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Old 13-07-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
dleodleo
Master Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,855
Hi all,

Here to share my itinerary and experience to those who will be visiting Japan in the next few weeks.

Weather in Tokyo was pretty cooling at the start but it started raining for the last few days in Tokyo. I guess it's rainy season or something. It is VERY humid. Short sleeves are ok but do bring a jacket out as it can be quite cold especially when the wind blow.

Weather in Hokkaido was rainy and cloudy for more than half of our stay there. It was a pity as we didn't visit Unkai Terrace (Sea Clouds) as the probability of occurrence was only 30%, probably because of the rain.

Driving in Hokkaido - navigation was done solely on Google Maps (pretty awesome and convenient provided that you rented a mobile wifi). Got mine sponsored from Ninja Wifi. Don't think it's the cheapest option out there but it is definitely reliable and convenient (airport pick up and return) and has no data limit. Mobile WIFI is recommended if you're traveling with 3 or more friends, cheaper than each person owning a data sim.

Language Barrier was pretty bad in Hokkaido. There was a hotel which told us "no english" when we called to tell them that we will arrive late =/ Eating in restaurants at the outskirts was bad too. Menu was in full Japanese and we could only identify the few kanji characters. The dishes came as a surprise as we basically ordered "Chicken" "Pork" and "Udon" or said whatever random words they could understand =p Quite an experience..

Visited Shiretoko and attended the 5 lakes tour which was very beautiful but we were not lucky enough to see any bears. Only paw and scratch marks. Do note that reservation with a registered guide is required during high season for bears. Otherwise, you are only allowed to visit 1 lake.

Lake Akan and the Marimo was very disappointing. We thought that you will be able to see Marimos in the lake but all we saw after taking going for the 90 minute cruise ride was Marimos in a fish tank. Wasn't really worth the 1,900Y ride as it was rainy that day.

Visited Mt Asahidake and it was really nice to see snow/ice in July! Portions of the walking trails were covered by snow and they recommended us to rent the boots.

Flowers in July - only Lavender and other less popular flowers. Sunflowers not in bloom yet. Visited the all-so-famous Farm Tomita but it was a little too touristy (bus loads of tourist) for us and we didn't really enjoy it. You are not allowed to walk through the flower fields as well.. pretty disappointing.

Must try - melon fruit slice (price range between 230Y to 350Y depending on where you are)

Must go - Lake Toya and stay in the most expensive resort - Lake View Nonokaze. Service is 100%, onsen is rooftop open air "infinity pool" feel. Dinner and Breakfast spread was damn good.

Will blog with more details in time to come..

Feel free to ask any questions!
Thanks for sharing!
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