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Ohayo Gozaimasu~ Watashiwa Jodie desu~ *LOL*

Well, just came back from my Japan trip at Hokkaido and Tokyo this two places and it was my very first-time visit to Japan as well as my very first time to witness snowing. Is an amazing trip for me. So this article will be useful too for people who are like me - -
First time visit  Japan during winter time and,
First time in touch with snow.

It is total a 10 days trip between 20 December 2016 until 30 December 2016. Traveling in Japan isn't cheap so be prepared of your money *LOL*. But, it can be saved as well! Despite from my flight ticket which booked quite a last minute, some of the fees I've been trying to minimize it. Overall to say, my trip isn't really budgeted trip but it is good for people who travel in a group and of course, you can refer my itinerary and some of the information even you are not traveling in a group!

Let's have a short review on my Hokkaido & Tokyo itinerary on below:-

20 Dec 2016: SIN - TPE - CTS - Sapporo
21 Dec 2016: Sapporo
22 Dec 2016: NISEKO
23 Dec 2016: Hakodate
24 Dec 2016: Noboribetsu
25 Dec 2016: Furano & Biei
26 Dec 2016: Sapporo
27 Dec 2016: CTS - HND - Shibuya
28 Dec 2016: Mount Fuji - Harajuku
29 Dec 2016: Tokyo Disneyland
30 Dec 2016: NRT - TPE - SIN

We almost changed our stay every night due to visit to all different places every day. It will be tiring but overall is quite worth it. We get to see a lot of different view of Hokkaido. However, is still too packed for the timing, their daytime during winter are short. Sky started to turn dark around 4 pm. Unfortunately unable to cover most of the places we wanted to go but, we still got the chance visit to some of the famous spot!

If you want to ask me, which part of Hokkaido you love most? My answer will be Furano & Biei. The snow there is powdery and pure. Especially along the highway, you will witness the wonder of this nature. Well, words are unable to describe but behold, see my photos on later part :P

Before the trip, I was afraid of there will be having some hard time on communication. It really works well when coming to GOOGLE TRANSLATE! *Laugh*
Japan information counter or even some of the tourist spot, the staff are well spoken in English, well, at least they are able to understand you and you also understand what they are saying *cheers*

So, what should you watch out during this trip especially if you are first time travel to Japan and is winter time?! I'll try to give as many tips as possible as I could recall *blush*

  • You must have enough of HEATECH with you! If you don't, not to worry, there is plenty of UNIQLO in Hokkaido anyway *lol*
  • Winter in Hokkaido is like, it stated 3-degree celsius but you will feel like is 0-degree celsius. IS COLD man!!! Freezing every morning *tears drop*
  • Must wear a pair of winter shoes. Forget about all the fancy shoes, a pair of comfortable winter shoes is a must. At least, it must be a pair of waterproof shoes. The snow will be melted and is to prevent it melted inside your shoes.
  • You must bring body lotion regardless you are male or female. A good body lotion really helps to keep your skin to stay in a good condition. Don't lazy to apply it! (I'm the one who lazy to apply it, and so both of my hands and legs got dry skin and is pretty serious. *cry*)
  • Remember to buy HEAT PACK! Well, for the heat pack you can buy it anywhere in the convenient store with different sizes. It cost from 200 yen per pack. (I placed the heat pack in my shoes so that my feet will be able to keep warm, you may try it out too! Anyway, the convenient store do sell foot design heat pack)
  • Better get a shoe grip with you. The road can be quite slippy, be aware of that. If your shoes is not a proper winter shoe, get yourself a shoe grip! You will be thankful for it. *laugh* .. Especially the road in Sapporo and Noboribetsu. lol.
  • Get yourself a touch screen gloves otherwise, you have to remove your gloves every time and is freezing!!!
  • Hat for me is a must! Is not about fashion or anything but is about your hair. lol.
  • If you are taking train and buses as your transportation, is better for you to keep an umbrella together with you. (During my visit, it rains quite often and most of the time we don't even have an umbrella. Imagine we are wet almost all the days *sweat*)
  • Hmm, will add up more whenever I came across anything! It is all the useful tips, take your time and read it :)So, is Hokkaido big? How many days should I go? Where is the best place to visit in Hokkaido? ETC
    I got quite a lot of this kind question, so just allow me to have sometimes for answering this all question. My answer is based on my knowledge and my own opinions. This is my first visit to Hokkaido anyway, bear with my limited knowledge and advises. I'll try my best to answer whatever I can. Otherwise, ask my Sensei - GOOGLE :p

Hokkaido (北海道, Hokkaidō) is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures and frozen seas, while in summer it does not get as hot and humid as in the other parts of the country. In this trip, I tried to cover as many places as possible, so left with a few of places that we unable to visit. Well, we will be back again! xoxo

So, if you asking me is Hokkaido big? Hmm.. If I say is big, then within this 7 days we will not be able to cover that much of places, isn't it? But it is definitely not small. If you really want to explore the whole of Hokkaido, 10 - 14 days will be good which allow you to go to all the prefectures, enjoy almost all of the activities and not that rush as this trip. But if you just want to visit for a short trip like 4 days or less than that, just go to a few famous spot will do.

What about the transportation mode? For me, I really prefer driving *lol* It is so convenient for 6 of us. So, if you are traveling in a group, consider about rent a car. The only thing is, it is quite expensive for the parking fee! But, is still affordable. If you are traveling 4 peoples or below, not recommend for renting a car as it will be a burden for you.

Applicable Fees

Car - We rented Toyota Vellfire from 21-26 which cost us in total of 121,721 Yen (249SGD per person)
Petrol rate is about the same with Singapore. We drove for 6 days and we total pump for 4 times full tank oil. It cost us about 200SGD in a total :)
Ski Equipment - Rented from GoodSport. They are reliable and good service. Convenient as well. I got 50% discount for their promotion which allowed me to save up more! I've been researching for quite many of the ski equipment rental, and most of them are kinda expensive. GoodSport offered at a reasonable price and you can either choose to pick up at the hotel or their shop! (SGD86.70 per person which included full set ski equipment + full accessories)
Lift passes - Cheapest one is 4,000 yen per person for 8 hours. You can purchase it on the spot. For the first timer, you may no need to purchase the lift passes. There is slope for you to ski without getting onto the cable. Purchase lift passes after you get used to it. Otherwise, you will be like me, wasted the ticket *cry*
Snowmobile - 5,100 yen per person. Rent and pay on arrival.
WI-FI router - We rented from WIYO which is my all time favorite.  RM12/day. For Singaporean, you may consider Changi Recommends.
Tokyo Disneyland - Purchase it from their own website or with the agency. SGD98 per person.

Accommodation

20 & 21 Dec -  Hotel Vista Sapporo Nakajima Koen - RM1316.07 via Expedia.com
22 Dec - Hotel Ikoinoyuyado Iroha - RM3408.39 via Expedia.com
23 Dec - Hotel Hakodate Royal - RM939.06 via Expedia.com
24 Dec - Takimoto Inn - SGD504.66 via Agoda.com
25 Dec - Hotel Park Hills - SGD293.10 via Hotels.com
26 Dec - Airbnb - RM558
27 Dec~30 Dec - Airbnb - SGD569

>>> Click here for SGD50 discount for Airbnb booking! <<<

Well, I think I've almost done with the introduction. I'll be writing more details about the trip for each day on the upcoming post. Please stay tuned!

Welcome to share this post if you find it useful!


Click for Hokkaido Tokyo Winter Self Drive Trip- Part 2 (Trip about Sapporo & Niseko)
Click for Hokkaido Tokyo Winter Self Drive Trip- Part 3 (Trip about Hakodate, Noboritbesu, Furano & Biei, and Sapporo)

Published by Jodie Hia