Home >> Itineraries,Japan Travel >> Hokkaido Self-drive with Kids (June 2014) Part 2 – Sapporo

Continued from: Hokkaido Self-drive with Kids (June 2014) Part 1

Sapporo Underground Shopping Arcade / Tanukikoji

We arrived in Sapporo from Otaru in the afternoon. It was raining pretty heavily, so we checked into our hotel in the Susukino district and rested while trying to decide what to do next. Our original plan was to spend the rest of the day walking around the Susukino district, but the heavy rain deterred us from doing so. In the end, we decided to drive out and park at the underground parking at Odori Park which was connected to Sapporo’s underground shopping arcade. The parking was expensive, but with kids around, there was no way to be out and about walking in the rain.

We explored the underground shopping arcade and various department stores connected to it. We went to Tanukikoji to have dinner at my favourite ramen shop, Barikiya.

After dinner, we explored the rest of Tanukikoji. At Tanukikoji 3 chome,we spent some time shopping at the large duty free shop called donki ho-te (ドン・キホーテ) which sells all sorts of things (snacks, toiletries, toys, luggage cases etc.) and is open 24 hours! It is basically Sapporo’s version of our Mustafa Centre.

After shopping at Donki Ho-te, we decided to call it a day and went back to our hotel to rest.

Day 7

Odori Park

We started bright and early with a visit to Odori Park. In my previous visit, we went to the Eastern end of Odori Park near the TV Tower, so this time, we went to the Western end where the Sapporo City Archive Museum was located.


Jyogai Ichiba (Sapporo Central Wholesale Market)

After a short walk in the park, we drove to Jyogai Ichiba (Sapporo Central Wholesale Market).


We had breakfast at Kita No Gourmet. The kaisen don here was THE most generous chirashi don I have ever eaten. There were like 10 types (okay, I didn’t count exactly how many there were) of sashimi overflowing from the giant bowl! They also serve yummy grilled fish which the kids enjoyed.


After our breakfast, we walked around the market to check out the various stalls selling all kinds of seafood and fruits.


Nakajima Koen (Sapporo Festival)

Our next destination was Nakajima Koen where the Sapporo Festival was being held. (See this post for more on the Sapporo Festival.)


Takino Suzuran Hillside Park

After exploring the festival, we drove on to Mitsui Outlet Park. The rain had cleared and it was bright and sunny for the first time in our trip! We decided it was a waste of such good weather to be stuck indoors, so I dropped my friend and his mum off at the outlet park and drove to Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park to let the kids have some fun.


And boy, did they have fun!! There was so much for the kids to play there! First we went to the dome with a giant net structure very similar to the one at Hakone Open Air Museum which we visited last November.


Just outside the dome was a giant ‘egg’ which was a basically a bouncy structure where kids could bounce around and slide down.


There was a hill next to it where we helped ourselves to one of the giant balls available and rolled them up and down the hill.


The ball was so much bigger than MY!


MF went up and down, up and down… He has unlimited energy!! Hubby and I took turns to go up and down with him, it was quite tiring!


As we walked further into the park, there were more play areas:


There were also some pretty cool slide areas:


We could easily have spent the whole day there, but we only had a few hours because we had to go back to the outlet park to pick up our friend. The kids were super happy, I’m so glad we made the trip there!


Snaffles Cafe Kiyota

We went back to the outlet park to pick up our friend and his mum, and drove to the nearby Snaffles Cafe at Kiyota for tea.


We tried some of their cakes and tarts, but I still like their signature catch cheesecake best. We were quite sad that they didn’t sell the strawberry shortcake we had at the Hakodate store here.


We were trying to decide where to go next, choosing between Hitsujigaoka Observation Park and Mount Moiwa, when suddenly it started raining heavily. So both options were out and we decided to just go back to Susukino for dinner and went back to our hotel to rest after that.

Day 8

Odori Park / Sapporo Clock Tower / Hokkaido Government Building

We started the day with a visit to Odori Park again. Since it was hubby and friend’s first visit to Sapporo, we went for the standard walking route from Sapporo TV Tower, to Sapporo Clock Tower, to Hokkaido Government Building and back to Odori Park.


A surprise find was a flea market being set up at the open air carpak beside Sapporo Clock Tower. There were lots of second hand clothes and toys being sold for dirt cheap prices! (We bought some toy cars for the kids for 10 yen each!)


Nijo Market / Sapporo Ramen Alley

After our walk, we decided to find a place to eat. Hubby and his friend wanted to visit Nijo Market, but hubby’s friend’s mother did not eat raw food and had enough of visiting markets (and watching the bunch of us eat our sushi and sashimi), so we decided to split. I dropped hubby and his friend off at Nijo Market where they went to have sushi.


I brought the mum to the famous Ramen Alley in Susukino for some ramen. We ordered a touristy Sapporo ramen recommended by the shop owner that comes with Sapporo’s famed miso soup base, Hokkaido butter and corn.


Sapporo Beer Factory

After filling our tummies, we went to Sapporo Beer Factory.


After a quick tour of the free museum, there is the mandatory stop to have some freshly brewed Sapporo beer!


Next, we went shopping at the adjacent shopping centre, ARIO. It was a great place to bring the kids: they had cute character shopping carts which you could use for free (if you could get your hands on one)!


There was also a free play area for young kids located outside Toys R Us.


There was a train that went around the shopping centre which the kids (and adults) could hop on for a fee. There was also an indoor playground / arcade (chargeable) but we skipped it because MF was sleeping. So if you are looking for a child-friendly shopping centre to visit in Sapporo, do visit ARIO next to Sapporo Beer Factory!

Sapporo Station

From ARIO, we drove on to Sapporo Station area where we did more shopping and eating.


After all that snacking, we went for dinner at my favourite Tonkatsu restaurant, Tadumura (たづむら) at Daimaru 8th floor. (Forgot to take pics this time round, here’s a pic of the restaurant from my previous visit.)

Day 9

Hokkaido Shrine (Sapporo Festival)

On our last day in Sapporo, we went to Hokkaido Shrine in the morning for the Sapporo Festival. (See this post for more on the Sapporo Festival).


After that, we left Sapporo and drove on to our next destination, Furano.

To be continued: Hokkaido Self-drive with Kids (June 2014) Part 3

Other posts for this trip

Complete summarized itinerary for this trip
Part 1: New Chitose Airport -> Otaru

Part 2: Sapporo
Part 3: Furano -> New Chitose Airport

Posts of my other trips to Hokkaido with the kids:

Hokkaido in Autumn (October 2013)
Part 1: Flight, Hotel Mercure Sapporo, Toyota Rent-A-Car Sapporo
Part 2: Itinerary (with telephone numbers and GPS Map Codes)

Hokkaido in Winter (December 2014)
Complete summarized itinerary
Part 1:  Sapporo
Part 2: Asahikawa, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, Iozan, Lake Kussharo
Part 3: Kushiro, Obihiro, Tomamu
Part 4: Chitose, Lake Shikotsu, Niseko, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, Rusutsu
Part 5: Sapporo, Otaru, New Chitose Airport


This post is archived under my Japan Travel Blog:

the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.


  1. […] ← Hokkaido Self-drive with Kids (June 2014) Part 2 – Sapporo Transformers 30th Anniversary Exhibition @ Singapore Science Centre → […]

  2. […] Takino Suzuran Hillside Park When the weather is good, you can probably spend a whole day here with your kids, letting them play at the various play areas and exploring the nature as well. Click here to read about my visit to Takino Suzuran Hillside Park in June 2014! […]

  3. Esther er says:


    I’d like to thank you for blogging so much information about Hokkaido which makes it easier when I am currently planning for my Hokkaido trip.

    I do have some questions and would like to ask you. Hope you don’t mind. Firstly, do you rent the pocket wifi router from tocoo? And may I know how can I purchase wifi SIM card or router cheaply in Hokkaido? I’ll be traveling to Hokkaido in June 2016 and your blog contain so much information about self drive and places of attraction which I’ll definitely be going!

    Thank you

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I don’t rent from Tocoo. Most Singaporeans find it most convenient to get the pocket WIFI from Changi Recommends because they can pick up and drop off at Changi Airport.

      Alternatively, you can just google ‘Japan WIFI router rental’. There are many Japanese-based companies offering WIFI rental where they can deliver to your hotel or you can pick up from the post office etc. It is quite competitive so the rates are pretty reasonable across the board.

      • Cindy says:

        Hi, did u rent ur wifi router from changi? How’s the coverage in Hokkaido? Thanks alot

        • bumblebeemum says:

          I haven’t rented their router before but will probably be trying it out when I’m in Hokkaido in June. When is your trip? If it’s after June, check with me again after June and I should be able to tell you then.

          • Junel says:

            Hi there! so was the egg wifi good in hokkaido?:) Would you recommend it?

            • bumblebeemum says:

              It works well in the cities. But at rural areas, sometimes there is no reception. Having a pocket WIFI is always a good back-up especially if you do not know Japanese or you like to find places to visit or eat along the way. We did use it quite a bit to search for cafes whenever the weather was bad. :p

  4. Mel says:

    Hello Bumblebeemum!

    First of all, thank you for writing up such a detailed guide on your travel to Japan. I enjoyed reading every of your posts. It really helps me in preparing my ‘last minute’ trip to Hokkaido next week. My husband and I will be travelling with out 18months old active boy.

    Can you give me advise if my itinerary looks alright? And if there is any suggestions to add on? This trip was booked very last minute and we had a hard time securing hotels.
    4/7 night – Fly from Singapore to Haneda

    5/7 morning reached Haneda and transit for 3 hours before fly out to New Chitose (ETA around 11am). Take the JR rapid train service to Sapporo Station. Walk to our hotel for the night, Mitsui Garden Hotel nearby Sapporo Station. Afternoon plan to do some sightseeing around the touristy spots Sapporo Clock Tower,Hokkaido Government Building, TV tower. Walk and shop around the underground shoopping arcade. Dinner.

    6/7 – Collect our car rental from Sapporo Station. Drive to Furano. Our hotel for the night at Natulux Furano Hotel (only managed to book 1 night) Upon reaching, head for lunch. Plan to visit Furano cheese factory, Furano Delice. shop at Furano Marche. Dinner at Kumagera.

    7/7 – Breakfast at hotel. Check out. Visit Tomita Farm. Tomita Melon House. Lunch. Before our drive to Asahikawa (where our hotels are booked for the next 2 nights) any suggestions on where to visit? Our hotel for the night is at Dormy Inn Asahikawa

    8/7/ – Plan to visit Asahiyama Zoo. Are there any recommendations on where can we pick fruits or visit farm animals?

    9/7/ – Check out. Drive back from Asahikawa to Sapporo. Visit Shiroi Koibito Park. Check in to Mitsui Garden Hotel for 1 night. Return the car. Dinner.

    10/7 – Shopping/eating day around Sapporo. Which market is it more worthwhile to visit? Today we will change hotel to Hotel Mecure Sapporo.

    11/7 – Another day of shopping/eating

    12/7 – Is taking the bus more convenient for us to head to the airport since we are staying at Hotel Mecure Sapporo? Our flight is around 7pm.

    As we are travelling with a toddler, we would like to take this trip easy and relax. I also noticed the weather is cooling now although it is supposed to be summer? Hope you can give me some suggestions on my itinerary.

    Thank you very much!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      7/7: Asahikawa is not very exciting. I suggest you do sightseeing at Biei during the day and just go to Asahikawa for dinner and to sleep for the night.

      8/7: I don’t know of any fruit farms near Asahikawa. There is a cherry farm but it is near Furano:
      Actually I think Asahiyama Zoo is good for a whole day, especially with a toddler. I wouldn’t plan anything else for the day.

      If you want to visit Ohashi cherry farm, I suggest you go there on the 9th on the way back from Asahikawa to Sapporo. Ohashi cherry farm is kind of in between Asahikawa and Sapporo.

      10/7: If you are staying at Mercure, I suggest visiting Nijo Market. It is walking distance from Mercure.

      12/7: Yes, taking the bus to the airport is more convenient for Mercure.

      Hokkaido weather is crazy erratic. It can be cold one day and hot like Singapore the next day. Just prepare layers of clothing, ranging from t-shirts to jackets, and dress according to the weather for the day when you are there.

  5. James says:

    Hi Ms MM Mum

    Appreciate your suggestions on my itinerary below.
    I will be arriving in Sapporo next Sunday, 11 Sep for 2 nights.
    Thereafter will be spending 2 nights and 3 days at Asahikawa.
    The purpose of going to Asahikawa is to use it as a stop for visiting the Ropeways at Sounkyo and Asahidake as well as Furano/ Biei.

    Do u think I should be staying both nights at Asahikawa ?
    Is it possible to travel by bus to the above scenic areas or is a rental car necessary ?

    Thanks n best, James

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Sorry for the late reply as I was overseas the whole of last week. I would recommend you rent a car for the scenic areas. It is possible to stay at Asahikawa and do the ropeways as day trip from Asahikawa with a rental car.

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