Asahiyama Zoo Train & Winter Boots
Asahiyama Zoo Train & Winter Boots

Hi, We will be in Hokkaido in late Nov till early Dec,

Just wondering if you know if the Zoo Train Limited Express Lilac from Sapporo to Asahikawa, will it run during that time?

I also saw you have great boots for yourself and your kids, may I know where you got them? THank you in advance 🙂

Love your postings, wish we had seen them earlier, as we are also keen Japan travellers.

By Cynthia on August 8, 2017

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  • Hokkaido 1st timer says:

    Hi, I got a question with regards to Asahikawa zoo ticket over here 😀

    Planning for a trip there around early march 2017 using the asahikawa zoo ticket which covers train, bus and extrance fee (using Jr Pass to purchase).

    Planning to take the special asahikawa zoo train there. Return trip can be of limited express super kamui.

    Does a child of age 5 have to purchase this ticket (taking special zoo train there)?

    If no need meaning he would have to sit on the lap of an adult right?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Children below 6 can take the train for free. But yes, that would mean your child will have no seat and have to sit on the lap of an adult. Unless there happens to be an empty seat then your child can occupy the empty seat. For the special zoo train, it is unlikely there will be empty seats though. The zoo train is very popular!

      • Hokkaido 1st timer says:

        Thanks for prompt reply!

        Would you mind to take a look and see if my itinerary can be further improved? Thanks!

        2 Adult and a 5yo kid.

        Reach Sapporo at noon rest in hotel

        4 Mar Sat
        Odori park
        Nijo market
        Susukino district
        Sapporo tv tower
        Sapporo clock tower
        Tanukikoji shopping arcade
        Former Hokkaido Government Office
        Norbesa (Ferris wheel on roof of shopping centre)
        Aurora Town & Pole Town (Odori Underground Shopping Malls)

        5 Mar Day trip

        6 Mar Day trip
        Otaru canal
        Sushiya dori
        Kitaichi Glass Sangokan
        Otaru Music Box Museum

        7 Mar Day trip
        Asahikawa zoo

        8 Mar Day trip
        Shiroi koibito

        9 Mar Day trip
        Noboribetsu onsen

        10 Mar Stay 1night at jozankei
        Check out hotel and store big luggages at sapporo station
        Check in Jozankei onsen hotel

        11 Mar
        Take train back to Sapporo retrieve luggages
        Head towards New citose airport

        Thanks for your time!

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Hmmm… Why do you want to go to Noboribetsu onsen as a day trip and then move to Jozankei onsen later on? I would just go to Noboribetsu and stay there if I want to experience an onsen. And from Noboribetsu, I would go straight back to the airport – no need to go back to Sapporo again.

          The thing I find a pity about your itinerary is that you are missing out on winter festivals that are happening in Hokkaido in March. I would suggest you skip Satoland and use the extra day to go to Tomamu for the Ice Village instead. At least experience one winter event.

          • Hokkaido 1st timer says:

            Thanks for replying 😀

            Reason for avoiding Tomamu due to high influx of uncivilise tourists from mainland china as reviewed by forummers who had been there recently. Moreover we prefer peaceful enviroments and not so crowded area just for some snow activities.

            We choose jozankei for its onsen and serenity as for noboribetsu is my kid would like to visit the bear park etc

            As we would be having quite a few large luggages we foresee difficulty boarding the donan bus from noboribetsu terminal to the onsen hotel.

            Still deciding which to drop…jozankei or noboribetsu…

            • bumblebeemum says:

              Hmm.. I see.. Yeah, I do think Jozankei should be relatively quieter compared to the other onsen towns. So if you want to escape the touristy crowd, Jozankei should be better. 🙂

  • Queen Bee says:


    If you are referring to trains from Sapporo to Asahikawa, they run throughout the year and you can check the schedule on Hyperdia:

    But if you’re referring to the special zoo-themed Asahiyama Zoo train, that one won’t be running in late Nov / early December.

    We got our boots from a shoe shop at Mitsui Outlet Park Kitahiroshima (Sapporo):

    You’re welcome to visit our blog starting from now. LOL…. I’m sure this will not be your last time visiting Japan. There never seems to be a last time for Japan lovers. 😉

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