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Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

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Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hello all,

Special thanks to Amanda for replying my first-timer post earlier. :)

After much thoughts and research, here's what's been roughly planned. As it's first time to Hokkaido for both of us, we are trying to plan perfectly for our trip so that we won't miss out must-see places!

Our trip is from 6 Oct 2007 - 17Oct 2007 (autumn)

What is the temperature range in Celsius?

6 Oct - flight from SG to Hakodate via Osaka

Hakodate - i read somewhere that its better to travel from south to north during this period. is this true? Itinerary includes Asaichi morning market, Mt. Hakodate night viewing, Motomachi (is this a must-see?) , Russian Orthodox church. Plan to stay 3 nights here. Pls suggest affordable accomodation.

10 Oct - Lake Toya or Lake Onuma (heard its 20min by express train from Hakodate - is this true? ) Itinerary include Noboribetsu - Hell valley - which one is more worth it to stay overnight with onsen? Kindly advise budget accomodation . staying 1 nite here.

11/12 Oct - travel up to Sapporo, Itinerary includes Susukino nightlife (famous for ramen?? which shop recommended?) , odori park, sapporo brewery, Ainu museum, Tokeidai clock tower, tanuki Koji shopping centre (other recommended good shopping malls ? - not branded goods) - plan to stay 3 nites here.

13 Oct - Otaru day trip - is it true that its famous for sushi & sashimi here?? Other recommendations for eating place? where to eat fresh kani or seafood ?

14 Oct - Furano /Asahikawa/Daisetsuzan National Park with waterfalls - pls recommend whether should go to these places or give a miss? is 1 day trip enough? any local tour recommendation where i can book online?

15-17 Oct -fly from Sapporo to Osaka. OSaka stay 2 nites before heading home!

**15-17 Oct is adjustable. we can just stay one nite in osaka if required.

** where can i find good Soba and ramen ?

All tips and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks very much for your help !!

Regards,

Jessica

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1. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

HI Jessica

wow! This looks like a good tour for Hokkiado...here are some thoughts.

Autumn is coming early this year because it was so hot and dry.

i'd suggest starting in sapporo and going south to get the best fall colors.

But if you flight is already booked - no problem...

Hakodate-

maybe 2 nights is enough.

All the sights you mentioned, plus - make a trip to the Foreign Cemetary - very interesting place with the graves of sailors and businesspeople from many countries who came here - and nice little tea shop overlooking the sea - it serves Russian cakes and pies!

Stay: Pension Kokian www.hakodat.or.jp/hotel/kokian

Pension Puppy Tail www.p-puppytail.com Fax: 0138 26 8239

Hakodate Kokusai Hotel might also have some cheap deals.

I'd skip Oonuma...nice, but just a lake with mountains...and you can get that at Lake Toya.

Lake Toya-

1 night is ok for just hot spring and volcano looking.

2 nights if you plan to do boat trip, cycle round the lake, go to Noboribetsu,

Try any of the big hotels that are listed on line to get a cheap deal - there are small hotels, but for the hot spring etc and view a big hotel is better.

Or stay 1 night Lake Toya and 1 night Noboribetsu.

Sorry...budget hotels here aren't really the thing - usually the big hotels have a cheaper plan, go for the big place and enjoy the big spas.

Sapporo - yes 3 nights is good inclding day trip to Otaru.

Ramen? There are many places with lines of peope outside..it all depends how long you want to wait. At sapporo Station on the food floor of the ESTA dapartnment store is a collection of ramn restauarnts from all over Hokaido..

Your thoughts about Daisetsu/Furano/Bieie...

Hard to do as a one day tour, no flowers....end of season.

You could rent a car and drive out there. Stay one night and enjoy the autumn scenary.

Or go by train and stay one night.

October is really getting ready for winter out in this area...great for hiking if you are a hiker - Asahidake/ Sounkyou etc...but if you just want to look at views, this is a cable car ride up the mountain and then a hot spring....but I think the leaves will be gone by mid-October in the mountains.

have I covered some of the questions??!!

Amanda

You could stay at Asahikdake or Sounkyou.

Or stay nearer sapporo...Lake Shikotsu...Jozankei...

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2. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi Jessica,

I'm Singaporean too and recently came back from summer in Hokkaido with a packaged tour.

I saw you managed to get a flight from SG to Hakodate via Osaka. Can u advised on which airline and the cost? I luv Hokkaido so much and hope to go F&E next yr to tour the eastern parts.

- How are u travelling about? by car or JR?

10 Oct - Lake Toya or Lake Onuma. Itinerary include Noboribetsu - Hell valley - which one is more worth it to stay overnight with onsen? Kindly advise budget accomodation . staying 1 nite here.

- I noticed that Hell Valley is near lake toya, so after visiting that, u can check into your hotel. Like Amanda mentioned, I did not see any budget hotels in the vicinity. Our tour group stayed at Toya Kanko Hotel. Most hotels there are right in front of the lake, so the window view is very scenic. The onsen in Toya Kanko is also recommended. Big, clean and good shower products and bathrooms are provided. I'm not sure how much it cost. If u can get a package with dinner and breakfast will be good for their seafood dinner is very fresh.

11/12 Oct - travel up to Sapporo, Itinerary includes Susukino nightlife (famous for ramen?? which shop recommended?) , odori park, sapporo brewery, Ainu museum, Tokeidai clock tower, tanuki Koji shopping centre (other recommended good shopping malls ? - not branded goods) - plan to stay 3 nites here.

- I spent a day in Sapporo only, so we had no chance to go Susukino. U can take a city tour by tram if u like to see Odori Park where Tokeidai clock tower, tanuki Koji shopping centre (nothing much, just a mini Eiffel Tower replica and Tanuki Koji was closed in the afternoon when we were there, the place sells Chinatown look-a-like stuff, not exciting).

- I strongly recommend the mall at Sapporo JR station. They have a huge Daimaru, many boutiques and food stalls, and a 5-storey electronics shop beside the building called BicCamera. I was wowed by the technology and bought a digicam at half of S'pore price.

- There's also Jusco which is an outskirt mall, not sure how to go there but it's huge too and the titbits sold there are all made in Japan, good for souvenirs back home.

- Things u can buy back from Sapporo are skincare products - Shiseido, Kanebo, Kose and Fancl are pharmacy brands there, so it's half of S'pore price. Royce chocolates are also half price, about 630yen per box. Royce is sold everywhere, so u can wait till u get to the airport as they are perishable.

- Good thing about Hokkaido is prices are unified in every shop, so no worries about being fleeced.

- The infamous Ishiya Chocolate Factory was suspended and shut down when I was there due to the product scandal. Not sure if it'll open when u're there in Oct.

13 Oct - Otaru day trip - is it true that its famous for sushi & sashimi here?? Other recommendations for eating place? where to eat fresh kani or seafood ?

- We had lunch in Otaru, the sashimi was not fantastic. Strolling down the canal is quite nice as there are many arty farty shops there selling glass and musical boxes. U must find the chocolate shop called LETAO and go there to sample at the sales counter. It's DIVINE!!! Another pastry shop is "Liu Hua Ting". Go upstairs and u can buy a cream puff with free coffee for 60yen. DELICIOUS!

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3. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Thank you for the tips , Amanda & Miss Bee! Miss Bee, I have not booked my tickets yet becauase i intend to purchase on the spot at NATAS travel fair this 14-16sept! cheaper and with freebies!

Amanda, i might come back with somemore questions when I return from my overseas trip.

Many thanks again.

Best regards

Jessica

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4. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi Amanda,

Thanks again for your guidance.

My itinerary has now changed backwards.

That is to say: I will travel from Sapporo downwards to Hakodate.

These are the places i intend to go except for Furano, Asahikawa, Daisetsuzan.

would the JR Hokkaido passes costing YEN 14,000 for 3-days usage good for me based on this itinerary?

I know there's a lot of different transport companies in Hokkaido, but i guess to use this pass, it's probably good for Lake toya & noboribetsu & Jozaiken....

Is it still recommended to buy this ticket?

Thanks!

Cheers,

Jessica

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5. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi Miss Bee,

I managed to book airticket by ANA yesterday.

SIN-TOKYO-SAPPORO (NEW CHITOSE) on same day direct flight.

Then return route would be :

HAKODATE-TOKYO (HANEDA AIRPORT)

TOKYO (NARITA) -SIN

Airfare cost me S$ 1270 inclusive taxes and domestic flights all by ANA.

i booked through Prime Travel (agent for ANA) and a lady named Bada is very helpful to make the bookings and make recommendations for me. She can be reached at this number : 62214250.

Just let her know that you are referred by me, Jessica.

Hope this helps somehow.

Cheers,

Jessica

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6. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi there

so now you are going:

Tokyo to Chitose - Sapporo - Otaru - Jozankei - Noboribetsu - Toya - Hakodate (Oonuma) to Tokyo?

sounds good.

About the Hokkaido JR Pass. Three days for Y14,000.

It may not be cheaper.

IYou could only use it for the Sapporo - Noboribetsu - Toyoura - Hakodate part of the trip because of the 3 day usage time - and I reckon your train tickets would cost LESS than Y14,000 per person...probably about Y10,000. (and actually if you stay at a hotel in Noboribetsu which has a shuttle bus from sapporo for guests..you'll pay even less!).

Chitose to Sapporo is Y1,000

Sapporo to Otaru is about Y700 one way

Sapporo to Jozankei - no train - Y1,400 bus return

Check your toute and csost on the Hyperdia website.

Amanda

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7. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi Jessica: Agree with Amanda...think 2 nights is sufficient for Hakodate. I stayed at the "Smile Hotel" at abt 8000Yen a night for a twin room..nice, clean, looks pretty new and located right infront of the bus station and 5 min walk to the JR station so it's very convenient. The view from Mt Hakodate was very pretty at night...so highly recommended! (But it was also full of pp!) You can buy a one day tram pass for abt 500-600yen or a 1 day tram and bus pass for abt 800yen.

For Furano...driving highly recommended. Sounkyo is pretty quiet but you can try taking the ropeway and chairlift up Mt Kuradake (or even climb to the summit like what we did - u will need at abt 3hrs to do the climb)

For Toya, I think Toya Kanko may provide free transport to / from Sapporo if u book from them directly. Same for some of the hotels in Noboribetsu. We took the free shuttle by Dai-ichi to Noboribetsu and then the JR to Toya. From Toya, we took the JR train to Hakodate...it was all pretty manageble. If you are worried about carrying heavy bags, you can try their bag forwarding (Takkyubin) service.

Miss Bee...you can book the S'pore-Osaka-Hokkaido return from JAL (would be helpful to request for them to book the internal flight to depart from the same airport so that you dont have to change to another airport when transiting). You can also do open jaw...e.g. I flew in via Asahikawa and flew out from Hakodate.

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8. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Thank you very much for your input, Amanda (once again!) and Tricia!

I have noted them in my little travel book. :-)

Will update you guys when i return from my trip on 17Oct.

Very much looking fwd and i've start counting down! 2 weeks plus to go! :-)

Cheers,

Jess

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9. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hi Tricia,

For taking JR train from Toya to Hakodate, how long is the journey and how much did you pay for it ?

What if Toya Kanko has no transport to Noboribetsu?

Any other transport available?

is taxi expensive?

You also mentioned that you go Noboribetsu by Daiichi - Daiichi is a bus transport name?

Sorry for being ignorant but i'm worried about self-planned transport at Toya lake. (not our choice...supposedly driving but the other couple frens couldn't make it )

Thanks for advice.

Cheers

Jessica

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10. Re: Free&Easy Hokkaido in Oct - help needed on itinerary!

Hey, I am planning to visit Hokkaido this coming

September. Can someone share with me any budget hotel/ryokan near JR in Sapporo/Hakodate/Lake Toya

My plan is as follow:

Day 1: Sapporo City Tour

Day 2: Otoru day trip from Sapporo

Day 3: Furano day trip from Sapporo

Day 4: Travel from Sapporo to Lake Toya

Day 5: Lake Toya to Hakodate

Day 6: Hakodate day trip

Day 7: Hakodate to Osaka

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