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Winter Hokkaido

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
8 reviews
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Winter Hokkaido

Hi friends

We are planning to go Hokkaido during Feb 2015, appreciate if someone can gives some advice for my following itinerary :

Arrive Sapporo Chitose on morning

Day 1 Check in Sapporo hotel

Day 2 Stay in Sapporo

Day 3 leave my big luggage in hotel, check out & travel to Asahikawa, staying in Asahikawa for 2 nights. Reason: We wish to go for the Sounkyo Hyobaku Matsuri., not able to book a hotel in Sounkyo area.

Day 4 Travel back to Sapporo station, take Donus bus to Jozantei , stay 1 night in onsen hotel

Day 5 Back to Sapporo station, travel to Noboribetsu, stay 1 night in onsen hotel and check out next day morning

Day 6 JR to Hakodate for 2 nights, go kanemori red brick warehouse & mount hakodate night

Day 7 Morning seafood market & Goryokaku.

Day 8 Back to Sapporo Hotel for 3 nights.

Day 9 Otaru whole day, including going up to Tengu Yama

Day 10 Free day in Sapporo

Day 11 back to Singaporo

Thanks

Jas.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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1. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Slightly confused about the Sounkyo part! If you intend to stay in Asahikawa for 2 nights upon arriving on day 3, how come you need to go back to Sapporo on day 4!? Also doubtful about not being able to book hotels in Sounkyo for Feb 2015; it may due to the fact that most are not yet open for booking until 3 month in advance. At the most some hotels can be booked 6 months in advance, so just keep checking when the time comes close to the booking date.

While in Noboribetsu don’t miss out nearby Toya-ko. Although there won’t be any fireworks in the evenings the winter lake scenery is beautiful and the place still deserves an overnight stay. To accommodate Toya consider cutting short your time in Sapporo. BTW, I’m sure you know that the popular Sapporo Snow Festival is going to be held from Feb 5 to Feb 11 next year.

http://www.snowfes.com/english/index.html

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Hi William

Thank for giving me the detail wedsite for snowfes 2015.

Is my mistaken , in day 4 I m still in Asahikawa, but in day 5, we need to go back to Sapporo JR station because we need to catch a bus at Sapporo station to Jozantei onsen area.

Have made some changes:

Day 6 Noboribetsu - stay 1 night

Day 7 Lake Toya - stay 1 night

(having problem from Toya JR station, not sure how to take bus to Toya Onsen , cannot find the timetable)

Day 8 and Day 9 Hakodate - 2 nights

Day 10 Sapporo city

Day 11 Otaru

Day 12 Back home.

Think is still too early for me to book the onsen hotel in Sounkyo. will wait and check again.

Many Thanks

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,125 posts
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3. Re: Winter Hokkaido

On the following webpage scroll down to the lower right-hand corner for bus between Toya-ko station 洞爺駅前 and Toya-ko Onsen 洞爺湖温泉.

donanbus.co.jp/pdf/…20130402dtk_2.pdf

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Hi William

Many thanks for your help and the information you have provided me.

I tried to book Sounkyo Choyotei and manage to get in this English wedsite : Noguchi Kanko Co Ltd, may I check is this the right wedsite as I have never used this wedsite before? Because i am using Hotel.com for most of my trip.

Thanks

jas

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,125 posts
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5. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Yes you can use the company’s official website to book accommodation. For Choyotei in Sounkyo you can book through the following webpage. A rough search shows that they do accept advanced reservation now for Feb 2015.

http://en.choyotei.com/plan

We mostly book through Rakuten and Sounkyo Choyotei is also listed under their site.

http://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/info/5502/

Not trying to dismiss Choyotei but its location is a bit far from the Ice Fall Festival venue. If there isn’t any shortcut from the hotel to the main road Rte 39 by the river you have to walk towards the ropeway station before going down to the main road. The distance is slightly more than 1 km and a walk would normally take about 13-15 min. But to walk back uphill under snowy condition that 15 min could easily end up to half an hour if not more!

www.sounkyo.net/download/leaflet_map_en.pdf

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
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6. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Hi William

Thanks for the help. Do you have any suggestion on Hotel in Sounkyo beside Choyotei? The reason I might book Choyotei is because I read from some visitors stayed here and they mention hotel do provide a bus to the ICE FALL Festival and back.

One more question : I have read the Bus information given by you, am I right there is direct bus from Jozantei Onsen bus station directly to Lake Toya - which mean I don't need to travel back to Sapporo Station.

Because my initial planning is stay at Jozantei onsen 1 nights and back to Sapporo , from there I travel to Lake Toya - Hakodate ,, please correct me if I m wrong. Many thanks for your help.

◎札幌~定山渓~洞爺湖温泉・豊浦

定山渓

洞爺水の駅

洞爺湖温泉

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,125 posts
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7. Re: Winter Hokkaido

If Choyotei provides shuttle service to and from the festival venue it would make life a lot easier. The only other concern is whether its frequency would limit your stay at the festival. Try asking them for a schedule and confirmation of the shuttle through their online email webpage.

http://en.choyotei.com/contact

During our autumn visit we enjoyed our stay at Sounkaku Grand Hotel in Sounkyo and it is practically right across the road from the Ice Fall Festival venue. Not that it matters much but last time we checked Sounkaku gets a slightly higher Rakuten rating than Choyotei.

http://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/info/52319/

Yes, the bus from Sapporo to Toya-ko has an enroute stop in Jozankei (upper right-hand corner of the bus link in my previous post). Note that this bus requires advanced reservation. You can ask your hotel in Jozankei to make a reservation for you over the phone.

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Hi William

Thank you so much for the information given to me and it really help me to plan my trip easier.

Tried to book Sounkaku Grand Hotel you given to me but the date I wanted already fully book. Tried to book Choyotei with the wedsite in English also having problem, end up book a hotel near Asahikawa JR station.

Hope I am able to make my way from JR station.

Jas

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,125 posts
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9. Re: Winter Hokkaido

As stated on my first response I suspect most lodgings are not open for booking until 3-6 months in advance, so instead of “fully booked” most likely they will say “not available”. Just keep monitoring the booking website when the time comes close to the booking date.

If you really have to stay in Asahikawa there is bus connection to and from Sounkyo Gorge. Compare and see if there is any difference between the English pdf file and that of the Japanese webpages. The Japanese information is more update.

http://www.dohokubus.com/13s-kamikawa.pdf

time.ajnet.ne.jp/busstop.hpml?rno=81&comp=1 (schedule in Japanese for weekdays)

time.ajnet.ne.jp/busstop.hpml… (schedule in Japanese for weekends and holidays)

Singapore, Singapore
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28 posts
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10. Re: Winter Hokkaido

Hi William,

Thanks again.

After reading timetable, realise the last bus leave Sounkyo to Asahikawa at 17.30pm which mean I will not be able to see the firework at 8pm.... & bus journey back is quite long 2 hours.

Will try my luck to book a room in Sounkyo .

Appreciate you help & thanks.

Jas