Packed with beautiful scenery, wildlife and food, Hokkaido is a place where you’ll find a lot of exciting things to do. Here, winter is magical, spring is spectacular, summer is full of surprises, and autumn is striking with foliage. As a tourist you won’t have any shortage of activities that can be done throughout the four seasons on the island.

A lot of people ask me to recommend things to do in Hokkaido. I know how to help them, of course not just planning itineraries but also sharing my own travel experiences in the region and suggesting them to when to visit a place including access information.

If you only have two weeks to explore Hokkaido in summer, especially during the lavender season in July, then this 2-week Hokkaido summer itinerary will help ensuring you hit most of the highlights. It covers the major must-see attractions from cities to mountains to flower fields to onsen, as well as cool activities you can add to make your trip extra memorable.

Day 1: New Chitose Airport to Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Tomamu The Tower and Risonare Tomamu. Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno at Flickr.

Welcome to Hokkaido!

The first place to explore of this itinerary is Hoshino Resorts Tomamu. You can reach Tomamu Station from New Chitose Airport Station by 80-85 minutes by train. After you get off, you take the shuttle bus to the resorts, which will take about 5 minutes.

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is known for its Unkai terrace in summer and it makes a perfect weekend gateway, offering a lot of outdoor activities and comfortable stay for tourists and locals alike.

Hotel to stay: Tomamu the Tower

Access info: How to reach Hoshino Resorts Tomamu?

Read this page to know where to rent a car at New Chitose Airport.

Day 2: A Day at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

At Unkai Terrace. Photo Credit: Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU.

Every place in Hokkaido has its own unique look and atmosphere. Be it the mountains, the flower fields, the lakes, the onsen towns, the resorts or the cities as a whole, Hokkaido has got it all that will make your holiday meaningful.

At Hoshino Resorts Tomamu guests can experience luxuries and comfortable stay with plenty of outdoor activities to experience. Take the gondola in the early morning and witness breathtaking views of the sea of clouds from the observatories, located on the top of Mount Tomamu.

In the farm area of the resort, you can relax and spend the day on picnicking and playing with animals. If you are traveling with kids, they are going to love this place. It’s definitely a fun time for them.

Travelers of all ages can spend a day with full of happy moments and excitements at Tomamu doing plenty of outdoor activities, which include rafting, hot air balloon experience, horse riding, canoeing, outdoor cooking, trekking, and many more. Check out the list here.

Some of these activities need reservation, so plan accordingly.

Day 3: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu to Furano

Flower garden of Farm Tomita, Nakafurano. Photo Credit: Furano Tourism Association.

The distance between Tomamu station and Furano station is not that far away, which can be easily reached by a car within one and a half hour. Be sure that a train ride takes much longer than a car as you will have to transfer from one train to another.

Located in central Hokkaido, Furano is an inspiring city that you should visit at least once in your lifetime, especially in summer. The eye-catching flower fields in the area are simply an art of Furano’s beautiful nature!

Having a car around Furano and Biei is very convenient as it is the easiest way to get around the different places including the flower fields that you don’t want to miss visiting.

Nakafurano Lavneder Park. Photo Credit: Nakafurano Tourism Association.

Stay either at Furano Natulux Hotel or Hotel Hanafuji Inn. Both these hotels are situated within a short walking distance from JR Furano Station.

Today should not be a busy day for you. You will only visit some flower fields, which are located around Nakafurano Station. Say for example, Saika no Sato, Choei Lavender Farm and Nakafurano Flower Park, and Farm Tomita. Stop for a lunch at Tomita Melon House, here you can find lots of delicious foods to try.

After seeing some picture-perfect flower fields around Nakafurano station, head over to Furano Marche, where you will find fresh local products. This is arguably the best place to call it a day!

Day 4: A Day trip to Kamifurano and Biei

Lavender East. Photo Credit: farm-tomita.co.jp.

There are some places you will visit today and one of the most significant flower fields in the area is Lavender East. The lavender field, which is the largest of its kind in Japan, is blanketed by tons of purple lavender blossoms in July. It’s the perfect place to wander and get lost.

Hinode Park provides excellent views of Tokachidake Mountain Range in the distance. Walk uphill and reach its observatory and then enjoy the beautiful surroundings! For couples, this flower farm is a top notch as weeding ceremonies are held every year in July.

Hinode Park’s lavender in July. Photo Credit: Furano Tourism Association.

You are supposed to spend rest of the day visiting Flower Land Kamifurano, Shirahige Waterfall, Blue Pond, Shikisai no Oka, Kanno Farm, and Shinei no Oka observatory Park. Along with lavender you see many different kinds of flowers at these farms.

On the other hand, located in Biei town, Shirahige waterfall, Blue pond, and Shinei no Oka observatory Park are also worth exploring. You won’t see flowers there but something different that a nature lover would like to admire. Please note Shinei no Oka observatory Park is a perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Day 5: Furano to Asahikawa

Ueno Farm in Asahikawa. Photo Credit: t-konno at Wikimedia Commons.

Asahikawa is one of the most visited cities in Hokkaido. Some travelers also prefer this place as a hub; I mean from the city they like to take a multiple day trips to Biei, Furano, Sounkyo, Asahidake and other parts of the famous Daisetsuzan National Park. Exploring this vast national park is a trip of a lifetime!

While Asahikawa is best known for its zoo and ramen, it also offers incredible winter festival in winter named Asahikawa Winter Festival (happens in February ever year), great foods, and culture.

On the way to Asahikawa, visit Zerubu-no-Oka & Atomu-no-Oka. If you decide to continue to explore in Asahikawa city, I recommend you paying a visit to Ueno Farm (in Asahikawa), a delightful garden with plenty of things to admire. Later on the day, take a walk around JR Asahiakwa station and enjoy some dishes you find at the restaurants and do some shopping at AEON shopping mall.

Hotel to stay in Asahikawa: JR Inn Asahikawa.

Day 6: Asahikawa to Sapporo

Today you will visit only one place called Asahiyama Zoo. After coming back from there, hop on a train to Sapporo City or if you have been driving since the day you started your Hokkaido’s summer adventure, drive all the way to the capital city in the region.

A walk to Odori Park in the evening would be fun! And later you can visit Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho, where variety of ramen can be eaten!

Where to stay in Sapporo city? It depends on your budget and easy accessibility to sightseeing spots and JR Sapporo Station. There are many hotels all over the city including guest-houses and share-houses.

It’s always better to stay nearby Sapporo Station. So why don’t you stay a few nights in this hotel?

Day 7: A Day in Sapporo

Lovely flower beds, Odori Park. Photo Credit: t-konno at Wikimedia Commons.

There are many wonderful places to travel around in Hokkaido that captivate and inspire travelers to embark on life-changing adventures. Sapporo is that sort of place where visitors find comfortable stay, mouthwatering foods, shopping malls, night life, attractions, events, and a unique history and culture.

If you are not lazy enough (sometimes I am) and wish to explore as many as places you want then start the day with a visit to Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. This is a historic landmark with colorful flower gardens and a pond.

Former Hokkaido Government Office Building in July. Photo Credit: Feri88 at Wikimedia Commons.

Your morning will be memorable here in Sapporo if you also visit the Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Odori Park, and Hokkaido Beer Garden.

Visit Hokkaido Shrine and Maruyama Park in the afternoon. And in the evening, you head to Mount Moiwa. This is one of the top attractions in Sapporo, which is worth a visit every time you come to explore the city.

At night, you can spend a little time at Odori Park by sitting on the benches and viewing the fountains. Sapporo TV Tower that is lit up at night you will remind you of the Tokyo Tower or Eiffel Tower. Who knows!

Day 8: A Day Trip to Otaru

Otaru Canal. Photo Credit: Komatta at Wikimedia Commons.

Otaru is best explored either on foot or by public transportation. Once you get off the train at Otaru Station, you should visit the Tourist Information Center, located inside the station. They will definitely answer your questions and give you information about sightseeing spots and transportation that you require to explore the town. Please note just outside the station is the bus station.

I like visiting Mount Tengu not only because I can see beautiful ocean views from its observatories but also hiking trail. If hiking is in your blood, you can take a day hike and reach the top of the mountain, where ropeway’s upper station is located. Ishikari Bay looks fabulous from there! The trail map can be acquired from lower ropeway station.

If you don’t go to Mount Tengu, visit Otaru Aquarium instead. It’s worth a visit too!

JR Otaru Station. Photo Credit: Shoestring at Wikimedia Commons.

Next destination for the day is Otaru Canal, the symbol of Otaru. You can take a walk along this picture-perfect canal and spend some times sitting on the benches.

Where to go for lunch in Otaru? Head towards Sakaimachi Street, not far from the canal and you will find plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes. You will be delighted to come across many souvenirs shops and street food here is quite popular.

Next up is a place you won’t want to miss. Otaru Music Box Museum, a crowded music box selling store including houses a number of antiques, can make your trip quite enjoyable. Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect souvenir as you will see a lot of varieties. It would seem like “why can’t I buy them all?”

At night, when you return from Otaru to Sapporo, I suggest all of you to experience another night view from JR tower observatory t38.

Day 9: Sapporo to Lake Toya

Silo observaroty, Lake Toya. Photo Credit: サイロ展望台

Do you know that Hokkaido has some of Japan’s most transparent lakes? Lake Toya is one of the best lakes to see in Hokkaido and the lake’s surface never freezes during the cold winter months!

You can feel the vast nature when you enjoy the cruise on the lake. This is a must-do activity here alongside overlooking the lake from the observatory of Mount Usu. Don’t worry you are not going to hike up the mountain; instead you will reach there by Usuzan ropeway.

Silo viewing platform/observatory is another place to overlook the lake, Nakajima Island, Toyakao town and Mount Usu and Show Shinzan in the distance. You will find flowers nearby the observatory in summer.

There are some very good hotels to stay that provide magnificent view of the lake. I recommend The Lake View Toya Nonokaze Resort; you will witness a nice view of the lake from your balcony.

Day 10: Lake Toya, leave for Hakodate in the afternoon

What to do before leaving for Hakodate in the afternoon? Why don’t you cruise on Lake Toya? It’s possible! For more info click here.

Check into this hotel, located within an easy walking distance from JR Hakodate Station. Take some rest and if you want then visit Red Brick Warehouse at night.

Hotel to stay in Hakodate: Hakodate Kokusai Hotel.

Day 11: A Day in Hakodate

Hakodate Port view form Hachimanzaka of Motomachi, Hakodate city. Photo Credit: 663highland at Wikimedia Commons.

Hakodate is a charming city with beautiful ocean views and unique Western-influenced buildings. You shall begin the day at Hakodate morning market. The visit to this market will not take a lot of time. Visiting the market for breakfast with fresh seafood is one of the must-do things in the city.

After exploring the market, head over to Fort Goryokaku, Japan’s first Western style fortress. This is a massive star shaped citadel build in the last years of the Edo Period. The attraction is a quite popular cherry blossom spot in Hokkaido. It will take a while exploring the fortress.

Goryokaku Tower was build to provide an excellent bird’s eye view of the fortress. Therefore, don’t forget to visit its observation deck. Hopefully you will enjoy a view like never before!

A view of Goryokaku Fort from Goryokaku Tower. Tower Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito at Flickr.

Later in the day, spend a while walking down the roads at Motomachi area, located at the foot of Mount Hakodate. Among the old historical buildings you see there, the Russian Orthodox Church is a sight to behold. Take a stroll around and take some photographs of the iconic sloping streets in the area.

It is your last night in Hakodate so plan something you’ll enjoy and remember.

In the evening, you will spend a few hours on the top of Mount Hakodate. Take note Mount Hakodate is considered Japan’s three best night views. The observatory can be reached by ropeway. The ropeway’s lower station in fact is located in Motomachi area. So, use your Google Maps to locate the spot when you take a walk in the area.

Next is your dine time! Why don’t you finish the day with some delicious sea urchin dishes? Are you interested? Head to Hakodate Station and take a walk about 5 minutes to reach Uni Murakami, a popular restaurant in Hakodate with different kinds of dishes made of Sea Urchin.

Day 12: Hakodate to Sapporo/Chitose

Kani Honke Sapporo Ekimae. Photo Credit: Richard at Flickr.

A train journey from Hakodate to Sapporo shall not be tiring. If you could not sleep nice last night, I reckon you would love to do it sitting on the train. You will see how the time will fly pretty quickly.

Want to buy something to take home? Japanese souvenirs are very cute (kawaii)! With plenty of shops and stalls nearby JR Sapporo Station, finding some souvenirs won’t be daunting at all. Do it if you thing that souvenir shopping is one of the true joys of traveling.

Hanamaru Sapporo Restaurant and Kani Honke are two restaurants you can pay a visit to. Out of these you have to choose one to satisfy your stomach as these are perfect for your last dinning in Sapporo city. Let me help you choosing one. If you like eating sushi then go to Hanamaru. On the other hand, Kani Honke is one of the best crab restaurants in Hokkaido. Therefore, go there and enjoy a variety of crab dishes.

Due to early morning flight some visitors prefer staying the final night in a hotel, located nearby New Chitose Airport. So based on your flight schedule, you will have to decide where to spend the last night; it could be either in Sapporo or Chitose.

In Chitose, you can stay your last night at JR Inn Chitose.

Day 13: Sapporo to New Chitose Airport

It’s time to head home! Enjoy your flight and come back to Hokkaido someday.

Make a list of places to visit in Hokkaido again as I can imagine that most of you would like to return here as there are an infinite number of other places to see and visit.

Would it be in autumn or winter? Check out some of the amazing things to do in Hokkaido in winter.