5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

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  • Location:Sapporo, Japan
  • Duration:4.5 hrs (approx.) - Morning Tour  4 hrs (approx.) - Afternoon Tour

Ice Fishing on Barato River from Sapporo

Participate in one of Hokkaido’s most popular winter activities: ice fishing for smelt on the frozen Barato River. This seasonal half-day tour includes a fishing guide who provides your equipment (just bring your winter clothes) and then prepares your catch into tasty tempura. After a restaurant lunch (morning tour only) you have the option to be dropped off at a nearby onsen (hot spring) or return to Sapporo station by coach.

Please note: This tour is seasonal and runs yearly between January and March. The date is subject to change.


  • Smelt ice fishing on the Barato River of Hokkaido
  • Spend a winter morning or afternoon fishing for smelt on the frozen river
  • Follow a guide’s instructions while dropping a fishing line into a hole in the ice
  • See fresh fish transformed into a delicious tempura snack
  • Enjoy a Japanese-style lunch at a local restaurant (if morning option selected)
  • Snow pants and snow boots available upon request
  • Coach or taxi transport from Sapporo with optional drop-off at an onsen

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

Two hours of ice fishing (and tempura tasting) on the frozen river makes your winter holiday a truly unforgettable one in Sapporo.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Ice Fishing on Barato River from Sapporo

Ice Fishing on Barato River from Sapporo

Choose from a morning or afternoon tour. After your coach picks you up from Sapporo station, it’s just a 30-minute drive to the Barato River, which freezes into a sizable snowfield in winter. When you arrive, join in on this favorite Hokkaido pastime for more than two hours of fun.

Follow your guide across the frozen river and into a fishing tent to receive instructions on how to catch as many smelt as you can. Pull up a stool, carve a hole through the ice, drop your fishing line into the water. Once you reel in some of the tiny fish, pop them in a pan to deep fry — Japanese style. Your guide takes over, preparing wakasagi (tempura) for you to sample right out of the hot oil.

If you selected the morning tour, you're then accompanied to a restaurant for a lunch of local foods.

Your half-day tour ends with drop-off at Sapporo station. Alternatively, you can be taken to Gateaux Kingdom Sapporo Hotel and Spa Resort (own expense). This luxurious onsen includes salt saunas and your choice of nine baths of various sizes, including an open-air, natural hot-spring bath. If you go, make use of a complimentary shuttle service that transfers you from the facility to Sapporo station.

Click on "View Additional Info" for the meeting location.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Great tour guides, very patient and enthusiastic, they would not rest without helping everyone catch at least one smelt, very fun activity for all ages, i would definitely recommend!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

This was a heck of a lot of fun while aimed at a more Japanese audience the guide was very helpful in explaining what was going on in English after the main group. The fisherman that where doing the demonstrations where very helpful and enthusiastic. And the day was interesting and fun. I recommend this to everyone as an experience to try. One recommendation bring an extra pair of socks or maybe two or three..... that ice is cold.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Great experience. Friendly tour guide.

From USD $ 60.05

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Tour code: 6614SPK19248


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