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hokiemama Aug 31st, 2006 05:10 AM

Need Help on Hokkaido Itinerary
Hi Everyone,
I will be in Japan for 2 weeks with my husband from September 9-24. We've been to Japan a few times before but never really explored the Hokkaido area. So we plan to spend about 6 days in Hokkaido on this trip. Any comments/feedback on our itinerary will be greatly appreciated!

Day 1: Arrive in Sapporo in the morning. Head out to Asahikawa for half a day. Then head to Furano. Sleep in Furano.

Day 2: Explore Furano and surrounding area. Sleep in Furano.

Day 3: Travel from Furano to Kushiro. Spend the day there as well as the night.

Day 4: Travel from Kushiro to Otaru via Sapporo for the afternoon and then down to Hakodate for the evening. Spend the night at Hakodate.

Day 5: Travel from Hakodate to Noboribetsu and check out an onsen and explore the area. Head back to Sapporo and spend the night there.

Day 6: Explore Sapporo for the day and then take the night train to Tokyo in the evening.

A specific question I have is regarding Day 4. Is there a train that we can take directly to Otaru from Kushiro, or do we have to go via Sapporo?

And any comment on whether I have allotted too much/too little time for each area would greatly be appreciated.

Finally, if any of you have any recs on specific aspects of each place we plan to visit in Hokkaido (Asahikawa, Furano, Kushiro, Otaru, Hakodate, Noboribetsu, Sapporo), that too would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

mrwunrfl Aug 31st, 2006 08:28 AM

If you are going to be using a private plane to get around then that might work. Day 4 is totally unreasonable. I recommend that you skip Hakodate. Or, at least, don't return to Sapporo from there, just go south.

mrwunrfl Aug 31st, 2006 08:30 AM

If you do travel from Hakodate to Noboribetsu Onsen then you should spend the night there, not continue to Sapporo.

hokiemama Sep 2nd, 2006 08:49 AM

Okay, I see how ridiculous our itinerary was after doing a bit more research about Hokkaido. So the following is our "wishful" revised this doable?

Day 1: Arrive Sapporo and explore Sapporo. Sleep Sapporo

Day 2: Explore Otaru in the morning and after lunch head over to Furano. Sleep in Furano

Day 3: Travel to Kushiro. Sleep Kushiro

Day 4: Travel to Noboribetsu. Sleep Noboribetsu

Day 5: Explore Noboribetsu then head out to Hakodate in the evening to take the night train to Tokyo.

The following are some questions/concerns I have:

1. Should we drop Furano and just head straight to Kushiro on Day 2 so that we have enough time for Kushiro?

2. About how long will it take for us to travel from Kushiro to Noboribetsu on Day 4?

3. Any must see suggestions in Kushiro?

Thanks again for any feedback!

mrwunrfl Sep 2nd, 2006 02:59 PM

That still sounds pretty busy and you dropped a day. You can get train times at

scout4 Sep 4th, 2006 07:54 PM

Definitely go to Kushiro marsh while in Kushiro. You can also drive out to Akan, Masshuu and Kussharo Lake area...see the sulfur springs and algae balls (at Akan lake).

travelmug Sep 7th, 2006 10:47 AM

Not really "doable". Otaru is close to Sapporo, but not that close!

AmandaH Sep 16th, 2006 04:13 AM

Hi there,

not sure what season you are coming but...

What about dropping Sapporo? Go straight to Otaru and stay the night there.
Sapporo is a nice city, but if you hunting for a very Japanesey experience then Otaru might be better - old buildings, sushi restaurants, the canal...funky shopping...

same goes for Furano - unless you are going during summer...there really isn't much to do there once the flowers have stopped.

I'd suggest.
Day i Go straight to Otatu. Explore and stay.

Day 2. Go to Sounkyo Gorge. Stay.

day 3. Go to Akan Onsen. Stay and go to Kushiro March - it's only one hour from Akan by car.

Day 4. Back to Sapporo. Stay.

Day 5. Noborbetsu . Stay.

Day 6. Hakodate...explire and take night train to Tokyo.

You don't say how you plan to travel, but I'd recommend hiring a car once you get to Otaru...and returning it to Sapporo. Then do the final leg - Sapporo/Noboribets/Hakodate by train.

Distances in Hokkiado are big, and apart from the few express highways (expensive tolls) most roads are one lane...and cross mountians...

does this help?


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