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Thread: Self drive trip in Hokkaido or NZ (south Island). Suggestions pls!

  1. #1

    Default Self drive trip in Hokkaido or NZ (south Island). Suggestions pls!

    Hi guys,

    after 15 days back at work...the travel bug has bitten me again and I am planning my next trip...looking at doing a self drive trip with my family on the first 2 weeks of August...but still cant decide whether to Hokkaido or NZ first and then leave the other for December this year. Initial plan was to do NZ in August first but I am a bit apprenhensive about driving in Hokkaido during winter when the roads are covered with snow and slippery...and NZ in December might be a better idea when its summer and u get better weather and more blue skies

    So would like to know if anyone has done a self drive trip in Hokkaido before and if you can share any tips? Also what kinda itinerary would you suggest and the places I need to cover.I know the usual spots like Furano and Otaru and Biei and several others but I am also looking to explore less touristy places like all the way to this (I cant remeber its name) town on the most northern part of Japan. Looking at about 10 days in Hokkaido but its flexible. Really want to do an in depth trip. Am in the process of researching more on the internet but due to my location and work I can come online only sparingly.

    So feel free to share your tots and suggestions.Thanks!
    Last edited by boroangel; 1st May 2007 at 10:00 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Self drive trip in Hokkaido or NZ (south Island). Suggestions pls!

    I say don't be too worried about going to touristy places. Because Hokkaido is simply so big. You can't even finish looking through one place less to say so many places. Instead of driving, I cycled the hills of Biei a few weeks back and found it a lot more satisfying. However this activity is highly not recommended for families because it is physically very demanding as going up the hills of Biei is no mean feat.

    Driving in Hokkaido is a very good idea because the roads are a lot less crowded.. and their rental cars come with GPS.

    If you want to visit the northern tip you can visit the 2 islands beside cape soya, read that they are very nice . So probably you can stay around 2 - 3 days at the top. Travelling to the top and back to sapporo would take about half a day i guess for each trip.

    So prob you can go Sapporo, Cape Soya and the 2 islands, Asahikawa, Furano, Biei then prob Daisetsuzan and Lake Toya and then back to Sapporo.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Self drive trip in Hokkaido or NZ (south Island). Suggestions pls!

    I read that first two weeks of August would be where the japs are taking their vacation and coincidentally thats when we plan to it really that crowded and how bad is the traffic compared to singapore?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Self drive trip in Hokkaido or NZ (south Island). Suggestions pls!

    nope nope... not in August, I think what you read is the golden week, actually golden week is in May... at least thats what I know.

    The traffic in Hokkaiddo is light, as in very light because in Hokkaiddo the towns are small. Most of the time, you will see garbage trucks, some cars, and vehicles from the farms.

    One important thing to note is that weather changes can be very sudden and drastic.. in mountain area fog can descend on you faster than you can react and that is where the danger is because in Singapore we don't have such kind of fog. Even with fog lights visibility is limited and mountain roads have many sharp turns. Occassionally on the hills there will be some steep roads too which calls for caution especially if your maps or GPS have no contour lines. Tourists maps have no contour indications.

    When such conditions occur, take your vehicle to the sides or there are some areas set aside for vehicles to stop on the hills and wait for the fog to pass. Im impressed though, at the skills of the japanese drivers who frequent the hills lolx
    Last edited by zhangyb; 1st May 2007 at 05:03 PM.


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