a VirtualTourist member from Singapore
Hello, this will be my first time going to hokkaido in january. I just want to ask what kind of clothes should i wear? how many layers should i wear ? should i wear boots with thermal soles ? should i get heat packs to keep myself warm ? what is the temperature at hokkaido now ? PLEASE HELP ME ON THIS AS I AM GOING TO LEAVE SOON and i have been staying in a one hot season country and i am afraid the weather will be too extreme for me .. thanks alot
I can't comment too well on the typical January weather, but it will be cold. Typically, it will be below freezing. Check this site:
It only has the next 7 days, but it's very useful for a quick idea for the temperatures coming up soon. The top 3 are for Hokkaido. Unless you say exactly where you are going, it's tough to say. Kushiro is in the east, Asahikawa is central, and Sapporo is where the south west "handle" starts, if that makes sense. :) Note that Asahikawa is the coldest place in Japan and typically sees temperatures below -10C.
As for what to wear, it depends on you. I wouldn't worry too much about bringing heat packs. You can buy Hokkairo (I believe that's the Japanese name) which is a disposable heat pack. You can buy them in all sizes in Japan. They can be large with adhesive so that you can stick it to your back, or small so you can put them in with your mittens. They even have some designed to fit in your shoes.
Also, if you still feel cold, run to Uniqlo and buy "Heat Tech". It's underwear, mainly shirts, designed to trap the heat inside. They are cheap, so you can buy one or two and it should be fine.
We had a Japanese student from outside of Sapporo living with use for two years, who said the winter weather was not all too much different than we get in the part of Canada we live in. There will be ice and snow, and a cold, penetrating wind to deal with.
As you are going to be arriving from warmer climate, you are likely to feel the cold more than I would.
You will need an insulated winter jacket (with enough room for a warm sweater and other layers of clothing if you find it cold), a warm hat that covers your ears, winter gloves (or better mitts, which tend to be warmer than gloves), possibly a neck warmer or scarf to keep that part of your body warm.
On the bottom, normal pants, but you should consider picking up some long underwear to keep your legs warm and some waterproofed, insulated winter boots.
It depends on what part of Hokkaido you plan to visit, but since you are from Singapore, I'm assuming that you are not used to cold weather. So, bring warm coat and lots of sweaters and shirts to layer as you need.
It's -1C to -5C degrees now in Hokkaido, (which is warmer than where I live in Connecticut USA.)
Have fun in Hokkaido!
not sure if you already left your "hot season country" but this site may help you decide