9 AMAZING day trips from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Hello everybody, my name is Tripcompany And here is Jigokudani in Noboribertsu, Central Hokkaido Obvisouly Sapporo is the main city of this island But I think Sapporo has just few things to do. So it is not very attractive But travel destinations like Otaru, Biei, Furano and Noboribetsu They are really fantastic and gorgeous. In this video, you will learn about them Our first area to explore is the central, inland part of Hokkaido. Asahikawa, Biei, and Furano are our destinations.
They cover the plains and some mountains on our trip around Sapporo. The distance from Sapporo is about 130 kilometers. It's shorter than a distance between Los Angeles and San diago First of all, Asahikawa is the main city of this central part.
But here is Hokkaido, the population is quite small, only 350,000 people. It basically snows here, and it's colder than Sapporo. so the snow accumulates for a really long time and a lot. So if you go in the winter, you'll get tired of seeing snow in a first day Asahikawa is famous for two things.
The first is the zoo, this is the number one zoo in Hokkaido. beating out Sapporo Zoo, which has six times the population. And the penguin walk in the winter. Otaru Aquarium does the same thing. And second famous thing in Asahikawa is Shoyu Ramen.
The original Tokyo shoyu ramen is a chicken broth and soy sauce combination. But Asahikawa Shoyu Ramen is a complex soup with pork, chicken, and seafood. The complex savorily of the soup is impressive My favorite shop is Ramen Aoba. I dare say it's the best ramen in Hokkaido. There's also the Ayako Miura Literary Museum and a few other things.
But not many people spend much time in Asahikawa. It's a halfway point between Biei and Furano. For now, just remember two things: zoo and ramen. The plains below are Biei and Furano.
The two neighborhoods are similar geographically. In terms of travel, they're a little different. First of all, Furano is Furano City. and Biei is a smaller municipality, Biei Town.
So the sights in Biei are more natural. The Seven Stars trees, the Ken and Mary tree, the Christmas tree. At the great snowy mountain to the east there's Aoike blue lake and Shiroage white beard waterfall Furano, on the other hand, is more civilized. Ningle Terrace in the southwest, the lavender fields of Palm Tomita.
These are places that have been created by human hands. Of course, that's the general tone. At the foot of the great snowy mountains leading up from Kamifurano. There are hot springs like Fukiake It has just a short distance south of White beard waterfall in Biei Here's a map of them, and I will give you few seconds to watch this In terms of transportation to get here. The railroad, we have the Hakodate Line, which runs from Sapporo to Asahikawa. This one starts in Hakodate, goes through Niseko, Otaru, and ends up here.
Then there's the Furano Line, which goes from Asahikawa to Furano. Furano also has an east-west line called the Nemuro Line. But you don't need to know this right now Anyway it's hard to get around the area by public transportation alone. The city of Asahikawa is fine. It's a city of 300,000 people, so you can get anywhere by bus. But in Biei Furano, there are many places that are difficult.
Of course, you can go to some places. For example, Ningle Terrace, where there's a hotel and a ski resort. You can take a bus from Furano Station to get there And another example, the white beard waterfall with a hot spring You can also take a bus from Biei Station. But Ken and Mary's tree, which is in the middle of nowhere.
Buses don't go to places like this. It's too far to walk. And it's a lot of work to get back and forth between different neighborhoods. You have to take a train from Sapporo to Asahikawa. and then you transfer again and come to Biei or Furano.
from there you take a bus to your destination again You might visit only a place in a day. But there are so many wonderful places. That's why a bus tour from Sapporo is so popular. They just pick out the famous places and take you get there directly Actually, if you don't mind both driving and the high cost rental car is the best option. You can wait for off-peak hours, you can go to secluded places for yourself Otaru, the most relaxing and accessible suburb of Sapporo It covers smaller town part on our Sapporo suburbs trip. It is really close to Sapporo city as only 35km and there are lots of trains and buses.
It's safe to say that Sapporo and Otaru are almost connected. There are two main points of Otaru city. First, there is the famous Otaru canal Second, you should remember Sakaimachi-dori,street a modern shopping street nearby the canal The short distance to Otaru makes its travel affordable.
And there are more things to do than Sapporo, depending on the person. and the city has an amazing atmosphere. Otaru hits all three beats. Stay tuned for a dedicated Otaru guide video coming soon. it's going to be a great guide.
Noboribetsu is Hokkaido's most famous onsen, hot spring It covers Onsen part nearby Sapporo Ryokans and onsen baths are one of the dreams of traveling in Japan, right? The straight line distance from Sapporo is 80 kilometers. but the middle is mountainous, so you have to go around a bit by car or train. So the actual distance is about 110 kilometers. There is a railway station with same name, but Onsen town is bit inland. This is a famous place, so there are a lot of group tourists and there are a lot of big ryokans, Onsen hotel It's usually compared to Yufuin in Kyushu, Arima in Kobe, and Hakone in the Tokyo area. What are the characteristics of Noboribetsu compared to these other famous large hot spring towns? First of all, it gets a lot of snow in Hokkaido, which is a snowy region.
If you go in the winter, you're pretty much guaranteed a white hot spring town. Akita and Nigata is also a huge snowy area with many ryokan. but it's not very popular to foreign tourists And there's a big geyser called Hell Valley. This is the biggest selling point of Noboribetsu. Compared to other geysers like Beppu and Nagasaki Unzen. Noboribetsu Jigokudani is definitely more magnificent.
Other than that, you can take a quiet stroll around the Oyunuma Pond route. There is also a small shopping street with a romantic view and a bear park too. For ryokan descriptions and more details.
Please wait until summer, I will make a whole Noboribetsu guide This hot spring town is also very popular for travel, so it's easy to get there. There are plenty of buses to and from Sapporo as well as direct buses to New Chitose Airport. It only takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the airport So the location of hot spring is great Then there's Muroran, a smaller destination connected to Noboribetsu. The city itself is just an old port industrial town. But two cliffside observation decks facing the ocean are stunning Jikyu-misaki, aka The Cape of earth and Toshoriko Getting there by public transportation can be a bit tricky.
You have to take a bus from Bokoi Station on the Muroran Main Line. and then walk to the destinations. It's a convenient place to rental car drivers But It's cool, it's really cool. Lakes are a bit more minor than the previous three areas. When you're traveling in Sapporo, you go to Otaru, you go to Biei Furano or Noboribetsu Onsen.
The lakes are less traveled. But the scenery is fantastic, and there aren't many travelers. If you do go, you'll feel like you've made your own precious memories. Let's explore Toyako first, which is a bit further away. It's a large lake with 70km2 the 34th G7 summit was held here in 2008 There are two points of interest.
First, there's a small hot spring town in the south called Toyako Onsen. The other is Ukimido Park in the northwest Let's take a scenery for a while but the public transportation is absolutely hopeless. You can take a bus from the nearby Toya station. but the limited express Hokuto from Sapporo to Toya station is expensive. You might give up everything else just to get here.
Here is only an option for rental car driver Unfortunately, despite the gorgeous scenery of Lake Toya. it's only number two on the list of central Sapporo lakes. because there's a lake Shikotsu.
First of all, Shikotsu has a much better view. Two big mountains, Mount Eniwa and Mount Fuppushi, surround the lake. and you can see them from Shikotsu Onsen on the east side of the lake.
The moment you see it, you can't help but think, "Wow, this is Hokkaido nature.” You can't hide your admiration. It's also a hot spring town, so there are ryokans too Even better, most people come here by car.
No, the only way to get here is by car. There's a great road surrounded the lake. So the driving experience is fantastic. I think this is the best scenery in Sapporo and Central Hokkaido In terms of location, it's close to Sapporo and the airport too So to get there is easier than Toyako Although there are no public transportations but if you rent a car, you can tie Shikotsu with Noboribetsu. You can't do it without a car. But it's a risk that pays off with a big reward.
Our final destination is the highest peak in south-central Hokkaido. Yotei mountain with1,898 meters above sea level. It's nicknamed the "mini Fuji”. The terrain is similar, right? It gets a lot of snow, and you can get a great view of Mount Yotei in the middle. So the surrounding mountains have become one of Japan's premier ski destinations. The main town is Niseko.
There are famous ski resorts like Grand Hirafu and Harajono. It's probably the most upscale in Hokkaido. You'll find international luxury hotels that you won't find in other ski areas in Japan. Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, which I mentioned in the Sapporo pros and cons. There's a Westin in Rusutsu on the other side, and there's an amusement park.
but Niseko is much more crowded and famous. The reason is obvious when you look at transportation and sunlight direction. First of all, transportation in Niseko is much better than Rusutsu. There's the Hakodate Main Line, so you can get there by train from Sapporo or airport It makes Niseko has many hotels, so there are many buses too Rusutsu is smaller because there is no railroad nearby. In addition, Niseko's ski resorts face east, so it gets a lot of sunlight. but Rusutsu faces west, so the sunlight is less favorable.
Anyway, if you look for the best ski area, not the one close to Sapporo. You can look around Yotei mountain and the surrounding areas. The easiest way to get around the region: the Rail Pass It's a simple way to get around Hokkaido on JR Especially in other parts of Japan, there are many private railroads that cannot be used JR Pass. But In Hokkaido, all trains are JR, so the pass is simple.
There are three types of passes and all of they cover Sapporo, Otaru, and the airport. First one is Noboribetsu Area Pass, which only goes to Noboribetsu. Second is Furano Pass, which covers Asahikawa, Furano, and Biei. Finally, just Hokkaido Pass, which covers all of Hokkaido. Here are the prices and times. It's not that cheap.
And before we get into the efficiency of each pass we need to know what limited express and local trains are. Local, or regional, trains will stop at every station. But some people want to get to a major destination quickly. That's where the limited express trains run Japanese limited express trains have their own names. Kamui and Lilac are limited express between Sapporo and Asahikawa And Sapporo between Noboribetus has Suzuran and Hokuto Of the Kamui and Lilac, Lilac is little bit longer Then Suzuran goes beyond Noboribetsu to Muroran. and Hokuto goes to Hakodate in the end And Suzuran and Hokuto are so popular So every seat on train is reserved Even if you have a pass, you have to reserve a seat on the website or at a ticket machine.
Or you should stand in the train Now, let's take a look at the efficiency of each pass. First, the 4-day 9,000 yen Noboribetsu Pass. The first day costs 1,100 yen to get into the airport On the second day, you have to travel to Otaru and back, 1,280 yen round trip. The third day is 4,250 yen to get from Sapporo to Noboribetsu. And Finally 2,640yen from Noboribetsu to the airport on the last day That's a total of 9,270 yen to get to the main places But if you want to save your money There is a better option than the pass You can travel by bus between Sapporo, Noboribetsu, and the airport The train from Sapporo to Noboribetsu is about 4,250 yen But the bus is only 2,400 yen. Noboribetsu to Airport: 2,640 yen by train, but 1,800 yen by bus So Noboribetsu area Pass is not very efficient.
Next up is the Furano Pass, how is this? Here are the prices between Asahikawa, Biei, and Furano The Sapporo-Asahikawa round trip is almost same price with a pass So some ride between Asahikawa, Biei, and Furano Sapporo to Otaru, Sapporo to airport. They look like free But you have to think about this. You can go Biei and Furano with pass But it doesn't mean it's easy to travel there Like I said in Biei and Furano part You go to the station easily, and what’s the next? I'm a total individual traveler, I hate group tours. I'm happy just to ride the train. Then the pass is worth. But if you just want to many places easily Furano-Biei bus tour is more fit for you Then travel Otaru by yourself.
The final option is the All Hokkaido Pass which is ridiculously expensive than others Sometimes a round flight ticket between Tokyo and Hokkaido is cheaper than this Of course, this pass is not for people who are going to places like Furano and Biei Noboribetsu Otaaru It's for people who want to go really far. Limited express Hokuto between Sapporo and Hakodate, 9,000 yen one way. The limited express Okhotsk from Sapporo-Abashiri, 10,000 yen one way. But first of all, the absolute price is too high. The demand for travel to Abashiri and Nemuro is low, let alone Hakodate. When people think of Sapporo, they think of Otaru, Noboribetsu, and Biei-Furano.
They don’t think Kushiro, Nemuro, and Abashiri And if you take a train to go far, the riding time is too long A one-way trip from Sapporo to Abashiri takes over five hours, even on the limited express. So much of your precious travel time is spent on the train. This pass is for those who really want to get to every corner of Hokkaido.
Now for the rental car. It's even more adventurous than the train. You can expect to pay around 7~8000 yen a day for a small-size car. You'll need an international driver's license, of course, and some insurance. And additional costs are gas, tolls, and parking.
First of all, the tolls from Sapporo to each region are as follows. And Gasoline is around 150yen per a liter Parking is more expensive in the center of Sapporo and cheaper on the outskirts. So you can expect to pay around 800 yen a night for parking. There are different routes for different people. but let's just go to the famous ones. So, if we drive for 4 days, we'll spend 35,000 yen for the car and 10,000 yen for the toll.
The map shows less than 600 kilometers. but if you actually go where you want to go, you’ll drive more further Let’s think it is 700km And you can to 25 kilometers per liter of gas So the gas costs 4,000yen And finally, parking for three nights at 2,000 yen So totally it is 50,000 yen for 4 days You can compare roughly, right? But renting a car gives you a special experience. When you go to Noboribetsu, you can go to Muroran.
You can go to Shikotsu lake You can stay as long as you want at the famous spots Group tour guest, they can’t do that I hope you'll think about it carefully. So there you have it: mountains, hot springs, plains, lakes and small city near Sapporo. Let's summarize what we learned today! Yes this is it. Now you learned about amazing travel destinations near Sapporo
I think 1 place is not enough, please try to visit 2 or 3 places And you get an unforgettable memory This place where I finish this video is Ken and Mary’s tree in Biei Thank you for watching this long video and Thank you again