Summer in Hokkaido: A 5D4N Itinerary


    Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
    MorningOkurayama ObservatorySapporo Nijo Market
    Shiroi Koibito Park
    Onus Park, Showa Shinzan/Bear Ranch
    LunchSusukino Ramen AlleyMasazushiHarvester YakumoLake Toya Mingei Goten
    AfternoonFormer Hokkaido Old Government Office Building, Odori Park, Clock TowerOtaru Canal, Kitaichi Glass, Sakaimachi shopping street, Yamamoto Cherry FarmHakodate Motomachi,
    Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, Lucky Perriot Burger
    Noboribetsu Jigokudani Valley
    EveningShopping @ TanukikojiNight View @ Mount HakodateShopping in Chitose Outlet Mall Rera
    DinnerSakanaya Shichifukujin-shotenOtaru Unga ShokudoJingisukan @ Mei-Mei-TeiHotel Grand Terrace Chitose
    StayHotel Resol Trinity SapporoHotel Nordo OtaruHotel Onuma PrinceHotel Grand Terrace Chitose

    _SAM0271
    My love for Hokkaido is for real. I have told so many of my friends that I will make it a point to visit Hokkaido on all four seasons. So far, we have experienced Hokkaido in winter and in spring. Just as I was thinking about Hokkaido for summer, an invite from JNTO came along. Thank you so much for this great opportunity, Hokkaido in the summer is indeed beautiful and the weather is lovely (16-26 degrees celsius on average). Our trip lasted for about 5 days and it was a really great and different experience.
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    Our first stop was Okurayama that offers magnificent views of the Sapporo city. We had fun taking the chair lift to the peak.
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    It is also renowned for its ski jump stadium that was used at the Winter Olympics held in Sapporo in 1972.
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    The view of Sapporo City from the peak is amazing!
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    One must have ramen when in Hokkaido. This is because there are three main variants of ramen here – shio, miso and shoyu.

    One of the must go place is Ramen Yokocho @ Susukino area. You get to experience ramen from Hakodate, Ashahikawa, Sapporo and other regions here. We both love Hokkaido style ramen so we enjoyed our shio ramen and miso ramen very much. Thick flavorful broth, al dente noodles and great soft boiled egg make a perfect bowl of ramen.
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    We also spent some time in Sapporo City, visiting some of the important landmarks such as Sapporo Clock Tower.
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    Former Hokkaido Government Office
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    The former office is surrounded by serene parks and a very beautiful lake in the middle. During summer, you can spot tourists and locals alike resting and having picnic here.
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    We spent a night at Hotel Resol Trinity Hokkaido that is conveniently located next to Odori Park, which means walking distance to almost everywhere.
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    Odori Park is a green oasis in the middle of the city of Sapporo. We were lucky to be here during the Sapporo Flower Festival so we got to experience the beautiful summer season through flower exhibitions and installations.
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    For “pre-dinner” snack, we just have to buy some Kinotoya Bake cheese tart. These freshly baked cheese tart with crispy crust and creamy centre are the bombs!
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    For dinner, we had the Robata Set @ Sakanaya Shichifukujin Shoten.
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    Our robata dinner at Tanukikoji was excellent. I love the rustic décor and freshly grilled seafood here. We had the opportunity to sample different dishes and sake from regions all over Hokkaido too.
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    H1

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    Most izakayas offer a “drinks buffet” that ranges from 1000-1500 yen and you get to have free flow sake, beer, shoju, cocktail, high ball, juices, tea and etc. Such a great deal! We got to try so many “osusume” (recommended) sake from the region. Really good!

    DAY 2
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    Rise & Shine! The early bird catches the worms so here we are at Sapporo Nijo Market.
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    Nijo Market is a great place to get fresh seafood, vegetables and fruits from Hokkaido.
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    Most of the stall owners are very friendly and generous in giving out free samples.
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    We really enjoy having the grilled uni (1000 yen) and yubari melon (600 yen) here.
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    Shiroi Koibito Park is like the Japanese version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. The outdoor area consists of a beautiful rose garden, magical clock tower, ornate buildings and train track. Visitors can also join in the factory tour, and a cookie baking here.
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    Inside the building, there’s a a toy museum with free entrance.
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    Hokkaido in summer is all about the blooms <3
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    Soft Serve (300 yen)
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    From Shiroi Koibito, we headed for lunch at one of the most famous sushi place in Otaru, Hokkaido!
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    When you are in Otaru, please make it a point to visit Masazushi. In Japan, it takes years to training to become a professional sushi chef.

    Just the rice alone requires a lot of experiences. Too much rice and it will be more than a mouthful; too little and it will be overpowered by the fish; too much pressure and it will be hard; too little and the pellet will fall apart.
    H2
    We had an assortment of chef selection sushi, and uni and ikura donburi, everything tasted amazingly fresh and sweet. A basic set here costs 1900 yen to above. We enjoyed watching the sushi chef paired fresh nigiri cuts from the coast of Hokkaido with warm and delicate rice.
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    Without reservation you have to wait one hour to get into Masazushi, this speaks a lot about this sushi place’s popularity.
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    We also spent a day at the romantic city of Otaru and enjoyed it very much. Otaru is a quaint seashore town that is a short 30-minute train ride using the JR Hokkaido line from Sapporo Station.
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    We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the canal, and stopped to take some photos at Asakusa Bridge. All the old warehouses by the canal were transformed into museums, shops and restaurants.
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    We spent our free time taking a stroll down the sakaimachi shopping street, while enjoying some delicious cream puffs and soft serve ice cream from Kitakaro and Le Tao.
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    We also visited the music box museum and brought back some souvenirs from there.
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    Kitaichi Glass is located on Otaru Canal and features a unique hall filled and lit with genuine oil lamps. The hall is really beautiful as the lights illuminate the room.
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    Yubari Melon, corns and asparagus are in season now!
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    “The Dream Cream Puff” from Kitakaro.
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    About 20 minutes drive from Otaru, one can enjoy cherry and strawberry picking in Yamamoto Fruits Farm. If you have extra time, visit the Nikka Distillery Factory like what we did during spring in Hokkaido.
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    Here’s a little tip to you: if the cherry from this particular tree tastes good, it is quite likely that all the other cherry fruits are sweet too!
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    Tried and tested by us!
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    The strawberries were still a tad too small because it is still quite early in the season.
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    For only 1000 yen, you get to eat all you can within the park. Look at our fruits of labour.
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    Crab Buffet @ Otaru Unga Shokodou (5000 yen per person)
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    We satisfied our cravings for crabs by having a Hokkaido snow crab and king crab buffet. The buffet was good value for money as we got to experience a variety of flavors from about 80 dishes at this all-you-can-eat buffet, including Hokkaido specialties, sushi, salads and desserts.
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    It is also another drink all you can buffet place. We need to practise a lot of self control here. Japanese booze is too good!

    DAY 3
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    And so, we woke up early to depart to Hakodate! The drive took about 4 hours and we stopped by at a few attractions along the way.
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    Kinrosui @ Niseko area is a famous attraction, many locals and tourists come here for the crisp tasting spring water that flows down from the snow mountain.
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    Here we are at Toya Sairo Observation Deck. This is an observation deck which commands the whole view of Lake Toya. _SAM0950
    You can see a panoramic view of the lake, the Nakajima Isles, and Mt. Showa-shinzan, Mt. Usu, the volcanic fume from Nishiyama crater, Lake Toya Hot Spring district as well.
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    The view of Mount Yotei along the way is amazing.
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    Just one hour before we reached Hakodate, we stopped by for lunch at Harvestor Yakumo, a KFC owned farm to table restaurant.
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    The view from the restaurant deck is amazing!
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    What’s so speciala bout this restaurant? They use Hokkaido reared chicken and c ombine it with Colonial style recipe to make the best fried chicken ever.
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    I’m always so impressed with Japan’s drinks dispenser. Here’s me trying to make my own iced latte.
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    Here we are at Hakodate, my favourite city in Hokkaido!
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    Hakodate Motomachi area has many historical western-influenced buildings that create an exotic atmosphere.
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    I especially like the former British Consulate and its Western Style Rose Garden.
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    We also took photo at the Hachiman-zaka Slope that is said to have the most beautiful view from the top of the slope.
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    Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse was built in 1909, giving us a glimpse into Hakodate’s golden age of shipping.
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    The warehouse complex also features souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, a beer hall, a chapel for weddings and sightseeing cruises of the bay.
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    Even before we arrived to Hokkaido, KampungBoy told me his wishlist is to have Lucky Perriot signature Chinese Burger one more time.
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    It is really that good! The chicken pieces were so juicy and the batter was light and crispy, everything from the caramelised coating to the bun is good!
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    Awarded the highest rating of three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan, the night view from Mount Hakodate is indeed spectacular.
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    We were here just before sunset, and it was so beautiful to see the sky turning dark and the progressive illumination of city lights.
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    Jingisukan is Hokkaido’s signature dish, and every Hokkaido visitor should taste this delicacy. We tried jingisukan at YouYouTei next to the bay area.
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    Tender and fresh lamb meat is cooked on a dome-shaped griddle together with some vegetables at the lower part so that it will absorb all the meat juices. It was really delicious, especially when you have it with some Hokkaido beers.

    DAY 4
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    Rise & Shine from our amazing hotel Onuma National Park. The onsen with a lake and forest view is amazing.
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    Here’s kampungboy looking smart in his yukata.
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    We enjoyed a quaint morning at Onuma Park by taking one of the walking courses. There are many small islands on the lake, and the view of the majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake is beautiful.
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    We also visited Showa-shinzan that is a volcanic lava dome.

    Surprisingly, this mountain was formed for only 2 years from December 1943 to September 1945.
    “Showa” means the period of Emperor Showa (1926-1989), and “shinzan” means “new mountain”.
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    If you have some spare time, visit the Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch.
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    For lunch, we had Ishikari Nabe @ Mingei Goten.
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    Ishikari-nabe is a typical dish of Hokkaido, making use of fresh salmon from head to tail. It was very comforting to have this soupy dish on a rainy afternoon in Hokkaido.
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    On the way back to New Chitose, we stopped by Hell’s Valley. It is truly a magnificent place. About 10,000 tons of hot spring in various kinds is gushing out a day and supplied to accommodations in this onsen town. The views of boiling and bubbling water reminds the Japanese of hells where the demons live.
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    What about some last minute shopping at Chitose Outlet Mall?
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    It is a great location to do some shopping before heading home. They have many shops with branded goods and the prices there are so much cheaper as compared to normal retail prices.
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    Our favourite shop is Franc Franc, all the household and lifestyle items are really cute!
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    We had dinner in our hotel after a great onsen session. It is actually a wise choice to stay at an airport hotel on our final night here. We took the shuttle bus to the airport the next morning to catch our 920 am flight. We used to wake up at 5 am when we were staying in Sapporo.
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    Thanks to Vision Data, we were able to stay connected throughout our trip in Hokkaido. For only RM20/day, we get unlimited high speed internet. Delivery is free too, with no hidden charges.

    That’s all for our Hokkaido trip. Hokkaido in summer is so beautiful and the weather is so lovely. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]


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