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Self drive Hokkaido West

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Self drive Hokkaido West 2010/4/8 20:56
Planning a trip to Hokkaido in late June, have 8 days, 7 nights, arriving Chitose and returning from Hokadote.

Any suggestion on itinerary?

This is what I was thinking so far:
1-Tokyo-Saporo
2-Saporo-Otaru
3-Otaru
4-Lake Toya
5-Noboribetsu
6-Noboribetsu
7-Hokadote
8-Hokadote-Tokyo

How does it look? Any other suggestions?

by NachoJapan  

Furano/Biei 2010/4/10 11:37
Consider going to Furano/Biei area for the flower fields, esp. the lavender.

http://www.furano.ne.jp/furabi/english/flower.htm

by William5 rate this post as useful

adding Furano 2010/4/10 23:42
OK, so adding Furano to the route, how does is look?

1-Arrive Chitose - Furano/Bei
2-Bei - Saporo
3-Saporo - Otaru
4-Lake Toya
5-Noboribetsu
6-Noboribetsu
7-Hakodote
8-Hakodote-Tokyo

Would you do 3 days around Lake Toya-Noboribersu of just 2 days based in Lake Noboribetsu or Lake Toya would be enough? Then add one more day in Hakodate?

by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

some thoughts 2010/4/11 01:21
How long to stay at each destination is really up to individual preference. For me 3 days around Lake Toya and Noboribetsu sounds a bit too much, unless you enjoy onsen.

Asahikawa further north from Biei is worth considering, but it would mean more time spent on driving going up and coming back down south.

From Otaru, consider driving west along the scenic coastal road all the way to spectacular Cape Kamui. Time allowed, also include an interesting cherry u-pick excursion in the area around Yoichi.

by William5 rate this post as useful

... 2010/4/11 17:03
Thanks for the feedback so far. So it might be better to just stay 2 days around Lake Toya-Noboribetsu. I am travelling with a 3 year old and long drives might be a challenge.Will you add one more day somewhere is this route or add the suggestion and go to Kamui Cape? or do a couple of days around Otaru and do Yoichi?

1-Arrive Chitose - Furano/Bei
2-Bei - Saporo
3-Saporo - Otaru
4-Kamui Cape
5-Lake Toya
6-Noboribetsu
7-Hakodote
8-Hakodote-Tokyo

Or would you skip Noboribetsu and just do some onsen around Lake Toya?

Thanks

by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

Hakodate? 2010/4/11 18:14
Would you advice skipping Hakodate and spending more time around Furano or Saporo?
by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

some more thoughts 2010/4/12 03:13
All the places in your list are worth going. It is hard to decide what to or not to include! Here are some more thoughts:

If you are picking your rental car in either Chitose or Sapporo, driving down to Hakodate may involve a steep drop-off fee.

Otaru is small and its major sites can be toured in less than a day just by walking.

From Otaru it is only 30 min drive to Yoichi with another hour to Cape Kamui, so both can be done in a day.

For Lake Toya and Noboribetsu, we just spent a night in Lake Toya and did a side trip to Noboritbetsu in the daytime.

With a 3-year old, I would re-iterate the suggestion of going to Asahikawa. Asahikawa has a very interesting zoo which I think children will love. In town is the Ramen Mura where my wife said she had the best ramen in Hokkaido. To cool off the summer heat, you can visit the Snow Crystal Museum/Snow Gallery. If you use the expressway, Asahikawa is less than 2 hr drive from Sapporo and only 40 min from Biei

For driving in Hokkaido, you can use the following to get an idea of the estimated distance and time:
http://northern-road.jp/navi/eng/index.htm

by William5 rate this post as useful

... 2010/4/12 17:31
Based on your suggestion and the most likely car drop-off fee in Hakodate I am considering skiping it and instead add one more day somewhere else by just arriving and leaving from Chitose. May be adding more time in Furano area and reach to Akasikawa? More time in Saporo?

by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

... 2010/4/12 18:29
If you add Furano/Asahikawa, I strongly recommend to fly into Asahikawa Airport and leave through Hakodate Airport or the other way around and visit Sapporo along the way in between.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Furano and Biei 2010/4/12 22:18
If you like flowers and the great outdoor, do spend more time in Furano and Biei area. Start from the south and go to Kanayama-ko in the Minami Furano area. It has the only lavender fields in Furano with a lake as its backdrop. Then work yourself up north to Furano, Nara Furano, Kamifurano and then the Panoramic Road and Patchwork Road in Biei. My wife loves flowers, hence we spent 3 days in these areas.
by William5 rate this post as useful

>>> 2010/4/14 17:48
Finally changed return airport to Chitose and will skip Hakodate to add more time in Furano/Biei area.

1. Furano/Biei
2. Furano/Biei/Asahikawa
3. Saporo
4. Otaru, Yoichi, Kamui Cape
5. Lake Toya, Noboribetsu
6. Lake Toya, Noboribetsu
7. Shikotsu lake area close to Chitose Airport (have an early return flight)


Anything recommended bewteen Kamui Cape and Laya Toya?

For Furano, is it better to be based in Furano and drive around the area, rather than change hotels?

Do you know any place interesting to see and stay close to Chitose Airport? Have an early return flight and would like to be close so we don't have to rush in the morning.

Thanks

by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

more thoughts 2010/4/14 21:26
We stayed in both Furano and Biei to avoid backtracking. We travelled light and with a car we did not mind changing hotels. But it is understandable that most will rather stay in one place to avoid packing and unpacking everyday.

If you have spare time after Shakotan Peninsula, consider going to Jozankei Onsen before going down to Lake Toya.

It looks a bit tight to visit Otaru, Yoichi/Niki and Cape Kamui in just one day. The drive from Otaru to Cape Kamui though only take 1.5 hr, has some en-route stops along the coast for various spectacular rock formations. Also upon arriving you still have to walk 15-20 min out to the Cape for the beautiful view.

We did not stay in Chitose, so could not recommend anything around the area. We went straight to the airport from Sapporo. What we did was to arrive at the airport early and after checking in, took a 10 min free shuttle from the airport to go to the Rera Outlet Mall, did some shopping and had lunch before going back to the airport for a noon flight back home. The outlet mall is open 10.00-20.00 and may prove difficult if you have a morning flight.

by William5 rate this post as useful

Otaru, Yoichi/Niki and Cape Kamui 2010/4/15 14:28
Would you recomend Otaru, Yoichi/Niki one day and then leave for Cape Kamui in the morning the day after? Then from Cape Kamui start driving down to Lake Toya?
by NachoJapan rate this post as useful

yes .... or 2010/4/15 20:11
Yes, it would be less rush.

Or on the first day go to Cape Kamui first and see how much time can be spared for the day. Besides the various rock formations along the coastal road Rte 229, the Shimamui Coast/Shakotan Cape just before Cape Kamui is also worth a look. Upon arriving you have to walk a short one-man high pedestrian tunnel to the shore cliff, and if you want, you can walk down to the coastal beach through a winding path. And as I said in my last post, you still need walking time in Cape Kamui. After you finish touring the Shakotan Peninsula and if you still have a whole afternoon, use it for Otaru. If a couple of hours are only left, do the cherry u-pick in Yoichi/Niki. Either way the next day you can have a more relax drive down to Lake Toya and possibly include a short visit to Jozankei Onsen before bedding down in Lake Toya.

by William5 rate this post as useful

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