Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Self-drive in Hokkaido (17-25 Jun 09)


We (4 adults + one 8 yr old boy) are planning for a self-drive trip to Hokkaido in Jun 09. We are more interested in beautiful scenary, hot spring and flowers (wild flowers also). Based on these requirements, our travel agent has drawn up the following iternary for our consideration:

17 Jun - At Chitose Airport, take free shuttle bus to rental car shop

- Factory outlet Mall ';Rera';

- Kacha(famous ice cream shop)

- Furano jam factory

Hotel : New Furano Prince Hotel

18 Jun - Drive to Sounkyou area

- Tomita farm

- Trick art museum

Hotel : Sounkyo Choyotei

19 Jun - Drive to Abashiri area

- Ginga, Ryusei water falls

20 Jun - Drive to Shiretoko area

- Koshimizu flower park

- Oshinkoshin waterfalls

- Shiretoko five lake

Hotel : Shiretoko Grand Hotel

21 Jun - Drive to Akan area

- Shiretoko mountain pass

- Lake Mashu

- Mt. lou

Hotel : Akan Tsuruga

22 Jun - 1 Day trip to Kushiro area

- Kushiro shitsugen

- Washo seafood market

Hotel : Akan Tsuruga

23 Jun - Drive to Tokachigawa area

- Lake Onneto

- Ikeda wine castle

- Sahoro Bear mountain

Hotel : Tokachigawa Daiichi hotel

24 Jun - Drive to Sapporo area

- Ryugetsu sweetpia (famous sweet shop)

- Sapporo chocolate factory

Hotel : Sapporo grand Hotel

25 Jun - 1 day trip to Otaru area

- Otaru Music box museum

- Kitaichi glass shop

- Le Tao

Hotel : Sapporo Grand Hotel

I am currently doing research on these places and I would greatly appreciate it if you could advise us on the following:

- What must see places that are left out

- What items that are not worth a visit and should be removed from the itinerary

- Comments on the above hotels



Self-drive in Hokkaido (17-25 Jun 09)


We went to Akan and Kushiro early in this month. It was very nice trip. We drove Akan-Masyu-Kussharo lakes and Mt. Itou; Kushiro-Kushiro Shitsugen. We went to Washo seafood market, but it was closed because of Sunday.

We stayed in Hotel Akan Tsuruga. It is the nicest ryokan I have ever had. When I checked-in, the front desk gave me a Oshibori towel with mint smell for refreshment; and there is welcome drink include the local sake in the lobby. In the early evening, you will get Hokkaido potatoes with butter, self-service. Their two Onsen baths (public hot spring baths) can be overlooking Akan lake. My room faced to the lake was nice. Their Kaiseki Dinner in a room and breakfast at the restaurants were attractive and delicious. I was surprised that they served me an ice cream and small Onigiri (rice) at late night after dinner, even I ate a French cake at last in Kaiseki dinner time. They have several plans (or called ';package';) in prices; so not all plan are the same. Some people doesn%26#39;t have a dinner in a room, but the dinner buffet looks nice on their web-page. The hotel can sell a discount ticket to Ainu show; I enjoyed to see their culture.

I think you should stay in Kushiro City and visit Kushiro Shitsugen. You save much time. Don%26#39;t forget to visit Kottaro Shitsugen in Kushiro. It is expensive, but a canoe tour is worth. We stayed in La Vista Hotel in Kushiro city. There are another good hotels I could see there.

Do you travel by a car? I suggest your rent a car from Nippon rent a car; because they opens 24 hours and their GPS has a Map Code function which you input the code number for sightseeing. Telephone numbers are OK, but sometimes the number is the tourist information OFFICE, and not the site you like to visit. You will get a Map Code travel guidebook from Nippon. From my experiences, Toyota car also has Map Code function GPS; but was not the one in a Matzuda car. I don%26#39;t say Matzuda car is bad; just talking about GPS.


Self-drive in Hokkaido (17-25 Jun 09)

Hi Junechan,

Thank you for taking your time to share your recent trip in Hokkaido. I am glad to hear that you had a pleasant experience in Hotel Akan Tsurga which I would be staying at for 2 nights.

I will consider your suggestion to stay at Kushiro City and visit Kushiro Shitsugen. I will be driving in Hokkaido and my travel agent would make the necessary car arrangements for us, mostly like a Toyota Primus.

I am interested to know which places that you enjoyed most during your recent trip there.



Hi Anthony,

I am glad to have your response.

You will visit in June! It is the best time to visit Hokkaido, that I have heard many from Hokkaido locals. I would like to come back Kushiro, Akan and add to visit Shiretoko next time in early summer. Places that you list above looks good. Couple years ago, we went to Sapporo-Sounkyo-Asahi-Furano-Sapporo driving vacation in June.

We flew in and out Kushiro airport. Akan lake and Kottaro Shitsugen (a part of Kushiro Shitugen and Kushiro River) were really nice. It is winter time; ice or snow field and Tancho Tsuru crane watching were highlight for my this trip.

Akan lake was lots of things to do and see -- walking on iced lake, fishing smelt, short hiking around the lake%26#39;s path, deers were appeared around, shopping Ainu folk-craft, watching Ainu show, watching Hanabi fireworks at night (it was Akan winter festival time), and nice ryokan staying. When your time in June, you will cruise Lake Akan and visit Mario (round green alga) Center. Hiking on the lake path can see the nature and deers. These activities are very short walking distance from Akan Tsuruga hotel.

Akan Tourist Information center said that it took 4 hours driving for seeing around Akan-Masyu-Mt.Iou-Kussharo-Akan. We stayed each longer with visiting some observations, and it was heavy snowing when return, we took the loop for 8 hours. You perhaps do less of ours.

It is possible to see around Kushiro-shitsugen in a day from Kurshiro city. We were driving through from Kushiro Station to Kushiro City Tenboudai Observation-Tsurumi Dai-Tsurui-Dosanko Horse Ranch-(always along with)Kushiro River-Korotta Shitsugen-Touroko lake-Hosooka Tenboudai Observation-Kushiro Station.

I am pretty sure that your Toyota car has Map Code GPS. The Code number of Akan Tsuruga ryokan/hotel is #739341760 ; Kottaro Shitsugen Observation is #900086698. You can check others from a Japanee travel guide called ';Rurubu Drive Hokkaido'; or a site here:


Best regards

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