BumblebeeMum
Hokkaido (Furano & Biei) Best Attractions in Summer (July / August)

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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54 Comments

  • Serene Seah says:

    Lovely ! I am missing this beautiful place ! Hope to be back next yr for our 10th anniversary !

  • Those flowers are amazing! I’ve wanted to go to a lavender farm for ages, so that would be top of my list.

    • 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).

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Meiling says:

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

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

  • 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).

  • 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

  • BirdMan says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    I will be making a visit to Ohashi Cherry Farm this July. How much time should I cater for this farm visit? Is half a day sufficient?

  • Jenny Lim says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,
    Viewed all the above comments, your replied to them were so useful!I am planning my schedule to Hokkaido in 20/8-27/8/17, relaxing trip with husband (no rushing trip). Would like to hear your kind advise on my below itinerary.

    20/8 – Landed in morning, Sapporo (Stay a night in Nest Hotel Sapporo)
    21/8 – Rent a car to Furano -Winery Factory, Tomita farm, Melon farm,Shikisai no aka, Blue Pond (stay a night in Biei with onsen) * Pls advise place to stay with reasonable price
    22/8 – Biei-Trees tourist attraction and return back to Sapporo at 5pm (stay 5 nights in Sapporo) * Pls advise more place to visit in Asahikawa except Zoo.
    23/8– Sapporo- * no plan yet
    24/8 – Sapporo-Odori, clock tower, red building
    25/8 – Sapporo-Shopping 1 day in City Susukino
    26/8 – Sapporo-Otaru, Chocolate factory, canal river, fruit plucking.
    27/8 – Sapporo-early morning flight

    Question:
    1) 21/8-looking for a hotel or mingsu to stay with hot spring facility (*price around USD120)
    2)22/8-any more attraction to visit in Biei or Asahikawa?
    3)23/8-any other place worth to visit nearby sapporo (by train or bus)? Hakodate is too far for 1day trip.

    Thanks for your precious advise!

    • Queen Bee says:

      21/8 looks pretty rushed. That’s a lot of places you are trying to visit in a day. Since you have an extra day in Sapporo (23/8), I would suggest you spend one more day in the Furano / Biei region. Spread out all the places you want to see over 3 days rather than 2.

      26/8 looks a bit rushed. You can visit Chocolate Factory on 24/8 since I don’t think clock tower needs a lot of time. (Not sure what’s red building?) Then on 26/8, just go to Otaru and Fruit Picking (I assume it’s the one at Yoichi?).

      Finding reasonably priced accommodation in Furano / Biei for this August may be a bit tricky at this point in time. If budget is your main concern, you may want to stay at Asahikawa.

  • Cyn Chiang says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,
    Your site is very informative. My husband and I are arriving in Hokkaido on 6th Aug and we will be there for 5 days. It’s our first time to Hokkaido.

    Tentatively our itinerary looks like this:

    Trip: 6 – 11 Aug 2017
    6th Aug 1105 arrive CTS from Tokyo
    7th Aug: Sapporo – Lake Toya – Hakodate (Night stay at Hakodate)
    8th Aug: Hakodate – Otaru (Night stay at Otaru)
    9th Aug: Otaru – Biei/Furano (Night stay at Asahikawa)
    10th Aug: Asahikawa – Sapporo
    11 Aug 1300 depart CTS to Tokyo

    So far, we’ve only booked air tickets and the accomodation (which I can still adjust). We are thinking of renting the car from 7th Aug till 10th Aug to explore; but from what I read of your posts, I am not sure if we should drive or take the JR rail…😅 And if we are driving, do we need to get the HEP card with the itinerary planned below? I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your advise!

    • Queen Bee says:

      Umm… Your itinerary is WAY too rushed. I am going to suggest that you drop Hakodate and spend more time in Furano / Biei. And you should rent a car for that. This is what I would do:

      6 Aug: CTS – Lake Shikotsu – Lake Toya (use non-toll roads)
      7 Aug: Lake Toya – Sapporo (use non-toll road)
      8 Aug: Sapporo (day trip to Otaru)
      9 Aug: Sapporo – Furano (use Mikasa exit)
      10 Aug: Furano / Biei
      11 Aug: Furano – CTS

      You won’t need the HEP for the above route.

  • Stefani says:

    Hello! i’m in the midst of planning my trip for next year. To see the summer flowers (lavender, sunflower etc), do you recommend travelling on 19-29 July or 26 July – 5 Aug?

    We will be taking public transport as we don’t have driving license, and I think it’s more feasible to stay at least 4? days in Furano / Biei / see unkai terrace (may not stay in Tomamu Resort). Are you able to recommend an area that will be convenient for us to stay and take public transport to those area?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Queen Bee says:

      Between the two dates, I would opt for 26 July – 5 Aug.

      Yup, 4 days sounds like enough for Furano / Biei even by public transport. For your dates, there will be sightseeing buses going around the popular spots in Furano & Biei. I’ve never used buses before since I always drive, but I always hear people talking about the Twinkle bus:
      http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/travel/

      It’s going to be difficult to visit unkai terrace without staying at Tomamu. Because you would need to be up there really early.

  • melissa fung says:

    hai…bumlebeemum, my fren recommend you to me. Because I’m plan to go hokkaido with hubby next year 2018 August. May be will arrange travel there about 7 days. Please share some nice idea for my trip 7days.
    Thank you so much…

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