BumblebeeMum
Itinerary for Hokkaido Trip in Mid Dec
Itinerary for Hokkaido Trip in Mid Dec

Hi

We are planning a winter trip to hokkaido in mid dec. It will be our 2nd trip to hokkaido. We are thinking of doing the route that u recommended:

Day 1: Chitose to tomamu
Day 2: Tomamu
Day 3: tomamu to obihiro via train. Then shuttle bus to hanayuuka hotel
Day 4: lake Akan
Day 5: Akan to sapporo via shuttle bus
Day 6 & 7: sapporo

As our trip is in mid Dec, is it worthwhile to travel all the down to Akan. What is there in Akan besides the lake & ainu village?

We are not driving, hence may not be able to access to some of the sights in Akan.

We are thinking whether should skip Akan & go to jozankei instead from sapporo. Can you share your views?

Thanks a lot!

By choonie71 on February 2, 2016

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12 Comments

  • choonie71 says:

    Hi

    We are planning a winter trip to hokkaido in mid dec. It will be our 2nd trip to hokkaido. We are thinking of doing the route that u recommended:

    Day 1: Chitose to tomamu
    Day 2: Tomamu
    Day 3: tomamu to obihiro via train. Then shuttle bus to hanayuuka hotel
    Day 4: lake Akan
    Day 5: Akan to sapporo via shuttle bus
    Day 6 & 7: sapporo

    As our trip is in mid Dec, is it worthwhile to travel all the down to Akan. What is there in Akan besides the lake & ainu village?

    We are not driving, hence may not be able to access to some of the sights in Akan.

    We are thinking whether should skip Akan & go to jozankei instead from sapporo. Can you share your views?

    Thanks a lot!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      If you go all the way to Lake Akan, it only makes sense to go and see the cranes and the sights around Akan National Park. That would require self-drive or hiring a driver. If you don’t plan to do that, then you may want to skip Lake Akan and go to Lake Toya which is much nearer to Sapporo. Unless you have already been to Lake Toya in your previous trip?

      Jozankei is not very interesting in winter. It is a place I would recommend for Autumn because the autumn foliage there is very beautiful.

      Ideally in December, I would recommend Lake Akan and renting a car to go around. Winter is the only time the cranes congregate at the feeding sites in Tsurui.

      • choonie71 says:

        Thanks for your response. Yes we have been to Lake Toya, biei, furano, rutsusu, noberitsu, asahikawa, sapporo during our 1st trip to hokkaido last Jun. We did a self drive then.

        However we are not confident to drive in winter for this Dec. Hence scratching my head as to where else to go. We are looking for nice scenary, onsen, shopping & ski for this trip. We will take ski lessons in tomamu as well as ice village & some shopping in sapporo.

        Can u recommend other places to go for scenary & onsen acessible via bus or train from sapporo?

        Thanks in advance!

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Hmm.. I really do recommend Lake Akan region for winter. Maybe you want to consider hiring a driver? If not, just rent a car for a day or two to go around Akan National Park. Akan National Park is relatively easy to drive in winter compared to the cities and ski resorts. If you take public transport between the cities and restrict your driving to just the national park area, it should not be difficult. Just drive slow and in bright day light.

          I really think Akan National Park has some of the best scenery in Hokkaido. Lake Mashu is my favourite lake in Hokkaido – if weather is good. :p If you really don’t want to drive, I guess you can still visit Lake Akan for the onsen and food. I kind of miss Pan de Pan. But I just think it’s wasted to go all the way to Lake Akan but not visit Lake Mashu and the cranes.

  • Choonie says:

    We are planning a trip in Dec to hokkaido, flying in from Kansai. Can I check with you regarding the following:

    1)for domestic flights peach airlinea, did you purchase the baggages online or when you reach the airport? I noted that you took peach from Taiwan to Okinawa last year.

    2)for niseko, if we are not into ski, is it worthwhile to make a trip there? We are thinking of staying in a cottage in izumikyo & go for snow activities like kids snow park. Anything else to do in niseko like scenary?

    Thanks a million!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      1) We purchased our luggage during our flight booking. For LCC in general, it is usually cheaper to purchase baggage during flight booking vs at the airport.

      2) Are you going early or end Dec? Snow parks will only open toward the end of Dec. If it is snow parks you are after, why not try Rusutsu if you are going in end of Dec? Their crayon shin-chan kids snow park looks so fun. Plus Rusutsu has dog sledding (something I’ve been wanting to try, hence the personal preference.)
      http://ski.rusutsu.co.jp/kids-and-beginner/crayonpark

      • Choonie says:

        Thanks so much. We are planning from 14 to 22 Dec in hokkaido. Before that we will be in Kansai area.

        Our rough itinerary will be 3 days sapporo, 2 days niseko, 1 day jozankei onsen & 2 days tommamu.

        If skip niseko, then will go to kinosaki onsen before flying to hokkaido. Then it will be 4 days sapporo, 1 day jozankei onsen, 2 days tommamu.

        However we are hesitant to travel all the way to kinosaki onsen (3h) from Osaka & another 4 h to Kansai airport.

        Thanks for helping. Any comments will be useful.

        • bumblebeemum says:

          If you ask me, I think the best onsens are in Hokkaido. There is something about soaking in an onsen in sub-zero temperature while surrounded by snow. I would gladly trade any mainland onsen (except maybe those with Mount Fuji view) for an onsen in Hokkaido in winter. Since you will be going Jozankei onsen and there is also onsen at Tomamu, I don’t see the point is spending so much transport time to visit Kinosaki Onsen.

  • Choonie says:

    Thanks a lot! Think will skip kinosaki onsen. It’s also hectic to travel all the way there with 2 kids…

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yeah, I think so too. And the kids aren’t exactly going to appreciate it. I can imagine my kids… “Why we travel so long to come to this BORING place?” Unless the onsen there has slides like Toya Sunpalace? lol…

  • Tan says:

    Hi, I am travelling to Hokkaido in mid Dec for abt 10 days and plan to self drive. Pls advise which place should I visit. Thanks

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I suggest visiting Eastern Hokkaido for self-drive. You can visit Akan National Park for the cranes and lakes. Then spend a few days at Tomamu resort if you are into skiing and a few days in Sapporo with a side trip to Otaru.

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