Hokkaido Itinerary Summer

8-Day in Hokkaido Itinerary (August)

Looking for things to do in Hokkaido in August? There is plenty to do and see – flower viewing in Biei and Furano, road trip around Lake Toya, Tomamu’s unkai terrace, Sapporo underground shopping streets, sunflower field in Hokuryu town, fireworks watching at Toyako Onsen and so on.

Is flower viewing a reason to be in Hokkaido in the summer? I guess it is! If you are looking for some travel tips for august, then look no further as you have come to the right place.

Zerubu no Oka in Biei town. Photo Credit: houroumono at Flickr.

To make your late summer trip to Hokkaido unforgettable, I am going to share some travel tips by introducing this suggested travel plan to you. It’s a very simple travel plan, which immerses travelers into the beautiful landscape, popular attractions, summer outdoor activities, and tastes of local food.

Hokkaido’s weather during summer is quite beautiful and dry, offering you tons of flowers of different kinds to observe in the countryside. My travel guides here give overviews of what to do and see, where to stay, and where to eat. This post also reveals why it’s worth getting out to discover Hokkaido’s best summer highlights.

Day 1 – Night 1: New Chitose Airpot to Sapporo

A JR rapid train at Minami-Chitose Station. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Welcome to Hokkaido!

My first advice to you is, try to catch a flight to New Chitose Airport that lands in the morning. The advantage of arriving at the airport in the morning is to going for an evening sightseeing in downtown Sapporo.

It takes about 36 minutes to reach Sapporo Station from New Chitose Airport by JR rapid trains. If you have a Japan Rail pass, there is no need to buy a train ticket. If you don’t have JR pass or Hokkaido Rail Pass, you will have to buy a ticket (1070 yen).

Check in at Nest Hotel Sapporo Ekimae, one of the best and affordable hotels to stay overnight in downtown Sapporo. In fact, if you stay at this hotel, you can easily find a number of popular attractions nearby, which can be accessed by foot within a very short time.

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

In the evening, you’ll want to spend some time just walking around Odori Park and Susukino neighborhood, the red light district of Sapporo.

Visit Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho there and taste some very delicious ramen noodle dishes. My favorite ramen variety that I like to eat there is miso ramen. So try this alongside having bowls of other ramen dishes.

And if you have time, you can enjoy a lovely night view from the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower. This is considered one of the best places to enjoy city night view in Hokkaido.

Let’s call it a day.

Day 2 – Night 2: Visit Otaru

Otaru Canal. Photo Credit: Toby Oxborrow at Flickr.

Today would be an excellent day to experience a day trip to Otaru. It’s a port city with a number of historical buildings that were built during the Meiji era.

It’s a must-see place during winter, but August is still a great time of the year to visit. And you will be speechless seeing the panoramic view of Ishikari Bay and Otaru Port from the top of Mount Tengu.

Places you are going to visit for the day in Otaru are Otaru Aquarium, Otaru Museum, Otaru Canal, and Mount Tengu Ropeway.

One way ride between Sapporo Station and Otaru Station takes a 30 minute by rapid train on the JR Hakodate Main Line. If you hop on a local train, then it will take a 45 minute ride. You can reach Otaru less than an hour, that’s for sure.

Most of Otaru’s tourist attractions can be explored by foot, but when it comes to visiting Otaru Aquarium and Mount Tengu Ropeway, you will need to get there by bus or taxi. You can start off your trip just right after getting off the train at Otaru Station.

Head towards Chuo Bus Otaru Station Terminal and buy a One Day Otaru City Bus Pass. Travelers use it to roam around the city by bus. You will even use it to get discounted admission fee at Otaru Aquarium and Mt. Tengu Ropeway. Just show your bus pass at the ticket counter, and that’s it!

The first stop for the day will be Otaru Aquarium. You will go there by bus and there is no need to pay bus fare when you have a One Day Otaru City Bus Pass.

After exploring the aquarium, you should pay a visit to Nishin Goten (Herring Mansion) and the Aoyama Villa. Both of these attractions can be reached from Otaru Aquarium Bus Stop by foot.

View from Mt. Tengu, Otaru. Photo Credit: Chuo Bus Kanko Shoji Co., Ltd.

Next destination for the day is the Otaru City Museum. From there, you can take a walk to Otaru Canal, a picturesque sight to behold.

Walk along the canal and reach Sakaimichi Street, a well preserved merchant street with many impressive western style buildings. Most of them have been turned into museums, cafes, restaurants, and shops. You can enjoy your dinner at a restaurant there.

Your next stop is Mt. Tengu (Tengu-yama) Ropeway. This is an excellent place to admire the panoramic view of Otaru City, Ishikari Bay and Otaru Port. From Otaru Station, it’s only 17 minutes bus ride. Enjoy the gondola ride and get to every observatory on the top of the mountain to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

When your Mt. Tengu expedition is over, you take a train to get back to Sapporo before sunset. At night, you will spend most of your time for shopping. Sapporo ESTA Building is a great choice indeed. You can also visit Daimaru Sapporo.

Day 3 – Night 3: Sapporo -> Hokuryu Sunflower Field -> Asahikawa

Sunflowers at Hokuryu town.

For a hassle free journey from Sapporo to Asahikawa, I recommend you to rent a car. You can get to Asahikawa by train, there is no problem at all, but there is a beautiful place in Hokuryu town known as Himawari no Sato. This is where you will admire millions of sunflowers. According to my experience, visiting the place by car is a lot easier than public transport.

Every year, the town hosts a sunflower festival from Mid July to Mid August. So, travelers can not miss visiting this incredible sunflower village when they come to Hokkaido between late July and Mid August, though early August is considered the best time to see tons of sunflowers there.

Visit this webpage, and complete your rental car reservation online. It’s super easy. Pick up the right car and drive safely all the way to the village and then to Asahikawa city. Spend most of your time at Hokuryu Sunflower Farm as there are many interesting things to do along with viewing sunflowers.

Spend a lovely time in Hokuryu town viewing sunflowers, then make your way to Asahikawa city. You will have to stay overnight there at JR Inn Asahikawa.

The hotel is located adjacent to JR Asahikawa Station, and it’s possible for you to spend some time walking around the station. Next to the station is AEON Mall, a large supermarket where you will find a lot of stuffs to buy and eat. If you are looking to find a place to kill your evening time, just make your way to the mall.

Day 4 – Night 4: Asahikawa -> Biei -> Nakafurano -> Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Summer flowers at Shikisai no Oka, Biei Town. Photo Credit: yoppy at Flickr.

Road trip in Hokkaido is quite popular, especially in the area of Biei and Nakafurano, though there are many routes in the region that will let you experience mind-boggling rural landscape of Hokkaido.

Many tourists who come to explore Hokkaido’s unspoiled nature choose to experience the classic Hokkaido road trip with a car.

You can easily choose a car of your choice from various car rental companies and renting a car can give you freedom and flexibility when you are traveling across the region. When you have a car, you can save a lot of time and you don’t need to wait for public transports to get to the other places.

Start the day off with a visit to Biei’s most famous flower garden called Shikisai no Oka. Afterwards you should visit another interesting place, the Blue pond. Zerubu no Oka is another beautiful flower farm that you can visit before going to Shikisai no Oka.

Flowers are Farm Tomita in the summer. Photo Credit: t-konno at Wikimedia Commons.

As you drive your car along the road to Nakafurano town, you will come across so some stunning flower farms such as Kanno Farm, Flower Land Kamifurano, Hinode Park, and Farm Tomita. They are big in size and you will see different varieties of summer flowers including late blooming lavender.

And of course every flower farm is worth exploring! If you want to taste Hokkaido’s sweet yubari melon and corns, you must go to Tomita Melon House. It’s a few minute walk from farm Tomita. Melon flavored ice-cream is what everyone wants to try there!

After spending the whole day by visiting those popular flower farms, you will head towards Hoshino Resorts Tomamu via Route 38 from Furano town.

Tonight you will stay at Tomamu The Tower.

Day 5 – Night 5: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu -> Noboribetsu

Unkai terrace! Photo Credit: Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU.

The main reason to stay a night at Tomamu The Tower is to see unkai terrace (sea of clouds). After you wake up early in the morning, you get ready to catch the shuttle bus to the Unkai Terrace.

Get off the bus and make your way to the gondola station the foothill of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu. Please note guests staying at Tomamu The Tower and RISONARE Tomamu don’t require to buy gondola ticket. It’s free for them.

Located at a height of 1,088m above sea level, Unkai Terrace is a place of scenic beauty, from where visitors can see magnificent unkai and the mountains of Hidaka and Tokachi. This is a sight not to be missed if you visit Hokkaido in the summer, though unkai can be seen till mid October.

There are a number of observation decks at the top of the mountain, so find your best spot to produce some great photos of unkai and the surrounding mountains. That will be a delighting experience.

Noboribetsu Jigokudani. Photo Credit: T DMY at Wikimedia Commons.

Your next destination for the day is Noboribetsu Onsen. This is the most popular hot spring resort in Hokkaido and one of the best in Japan. One way drive from Hoshino Resorts Tomamu to Noboribetsu Onsen takes more than 2 hours. Check in at Noboribetsu Grand Hotel. Compared to Dai-ichi Takimotokan, this hotel is cheap with free parking facility for guests.

Before you check into the hotel, you can visit some area such as Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura, Jigokudani (hell valley), and lake Kuttara.

Let’s call it a day. Goodnight!

Day 6 – Night 6: Noboribetsu to Lake Toya

Lake Toya.

Watching fireworks display in the evening is an amazing thing to do in Japan during summer. How can you miss experiencing an evening where fireworks light up the evening sky quite marvelously?!

To make your Hokkaido trip even more enjoyable and memorable, I recommend you to visit Lake Toya, one of the most beautiful caldera lakes in Japan. And you must stay a night there in a hotel to enjoy the evening fireworks display. This mind blowing fireworks show takes place every evening at Toyako Onsen Lakeshore from Late April through late October.

Reaching Lake Toya from Noboribetsu takes only an hour of drive. It’s super easy to get there. Once there, make sure you enjoy a day trip by driving your car around Lake Toya. Don’t worry that you will find parking lot there. You will even find some awesome places to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the lake.

Usuzan ropeway during summer. Photo Credit: WAKASARESORT Co., Ltd.

In addition, I highly recommend you to go to the Usuzan Ropeway. You can go on a hike there and enjoy panoramic view of the lake from its upper station observation deck, which is just awe-inspiring. You will definitely think of returning back there in the future. In fact, it’s worth returning for.

One of the highlights of visiting Lake Toya is viewing the evening fireworks display. Visitors can watch the fireworks display from their hotel rooms, sightseeing boat, outdoor hot springs, and promenade along the lake.

Stay overnight at: The Lake View Toya Nonokaze Resort.

Day 7 – Night 7: Lake Toya to Sapporo

Horse driven carriage at the Historical Village of Hokkaido.

There are some places in Sapporo that you must explore before you leave Hokkaido. It’s absolutely gorgeous to visit Mount Moiwa Ropeway in the evening, from where you will enjoy incredible night views over Sapporo City.

Try reaching there before sunset, though! During the daytime, the surroundings are great to observe from the summit of Mount Moiwa as well.

Before you get there, I think you will want to visit somewhere else which is tranquil at the same time beautiful. There are two choices, Moerenuma Park and Historical Village of Hokkaido. You can visit one and spend few hours there.

If you don’t want to get to those places, I think you would not mind visiting Maruyama Park instead. A visit to the park will also let you explore Maruyama Zoo, and Hokkaido Shrine.

Get up early in the morning, and head toward Sapporo by car. It will take 2 hours to reach depending on traffic condition. Don’t return the car now, because you need that for sightseeing. If you think that you will go to Moerenuma Park then just make your way to that park.

Night view over Sapporo city – Mount Moiwa Observation deck. Photo Credit: Sorah Fukumori at Flickr.

Before heading towards Mount Moiwa Ropeway, you should return the car where it was rented from and then check in at this hotel. You can have some rest for a while in your hotel room; even take a nap if you wish.

Go out for sightseeing at 16:00/16:30. Take a walk to Susukino station, and then hop on a tram to Ropeway Iriguchi Station. From there, you will take the free shuttle bus to lower ropeway station.

Your next stop is two underground shopping streets called Aurora Town and Pole Town. Whether you buy things from there or not, it’s always great to explore these two underground shopping streets of Sapporo.

Hotel to stay your last night in Sapporo is HOTEL MYSTAYS Sapporo Aspen.

Day 8 – Departure

ANA – All Nippon Airways at New Chitose Airport. Photo Credit: Kentaro IEMOTO at Flickr.

It’s time to say Goodbye!

Get to New Chitose Airport by train/bus. If you have large and multiple luggage and don’t want to take a public transport, you will need a taxi to get to the airport. I recommend MK Taxi.

Your Hokkaido trip is supposed to be enjoyable and filled with lots of wonderful discoveries. There is nothing more exhilarating in life than exploring new things such as meeting new people, visiting attractions, and eating variety of dishes. You will get all these when you travel around the Hokkaido region.

I think seven days is just enough to get a taste of what Hokkaido has to offer in the summer. Maybe it’s a very short time to explore all the summer highlights in the region but don’t you forget that there will be a lot more to discover on your next trip. Let’s hope for it. Thank you.


  1. Hi we are a group of 5 people (not driving) will visit Hokkaido on 15 Aug and will have about 6-7 days there before we go to Yokohama. Like to include Sapporo, Asahikawa, Lake Toya, Noboribetsu Onsen, Hakodate if possible. Should I move to Sapporo, Asahikawa, Lake Toya then Hakodate? (fly out from Hokodate?) Thank you!

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