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Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/3/29 01:09

I am planning a trip to Hokkaido mid August for me and my partner. This is our third time in Japan but first in Hokkaido. So I might need your expertise.

We will fly from Hong Kong and I am planning to use Sapporo as our base to go explore around before moving on to other places afterwards. We are interested in seeing the sites (nature...) but I am not sure what are the best places to visit at this time of year. We also love to try new food and love a nice onsen, but we wonft have a car so we will be using public transports or tours.

So far this is what I thought:

Day 1: Fly from HK and stay at Sapporo

Day 2: day trip Furano and Biei (either organised trip or by ourselves)

Day 3: day trip to Otaru

Day 4: day in Sapporo or in the area (any other places worth a visit?)

Day 5: travel to Noboribtseu Onsen. Stay at Dai-Ichi Takimotokan.

Day 6: travel to Hakodate. Look at the night view.

Day 7: Fly back to HK

What do you think about this itinerary? Am I missing anything worth seeing/should I replace something?

Do you have any recommendation where to stay in Sapporo (something nice but not too expensive)? Are there any nice Onsen places I should include?

Thanks a lot in advance.
by Sphax2  

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/3/29 07:39
Mid August is the busiest season for Sapporo and surrounding areas (including Furano, Noboribetsu, Hakodate etc). Could you consider late August? It will be less crowded and you will find more affordable rate for accommodations. Especially you should avoid "Obon" days (13th to 15th).

You don't list mountain/seashore such as Daisetsuzan, Shikotsuko, Shakotan and Niseko. If you take a car, they will be easily accessed.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/3/31 06:09
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. As far as transport is concerned I would rather use public transports as I donft really want to rent a car if possible.

I cannot really change dates unfortunately but I will avoid those 3 days.

After reading a bit more about the different places I think I might give Otaru a miss. It seems a bit underwhelming and I have already seen many canals.

I think I might be better off switching to somewhere else. One of your suggestions seems attractive. Lake Toya is also a possibility but hard to get to unless I book an onsen which has a free shuttle (I think I read there are some).
by Sphax2 rate this post as useful

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/3/31 07:41
For what it's worth, I liked Otaru a lot. There's a lot of great shops that we stumbled upon that you don't get a sense of from looking through TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet. I went on the first day of the snow lantern festival and it was SO CROWDED. I'd love to go back on a sleepier day. You don't have to spend the whole day there, but from Sapporo it's no trouble getting there, so maybe don't rule it out completely.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/3/31 20:40
Please excuse my poor English.
I used to live in Sapporo.
If you are going to Hakodate, you may not need to spend a lot of time for sightseeing in Otaru.
Because both Hakodate and Otaru are old port towns, and there are many things in common.

I recommend traveling to Lake Toya.
I have been to Toya Lake several times and it is a very good sightseeing spot.
To get to Toyako Onsen from Sapporo , take a bus in the afternoon.
Besides, there seems to be a way to use a bus or taxi from JR Toya station.
h**ps: //
If you choose the lake side of the hotel room, you can see the fireworks on the lake from the room at night.
The next morning cruise to the island in the lake is very good.
After that, go to Showa Shinzan and climb Mount Usu with a ropeway.
You can see the volcano closely.

Have a nice trip!
by eichan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/4/2 06:23
Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of going to Lake Toya as this would give us the opportunity to sample some nice onsen. However to enjoy it (cruise, ropeway...) and not feel rushed I would need to spend 2 nights there. This could work if I sent one less night in Sapporo and missed either Otaru or Furano. Will there still be some nice flowers to see mid August in Furano?

As for Toyako onsen, have you got any suggestions where to stay? Of course the Nonokaze resort looks amazing but this is a bit out of my price range if I send 2 nights there. Which other nice hotel with onsen would you recommend?
by Sphax2 rate this post as useful

Re: Hokkaido Itinerary advice 2018/4/4 00:25
So after a bit more reading this is the itinerary I have so far:

Tuesday 14th August:
Land and go to Sapporo. I plan to book an Airbnb apartment not far from Susukino for restaurant and night life.

Wednesday 15th August
Book tour to Furano. I will be a bit jet lagged so a tour might be easier especially as I will be using public transports. This one looks ok.

Thursday 16th August
Go to Josankei from Sapporo. Possible tour:

Friday 17th August
Half a day in Otaru. Seafood at the market and maybe a rickshaw tour. Then back to Sapporo.

Saturday 18th August
Morning: Travel to Noboribetsu. Stay at Dai-Ichi Takimotokan.
Afternoon: walk through Hell Valley and Noboribetsu onsen town. Onsen and dinner at the hotel.

Sunday 19th August
Morning: Travel to Lake Toya. This seem to be a bit painful. Bus to JR station. JR to Toya Station. Then bus to Toya Lake.
Ideally I would like to stay at Pension Ohno but it seem a bit far from the bus terminal (35 min)as it is on the way to the ropeway. Taxi could be possible.
Afternoon: ropeway

Monday 20th August
From Pension Ohno. Go to Toya Lake center. Take ferry to island and discover island.
Then Onsen at Toya Kanko Hotel. Then back to Pension Ohno. I have seen people saying that they had to walk on the road to get there from town but I am assuming that there must be a path next to the lake we can take if we donft have luggage.

Tuesday 21th August
Back to JR station for JR to Hakodate. Stay in hotel near the market. Spend the afternoon at Goryokaku. Then at night ropeway and views of Hadokate.

Wednesday 22nd August
Day in Hakodate. Morning market for seafood.
Discover the city. Possibly a last onsen. Any recommendations?

Thursday 23rd August
Fligh back

Any thoughts on this itinerary? I am now keen on everything on there but I am afraid I am trying to do too much and it will be too tiring. The other option would be not to go to Hakodate and to extend my stay in Sapporo and Noboribetsu one more day each.

I used HyperDia to calculate the cost of all the travelling bubble JR but unless I got it wrong it seems cheaper not to get the card, which I find surprising. In that case should I buy all the tickets when arriving at the airport on the first day?

Thanks for all your help.
by Sphax2 rate this post as useful

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