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TRIP REPORT - 9D TOKYO/HOKKAIDO DRIVE

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:59 PM   #1
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TRIP REPORT - 9D TOKYO/HOKKAIDO DRIVE

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!
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:13 PM   #2
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hi,

did quite understand the free wifi. or rather, any recommendation for sim card ? about 12 days usage.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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hi,

did quite understand the free wifi. or rather, any recommendation for sim card ? about 12 days usage.
I only tried out the docomo 7-days data card before. Bought it off taobao and it worked fine on my iphone. If I'm not wrong, they have a 15-days data card too. Haven't tried the other brands.

I do see machines selling data sim in the airport as well. If you're flying in from Haneda, there's 1-2 machines near the Keiyu train entrance. Price wise might be about 3,000+Y if I'm not wrong.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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Wat car rental company? Toyota?

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Old 10-07-2015, 09:28 PM   #5
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Wat car rental company? Toyota?
We booked from nissan, X-trail. big car is shiok =D
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:08 PM   #6
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Not sure if you guys already know.. It is better to fly in/out from Haneda Airport.

Shared some tips on buying tax-free items too.. There's no checking of items at the customs of Haneda Airport (July 2015).

http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...da-and-narita/
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Old 13-07-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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Not sure if you guys already know.. It is better to fly in/out from Haneda Airport.

Shared some tips on buying tax-free items too.. There's no checking of items at the customs of Haneda Airport (July 2015).

http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...da-and-narita/

read ur post on haneda vs narita.


there are other options for traveling from Narita to Tokyo other than those u listed. for example, Keisei Skyliner goes to Ueno for 2470yen in 45min, and Keisei main line cost 1030yen and takes about 90min. these could be significant when deciding which airport to choose.


there is also discounted tickets and passes for consideration. for example, NEX round trip ticket is 4000yen.
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Old 13-07-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
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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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Old 13-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #9
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read ur post on haneda vs narita.


there are other options for traveling from Narita to Tokyo other than those u listed. for example, Keisei Skyliner goes to Ueno for 2470yen in 45min, and Keisei main line cost 1030yen and takes about 90min. these could be significant when deciding which airport to choose.


there is also discounted tickets and passes for consideration. for example, NEX round trip ticket is 4000yen.
thanks for the inputs! I will add it in.

Thanks.
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Old 24-07-2015, 04:03 PM   #10
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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!
hi i would like to know how many days you spent in hokkaido and how much was the rental?
planning a trip there during late november
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Old 25-07-2015, 06:20 PM   #11
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hi i would like to know how many days you spent in hokkaido and how much was the rental?
planning a trip there during late november
Hello, we spent 7 days 6 nights in Hokkaido and the rental cost about $1,000 for a Nissan MPV and petrol/tolls/parking was about $340 and mileage clocked was 1,635km. We had 4 people.

Hope this info helps.
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Old 25-07-2015, 11:51 PM   #12
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1st: Haneda vs Narita Airport, tax-free issues, locker rental - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...da-and-narita/

2nd: Trip Summary - $$ and itinerary and accommodation - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...ive-july-2015/

3rd: Mobile Wifi in Japan - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...a-wifi-review/

more to come..
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Old 26-07-2015, 12:03 PM   #13
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For Narita, the customs counter is also after immigration.
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Old 26-07-2015, 11:45 PM   #14
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thanks a lot! indeed a great aid!
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:13 PM   #15
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Added article 4 & 5 and..

REMINDER TO THOSE STAYING IN AIRBNB - Don't forget to ask your host on how to turn on the water heater or risk bathing in the cold water.

I will be starting on my Hokkaido articles soon; hopefully I have more time during the long weekend!

1st: Haneda vs Narita Airport, tax-free issues, locker rental - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...da-and-narita/

2nd: Trip Summary - $$ and itinerary and accommodation - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...ive-july-2015/

3rd: Mobile Wifi in Japan - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...a-wifi-review/

4th: Failed visit to Little Twin Stars pop-up Cafe - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/07...ala-my-melody/

5th: Yoyogi Park, Meiji Shrine and Harajuku - http://www.flyhoneystars.com/2015/08...rine-harajuku/
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