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8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

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8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Hi,

I currently have the following itinerary planned:

3rd Oct : Arrival Shin-Chitose Airport at 1pm. Taking train to Sapporo. City exploring. Staying near the train station for convenience.

4th Oct : Rent a car. Head out to Jozankei after lunch. Staying at Jozankei onsen resort.

5th Oct : Drive to Noboribetsu via Lake Shikotsu. Staying at Noboribetsu onsen resort.

6th Oct : Drive to Lake Toya. Staying at Lake Toya onsen resort.

7th Oct : Drive to Otaru via Niseko. Staying at Otaru.

8th Oct : Day trip to Cape Kamui and Cape Shokotan.

9th Oct : Leave Otaru for Sapporo. Staying Sapporo.

10th Oct: Checkout and leave for night flight home.

Any recommendations or tips to the above on interesting places to stop by along the routes? Am interested in a relaxing holiday to enjoy nature, culture and food. Not an adventurous hiking type. Travelling with my Wife for anniversary.

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13 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

The initial plan is full of nice places, but if possible spare some time in the beginning and go to Sounkyo as early Oct is a good time for autumn foliage there.

Try to go to Jozankei as late as possible. Together with Houheikyou Dam that region is good for koyo during mid Oct.

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Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

To avoid backtracking, just pick up car in CTS upon arrival and head to Shikotsu-ko for overnight stay. Subsequently, you may follow your itin above in an anti-clockwise direction to Sapporo. Jozankei onsen town is about 10km SW to Sapporo so visit it last before returning car in Sapporo.

you may refer to the initial part of my driving itin in 2013.

www.japantravelinsights.com/2013-hokkaido/

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3. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

typo in #2 - should be clockwise direction.

Kuala Lumpur...
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4. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Thanks for the tips, William and Li. Do you think the revised itinerary would be a more logical and less tiring fit?

3rd Oct : Pick up car from CTS Airport and drive to Noboribetsu. Stay overnight.

4th Oct : Checkout and Drive to Lake Toya for overnight.

5th Oct : Checkout and Drive to Otaru (with sightseeing stops via Niseko). Overnight Otaru.

6th Oct : Explore Cape Kamui and Cape Shokotan. Overnight Otaru (or would you suggest Sapporo?)

7th Oct : Checkout either Otaru / Sapporo and head to Sounkyo. Overnight Sounkyo.

8th Oct : Checkout Sounkyo and Drive to Jozankei. Overnight Jozankei.

9th Oct : Any suggestion for this day? One more night in Jozankei? Or should I spend 2 nights in Sounkyo before heading to Jozankei?

10th Oct : Flight home at night.

The tricky part appears to try to fit Sounkyo which is in the east into our itinerary of mainly in the centre-west.

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5. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Your revised itin in #4 looks fine.

6th Oct : Overnight in either Otaru or Sapporo is fine, though there are more dinner options in Sapporo than in Otaru. Search for right hotels though city hotels would charge overnight parking from JPY1K up. If hotels do not have own parking then you'd have to park in nearby parking lots.

8th Oct : either stay in Jozankei onsen hotel or stay in Sapporo for 2 nights before departure. For the latter better return car in Sapporo and use public transports.

Indeed Sounkyo is quite out of the way - more than 200km from Sapporo and not much to visit along the expressway to Asahikawa in Oct. Visit the dual waterfalls and rock pillars in Sounkyo if you go.

Edited: 11 June 2018, 15:53
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Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

As stated in my first response if you are planning to go to Sounkyo it would be better to go there early in your trip. A few days may (or may not) make a difference but it’s doubtful if autumn foliage will still be good there after the first week of Oct.

Kuala Lumpur...
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7. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Hi,

I have now revised my itinerary based on your recommendations as follows:

3rd Oct : Arrival CTS, pick up car and drive to Sounkyo. Stay in Sounkyo.

4th Oct : After lunch, Drive to Otaru. Stay in Otaru.

5th Oct : Day trip to Cape Kamui and Shokotan.

6th Oct : Leave Otaru and Drive to Lake Toya. Stay in Lake Toya.

7th Oct : Depart Lake Toya for Noboribetsu. Stay in Noboribetsu

8th Oct : Depart Noboribetsu and Drive to Jozankei. Stay in Jozankei

9th Oct : Depart for Sapporo. Stay in Sapporo.

10th Oct : Explore Sapporo. Depart CTS at night.

Any recommended things to do or places to explore along those routes or places of stay?

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8. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

The route looks fine but it seems a pity to bypass Biei and Furano while driving down from Sounkyo to Otaru. Although lavender season and summer flowers are mostly gone by Oct the region is still worth exploring. We still saw quite a lot of colourful flowers during early Oct when we drove through that area. Besides the popular Aoiike Blue Pond countryside scenery in Biei is the best in the whole of Hokkaido, IMO.

To make room for Biei and Furano consider tighten up the time in the Shakotan Peninsula. From Otaru half a day is OK driving to and from Cape Kamui. It’s nice to spend a night each in Toya-ko and Noboribetsu, but if needed spend just 1 night in Toya-ko and take in Noboribetsu as an en-route stop while driving to Jozankei.

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Kuala Lumpur...
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9. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Thanks William. I am concerned that if I try to fit in Furano / Biei, we'll be in a constant rush to get from point to point. Maybe we'll save Furano for a future trip in the spring :D

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10. Re: 8D7N Autumn Hokkaido Self Drive Trip. Any useful tips?

Fair enough, just note that instead of spring Furano is best visited during summer.

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