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Hokkaido Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 04, 2016
Suggestions on Itinerary  (4 Answers)

Hi fellow VTs,
I need help in your views. I be travelling with grp of 4 (2 couples). We be travelling to Japan nxt yr late march - early April (14 days). This will be our 1st trip to Japan. We have booked a return flight to New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido. Our plan was to travel to Tokyo first then head up back north to Hokkaido. I understand that the Japan Rail Pass is valid for the Shinkanse from Hakodate to Tokyo. As we are most likely to purchase the 7 days pass, we will only be in Tokyo for 7 days then head back up to Hokkaido where we plan to base ourselves at Sapporo.
(1)Once arrived, how do we travel from New Chitose Airport to Hakidote? Via train/bus.. how long & how much?
(2)For Hokkaido, is there any similar travel pass like Japan Rail pass? Is it well connected.. If yes, how much?
(3) Any suggestion on places of interest for Hokkaido. We are nature loving people. We love sightseeing around mountains, villages etc. I heard that Hokkaido has one of the beautiful villages in Japan. Is it true..? If yes is it easily accessible via bus/train.

Sorry to trouble u with these question. We are open to any suggestions and can't wait to hear from u guys.
Thank you in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 10, 2016
6 Full Days In Hokkaido

I am planning a trip for 8 pax to Hokkaido from 27/8 to 3/9 and would like some advise. Our first frip to Hokkaido
1) Self Drive or join land tours?
2) Would like to do some onsen
3) Late Aug -- ski mountains any chance of snow
Have not planned any itinerary yet.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 28, 2016
Online Seat Reservation w JR Hokkaido

I have a question regarding online seat reservation for JR Hokkaido..

I know there is an English language online seat reservation site. What I need to know is at which point is the payment made?
1. Upon reservation my credit card will be charged for both the reserved seat fee and train ticket? Or,
2. I pay the total amount at the point of receiving the ticket + the reserved seat at the JR Midori No Madoguchi? If here, can I pay with cash?

Tq, Mel

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 14, 2016
Luggage rack on JR Hokkaido's Ltd Exp Ozora & Tokachi  (5 Answers)


We are catching both the Ltd Exp Tokachi and Ozora between Sapporo and Shintoku Stations.

Can I find out if these trains have luggage racks near the front/rear of the carriages?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 03, 2016
Travel w luggage to Shintoku Station  (8 Answers)

6 of us (adults) plan to catch a train from New Chitose Airport Station to Shintoku Station in March. We are going skiing, thus will need to bring fairly big luggage (up to 29"). I have questions pertaining to carrying luggage on this train trip..

1. Read that to transfer from the Airport train to the Ltd Exp at Minami Chitose Station is very easy since you just need to walk across the platform. It this correct?

2. Is there any luggage rack in the Ltd Exp to Shintoku (Super Tokachi)? Ours would be too big to put above our heads or at the footrest area..

3. Once at Shintoku Station, do we need to climb any stairs? Would there be any elevator?

Tq! Mel

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 02, 2015
Ekiben sold at New Chitose Airport?  (6 Answers)

We are arriving into New Chitose Airport at 8:20am and hoping to catch the 10:33am train to Shintoku. Where in the airport can we buy ekiben to have as lunch on the train? Would prefer to get here rather than at Minami Chitose Station since the transit time is only 10 minutes.

Tq, Mel

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 31, 2015
Hokkaido in late october  (1 Answer)

Which places should I visit in the Hokkaido/Sapporo area during the last week of October? I have a week.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 30, 2015
Tattoo onsen?  (10 Answers)

Hi All, I have a sizeable back tattoo but would still like to onsen (preferably outdoor) on our trip around Hokkaido during the next two weeks. Does anyone know any onsen (anywhere in Hokkaido) that don't care and will let me bathe? From previous experience years ago I know most places have signs up prohibiting entry to tattooed folk. Have the times changed? I was last there about 4yrs ago and was able to hide a smaller tattoo under strapping tape, but I won't be able to hide this new back one. We have a car and no set itinerary - will just end our trip in Kushiro, so any recommendations, anywhere at all, would be appreciated. Thanks, Terry

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 14, 2015
7Day self-drive hokkaido  (2 Answers)


Need some help with my programme. My partner and I are planning our 1st self drive trip to Hokkaido in end Aug. We're into scenery (photography), food and shopping. Here's what we came up with:

Option A
Day 1: Sin – Tokyo – Chitose (pick up car at 17:00). Chitose-Noboribetsu. Overnight Noboribetsu.
Day 2: Noboribetsu – Lake Toya - Otaru. Overnight at Otaru
Day 3: Otaru - Furano. Overnight at Furano
Day 4: Furano - Biei - Asahikawa - Sapporo.
Day 5: Sapporo
Day 6: Sapporo. Total 3N at Sapporo.
Day 7: Sapporo - Chitose (Return car at 18:00)

1) Are the plans too rushed or ok? Especially for Day 2 and 4.
2) Should I overnight around Lake Toya at Day 2, or go directly to Otaru?
3) Any place I should skip/visit for better route plan?
4) Any better route to be taken?

Thanks so much for your help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 17, 2015
Hokkaido in July ?  (5 Answers)

I have a few off days in July, my wife suggest Hokkaido. I think there are more to see Hokkaido in winter compare to summer, what is your opinion ?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 12, 2014
Itinerary Check (6D5N)  (11 Answers)

Hi, I will be travelling to Hokkaido for the first time this coming June, for 6 days and 5 nights. I will be travelling with my mum, and neither of us can drive, so we will have to rely on public transport the entire trip. My current itinerary looks like this:
Day 1: Arrive in New Chitose at night (8pm) and travel to Sapporo
Days 2-3: Sapporo (day trip to Otaru)
Day 4: Furano/Biel
Day 5: Lake Toya/Noboribetsu
Day 6: Lake Toya/Noboribetsu in the morning, followed by Rera and New Chitose in the afternoon/evening before a flight to Tokyo at night.

Will it be too rushed?
Also, will I be able to make this work by purchasing a 4-day JR Pass? Thank you all so much!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 12, 2013
Toya-ko to Noboribetsu Onsen bus over Orofofure Pass  (2 Answers)

I hope to catch the bus from Toya-ko to Noboribetsu Onsen over Orofofure Pass on Sat 19 April 2014. Does anyone know the timetable (leaving about lunchtime or mid afternoon) or a link to a site for the bus timetable?

regards, Mnutsy (Australia)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 29, 2013
Itineraries Planning  (1 Answer)

Hi, visiting Hokkaido from 24 Dec to 3 Jan 2014 during Winter Season, will need advise on the places that wanted to visit which is Hakodate, Lake Toya, Niseko and Noboribetsu for Onsen and Ski Resort will be Tomamu and Sohoro. I have been to Sapporo last year thus not visting. I will be arriving & departing at New Chitose Airport.

Thanks much

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 17, 2012
Good Recommendation for Private Onsen in Hokkaido

Will like to check is there any Ensuite Private Onsen in Hokkiado hotel or Ryokan, again not too costly as understand that for private onsen is already "X" but just want to know the lowest for Private Onsen that anyone can advice or recommend. I will be arriving into Sapporo and prefer not too far away between 1-2 hours away from Sapporo will be great.

It will also be best if it's near to a Ski Resort.

Thanks once again.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 15, 2012
Takinoue Park and Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park  (6 Answers)

Hi, my friend and I are going to be in Sapporo(ish) for a few days in May. I saw that it is the season for the Shibazakura and would really like to visit Takinoue Park and the tulip park. However, it looks extremely difficult to reach Takinoue by public transport. (Or it could be easy but I cannot get decent translations of the Japanese webpages online.) If anyone can give me some idea of how to get to Takinoue from Asahikawa or Sapporo, that'll be much appreciated.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone know of any day tours originating from Sapporo to both parks. Alternatively, we may go to Asahikawa the night before and try to join a tour from there. I've emailed Asahikawa Tourism and they said the 2012 tour schedule is not available yet. I know last year they only have these tours on the weekends, so they may not be a viable option depending on our schedule.

We also considered renting a car, but my friend and I only know how to drive automatic. Would this be a problem? Also, is it difficult to drive in Hokkaido? (road conditions, straight forward directions, etc)

While we're at it, do you know if there is a reasonably priced ryokan with a private bath in the area? We are a bit shy about using a public onsen and my friend said one option is to book a room with a private bath.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 30, 2011
Public transportation in Hokkaido  (7 Answers)

Hi all,

I am planing to do a skiing trip at Niseko in coming late January. Initially, I was planning to rent a car and explore some of the scenic places in Hokkaido, however, it seems that the roads will be icy and covered with snow, not a wise choice to drive a car. May I know how is the public transportation such trains and buses there ? Is it easy to move around with them ? I heard they are expensive and infrequent, is it true ? I will going during chinese new year period, will the shops be closed or transportation be a problem ?

Thanks a lot for your advice !!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 29, 2011
Personal guide for Dec holiday  (1 Answer)

Hi , I'm from Singapore n am planning for a trip to Hokkaido on last week of Dec. As it's my first trip & am traveling alone, I hope to engage someone to show me around & travel with me, OR if there's anyone traveling to Hokkaido during same period, we may hook up and travel together . Hope to hear from u guys, cheers!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 10, 2011
Trying to book accommodation in Rumoi  (8 Answers)


Can anyone advise how I can book a hotel in Rumoi? The 3 hotel listing in are all in Japanese which I cannot understand.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 01, 2011
New to hokkaido  (4 Answers)

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

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 13, 2010
planning tovisit Hokkaido

We're thinking of going on our own to explore Hokkaido. Anyone have any tips on what must see/must do etc.. for our plan?
Appreciate your help.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 10, 2010
Transportation at Hokkaido for 8 persons  (2 Answers)

We plan to travel around Hokkaido from 8th to 21st July 2010 with total of 8 person. The major cities and tourist site we plan to visit are SAPPORO, OTARU, Hakodate, LAKE TOYA, NOBORIBETSU, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, Utoro, Abashiri, SUNKYO, ASAHIKAWA, Furano & New Chintose Airport.

Please help to advise best option of transportation to travel this location and how can we arrange it & estimate cost.
1. By JR Rail Pass
2. Rental of Van with 8 seater
3. Rental of 2 Car with 2x 4 seater

Thanks You

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 02, 2010
Tokyo to Hokkaido  (2 Answers)

I'm planning visit Japan in month of July 2010.
May i know what is the best option travel from Tokyo to Hokkaido in details.
I need to know about the type of transportation (train or flight?) from where/which location to Hokkaido, how much it cost, and how long its the journey take. Thanks in advance :)
Heard language is a problem to travel around, its that true?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 02, 2002
Ryokan with onsen and kaiseki?  (2 Answers)

So, I'm thinking about taking another week-long vacation in Japan in late November/early December. Last time I went to Tokyo and Nikko, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly; but this time I'm thinking about trying something different. Can anyone recommend a fairly comfortable onsen-style resort with nice scenery and great food on Hokkaido? I'm especially interested in experiencing a true kaiseki-style meal, and of course in soaking in a nice ofuro while gazing out on snow-covered mountains. Skiing would be a bonus, but is not required. Unfortunately, I speak no Japanese, so the inn should be able to cope with English. Someone tell me where to go (nicely)! Arigato gozaimasu!

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