Around Hokkaido | 5 Days
Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan’s four main islands, a vast and rich area filled with spectacular scenery, incredible food and friendly people
The wilderness of Hokkaido provides numerous outdoor pursuits, and its cities, nestled against the backdrop of mountains and lakes, provide culinary delights and a dose of culture. With its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons and hikers, cyclists and campers from June to September.
The mild weather in summer is great for exploring the green hills and national parks. Visit the lakes, rivers and mountains for hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rafting. See animals and birds in their natural habitats and bathe in volcanic waters with picturesque backdrops. In winter , enjoy world-class skiing at the many resorts on the island.
With its wide-open spaces, national parks, active volcanoes, forests of silvery beech, forlorn coastlines and remote fishing towns, Hokkaido is ideal for road trips.
As public transport is lacking, self-driving is the best way to explore. You’ll spend your trip driving along traffic-free, smooth stretches of tarmac that sweep between forested volcanoes, farmland and candy-striped flower fields – on the left-hand side of the road. An international drivers license is all that is needed. Hokkaid?’s roads are well paved and well signposted in English
Snowbound for half the year, it’s worth waiting until June to visit Hokkaido when the last of the drifts have melted.
During June and July, you’re likely to see the majority of the flowers in bloom, as the weather gradually peaks to around 25 degrees (77 F) in August.
In September and October you’ll catch the leaves turning autumnal. By November, the snow has usually hit and attractions begin to close.
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Day 2 – Sapporo – Furano – Biei – Asahikawa – Sounkyo onsen | self drive to hotel in Sunkyo Onsen.
Sapporo – (approx.140min) – farm tomita – (approx.30min) – Shirogane blue pond – (approx.60min) – Snow crystal museum – (approx.80min) – Sounkyo onsen
Tomita farm – lavender and various colourful flowers are planted on the farm, and they are in their full glory from spring to autumn. even in the middle of winter, lavender flowers can be viewed in the warm greenhouse.
Shirogane blue pond – the surface of the water in this mysterious pond is a rich blue colour. The ghostly skeletons of the long-dead Japanese larch trees create a mystical atmosphere.
Snow Crystal Museum – their stunning beauty is captured in the snow-themed design of this museum’s interior, while the exterior resembles a european castle from the middle ages.
Accommodation: Sounkyo onsen
Day 3 – Sounkyo onsen – Abashiri – Akanko Onsen
self drive to hotel in Akanko Onsen.
Sounkyo onsen – (appx.170min) – Abashiri prison museum/Okhotsk ryu-hyo museum –(appx.90min) – Akanko Onsen
Abashiri prison museum – the actual prison cells, used until 1984, were moved here and restored as a museum.
Okhotsk ryu-hyo museum – an oasis where visitors can view the sea of okhotsk and the drift ice. the drift ice experience room, where the temperate is set to -15 degrees, provides the opportunity to touch the real drift ice.
Accommodation: Akanko Onsen
Day 4 – Akanko Onsen – Kushiro – Tachigawa Onsen
self drive to hotel in tokachigawa onsen.
akanko onsen – (approx. 60min) – lake mashu – (approx.80min) – hosooka viewpoint – (appx.35min) – washo market/nusamai bridge – (appx.120min.) – tokachigawa onsen.
Hosooka view point – this observatory is representative of the eastern portion of the wetland. it offers a spectacular view of the kushiro river meandering through the wetland.
Accommodation: Tokachigawa Onsen
Day 5 – Tokachigawa onsen – New Chitose Airport
self drive to New Chitose Airport.
tokachigawa onsen (appx.1min) – garden spa tokachigawa onsen – (appx.150min) – new chitose airport
Garden Spa Tokachigawa Onsen – the latest independent hot spring in Tokachigawa that offers a variety of food choices, hot spring (onsen), cooking classes, and some activities for both tourists and local community. there is a famous bakery, a grocery shop, four choices of restaurants for simple food and coffee, a spa and workshops for cooking classes.