Tips for Travelling Hokkaido Part 1 - Transportation
Most of the placed introduced in this magazine are lesser-known “Deep Hokkaido” spots not found in other guidebooks. They offer fantastic sceneries, delicious food and excellent hot springs.
However, lesser-known places are usually more difficult to access by public transportation. If you plan to use public transportation, it is important to check in advance how far they can take you and how you can reach the places you want to visit.
Trains can take you to your destination fairly quickly and they let you enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Hokkaido. However, services may be infrequent in some areas and may stop or be delayed due to accidents or weather conditions. Always check the operation status on the internet prior to departure.
There are route buses that run within each region of Hokkaido and long-distance bus services operate between major cities (e.g. Sapporo-Hakodate, Sapporo-Obihiro, etc.). These intercity buses are normally cheaper than trains, so they can be convenient options if you are not pressed for time.
Taxis can be a little expensive, but they can be convenient if there is no other way to your destination. Some friendly taxi drivers may also share useful information or local shop recommendations with you.
Basic fare (1.6km)
650\ to 670\
Car Rental レンタカー
Renting a car is probably the best option for exploring Hokkaido. Car Rental services are available near most train stations and airports. However, travelling Hokkaido by car is not without hazards and you should be cautious of winter roads, wild animals and other dangers.
To rent a car, the driver must present a driver’s license obtained in Japan or an international driving permit and his or her passport.
Approximate Car Rental Fees
Small or regular sized cars: 4,000\ to 6,500\ per day
Medium-sized cars or vans: 8,000\ to 10,000\ per day
Bicycle Rental レンタサイクル
Bicylce rental services are available at some train stations or tourist information centers. They can be convenient for travelling short distances within a town or city.
Bicycle Rental Fees
1,000\ to 1,500\ for one day
Beware of wold animals
Watch out for wild animals crossing the road. Drive carefully and pay attention to the road in front of you.
The road ahead has a sharp curve or is slippery when wet or frozen in winter. Drive carefully.
Tips for Safe Driving
Control your speed on straight roads
There are many long stretches of straight road in Hokkaido, and there is a tendency to drive too fast on them. Always observe traffic rules and be aware of traffic lights and stop signs.
Take regular breaks when driving long distances
When driving long distances across Hokkaido, you should take a 10-20 minute break every 2 hours. If you feel tired or sleepy, stop at a resting area and take a rest to refresh your body.
Drinking and Driving is strictly prohibited in Japan.