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13D 12N Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokyo

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Old 15-08-2019, 10:47 PM   #1
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13D 12N Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokyo

Hello peeps,

After a 3 year hiatus, have decided to head back to the land of the rising sun. 2nd time to hokkaido and 4th time back to tokyo. My wife was fascinated with the snow fes the first time round and we have decided to head over to sapporo for our 2nd snow fes next year.

Have not bought any air tiks or room reservation, therefore open to all suggestions. I will most likely purchase the JR east south hokkaido pass. It seems many places are close in tohoku during winter, therefore will spend more time in tohoku in future sakura or koyo trip.

Let me know what you guys think of my draft itinerary. Fly in Sapporo out Tokyo. Any advise is welcome flights,accommodation,pass,itinerary,attractions, food, etc. My pace of travel is slightly towards the slow side.

Thai airways 1H 20mins connection doable for luggage transfer as well, if miss flight will they put me on flight with other airlines or have to wait 1 whole day. I could also opt for a 4H 20M connection. I will then miss the snow fes and hotel seem much more expensive than I was there some years back.

D1: Sapporo snow fes
D2: Sapporo city
D3: Nikkei distillery interesting? Otaru snow fes
D4: Activate JR pass to Hakodate
(I Have been to noboreibetsu and hakodate before. Is the Onuma national park worth going in winter or I just explore hakodate again. I was lucky to see the fireworks in my previous winter trip)
D5: Activate JR pass to Aomori. Fish market, museum and hirosaki castle, cause castle close so not sure what other stuff to do at hirosaki.
D6: Activate JR pass to Sendai and matsushima bay
D7: Activate JR pass to Yokohama
D8: Activate JR pass Yokohama day trip to Kawazu for cherry blossom
(Anyone been to Kawazu before how long to spend there, possible to do odawara castle as well?) Might want to head to tokyo in the night after Kawazu.
D9: Tokyo Disneysea
D10: Tokyo Mount Fuji day trip (Take bus most convenient then train right)
D11: Tokyo (shopping)
D12: Tokyo (sightseeing)
D13: Activate JR pass to narita airport
(Should I activate the JR pass to Fuji san or to narita airport?)

TIA
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:49 AM   #2
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Onuma is pretty nice to walk around during autumn period. Have not been there for the winter though.
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:54 AM   #3
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We went to the snow festivals last year, SO said no more Otaru Snow Light Path, we both felt it was a waste of time. The best place to see the light-up along Otaru Canal was the tiny bridge area where it was filled with so many people waiting for the sunset.

Not sure your travel dates but Kawazu-zakura blooms are usually late February. Stayed Izu for 10N with Kawazu 2N in 2017 to catch the blooms. The only earlier blooms in Kanto during late January to early February are actually at Atami-zakura along Itogawa near Atami Ginza.

Forgot to mention, Onuma Park was on our list (2N in Hakodate), but the trains were all cancelled due to heavy snowfall and there were only 3 bus services to the park - 2 in the morning before 12pm and 1 in the late afternoon. We had no choice but to drop it and hung around Tsutaya Books (mega store) till late afternoon to catch sunset and light-up at Goryokaku Tower/ Park. :'(

Last edited by thwysg; 16-08-2019 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 16-08-2019, 01:30 PM   #4
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Onuma Quasi National Park is quite pretty in the winter too.

There's various snow activities available.


Taken in Feb 2018, self drive there.
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Old 16-08-2019, 06:35 PM   #5
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Tehcow: Beautiful winter scenery of Onuma. Any idea if we are able to hike, walk or cycle around the park in winter? Did you try the ice fishing or other snow activites?

thwysg: If everything go as plan my Kawazu trip should be on 18/2, is it a good time or too early. I do note Sakura forecast is always a gamble. Atami-zakura is it near a JR train station?

Tell me about it I was in Japan several years back when a freak snow storm hit tokyo and buses to mount Fuji were all cancelled, therefore I am determined to make it happen this time round as my SO had not been there before. She only got a teaser on the plane to Haneda airport.

James: Any koyo at onuma in autumn?
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:50 PM   #6
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Tehcow: Beautiful winter scenery of Onuma. Any idea if we are able to hike, walk or cycle around the park in winter? Did you try the ice fishing or other snow activites?

thwysg: If everything go as plan my Kawazu trip should be on 18/2, is it a good time or too early. I do note Sakura forecast is always a gamble. Atami-zakura is it near a JR train station?

Tell me about it I was in Japan several years back when a freak snow storm hit tokyo and buses to mount Fuji were all cancelled, therefore I am determined to make it happen this time round as my SO had not been there before. She only got a teaser on the plane to Haneda airport.

James: Any koyo at onuma in autumn?
Hmm 18/2 is a bit neither here nor there. 15 min away from Atami station. Can catch plum festivals instead. Atami Bairin and a few others. Thereís also rapeseed and camellia flower festivals.

As for Onuma, pray that you have better luck and good weather than me. We might head back to East Hokkaido in winter, this time round for Stellerís sea eagles and Blakistonís fish owl and maybe other animals if we had luck.
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Old 16-08-2019, 09:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for your advice, it is always a bonus to be able to see flowers in winter. Will go research on the plum blossom festivals.

Fingers crossed. I think eastern hokkaido there are some observatory to view the japanese cranes as well. I guess you be driving in eastern hokkaido?


Hmm 18/2 is a bit neither here nor there. 15 min away from Atami station. Can catch plum festivals instead. Atami Bairin and a few others. Thereís also rapeseed and camellia flower festivals.

As for Onuma, pray that you have better luck and good weather than me. We might head back to East Hokkaido in winter, this time round for Stellerís sea eagles and Blakistonís fish owl and maybe other animals if we had luck.
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Old 16-08-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for your advice, it is always a bonus to be able to see flowers in winter. Will go research on the plum blossom festivals.

Fingers crossed. I think eastern hokkaido there are some observatory to view the japanese cranes as well. I guess you be driving in eastern hokkaido?
Ah yes, the red crowned cranes. Never done any driving when we travel, so itís always the public transport. We did have a guide around Obihiro who brought us to see the animals.

Can take a look at the pictures of the animals for the Hokkaido leg, not a lot though. East Hokkaido deserves a whole trip on its own.
https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/japan-271/tokyo-hokkaido-trip-feb-2018-a-5722689.html
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Old 17-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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Tehcow: Beautiful winter scenery of Onuma. Any idea if we are able to hike, walk or cycle around the park in winter? Did you try the ice fishing or other snow activities?
Yes, you will be able to walk around the park and even on the lake itself.
I did not try ice fishing or snow activities there as I have previously tried it at Obihiro and Furano already.

Thereís also a small area with ice sculptures built single handedly by a guy there with slides and sled to play with for visitors as well.
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 PM   #10
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Talking

Thwysg: Yes i agree and eastern hokkaido looks very tempting. But public transportation will have to rely mostly on buses right? As I do not speak and read Japanese, i find it very hard to fish out the bus timetables and numbers. For trains I still have hyperdia =)

TehCow: Great I shall make it a point to visit this time round. Any recommendation on duration to spend there if just want to walk and explore around the park and soak into the atmosphere.

I will be heading to Hakodate from Sapporo, most likely want to visit Onuma first as do not want to backtrack. By any chance did you notice any luggage lockers or place to store the luggage. I have 3 pax so 3 big and 3 carry on luggage.
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Old Yesterday, 06:34 PM   #11
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Thwysg: Yes i agree and eastern hokkaido looks very tempting. But public transportation will have to rely mostly on buses right? As I do not speak and read Japanese, i find it very hard to fish out the bus timetables and numbers. For trains I still have hyperdia =)

TehCow: Great I shall make it a point to visit this time round. Any recommendation on duration to spend there if just want to walk and explore around the park and soak into the atmosphere.

I will be heading to Hakodate from Sapporo, most likely want to visit Onuma first as do not want to backtrack. By any chance did you notice any luggage lockers or place to store the luggage. I have 3 pax so 3 big and 3 carry on luggage.
Yes, buses or do those one-day hop-on-hop-off tour buses (think from Obihiro and some other locations) and stay over at one of the nearby hotels along the journey. There might be trains to certain locations.

Luggage forwarding and carry an overnight bag? Onuma probably doesnít have huge lockers. Go to the tourist information plaza instead.
http://onumakouen.com/en/q_a/
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Old Today, 09:37 AM   #12
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Thwysg: Yes i agree and eastern hokkaido looks very tempting. But public transportation will have to rely mostly on buses right? As I do not speak and read Japanese, i find it very hard to fish out the bus timetables and numbers. For trains I still have hyperdia =)

TehCow: Great I shall make it a point to visit this time round. Any recommendation on duration to spend there if just want to walk and explore around the park and soak into the atmosphere.

I will be heading to Hakodate from Sapporo, most likely want to visit Onuma first as do not want to backtrack. By any chance did you notice any luggage lockers or place to store the luggage. I have 3 pax so 3 big and 3 carry on luggage.
Around 2hours-ish would be good (i spent around 1.5 hours). there's omiyage stores and food stall there selling seafood.
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