Hokkaido known for its volcanoes, hot springs and ski resorts. It is the second largest island of Japan. The island is connect to Honshu Island by undersea railway tunnel. The capital of Hokkaido is Sapporo. Hokkaido northern neighbor is Sakhalin IslandW which is a Russian territory.
Destinations in Hokkaido
Shizunai – You can enjoy cherry blossoms
Noboribetsu – This is the location of largest hot spring resort
Niseko – is a popular ski destination in Hokkaido
Biei – is the location of pretty patchwork mountains
How to Reach Hokkaido Island?
Hokkaido has train service from Honshu Island. In japan there are multiple train services. Hokkaido is served by Shinkansan train network. From Tokyo the train has stopped in 2016.
Hokkaido can also be accessed by Hakucho rail and Super Hakucho rail service between Aomori and Hakodate.
- Train journey between Sapporo and Hakodate takes 3.5 hours and cost you ¥8,310 one way unreserved seat.
- Train journey between Sapporo and Asahikawa takes 1.5 hours and cost you ¥4,290 one way unreserved seat.
- Train journey between Sapporo and Obihiro takes 2.6 hours and cost you ¥6,700 one way unreserved seat.
- Train journey between Sapporo and Kushiro takes 4.1 hours and cost you ¥8,850 one way unreserved seat.
- Train journey between Sapporo and Wakkanai takes 5.5 hours and cost you ¥9,930 one way unreserved seat.
Foreigners can buy JR Hokkaido Pass and South Hokkaido Rail Pass. JR Hokkaido Pass give you the options to buy pass for 3, 5 and 7 days. These passes cost you ¥15,430, ¥20,060, and ¥22,630 respectively. South Hokkaido Rail Pass costs you ¥26,000 if it is bought outside Japan and ¥27,000 if bought inside Japan. The train network in Hokkaido is limited. There are some routes available to major cities. Your best option will be to rent a car there.
You can reach Hokkaido by ferries as well.
Go with Tomakomai that sail to Tsuruga, Niigata, Akita and rarely to Maizuru.
From Hakodate to northern ports of Aomori and Tohoku and Shimokita Peninsula.
Ferry service of Wakkanai take tourist to Russia too.
Otaru ferry service will take you to Maizuru near Kyoto and Seoul.
Traveling by bus is cheaper but less comfortable. You should use the bus if the train service is not available.
You can go to Hokkaido on car. In order to use a car, you have to buy Hokkaido Expressway Pass. It can cost between ¥3600-¥11300 for 2 to 14 days period.
Activities in National Parks
If you want to enjoy hot springs, you can go to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Lake Toya is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
In southern Hokkaido lies Onuma Quasi-National Park. There is a beautiful lake you should visit.
You should take a bath in hot waterfalls in Shiretoko National Park. You should take precaution in Shiretoko National Park as wild bears roam around. The park is also World Heritage Site.
There are many locations for hiking in Hokkaido. Daisetsuzan National Park offers many opportunities for experienced hikers. The park is the largest in Japan.
3 stars hotels
You can stay in 3 stars hotels for $40-$300 in Hokkaido Island.