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Hokkaido 8 nights

almost 3 years ago
2 responses

Hello everyone,

I need your help to recheck my itinerary as follow. My concern is that I will be there during Golden Week and no idea if the reserved train will be available for me to book. Look forward to seeing your comment, please.

Hokkaido Rail Pass 5 days
My long stay in Sapporo will be at NAKAJIMAKOEN; Nanboku line which I have to pay 200 Yen*2 = 400 Yen round trip each day during April 30 - May 6)
Note that April 29, May 3 - 5 are national holidays. (Donichi subway 500 Yen can only be used these days.)

My itinerary:
April 28: Arrive New Chitose Airport at 8:30 (Go to book all following plan at JR window after getting the luggage.)
April 28: Leisure day in Sapporo; Staying at Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo
April 29: Depart early from Sapporo to Hakodate (half day trip using street car (1,000 Yen one day trip) Overnight at Sapporo (Hokkaido Rail Pass = day1)
April 30: Early morning in Hakodate and look for late evening train back to Sapporo (Hokkaido Rail Pass = day 2)
May 1: Noboribetsu (only hell's valley as I am not interested in any onsen) + Toya Lake from Sapporo (Hokkaido Rail Pass = day 3)
May 2: Choei Lavender farm at Naka-Furano station; from Sapporo via Asahikawa. (Hokkaido Rail Pass = day 4)
May 3: Otaru (Hokkaido Rail Pass = day 5)
May 4: Sapporo (all must-do)
May 5: Sapporo (Shopping)
May 6: Depart from New Chitose Airport aat 10.30AM (arrive airport at 8.30 AM; no time for shopping, etc.)

My questions:
1. Upon arrival, I guess it must be a long queue at JR window to book all my trips before the seats running out. Is this the good idea to book it right away at this station or should I go to Sapporo station and book it later?
2. If reserved seats are not available, are there any chances that non-reserved seats are full?
3. I understand that Choei Lavender farm is the best one during this season and the closest one from Naka Furano station. Is this true? Or should I go to Flowerland at Kamifurano station. (My concern is distances from station; a short distances by taxi should be ok but no extra charges on train from Sapporo.)
4. Any other things I can do/ visits at Furano via Asahikawa route?
5. Is it worth it if I bought 3 days Hokkaido Rail pass + Sapporo Otaru pass at 1,700 Yen?
6. On May 4 and 5, I can buy Donichi subway?

Thanks a lot. :)

12232 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello Meaw,

1.) The Airports are always the busier parts. Sapporo station has a special desk for these kinds of things for tourists. So it may be best to go there and book your itinerary.

2.) Non reserved seats go on a first-come-first-serve-queue-in-line-before-the-train-departs basis. Just come early to the station and you are fine.

3.) The distance from the closest station to Choei Lavender farm is short and can be walked in 15min or less. Kamifurano is closest but Lavender Batake is also possible (this station is not always in use though).

4.) Yes the Hokkaido pass will give you good value, and so does the Otaru pass (given that you visit Otaru with it).

5.) This ticket is only available on weekend days and national holidays. May 3-6 are all national holidays, so yes.

Hope this helps,

2 posts
almost 3 years ago

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply :)

I am considering the trip and I might adjust my itinerary of the following:

A) Noboribetsu (only hell's valley as I am not interested in any onsen) +Takinoue Park and/ or Sobetsu Park + Toya Lake (Toyakokisen cruise and Usuzan Ropeway)

I found this one mention about Sobetsu Park but I have no idea if I should follow the suggestion route.

I noticed from some forum saying about talking about Takinoue Park, too. It says I could take JR to JR Kamikawa if I am holding Hokkaido Pass.

My questions:
1. Is Takinoue Park and Sobetsu Park are almost the same? Which one is easier to reach?
2. As the route require many Donan bus during the day, any day-pass for Donan bus? How much does it cost and how to buy? How can I found the timetable of Donan bus as it all Japanese?
3. What about JR Kamikawa? Is it related to any of the above routes?
4. Can I cover all in one day or should make it separately in 2 days?

B) Add Matsumae Castle (surrounding area) on Hakodate trip.

My question:
4. I will not go into Matsumae Castle, is it worth to just going around the park? It takes 1.30 hours by bus and not sure how much does it cost?

C) Hokkaido Rail Pass VS free buses.

My question:
5. The pass said I can use with any JR buses which are Sapporo - Otaru (which means I do not need to buy extra Sapporo - Otaru pass?) and Sapporo Asahikawa (Is this convenience for my trip?)

p/s Kindly note again I am travelling during Golden Week.

Thanks again :)


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