Hokkaido Self Drive Itinerary - 10 Day 9 Night (Hakodate - Lake Toya - Sapporo - Furnao - Biei - Asahikawa - Shiretoko - Lake Akan - Obihiro)


Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main Island, is one of the most popular destinations among Singaporean. Hokkaido not only has beautiful unspoiled nature, but they produce the best quality agriculture and seafood. Hokkaido is huge and it is impossible to cover everything in 10 Days. Nonetheless, I hope this itinerary gives you a glimpse of what you can do in a different city.

We didn’t visit all the attraction in Hokkaido because this is our second trip. Plus, we prefer a more relaxed schedule with my parents. On a shorter note, if you plan to spend more time at each attraction, do add 3-4 days to your trip to this itinerary. We didn’t follow our original itinerary because there were many unforeseen issues such as typhoon. We had to leave early for our next destination because we were afraid that bad weather may affect the road condition. Nonetheless, I have added other attraction you can visit each region for your reference.

Self-drive Route in Hokkaido

The most common way to visit Hokkaido is to fly into New Chitose Airport in Sapporo. Many start and end their trip in Sapporo as it is the capital city of Hokkaido. If you have any last minute shopping, it is always better to fly out of Hokkaido from Sapporo instead of Hakodate.

This trip, we flew to Hakodate because H wanted to visit Hakodate for fresh sashimi. Afterwards, we drove up north and to the unspoilt nature of Hokkaido in Shiretoko. Perks of driving is definitely the flexibility and accessibility to places. The downside is definitely the long hours of drive from point to point.


Summary
Day 1: Singapore - Hakodate Airport – Check in Hotel Hachimanzaka - Hakodate Dining Gaya
Day 2: Hakodate Morning Market - Ikura Tei - Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse - Lucky Pierrot- Onuma Quasi-National Park - Check-in Granvillage Toya Daiwa Ryokan Annex - Dinner at Ippontei
Day 3: Lake Toya - 岡田屋 - Fujimori Fruit Farm– Jozankei Hoheikyo Dam -Arrive in Sapporo – Suage 2 –  Shopping at Sapporo – check in at Hotel Sunroute New Sapporo
Day 4: Nijo Fish Market - Farm Tomita – Bluepond – Check in Ys Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae – Dinner at Aeon Mall
Day 5: Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum - Daisetsuzan National Park - Set off to Shari – Dinner at 焼肉工房くりから知床斜里店– Check in Hotel Route Inn Grantia Shiretoko Shari Ekimae
Day 6: Lake Notoro – Lunch at Shiretoko Satomi– Hiking at Shiretoko Five Lake – Check in Hotel Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel
Day 7: Shiretoko Goko Lake - Kaminoko Pond – Forest of Akan Tsuruga Resort HANAYUUKA – Explore Lake Akan area
Day 8: Lake Akan - Lake Akan Eco Museum Center -  Lake Onneto - Butadon no Tonta Michelin Bib Gourmand – Rokkatei flagship - Kangetsuen Hotel
Day 9: Buta Don Pancho - Shopping in Sapporo  - HOTEL MYSTAYS Sapporo Nakajima Park 
Day 10: Sapporo - Singapore

Day 1: Singapore - Hakodate Airport – Check in Hotel Hachimanzaka - Hakodate Dining Gaya
We flew into Hakodate via Singapore Airline + ANA and transit in Tokyo. The journey took us almost the whole day. When we finally reach Hakodate, it is already at night. Night in Hakodate is quiet and most restaurant close at 8pm. We ended up having our dinner at Hakodate Dining and went back to Hotel Hachimanzaka for some rest.

Day 2: Hakodate Morning Market - Ikura Tei - Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse - Lucky Pierrot- Onuma Quasi-National Park - Check-in Granvillage Toya Daiwa Ryokan Annex - Dinner at Ippontei
Visit Hakodate Morning Market for fresh seafood and local delights! We spent 3 hours there and it was definitely a fruitful morning! We had the best Ikura at Ikura Tei and my mom was happy with her Melon purchase.

Then, we visited the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse and explore the harbour. It was a quiet afternoon and the weather was perfect for a stroll. Do not forget to visit the popular fast food restaurant that only Hokkaido has! Lucky Perrot serves one of the best burgers in town! We bought their instant curry as souvenirs and our friends love it!

After lunch, we set off to our next destination - Lake Toya. Along our way, we stop by Onuma Quasi-National Park. The national park is well known for its picturesque lake and view of the Volcano (Mount Komagatake). Although it is not the best national park we visited, we thought it make a good stop over. 

In the late afternoon, we set off to Lake Toya and spent a night there. Lake Toya also is known as Toyako, is part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park. After checking into Granvillage Toya Daiwa Ryokan, we visited Ippontei for Michelin bib gourmet ramen. There are many good restaurants located in that area and we are pretty sure that we will be back someday!

Day 3: Lake Toya - 岡田屋 - Fujimori Fruit Farm– Jozankei Hoheikyo Dam -Arrive in Sapporo – Suage 2 –  Shopping at Sapporo – check in at Hotel Sunroute New Sapporo

The next morning, we took a stroll at Lake Toya. Surrounded by numerous walking trails, one can enjoy the scenic walk in Lake Toya. We didn’t complete the trail because it was too cold. So we ended up at 岡田屋 for some traditional Japanese dessert. The perfect dessert to warm us up on a cold day

Afterwards, we visited Fujimori Fruit Farm for fruit picking experience in Sōbetsu. Lucky us! We were just in time for the grape season! We paid 880 yen for unlimited fruit picking and eating. We didn’t finish the fruits we pick so we paid additional money and bought some back!

We stopped by Jozankei Hoheikyo Dam before setting off to Sapporo to meet my siblings. Jozankei Hoheikyo Dam was created for irrigation and flood control. Who knew this place is also a popular spot for locals to enjoy autumn foliage!

In the evening, we check into Hotel Sunroute New Sapporo and had dinner in Suage 2. After returning to Singapore, I realise that there is Suage in Singapore! Anyway, the night scene in Sapporo is very different compared to the previous night! Very vibrant and many shops are still operating after 8pm.

Day 4: Nijo Fish Market - Farm Tomita – Bluepond – Check in Ys Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae – Dinner at Aeon Mall
In the morning, we visited Nijo Fish Market which happens to be nearest to us. Although the seafood is not as good compared to the ones we had in Hakodate, it was decent. There are many kinds of seafood and dried goods for one to explore.

We set off to our next destination after breakfast! 2 hours away from Sapporo, we arrive Farm Tomita in the afternoon. Farm Tomita, the popular lavender field in Hokkaido, is a popular spot for one to enjoy the view of lavender. Even if it is not the Lavender season, there are other flowers! This place is gorgeous!

Next, visit the famous Instagram worthy blue pond. The Blue Pond is a man-made pond in Biei to protect the town of Biei from volcanic mudflow. The colour was an accidental presence of colloidal aluminium hydroxide in the water. We arrived in the afternoon and was greeted by the amazing emerald blue shining on the pond.

In the evening, we drove to Asahikawa. Asahikawa is the second largest city in Hokkaido. Although not as popular as Sapporo, Asahikawa is famous for its zoo and ramen. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel Ys Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae before having dinner at the Aeon Mall nearby.

Day 5: Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum - Daisetsuzan National Park - Set off to Shari – Dinner at 焼肉工房くりから知床斜里店– Check in Hotel Route Inn Grantia Shiretoko Shari Ekimae

After having breakfast at H favourite fast food restaurant - Matsuya, we stop by the award-winning Sake Brewery - Otokoyama Sake Brewery. We fell in love with the Sake and since then, we have been keeping a lookout for Sake back home.

Then, we set off to Daisetsuzan National Park after the sake tasting. The national park is huge and there are many ways to enjoy the beauty. We choose the easiest route and took Kurodake Ropeway to enjoy the unspoilt nature.

In the afternoon, we set off to Shiretoko region. It was a long drive but we are glad that we choose there. After 4 hours of drive, we finally arrive at Shari. Unfortunately, the restaurant Shiretoko Satomi is already closed. We check into the hotel Hotel Route Inn Grantia Shiretoko Shari Ekimae and stayed for a night.

Day 6: Lake Notoro – Lunch at Shiretoko Satomi– Hiking at Shiretoko Five Lake – Check in Hotel Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel
The next morning, we grab a quick bite along the way while making a visit to Lake Notoro. The Coral grass in Lake Notoro is said to turn into deep red in autumn. Unfortunately, the grass was all dried out and we didn’t witness the beauty.

Feeling disappointed, we set off to Shiretoko and stop by Shiretoko Satomi for lunch. It’s one of the best lunch we had in Hokkaido! The Japanese home-style restaurant has the best Kakiage!

We continued our adventures to Shiretoko Five Lake. The five lakes are a set of five small lakes formed by the eruption of the volcano. Shiretoko is truly one of the best-kept secrets in Hokkaido! We were lucky to witness the beautiful sunset while we were there!

In the evening, we check into our hotel - Shiretoko Daiichi hotel and proceed to have our half-board dinner there. The hotel is huge and grand. It is also the biggest onsen I’ve visited till date! Felt like a royal there!

Day 7: Shiretoko Goko Lake - Kaminoko Pond – Forest of Akan Tsuruga Resort HANAYUUKA – Explore Lake Akan area
After buffet breakfast in the hotel, we visited Shiretoko Go Lake and took a cruise down Mount Io  From there, we were able to enjoy the magnificent view of Shiretoko. The 90 minutes cruise is so relaxing!

We set off to our next destination - Lake Kaminoko Pond after the cruise. Also known as “The Child of God” from an Ainu Legend, the Kaminoko pond is a pond that draws its water from Lake Mashu’s underground spring. The pond is exceptionally gorgeous!

We proceed to our next destination -  Lake Akan. After checking into our hotel - Forest of Akan Tsuruga Resort HANAYUUKA, we visited the Ainu Village. The village is rebuilt to allow tourist to have a better understanding of the Ainu community. Buildings have been reconstructed in traditional style and there are many Ainu folk craft stores and restaurants on the street. At night, there are performances by the Ainu community at the central stage!

Day 8: Lake Akan - Lake Akan Eco Museum Center -  Lake Onneto - Butadon no Tonta Michelin Bib Gourmand – Rokkatei flagship - Kangetsuen Hotel

In the morning, we visited Lake Akan Park and took the easiest trail along Lake Akan. Lake Akan is a beautiful crater lake in Akan Mashu National Park and home to Marimo (a type of rare algae). As we stroll along the lake, we kept a lookout for the rare Algae. Unfortunately, we were out of luck! Did not spot any in the park but we saw a few when we visited the Eco Museum Center!

After the morning stroll, we visited Lake Onneto. Part of Akan Mashu National Park, Lake Onneto is small. Nonetheless, the national park is beautiful and quiet. There was less crowd and we really enjoyed the view there! So quiet and peaceful!
2 hour away from Lake Onneto, we arrived at Obihiro. Popular for its Onsen and Buta don, we are very excited for the day. The first thing to do when we arrive is to try the famous Butadon at Butadon Tonta! The Buta Don did not let us down! The meat was tender and juicy! Plus, the sauce goes really well with it! After lunch, we visited Rokkatei flagship store for dessert! Although the shop is popular for its classic Marusei butter sandwich, every other snack look so good!

In the late afternoon, we check into Kangetsuen Hotel and enjoy the in-house onsen! Obihiro has one of the best and most unique onsens. The hot spring is actually brown and contains a lot of nutrient from the plant. The onsen in Obihiro also won the title beauty onsen (美人の湯)!

At night, we went back to Obihiro city for food! There are many restaurants and izakaya near
Kita no Yatai area! Be there early otherwise it gets pretty packed! We went to a few but all were a full house! Ended up in a random izakaya!

Day 9: Buta Don Pancho - Shopping in Sapporo  - HOTEL MYSTAYS Sapporo Nakajima Park
The next day, we decided to try another Buta Don restaurant in Obihiro before returning to Sapporo. We visited Buta Don Pancho, one of the longest-established store selling Butadon. Founded in 1933, this restaurant is very popular among locals as well as tourist. The meat used is different from Butadon Tonta.

After Breakfast, we drove back to Sapporo and did the last minute shopping before flying back to Singapore. This 10 days 9 nights in Hokkaido is probably one of the best road trips I ever have with my family. All the impromptu restaurant we visit and attractions, it was fun! Hope this summary of our trip helps! 

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