BumblebeeMum
Hokkaido trip in late Feb – early March
Hokkaido trip in late Feb – early March

Hi BumbleBee Mum,

My family of 4 (2 adults, 2 daughters 6yrs old and 3yrs old) will be visiting Japan from 23rd Feb – 8th March. We are planning to go Eastern Hokkaido, my target places as follow,

From Sapporo (Chitose) Airport 8am take train to tomamu ice village resort – 2 nights

-> From TOmamu to Noboribetsu – Bear Park – 2 nights

-> From Noboribetsu to Sapporo, Hokkaido – 1 night

-> From Sapporo to Rusutsu Ski Resort – 2 nights

-> From Rusutsu to Otaru – Otaru Canal – 1 night

-> From Otaru to Asahiyama – Asahiyama Zoo Penguin Parade – 2 nights

-> From Asahiyama to Sapporo – 1 night

-> From Sapporo to Chitose Airport

I have read your above comments, eastern hokkaido is not easy to access by public transport, so meaning that we must drive in Hokkaido right? My hubby used to drive in US.. we have plenty of time can drive slow. And If we rent a car from Chitose airport, is it cheap?

Looking forward to hear from you 🙂

By Natalie Ng on May 22, 2016

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9 Comments

  • Natalie Ng says:

    Hi BumbleBee Mum,

    My family of 4 (2 adults, 2 daughters 6yrs old and 3yrs old) will be visiting Japan from 23rd Feb – 8th March. We are planning to go Eastern Hokkaido, my target places as follow,

    From Sapporo (Chitose) Airport 8am take train to tomamu ice village resort – 2 nights

    -> From TOmamu to Noboribetsu – Bear Park – 2 nights

    -> From Noboribetsu to Sapporo, Hokkaido – 1 night

    -> From Sapporo to Rusutsu Ski Resort – 2 nights

    -> From Rusutsu to Otaru – Otaru Canal – 1 night

    -> From Otaru to Asahiyama – Asahiyama Zoo Penguin Parade – 2 nights

    -> From Asahiyama to Sapporo – 1 night

    -> From Sapporo to Chitose Airport

    I have read your above comments, eastern hokkaido is not easy to access by public transport, so meaning that we must drive in Hokkaido right? My hubby used to drive in US.. we have plenty of time can drive slow. And If we rent a car from Chitose airport, is it cheap?

    Looking forward to hear from you 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Renting a car in CTS is usually not too expensive as there are many companies there. If you don’t have that much luggage and can fit into a 5-seater sedan, I would say about 7000yen per day is a reasonable price?

      If you are driving, from Noboribetsu you can go to Rusutsu without going back to Sapporo. Enroute you can stop at Lake Toya for a quick sightseeing. Lake Toya is very scenic. i.e I would go in this order:

      CTS – Tomamu – Noboribetsu – Lake Toya (sightseeing stop) – Rusutsu – Otaru – Asahikawa – Sapporo – CTS

      • Natalie Ng says:

        Hi BumbleBeeMum, 8 days car rental fees is about 120,459.799yen Dec to Feb is peak season so price raise 🙁 .. we have only 1 super BIG luggage wonder can it fit into a sedan car?

        Is it possible to change my plan by taking train from CTS – Tomamu – Noboribetsu – Lake Toya (sightseeing stop) – Rusutsu – Otaru – Asahikawa – Sapporo – CTS or we must drive in Sapporo? Thanks.

        from Sapporo by train

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Sedan cars’ boot size really varies. Not sure how big your luggage is. What we do is to split our luggage into one luggage case that we are fairly confident can fit into most sedan’s car boot and a backpack. The backpack can be slot in between the two kids if necessary. A sedan car is usually much cheaper than a 7-seater. 120500 yen sounds terribly expensive for 8 days car rental if you are talking about a 5 seater sedan.

          The problem with the Noboribetsu – Lake Toya – Rusutsu – Otaru route is that it is very easy to go using a car but terribly difficult with public transport. In Hokkaido, most public transport brings you between Sapporo and other towns. So for e.g. Lake Toya and Rusutsu are so near each other on the map, but public transport between the two places can be a pain. If you want to use public transport, you will have to cut down on the places to visit. E.g. between Tomamu and Rusutsu, I would only choose one and between Lake Toya and Noboribetsu, I will only choose one.

          So if I am using public transport, this is what I would do with 8 days:

          Day 1: CTS – Tomamu (train or bus)
          Day 2: Tomamu
          Day 3: Tomamu – Sapporo (train or bus)
          Day 4: Sapporo (day trip to Asahikawa by train)
          Day 5: Sapporo – Lake Toya (direct bus)
          Day 6: Lake Toya – Sapporo (direct bus)
          Day 7: Sapporo (day trip to Otaru by train)
          Day 8: Sapporo

          Anyway I thought you had more than 8 days? The route I suggested, even with a car, would require more than 8 days.

          • Natalie Ng says:

            My trip is 14 days minus 1.5 days for 2 way flights, 12.5 days left. Forget about Rusutsu and Noboribetsu,

            Day 1: CTS – Tomamu (train or bus) *NINI Restaurant*
            Day 2: Tomamu Ice Village
            Day 3: Tomamu – Sapporo ( By train or bus)
            Day 4: Sapporo – Asahikawa ( By train) – Asahikawa Winter Festival ( End Jan, try my luck, winter festival normally start after 6th Feb )
            Day 5 : Asahikawa Penguin Zoo ( Spend full day there )
            Day 6 : Asahikawa (Tokiwa Park & Asahiyama Yuki no Mura )
            Day 7 : Asahikawa – Sapporo ( By Train )
            Day 8: Sapporo – Lake Toya (direct bus)
            Day 9: Lake Toya – Sapporo (direct bus)
            Day 10: Sapporo – Otaru by train ( Sankaku Market & Otaru Canal )
            Day 11: Otaru
            Day 12: Otaru – Sapporo ( By Train ) – Chitose Airport

            BumbleBeeMum, thank you so much for your help. Thanks from heart 🙂

            • bumblebeemum says:

              Hmmm… You’re visiting in end Jan? Asahikawa festival starts on 6 Feb every year. If you want to try your luck at the Asahikawa Winter Festival, you should try to go as late as possible. The snow and ice sculptures don’t come up overnight. The closer to the festival opening you go, the more likely you would be able to see some ice and snow sculptures near completion and watch the people work on them. But I’m really not sure whether the festival grounds will be open to public before the festival begins.

              In Sapporo, by end Jan, you can spend some time walking around Odori Park and the giant snow sculptures should be near completion too.

  • Natalie Ng says:

    Hi BumbleBee Mum, i would like to check with you again, is my following plan more easier to travel around with public transportation by train/bus, with my 2 childrens, 3 years old and 6 years old, thanks.

    Day 1 23Jan: CTS – Sapporo
    Day 2 24Jan: Sapporo
    Day 3 25Jan: Sapporo-Lake Toya
    Day 4 26Jan: Lake Toya-Otaru
    Day 5 27Jan: Otaru
    Day 6 28Jan: Otaru-Asashikawa
    Day 7 29Jan: Asashikawa
    Day 8 30Jan: Asashikawa-Tomamu
    Day 9 31Jan: Tomamu
    Day10 01Feb: Tomamu
    Day11 02Feb: Totamu
    Day 12 3rd Feb : Tomamu-CTS Hotel
    Day 13 4th Feb : CTS Airport – Malaysia

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I would use the public transport. If using public transport, I would probably go back to Sapporo after Lake Toya if the resort provides free return shuttle between Sapporo and Lake Toya. Some resorts in Lake Toya do that. Then from Sapporo, train to Otaru.

  • Jamilah A says:

    Hi bumblebee mum,

    I will be travelling with 2 adults and 2 kids aged 1.5 and 4 yo from 26th Feb – 2 Mar. Will be reaching New Chitose Airport around 8am.

    Since the snow festival would definitely over by then and we only have 4 full days to spend in Hokkaido, appreciate if you can advice us on the itinerary and places to visit. What I have in mind currently are Asahimaya Zoo and Otaru Canal as these are the nearest stop from Sapporo Station. Oh we are also planning to stay in Sapporo. 😊

    This is our first time visiting parts of Japan and also will experience our first winter hopefully.

    Thanks in advance dear.

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