Hokkaido Itinerary Summer Travel Guide

7 Days in Hokkaido Summer Itinerary (July/August)

Want to see beautiful lavender fields in Furano, Hokkaido? The lavender season in Hokkaido, especially in Nakafurano area reaches its peak in mid July. If you plan on visiting Hokkaido in the summer, you may want to consider making a quick travel plan. Believe me, it is not late to take a trip there.

You still have got enough time to make a decision. You have to play an important role in order to make your trip a great summer adventure. Find cheap last minute flights and hotel reservations; also look for practical advice including insider trips and tricks.

Visiting Hokkaido won’t be a problem, if you are currently residing in Japan. You can easily book cheap domestic last minute flights from Jetstar Japan or Peach Aviation to fly to Hokkaido from Tokyo or other parts of Japan.

Summer landscape in Biei, Hokkaido – Sunflowers and snow-capped mountains in the background. Photo Credit: KiriS at Flickr.

What’s going to be to the ones who live outside Japan? Don’t bother; I am here to inspire you. If the following suggested itinerary looks perfect and feasible to you, then this is going to be one of the best trip you would ever take and hopefully you will never forget.

Finding cheap last minute flights seems not a daunting task these days. I would try my best to share the most useful insider trips and the recommend the hotels for your perfect overnight stay.

Hokkaido’s summer is so addictive, you will feel it right there and yeah it’s worth visiting again. I mean it! Also this travel plan is suitable for those travelers who want to explore most of the summer attractions from Sapporo city.

Day 1 – Sapporo

Nakajima Park’s Japanese garden. Photo Credit: Jean-Marie Hullot at Flickr.

There is nothing much to say about Sapporo. Do I have to tell you? If you were following my Sapporo related posts here, you might have noticed why this city is so precious in Hokkaido.

In Sapporo, many visitors prefer to go with numerous day trip operated by local travel agents. They make your trip easy with providing experts tour guide as well as transportation. Despite of seeing some advantages of a day trip, there are some disadvantages, for example, time to stay in one place is so limited.

Sapporo TV Tower at Odori Park. Photo Credit: inefekt69 at Flickr.

If you stay in a hotel located nearby JR Sapporo station, you won’t just save your time but also taxi fare. Why don’t you check out the following hotels? They are really good in terms of quality services and easy access to the station:

1) JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo

2) HOTEL MYSTAYS Sapporo Aspen

3) Century Royal Hotel Sapporo

There is a simple “Sapporo in one day itinerary” I have shared with you before. All the sightseeing spots can be visited anytime you want, in fact, they are not seasonal attractions. You don’t need to visit all those places within a day because you will have time to discover them on the other day.

The attractions you might be interested in visiting on the first day of your trip are Odori Park, Sapporo TV Tower, Sapporo Beer Museum, Hokkaido University Botanical Garden, Nakajima Park, Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo ESTA, and Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade.

Day 2 – Sapporo to Jozankei Onsen

Toyohira River, the bridge, and green vistas at Jozankei Onsen. Photo Credit: David McKelvey at Flickr.

Jozankei is one of the most popular hot springs resort towns in Hokkaido featuring beautiful scenery year-round and open-air hot springs including a lot of public foot baths. There are plenty of reasons to visit Jozankei, it is hard to describe them all.

A walk around the resort town would be an amazing idea, go for it! And you would be delighted to see the surrounding deep green trees and mountains. Enjoy the public foot baths as well as open-air hot springs to make your mind relax to the fullest.

There is no train from Sapporo to Jozankei but daily buses. The one way trip takes about an hour by bus. After spending a day trip there, get back to Sapporo. Prepare yourself leaving for Asahikawa on the next day if you don’t want to take a day trip from Sapporo to Furano.

Day 3 – Sapporo to Asahikawa/Sapporo to Furano

Furano lavender field! Photo Credit: frontriver at Flickr.

People like exploring Hokkaido, that’s why they don’t forget to repay their debt by writing awesome travel stories with you all.

Surly they want to inspire other travel aficionados who are not that much familiar with Hokkaido. I have come across some travelers who also write inspiring travel stories on their own blogs.

There was a guy (solo traveler) who visited Hokkaido last year in the summer, told me that his travel tale and the photographs he captured did inspired his friends back in his home country. He also said a trip to Asahikawa was not just a good decision; rather it helped him to access to Biei and Furano areas quite easily.

How cool is that! Photo Credit: noe** at Flickr.

People visiting Furano and Biei in the summer are suggested to make hotel reservation in advance. If you are late, someone will book your room! Keeping this in mind, if you were not aware of this fact but yet wish to go there should make hotel reservation in Asahikawa.

In fact, here rental car is cheaper than in Furano area. If you are not interested in self-driving, there is other way and that would be a great relief. During the lavender season, a special train called Furano-Biei Norokko-go on the JR Furano Line connects Asahikawa with Furano Station.

It also stops at Biei Station, Kamifurano Station, Lavender Farm Station, and Nakafurano Station. The ride is absolutely mind-blowing as you will witness gorgeous Hokkaido’s picturesque country landscape along the way. It makes easier to reach most of the flower farms located in Furano and Biei.

You can see Polar bear at Asahiyama Zoo including other engendered animals. Photo Credit: pelican at Flickr.

If you would like to have a day trip from Sapporo to Furano, you don’t need to get to Asahikawa this time. Find a full day trip here, and enjoy the trip to the fullest offered by Hokkaido Chuo Bus.

If you are not interested in that trip, you have to stay in Asahikawa. Again you stay in a hotel which is adjacent to JR Asahikawa station. Stay overnight at JR Inn Asahikawa.

Hop on the train to Asahikawa from Sapporo early in the morning. Please note one way journey takes about 80 minutes by limited express trains. Once you arrive in JR Asahikawa station, directly go to the hotel and check in.

Leave the luggage and go out to catch the Furano-Biei Norokko-go. Or if you think you don’t want to go outside the city, head towards Asahiyama Zoo and Ueno Farm. Enjoy a lovely dinner time in the evening at one of the restaurants located nearby the station.

Day 4 – Asahikawa to Furano via Biei

Furano-Biei Norokko-go and surrounding beautiful scenery! Photo Credit: James.Kirk at Flickr.

For day 4 in Hokkaido, those who will be taking the day trip from Sapporo should come to Asahikawa, and visit its top attractions, and then again they get back to Sapporo by train.

But those who will not, who actually will be staying in Asahikawa on day 3, should follow the instructions I am going to share here. Hop on the train (Furano-Biei Norokko-go) and get off at the stations you would like to. My suggestion to you is, directly reach Lavender-Batake Station (Lavender farm station).

Impressive flower garden at Farm Tomita, Nakafurano. Photo Credit: noe** at Flickr.

Get off the train, visit Farm Tomita right away. Then visit rest of the flower farms according to your travel plan and time. Read about the best thing you could do in Furano and Biei in summer. Also see which of these flower farms look fabulous to you before you go there. Get back to the hotel in Asahikawa by train.

Alternatively, if you want to explore the area by a rental car, that is OK! Find a cheap rental car here. After having a wonderful day trip in Furano and Biei area, you should get back to Asahikawa, then to Sapporo on the same day.

If possible, catch the train that departs before the last one, earlier ones would be better as well. Stay one more day in Asahikawa if you want to go back to Furano again to explore rest of its hidden gems including Biei’s impressive flower fields.

Yes! Stay overnight in Sapporo. This time at Nest Hotel Sappoto Ekimae.

Day 5 – Hokuryu-cho

Hokuryu sunflower field! Photo Credit: portal.hokuryu.info

Visiting Hokuryu either from Sapporo or Asahikawa is possible and it’s easy to reach there. A day trip to this small town, yet very awe-inspiring with its mind-boggling sunflower fields would be a hilarious experience.

You can hope for taking a lot of incredible photographs there. Please note, the area is home to about 1.5 million sunflowers of various kinds. Sunflower fields in Hokuryu are at their most intense from late July to mid August.

Read this travel guide to get some travel tips before you visit Hokuryu sunflower village.

Day 6 – Sapporo to Lake Toya (Toyako Onsen)

Summer fireworks display, Lake Toya. Photo Credit: Nuttapol Sangthongchay at Flickr.

Seated at the foot of Mount Usu and along the shore of Lake Toya, this spectacular hot spring resort town offers year-round recreational activities for travelers of all ages. There you witness beautiful surrounding lake views including display of breathtaking fireworks at night.

Depending on the weather conditions, this summer event happens almost every evening from April 28th to October 31st, starting at 8:45 pm for about 20 minutes. Besides, other activities include hiking, cruising around the lake, horse riding, playing golf, hands-on-activities and more.

Lake Toya in the summer! Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno at Flickr.

You can reach JR Toya station by limited express trains that connect Sapporo with Hakodate. The trains stop at Toya Station, so get off the train and head toward Toyako Onsen either by train or taxi.

I recommend you stay overnight at The Lake View Toya Nonokaze Resort, it is a very good hotel, located near the lakeshore.

Day 7 – Sapporo

Today in the morning, you leave Toyako Onsen for Sapporo. Rest of the day you visit the other places that you have not managed to see on the first day of your Hokkaido summer trip. You may visit Moerenuma Park and have a pleasant time by taking a walk along the walkways and exploring its stunning landmarks.

Besides, if you happen to be around July 20-August 17, you have a great chance to experience a summer matsuri in downtown Sapporo, it’s called Sapporo Summer Festival.

In the evening, enjoy shopping at Sapporo’s most popular shopping centers and streets.

I am sure this itinerary helps you organize your own trip. You don’t need to follow all the guides I have provided here, instead make your own travel plan using the ideas you see in this post.

Thank you very much.


  1. Arlyn Tanson

    Hi Takkhis, thank you so much for such a thorough blog. my husband and i will be visiting Hokkaido to tokyo from Aug 7-aug 18, this year. I have booked all our accommodations but can still cancel them. Arrive in Sapporo morning of Aug 7 and stay there for 2 nights, travel to asahikawa on the 9th for 2 nights stay, travel to hakodate on the 11th for 2 nights stay, Aomori on the 13th for 2 nights and finally travel to tokyo on the 15th of August for 3 nights stay. Do you think i need to buy JR pass 7 or 14 days? Does our itinerary doable or hectic? i’d really appreciate your opinion or any suggestion. thank you so much. Arlyn

    • Hi Arlyn,
      I have answered your all questions and changed your travel plan a little to make your trip enjoyable, please check your email inbox.
      Thank you very much.

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