Discovering Hokkaido: Five Places to Visit in Hokkaido

Konnichiwa, I’m back! In this entry, the beautiful region of Hokkaido will be featured. Aren’t you excited 😛 At least I am, because Hokkaido is truly my favourite place in Japan. Here are the top 5 places to visit in Hokkaido!

PS: I’ve been a little occupied with my thesis recently, so there wasn’t really enough time to post this very last part of my Japan adventures. But here goes 😀

1. Sapporo

I flew to Sapporo after my short trip in the Tokyo area. I chose Sapporo as a base, and anyway my flights were all to and fro the city’s New Chitose Airport. Sapporo is the capital city of the Hokkaido prefecture and is one of the most visited metropolises of Japan. When one hears about Sapporo, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Sapporo beer, and yes! I did visit the Sapporo brewery and it’s featured here as well. Sapporo is a good base for backpacking in Hokkaido because there are many famous attractions nearby like Otaru, Furano or a little further, Niseko ski resort. Most of these trips take less than 3 hours. And I did travel in and out of Sapporo almost everyday!

Nijo Fish Market

Tokyo is famous for its Tsukiji Fish Market. Despite having visited the fish market in Tokyo, I thought I should also pay a visit to this little one in Sapporo – Nijo Fish Market. It is very similar to the one in Tokyo, only smaller and without the tuna auction. But, still, Hokkaido is famous for its sea produce! There were so many kinds of seafood available in the market. I visited a small restaurant and had my first ever Donburi in my life 😀

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Nijo Fish Market covered in snow!
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First dotonburi in my life, uni is my favourite seafood now, really to die for!
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Many other kinds of seafood are available here, salmon, tuna, etc
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Of course, Hokkaido King Crab!

Shiroi Koibito Park

If you ever have friends who brought you souvenirs after they visited Japan, the loot usually includes Shiroi Koibito Chocolate Cookie. It’s really the most famous souvenir visitors to Japan would buy when they leave. And beyond the hype, they are indeed VERY NICE! Probably the best chocolate cookie I have ever eaten in my life. I still have 3 pieces in my room which I am trying very hard to cherish 😀

If you are a fan of this cookie, or you have children during your trip, you should consider visiting the Shiroi Koibito Park, a related theme park cum museum in Sapporo. From Oodori station, I took the Tozai subway to Miyanosawa station, where the park is a stone’s throw away. Admission is JPY 600 (~SGD 7).

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You can see how the chocolate cookies are being made, as well as try your hands on making the cookies!
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If you are here, you have to try this chocolate ice-cream made from their own recipe, the best soft serve I’ve eaten in my life!!!
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And this too! The best chocolate drink I’ve drunk in my life too! No joke!

Sapporo Beer Factory Museum

I have never visited a beer factory before, so I decided to check this one out. It has free admission anyway! To be honest, I am not a great fan of beer but I’ve heard good reviews about the Sapporo beer.

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It’s almost nighttime when I visited! The famous Sapporo star logo!
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At the end of the free (unguided) tour, you have the choice to try the Sapporo beer, available in three brews!

2. Otaru

After hanging around Sapporo for a day, I took my first day-trip out, to Otaru! It is a small harbor city, located half an hour from Sapporo. Without a JR Pass, it costs JPY 640 (~SGD 7) to get to Otaru from Sapporo. It snowed so heavily that day, and the snow on the ground was above knee-height! Still, loved the snow 😀

Otaru Canal

Otaru is famous for being the Venice of Japan with its nicely-preserved Otaru Canal. I had a great time here and it’s a must-go when you visit Hokkaido! It’s just a 10-minute walk from the Otaru JR station. It is very picturesque here at the canals, especially when white snow covers up the ground and roofs. Gorgeous!

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It was snowing heavily when I reached, but I liked it!
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But it did subside!
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And the most picturesque of Otaru is probably this bridge!

Sakaimachi Street

Sakaimachi Street is one of the main streets in Otaru, where there are many merchants selling different products ranging from food to souvenirs. The street is just a stone’s throw away from the canal area. Here at Sakaimachi Street, I had the best claypot udon in my life. Shiok!

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The street was also covered in snow, making it a little hard to walk around!

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

After spending the day in Otaru, I took a short trip further up from Otaru to Yoichi and visited the Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery. From Otaru, the JR ride costs JPY360 (SGD4.12). Nikka Whisky is one of Japan’s top whisky makers and the distillery in Yoichi is the main one. Here, there is no admission charge and you get to understand how whisky is made in Japan. Furthermore, you can also learn a little something about Nikka’s history in whiskymaking. At the end of the tour, there was a tasting session of the different alcohols that Nikka offers.

3. Biei

Biei is a small town that is surrounded by beautiful landscapes like rolling hills and fields as well as lakes and waterfalls. It’s really perfect for nature enthusiasts 😀 It’s located near Furano, which is famous for its lavender fields in summer.

Blue Pond

I wanted to visit an interesting attraction in Biei – the Blue Pond. To my disappointment, the Blue Pond was frozen and the local tourist center advised against going. They suggested going to a waterfall instead. I went ahead anyway, together with a Thai couple, and it was still so pretty.

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The frozen blue pond!

Blue Shirahige Waterfall

After the pond we then decided to follow the suggestion from the tourist center, and walked for around 20 minutes to get to the Blue Shirahige Waterfall. This waterfall supplies water to the Blue Pond, and it was so beautiful. It was the biggest surprise ever!

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It was so pretty!
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At least I could see some “blue” water 😉

4. Furano

It was kind of sad that my visit to Furano was not during the lavender season. I’m so coming back during summer! But anyway even in winter Furano was still beautiful, with great photo-taking spots. It’s best to enjoy the city and surrounding landscapes by car – hire one and drive yourself around!

Photo Point Tour

That day I was the only one joining the Photo Point Tour and had to pay for two paxes. Well, it was my birthday, so heck care! The tour guide brought me, the only member of the tour, to quite a number of different photo-taking points.

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First, we stopped at the agency’s office which is located on a slope and it offers this amazing view!
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The longest road in Hokkaido!
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The phototaking tour ended with this landmark which is the center point of the whole Hokkaido island!

Furano Flower Fields

If you are lucky to be in Hokkaido during the summer, please pay a visit to their flower fields. Photos from friends who have been there just keep me wanting to be back to Hokkaido during the summer. Soon! Soon!

5. Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu is a hot spring resort in Hokkaido, at least an hour away by JR train from Sapporo. The ride costs JPY 2,160 (~SGD 25) for a one-way trip. Upon arrival, the onsen town greets its visitors with statues of demons called yukijin. These yukijins are supposed to protect the hot springs. Rather creepy but I still looked forward to taking a dip in one of the famous onsens in Noboribetsu. After some consultation with the local tourist center, I settled for the Noboribetsu Grand Hotel. It was my third, and last, onsen experience of the trip. An entry to the onsen costs JPY 1,500 (~SGD 17) and it was definitely the best way to end this trip to Hokkaido.

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Some were scary…
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Some were kind of cute..

Hell Valley

After a good 2-hour spent relaxing at the onsen, I took a walk to visit Hell Valley. Hell Valley is dotted with hot steam vents spouting sulphur-containing steam. You can really smell the sulphur from afar. But this natural phenomenon is quite something to witness with your own eyes (or rather to smell with your own nose)!

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Hell Valley!

I guess here’s the last entry from me for Japan! Thank you so much for reading my posts so far 🙂 Appreciate all the kind comments! Do give me feedback if you think there can be any improvement to my writing, or if you spot any factual mistake. For now, I need a long break. Eh, wait, I promised O & A to write another post on Cambodia. BRB!

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71 comments

  1. I’m not sure if Hokkaido will be my first visit to Japan but it’s the place that I want to go the most and I will get there in the next couple of years. Great pics.

    1. Hi there! Oh, yes! You definitely have to visit Hokkaido when you go to Japan 🙂 Hope you will get there very soon! Thanks 😀

    1. OMG, yes! Japan is just gorgeous! Well, for Hokkaido, different seasons offer you very different kind of experience! You get to see the sakura blooming when it’s spring, the lavender flower fields in summer, the beautiful autumn leaves during fall and of course snow in winter 🙂 so it really depends on what you like!

  2. I am starting what will hopefully be a recurring blog theme where I share a picture, a short writeup and links/credit to ten blogs that I like. Would it be alright if I do this with one of the photos from your Hokkaido blog? The blue waterfall photo is pretty cool.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing. Plan to go in this Dec n nd help. Did you book the blue pond tour when u r there or in advance? If from there, where … Thks

    1. Hi, Venise 🙂 Glad that you found our post useful! Regarding the Blue Pond, no, I didn’t take a Blue Pond tour because it was winter and I doubt there is any tour group which brings people to see the frozen Blue Pond 😛 I, together with a Thai couple, took the public bus to the Blue Pond entrance and explored it. After seeing the frozen Blue Pond, we walked for 20 minutes along the main road to see the Blue Shirahige Waterfalls which was totally magnificent 🙂 Hope this helps!

  4. Hi Joo,

    Thanks for sharing your Hokkaido trip.

    Message and pictures looks attractive and easy to have ideas from your blog!
    With regards to the blue pond. Is that possible by driving? We are still considering to rent a car or by public transport. We have 2 children and 3 adults.

    Please advise.

    1. Hi Shanice,

      You’re very welcome 🙂 awesome that you are planning to visit Hokkaido during your time in Japan!
      Regarding the Blue Pond, yes it is possible to drive there. In fact, most people hire a car to bring them directly to the pond. I definitely recommend renting a car, especially if you are going during the winter where public transport around the area is not as frequent! Have fun 😀 !

      Thanks for the praises of the photos!

      Joo Fei

  5. Hi,

    Just asking, how did you sign up for the photo point tour? is it somewhere near the pond or elsewhere? and is there other activities to sign up for also? I’m also going during winter!

    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Ron! Awesome that you are visiting Hokkaido during the winter 🙂 Okay, I signed up for the photo point tour at http://www.asobiya.jp/en/program_f_02/photo.html They were not very responsive to my email when I sent a request. I suggest that you ask your hotel to call and help you book a tour. It was JPY5000++ per person but because it was winter, nobody actually signed up for the photo point tour and each tour requires minimum two pax. So, I paid JPY10000++ for myself only and had sorta like a private tour with a guide who brought me around Furano and Biei 🙂 it was really nice just seeing the beautiful scenery around the area. No, I don’t think that the Blue Pond is nearby to any of the photo points. Anyway! I hope that you enjoy Hokkaido! I’m so tempted to book a ticket to Sapporo!

  6. Hi Joo Fei,

    Are all the places you visited by train? Do you know what time the train operating, and the latest train? Is it convenience to bring our luggage around by train, if we going to overnight at different places?

    Jess ☺️

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for your queries 🙂 For me, I used the Japan Rail Pass (14 days). So, yes, I visited most of the places via the JR train system. However, bus was still an integral part of my trip as some attractions which are between two other attractions or within the city/town itself, do require the bus to get there. As mostly only locals use the bus pass (something like EZ-link?), the buses do accept cash and some will even give you change when you pay with bills. Nonetheless, it is always good to have some 500 and 100 yen coins with you!

      In terms of the train operating hours, I think different seasons have different operating hours. I assume that you are going this winter (awesome! Hokkaido is so beautiful during winter!). Do visit http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ if you would like to get the real timings of train operation hours. Hyperdia also can be used as a rough gauge of the timings available if the timetable for the period you are visiting is not out yet. The website proved very useful to me and I used it to plan all my trips (including bus rides), not only in Hokkaido but also around Japan.

      Not quite understand what you meant by overnight at different places, but I guess you meant you are checking into different cities/places on different nights. Personally, if you meant Hokkaido, I will encourage you to choose a base in Hokkaido and then do your day trips from the base. I chose Sapporo because many places and attractions are nearby to Sapporo. Of course, unless you are talking about places like Shin-Aomori (which is quite far from Sapporo), most day trips can be done from Sapporo. Not only that, I believe that waking up at 6am or even 5am to catch the earliest train to an attraction (assuming your train trip takes like 3 hours), is much better than lugging your bags around attractions, hopping from places to places. You might even arrive very late at night to check into your hotel/hostel with all your bags etc. Not to mention the multiple hotel/hostel bookings that you need to manage. And trust me, hopping around with your luggage during winter in Hokkaido is not fun. That being said, do pack light! I went during winter for 14 days total, I only brought a small schoolbag and a cabin baggage 🙂

      Hope you have a fun trip in Hokkaido!
      Joo Fei

      1. Thank you so much Joo Fei! It is indeed not fun with dragging around the luggage. 14 days? That sounds interesting. Do you have the link that I could read about it?

        1. No worries 🙂 my pleasure! Yes, 14 days 😀 ! Unfortunately, I do not have a blogpost which chronicles throughout the 14 days of my trip. I did however, posted 4 entries about my 14-day Japan trip, one of which is this Hokkaido post: https://coffeeteatravels.com/2015/04/03/five-places-to-visit-hokkaido-japan/

          The others are here:
          On Jigokudani Monkey Park: https://coffeeteatravels.com/2015/10/28/jigokudani-monkey-park-nagano-japan/
          On Mount Fuji: https://coffeeteatravels.com/2015/03/22/things-to-do-in-mount-fuji/
          On Kyoto: https://coffeeteatravels.com/2015/03/25/alternative-kyoto-top-three-highlights/

          Hope these help 🙂 can’t believe it’s been a year since I went Japan last year! Can’t wait for another trip there!

  7. hi Joo Fei,
    I’m planning my trip to Hokkaido this coming October. How many days do you suggest in order to explore the places. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi, Josie 🙂 So excited for you! Great decision to visit Hokkaido! For me, I spent 5 full days in Hokkaido but I still thought it’s not enough, because there’s so much to see around Hokkaido. I strongly suggest visiting Hokkaido for at least a week, because there are a lot more other places to visit, besides those mentioned in this post!

  8. Hi Joo Fei

    I am planning to go Hokkaido in March School Holidays but it will be a short trip (5D 4N). Do you think is enough to cover the 5 places you mentioned? Since is a short trip, which places should I visit first? I will choose Sapporo as my based. This is my first time on FREE & EASY trip, so I need to plan and do my homework before I head to Hokkaido.

    BTW, how is the weather during March? Is it still winter or changing season to spring? What should I bring – winter clothings or just thick jacket will be enough to keep me warm.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Gin 🙂 awesome! Well, 5 days should be just enough for the 5 places! Good that you are choosing Sapporo as a base 🙂 I will make the first day to be exploring Sapporo, like their Chocolate Factory and Beer Factory, as well as their Fish Market. The weather should be changing into summer, but best to check out their official guide at http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1101.html

      Have fun in Hokkaido 😀 ! You will love it!

      1. Hi

        I am confused on the transportation in Japan. What is the difference between Japan Rail Train & Hokkaido Rail Train? Which passes should I buy and from where can I get it? I will be going to Hokkaido and my base is Sapporo. Thank you.

        1. Hi Gin, I guess you meant the difference between Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) and the Hokkaido Rail Pass (JR Hokkaido Pass). The former, JR Pass can be used on all the JR train lines (and some JR Buses) throughout Japan, except some designated lines (like the Nozomi line and Mizuho line). The latter, JR Hokkaido Pass serves the same purpose but not throughout Japan, that it can only be used on JR train lines throughout Hokkaido, again with some exceptions.

          If you are only going to travel in Hokkaido, do consider getting the JR Hokkaido Pass and please get it from HIS Travel at 100am Mall near Tanjong Pagar. I have surveyed thoroughly before I went and this agency sells the passes at the cheapest rate (at least for the JR Pass).

          Hope you enjoy Hokkaido 😀 !

  9. Hi, thank you for your insightful blog on Hokkaido. You’ve inspired me to travel Hokkaido free & easy rather than chartered land tour & car.
    I’m planning for 8D7N from 19 Apr onwards and like to check with you is it really easy to take the train? I m getting confused last night after seeing Hokkaido JR map, and very concern if take transport on our own. Check with you, do you if the following make sense:
    Day 1 : Sappore, Otaru (hotel @ Sappore)
    Day 2 : Furano & Blue pool (hotel @ Biei / Furano)
    Day 3 : sightseeing @ Furano (hotel @ Biei/ Furano)
    Day 4 : shopping at Sappore (is the market still available in noon?) (hotel @ Sappore)
    Day 5 : Lake Toya (hote @ Toya)
    Day 6 : Norboribetsu (hotel @ NBBS)
    Day 7 : Sappore
    Day 8 : Back to SG

    1. Hi Elaine 🙂 you’re very welcome and thanks for visiting our blog! Taking the train is really convenient, even during winter. You are going during Spring/Summer period, so should be okay one! Do use http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ to find the best way to move around. It’s really useful and the train departure time is very accurate. Your itinerary is fine but I do have some pointers:
      1) The fish market closes at around 11am, do visit early in the morning, maybe around 7am or 8am. So the previous night, you should be staying in a hotel in Sapporo. Try out their chirashi dons at the fish market. They are really fresh!
      2) When you reach on Day 1, spend the time in Sapporo. Just laze around and visit the eateries and do some shopping. Then, on the second day, do a day trip to Otaru. On your way back from Otaru, you can visit the Whisky Factory.
      Else, the other items sound good 😀 ! Have fun in Hokkaido!

      1. Did you stay at Biei/ Furano or back to Sappore? What is your recommendation if there is a need to stay at Biei/ Furano or Sappore will be a better option?

        1. Hi Elaine! I think it depends on your activities before the night stay and the day after the night stay. What are your plans? Do take note that it takes at least 2.5hrs by train from Sapporo to Furano 🙂

  10. hi just want to ask if there is already snow by november? coz im planning to go there and i want to experience snow. And what a great post that makes me really more excited to explore Sapporo.

    1. Hi Anne 🙂 Awesome that you are planning to go! I am not too sure but you might want to check out this website, http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html

      As you know weather really does vary from year to year. November might be too early for some years but who knows it might already snow in November this year? Your best shot to experience winter in Hokkaido is to go during December! Thanks for your praises! Do visit Hokkaido! It’s an awesome place!

  11. Hi. Do you remember the name of the clay pot udon restaurant in Otaru? Also, what month were you in Otaru? Thanks!

    1. Oh dear >.< I can't remember! So sorry! But it's one of the shops along this covered street of Otaru!

  12. Hello Joo Fei,

    Enjoyed your post – beautiful photos with helpful tips.

    My girl friend and I are planning a 10-days/9-nights holiday to Hokkaido in late July this year but we’re not sure if we should :
    (1) follow a tour group, either from Singapore where we are from from OR join one organised by Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel OR
    (2) go on a free and easy tour planned by yourselves.
    Please advise what is best if both of us do Not drive. Is it cheaper and more convenient to just follow the tour groups? Is it safe and easy for us to travel by bus/train and use the JR pass like you did?
    From my research, places we definitely want to visit are :
    (1) Tomamu/Furano/Biel
    (2) Asahikawa
    (3) Otaru
    (4) Lake Toya
    (5) Noboribetsu/Hell Valley
    (6) Sapporo city
    but I’m not sure if these places are easily accessible if we do not drive.
    I also read something about Volunteer Guides (local retirees or students who want to practise their English) whom we can engage to bring us around as long as we book them in advance and pay for their transport and food.

    Appreciate if you can give us your advice based on your travel to Hokkaido.

    Than k you.
    Ms Lim Ai Ling

    1. Hi Ai Ling 🙂 Thanks for your queries! So excited that you are heading to Hokkaido in July. OMG, please go on a free-and-easy tour by yourselves! It’s okay to not drive especially because there are local tour groups that you can join. Get a Japan Rail Pass (Hokkaido one) at HIS Travel (their office is in 100AM shopping mall near Tanjong Pagar MRT). I don’t recommend tour groups at all because you are restricted by the limited amount of time at each place. But the trouble with a free-and-easy tour is that you ought to plan your schedules yourselves. Do use hyperdia.com to plan your train rides for daily visits as their departure timings are very accurate. It is very safe and easy to travel by train and bus in Japan! Do note that some buses and some trains don’t work on JR Pass that you have to get a separate ticket. All the places you mentioned are accessible by trains and buses 😀 if your base is Sapporo, a simple Google of “Sapporo to Lake Toya” will let you know how to do it. I have not heard about the Volunteer Guides but I suggest that you try planning your own trips and 10days/9nights is really a lot 😀 I’m sure you can see a lot of Hokkaido.

      In short, go free-and-easy!

      Regards,
      Joo Fei

  13. Hello Joofei!

    I chanced upon your blogposts as well and would like to enquire about your trip to Biei. Is it easy to take a day trip from Sapporo to the Blue Pond? I really wanted to visit there but I am not too sure if it is possible to get there by public transport since I will not be driving. I am visiting Hokkaido from 26 April to 2 May this year (Spring period). Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Joelle 🙂

    1. Hi Joelle 🙂

      Thanks for reading our blog!! And yes, it is easy to take a day trip from Sapporo to Biei. I did just that 🙂 Simply use hyperdia.com to plan your public transport as it is super reliable. Hope you will have fun in Hokkaido 😀 !

      Thanks!

  14. Hello! Chanced upon ur blog on Hokkaido and thanks very much for the pretty succinct and insightful post 🙂 just a question, how much did u spend on accommodation & of what sort? In travelling around, did u self drive or booked the local day tours etc? Do u recommend flying in and out from the same airport (eg: saporro) or drive from saporro then depart from hokkadate? Many thanks!

    1. Hi J 🙂 ! Thanks for viewing our blogpost on Hokkaido! Regarding accommodation, I stayed in a hostel called International Hostel Khaosan Sapporo. The room was for a max of 4 people and when I was there, there was only another guy. Each night cost me around $30. In travelling around, well, I didn’t book any tour, nor did I self-drive (unless you meant “driving” as including travelling on buses or trains). I just used the public transport system except for the photography tour around Furano. Well, it depends on how much time you have. Sapporo Airport is very well connected to the city central via the train. Also, check out if you have any places of interest to visit in or around Hokkadate 🙂

      Hope these help!

  15. I am planning to visit Hokkaido from 5 June to 12 June 2016. My arrival flight is at Chitose Airport and we are a family members of four who have booked a car and will be self driving. The places we plan to visit Lake Toya–Asahikawa–Biei–Sounkyo-Otaru–Hokdate–Sapporo—and back to Chitose Airport for domestic flight to Osaka for another 4 days tour.

    Can you advise me how we should plan our route? starting from which destination first and subsequently which one? and finally destination is back to Chitose Airport.

    Have been quite confuse over Japan Railway Pass? as intend to travel to Kyoto by train after we finish our trip with Hokkaido Hence must we buy Japan Railway pass.

    Kindly email me your reply at [email protected] as I may not able to access your reply via this blog. Thanks

    As for accommodation, is there cheap price with average price apartment for family member of four to stay together as understand that if we book hotel, it has to be two hotels as my kids are already 12 and 14?

    1. Hi Eunice, if you are doing a self-driving trip in Hokkaido, I suggest that you simply give Google Maps a check if the routes are okay? It’s better than way 🙂 If you are just going to need the train to head to Kyoto from Osaka, you really do not need to get a Japan Rail Pass because Japan Rail Pass is usually for those who are travelling many times intercity. In terms of accommodation, if you are considering to book a hotel, I might not be the best person to offer you an advice because I travelled light and backpacked throughout my time in Japan. I was also on a budget, so I stayed in hostels. For hotels, you might want to check out booking websites like booking.com, agoda.com etc.

      Hope these help! Have fun in Japan!

  16. oh my gosh thanks for the info, it helped me alot for my project i went to noboribetsu when I was three though many years passed by, the experience there is memorable, I forgot abt it haha but you relived my memories, thanks anyways it was a great help 🙂

    1. Hi Skye 🙂 no problem, we are glad to have assisted you in your project through our entry on Hokkaido! Hope you will be heading to Hokkaido soon! All the best!

  17. I am planning to visit Hokkaido in early Dec arriving at Chitose airport. Following your suggestion, making Sapporo as the base, can you recommend an accomodation conveniently located in town and appreciate it very much if u can plan an itineary for us based on your experience. Hope its like a Complete Hokkaido dummy’s guide from the point of airport touchdown till hotel check-in. Then daily visits to attractions with dummy’s guide on using public transportation to get there. We are planning a 6D/5N stay, family if 4(2 teenagers). Thanks in advance. Appreciate if you can also copy/email me….Cheers

    1. Hi Bok 🙂 thanks for your support at Coffee Tea Travels! Unfortunately, we are unable to recommend a place in Sapporo for accommodation, as there are many many different kinds there, ie. hostels, hotels, apartments, AirBnB. Do visit websites like booking.com to find out more. Also, at the moment, we are unable to plan an itinerary for you guys, so sorry about it. There are quite a lot of information out there on Google, do consider giving it a search to find out more on how to plan a trip to Hokkaido. You may also consider for some ideas written in this entry during your planning. Have fun in Hokkaido!

      Joo Fei

  18. Hi joo fei
    Awesome pictures and travel tips. Wl help in my august visit to hokkaido.
    We are travelling in a group of 8. Could not make up our minds whether to self drive or use public transport. I am worry abt the route as maybe just in japanese. We hope to stay in sapporo, furano, noboritbetsu & asahikawa – 7nights. Do you think we should self drive? If public transport how to get fm chitose airpot to sapporo city?Another quention is onsen, is the pool public for mixed men & women or just women pool or men pool….and hv
    to go naked or can wrap with towel?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Winnie! So sorry we did not get to reply to your queries! Hope you did have fun in Hokkaido with your friends and family!

  19. Thanks so much for this awesome post. We’re going to Sapporo to attend the 2017 snow festival and this will come in very handy. Looking forward to the brewery and distillery! 🙂

  20. Great article dear! And I am really glad you have decided to share this helpful blog with us.I, think you might wanna try the Gundam ice cream store in Tokyo. Go to the restroom and push the button on the wall for waves of awesomeness.

  21. Trying to backpack for the first time. Going to hokkaido/Tokyo. How to safeguard passport/money? How do you normally do it? When you mean hostel, is it a individual room or shared room?

  22. Hi Joo Fei,

    Was reading all the comments and i was fascinated with the replies. Great blog by the way. I will be traveling to Hokkaido next year February during Winter. I thought of doing a free and easy 7D5N but i have nothing planned. How do I move around? Bus and Rail ? or if i take a tour will it be costly. I may be traveling alone so it will like a backpacking trip. Any good places to stay, like cheap hostels in Sapporo? And you did mention that everything is close by ? So will it be okay for me to walk around? How are the people there, can they speak English because I’M afraid communicating may be a problem ? Please help me out? If i’m gonna do a Free and Easy , i wouldn’t have airport transfer as well. How and where do i make arrangement for that . Please advice ? Thank you in advance =]

    1. Hi Rose, so sorry for the extremely late reply. Was caught up by work! Hope you had a wonderful time in Hokkaido 😀 !

  23. Hi Joofei,
    Can i asked if you spent a fullday at Biei? My friends are keen to visit the zoo before heading down, but looking at the bus schedules, i’m just afraid that it’ll be too rush.

    Another qn, i’ve purchased the hokkaido pass, but do i have to make reservations for the train seats or can i just tap and board the train ? Sorry i’m sucha noob..

    1. So sorry Hui Lin for the late reply. Not sure if you have visited Hokkaido yet but if you did, we certainly hope you had fun 😀 !

  24. Hi JooFei!Me and my hubby are planning a trip to Hokkaido in late June 2017..I goggle and its the rainy season in Tokyo,Osaka and Hokkaido not so badly affected by it.Could you give me some advice on it?It’s the only long holiday we are able to plan out for tis trip.Is it better to rent a car or take a train?Or we hire a local guide when we reach?Really appreciate your advice..Tks dear

    1. Hi See See 🙂 Sorry for the late reply! Was caught by by work >.< Great decision to have planned your trip to Hokkaido with your husband! You both are gonna love it. I have never been to Japan during the June period but to my knowledge, summer for Japan ends on 21st June theoretically. There might be some rain here and there but it should not disrupt your overall plan. Nonetheless, don't take my words for it! Hokkaido should not be too bad like you said. Well, if you can afford a car, it is actually quite nice to drive around Hokkaido! The scenery is awesome! Summer, I think even better! No need to hire a local guide I think, I planned most of the places I want to visit the next day a night before 🙂 ! Have a lovely time there!

    1. Hi Justin! Actually most of the activities I did were included in this blog post 🙂 ! Have fun in Hokkaido! You will love it!