Hokkaido is a wonderful place to go in all four seasons.

And summer is the time go visit Hokkaido for its beautiful flowers!

There are many flower farms you can visit in Furano area which is in Hokkaido.

So if you are planning a trip to Hokkaido during summer, here’s a little itinerary of my trip!

Day 1: Sapporo

For the first 3 days, my mum and I stayed in Sapporo for some sightseeing and shopping.

We stayed at this new hotel called UNIZO Inn Sapporo booked via Expedia on Shopback.

The good thing on Shopback is that it gives me cash back from the hotels I booked (Up to 6%!).

So if Airbnb is not available, then the hotel booking via cashback is the route to go!

UNIZO Inn Sapporo Hotel

As it was early in the morning when we arrived, we put our luggage and explored the shopping areas.

First we went to Nijio Market for lunch.

Nijio Market is one of the places to go if you want to have fresh seafood within Sapporo.

Seafood don in Nijio Market

After a good lunch and some shopping, we checked into our room.

UNIZO Inn Sapporo Twin bed

Rooms are small but roomy enough to put your luggage. There’s even a small sofa and coffee table for you to sit.

UNIZO Inn Sapporo Hotel Room

The toilet is very new and comes with the standard amenities.

UNIZO Inn Sapporo Toilet

The breakfast option is quite a winner for this hotel as the food is very good and it’s provided by a bistro located within the same building.

breakfast at Unizo Inn Sapporo

The best thing about eating your breakfast here is a window side seat which has a nice view!

breakfast with a view

Hence, I recommend taking the breakfast option if you book this hotel.

Location:

The hotel is located near Odori Park, and it’s a short walk to the metro (5 to 10 min). It’s quite convenient as there are convenient stores nearby and a bakery just inside the hotel.

Tip: If you take the underground passage, the hotel is just located less than a minute walk from Exit 7.

 

Day 2: Otaru

We took a day trip to Otaru in Hokkaido!

I’ve been to Otaru a few times but didn’t really have time to explore the place.

There’s one attraction which I missed out on my last visit was the Otaru Aquarium and this is a must visit place!

It’s just a small aquarium but the animal shows and the experience to see the sea mammals close along with beautiful landscapes are what makes visitors rate it highly.

The admission ticket costs 1400 Yen per adult.

Otaru Aquarium

We get to see seals, dolphins, walrus, penguins and other fishes up close! And you can get to touch live octopus!

Seals otaru aquarium

If you are there I highly recommend you visit and watch all the shows! The timings are just nice that you can move from one show to the next immediately.

See the timings of the shows on their website.

How to Get to Otaru Aquarium

Otaru Aquarium Bus Timing

From Otaru JR Station, walk to the bus stop and take the bus. The bus will show that it will stop at Otaru Aquarium.

 

Sakaimachi Street

The rest of the day is spent walking in the tourist shopping street of Otaru where there are many glass museums, bakeries and cafes.

You can buy and eat cheesecakes, cream puffs here, have a cup of coffee at the many cafes. If you like to enjoy a short break here is a good touristy place.

Otaru Shopping

Tip: Be sure to try the 7 layer soft ice cream which is only available in Otaru!

7 layer ice cream

Day 3: Sapporo

Day 3 is a relaxing day, as we went to the Curb Market and seafood wholesale restaurant near Nijuyonken Station.

Had King Crab here!

King Crab

Having hotate grilled in their own shell. This is so good!

Grilled Hotate

Corn was in season during the month of July, so we also ordered corn which was not on the menu.

Corn

The corn was really sweet and when you spread the Hokkaido butter on it, it’s even better!

Sapporo Beer Museum

Sapporo Beer Museum

After lunch headed to some shopping and the Sapporo Beer Museum.

There you can tour for free in the museum to learn how Sapporo beer came about and have beer tasting for 200 yen.

Sapporo beer tasting hall

A special mention is that there is the Sapporo Beer Garden beside where you can have the famous Jingisukan where you can have all-you-can-eat bbq mutton and all-you-can-drink Sapporo beer!

Recommended if you are really hungry and craving for beer!

Tip: The beer museum can be accessed by taking bus no. 88 loop service. which has a bus stop in Odori Park.

 

Day 4: Sapporo – Asahikawa

From Sapporo, we took the JR train to Asahikawa.

But there is no ticket machine to buy the ticket to Asahikawa! I couldn’t find the location and price on the machine!

So I headed to the JR office to ask how to get a ticket bound for Asahikawa.

Luckily the attendant introduced me to the Furano Biei Rail Ticket which allows me to travel to from Sapporo to Asahikawa/Furano and back.

This ticket also allows you to take unlimited rail rides within Furano and Biei area, so you can visit many flower farms and go nature trails in that area!

Furano Biei ticket

The ticket valid for 4 days. So quite a plenty of time for tourists to ride around and explore!

So how it works it that there are 2 tickets – A and B. The 1st A ticket is used to travel from Sapporo to any of the free ride destination.

Once you have reached your destination, the ticket is used and taken by the train operator when you pass the gate office. (You need to show the ticket to the officer at the gate)

The 2nd ticket (Ticket B) is used for your unlimited travel within the free ride.

Make sure you keep this ticket with you at all times cause it’s a reusable ticket within the Furano/Biei area until you return to Sapporo.

Tip: When choosing a hotel to stay, you can choose to stay in Furano or Asahikawa, I chose Asahikawa as you can visit Mt Asahidake by taking the bus from Asahikawa. Also, there is a bus to the Blue Pond from Asahikawa.

Checking In: Asahikawa Grand Hotel

Reached Asahikawa Station about 11 am plus and proceed to walk to the hotel.

I booked this hotel on Expedia (using cash back feature called ShopBack). Because it was approaching the peak period, many hotels were full or prices were skyrocketing. There was no/little Airbnb houses for booking.

So this hotel was having a discount and was the only one with available room for twin beds, so I booked this hotel a few weeks before flying.

Be aware that it’s quite a distance from the train station even though it looks like only a few minutes walk on google map. It’s about 18 minutes walk from the station. So if you are lugging a lot of luggage, I rather recommend you book a hotel just beside the station.

The room was shared with one main bed and a sofa bed.

Asahikawa Grand Hotel Twin bed hotel room

And here’s the toilet.

Asahikawa Grand Hotel Toilet

Check in was 2 pm so we put our luggage and went back to Asahikawa Station to take the special Furano-Biei Norokko JR train to Lavender-Farm Station (Lavender Batake Station).

Lavender Farm Station

This is a special station which is open only during certain days in the summer period (Late June to September) and only accessible by the Norokko Train.

 

Tomita Farm

Nearby of the Lavender Farm Station is the Farm Tomita where you can see beautiful lavender fields and purchase lavender products and lavender soft ice cream.

There is a cafe serving delicious croquettes also if you are hungry and is just nice for lunch!

lavender farm tomita

Lavender field Farm Tomita

lavender farm Tomita

Other than lavender, there are also other flower fields that you can explore while in Farm Tomita.

Farm tomita flower field

If you are here also during the musk melon season (June – July), there is a Tomita Melon House nearby where you can taste one of the sweet Tomita musk melons in Hokkaido!

Tomita Melon

Hokkaido’s musk melons are a must eat as they are sweet and they can cost hundreds of dollars per melon! When they are in season, they are much cheaper!

Tip: The most famous musk melon in Hokkaido is the Yubari Melon. It is sold everywhere in fruit shops and departmental stores. There are different grades of it also depending on the price. You can identify Yubari melons by their stickers.

Yubari Melon

Yubari Musk Melon

Day 5: Shikisai-no-oka

After breakfast, we travelled to Bibaushi station where we can visit the flower garden Shikisai-no-oka.

It’s a popular garden to visit during the summer season due to the large flower fields.

The only thing is that it’s quite a distance from the station (about 1 hour walk).

The good thing is that there is a bike rental shop nearby where you can rent an electric bike to cycle.

bike rental shop in Bibaushi

The cool thing about electric bikes is that it makes cycling uphill easier cause they help to accelerate your cycling! You can feel the power difference!

Rental rate is 2200 yen for half-day (4 hours) for the cheapest bike.

It’s enough for you to ride to Shikisai-no-oka and maybe a bit of exploring to other places nearby such as the cow farm. Not cheap but it’s an enjoyable ride!

It’s about 10 – 20 min cycle to Shikisai-no-oka depending on how many times you stop for some photo taking along the scenic way.

shikisai-no-oka

Over at the garden, you can take the tractor ride first which costs 500 yen per person.

It’s a fun experience to have!

shikisai-no-oka tractor

There are really lots of flower varieties, so I recommend you visit this during your stay in Asahikawa/Furano!

 

Kanno Farm

If you have the time, you can cycle to Kanno Farm which is another scenic flower farm.

Kanno Farm

Other Flower Gardens/Farms Worth Visiting:

Cycling in Furano/Biei

If you like to cycle around Furano/Biei, you can start by renting bicycles from several shops (~200 yen/hr) around Biei station.

Biei Road Map

Other Attractions Worth Visiting

I didn’t manage to visit the famous blue pond as I didn’t know that there’s a bus to there until the last day while I was browsing the brochures.

Bus to Blue Pond

You can take the bus from Asahikawa or Biei to Shirogane or the Blue Pond Entrance

bus timetable to blue pond

Day 6: Mt Asahidake

Today we are going to do some hiking!

Mt Asahidake is a popular hiking location in all seasons.

In the early summer, you can see the melting snow and flowers blooming as you hike along the trail.

To get to Mt Asahidake, you either drive up or take a bus.

How to take the bus to Mt Asahidake

At Asahikawa JR Station, take the bus at bus stop no. 9. (located outside near Lawson).

The bus ride costs 1430 Yen.

Asahikawa bus stop no9

There are 2 ways to pay for the bus ride:

  1. (Easiest) You can buy a ticket first from a vending machine in Lawson shop. (If you are returning, you need to buy 2 tickets). Once at the final stop, pass the ticket to the bus conductor.
  2. Or, you do not need to buy a ticket first. Just use coins and pay at the end of the trip.

The bus only goes off at certain timings so be sure to check the departure timings and last bus from Mt Asahidake! (See timetable)

At Mt Asahidake Station

Mt Asahidake Station bus stop

After about 1+ hours of bus ride, we reached Mt Asahidake Ropeway station!

From there you need to take the ropeway up to Sugatami station.

The trip cost 2900 yen for round trip during 1 June – 20 October.

Once at the top, you’ll have a short briefing by the guide on what are the things to look out for and the dangers what you might encounter while hiking.

Mt Asahidake Trail Map

When we were there, there was still snow that has not fully melted so some parts of the trail might be slippery if you are not wearing hiking boots.

But they have rubber boots for rental at 300 yen which you can wear for trekking through snow.

The trail is easy just follow the clockwise direction of the trail and enjoy the scenery!

Some parts of the route might be rocky so just be careful not to sprain your ankle when you are hiking for those who are inexperienced.

Mt Asahidake Hike 1

Hiking on snow

Appreciating flowers blooming along the way

Appreciating flowers blooming along the way

Meoto Pond

The Suribachi Pond (left) and Kagami Pond (right)

In the first half of the route, you will encounter the Suribachi Pond and Kagami Pond. Together they are known as Meoto Pond, which is “Husband and Wife Pond”.

If you are lucky, you can see foxes and squirrels along the way!

At about the third leg of the trail, you’ll encounter the steaming sulphur hot spring from the ground. You could hear the loud sound of the steam!

Hot Spring Mt Asahidake

If you want to, at the 5th observation point, you can climb all the way to the summit.

However, it’s quite a steep and rocky climb so be prepared to take about 2 hours to get up to the top!

I didn’t go up to the summit as I feared there wasn’t enough time to catch the last bus.

Along the way back we could see young school children hiking down from the summit! It’s amazing to see Japanese kids hiking up mountains compared to the life of a city kid in Singapore!

At the end of the trip, we took the ropeway down and waited for the last bus to take us back to Asahikawa.

Night in Asahikawa

That’s the end of our guide for the trip!

Want to see more photos? Follow me on Instagram!

If you want to read more about my trip in Japan, here are some links below to help you with your planning: