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Sapporo snow festival 2012 4 days travel

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Sapporo snow festival 2012 4 days travel 2011/12/14 13:56
Hi friends,
We would be traveling to Sapporo for the snow festival 2012.We have booked our flights to and fro Chitose airport and booked the accommodation too.
The plan is:
Day1-Otaru-stay (for the gleaming snow lanterns)
Day2-Sapporo Snow festival (including Tsu Dome)
Day3-Day trip to Abarishi
Day4-Sapporo sightseeing

Is this feasible?We specially want the abarishi trip but since the accommodation is booked for sapporo we can manage day trip only.Day 3 and 4 are interchangeable and flexible.
Also please suggest any other recommendations for last 2 days.Return flight is from Chitose at around 6pm.

Thanks and Cheers !

by aame (guest)  

... 2011/12/14 15:00
If you don't mind long train journeys then I guess you can day trip to Abashiri. I assume you only want to see the Ryuho/Drift Ice?

You should use hyperdia to look up train timetables for your specific day. I picked Feb 10.

There's a 7:21am train from Sapporo which gets to Abashiri at 12:46pm
There's a 2pm Aurora cruise boat, the cruise takes around one hour.
There's a 5:18pm train from Abashiri which gets to Sapporo at 10:38pm

That gives you a little bit of extra time in Abashiri, and enough time to wait for and catch the bus from Abashiri station down to the port for the boat and back once you finish. Taxi shouldn't be too expensive either if you prefer.

The Tourist Office at Abashiri Station are very helpful so I'd go there and ask them for any extra info and instructions on where to wait for the bus etc.

I would definitely try and book the tickets on the boat well before you arrive. Don't do it on the day as it may well be sold out! Make sure you allow enough time to get into the port building and queue up before the boat leaves.

We had a really good time in Abashiri, although we did stay overnight.

Also you should allow enough time to see the Snow Festival at night and also to see the Ice sculptures in Susukino too, I think they look better at night also. You can walk from Odori Park (Snow) to Susukino (Ice), or catch the subway.

Enjoy your trip!


by GC3 rate this post as useful

Re: Sapporo snow festival 2012 4 days travel 2011/12/14 15:13
Thanks so much GC3 !!!
I actually was thinking of the same timings and on the same day FEb 10th !!!
So glad to get it assured by you !
Do we have to book the train tickets beforehand? Wherefrom?? We would be arriving Chitose on Feb 8th.

Also how do we book the Aurora ship tickets??

And yes we would see the sculptures at night time too :)

Thanks so very much for ur detailed reply ! U made my day !
Thank u !!

by aame (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/12/15 09:06
Do we have to book the train tickets beforehand? Wherefrom?? We would be arriving Chitose on Feb 8th.

What is your itinerary while in Japan? Are you just flying in from your home country for four days in Hokkaido? You may wish to consider purchasing one of the JR Hokkaido rail passes. For example, the three day pass (15,000yen) is cheaper than a return ticket to Abashiri (18,260yen non-reserved). The three day pass would also cover getting to (or from) Chitose and also travel between Otaru and Sapporo.

You can make bookings for the train to Abashiri at any JR Ticket office (including at Chitose). I'd make the bookings on the day that you arrive in Sapporo.

Also how do we book the Aurora ship tickets??

I have not done it but there seems to be online reservation but only in Japanese.
http://ms-aurora.com/
(Click on Reservations)

Alternatively, you may be able to fax/phone the cruise company directly.
http://ms-aurora.com/abashiri/en/

If you don't manage to book it in advance then you can purchase tickets from the Abashiri Tourist Office at Abashiri station when you arrive. This is what we did, but I think one boat was full so we had to go on a later boat and that one was actually very close to full capacity too, so we got a bit lucky! It didn't worry us too much as we were staying overnight so could have possibly gone the following day also, but your schedule is much tighter and you can basically only take the 2pm cruise. You may be able to take the 3:30pm cruise if you catch a taxi from the port back to the station but that would be cutting it too fine for my liking!

Try the Japanese reservation page. If you get stuck and google translate is not helping post here and someone who reads Japanese should be able to help you!

And yes we would see the sculptures at night time too :)

Good, it has a great atmosphere at night time.

Thanks so very much for ur detailed reply ! U made my day !
Thank u !!

No worries at all, hope you have a great time there!

by GC3 rate this post as useful

Re: Sapporo snow festival 2012 4 days travel 2011/12/15 11:45
Thanks so much GC3 !!!
I guess the JR pass is only for foreigners on short trips but we would be be visiting from Tokyo.
Thanks for all the info about the reservations..made my job much easier and clear !
Thank u so very much ! :) :)
Have a great day and many good cheer for the festive season !!

Cheers,
Aame.

by aame (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/12/15 12:50
Thanks so much GC3 !!!

No worries!

I guess the JR pass is only for foreigners on short trips but we would be be visiting from Tokyo.

Yes, that's correct.

In that case I'm not sure if you are aware of some of the other "Economical tickets" available from JR Hokkaido. There's a Sapporo - Abashiri return for 16,400 yen

http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/pticket/pticket03.html

Make sure you check all the limitations and possibly ask at the travel agency/ticket office about booking the specific trains with these tickets. I'm not too familiar with them but there's more info on the above website.

Thanks for all the info about the reservations..made my job much easier and clear !
Thank u so very much ! :) :)
Have a great day and many good cheer for the festive season !!

Season greetings to you as well!

by GC3 rate this post as useful

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