13 Days Hokkaido Itinerary for under SGD 1,800

13 Days Hokkaido Itinerary for under SGD 1,800

13 days in Hokkaido with a budget of under SGD 1,800? Yes! Here's how.

Ah, the good old days. It all started on that very afternoon when we (finally) received our offer letters from Tokyo Waseda University. And later in the evening, we already decided to make a trip to late-summer Hokkaido before reporting to the university for the five-month exchange programme.

This is going to be a long post as I have trouble limiting the number of representative photos to showcase the beauty of Hokkaido. While you enjoy my pick of the best-of-the-best pictures, let me do you a favor by providing our full itinerary, a list of recommended accommodation and another list of expenses for reference.

It is not impossible to indulge yourself with good food and comfortable stay in Hokkaido without spending a fortune. And I think we just proved our point. You can even save more if you don’t mind taking more transfers or eating less sushi.

Also, our schedule was pretty flexible as we didn’t want to exhaust ourselves before touching down in Tokyo. Sometimes we wandered around the town without any destination in mind and very often we were surprised by the little things we had found along the way. I urge you to do the same – let your gut feelings take charge of a small part of the journey and learn to embrace the unplanned!

Also read: 8 Must-Know Japanese Words to Survive a Trip to Japan

Itinerary

By my good friend Shao Hua. He was also the photographer (and the driver, yes he is the all-in-one travel friend you need). Do check out his website for more awe-inspiring photos.

Feel free to skip the itinerary and scroll down for picturesss!

  Itinerary Remarks
Day 1

Sapporo

Singapore Changi Airport – Tokyo Narita Airport – Free and Easy in Sapporo We had dinner at this ramen shop らーめん信玄南6条店, but do try their fried rice (yes, fried rice in a ramen shop), you’ll be surprised!
Day 2

Sapporo

Hokkaido University – Shiroi Koibito Park –  Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade Cheap and good food available in the school canteen.
Day 3

Otaru

Otaru Sogo Museum Unga KanOtaru Music Box MuseumUme no Oto Character House (Totoro) – Otaru Canal and Shopping Arcade There are quite some unique food stalls/restaurants and handicrafts stores along the street beside the canal, do check em’ up!
Day 4

Hakodate

Mt. Hakodate We missed the sunset, but still the enchanting night view was worth the visit.
Day 5

Hakodate & Toya

Hakodate Morning Market – Strolling along Lake Toya – Showa-shinzan Bear Ranch – Lake Toya Summer Firework (28/04~31/10, 8.45PM~9.05PM) Every seafood lover should visit the Hakodate Morning Market without any excuse. Please leave the bear ranch out of your itinerary as we have a feeling that the bears are not well taken care of based on what we saw.
Day 6

Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu Date JidaimuraNoboribetsu Jogokudani (Hell Valley) – Onsen Highly recommend Date Jidaimura, a history theme park highlighting the Edo Period. There are games, shows and exhibitions, you can easily spend one whole day in the theme park. Oh onsen is a must-do when you come to an onsen town like Noboribetsu.
Day 7

Tomamu

Tomamu Hoshino Resort*:  Summer /Winter
*Some activities are available for pre-booking.
Well basically, the resort is the only place you can go in Tomamu. But fred not, this resort is huge, and there are tonnes of activities and facilities – you’ll never be bored.
Day 8

Tomamu &

Furano

Unkai Terrace (Sea of Clouds)** – Breakfast Buffet – Tomita Farm and other Furano Flower Farms – Stargazing outside our hostel
**Only available from Mid May to Mid October
Awesome dinner at Yuiga Doxon Omelette Curry Rice, so far the best Japanese curry rice I’ve ever had!
Day 9

Furano

Rokugou Viewing PlatformFurano Jam GardenAnpanman Shop Furano WineryTrick Art Museum It was drizzling the whole day so we tried to stay indoor. Do visit Rokugou Viewing Platform for the most picturesque views in Hokkaido.
Day 10

Biei &

Asahikawa

Biei Shikisai-no-Oka and Alpaca Farm  – Asahikawa Ramen Village – Free and Easy in Asahikawa Only go to the Ramen Village if you have time because I personally think there is nothing really special there. Recommend Toriton Kaiten Sushi for dinner. Toriton is a chain restaurant which never compromise on quality, try their sashimi and you’ll know!
Day 11

Asahikawa

Asahiyama Zoo Definitely worth spending one whole day in the zoo! Just, scroll down for detailed description and yes, pictures!
Day 12

Chitose

Hokkaido New Chitose Airport Before you judge us for spending one day in an airport, hear me out: there is an open-air bath in the airport! And many more things to do within the premise.
Day 13

Chitose

Hokkaido New Chitose Airport – Tokyo Narita Airport Last minute souvenir shopping at the airport.

Day 1: Sapporo

The lucky day for a foodie like myself to have found the best fried rice in a ramen shop.

hokkaido itineraryImage credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 2: Sapporo

The canteen food in Hokkaido University was unexpectedly good and affordable. While Shiroi Koibito Park is a great place to take tonnes of Instagram-worthy pictures, their signature ice-cream was so-so for the price. I can’t believe we felt homesick already on the second day of our trip that we had our dinner at a Singaporean (/Malaysian) restaurant – food was good but different from home still.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 3: Otaru

The surrounding European architecture didn’t make us feel like we are in Japan. I thought I might save a bit in Otaru (which is another paradise for seafood lovers) as I am not a big fan of sashimi, but I ended up spending more on my bunny musical box. No regret though! It is cute and fluffy and the best part is, it plays Disney’s “Wish Upon A Star”!

Also read: Sakura Season in Japan: Perfect Cherry Blossom Spots for that Instagram-Worthy Shot

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 4: Hakodate

Five hours on train before we reached Hakodate. We bought one-day tickets to wander around the city on tram. Later we spent our evening on Mount Hakodate for the gorgeous sunset and the spectacular night view.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 5: Hakodate & Toya

Woke up early to indulge our stomach at Hakodate Morning Market. The market is famous for its lively atmosphere and fresh seafood, not to mention the super sweet and delicious Hokkaido corn. We were lucky to catch the limited edition vintage tram before we left Hakodate.

We made our way to Toya in the afternoon. The place is a famous tourist spot but it was not crowded at all as it is far away from the cities in Hokkaido. I took my first try on onsen – not as comfortable as I had expected, probably because the surrounding temperature was not low enough for me to appreciate the hot spring. (I fell in love with onsen when winter approached.)

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 6: Noboribetsu

As one of the leading onsen towns in Japan, Noboribetsu has this strong eggy smell of sulphur. However once we were used to the smell, we did not notice it anymore. Date Jidaimura is a must-visit Edo period theme park in Noboribetsu, for the huge variety of shows and activities it offers, all in one place and one ticket (pricy in my opinion but definitely worth it).

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 7: Tomamu

After almost a week of backpacker inns and youth hostels, we finally stayed in a legit (and luxurious) hotel room, where everything – from the bed to the view – were just simply perfect, not to mention the amazing Japanese hospitality. By the way the resort’s outdoor onsen was AWESOME!!!

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 8: Tomamu & Furano

Woke up at 3 a.m. to catch the sunrise on the mountain via the resort’s ropeway; slept in after the complimentary luxurious breakfast buffet – a morning well spent.

We reached Furano in the afternoon and were really excited to visit the flower farms. The scenery was awesome in the summer with seas of blooming blossoms. We tried the famous lavender ice-cream – which later become my favourite Japanese dessert – as a compensation for missing the romantic lavender season.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Also read: 7 Absolutely Breathtaking Sites in Japan You Never Knew Existed

Day 9: Furano

It was drizzling the whole day so we tried our best to stay indoor. The scenery was not disappointing at all despite the gloomy weather.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 10: Biei & Asahikawa

On our way to Asahikawa, we found an alpaca farm by accident and well, there was no reason to not meet these beautiful creatures. We did not have any specific destinations in mind so we spent the late afternoon and evening wandering around the city, took some purikura (print club photos) and had some sushi before we headed back to the hostel for a good night sleep.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Day 11: Asahikawa

A day well spent at Asahiyama Zoo! So far my favourite zoo in Japan and in the whole world. The entrance fee was surprisingly cheap (600 JPY) given the quality of the zoo.

The zoo and the cages were designed in the way that maximizes the interaction between the animals and the visitors while everyone’s safety is guaranteed. The entire compound was clean and not a bit of unpleasant smell that one would expect in a typical zoo. We had a feeling that the animals were well taken care of – they were clean and so were their habitats.

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Image credit: Shao Hua

Also read: 10 Picture-Perfect Asian Villages You Need to See

Day 12 & 13: Chitose & Back to Tokyo

We spent our last two days in Chitose. We explored New Chitose Airport and wandered around the city to hunt for Japanese delicacies for the rest of the time – our legs were too soared for another packed day.

Accommodation

(Type) Accommodation Link/Price Remarks
Day 1

Sapporo

(Dormitory) Time Peace Apartment / 3,000 JPY Breakfast included. This place smells like heaven to coffee lovers as the owner keeps bagsss of coffee beans in the kitchen.
Day 2

Sapporo

(Dormitory) Time Peace Apartment / 3,000 JPY
Day 3

Otaru

(Whole House/Airbnb) Akio’s House / ±3,900 JPY Can accommodate up to 7 people. The house is huge and nicely decorated! Guests can also use the washing machine and dryer without any additional cost. However, it is a 20 to 30-minutes walk away from the canal area.
Day 4

Hakodate

(Private Room/Airbnb) Hakodate Perry House / 3,502 JPY Very near to the city tram.
Day 5

Toya

(Private Room) Showashinzan Youth House / 3,400 JPY Very cheap compared to the other onsen resorts in Toya but very far away from the town’s main street.
Day 6

Noboribetsu

(Hotel) Takimoto Inn / 7,170 JPY Comes with complimentary dinner and breakfast buffet so the price is considered reasonable. The hotel has its own private onsen and is very near to the train station.
Day 7

Tomamu

(Hotel) Hoshino Resorts Totamu – The Tower / ±10,000 JPY Very expensive but definitely worth the price! The resort offers a huge variety of activities and facilities to keep you occupied, not to mention their top-notch services. Also, it’s not like you have a choice when it comes to overnighting in Tomamu…
Day 8

Furano

(Dormitory/Airbnb) Masaki’s Place / 2,100 JPY Located in the middle of nowhere, very far from the city so the starry night sky is AMAZING. Pick-up service available.
Day 9

Furano

(Dormitory/Airbnb) Masaki’s Place / 2,100 JPY
Day 10

Asahikawa

(Dormitory/Airbnb) No longer available on Airbnb. / 2,100 JPY Other accommodations on Airbnb.
Day 11

Asahikawa

(Dormitory/Airbnb) No longer available on Airbnb. / 2,100 JPY
Day 12

Chitose

(Private Room/Airbnb)  No longer available on Airbnb. / 3,000 JPY Other accommodations on Airbnb.

List of Expenses

Air tickets (One-way Scoot from Singapore to Tokyo via Taipei; round-trip Jetstar from Tokyo to Sapporo.) 535 SGD (1,600 MYR)
Accommodation 500 SGD (1,500 MYR)
Transportation (Train from city to city; subway, bus and tram within the city; rented a car for 2 days.) 300 SGD (900 MYR)
Food 267 SGD (800 MYR)
Others (Entrance tickets and souvenirs.) 167 SGD (500 MYR)
Total 1,769 SGD (5,300 MYR)

Also read: 28 Japanese Food and Cool Souvenirs You Must Buy from Hokkaido

Phewww. Guess you are too tired for another chunk of words after this extremely long (and useful) post. Well, so am I. Be sure to bookmark this ultimate guide as a motivation for you to plan that long-awaited trip to Hokkaido. Y.O.L.O.

About Author

Jojo
Jojo

A Malaysian Chinese currently studying Economics at National University of Singapore, Jojo spent almost half a year travelling around Japan under the guise of an exchange student (oops). She studies hard (very very hard) during the school term and makes sure to reward herself a trip every semester, be it a local staycation or an overseas adventure (when she saves enough from all her random part-time jobs). She will never let fear or insecurity stop her from trying new things – until the day that she finally finds her true passion.

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