Thank you so much for your amazing blog. I don’t think I would know where to even start without this. I’m trying to finalize an itinerary for a Japan trip this December/January with my parents (who have no Japan experience at all, and I’ve never been to Hokkaido!). So far, we have flights to Tokyo and my plan is to use the 14 day national rail pass, but also rent a car for 3 days in eastern Hokkaido.
Does the itinerary below look feasible to you?
Format is place for overnight accommodation +Minimum time on train/car from previous destination in hours, excluding travel from stations to hotels, between sights etc.
23/12/16 Tokyo (Arrive Haneda airport 3.35PM and pick up Jr pass)
24/12/16 Kyoto 2.25
25/12/16 Kyoto (Visit Nara)
26/12/16 Tokyo 2.25
27/12/16 Hakodate 4
28/12/16 Noboribetsu 2.75
29/12/16 Tomamu 2.25
30/12/16 Tomamu –
31/12/16 Akan-ko 4 (travel time includes 2.5 hour train to Kushiro, pick up car, at Kushiro St., visit marshlands area with cranes and head on by car for ~1-1.5 hours to lake Akan)
1/1/17 Sounkyo 3 (also drive around Lakes Mashu and Kussharo, through Akan and Daisetsuzan National Parks to Sounkyo)
2/1/17 Sapporo 2.5 (Travel time includes 1 hour drive from Sounkyo to Asahiyama zoo [which is not open on 1st Jan, but hopefully is on 2nd Jan], then return car at Asahikawa St. and take 1.5 hour train to Sapporo)
3/1/17 Hakodate 5.5 (day trip to Otaru – 1.5 hour return trip, the head to Hakodate – 4hour from sapporo)
4/1/17 Tokyo 4
5/1/17 Depart Narrita airport – 11.05AM
Thanks in advance for any suggestions! I’m a bit fearful about the next step of finding accommodation, especially for the onsen towns over such a peak period – some already seem to be full/outrageously priced for those dates!