Hokkaido is vast…So much so that it may be too large for tourists to visit many sightseeing spots scattered around all of Hokkaido. Driving is the best way to travel around Hokkaido as you can cover a lot of ground without too much trouble.
Hokkaido’s large area and lack of public transportation makes it difficult to visit sightseeing spots. Even if you have a lot money, it won’t be enough to take a taxi everywhere. We strongly recommend that you rent a car and visit many sightseeing spots at your own leisure!
The average rental charge for a 5-seater eco-friendly car for 3 days and 2 nights is around 24,000 yen, and 56,000 yen for an 8-seater wagon. It is much cheaper than taking a taxi.
In this feature, we introduce the ten best spots in Hokkaido you can visit by car.
No.1. Farm Tomita
Farm Tomita shows fascinating scenery in each season: fresh green in spring and summer, colorful leaves in fall, pure white snow in winter. The best season to visit here is in July when the lavender are in full bloom. The whole farm is covered with flowers and appears like a beautiful artwork. Lavender bloom from the end of June to the middle or the end of July every year. They have many kinds of sweets and products using lavender including ice cream, cream puffs, and other products. Don’t forget to try some!
No. 2. Unkai Terrace
Unkai (a sea of clouds) terrace is an awesome spot where you can enjoy your cup of coffee while looking at a sea of clouds floating below your eyes. It is a café located in Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, one of the most renowned hotels in Hokkaido. Known as the “café closest to heaven,” it is a fantastic spot that is open only for a limited period from spring to fall, when a sea of clouds is most likely to be seen.
No. 3. Asahiyama Zoo
Asahiyama Zoo is a very popular spot for tourists, both from Japan and overseas, and its popularity only keeps growing. Asahiyama Zoo focuses on “behavior exhibition” so you can observe and learn about animals’ activities in their natural habitats as much as possible. You will be fascinated by each animal’s behavior. Take your time and fully enjoy the charm of this special zoo.
No. 4. Jozankei Hot Springs
Located conveniently in the outskirts of Sapporo, Jozankei Hot Springs is visited by as many as 2.6 million people every year. The gorge shows the stunning contrast of sheer cliffs and the Toyohira River runs through them. Especially in fall, it looks indescribably beautiful with bright red and yellow autumn leaves covering everything.
No. 5. Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
Sapporo Central Wholesale Market is the largest market in Sapporo, which houses a lot of fish stores, flower shops, and restaurants. All ingredients are extremely fresh and tasty. They have various kinds of seasonal food, so you can taste delicious Hokkaido food anytime of the year.
No. 6. The night view from Mt. Hakodate
Mt. Hakodate’s mountaintop observation platform is one of the best spots in western Hokkaido. The night view from Mt. Hakodate is so gorgeous that it is often mentioned as one of the world’s best three night views along with those of Hong Kong and Naples. The cable car will take you to the summit in only three minutes from the bottom of the mountain.
No. 7. Niseko
Niseko is famous for its ski slopes and powder snow in winter. But the magnificent nature in this area also offers you various kinds of exciting activities in summer, such as rafting, canyoning, hot-air balloon flight, and many more! Spend time with the beautiful nature of Hokkaido, participate in some sports activities and no doubt, this will be a memorable day during your trip!
No. 8. Goryokaku
One of the best sightseeing spots in Hakodate, Goryokaku is a massive star-shaped fortress. It gathers many visitors in spring because of its cherry blossoms and in winter when the moat is beautifully lit-up. You can see stunning cherry blossoms covering the park in pink from the top of Goryokaku Tower from the end of April to the beginning of May.
No. 9. Noboribetsu Hot Springs
With its abundant supply of water and as many as eleven kinds of hot water springs, Noboribetsu is the best hot spring in Hokkaido in name and in reality. It is also well known to be good for your skin. You can enjoy foot bathing in the natural foot baths alongside the river near the spring. There are many traditional Japanese inns in this area for you to fully enjoy this great hot spring.
No.10. Shiroi Koibito Park
Did you know about this theme park of Shiroi Koibito, one of the most popular souvenirs from Japan? You can observe the production process of this beloved cookie, and even make your own cookies! Some sweets are only available here, so you cannot miss them! Eat, learn, and have fun! Don’t forget to try the Shiroi Koibito ice cream!
How to choose the right car for your trip in Hokkaido!
Times Car RENTAL offers multi-lingual support that is available 365 days, 24/7 in 10 languages. If you make a reservation on through the English, Chinese or Korean website, the vehicle can be ready in 30 minutes at the earliest. Vehicles are equipped with multi language GPS that supports English, Chinese and Korean so that you can use the navigation without any trouble.
If you are arriving at Chitose Airport, a free shuttle bus will take you to where the Times Car Rental Chitose Airport Shop is. There is also a new shop that recently opened on July 2 called Sapporo Odori Ekimae (Times Station Sapporo Sosei Square) shop. It is located in a high-rise building that is 124 meters tall with 5 floors underground and 28 above ground. Some of the most popular sightseeing spots such as Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, and Sosei-gawa Park are all within a walking distance. This building is going to be connected to the station by an underground passage in the near future, which will save you from the cold wind in winter.
Special deal for IKIDANE NIPPON users! Only valid for a limited time: 25% discount for Times Car RENTAL! This is too good a deal to miss! This campaign is limited until December 28, 2018, so if you’re planning a trip to Hokkaido, get the coupon and rent a car at Times Car RENTAL!
Times Car Rental has 406 shops all over Japan. It covers all major airports and Shinkansen Stations. The shops have staff who speak foreign languages too. Arrive in Hokkaido, go to their counter, fill in some forms and you are ready to drive! Times Car RENTAL won’t keep you waiting for a long time.
Good news for those who cannot come to Japan by December 28, 2018. All the users of IKIDANE NIPPON official app can get a10% discount coupon anytime! IKIDANE NIPPON users can get a good deal any time of the year!
Times Car RENTAL makes your trip in Hokkaido more free and special!
■Special deal for IKIDANE NIPPON app users! Times Car RENTAL discounts!
・Rates for renting a car : 10% discount anytime
・Start Campaign : 25% discount until December 28, 2018
・Discounts are applicable only to those reservations made through the special reservation page below, and reservations made by IKIDANE NIPPON app users.
・Discounts not applicable in the following cases:
*During the period from August 10 to August18
*Compact cars (K-0 class)