Winter is the best season for hot air ballooning in Hokkaido as the snow covered landscapes allow for longer free-flights directed by nothing more than the wind. Furano Valley remains the premier destination for early-morning free-flights from December to March.
Tethered, short-duration hot air balloon flights are available in the spring, summer & fall seasons, with operators in Niseko, Furano, Tomamu & Eastern Hokkaido flying daily when the weather cooperates. The Hot Air Balloon Festival in Eastern Hokkaido in August is a main drawcard for Hokkaido's ballooning enthusiasts.
Hot Air Ballooning
The experience of flying in a hot air balloon over the stunning Hokkaido scenery is unforgettable. While flights are available all year around, only winter season offers a convenient free-flight experience on daily, early morning departures. Flights soaring along the Southern Daisetsuzan Range high above Furano Valley last 30-40 minutes and depart daily when the weather cooperates. A magical Diamond Dust effect on particularly cold days can be observed when super dry snow crystals remain suspended in the air. Free-flights are also available during the drift ice season along the Sea of Okhotsk, a truly memorable way to see the rare natural phenomenon of drift ice.
In the spring, summer & fall months, hot air ballooning is mostly limited to short-duration tethered-flights, which are an inexpensive and less intimidating introduction to hot air ballooning. Top operators can be found in Tomamu, Tokachigawa Onsen, Furano & Niseko. We'll help you choose a hot air balloon operator according to the season and location to best fit the parameters of your custom-made tour.
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Address: 005-0842 Japan, Hokkaido, Sapporo, Minami-ku, Ishiyama 2-6 7-83
Hokkaido Travel License No.: 3-718
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