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Mid dec Hokkaido trip - first timer

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Old 07-08-2019, 11:07 AM   #1
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Mid dec Hokkaido trip - first timer

Need suggestions on whether this would work out for 3 people, first timers in hokkaido, right now not sure if we should travel from hakodate to sapporo or the other way round or even land at asashiyama first.

2Days?
Hakodate

1Day?
Lake Toya
Noboribetsu

2Days?
Sapporo
Otaru

2Days?
Asahiyama

Will be travelling using public transport, not looking into skiing so mainly sight seeing and eating.
Would there be any stuff of interest along the way or any changes to how long one should stay at certain areas?
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:46 AM   #2
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Hakodate 1 day is enough to see everything but unless you are flying in there and move upwards, i wont recommend going at all, i just came back few days ago, probably the biggest disappointment for the whole trip.

Sapporo need 3,4 days if 1 day is for Otaru.

Asahikawa mid Dec got what? I think the penguin walk for the zoo start frm end Dec.

If you need the latest bus timing for Toya to Nobo or Sapporo can pm me.

Last edited by Delardino; 07-08-2019 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:49 AM   #3
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Depends how many days in total you intend to stay in hokkaido and how far you willing to travel. Places like cape kamui, or Jozankei might be worth a visit if you going to Otaru.


If you can only travel by public transport, maybe you can try their local tour.

Recommended days
Haokodate - 1 day
Lake toya, noboribestu - 1 day
Sapporo - 2 days
Otaru - 1 evening or afternoon, just a side trip
Asahiyama - will rather stay in furano

I felt dec may not be a good time in hokkaido. Late for autumn and early for winter scenery. Also very cold to travel during this period

Need suggestions on whether this would work out for 3 people, first timers in hokkaido, right now not sure if we should travel from hakodate to sapporo or the other way round or even land at asashiyama first.

2Days?
Hakodate

1Day?
Lake Toya
Noboribetsu

2Days?
Sapporo
Otaru

2Days?
Asahiyama

Will be travelling using public transport, not looking into skiing so mainly sight seeing and eating.
Would there be any stuff of interest along the way or any changes to how long one should stay at certain areas?
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Last edited by oohmygod; 07-08-2019 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
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Hakodate 1 day is enough to see everything but unless you are flying in there and move upwards, i wont recommend going at all, i just came back few days ago, probably the biggest disappointment for the whole trip.

Sapporo need 3,4 days if 1 day is for Otaru.

Asahikawa mid Dec got what? I think the penguin walk for the zoo start frm end Dec.

If you need the latest bus timing for Toya to Nobo or Sapporo can pm me.
mainly for the zoo, i'm heading from mid to end dec so thats roughly the period for the parade as well
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:04 PM   #5
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Depends how many days in total you intend to stay in hokkaido and how far you willing to travel. Places like cape kamui, or Jozankei might be worth a visit if you going to Otaru.


If you can only travel by public transport, maybe you can try their local tour.

Recommended days
Haokodate - 1 day
Lake toya, noboribestu - 1 day
Sapporo - 2 days
Otaru - 1 evening or afternoon, just a side trip
Asahiyama - will rather stay in furano

I felt dec may not be a good time in hokkaido. Late for autumn and early for winter scenery. Also very cold to travel during this period
still deciding how long to travel for, probably max 1.5 week?
none of us drives so just public transport
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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Hakodate 1 day is enough to see everything but unless you are flying in there and move upwards, i wont recommend going at all, i just came back few days ago, probably the biggest disappointment for the whole trip.
Hakodate is one of those places that are excellent when you go at the right time. I would say the best time to go is when the cherry blossoms are peaking in Spring. Goryokaku is really a sight during this time.

Unfortunately you went in the off season when nothing interesting is going on there.

The morning market also has excellent seafood for food people too.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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Hakodate 1 day is enough to see everything but unless you are flying in there and move upwards, i wont recommend going at all, i just came back few days ago, probably the biggest disappointment for the whole trip.

Sapporo need 3,4 days if 1 day is for Otaru.

Asahikawa mid Dec got what? I think the penguin walk for the zoo start frm end Dec.

If you need the latest bus timing for Toya to Nobo or Sapporo can pm me.
What did you see for hakodate? I also planned for 2 days in Hakodate, arriving through the airport.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:47 PM   #8
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some of the stuff i saw online about hakodate was
-Hokodate Asaichi Morning Market
-Goryokaku Tower
-Goryokaku Park
-Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
-Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
-mt hakodate


isnt that quite abit of things to see imo but if it's not worth to just head south or start from the south then i could skip hakodate i guess
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:01 PM   #9
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Hakodate is one of those places that are excellent when you go at the right time. I would say the best time to go is when the cherry blossoms are peaking in Spring. Goryokaku is really a sight during this time.

Unfortunately you went in the off season when nothing interesting is going on there.

The morning market also has excellent seafood for food people too.
Yes, the morning market is very lively unlike after 7pm, the whole city seems to go to bed, only a few eateries are open.

Plus the night view when i went was terrible, foggy all e way.

Plus point: the ice cream at Goryokaku is nice and i kinda prefer their ramen more then the other 2 cities also.

What did you see for hakodate? I also planned for 2 days in Hakodate, arriving through the airport.
Morning Market > Goryokaku > Red Brick Warehouse > Motomachi > Mt Hakodate, in this order all on the 2nd day.

Check the weather on the 1st night, if it is good, u may want to go up that day, dont wait till 2nd day, weather very unpredictable sometimes.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:09 PM   #10
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some of the stuff i saw online about hakodate was
-Hokodate Asaichi Morning Market
-Goryokaku Tower
-Goryokaku Park
-Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
-Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
-mt hakodate


isnt that quite abit of things to see imo but if it's not worth to just head south or start from the south then i could skip hakodate i guess
If you are flying in there, no harm staying for a night at least, on a clear night which i didn't encounter, the view itself more or less will make you wont regret going to the city imo.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:29 PM   #11
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You mean Asahikawa? Winter time may not have anything much and if you are travelling to the zoo, it will be very, very cold in December. For penguins, there are other zoo near to Noboribetsu since you are going there like https://en.nixe.co.jp/schedule/penguin-parade/.

Furano has interesting workshops and factory tours, so perhaps a better place to stay. The only problem is public transport there is not as good. If you can, try to rent a car and drive.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:51 AM   #12
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Winter? I did mine during the snow festivals last year. Public transport only. Lake Toya > Sapporo + Otaru > Asahikawa > Obihiro > Hakodate.

We stayed at least two nights in each place since bad weather is common in Hokkaido. Sunsets are early, around 4.30pm to 5pm.

2Days?
Hakodate

This one is alright. Depends on what you really wanna see. Goryokaku Tower has a winter light-up event for the park. Go before sunset.

1Day?
Lake Toya
Noboribetsu

A bit rush for two places. Thereís two daily bus services that run between the two onsen towns - morning and afternoon.

2Days?
Sapporo
Otaru

Stay longer in Sapporo - itís the city and more sights within the area. Lots of places to eat. Youíll need one day at Otaru too. Do try the morning market Sankaku Ichiba 三角市場 next to Otaru station.

2Days?
Asahiyama

Think you meant Asahikawa. Not an interesting place to be in. Was there mainly for the zoo, the snow festival and the ramen. But can use this as a base to visit Biei. Blue Pond would be frozen with light-up.

Watch out for weather conditions and whether the trains are running. Common to have train delays and cancellations during bad weather. Bus services would be your alternative in the event the trains are not running. Do check the bus time schedules - might be different in winter. Likewise for opening hours for attractions.

If you have elderly or young, you can consider day tours via bus. Many tours do start and end at Sapporo.

The period youíre travelling is full of winter and Xímas light-ups. Check individual official tourism websites. They will have more information on such events.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:35 AM   #13
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Winter? I did mine during the snow festivals last year. Public transport only. Lake Toya > Sapporo + Otaru > Asahikawa > Obihiro > Hakodate.

We stayed at least two nights in each place since bad weather is common in Hokkaido. Sunsets are early, around 4.30pm to 5pm.

2Days?
Hakodate

This one is alright. Depends on what you really wanna see. Goryokaku Tower has a winter light-up event for the park. Go before sunset.

1Day?
Lake Toya
Noboribetsu

A bit rush for two places. Thereís two daily bus services that run between the two onsen towns - morning and afternoon.

2Days?
Sapporo
Otaru

Stay longer in Sapporo - itís the city and more sights within the area. Lots of places to eat. Youíll need one day at Otaru too. Do try the morning market Sankaku Ichiba 三角市場 next to Otaru station.

2Days?
Asahiyama

Think you meant Asahikawa. Not an interesting place to be in. Was there mainly for the zoo, the snow festival and the ramen. But can use this as a base to visit Biei. Blue Pond would be frozen with light-up.

Watch out for weather conditions and whether the trains are running. Common to have train delays and cancellations during bad weather. Bus services would be your alternative in the event the trains are not running. Do check the bus time schedules - might be different in winter. Likewise for opening hours for attractions.

If you have elderly or young, you can consider day tours via bus. Many tours do start and end at Sapporo.

The period youíre travelling is full of winter and Xímas light-ups. Check individual official tourism websites. They will have more information on such events.
how does the day tours work?
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:47 AM   #14
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how does the day tours work?
Book online, print out the confirmation email and bring it along to the meeting point on that day.

Check Japanican. Itís by JTB. There are other travel agencies offering similar itineraries.

https://www.japanican.com/en/tour/list/?typecd=TOU&typegrpcd=TPA&searchfrom=20191216&searchto=20191230&kw=Hokkaido%201-Day%20Bus%20Tour
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:51 AM   #15
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Book online, print out the confirmation email and bring it along to the meeting point on that day.

Check Japanican. Itís by JTB. There are other travel agencies offering similar itineraries.

https://www.japanican.com/en/tour/li...y%20Bus%20Tour
oh yeah, went to google a bit about blue pond, found a tour bus as well https://www.optbookmark.jp/plans/1602, thanks for the idea!
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