Like many Singaporean families, we aim to travel twice a year during the June and December school holidays. Sometimes, we go on short trips during the March and September term breaks too. Earlier this year, we went on a 7-day trip to Bangkok and 5-day trip to Clark. And our most anticipated trip this year is coming in 2 months’ time. That’s our 10-day Hokkaido winter vacation! 😍
For our first winter vacation, we – or rather I, am busy doing itinerary planning now since V leaves it entirely to me. I toyed with the idea of visiting several towns and switching hotels (Noboribetsu, Lake Toya), but I eventually decided against it because of the hassles of moving. Logistically, it’s a nightmare and wastes a lot of time too. Moreover, I heard that rolling the luggage in snow is very difficult.
Thus, to make life easier for us, we will stay at Sapporo for 6 days and use it as a base to explore other towns. I also learnt that there are one-day bus tours to Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya. Since V and Edison are strongly against onsen (what a waste!) 😕, I’ve decided to skip Noboribetsu this time. We will spend the remaining 4 days in Hoshino Resorts Tomamu.
I booked our stay at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu since April (that was six months ago!). My friends told me that the resort is VERY popular and I must book way in advance to secure a room. Even so, I wasn’t able to book 4 nights in a Family Triple Room. They were fully booked unless I upgrade to a higher room type that would cost me at least 1K extra.
Their room rates almost doubled after mid-December. More attractions and activities are opened and available from mid-December onwards such as the popular Ice Village. Therefore, the rates are higher. So, we must spend our time wisely at the resort. Haha!
I booked our flight tickets in May. It costs us $3,000 for 3 pax via Korean Air (transit in Seoul). A quick check today revealed that the price went up to $4,800 for the same flight! That was the price of Singapore Airlines direct flight to Hokkaido half a year ago, which has now increased to $5,800. Wow, it’s amazing how much savings we can get if we book SUPER early. That’s where kiasuism really pays off, isn’t it? LOL 😆
All that said, I didn’t do much on itinerary planning until now. But we’ve spent quite a bit of time shopping for winter clothing lol. Three big bags from Decathlon and one from Universal Traveller containing ski jackets, down jackets, pants, thermal wears, socks, fleece sweaters, and gloves. Not getting a box of heat packs I got from TaoBao.
Everyone told me that Uniqlo HEATTECH is very good. So, I bought their Ultra Warm inner wear, leggings and fleece tops (eyeing at their latest winter collections too!). Yup, I’m a self-confessed Uniqlo fan so I’m very happy with my purchase. Now, we’re 95% done with our shopping – just left the snow boots and we’re good to go! 😃
And now, back to itinerary planning. V shared with me several YouTube videos on Hokkaido. Prior to this, I’m not into YouTube. But now, I’m totally into it! No wonder they say long-form blogging is dead – because once you’re into YouTube, you’ll probably won’t read a blog anymore. Who wants to read a wordy post when a Youtube video is far more interesting?! #mypoorblog Check-out these 2 travel vloggers for travel inspirations in Japan 👉 TokiYuyu and internationally Me.
Here goes my 10 days Hokkaido Free and Easy Itinerary (Winter):
Hokkaido Free and Easy Itinerary
Day 1: Singapore -> New Chitose Airport
Day 2: Sapporo – Shiroi Koibito Park, Sapporo TV Tower, Odori Park, German Christmas Market, Sapporo White Illumination
Day 3: Otaru – Otaru canal, Music Box Museum, Otaru Aquarium, Otaru Glassware, LeTao Cheese Cake
Otaru Masazushi – most popular sushi restaurant in Otaru
Naruto Honten – tastiest fried chicken in Otaru
Day 4: Sapporo – Sapporo Beer Museum, Nijo Fish Market, Mitsui Premium Outlet, Rera Outlet Mall, Susukino ‘Ramen and Entertainment Street’ at night
Day 5: Day trip to Asahikawa Zoo
Day 6: Day trip to Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya
Day 7: Sapporo -> Tomamu
Day 8 – 9: At Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Day 10: Tomamu -> Singapore
The detailed itinerary will be a real challenge since we’re relying on public transport and there’s so much to see and do in Hokkaido. More to come soon! Be sure to bookmark this page as I will be updating my itinerary from time to time.