How To Plan Your Good Hokkaido Itinerary in 2019



We visited a few of the greatest elements of Japan on this 12-day Hokkaido itinerary, and wish to encourage you to do the identical!
The form of views you may count on on this 12-day Hokkaido itinerary.
Make no mistake about it, Hokkaido is large. Very large. Distances are huge, the panorama wild and untamed and the climate can change on the drop of a hat. That’s what makes planning your Hokkaido itinerary so tough.
That is simply one of the vital stunning locations we have now ever had the pleasure of visiting. Additionally it is very seemingly that you’ll share this gorgeous surroundings with only a few individuals.

Hokkaido Journey Suggestions
For those who’re making an attempt to design your Hokkaido itinerary there are some things you want to bear in mind first. These are a few of our Hokkaido journey suggestions.

Getting Round Hokkaido
One of the simplest ways to get round Hokkaido is by renting a automotive. You may try our submit on lease a automotive right here. Hokkaido does supply a JR go, however providers to the main nationwide parks are restricted and even then you’ll nonetheless must take a bus or taxi to get into the parks correct.
A few of the most gorgeous surroundings we noticed was after we have been driving. Having you personal set of wheels will make your expertise infinitely extra satisfying and handy. 
When To Go to Hokkaido
Hokkaido has Four very distinct seasons and every of them have their deserves. Spring brings blossoming flowers, summer time brings shiny sunny days, autumn offers us the altering of the leaves and winter dumps a couple of toes of snow all around the island.
We ended up doing our Hokkaido itinerary in autumn, which gave us stunning colors and only a few vacationers. That being stated it did convey some chilly climate and occasional rain.
Nevertheless relying on what your pursuits are you might desire to journey in a unique season.
Autumn colors in Hokkaido.
Our 12-Day Hokkaido Itinerary
That is the precise journey we did throughout our travels in Hokkaido, with an inventory of the locations we visited, what we did and the place we stayed.
Day 1 – Sapporo
We picked up our wheels and headed for Sapporo. This can be a nice alternative to select up some chilly climate garments in case you haven’t obtained that many with you. Outdoors of summer time it could get actually chilly, particularly in Shiretoko and Akan. We introduced some further heat garments and it was positively a worthwhile funding.
Sapporo is a beautiful metropolis to wander round. The clock tower, the park off odori and the botanical gardens are an effective way to spend a day. Within the night we headed to the highest of Mount Moiwa for a phenomenal nighttime view over town. The meals is wonderful, Hokkaido has the most effective sashimi in Japan in accordance with the Japanese.
The place To Eat: Ramen Yokocho and any izakaya serving sashimi.
The place We Stayed: We stayed in an AirBnB in Sapporo. This place does have parking, you will need to examine that the locations you keep in Hokkaido, be it motels, guesthouses or airbnb’s have parking as it isn’t at all times a assure. Click on right here to get $35 off your first AirBnB keep.

Day 2 – Sapporo to Asahikawa
That is the place our Hokkaido Expressway Cross got here into use. You save a couple of hours taking the freeway to Furano. After getting off the freeway it’s gorgeous surroundings all the way in which to Furano. Make sure you try Farm Tomita for a thoughts blowing show of color.
They promote all the pieces lavender, together with a fairly scrumptious lavender ice cream. It sounds terrible, however like nearly all the pieces in Japan it was scrumptious.
From right here you may take route 237 winding by means of the Japanese countryside to the quaint little city of Biei. From right here you may head to the Blue Pond, a spot that you’ll find on many Japanese postcards.
We elected to not do the above. As a substitute we tried to get to the Asahidake cable automotive station for sundown. The climate had been actually cloudy all day till round three:00 so we determined to go for it.
Round 800m we have been shocked with a snow storm. Inside a couple of minutes the street was slippery and our windscreen wipers creaking underneath the burden of snow. Unsurprisingly we deserted our plans and headed in the direction of Asahikawa for the night time.
The place To Eat: Farm Tomita is an effective begin for a lavender based mostly snack. A bonus of the lodge is the wonderful little izakaya over the street from the lodge serving nice meals for a good higher worth.
The place We Stayed: Development Resort Asahikawa – Good lodge, however you may most likely discover one thing cheaper, we booked very late within the day.
Contemporary sashimi, together with the Hokkaido delicacy, frozen salmon.
Day three – Asahikawa to Utoro (Gateway to the Shiretoko Nationwide Park)
We had initially deliberate to spend the day exploring the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park after which drive onto Shiretoko the subsequent day, however the rain put pay to our plans. One benefit of this was it gave us further time for later within the journey.
We took route E39 from Asahikawa, however be warned the realm circling the northern finish of the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park will make you neglect about the day prior to this.
This can be a lengthy drive, it most likely took us between Four and 5 hours with relaxation stops included. This and the earlier days drive have been the place Hokkaido Categorical was invaluable. It saved us a lot time by having the ability to use the freeway.
Utoro is a tiny village on the fringe of the Shiretoko Nationwide Park. Because of this most eating places keep open until round 8pm.
As a aspect observe, the subsequent city down from Utoro is Shari. Lodging is normally somewhat cheaper right here, however you a now an hour from the park versus 15 minutes in Utoro.
The place To Eat: Choices are fairly restricted by way of alternative, nevertheless there’s a nice ramen restaurant and a beautiful izakaya about 10 minutes stroll from the lodge. Workers inside beneficial these locations to us.
The place We Stayed: Iruka Resort – Nice little guesthouse with buddy employees and an excellent breakfast
Shiretoko Nationwide Park from the ocean.
Day Four – Shiretoko Nationwide Park
We checked out the Shiretoko Go-Ko (5 lakes). The lengthy stroll spherical is fairly wonderful and also you get to sit down by means of a fairly fascinating security video about keep away from bears. The principle factor to remove from the video is that if a bear assaults you there’s nothing you are able to do, so greatest keep away from them.
We then checked out the Fureppe Waterfalls, which gives some fairly unimaginable views. In a while within the day we loved a free foot tub. The guesthouse employees can mark them on a map for you.
One factor to notice about Shiretoko is that the climate can change in a short time. Most of out time there was cloudy, however no rain and a good few of blue skies.
The place To Eat: Choices are fairly restricted by way of alternative, nevertheless there’s a nice ramen restaurant and a beautiful izakaya about 10 minutes stroll from the lodge. Workers inside beneficial these locations to us.
The place We Stayed: Iruka Resort – Nice little guesthouse with buddy employees and an excellent breakfast. This guesthouse has numerous WOOFERs working there who may also supply nice recommendation on what to do.
Fureppe Falls stroll in Shiretoko Nationwide Park.
Day 5 – Shiretoko Nationwide Park
We spent the day on the japanese aspect of the peninsula across the port city of Rausu. To get there observe the street to the Shiretoko go. The go is totally gorgeous and is a should in case you’re within the space. you get wonderful views over the coast, and in case you are fortunate it is possible for you to to see the summit of mount Rausu.
If you arrive in Rausu take a left and observe route 87 and take a look at a few of the seashore foot spas that run alongside the coast line. Its a surreal expertise to dangle your toes right into a foot spa while waves from the ocean of Okohtsk crash onto the seashore.
The Kamuiwakka Sizzling Falls again in the direction of Utoro make an awesome place to cease off in your means again. Do remember that that is an unsealed 10km street. As quickly as nightfall hits be on the look out for deer.
The place To Eat: Sashimi in Rausu. A tiny little restaurant south of the centre proper on the coast gave us an unimaginable meal.
The place We Stayed: Iruka Resort – Nice little guesthouse with buddy employees and an excellent breakfast

Sashimi recent from the ocean in Rausu, near the Shiretoko Nationwide Park.
Day 6 – Shiretoko Nationwide Park to Akan Nationwide Park
We drove by way of Abishiri alongside the Okhotsk street which gives some spectacular coastal views. Abishiri has a very fascinating jail museum the place you may find out about Hokkaido’s historical past.
From right here we headed on to our onsen lodge near Teshikaga within the Akan Nationwide Park. We entered the park alongside route 102 which takes you thru a go that provides you unimaginable views of Lake Kussharo. Attempt to get there round sundown for the most effective views.
Numerous lodging within the space gives breakfast and dinner. We determined to not do dinner to provide us the possibility to exit and discover the close by cities. Right here it’s the similar story as Shiretoko, eating places shut early, so attempt to keep away from consuming late.
The rooms on the lodge would not have showers or baths within the rooms. You wash within the onsens within the lodge. A phrase of warning, it could take a little bit of observe to get the temperature proper because the faucets are extraordinarily delicate, however its an effective way to start out and end your day.
The place To Eat: The closest city is Teshikaga which has 2 eating places and a bunch of comfort shops. Your selections are ramen or tempura. On the plus aspect, each are implausible.
The place We Stayed: Resort Parkway. Nice little onsen lodge
Otaru Canal in Otaru.
Day 7 – Mashu-Ko and Mashu-Dake
Certainly one of Hokkaido’s high hikes. Attending to the highest of Mashu-Dake takes round Four-6 hours return. Deliver loads of water and heat garments as the highest of the mountain may be very chilly.
A couple of minutes after attending to the the highest we have been handled to personal non-public snow storm! You will want good sneakers because the observe may be slippery, and though it’s not a very difficult stroll the final 400m are very slender and steep so take care.
Additionally the automotive packing ticket you get at Mashu-Ko can be used at Mt Io the subsequent day or vice versa.
The lodge gives an awesome breakfast that comes full with uncooked egg rice. You crack an egg into somewhat bowl whisk it and add some soy sauce earlier than pouring it onto the nice and cozy rice. Scrumptious.
The place To Eat: The closest city is Teshikaga which has 2 eating places and a bunch of comfort shops. Your selections are ramen or tempura. On the plus aspect, each are implausible.
The place We Stayed: Resort Parkway. Nice little onsen lodge

The beggining of the Mashu-Ko Dake hike within the Akan Nationwide Park
Day eight – Mount Io, Kussharo-Ko and Akan-Ko
The surroundings round Mount Io is to die for, however the scent shouldn’t be nice, assume Rotarua in New Zealand – numerous sulphur.
From right here its a brief drive to Kussharo the place there are many mountain climbing choices and some sizzling water seashores on the shores of the lake. There’s a nice hike across the peninsula which provides some stunning views.
Akan-Ko is approx 50km from Kussharo and is a bit more developed for tourism than the opposite two lakes. The drive from Kussharo-Ko to Akan-Ko is especially good, most likely extra fascinating than Akan-Ko itself in our opinion.
The place To Eat: The closest city is Teshikaga which has 2 eating places and a bunch of comfort shops. Your selections are ramen or tempura. On the plus aspect, each are implausible.
Akan-ko has a fairly cool little foot spa cafe. Good after a protracted day of exploring.
The place We Stayed: Resort Parkway. Nice little onsen lodge
Wanting over Lake Kussharo coming into the Akan Nationwide Park
Day 9 – Akan Nationwide Park to New Chitose by way of Kushiro Wetlands
This can be a lengthy drive, be underneath no illusions. We left simply earlier than 10 and headed straight for the bihoro go which is a should. Presumably among the best views we obtained in Hokkaido.
From right here we drove to the Kushiro wetlands, which is okay however there isn’t an enormous quantity to do. Nevertheless it does offer you a break from driving and the surroundings on the way in which is great.
From right here we jumped on the Doto Expressway round 2pm considering there could be a service station pretty quickly after the place we might seize some lunch as we have been ravenous. Sadly we have been improper, lastly coming throughout one round Four:30. We ended up staying in New Chitose as there was no reasonably priced lodging round Shikotsu-Ko.
The place To Eat: The realm across the hostel is dotted with nice eats. Particularly some wonderful izakayas and BBQ (yakinuku) eating places.
The place We Stayed: Khaosan Household Hostel – Now completely closed. Take a look at the opposite choices on Reserving.com to get an excellent deal forward of time.
Bihoro Cross in Akan Nationwide Park.
Day 10 – Shakotan Peninsula
Not listed in guidebooks or JapanGuide.com, this peninsula an hour and a half outdoors of Sapporo is an undiscovered gem. We solely discovered about it after doing a google search of “what to do in Otaru” and this got here up on a TripAdvisor thread.
Most likely probably the most gorgeous coast land we drove in Japan, with only some others on the street. There are some pretty quick walks across the peninsula which are nicely marked by roadsigns.
From the Shakotan Peninsula again to Chitose you go by means of the beautiful little city of Otaru. At night time the canal and the encircling buildings are lit up, so its an awesome place to go for a wander. Additionally try the little alleyways near the canal that round stuffed filled with izakayas.
The place To Eat: The alleyways across the Otaru canal supply an enormous number of nice meals.
The place We Stayed: Khaosan Household Hostel – Now completely closed. Take a look at the opposite choices on Reserving.com to get an excellent deal forward of time. You might keep in Otaru itself, however be warned it books up quick and may be fairly costly.

Sundown on the Shakotan Peninsula
Day 11 – Noribetsu Onsen and Lake Toya
Noribetsu might be probably the most well-known onsen city in Japan and naturally it’s a very fashionable with vacationers. In reality this was most likely the busiest place we visited throughout our time in Hokkaido, however we’d positively suggest it.
There are many nice walks round hell valley and the on right down to Ooyunuma and the Ooyunuma Foot Spa. An important place to dip your toes after a couple of steep hills. Very simple to get to from Sapporo or New Chitose.
Driving again from Noribetsu you may select to take a look at Lake Toya or Lake Shikotsu.
The place To Eat: Consuming in Noribetsu is fairly dear, however simply outdoors the city there are many low-cost eating places.
The place We Stayed: Khaosan Household Hostel – Now completely closed. Take a look at the opposite choices on Reserving.com to get an excellent deal forward of time.
Shiretoko Goko – 5 Lakes, Shiretoko Nationwide Park.
Day 12 – Saying bye to our automotive and flying on to Hiroshima
We selected an awesome day to depart as southern Hokkaido was hit by an enormous blizzard. We had deliberate to go and see Lake Shikotsu however the climate was terrible. In reality the winds have been so robust that timber have been blown down blocking elements of the street that have been already coated with snow and ice.
Sadly we solely noticed lake Shikotsu underneath a good bit of snow, however it actually appeared very fairly.
We rented with OTS. The automotive they gave us was a small trendy hybrid which actually saved on petrol. The service and packages they provide have been comfortably the most cost effective they usually even have the Hokkaido Expressway Cross arrange and put in for you.
Another firms don’t supply this service and can ship it to your lodge, which is fairly inconvenient.
Subsequent cease was to move off and take a look at the most effective issues to do in Hiroshima.
Driving round Hokkaido is a as soon as in lifetime expertise. This really is a spot of excellent pure magnificence, tradition and hospitality and should for any traveller. Our solely remorse is that our pictures can not really convey how stunning it truly is.
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Richard BarnesRichard Barnes is one among half of the British-Chinese language couple that make up abearandapig.com, a weblog specializing in journey, life as a neighborhood and an expat within the center kingdom and Chinese language social media. Newest posts by Richard Barnes (see all)



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