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Hokkaido End November

MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
62 posts
Hokkaido End November

HI

My husband and I are flying to sapporo arriving 30 Nov 2018 and leaving 8 December 2018. We know that this period is not the best time to visit hokkaido but have no choice due to annual leave restriction. We have research many websites but not many comments during this period so appreciate your help.

This is our first visit to Japan and we prefer to use public transport. Our interest are in beautiful scenery and nature and good food and onsen stays. Is there any way we can catch the last autumn scene and snow as well and which area should we start from.

Thank you and appreciate much.

MS PONG

13 replies to this topic
Tsukuba, Japan
Level Contributor
10,657 posts
320 reviews
208 helpful votes
1. Re: Hokkaido End November

I'm sorry. but Autumn Color is in October, too late to see it in November, in Hokkaido, as follows.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014_when.html

https:/…e2014_where.html

Public transportations(trains and busses) are not frequent in Hokkaido, except in Sapporo, a major city where @40%(2 million) of its people are living. So, you should check the timetables of JR trains and busses, when you go to somewhere, such as Jozankei Onsen, Lake Toya-ko Onsen, Noboribetsu Onsen, etc.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
63,584 posts
175 reviews
175 helpful votes
2. Re: Hokkaido End November

For the end of November to the beginning of December, you could see snow at some places already. Autumn colors will be long gone by then.

MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
62 posts
3. Re: Hokkaido End November

Oh dear. I would just concentrate on snow then. As I am focusing solely on trains and buses to move around, is it possible for both of you to recommend an itinerary. I was thinking of taking a day trip to Otaro and stay a night in Hakodate and maybe a night in Niseko. Any more scenic nature and onsen places to explore. I read somewhere about a bus going to the eastern side of Hokkaido but could not locate the site now. Any idea?

Thanks

PONG

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
7,672 posts
4. Re: Hokkaido End November

Any particular place in Eastern Hokkaido you want to go!? If seeing snow is your only objective there is no need to go east. Plan on staying a day or two in Asahikawa and do side trips to Sounkyo and/or Asahidake. Take the ropeway in either place and you should be to see snow up the mt. Staying overnight in either place would also let you enjoy an onsen experience. There is also a good chance of seeing snow in Niseko.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
262 posts
45 reviews
40 helpful votes
5. Re: Hokkaido End November

I was in Hakodate a few days ago and much enjoyed it.

It's really a one-day visit. In the early morning you go to the morning market, look at the offerings of the many vendors, and then have a fish-centered breakfast.

In the late morning and early afternoon, do the historical part of town including the old British Consulate, etc. The main buildings are at the top of a hill that descends to the sea. It's pretty.

Around sunset, go to the top of Mt. Hakodate for the famous view. The bus leaves nearby the train station and some hotels. You can also climb, use the ropeway, etc.

The cemetery for foreigners takes some minutes to get to and, IMHO, can be skipped. I don't think the old fort site of Goryokaku is essential; but I did not go up the tower or spend much time in the park to give knowledgeable advice.

I bought the all-day tram ticket which was economical and convenient but you might get by without it. At your first stop of the top historical attractions (British consul, Ainu museum, etc.) you can buy a discount ticket that gives you small discounts to entry of 2, 3, or 4 of them.

MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
62 posts
6. Re: Hokkaido End November

Thanks so much for input. I am getting my bearings now. Appreciate input on my proposed itinerary to start making hotel bookings. Kindly bear in mind we will be using public transport and if this is doable.

30 Nov Flight arrive at 8.05 am in Chitose airport. JR train to Sapporo.

1 Dec Sapporo - Day trip to Otaru

2 Dec Sapporo to Hakodate

3 Dec Hakodate to Lake Tayo

4 Dec Onsen stay at Lake Tayo (Any recommendation pls)

5 Dec Lake Tayo to Niseko

6 Dec Niseko

7 Dec Niseko to Chitose

8 Dec Depart Chitose airport at 9.20 am. (to take earliest JR train to airport)

Hope we can reach these places with either train or public bus and sufficient time allocated. I am celebrating my husband 50th birthday so a nice onsen stay will be nice.

Look forward to hearing from you all . Thank you.

PONG

Tsukuba, Japan
Level Contributor
10,657 posts
320 reviews
208 helpful votes
7. Re: Hokkaido End November

It's easy to move to Otaru and Hakodate from Sapporo by JR trains, but I recommend you to check the timetables of JR trains from Hakodate to Toya, and a bus from Toya to Toya-ko(lake) Onsen. If you want to stay at Onsen, I recommend you to go to Noboribetsu Onsen after Toyako Onsen, instead of Niseko, because Noboribetsu Onsen is the best Onsen in Hokkaido, Ski Season in Niseko begins from November and hotels there are expensive, unless you do Skiing or Snowboarding there is no need to go there because snow is everywhere in Hokkaido, and it's not easy to go there from Toyako Onsen by train.

There are 2 busses(Donan Bus) a day between Toyako Onsen and Noboribetsu Onsen, as follows (only written in Japanese).

http://donanbus.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2016/04/道南バス「高速いぶり号」.pdf#search=%27donan+buss+noboribetsu+toyako%27

The busses (by Donan Bus) depart Lake Toya-ko Onsen or Noboribetsu Onsen at either 9:00-9:08 and 15:00-15:08 and arrive Noboribetsu Onsen or Lake Toya-ko Onsen at 10:11-10:25 and 16:11-16:25, respectively.

There are 2 direct busses(by Donan Buss) from Noboribetsu Onsen to Shin-Chitose Airport, departing Noboribetsu Onsen at 10:00 and 11:00 and arriving the Airport at 11:05 and 12:05, respectively. You can alternatively take a JR train from Noboribetsu to the Airport, as follows.

https:/…Train-bus

MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
62 posts
8. Re: Hokkaido End November

Thanks. I will take your advice of not going to niseko since we are not skiers. William, Do I have time for Asahikawa as recommended if not going niseko. Is it accessible by public transport in early december. Mabei0123 Appreciate some recommendation of onsen hotels with beautiful scenery but can easily reach by train or bus in Lake Toya and Noboribetsu to make my booking.

Another question is should I travel from the south like hakodate, lake toya, noboribestu, sapporo then Asahikawa instead of going to sapporo first to save time and money. Thanks

PONG

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
7,672 posts
9. Re: Hokkaido End November

It should be possible as direct train goes to Asahikawa from Sapporo in less than 1.5 hr. From Asahikawa there are bus services to Asahidake and Sounkyo, 1.5 hr to Asahidake and about 10 min longer to Sounkyo.

MALAYSIA
Level Contributor
62 posts
10. Re: Hokkaido End November

Thanks everyone for your input. Have finalised my itinerary and have just a few more queries:-

30 Nov Flight arrive at 8.05 am in Chitose airport. JR train to Sapporo. Explore. (Stay Gracery hotel)

1 Dec Sapporo - Day trip to Otaru

2 Dec Sapporo (Is there a snow village open this time for snow mobile, sledding, tubing etc)

3 Dec Sapporo to Lake Toya (stay Toya Kohantei hotel)

4 Dec Lake Tayo / Noboribetsu/Sapporo (Stay Gracery hotel)

5 Dec Sapporo/Asahikawa (Stay JR Inn)

6 Dec Asahikawa/Asahidaki (Stay hotel bear monte)

7 Dec Asahidaki/Asahikawa/Chitose Airport hotel

8 Dec Flight depart Chitose airport at 9.20 am.

Is my itinerary doable. Are my hotels as near to public transport as possible to avoid the cold. If we want to see more natural scenery, should we stay one night in Sounkyu too. Just wondering whether it is worth going if the scenery similar to Asahidaki since everything is white by then.

Feel free to propose any changes as I have not book anything yet except Toya hotel.

Appreciate all your comments.

Thank you.

PONG

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