanese-style pub.
The city’s most luxurious hotel is Asahikawa Grand Hotel, a European-style base with pampering spa and fine-dining restaurant. There is also an array of ryokans (traditional guesthouses) – try Ryokan Sensyoen, which offers sleek ensuite rooms, warm hospitality and an excellent noodle restaurant where soba noodles are freshly-made using local buckwheat flour.
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