Quick Travel Guide: Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido holds a special place in my heart. Having been there twice for the past few years, its wintry magical scenery left me speechless & mesmerized while its culture captivated me with inspiration & awe. Each time I left always made me feel a yearning to return. So while I wait for my next opportunity to visit Hokkaido, I’ll keep on sharing my past travel experiences to help you realize and plan your Hokkaido dream trips too!

HOKKAIDO QUICK TRAVEL GUIDE 

Jetstar2Hokkaido (9)

Here’s a quick Hokkaido Travel Guide / Frequently Asked Questions to help you plan your trip! Most of the details provided in this summary are based on my travel experiences. 

HOW TO GET TO HOKKAIDO?

GETTING AROUND HOKKAIDO

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • Train
    • Airport train to/from Sapporo 45 minutes per way
    • Sapporo to Otaru Welcome Pass – Less than an hour per way (Semi Rapid Line)
    • Kitaca IC Card for trains/subways 
  • Public Bus 
    • Airport to/from Sapporo, Niseko, & other Hokkaido destinations – Hokkaido Resort Liner via KKday

READ: Book your Niseko (Hokkaido) Transfers with KKday!

KKDay to Niseko (8)

PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION

  • Charter van transfers to/from Airport, Sapporo, Niseko, & other Hokkaido destinations via KKday
  • Explore Hokkaido with private transfers or day trips from Sky Express

READ: 3 Transits I Loved During My Early Winter Holiday in Hokkaido

WHERE TO STAY IN HOKKAIDO?Unwind Hotel and Bar Sapporo (5)

BUDGET

MIDRANGE

LUXURY

Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (6)

FOOD GUIDE: WHAT & WHERE TO EAT IN HOKKAIDO? 

SAPPORO 

  • Ishiya Ice Cream & Cookies at Shiroi Koibito Park 
  • Sushi & Wagyu Bowls at Donburi Chaya Nijo Fish Market 

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (12)

  • Seafood & White Strawberries from Nijo Fish Market 
  • Conveyor Sushi Plates Nemuro Hanamaru
  • Ichikura Ramen at Susukino Ramen Alley

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (18)

  • Sapporo Ramen Republic
  • Bar Ignis at Hotel Unwind
  • Mister Donut at JR Sapporo Station

NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT 

  • Conveyor Sushi Plates at Kantaro – Great alternative to Nemuro Hanamaru! 
  • Pastries from Royce’ Chocolate Bakery 
  • Hokkaido Soft Serve

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (75)

  • Fresh Potato Chips at Calbee +
  • Ishiya Ice Cream

NISEKO 

  • Grand Hirafu Mountain Cafe 
  • Dinner Course Meal at An Dining Ki Niseko 
  • Breakfast at Buffet at Ki Niseko (MUST TRY: Hokkaido Whip Butter, Fresh Wasabi, Salmon Roe, etc)

Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (53)

OTARU – FURANO – ASAHIKAWA – BIEI – SOUNKYO

  • Cheesecakes at Le Tao Pathos Otaru

hokkaido-3

  • Omurice at Snow Cruise Onze Otaru 
  • Hokkaido Snacks from Sunagawa Service Area
  • Lunch Buffet at Herb Hill Furano (MUST TRY: Lavender Ice Cream & Pumpkin Tempura)
  • Unlimited Seafood at Sounkyo Kankou Hotel
  • Soft Serve from North Plain Farm Hokkaido

THINGS TO DO IN HOKKAIDO 

SAPPORO 

  • Shiroi Koibito Park 
  • Nijo Fish Market 
  • Sapporo White Illumination at Odori Park 

early-winter-in-hokkaido-21

  • Munich Christmas Market at Odori Park 
  • Soseigawa Park

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (14)

  • Sapporo TV Tower

NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT

  • Royce’ Chocolate Bakery, Specialty Shops, & Museum 

READ: Inside Royce’ Chocolate World at the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido

  • Doraemon Sky Park 
  • Hello Kitty Happy Flight 
  • New Chitose Airport Observation Deck 

NISEKO 

  • Snowboarding with Go Snow 
  • Gondola ride at Grand Hirafu 

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (7)

  • Snow walking at Grand Hirafu 
  • Snowmobiling at White Isle Niseko
  • Snow Tubing at Hanazono Resort

OTARU – FURANO – ASAHIKAWA – BIEI – SOUNKYO

  • Otaru Canal 
  • Hokusei-no-Oka Observatory Park Biei 
  • Watch the Penguin Walk at Asahimaya Zoo

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (30)

  • Experience -41oC (lowest temperature ever recorded in Japan) and Snow Slides at Hokkaido Ice Pavilion
  • Biei Snow Fields
  • Ken & Mary Tree Biei 
  • Ski & Snowboard at Snow Cruise Onze Otaru

snow-cruise-onze-5

  • Drive through scenic routes from Sounkyo to Biei 

HOKKAIDO WINTER FESTIVALS

  • Sapporo Snow Festival (1st week of February) 
  • Otaru Canal Light Path (1st to 2nd week of February) 
  • Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival (Last week of January to 2nd week of February) 

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (68)

  • Asahikawa Ice Festival (2nd week of February) 
  • Jozankei Onsen Light Path (First week of February) 
  • Lake Shikaribetsu Ice Village (Last week of January to 3rd week of March) 
  • Sounkyo Ice Festival (3rd week of January to 2nd week of March) 

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (44)

  • Tomamu Ice Village (Last week of December to 2nd week of March) 

Schedules may vary. 

MUST BUY HOKKAIDO FOOD SOUVENIRS

  • Pastry Snaffle’s Cheese Catch Cakes/Omelette – BEST! MY FAVORITE! 
  • Jaga Pokkuru Potato Farm

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (21)

  • Sapporo Okaki Oh! Yakitokibi
  • Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory – Salt & Camembert
  • Le Tao Fromage Double Cheesecake
  • Potato Chips from Calbee +
  • MUJI (Chocolates, Pasta Sauces – Squid Ink/3 Cheese, Instant Curry Meal – Butter Chicken)
  • ROYCE (Potato Chip Chocolate, Bar Chocolate, Nama Chocolate, Matcha Almond Chocolate)

PLANNING YOUR HOKKAIDO TRIP? 

For detailed travel tips and guides, here are useful references to help you plan your itinerary: 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • @inspiringgratefultravels Instagram Stories Highlight
    • Hokkaido
  • @alwaysbegrateful Inspiring Grateful Travels Facebook Page Photo Albums 
    • Japan Food Guide: My Favorite Food & Snacks in Japan 
    • Niseko Quick Travel Guide: Hokkaido’s Snowiest Resort

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (54)

HOKKAIDO TRAVEL ARTICLES / BLOGS / GUIDES

2018

2016

OTHER JAPAN TRIP GUIDES

Universal Studios Japan With KKday (10)

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Tokyo Sakura Viewing Locations (47)

 

3 thoughts on “Quick Travel Guide: Hokkaido, Japan

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.