Hakodate 1-day Tram Pass

The Hakodate 1-day Pass allows unlimited use of the trams in Hakodate for one day. It also comes with a handy city map showing visitors exactly where to stop off for each tourist attraction. What does it cost? Adults 600 yen, Children 300 yen. When can I use it? Anytime. Is it worth it? Almost certainly. You reallyContinue reading “Hakodate 1-day Tram Pass”

Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen

Although hardly mentioned in travel guides, particularly English ones, Fukiage Hot Spring (onsen in Japanese) is probably the best hot springs I have been to. The nearby Tokachi Onsen is well known, and featured in many guides. Looking for something I bit more off the tourist tracks, I went on Google and searched for おんせん (onsen/hot spring) and FukiageContinue reading “Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen”

Tokachi Onsen

Tokachi Onsen (十勝岳温泉) is a famous hot spring area in Hokkaido. Quieter than places such as Sounkyo Onsen and with a less touristy feel, it’s a great place to come for some hiking and relaxing. Budget travel tips Bring some food with you, as there is no big shop here and the restaurants can be aContinue reading “Tokachi Onsen”

Fukiage Hot Spring

Fukiage Hot Spring (吹上温泉) has to be one of the best, if not the best, onsen (hot spring) experiences we have ever had. What sets this area apart is that while it’s very easy and cheap to access, Fukiage Hot Spring provides a truly authentic onsen experience up in the mountains. Budget travel tips Bring someContinue reading “Fukiage Hot Spring”

Biei

Biei (美瑛) is known all over Japan as one of the best places to go for lavender viewing. It’s also a great place to go other times of the year due to its beautiful countryside hills that make for a great walk or bike ride. There is lots to do here, so spend at leastContinue reading “Biei”

Naka-Furano

Naka-Furano (中富良野), in Furano, is one of the best places to come for flower viewing in Hokkaido, along with Biei. As it’s all free it’s great for budget travelers, and has plenty to do to fill a whole day. The main flower season is between June and September. Lavender is usually best around mid July to theContinue reading “Naka-Furano”

Shiraoi Ainu Museum

Please note the museum has closed for renovation The Shiraoi Ainu Museum (アイヌ民族博物館) offers an interesting glimpse into the Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Hokkaido and nearby Russian areas. The Ainu people had, and still do have, a very different culture, religion and traditions to the rest of Japan, as well as a uniqueContinue reading “Shiraoi Ainu Museum”

Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal

Otaru is a big, but quiet town near Sapporo, in Hokkaido. The name Otaru means ‘River of Sands’ in the native language of Ainu. It grew as a harbour and port town and during the early development of Hokkaido experienced a boom as it was one of only a small number of ports on theContinue reading “Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal”

Otaru

Otaru (小樽) is one of the main tourist hotspots in Hokkaido, well known all over Japan for its lovely, quiet canal. While there are plenty of tour buses and touristy shops, the town has a really laid-back feel and is definitely worth a visit. Budget travel Pick up a free map from the station beforeContinue reading “Otaru”

Post volcano eruption ghost town – Lake Toya

Lake Toya is a hot spring town in Hokkaido, home to some very strange volcanic activity. The nearby volcano, Mount Usu, has an eruption every 30 to 50 years and the most recent was in 2000. The town was evacuated, with a new mountain being created by the eruption, causing roads, buildings and more to be destroyed,Continue reading “Post volcano eruption ghost town – Lake Toya”