Hokkaido has been one of the places on my bucket list, but because of the cost I had been putting it off for a while. But since I moved to Tokyo 2 year ago, I finally had a chance to visit this October. It took me quite a while to prepare for this trip, since Hokkaido was way bigger than I had thought. Being a nature fanatic, I wanted to explore the far reaches, notably East Hokkaido, but quickly realized it wasn’t feasible to do within a week. I didn’t want to spend most of the trip driving, so if you are planning your itinerary, do be aware of the size of Hokkaido.
In this trip, I focused more on the places that tourists usually visit, as well as some off the beaten places that only locals are aware of. So there is a good mix of touristy must-sees as well as hidden gems.
The total trip length was 8D 7N, departing on Saturday morning and returning the next Saturday evening. But it was off to a rocky start, as guess what, I missed my flight for the first time ever in my life. I stupidly arrived 30 minutes before the departure time thinking that I didn’t require additional time it being a domestic flight, but boy was I wrong!
Thank goodness for being a Krisflyer card member, as I somehow managed to get onto plane 2 flights later. I did learn some valuable lessons though.
Firstly, priority goes to those with card status, so if you have nothing, and you happen to depart on a national holiday, the chances of you catching another flight is pretty slim. Also, card status is for one person only, so if your partner doesn’t have similar status as you, the queue number will be quite different as well.
Make sure too that you get this queue number before you clear security, which means right at the check in counter. In situations like these, moving one or two queue numbers up can make a lot of difference.
In any case, try not to miss your flight! It saves you a lot of trouble and unnecessary stress.
For the outline of this trip, we adopted our Iceland Ring Road strategy, going in a (small) circle before coming back to Sapporo, the main city of Hokkaido.
The outline of our trip was as follows:
Sapporo – Furano – Asahikawa – Daisetsuzan Sounkyo Kurodake Ropeway – Lake Shikotsu – Noboribetsu – Lake Toya – Sapporo
We rented a car on the 2nd day of the trip, from my trusted Nippon Rent a Car . I checked the prices of most car rental agencies and still Nippon is the cheapest as far as I know. Don’t forget to register as a member, and you will be automatically entered a 15% discount! Sometimes there are early bird deals so book as early as you possibly can. Often, the earlier you book the bigger the discount, so if your plans are already fixed don’t forget to lock down the rates quickly!
In terms of costs, I’ve summarized below the total spent for flight and accommodation.
In the next few posts, I will write the details of my trip, please leave a comment below if you visited the same places or how you felt!