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Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 09:34
Hi

I am planning a trip to Japan in Late April for 10 days. My plan is to fly into Osaka and stay in Kyoto for 2 days. We will then rent a car and over the next 5 days drive to Sapporo up the west coast of Japan, then spend the last 3 days exploring Hokkaido after which we will fly home from Sapporo. The main purpose of this trip is Photography.

My question is where would you recommend stopping off on the drive from Kyoto to Sapporo (West Coast Road) spread out over a 5 day period??

Thanks

Neil
by Neil David Williams (guest)  

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 10:34
I just don't see the plan as realistic or practical - you are talking about driving over 1500 km, paying stiff tollway fares, fuel, and rental charges - not to mention some probably killer drop off charges since you are getting rid of the car a long, long way from where you are renting it. And there are far fewer interesting places to see on the west side compared to the east side of Honshu. You could use several expressway passes etc, but money is not the only issue - time matters as well, and unless you really want to go someplace that you can't by train, it doesn't appear to make sense.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 13:15
Please don't take this the wrong way Nell, but you do realize many rental car companies won't let you take a car between Honshu and Hokkaido. (Like Toyota) Have you spent some time finding a rental car for your dates?

Driving from Kyoto to Aomori and dropping your car there you would be paying almost 40,000 yen as a drop off fee on top of your rental car fee. You would also need to pay tolls, gas, and get from Aomori to Sapporo.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 13:41
I would use trains if traveling over a few days along the west coast of Tohoku.

Lots of islands, beaches and cliffs to point the lens at.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 13:54
Wefve changed our plans. We will now fly into Sapporo and explore Hokkaido for 10 days by rental car.
Thank Neil
by Neil D Williams (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 15:51
I donft know about limitations of rental companies but if PP has that experience check it.

However driving by car in only 5 days from Kyoto to Sapporo sounds, to put it mildly, crazy. It is over 1500 km which per google maps driving alone will already be 22 h, plus ferry. So only from a straight driving perspective you are looking at 4,5 h driving every day. And this doesnft bring you close to any place youfll like to visit. Realistically youfll be sitting behind the wheel each day for about 6 h!
By train the entire distance takes you 11 h. Which obviously depending on where you actually want to go and take your pictures will also be much longer.

Conclusion: I think you need to plan out your itinerary in more detail and look at how feasible it is to do all this in 5 days as well as time on transport vs sightseeing. To me 5 days to see everything between Kyoto and Sapporo is just way too little. Maybe 10 days could work (still quick pace though). However it depends on what you want to see. Eg by train
Day 1 Fuji
Day 2 Hiraizumi
Day 3 Towadako
Day 4 Hakodate
Day 5 Sapporo
Could be doable. Very , very rushed but doable.

Enjoy planning your trip!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 15:54

Wefve changed our plans. We will now fly into Sapporo and explore Hokkaido for 10 days by rental car.

I am relieved to hear this.

Enjoy your trip to Hokkaido!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/22 23:18
Just a question to others in the forum - has the snow cleared by late April in Hokkaido or will most of the island be covered in Icy roads???
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kyoto to Sapporo 2019/3/23 00:51
Honestly, I think it would vary by year and location. I've not been to Hokkaido this time of year (I went October '09) but at the start of Golden Week '09 I went to "Jesus' Grave" and got caught in a blizzard. The road had just newly opened for the year. I also later took a bus via Expressway from Tsuruoka to Yamagata and the mountains along the expressway were covered in snow. So if OP was planning to drive from Hakodate to Sapporo, I am sure it is fine, but if they're planning to visit areas that have just opened post Winter closure, there could definitely still be snow and/or ice.

I've never actually rented a car in Japan before, but I spent some time putting in Kyoto and Sapporo which is how I found out a few companies don't allow one way rentals from Honshu to Hokkaido. It makes sense, it would cost a small fortune to get the car back to Honshu.
by rkold rate this post as useful

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