Tag Archives: hokkaido

JP 2004 April Hokkaido

Our first trip visiting Hokkaido on our own – Sapporo > Otaru > Niseko > Hakodate > Toya-ko (by public transport).


Remaining snow was on the roads/pavements here and there, while some Azaleas were blossoming.


Easy day visit and stayed in hotel overlooking Otaru Port.



stayed in Niseko Konbu onsen for the first time. Returned in 2008 by car.



visited the Historical Buildings area including the ex-British Consulate where we had a tea set. Had dinner in the warehouse area. Returned in 2008 for Mt Hakodate night view and others.


Onuma National Park

On next day, went to the famous morning market to have breakfast. Took the Steam Locomotive (SL train) to visit Onuma National Park. Spent about 2 hours there.

Sakura Blossom in Hakodate



2nd stay in onsen hotel. Lucky to have fireworks commencing from 29th April – the first day of the golden week.


JP 2006 May Hokkaido (Part 2)

Shichiku garden (紫竹ガーデン)

visited Shichiku garden when tulip was blossoming on a sunny day.

official website


Drove by beautiful Tokachi plain and onward to Furano. Visited Tomita Farm for the first time in early June.



visited rapeseed farms outside Takikawa.



returned to Sapporo and stayed in hotel on top of station.


JP 2006 May Hokkaido (Part 1)

My first time driving in Japan.

After landing in New Chitose airport, took train to Obihiro and stayed overnight. Picked up rental car on next morning then drove to Akan-ko. Stayed in Tsuruga onsen ryokan for the first time. 


It was a rainy and cold day, around 11C if my memory was correct even in end May.

Higashi-Mokoto Shibazakura Park (東藻琴芝桜公園)

It was a rainy day with drizzles at times, but the scenery was awesome with the scale of Shibazakura on the hill slope.

official website



visited this lake for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. It was serene with almost perfect reflections from the hotel garden and from room.



Tokachigawa onsen

stayed in this onsen for the first time and would return another 5 times.


==> Part 2 ==>


JP 2011 June Hokkaido (Part 2)

Yuni Garden

The Yuni Garden is a huge English garden. Various flowers were blooming in late June when we visited. Worthy to spend a few hours there for those who love gardens and flowers.

related website



Second visit in Shikotsu-ko for relaxing onsen stay.



Visited and stayed in Toya-ko 4th time.  The sculptures around the lake rim are interesting.


Fireworks in the evening and on the next day before returning to Sapporo



JP 2011 June Hokkaido (Part 1)

Visited Hokkaido in late June for 1 week after the 3.11 Tohoku big earthquake to support Japan.


CTS > Yubari > Tokachigawa onsen > Furano > Toya-ko > Sapporo


After a brief overnight stay in Yubari, drove to Obihiro and stayed in our favourite Tokachigawa onsen with ensuite rotenburo again.





stopped by serene Kanayama-ko while driving en route to Furano.


Tomita Farm

flowers were blooming such as Iris, Dahlia, Gazania, Poppy and early Lavender indoor flower beds etc.

Senbou-toge, Flowerland

Stopped by Senbou-toge for panoramic view of Tokachi plain, and to our surprise Wisteria (Fuji) was blooming in the resting area. Wild Lupins were blooming here and there on the road side and Flowerland.

Shikisai-no-oka, Biei Patchwork Road

Dropped by Shikisai-no-oka as usual and had quick lunch there. Re-visited some famous trees in that area before visiting the Philosophical Tree. We did not realize this would be our last encounter 🙁



==> Part 2 ==>


JP 2008 Oct Hokkaido (Part 3)


2nd visit since 2004. Dropped by Onuma National Park while en route. Koyo was about 10%. Took an easy walking path of 1 hour. Nice view of Mount Komagatake in the distance.


Yunokawa onsen and Trappist Convent

While we took a day time onsen in Yunokawa in 2004, we stayed in an onsen ryokan with seaview and rotenburo in-room. On the next morning, visited the Trappist Monastery before returning to Hakodate city.



Back in Hakodate city, we first visited Kosetsu-en,  a famous garden for Koyo. Though Koyo was about 10%, it was a nice walk. We then headed to the morning market for lunch and checked in to new onsen hotel with view of Mt Hakodate and bay.  Went up to Mt Hakodate for famous nightview.  The narrow road up to the peak was so congested that there were long lines of cars and buses on either way. On the next morning, we strolled around in the bay area before heading back to Sapporo.


==> Part 4 ==>



JP 2008 Oct Hokkaido (Part 2)

Cape Kamui and Shakotan Peninsula

at the north-western tip of Hokkaido. Took about 2 hours from Niseko to skirt around the coastline to get there.

Otaru Shukutsu

Took about 1 hour drive from Shakotan to Otaru. Stayed in a hotel overlooking the Shukutsu coastline in Otaru. as we have visited Otaru twice before, did not stop by the city centre this time.


Hoheikyo and Jozankei onsen

our first visit – Koyo was a bit late in both, which are in the outskirts of Sapporo.  Stayed overnight in an onsen ryokan in Jozankei.


==> Part 3 ==>



JP 2008 Oct Hokkaido (Part 1)

In this Koyo trip, we visited Hokkaido from mid to late Oct starting from Shikotsu-ko, Toya-ko, Niseko, Cape Kamui, Otaru, Sapporo and Hakodate.


First stay right after landing in nearby New Chitose airport, about 30min by car.  Deep-blue lake in peak Koyo.



Koyo was a bit after peak. Nevertheless, it was a sunny day and it was my first shots on fireworks.


visited Shinsen-numa for the 1st time. Koyo was clearly beyond peak in mid-Oct due to higher elevation. Refer to our trip in Oct 2013 when we visited 1 week earlier to catch peak Koyo.



Half-moon lake

At the foothill of Mt Yotei, about 15-20min walk from car park through a forest of White Birch (Shirakaba in Japanese).

==> Part 2 ==>


JP 2016 May Hokkaido (Part 2)

Lakes in Hokkaido East

After visiting the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, drove to Abashiri-ko for onsen resort, while stopping by Saroma-ko, Notoro-ko en route. Each of these lakes are huge and almost indiscernible from the sea. On the next day, visited Kussharo-ko, Mashu-ko and Onneto while heading to Tokachigawa onsen.

Tomita Farm

There were not many flowers blooming in Tomita Farm in end May, except for some poppies. The Hoshi Hayazaki (deep purple early blossom) Lavender grown in a small house was always an attraction, same for the dried flowers in the shop.

Daisetsuzan in Spring

Out of the several times we had visited Biei, this is the 1st time when Daisetsuzan could be seen so clearly in blue sky and not covered by clouds/mists. In fact, when we passed by Minami-Furano, it rained quite heavily. We also dropped by the blue bond before checking in an onsen hotel in Furano. Though it is beautiful, it is overrated in my opinion if compared with the lakes in Hokkaido East.

Sapporo Moerenuma Park

This is another huge park in the north-eastern corner of the city. This park is a fusion of art and nature. Bicycles can be rented from the entrance. 

Moerenuma Park website


 Sapporo Lilac Festival

The Sapporo Lilac Festival lasted from mid to late May. There were 2 venues but we went to the one in Odori Park only. During the weekends, there were live music performances, food stalls and wine bars offering fresh food and drinks. There were many people on that Sunday morning, all having a good time welcoming the arrival of Spring.

Sapporo Lilac Festival


JP 2006 Oct Hokkaido (Part 2)


Drove to Tomita Farm in Kami-Furano. When we arrived at Hinode (sunrise) garden in Biei after 3pm, sun was slowly setting and it shined a warm yellowish orange glow in the fields, a slightly pink glow in the far away Mt Tokachi range.


On the next day, we continued our visits in Biei. First we went to Flowerland where the deep red Kochia quickly caught our attention, whereas the pink Cosmos is a widely seen in Autumn Hokkaido. Next we quickly drove around the Patchwork road to visit the Mild-Seven trees, the family trees,  Ken & Mary tree, the Philosophical tree – our favourite. From Shikisai-no-oka, we noticed the Mt Tokachi range was well covered in snow (in the distance), so we headed up to the mountain gate where it was covered in snow.



in Sapporo, fall foliage was probably at 70% peak. Visited the campus of University of Hokkaido, and Nakajima Park.