Hokkaido 4 Days Itinerary-D

Summary

  • Start
    New Chitose Airport or Sapporo Station
  • Finish
    New Chitose Airport or Sapporo Station
  • Mileage
    Total 580km
    150km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Normal
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.2 nights
  • Recommended Seasons
    May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

This itinerary takes 4 days to circle central Hokkaido.
Due to standard daily mileage, you can travel at a pace that is not too rushed.
If you want to stay in Sapporo after the road trip, you can return the car not to the airport but to Sapporo. Walking and the subway are more convenient for sightseeing in Sapporo.

 

Chitose Airport – Lake Toya(Sample)

Start: New Chitose Airport(新千歳空港) or Sapporo(札幌)
Finish: Lake Toya (洞爺湖)
Mileage:165km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will head to Lake Toya from New Chitose Airport via Noboribetsu.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Rental car branch at New Chitose Airport or Sapporo

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

New Chitose Airport

9:00

New Chitose Airport is the gateway to Hokkaido. First of all, please complete the reception procedure at the rental car counter at the airport. It takes about 15 minutes by free shuttle bus to the rental car company branch.

The mileage is about 165-200km. There is the Hokkaido Expressway(E5) along the route, so it is recommended to use the expressway if the GPS guide it. If you depart in the afternoon, please consider skipping some spots.




45 min

2

National AINU museum and park UPOPOY

Parking MAPCODE:

545 194 763What is MAPCODE?

“Chise,” an Ainu house in the Ainu Folk Museum Upopoi

9:45

The first destination is [National AINU museum and park UPOPOY]. At UPOPOY, which opened in 2020, you can learn about the unique culture of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. There are also performances of unique musical instruments and dances, so don’t miss it.




30 min

3

Jigokudani(Hell Valley)

Parking MAPCODE:

603 287 235What is MAPCODE?

you can enjoy short walking at Jigokudani Hell Valley

11:15

After leaving Upopoi, head to [Noboribetsu Jigokudani]. You can enjoy short walking and see the desolate sight of sulfur vapors.
There is a restaurant on the way where you can grill Hokkaido seafood with charcoal, so it is ideal for lunch. Please refer driving map.




45 min

4

Cape Chikyu

Parking MAPCODE:

159 195 015What is MAPCODE?

From Cape Earth, you can see a panoramic view of the arcing horizon.

13:00

If you have time, stop by [Cape Chikyu].
It is an observatory where you can feel that the earth is a sphere because the horizon draws a slight arc.




45 min

5

Mt.Usu Ropeway & Showashinzan Bear Farm

Parking MAPCODE:

321 433 439What is MAPCODE?

Showa Shinzan and Lake Toya saw from the Mt.Usu Ropeway

14:45

Please drop in at [Mt. Usu Ropeway & Showashinzan Bear Farm], which is right next to Lake Toya, where you will stay for the day.
From Mt.Usu Ropeway, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Showashinzan which was suddenly made in 1944, Lake Toya, and the Pacific Ocean.
Also, there is Showashinzan Bear Ranch in the same place, so if you have children, nice visit it as well.

Right next to the ropeway station




10 min

6

Inn in Lake Toya

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

16:30

Toyako (Lake Toya) Onsen is lined with a number of hot spring inns along the south side of Lake Toya.
There are many inns where you can see Lake Toya from the open-air bath, so it is recommended to stay at one of these.

Long-run fireworks displays are held every day from May to October in the Toyako Onsen Hot Spring town area.




Driving Map For the Day(Sample)
Where to stay in Lake Toya

On this day, you will stay at Lake Toya(洞爺湖). Many Onsen Ryokans are concentrated from the south to the west side of the lake.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one. You can enjoy an open-air Onsen with a lake view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are few restaurants in this area, so be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Lake Toya-Lake Toya

Start:Lake Toya(洞爺湖)
Finish:
Lake Toya(洞爺湖)
Mileage:
40km
Travel Pace:
Relaxed

On this day, you will stay in Lake Toya for the second consecutive night.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Lake Toya

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

10:00
The mileage on this day is about 40km, so you can travel comfortably.




10min

2

Nishiyama Craters Walking Trail

Parking MAPCODE:

321 516 111What is MAPCODE?

10:10

Your first stop of the day is the [Nishiyama Craters Walking Trail]. This is a crater created by the eruption of Mt. Usu in 2000, and you can see buildings damaged by crustal movements and volcanic rocks up close.




20min

3

Sobetsu Fruit Village

Parking MAPCODE:

321 498 697What is MAPCODE?

apple picking

11:30

Next, you will head to [Sobetsu Fruit Village]. This village is near Roadside Station Sobetsu, so park your car here. You can also have a light meal here. There are 17 orchards affiliated with Fruit Village, and you can enjoy picking fruits such as cherries in July and grapes, apples, and prunes in the autumn.

cherry picking
grape picking




20min

4

Mt.Usu Ropeway & Showashinzan Bear Farm

Parking MAPCODE:

321 433 439What is MAPCODE?

Showa Shinzan and Lake Toya saw from the Mt.Usu Ropeway

13:45

Next, you will head to [Mt. Usu Ropeway]. There is an observatory at the summit station and a cafe terrace where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.
After descending the mountain on the ropeway, stop by the [Bear Farm] near Sanroku Station. You can observe brown bears up close to a concrete human cage (special observation room). You can also buy bear food from vending machines.

The bear farm is located right next to the ropeway station




10min

5

Inn in Lake Toya

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

16:00

Spend your second night at Lake Toya relaxing while enjoying the hot springs.

Long-run fireworks displays are held every day from May to October in the Toyako Onsen Hot Spring town area.




If you are traveling with children, it might be a good idea to stop by [Rusutsu Resort]. Among the various attractions on the vast site, the amusement park is especially recommended as it boasts the largest scale in Hokkaido. From roller coasters to attractions that small children can enjoy, there are plenty to choose from.

Rusutsu resort is the biggest theme park in Hokkaido

Driving Map For The Day
Where to stay in Lake Toya

On this day, you will stay at Lake Toya(洞爺湖). Many Onsen Ryokans are concentrated from the south to the west side of the lake.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for onsens and most of the inns have one. You can enjoy an open-air onsen with a lake view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are few restaurants in this area, so be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Lake Toya – Otaru

Start: Lake Toya(洞爺湖)
Finish: Otaru (小樽)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day, you will head from Lake Toya to Canal town Otaru.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Lake Toya

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

8:00

The mileage is about 120km, but if you go to the highlight, Cape Kamui, it will be very long, about 200km. In that case, we recommend that you leave from 8:00 to 9:00.




10 min

2

Mt.Usu Ropeway & Showashinzan Bear Farm

Parking MAPCODE:

321 433 439What is MAPCODE?

Showa Shinzan and Lake Toya seen from the Mt.Usu Ropeway

8:10
If you haven’t visited, please visit [Mt. Usu Ropeway & Showashinzan Bear Farm]. After that, you will head north toward Niseko while looking at the magnificent view of Mt. Yotei.
There are observatories overlooking Lake Toya and a delicious ice cream shop along the way, so stop by and proceed.

Lake Hill Farm’s ice cream is a must-try. Over 20 flavors.
Rich gelato




90 min

3

Shinsen Marsh

Parking MAPCODE:

398 551 606What is MAPCODE?

11:10

After that, you will head to [Shinsen Marsh]. After passing Niseko, you will enter the Niseko Panorama Line, which is the best drive route in Southern Hokkaido.

Niseko Panorama Line
the Shinsen marsh.

Shinsen Marsh is at the end of the panoramic line. There is a 25-minute walk to the beautiful marshland. Autumn leaves are also wonderful.




80 min

From Shinsen Marsh to Cape Kamui, you can enjoy a winding drive along the coast with a view of the Sea of Japan and the Shakotan Peninsula.

Route 229 on the Shakotan coast toward Cape Kamui

4

Cape Kamui

Parking MAPCODE:

932 582 268What is MAPCODE?

Cape Kamui. It takes about 40 minutes round trip from the parking lot to the end of the cape.

13:30

After that, you will head north to Cape Kamui, the biggest highlight of the day. In the olden days, the cape was considered a sanctuary forbidden to women, and the cape that stretches out into the turquoise sea is breathtakingly beautiful. Enjoy walking in the magnificent scenery.




60 min

5

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Parking MAPCODE:

164 635 785What is MAPCODE?

Nikka Whiskey Yoichi Distillery, created by Masataka Taketsuru, NHK’s “Massan” TV series

15:30

The final destination of the day is “Nikka Whiskey Yoichi Distillery”. You can tour the historic distillery of Japan’s leading whiskey brand.




30 min

6

Inn in Otaru

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

17:00

Otaru Canal at night

Otaru is your accommodation on this day, but most shops on Sakaimachihondori, which is the main street, close around 17:00, so you will take a walk here the next day. Instead, enjoy a stroll and Otaru sushi dinner with a spectacular night view of the canal.

You must try sushi when you come to Otaru!




In addition, there is [Mishima’s Shibazakura Garden-三島さんの芝ざくら庭園] the nice moss pink spot along the route of the day.
If you are traveling in the middle to end of May, we strongly recommend visiting.

Mr. Mishima’s Shiba-Zakura Garden (End May)

Driving Map For the Day

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

[Drive Map] Lake Toya-Otaru(洞爺湖-小樽) – Google マイマップ
Lake Toya-Otaru(洞爺湖-小樽)

Where to stay in Otaru

On this day, you will stay in Otaru city(小樽) which is famous for its canal and Sushi. Many inns are concentrated between Otaru Station and the canal. It is more convenient for sightseeing to stay as close to “Sakaimachi hondori street” as possible.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking, but the parking lot fee will be charged separately in addition to the accommodation fee.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are many restaurants in and around the hotel for dinner, so please make reservations according to your preference.

 

Otaru – Sapporo or Chitose

Start: Otaru (小樽)
Finish: Sapporo or Chitose Airport (札幌or千歳)
Mileage:
To Sapporo: 70km
To Chitose Arirpot: 110km
Travel Pace:Relax

On this day, you will back from Otaru to New Chitose Airport or Sapporo.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Otaru

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage is about 70km to Sapporo and you can travel at a relaxing pace.
If you plan to fly from New Chitose Airport on this day, please see the end of the article.




5 min

2

Otaru City

Parking MAPCODE:

493 661 486What is MAPCODE?

Otaru Canal

9:05

First of all, please take a walk on Sakaimachihondori(境町本通り), which is the main street of [Otaru]. There are many attractions such as various sweets shops and the main building of Otaru Music Box Museum.

Otaru’s main street “Sakai-cho Hon-dori”

It is also recommended to eat famous Sushi for lunch.

If you want to go all out, you’re going to have to go out of your way to eat delicious sushi.




10 min

3

Otaru Kihinkan Aoyama Bettei

Parking MAPCODE:

493 811 525What is MAPCODE?

11:15

We also recommend [Otaru Kihinkan Aoyama Bettei], which is about 5km north of the town of Otaru. You can see how prosperous the town of Otaru was with herring fishing.

The Aoyama Villa is called the Herring Palace. The gorgeous indoor space is a must-see.




35 min

4

Ishiya Chocolate factory(Shiroi Koibito Park)

Parking MAPCODE:

9 602 296What is MAPCODE?

Shiroi Koibito Park is very popular with children

13:20

After that, take the expressway(E5A) to Sapporo. Just before Sapporo, there is [Ishiya Chocolate Factory (Shiroi Koibito Park)], which is the most popular chocolate museum and factory in Hokkaido. [Sapporo market outside market] is where you can buy various seafood, fruits, and souvenirs, so nice to stop by. You also can eat seafood there too.

Sapporo Wholesale Market is a cheap place to buy marine products, sweets, and other Hokkaido souvenirs.
Grilled king crab




35 min

5

Mt.Moiwayama

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

The vast night view of Sapporo from Mt.MOIWA

15:00

Also, at dusk, [Mt. Moiwayama] is recommended. You can enjoy a vast night view from the observatory overlooking Sapporo, the largest town in Hokkaido.




35 min

6

Rental car branch at Sapporo or New Chitose Airport

Parking MAPCODE:

Please refer driving mapWhat is MAPCODE?

16:20
This concludes your Hokkaido road trip.

①Returning a car in Sapporo
When you return to Sapporo, refuel and then return the car to the car rental branch. Use the MAPCODE on the driving map for the nearest rental car stores and gas stations near Sapporo Station.
Sapporo offers a wide variety of culinary delights! For dinner, try Sapporo Miso ramen, Soup curry, Crab and Sushi.

②Returning a car at New Chitose Airport
When heading to New Chitose Airport, the distance from Sapporo is about 60 km, about 1 hour. Make sure you arrive at the car rental company branch 3 hours before your flight. You need to take the shuttle bus from the company branch to the airport. In addition, shopping area in New Chitose Airport is the best in Japan. There are restaurants where you can enjoy all kinds of Hokkaido gourmet food and countless souvenir shops, so the waiting time for your flight feels short.

New Chitose Airport has a full range of stores to enjoy even during long waits.
Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, where all of Hokkaido’s best stores are gathered.
I would love to try soup curry in Sapporo!




Driving Map For the Day
Where to stay in Sapporo or Chitose

On this day, you will stay in either Sapporo city, the capital of Hokkaido or Chitose town near the “New Chitose Airport”. Please choose the following options depending on your travel schedule.

①Staying in Sapporo
Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido and there are hundreds of accommodations from Sapporo Station to the Susukino area, the entertainment district. It is convenient to stay either on the south side of Sapporo Station or around “Odori Park”.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking, but the parking lot fee will be charged separately in addition to the accommodation fee.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    Because there are more than 9,000 restaurants in Sapporo, it is recommended to make reservations with a breakfast-only plan.

②Returning to New Chitose Airport
If your flight is a morning flight, staying near Chitose Airport is a good idea. There is some hotel in and around the airport.
Once you return the car, rental car company bring you to the airport by free shuttle bus.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    It is better to return your car first and take public transportation or a shuttle bus to these hotels.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    Since there are many restaurants in the airport and around Chitose Station where you can have dinner, it is recommended to book breakfast only or stay overnight.
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