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10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

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10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hi

I need help whether my itinerary is feasible. I am going in June .

My itinerary in summary is as follows:

chitose airport

Lake Toya (1 night)

Otaru (1 night)

Furano/Biei (2 nights)

Sounkyo (1 night)

Ashahikawa (2 nights)

Sapporo (3 nights)

Please advise whether I have missed out anything or the route is correct?

Thanks

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Upon arrival are you staying your first night in Toya-ko and have you already arranged your transportation such as free shuttle service from a particular onsen hotel in Toya!? If not, it would be more convenient to settle down in Sapporo first if your accommodations have not all been fix in advance.

Good to see the distribution of days among destinations not being too tight. Consider adding Noboribetsu while visiting Toya. To have more time in Toya and Noboribetsu, consider cutting short your time in Asahikawa or Sapporo.

Another possible addition is the scenic Shakotan Peninsula which can be done as a half day excursion by driving west from Otaru.

Singapore River...
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2. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hello, I'm planned for a 10-day trip as well, in early July.

I have just started planning, and have the following places in mind:

Sapporo

Otaru

Eniwa

Lake Toya

Hakodate

Shiretoko

Furano

I may rent a car as Shiretoko is so far out.

Looking at the original post, am I being too optimistic?

Thanks for reading :)

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3. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Solely on land there is a lot of distance to cover if you want to take in all the listed places. You can do it in 10 days, but on a touch and go basis for a been-there experience - not my idea of having a relaxing road trip.

Shiretoko Peninsula is a highly worthwhile destination if you are into nature and the great outdoor, but as you already know it is a long way east of all your other destinations. Between Sapporo and Shiretoko there are lots of other interesting places so a drive solely to and from Shiretoko could easily take up all your 10 days. One option is to fly into Memambetsu and then work yourself back west. The only concern is that if you pick it up in Memambetsu and return it in Sapporo there is an additional drop-off charge for the rental car.

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4. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Many thanks for your reply and suggestions, William.

I have since checked the distance between Sapporo and Shiretoko, and between Furano and Shiretoko, which is 444km and 360km respectively. If I drive, it will take me at least two days to get there and two days to return.

You are certainly spot on - I have to take one or two places (eg. Hakodate) out if I still want to make the trip to Shiretoko, as flying straight to Memambetsu is out as I have booked my tickets to/from Chitose.

I guess I just have to make up my mind on this... in my original plans visiting the Furano Lavender fields would be my top priority followed by Shiretoko Goko. I know it's the bear season but from what I understood the shorter upper walkway is still open to the public.

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5. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

To break up the long drive east and take in other worthwhile places along the way, consider the following route: SapporoFurano/Biei – Asahikawa – Sounkyo – AbashiriShiretoko – Akan-ko – KushiroObihiro – Sapporo.

There is plenty to go for in 10 days in the above loop drive and it would mean to do away with Hakodate, Eniwa and Toya-ko in your original plan. Otaru can be done as a daytrip from Sapporo either during the beginning or the end of the trip, and there is no need for a car. There is direct and frequent rail service to and from Sapporo and Otaru is best explored on foot.

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6. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

William, I'm back from my trip and I had a really wonderful time. The scenery is beautiful, we had fun and the flowers are in bloom :)

FYI, my 11 days in Hokkaido is as follows:

Day 1 - Arrival, Sapporo (clock tower plus some shopping)

Day 2 - Otaru by JR (Music Box Museum, Otaru Canal etc.)

Day 3 - Ecorin Village at Eniwa by JR, Sapporo (Former Government Office), Odori Park

Day 4 - Drive to Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa

Day 5 - Drive to Shari (stopover at Engaru, Lake Saroma, Abashiri, Oshin-koshin no Taki)

Day 6 - Shiretoko, Utoro (Goko, Kamuiwakka no Taki)

Day 7 - Drive to Furano (stopover at Bihoro)

Day 8 - Furano (Farm Tomita, Flower Land), Biei (Shikisai no Oka, Paromana Road), Drive to Asahikawa, Sapporo by JR

Day 9 - Sapporo (shopping --- summer sales!)

Day 10 - Sapporo (more shopping --- summer sales!)

Day 11 - Sapporo (Beer Museum)

While it appears I have catered quite a few days for Sapporo (esp. to let my wife shop around), I'm glad that I did so, as summer sales was ongoing and even I found shopping enjoyable and picked up some bargains.

The only thing I wish is to extend the trip by 1-2 days for the middle part when I rented the car (I rented for 5 days to cap the costs) - one more day to spend in Shiretoko just to enjoy the nature, relaxing (onsen etc.) plus one extra day to drive from Shari to Furano (that was the only day I felt tired from driving, and perhaps we could popped by Lake Akan for a few hours).

We definitely will be back to visit places like Hakodate, Kushiro, Lake Akan. Thank you :)

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7. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hi yongcheng

Nice to see you here again and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your trip, and like us are always looking forward to revisit beautiful Hokkaido.

How was the flowering condition in Furano!? Was the lavender in full bloom and did you go for Lavender East!? What about the Irodori Field in Farm Tomita – was the rainbow colour field up yet during your time of visit!? There were a lot of posts on June-July visit to Hokkaido in the past month and I’m sure your first-hand feedback would prove useful for those going next year.

Thanks for posting.

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8. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hi William,

Farm Tomita posts photos on its website practically everyday during this season... looking at their photos for the past three days, the lavender were definitely in full bloom.

I visited the lavender fields (including Farm Tomita) exactly one week ago. The lavender were blooming and seemed full bloom to me, but this being my first visit to a lavender field and I honestly can't tell if the lavender was indeed in full bloom. There was only one field in Farm Tomita that was obviously not in bloom. The rainbow color field was up and very nice indeed.

I didn't go for Lavender East as I reckoned we only had time for three farms and we chose Shikisai for variety - we got a bonus of seeing sunflower there! (which we did not expect at all thinking it was way too early).

Hope the above helps.

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9. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hi YongCheng, glad you had enjoyed the trip. wife and me booked trip at end Aug for 6 full day excl flight, now at planning stage. Can you advise cost of car per day incl insurance, thz in advance

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10. Re: 10 days Fly drive in Hokkaido

Hi there,

There are quite a few car rental companies out there:

http://hokkaidoguide.com/vehicle_hire.php

What I did was, planned my route using Google Maps based on where I wanted to go. Next I selected the hotels. So besides costs, the location of the car rental outlets was a factor for me - it must be near enough to the hotel I was staying in Sapporo (I did not rent the car from Day 1 at the airport), so that we can load up all the luggage without sweat.

In the end, I chose Nippon Rent-A-Car. It is not the cheapest, but as I mentioned location was a factor for me. The service was excellent, there was a guy who can speak basic English and explained everything in detail for me. And I got a very new car! :)

There was a long-term drive campaign, and I took the minimum no. of days for this (which gave me some discount) which is 5 days. Total cost is 53,000 yen for class S-A (including insurance and a 3,000 yen extra charge for returning the car at a different outlet at Asahikawa).

When you collect the car, rem to:

- check that the car has a English GPS before you drove off

- get the ETC card from them and slot it in. If you use the expressway with toll, it is easier and at certain times (eg. weekends) you will enjoy discount on the toll fee. Settle the toll fees when you return the car.

One more thing, do take some time to read this:

…visit-hokkaido.jp/forAgent/…driving_en.pdf

This is just FYI, as Nippon Rent-a-car gave me their driving guide during collection of car, along with another booklet which has a list of attractions with the mapcodes. It's a comprehensive list and contained all the places I wanted to go.

With the GPS you either key in the mapcode or tel no. For hotels, I would like key in the hotel tel no.

One more thing, remember to go AA to apply for International Driving Permit if you have not done so.

Enjoy your drive :)