5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

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  • Location:Sapporo, Japan
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Small-Group Mt Tarumae Hike with Japanese Onsen from Sapporo

From May to November, take a full-day trip from Sapporo to discover the natural wonders of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. You’ll embark on a moderate 4-hour hike to Mount Tarumae to experience the stunning landscape, including the breathtaking Lake Shikotsu. After your descent, take a refreshing dip in a series of indoor and outdoor baths with views of Lake Shikotsu as a backdrop. Numbers are limited to 12 people on this seasonal tour, ensuring an intimate experience with a small group.

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


  • Hokkaido day trip including mountain hike and onsen from Sapporo
  • Follow your experienced guide on a 4-hour hike up Mt Tarumae
  • Enjoy great photo ops of picturesque Lake Shikotsu, the lava dome and nearby Mt Fuppishi
  • Soak your aches away in hot springs during your 1-hour onsen experience
  • Walking poles and round-trip hotel transport included
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people ensures a personalized experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Mt Tarumae Hike with Japanese Onsen from Sapporo

Small-Group Mt Tarumae Hike with Japanese Onsen from Sapporo

Your full-day trip begins with transport from your Sapporo hotel to western Hokkaido, where Mount Tarumae towers above the shores of Lake Shikotsu. This 1.2-mile (2-km) hike on the active volcano offers stunning views of the lake below, as well as the rare chance to see a lava dome.

Before embarking on your 4-hour guided hike on the mountain, stop at a convenience store to purchase lunch to take along with you. You can leave any extra clothing or equipment in the van. From the restroom facilities at the trailhead, your guide takes your small group along a mountain trail. You immediately gain altitude, but your provided walking poles and a series of wooden steps should make the approximate 10-minute ascent easier. Once you reach a small clearing, admire your surroundings: gorgeous Lake Shikotsu, a steeply rising Mt Fuppishi, and the conical peak of Mt Tarumae.

From here, the well-maintained trail cuts across the eastern edge of the volcano for another 30 minutes. En route, your guide points out flora such as azaleas and Japanese snow flowers in bloom. Upon arrival at the peak, soak up spectacular views of the lake and the formidable Mt Yotei (Hokkaido Fuji) as you enjoy an hour for lunch around midday.

Perhaps the most impressive view is the smoldering lava dome rising from the crater’s rim. The active volcano is under constant surveillance by the Japan Meteorological Agency, and your expert guide knows what to do in the unlikely event of an eruption.

Once you reach the 3,353 feet (1,022 m) in elevation, begin your descent on Mt Tarumae. At the bottom, head back to the parking lot and drive to the nearby Marukoma Onsen near Lake Shikotsu. This onsen features hot springs located right at the water source, so no pipes are needed to bring the water to the pools. Only a handful of onsen restarts in Japan have this feature.

Your guide explains onsen etiquette and the features of the bathing facility such as the lockers for your belongings. Then you’re free to choose how to make the most of your time soaking those weary muscles over the course of the next hour.

Indoors, dip into the big pool or lounge in a hot bath. Or head outdoors to the rotenburu baths, which are divided by gender. Enjoy views of Lake Shikotsu as you soak. You can also relax in the common area, play in the game arcade or browse the souvenir shop.

Afterward, take a seat on the minibus as you are transported back to your hotel in Sapporo.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

It was a great hike! All around us was lush greenery and rolling hills. Very soothing to experience the hot springs after the hike. Suki and the driver were a great team and they made our journey very enjoyable!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This trip was a highlight. The weather made the climb difficult as the wind nearly blew us off the mountain, but the guides were exceptionally good and focused on safety at all times. We enjoyed the commentary about the area and the history on the trip to the mountain and felt we learnt a lot about Hokkaido in particular and Japanese culture in general as our guides were able to answer our many questions. Thanks Sumi and Shinta!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

I just followed my older bro to this hike expecting nothing much, but am glad he took me. It was a fun hike with a beautiful scenery! Guides were friendly and knowledgeable about the mountain and surrounding areas. He gave us good restaurant suggestions. Thanks bro!

Frank W
United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

My brother and I went on this tour in May and was fantastic!! We were looking for a easy hike near Sapporo for one - burn some calories after eating too much delicious Hokkaido food, for two - enjoy the beautiful nature not too far away from the center of Sapporo (tight schedule! ) Then, we found this one! We were taken by the beautiful view from the bottom to the top of the mountain! Also, dipping into a natural hot spring after the hike was just perfect.
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Tour code: 6401SPKTRECK


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