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Best of Hokkaido Summer - Furano and Biei - Bumble Bee Mum

Hokkaido‘s Summer is short and precious.  With just two short months where lavender, sunflowers and rainbow-coloured flower fields bloom, July and August are definitely the best times to visit Hokkaido imo.  Okay, maybe with the exception of the week of Sapporo Snow Festival.

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Furano

If you are planning a trip to Hokkaido in July – August, your trip should focus on the Furano and Biei region.  This is where the lavender and flower fields are concentrated.

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Lavender Fields

But other than flowers, there is one other thing that you should include in your itinerary if you visit Hokkaido in July & August: Fruits.  In particular, the famous Hokkaido melons.

One of the most common question I get on the blog from readers planning a Hokkaido trip in Summer is,

What are the places to visit around Furano and Biei region?

How many days should I spend to the Furano and Biei region?

Generally I recommend at least 3 days and 2 nights at Furano & Biei if you are visiting in Summer.  Below is my list of recommended attractions, parks, nature spots and restaurants you can visit.

Furano

Tomita Farm

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Tomita Farm

Probably the most famous lavender and flower farm in Hokkaido – Tomita Farm is a must-visit in summer.

Read more on:

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-39-3939
Map Code: 349 306 079
Website: Official Homepage

Tomita Melon House

Located right beside Tomita Farm, drop by for a variety of melon snacks from melon popcorn to melon shakes!

Read more on: Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe

Map: Click here for Google Map location
Tel: 0167-39-3333
Map Code: 349 306 108
Website: Official Homepage | Tabelog

Flower Land Kamifurano

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Flower Land Kamifurano (2)Image Source: Flower Land Kamifurano

Beautiful flower field on a hill offering gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.

Read more on:  Visit to Flower Land Kamifurano in June 2014

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-45-9480
Map Code: 349 519 480
Website: Homepage | Facebook Page

Nakafurano Choei Lavender Park

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Choei Lavender Park NakafuranoImage Source: Furano Tourism

Visit Choei Lavender Park in Nakafurano from late June to end August to enjoy the lavender and colourful flower fields.

Map: Click here for Google map location
Map Code: 349 276 094
Website: Nakafurano Town Page

Furano Jam Garden + Rokugou Observatory

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Furano Jam GardenImage Source: Furano Jam Garden

At Furano Jam Garden, you can not only shop for local jam, you can even make your own jam! Also check out the Anpanman shop and head to the Rokugou Observatory for some stunning scenery.

Map: Click here for Google Map location
Tel: 0167-29-2233
Map Code: 550 803 272
Website: Official Homepage

Furano Cheese Factory

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Furano Cheese Factory

Want to sample and buy some local cheese? Furano Cheese Factory is the place to go.

Read more on:

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-23-1156
Map Code: 550 840 201
Website: Homepage

Furano Wine Factory

Enjoy (free flow) wine tasting at the chateau and dine at the restaurant with a view at Furano Wine House!

Read more on:

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-23-4155
Map Code: 349 060 455
Website: Official Homepage

Campana Rokkatei

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Campana Rokkatei
Image Source: Tablelog

Rokkatei is a famous confectionery chain in Hokkaido and Campana Rokkatei is their store in the Furano region – complete with view of the surrounding mountains.

Map: Click here for Google Map location
Tel: 0167-39-0006
Map Code: 349 090 412
Website: Official Website | Tabelog

Furano Delice

A popular cafe surrounded by lavender and sunflowers when they are in season.

Read more in: Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe

Map: Click here for Google Map location
Tel: 0167-22-8005
Map Code 450 028 207
Websites: Official Homepage

Kumagera

Kumagera is my favourite restaurant in Furano and it is pretty famous.  It has been featured in numerous variety shows around the world.

Read More in:  Hokkaido Best Food by Region

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-39-2345
Map Code: 349 032 191
Websites: Official Homepage | Tabelog

Farm Okudaira

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Farm Okudaira
Image Source: Farm Okudaira

Remember what I said about Hokkaido melons? At Farm Okudaira, you can enjoy a melon BUFFET when the melons are in season!

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-23-5629
Map Code: 550 783 387
Website: Facebook Page

New Furano Prince Hotel & Ningle Terrace

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Ningle Terrace

New Furano Prince Hotel is a destination in itself.  Here you can find a ropeway running from late June to Mid Oct to bring visitors to the top of the mountain for a birds eye view of the surroundings and little wooden cabins housing unique souvenir shops at Ningle Terrace.

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0167-22-1111
Map Code: 919 553 451
Official Website: Homepage

Biei

If you have done research on Biei, you would definitely have come across the terms ‘Patchwork Road’ and ‘Panorama Road’.  If find yourself very confused about which roads Panorama Road / Patchwork Road refer to – don’t worry, I was just as confused once.  Because Panorama Road and Patchwork Road are not actually roads.  They refer to two regions: One to the East of Route 237 (Panorama Road), one to the West of Route 237 (Patchwork Road).

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Biei Orientation

The map above gives you a VERY ROUGH orientation of the 3 main sightseeing regions around Biei: Patchwork Road, Panorama Road and Shirogane Onsen.  Driving up from Furano along route 237, you will reach the region known as Panorama Road first on your right before reaching the region known as Patchwork Road on your left.

Read more: Our self-drive around Patchwork and Panorama Road in June 2014

Below are some of the key sights around the three regions:

Panorama Road

Shikisai No Oka 

Tel: 0166-95-2758
Map Code: 349 701 156
Website: Official Homepage

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Shikisai No Oka

Sanai No Oka

Map Code: 349 792 477

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Sanai No Oka

Sanai No Chaya Cafe Curve

Tel: 0166-92-3318
Map Code: 349 792 775

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Sanai No Chaya Cafe Curve

Shinnei No Oka

Map Code: 349 790 676

Farm Restaurant Chiyoda + Chiyoda Farm

Tel: 0166-92-1718
Map Code: 349 734 239
Website: Official Homepage

Philosophy Tree

Map Code: 349 676 661

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Philosophy Tree

Patchwork Road

Hokusei No Oka

Map Code: 389 070 315

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Hokusei No Oka

Hill of Zerebu

Map Code: 389 071 384

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Hill of Zerebu

Celebrity Trees

  • Ken & Mary Tree (Map Code: 389 071 727)
  • Seven Star Tree (Map Code: 389 157 099)
  • Parent-Child Tree (Map Code: 389 128 063)
  • Mild Seven no Oka (Map Code: 389 036 262)

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Parent Child Trees

 

Biei (Shirogane Onsen)

Blue Pond (Map Code: 349 569 813)
Shirahige Waterfall (Map Code: 796 182 604)
Shirogane Fudo Falls (Map Code: 796 180 654)
Mount Tokachi Observatory (Map Code: 796 093 373)

Side Trip:

Himawari-no-Sato Hokuryu Sunflower Field

Hokkaido Places to visit in Summer - Himawari no Sato
Image Source: Hokuryu Portal

If you don’t mind taking a 1.5 hours drive from Furano to see sunflowers, Himawari-no-Sato in Hokuryu is the place to be in early August where more than a million sunflowers reach full bloom.

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0164-34-2082
Map Code: 179 870 886
Website: Hokuryu Portal

Ohashi Cherry Farm

Hokkaido Places to Visit in Summer - Ohashi Cherry FarmImage Source: Ohashi Cherry Farm

Cherry picking is only available from mid-July to end of August.  Don’t forget to drop by Ohashi cherry farm, a short 30-min drive from Furano, during cherry season!  Ohashi cherry farm is located along the route between Furano and Hokuryu, so you can visit Ohashi cherry farm and Himawari-no-Sato together as a day trip from Furano.

Map: Click here for Google map location
Tel: 0124-23-0654
Map Code: 450 518 845
Websites: Official Homepage | Facebook Page

Accommodation:

The best place to base yourself in to visit the flower fields would be anywhere from Furano to Biei.  Furano has more accommodation options compared to Biei, but even then it is not that many.  In July and August, you can expect accommodation prices to be sky high as demand outstrips supply.

Tips for securing the best accommodation deal:

  • Start searching for accommodation in Furano at least 6 months in advance
  • Secure a room with free cancellation first.
  • Keep checking hotel booking sites from time to time to see if a better deal pops up.  If one does, cancel your previous booking and rebook the cheaper deal.

If you find that accommodation in Furano and Biei is just way past your budget, you can base yourself in Asahikawa instead.  There are plenty of hotels in Asahikawa and they will be much cheaper than in Furano / Biei.  However, be prepared to do quite a bit of to and fro driving along route 237.  The good thing is that route 237 between Asahikawa and Furano is toll free.

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Best of Hokkaido Summer - Furano and Biei - Bumble Bee Mum

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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.

79Comments

  1. Serene Seah says:

    Lovely ! I am missing this beautiful place ! Hope to be back next yr for our 10th anniversary !
    Serene Seah recently posted…Park City & Mona Farm, UtahMy Profile

  2. Those flowers are amazing! I’ve wanted to go to a lavender farm for ages, so that would be top of my list.
    Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad recently posted…The sights of Istanbul Old TownMy Profile

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I heard the lavender fields in France are more beautiful. That’s too far away from us and nearer to you! I personally like the colourful rainbow-like flower fields more than lavender fields (which are all one colour).

  3. I have never been to Hokkaido! Hope I’ll have a chance to visit in the future.
    There are so many attractions!

  4. Jin says:

    Hi bumblebeemum,
    Thanks for the sharing. I find your post very useful and infomative.

    I will be travel from 27 july to 5 august 2016. Flying back on 6th august morning with another three adults and one baby.
    We will be renting car to travel around
    Would you mind to check my itinenary whether it is workable or not.
    We can only travel to furano for that two dates cause the most hotel are full.

    28 July Sapporo

    29 July  Sapporo

    30 July Furano rent car

    31 July Furano

    1 August Otaru

    2 August Lake toya

    3 August Hokadate

    4 August Hokadate to new chitose airport

    Should i skip hokadate and go for other places instead. Thanks

    Thanks

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I guess the itinerary would work if 30 and 31 are the only two days you have for Furano because of accommodation. If you want to go to Otaru and Lake Toya, going to Hakodate makes sense.

  5. Eco says:

    Hi Bumble Bee Mum

    This is my self-drive itinerary that I discussed wit you before.

    16 days Itinerary
    Day 01 28/7 Thu: Depart from KL to CTS. Chitose to Sapporo is 1hr by train
    Day 02 29/7 Fri: CTS – Lake Shikotsu – Noboribetsu (Noboribetsu, 1 night)
    Day 03 30/7 Sat: Noboribetsu – Lake Toya (Lake Toya, 1 night)
    Day 04 31/7 Sun: Lake Toya – Sapporo (Sapporo, 1 night)
    Day 05 01/8 Mon: Sapporo (Day trip to Otaru) (Sapporo, 1 night)
    Day 06 02/8 Tue: Sapporo (Sapporo, 1 night)
    Day 07 03/8 Wed: Sapporo – Asahikawa (Asahikawa, 1 night)
    Day 08 04/8 Thu: Asahikawa – Abashiri (Abashiri, 1 night)
    Day 09 05/8 Fri: Abashiri – Shiretoko (Shiretoko, 1 night)
    Day 10 06/8 Sat: Shiretoko (Shiretoko, 1 night)
    Day 11 07/8 Sun: Shiretoko – Lake Akan (Lake Akan, 1 night)
    Day 12 08/8 Mon: Lake Akan – Furano (Furano, 1 night)
    Day 13 09/8 Tue: Furano (Furano, 1 night)
    Day 14 10/8 Wed: Furano (Day trip to Biei) (Furano, 1 night)
    Day 15 11/8 Thu: Furano – CTS (Chitose, 1 night)
    Day 16 12/8 Fri: CTS back to KL

    For this day: Day 06 02/8 Tue: Sapporo (Sapporo, 1 night) I will be covering places it seems mostly in town:
    Sapporo
    – Chocolate Factory
    – Clock Tower
    – Saporro Factory
    – Nijio Market
    – Curb Market
    – Beer Museum & Beer Factory, free entrance and free parking

    Do I really need a car? If not, what do you think I swap this day to be on 29/7 and then pick up the car start the self-drive to Lake Shikotsu – Noboribetsu on 30/7? Will this be better and ideal? Is it more practical to save cost as well?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I would stick to the current itinerary and keep the car for that one extra day. While the car is not absolutely necessary, it will definitely help to save time since you are trying to cover many places on that day.

      • Eco says:

        Thanks for your reply. Meaning keep the car in the car park for a day and take subway and walk to go around Sapporo for those attractions? Or will it be better I drive? I am not sure the traffic and the parking if available for those places. Appreciate your advce again. Thanks.

        • bumblebeemum says:

          For Clock Tower and Nijo Market, I would just walk from the hotel if I am staying around Odori Park / Susukino. But for Chocolate Factory, Sapporo Factory, Curb Market and Beer Museum, I would drive.

  6. Angela says:

    Hi.. if i had to choose between 2nd or 3rd or 4th week of June to visit hokkaido to flowers, which would be best if terms of being able to see something. . Thks

    • bumblebeemum says:

      4th week. In June, if you want to see the flowers in Furano / Biei, go as late as possible.

      • Angela says:

        Thanks bumblebee mum. I’m planning to go from 14th June. 2 adults , 4 kids. Hoping to catch the shrine festival , before I sort of follow your June 2014 itinerary. We have Abt 12 -14 days as well. I was hoping to add in noboribetsu ( for onsen and hell valley ? ) as well and maybe skip niseko .
        So it would go
        CTS to sapporo
        Sapporo x 2 days
        noboribetsu
        Lake toya
        Hakodate
        Shakotan ( can skip niseko ? )
        Otaru
        Furano
        Biei
        Then maybe fly out from asahikawa after visit to zoo..
        1. Is this too ambitious?
        2. We will probably drive or is going by train part of the way faster.
        3. Any places I can give a miss considering its mid-end June?
        Thks very much
        Greatly appreciate your input

        • bumblebeemum says:

          I think it’s fine if you have 12 days. You can skip Niseko. We went Niseko as a mean to break up the drive between Hakodate and Otaru. But you can use Lake Toya to break up the drive.

          Day 1: CTS – Sapporo
          Day 2: Sapporo
          Day 3: Sapporo
          Day 4: Sapporo – Otaru
          Day 5: Otaru – Shakotan – Lake Toya
          Day 6: Lake Toya
          Day 7: Lake Toya – Hakodate
          Day 8: Hakodate – Noboribetsu
          Day 9: Noboribetsu – Furano
          Day 10: Furano / Biei
          Day 11: Furano / Biei – Asahikawa
          Day 12: Asahikawa (flight back)

          If you want to visit Asahiyama Zoo on your last day, it can be done if your flight is an evening flight.

          With 4 kids, I would just drive all the way. :p

          • angela says:

            Thanks so much Bumblebee mum. You’re an angel 😉

          • Angela says:

            Hi .. if my days are cut down to 10 , what do you suggest I cut back on – cut a day at sapporo or lake toya? I will prob skip the zoo and go back to chitose from Furano on last day. Or Shall I skip noboribetsu? Was hoping to try the onsen and see hell valley. Any idea of any other onsens along the way ? Thks again! Appreciate much !

            • bumblebeemum says:

              With only 10 days, I would probably do this:

              Day 1: CTS – Sapporo
              Day 2: Sapporo
              Day 3: Sapporo – Otaru
              Day 4: Otaru – Shakotan – Lake Toya
              Day 5: Lake Toya
              Day 6: Lake Toya – Hakodate
              Day 7: Hakodate – Noboribetsu
              Day 8: Noboribetsu – Furano
              Day 9: Furano / Biei
              Day 10: Furano / Biei – CTS

              • Amber says:

                hi bumblebeemum, thanks for sharing so many info on hokkaido! Im looking to go there from 21 aug to 1 sep and will be my first time there with my boyfriend. We’re planning to do self-drive. would you recommend us to cover similar itinerary like this 10 days one you proposed or should we skip some places since its our first time there?

                • bumblebeemum says:

                  You can do something like this:

                  21 Aug: CTS – Furano
                  22 Aug: Furano / Biei
                  23 Aug: Furano / Biei
                  24 Aug: Furano – Sapporo
                  25 Aug: Sapporo
                  26 Aug: Sapporo (day trip to Otaru)
                  27 Aug: Sapporo – Lake Toya
                  28 Aug: Lake Toya – Noboribetsu
                  29 Aug: Noboribetsu – Hakodate
                  30 Aug: Hakodate
                  31 Aug: Hakodate – Onuma Koen – CTS
                  1 Sep: Flight back

                  • Amber says:

                    hi Bumblebeemum, thanks for your recommendation. Do you think i should skip Hakodate altogether and work out something like the below? I understand that parking in sapporo might be expensive and difficult though, should i just rent and return at sapporo then?

                    21 Aug: CTS – Furano
                    22 Aug: Furano / Biei /Asahikawa
                    23 Aug: Furano / Biei /Asahikawa
                    24 Aug: Furano – Sapporo
                    25 Aug: Sapporo
                    26 Aug: Sapporo
                    27 Aug: Sapporo – Otaru
                    28 Aug: Otaru – Shakotan – Lake Toya
                    29 Aug: Lake Toya
                    30 Aug: Lake Toya – Noboribetsu
                    31 Aug: Noboribetsu – CTS
                    1 Sep: Flight back

                    If rent and return at sapporo:
                    Day 1: CTS – Sapporo
                    Day 2: Sapporo
                    Day 3: Sapporo – Otaru to nikka yoichi distillery?
                    Day 4: Otaru – Shakotan – Lake Toya
                    Day 5: Lake Toya –
                    Noboribetsu
                    Day 6: Noboribetsu – Furano
                    Day 7: Furano / Biei/Asahikawa
                    Day 8: Furano / Biei/Asahikawa
                    Day 9: Furano – Sapporo
                    Day 10: Sapporo – CTS

  7. eco says:

    Hi BBM, since we are self-drive, is this location good enough for us to base to cover Furano, Biei and Cherry Picking and Sun Flower Field?

    Log Yukari Guest House. 076-0017 Hokkaido, Furano, Shimogoryo, Japan. This accommodation seems not in town.

    https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/log-yukari-guest-house.en-gb.html?aid=357032;label=ask388jc-hotel-XX-jp-minshukuNlamp-unspec-my-com-L%3Aen-O%3AwindowsSnt-B%3Achrome-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=7ebcc602555f93b93b7f20bbca14e0b5;dcid=5

    • bumblebeemum says:

      If you have a car and just need a place with zero frills to sleep for the night, it’ll work. 🙂

      • eco says:

        Thanks BBM, what about this one “Minshuku Mutsukari” 076-0021 Hokkaido
        Furano, Midorimachi 8-13, Japan https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/minshuku-mutsukari.en-gb.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1DCAEoggJCAlhYSDNiBW5vcmVmaKEBiAEBmAEuuAEMyAEM2AED6AEBqAID;sid=887c4c4179efbfbfa018c0e179dbe7c0;dcid=5

        It is located on the other side separated by the river, is this location more strategic or the “Log Yukari Guest House. 076-0017 Hokkaido, Furano, Shimogoryo, Japan.“ side better?

        Car Rental:
        I have checked on the Tocoo car rental company as per your recommendation, Nissan Latio 14 Days cost us Before Tax 80,400 Total after tax 86,832Y. Do you think this company will offer the best price among other car rental company? I am yet to compare with others cause it seems a lot to read in a short time. Base on your many trips, do you think Tocoo is the cheaper so far?

        Also double confirm Tocoo with come with free WIFI for the GPS?

        Our flight will arrive Chitose airport around 8:20am, what time you think is best to be able to make it to collect the car as if late for an hour they will charge accordingly same to return car. Just to get a good advice. Or would you recommend we spend 2 hours at Smile Road to explore the Doraemon world, Royce Chocolate in the airport with backpack before collect the car? Is the car can be collected at the airport itself or they will pick us to their office to get the car? After collect we will drive to Noboritbetsu.

        Thanks

        • bumblebeemum says:

          If you have a car, I don’t think the location anywhere in Furano makes significant difference. The review for this Minshuku doesn’t look good. I would go with the previous one with better review.

          In general, the cheapest way to rent a car is usually through Japanese-only avenues. But it is difficult to do so unless you know Japanese. What they quoted you for a 14 days rental seems reasonable, though I cannot guarantee you it is THE cheapest.

          GPS in Japan doesn’t use WIFI. The cars come with a built-in GPS unit inside the car which doesn’t require internet. If you require WIFI, it is a separate thing altogether.

          Let’s say you plan to return the car at 10am on your last day, you should write your collection time as 10am on your arrival day. Ultimately you will receive a contract to sign when you collect the car. Different companies do it differently. Some companies do it based on exact time, so e.g. if you arrive at the car rental outlet at 9.23am, they will put your rental time as pick up at 9.23am and return at 9.23am. If you return after 9.23am, they will charge you for the extra time. Some companies will do it based on what you wrote in the reservation. So for e.g. if you put 10am in your reservation, the contract you sign at the car rental company when you collect your car will continue to say to return by 10am – even if you were a bit early in collect at, say, 9.30am. But the difference cannot be a lot. So for e.g. if you put collection time at 10am, you cannot just turn up at 9am and expect to get one hour ‘free’.

          In short, if you are arriving at 8.20am, you can put collection time as 10am since it will take some time for you to clear custom, collect your luggage and take the shuttle to the car rental outlet. Then you should plan your itinerary to return the car by 10am on your departure day. If let’s say you want to return the car at 12noon on your departure day, then you should book the car for 12noon and go do some shopping at CTS until around 11.30am then head to the car rental desk at CTS to take the shuttle bus.

          • eco says:

            Very clear thank you.

            How much time do I need to spare when visiting Noboribetsu excluding driving time. Let say if I collect car at 12noon, I assume from Chitose Airport to Noboribetsu should be 30mins. Visit Hell Valley, Bear Park, Foot onsen can I spare about 4hours? I stay a night at Murorun town instead of Nobo, drive there about another 45mins if not mistaken.

            • bumblebeemum says:

              CTS to Noboribetsu is about a 1-hour drive. You can use Google map to estimate driving times – it is pretty accurate for summer driving.

              Noboribetsu is pretty compact so yes, I think 4 hours is enough to visit those places you mentioned. In Summer, operating hours are usually longer so collecting your car at 12noon shouldn’t be a problem.

  8. eco says:

    Actually my initial plan is to collect the car about 10am to Nobo. But my last day to return the car plan 9pm. In this case they will charge me extra right. Any experience how to deal with Tocoo for this extra hours? Will it be too costly? I will stay a night in Chitose airport and then catch early flight 9am+ back to home country next day.

  9. Sara says:

    Our extended family will be in Hokkaido July 8th-17th. I found your site as we have been planning your trip. Thank you! It has been the best help! We will be using many of your suggestions. I do have one question regarding packing. This will be our first trip to Japan, and I have been monitoring the weather and it seems to be pretty cool and wet still. I am planning on packing light jackets for the mornings/evenings. But in general, is it jeans and light tops weather or shorts and t-shirts? We are coming from various parts of the U.S. (my family in particular is from Oregon). Also, should I bother packing a stroller? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The weather in Hokkaido can be pretty erratic, so I suggest you layer. When it’s hot, a t-shirt would suffice. But when it gets cold, start layering. You should expect rain so definitely bring umbrella / rain coats. You can bring both shorts and jeans and check the weather report for the day to decide which one you should wear.

      As for stroller, it is always good to have when the kids nap. But it depends on what car you are renting, how many pieces of luggage you have and whether you have the boot space to fit your stroller in. Our family of 4 packs very light (only 1 large suitcase) so we have always managed to fit a stroller even with a normal 5 seater sedan.

  10. eva.c says:

    hello bumblebee mum. I just saw your blog and i would like to know more about Sapporo during September. Will it be very cold or just moderate? As i will be bringing my 18 months old, i am not sure what to pack. Thanks:)

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The weather in Hokkaido is crazy erratic. Temperature can be anywhere from moderate to bitter cold. So the key is to pack layers and check weather report on the day itself to decide what to wear. Make sure you have long sleeve shirts, sweaters and an outer jacket and just layer depeding on the temperature when you are there.

  11. Sara says:

    We will be traveling to Hokkaido the first part of July (7-18). Your site has been a great resource as we plan activities for our family. Thanks!! I have one question regarding clothing. I have been looking at typical July weather and checking the current weather. It seems to still be raining. I am packing light coats for everyone. But with the humidity, would you say it is still a shorts and t-shirts kind of weather, or would jeans and light tops be a good idea?

    Thanks!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      When the weather is good, it can get very hot and t-shirt and shorts would suffice in July. The problem with Hokkaido is the weather is crazy erratic, so you will still need to pack warm clothing as well. It does rain quite often in Hokkaido and it gets very cold once it rains. So you need to pack both types of clothing and decide what to wear depending on the weather when you are there.

  12. pei pei says:

    hello. my friends and i are going Hokkaido for 9 days in mid august. please advise us on our itinerary. we are not intending to drive.

    day 1-tokyo
    day 2- obihiro to catch the fire works
    day 3 and 4 -Sapporo (and doing a day trip to otaru)
    day 4 and 5 – Asahikawa
    day 5 6 and 7 – Furano and biei
    day 7 and 8-hakodate
    day 9 – tokyo

    We have not arranged for accommodations and would appreciate if you were to advise us before we book.
    Thank you.

  13. Chloe says:

    Hi – If I visit early to mid Sept, will I miss lavender and other flowers? In that case, would you still recommend visiting Furano and Biei? Or would my time be better spent at Asahikawa or Noboribetsu onsen?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      There will not be anymore lavender but there will still be other flowers. Furano and Biei will still be beautiful in Sept. I would still plan to go there during that time.

  14. Wenny says:

    Hi, to really see the flower season in Hokkaido…do you think i should go in June or July? Bringing my mum who’s a flower fanatic!!!!
    I thought June would be good but my collaegue who went in June this year told me there were no flowers and it rained almost everyday.

  15. Pak says:

    Hi hi. Your website is really useful. Need your advice.. If I plan to go hokkaido from 7 to 19 Aug 2017. Do u think we can catch the flowers fields like lavendar etc..or 10 to 22 July 2017 is better?? It is a must to self drive in hokkaido or we can take public transport..thks so much

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Both dates look okay to me. If you go 10 to 22 July, you should put the flower fields at the end of your trip and if you go 7 to 19 Aug, you should put the flower fields at the start of your trip. Geddit?

      For the Furano / Biei region, while it is not a MUST to drive coz there is this twinkle bus that goes around the major attractions, I do think driving is the best way to explore the region.

  16. Michael says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    Thank you for sharing valuable information on self drive in Hokkaido. We (2 adults with 2 children aged 3 and 5 and 1 elderly) are planning to self drive in July next year (first time to Hokkaido) with the following draft itinerary:
    Day 1 Singapore to New Chitose Airport (stay at Air Terminal Hotel)
    Day 2 New Chitose Airport to Noboribetsu
    Day 3 Noboribetsu to Lake Toya
    Day 4 Lake Toya to Otaru
    Day 5 Otaru to Sapporo
    Day 6 Sapporo
    Day 7 Sapporo to Furano
    Day 8 Furano to Biei
    Day 9 Furano to Sapporo
    Day 10 Sapporo
    Day 11 New Chitose airport to Singapore

    Is this manageable given that we will travel with children and elderly? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  17. Ereis says:

    HI Bumblebeemum,

    I have been reading your blog as reference for my up coming Hokkaido family trip in end July. I have been very hesitate can’t decide to stay in furano or other places Biei/Asahikawa. Accommodation in Furano is super expensive but is convenient due to eateries and train walking distance. I have not decide if should drive or rent a car. Me and hubby will be travelling with 2elderly, 2 kids. Do you think is more economical to commute with car still during this time? I also notice most places also required at least 5 to 10mins of drive from the train station. Can you share some advise. TQ

    • bumblebeemum says:

      When travelling with elderly and kids, I would go for convenience over anything else. So I would drive. Once you have a car, you have more choices in terms of accommodation as well as you are not restricted by those near the train station / restaurants since you can easily drive out.

  18. JC says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    Thank you for sharing, it is really useful.

    During the period of 20July to 2 August, I am planning to travel to Japan. If I am planning to split my trips between Hokkaido and Tokyo, how many days each do you think is appropriate?

    For Hokkaido, other than Furano and Biei, where else for good in this period?

    I am also having difficulty in planning my accommodation and hence would like your opinion on whether it is best to move our stay as we travel in Hokkaido or it will still be convenient to just stay in Furano and do day trip?

    Thank you for your invaluable advice!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      If i have 14 days, I would probably do about 10 days Hokkaido and 4 days Tokyo. Hokkaido would take longer to move around because it’s huge.

      In Summer, I would also recommend visiting Shiretoko – it’s very scenic. If you like seafood, you can also visit Shakotan or Wakkanai for uni (sea urchin) which is only available in the summer months.

      In Hokkaido, because it’s so big, you will have to move as your travel. It is quite hard to stay at one place for the entire duration you’re there.

  19. Indah says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum, I am planning for a self drive summer trip to Hokkaido during end of July.

    Day 1 Singapore to New Chitose Airport (Stay in Sapporo )
    Day 2 Sapporo
    Day 3 Sapporo to Furano, stay in Furano Prince Hotel
    Day 4 Furano to Biei, stay in Furano Prince Hotel
    Day 5 Furano to Lake Toya
    Day 6 Lake Toya to Rusutsu resort
    Day 7 Rusutsu resort to Chitose Rera Factory Outlet before flying back to taking a night flight back to Singapore (Do able? or should I stay one more night at Rusutsu Resort?)

    Should I add on one more night for Furano? Or is it sufficient?

    Hope to get some advise from you. 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Have you booked your air tickets yet? If you not, it would be great to spend one more day in Furano in end July since that’s the flowering season and you can also visit the melon and cherry farms.

      I would rearrange the itinerary a bit this way:

      Day 1 Singapore to New Chitose Airport (Stay in Sapporo )
      Day 2 Sapporo
      Day 3 Sapporo to Rusutsu (you can visit the amusement park on this day, one night at Rusutsu is sufficient)
      Day 4 Rusutsu to Lake Toya
      Day 5 Lake Toya to Furano
      Day 6 Furano / Biei
      Day 7 Furano – Chitose Rera Outlet – CTS

      • Indah says:

        Hi, Thanks so much for your advise. I have not book my air tickets. I will follow your itinerary and spend one more day in furano. 🙂

  20. Eileen says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    Great to visit your blog with so much information.

    I am planning for a self drive summer trip to Hokkaido with my parents during 9th October to 19 October’17 (11D9N).

    It will be the first time that we will be visiting Hokkaido. I am pretty excited and will like to hear advise from you on the must visit places during this period ? Will like to hear your guide on the itinerary so that I will save on the commuting time.

    As it will be self drive, May I have a gauge how many days should I rent from ?

    I will like to visit:
    Furano
    Biei
    Lake Toya
    Noboribetsu
    Sapporo – shoping
    Hakodate
    Otaru

    Look forward to your reply!

    Cheers!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Your dates coincide with autumn foliage season in some parts of Hokkaido. I recommend visiting Houheikyou Dam (Jozankei) and Makomanai Park (Sapporo) for autumn foliage. You can read more on this visit we did in Oct:
      http://bumblebeemum.net/2013/10/30/self-drive-holiday-to-hokkaido-with-kids-part-2-itinerary-for-autumn-foliage-telephone-numbers-and-map-codes-for-gps/

      So this is what I would suggest:

      9 Oct: CTS – Furano
      10 Oct: Furano (day trip to Biei)
      11 Oct: Furano – Sapporo
      12 Oct: Sapporo
      13 Oct: Sapporo (day trip to Jozankei and Otaru)
      14 Oct: Sapporo – Lake Toya
      15 Oct: Lake Toya – Hakodate
      16 Oct: Hakodate
      17 Oct: Hakodate – Noboribetsu
      18 Oct: Noboribetsu – CTS
      19 Oct: Flight back

      • Eileen says:

        Hi Bumblebeemum,

        Just read your replies and find that the itinerary sounds great !

        Will like to check with you will it be good if my last stop to be sapporo ? So that we will be able to save on car expenses ? Or it is more worth to travel by car as we are Travelling in four ?

        With your advise, I’m able to plan my trip better! So excited! 😀

        Thanks!
        Cheers;
        Eileen

        • bumblebeemum says:

          You can do that too, but if I’m in Sapporo for just a day, I may not bother returning the car to save that one day of rental. Because there is still a cost of about 1000yen per pax to get from Sapporo to CTS by public transport. And in the end I sometimes find the cost savings is not really worth the hassle. But for people who plan to spend more time in Sapporo, then it makes sense to end the trip in Sapporo and return the car earlier. In your case, you do need the car if you want to do a day trip to Jozankei and Otaru from Sapporo, so personally I would just keep the car throughout.

          • Eileen says:

            Hi Bumble Bee Mum,

            Thanks for your prompt reply ! 🙂

            I have drafted the itinerary as below:

            9 Oct : Evening flight to CTS
            10 Oct: Arrival at 8.30am at CTS -> Furano
            11 Oct: Furano
            12 Oct: Furano – Biei and Asahikawa
            13 Oct: Lake Toya
            14 Oct: Noboribetsu
            15 Oct: Hakodate
            16 Oct: Sapporo (day trip to Jozankei and Makomanai Park)
            17 Oct: Sapporo day trip to Otaru
            18 Oct: Sapporo
            19 Oct: Morning Flight back

            In that case, I will rent the car throughout the whole trip.

            Does this itinerary looks doable ?

            Awaiting for your advise !

            Thank you.:)

            • bumblebeemum says:

              The order looks a bit off. If I was heading south to Hakodate, I would reach Noboribetsu before reaching Lake Toya.

              For 16 Oct, are you leaving from Hakodate in the morning? It looks a tad rushed.

              I would re-order the few days slight:

              13 Oct: Furano – Noboribetsu
              14 Oct: Noboribetsu – Hakodate
              15 Oct: Hakodate – Lake Toya
              16 Oct: Lake Toya – Jozankei – Sapporo (Makomanai Park)

  21. Andrew says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    I will be doing a self drive summer trip with 4 adults, including myself, from 29th July to 10th August and would like some advice from you regarding my trip. I have read quite a few of your trips and incorporated some in my trip. However, there are some blank dates that maybe you can provide some good suggestions.

    29/7 Chitose – Sapporo (late afternoon)
    30/7 Sapporo with Otaru day trip
    31/7 Sapporo
    1/8 Sapporo – Lake Toya
    2/8 Lake Toya – Hakodate
    3/8 Hakodate – Noboribetsu
    4/8 Noboribetsu -Furano
    5/8 Furano
    6/8 Furano – Biei
    7/8 ?
    8/8 ?
    9/8 ?
    10/8 ? – Chitose (?) – Tokyo

    Should I include Obihiro, Akan and or Shiretoko in my plans? I can extend and add in 11/8 🙂

    Could you advise on the sources to book hotels as some platform allows only 3 months in advance bookings and the prices given by other prices are quite high.

    Warmest regards,
    Andrew

    • bumblebeemum says:

      You can probably go as far as Lake Akan with the time you have. Shiretoko is a bit too far. Usually I don’t recommend visiting both Hakodate and Shiretoko in a single trip as it’s just too much driving.

      29/7 Chitose – Sapporo (late afternoon)
      30/7 Sapporo with Otaru day trip
      31/7 Sapporo
      1/8 Sapporo – Lake Toya
      2/8 Lake Toya – Hakodate
      3/8 Hakodate – Noboribetsu
      4/8 Noboribetsu -Furano
      5/8 Furano
      6/8 Furano – Biei – Furano
      7/8 Furano (you can do one more day since it’s peak fruit / flower season)
      8/8 Furano – Lake Akan
      9/8 Lake Akan – Obihiro
      10/8 Obihiro – CTS

      If you have one more day, you can do:

      8/8 Furano – Lake Akan
      9/8 Lake Akan – Kushiro
      10/8 Kushiro – Obihiro
      11/8 Obihiro – CTS

  22. WaiYee says:

    You mentioned melon buffet at Farm Okudaira. I couldn’t find much info on this. How much was it when you went and how long was the buffet?
    Thanks
    WaiYee

  23. Alex says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    Saw your replies and I think you’re a wonderful person!

    Anyway my circumstances is a little bit different from the rest..I am planning to go for a July getaway (about 7 days) so I am thinking of going to Hokkaido.

    But thing is, I’m travelling alone and I do not a driver’s license i.e. Were all your itineraries based on having to rent a car to drive? If there is no car, would it be possible to visit those places?

    I do know a little Japanese, not sure if that helps, so getting around (at least in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka) was not be a problem for me.

    Also, I’m not the sort who aims to visit as much places as possible, I’m kinda like a my-pace person haha, so it’s fine if I miss out places.

    Anyway my aim is just to be there, breath in some good air, see lavendars, eat food, and I’m content 🙂 (maybe the melons too haha)

    Lastly, may I know what airline did you take from SG to CTS? What period is good to book them?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply me! 🙂

    Alex Low

    • bumblebeemum says:

      If you don’t drive, you will probably be looking at using sightseeing buses such as Kururu bus / Twinkle bus around Furano / Biei region. Lots of people do that, so it’s definitely possible. Especially since you are not in a rush. Just got to keep track of their timetable closely and don’t miss the last bus. :p

      I took Thai Airways. There’s no particularly good period to book I find.. They seem to have promotions out of the blue from time to time. But if I were to go this July, I would start booking now. Coz July is peak season in Hokkaido.

  24. Meiling says:

    Hi, thank you for the nice pics and useful info!

    Can I know please if its worth staying a night at Jozankei?

  25. Anna says:

    Hi, I like your itinerary. Do you have sample itinerary, like that for early Summer? My husband and I (no kids) are going for a relaxed and gourmet trip. It’s our first time to Hokkaido. Japanese language is not an issue.

    So far, we’ve only booked air tickets ☺️ And from what I read of your posts, we need to start booking hotels already 😅 Looking forward to your advice. Arigato.

    Trip:
    9-20 Jul 2017

    10 Jul (Mon) 8.30am reach CTS
    20 Jul (Thu) 10.30am depart CTS

    * we are looking into a trip that we drive, maybe to Furano area, and then take train in Sapporo area.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The information in this post would be relevant for your dates. July is pretty much summer in Hokkaido already. Early summer is more like June.

      For your dates, I would spend at least 3 days in Furano / Biei area. Then the rest of the time, choose between either exploring Lake Toya / Noboribetsu (Central-Southern Hokkaido) OR Lake Akan / Shiretoko (Eastern Hokkaido).

  26. YC says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    You are a guru of Hokkaido! Very informative blog! I am now looking to travel in Sep, 2 adults and 2 young children (2 and 5 years old) and 1 elderly. Would like to hear your advise on the below itinerary.

    8 Sep – Sapporo (Nijo Market, Clock Tower, Odori Park, Mitsui Outlet)
    9 Sep – Sapporo (Kita No Gourmet, Chocolate Factory, Sapporo Factory, Beer Museum & Beer Factory)
    10 Sep – Otaru
    11-12 Sep – Furano/Biei
    13 Sep – Asahikawa (Asahiyama Zoo)/ Asahidake
    14 Sep – Sounkyo
    15 Sep – Obihiro / Tomamu (Unkai Terrace)
    16 Sep – Noboribetsu
    17 Sep – Lake Toyako (Lake Shikotsu, Rusutsu Resort?)
    18 Sep – Hakodate
    19 Sep – New Chitose (Rera Chitose, New Chitose Airport)
    20 Sep – Early flight out from CTS

    A few questions that need your valuable advise.
    1)Is the itinerary too pack or lax? I am also not sure to start Furano or Hakodate first.
    2) Should I rent car later on 9th Sep instead of starting from 8th Sep as 8th just only ard Sapporo city except Mitsui Outlet.
    3) Is parking available at Mitsui Outlet? I tried to google for parking charges but only found on how to take public transportation.
    4) Is parking expensive at Otaru? Or Should I do a day trip to Otaru from Sapporo?
    5) Should I get HEP or ETC?
    6) I read that you took Thai airways before, their return flight have only 1 hr of transit at BKK, is that sufficent? Do you need to clear customs and take luggage at BKK airport?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      1) I think your itinerary is too packed. You should start with Hakodate and head to Daisetsuzan later on to catch the autumn foliage.

      2) You can start your car rental when you are leaving Sapporo if you plan to go around Sapporo via public transport. However, with 2 young kids and an elderly, it may be good to have a car throughout. It will give you more flexibility in planning your itinerary too, as you don’t have to start your trip in Sapporo.

      3) Yes, there is parking at Mitsui Outlet. Can’t remember how much it cost though.

      4) Yeah, you can do Otaru as a day trip from Sapporo so that you don’t have to change hotel. If you plan to go there for the whole day, hourly parking can add up to quite a sum. Look for coin parking that have a 12 hour or 24 hour cap on the parking fee. They will have a sign that says “最大料金” to indicate the cap on parking fee.

      5) Most likely a HEP would be worth it for your itinerary.

      6) It is sufficient IF THERE IS NO FLIGHT DELAY. Our CTS to BKK flight was delayed due to bad weather and we missed our BKK to SIN flight. They just put us on the next flight (since they have quite a number of BKK to SIN flight per day) and we had to bum at BKK airport a couple of hours.

      I suggest you rearrange your itinerary as follows:

      8 Sep – CTS – Lake Shikotsu – Noboribetsu
      9 Sep – Noboribetsu – Hakodate
      10 Sep – Hakodate – Lake Toya
      11 Sep – Lake Toya – Sapporo
      12 Sep – Sapporo
      13 Sep – Sapporo (day trip to Otaru)
      14 Sep – Sapporo – Tomamu
      15 Sep – Tomamu – Furano
      16 Sep – Furano – Biei – Sounkyo
      17 Sep – Sounkyo – Asahikawa
      18 Sep – Asahikawa (day trip to Asahidake)
      19 Sep – Asahikawa (visit zoo) – CTS
      20 Sep – Flight back

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