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Thread: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

  1. #1

    Default Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    hi csers!

    i'll b heading to Japan(Hokkaido) fr the 1st time! date will be 1st week of Aug.
    being my 1st visit to Japan (some more on my own!), im totally lost by now with all the messy rails n clueless japanese wordings...

    help...

    ive been trying very hard to plan my itinenary since last mth but all i have till now is below:

    01-aug-0700 - touch down Narita airport
    01-aug-0917 - JR train to Haneda airport
    01-aug-1104 - train reach Haneda airport
    01-aug-1200 - depart Haneda airport to CTS airport(Hokkaido)
    01-aug-1335 - touch down CTS airport
    01-aug-???? - CTS to hotel near JR Tomakomai station (still dunno what number or timing of train cos timetable too messy, cant understand...)
    01-aug - Sapporo town free n easy (Sapporo Breweries, Shiroi Koibito Park, etc... any other suggestions?)
    02-aug-morning - to Furano flower paradise! hope to be on the 1st train to reach there so as to cut the crowd. (shoot sunrise if possible! wonder what time sun rises... anyone know the timetable of the train?)
    02-aug - whole day @ Furano. (any suggestions of must-go shooting spots or nice farms or good food? any shrines around?)
    03-aug - Otaru (Otaru Canal, etc... any other suggestions?)
    04-aug - no plans yet... any suggestions?
    05-aug-morning - checkout from hotel @ Sapporo n head down to CTS for domestic flight
    05-aug-0930 - depart CTS to Haneda airport
    05-aug-1100 - reach Haneda airport
    05-aug-???? - Haneda to hotel near Asakusa Station (only know have to change train cos the station is on Ginza line, not JR line. anybody can provide more info on train number n timetable please...)
    05-aug - whole day in Tokyo. (Sensoji Shrine, Odaiba, etc... any other suggestions?)
    06-aug-morning - checkout from hotel @ Asakusa n head down to Narita airport
    06-aug-1000 - depart Narita airport

    appreciate any inputs or info especially those in red n bold.
    arigatougozaimasu!

    my email: louischia @ mail . com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Asakusa stn is on the ginza line, which is a subway line, macham like MRT liddat, U'll probably have to get off at JR tokyo stn and walk thru the underpass to get to the subway. U can find the subway map on the internet if u do a search. As for the frequency of the trains in the subway, dun worry so much.. v fast 1, abt 3-5 mins. really like MRT.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by kgston View Post
    Asakusa stn is on the ginza line, which is a subway line, macham like MRT liddat, U'll probably have to get off at JR tokyo stn and walk thru the underpass to get to the subway. U can find the subway map on the internet if u do a search. As for the frequency of the trains in the subway, dun worry so much.. v fast 1, abt 3-5 mins. really like MRT.
    wow! at last i got a solid direction! now then i remember theres difference between train n mrt... thanks bro!

    any other info deeply appreciated!

    -Louis
    Last edited by louischia; 15th July 2007 at 07:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    find your trip very packed and tight. you literally have only 3.5 days for hokkaido. are you sure you want to spend so much to go there for such a short holiday?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    find your trip very packed and tight. you literally have only 3.5 days for hokkaido. are you sure you want to spend so much to go there for such a short holiday?
    ya true... 3.5 days is really packed... but cant spare more days due to other commitments... so no choice... i wish i can have more days...

    some changes after "intensive" digging the webby:

    01-Aug - Wed
    0700 - touch down Narita airport
    0917 - train to Haneda airport
    1104 - arrive Haneda airport
    1200 - domestic flight to CTS airport
    1335 - touch down CTS airport
    1419 - train to Sapporo station
    1455 - arrive Sapporo station
    check-in hotel near Sapporo station
    half day @ Sapporo
    hope to cover Sapporo Breweries & Shiroi Koibito Park.
    still dunno how to get there...


    02-Aug - Thu
    whole day @ Furano
    what time does the sun sets?
    Anyone know the timing of the last train back to Sapporo?


    03-Aug - Fri
    check-out hotel
    whole day @ Otaru
    check-in hotel near Tomakomai station
    hope to cover Otaru Canal, Tenguyama, Otaru music boxes and Otaru glass crafts.
    what time does the lights by the canal turn on?


    04-Aug - Sat
    whole day @ Hakodate
    hope to cover Hakodate morning market, Goryokaku, Kanemori, Motomachi and Hakodateyama.
    what time is the last train back to Sapporo?


    05-Aug - Sun
    check-out hotel
    0743 - train to CTS airport
    0828 - arrive CTS airport
    0930 - domestic flight to Haneda airport
    1100 - touch down Haneda airport
    train to Asakusa Station
    check-in hotel near Asakusa Station
    half day @ Tokyo
    hope to cover Sensoji shrine, Toshogu shrine, Benten shrine and Odaiba.
    still dunno how to get to Asakusa from Haneda airport...


    06-Aug - Mon
    check-out hotel
    train to Narita airport
    1000 - depart Narita airport

    **help needed for those highlighted in red... appreciate any info or suggestions!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    ** i was searching high n low for this thread... at last found it here!
    sorry if i started it in the wrong sub-forum...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by louischia View Post
    ya true... 3.5 days is really packed... but cant spare more days due to other commitments... so no choice... i wish i can have more days...

    some changes after "intensive" digging the webby:

    01-Aug - Wed
    0700 - touch down Narita airport
    0917 - train to Haneda airport
    1104 - arrive Haneda airport
    1200 - domestic flight to CTS airport
    1335 - touch down CTS airport
    1419 - train to Sapporo station
    1455 - arrive Sapporo station
    check-in hotel near Sapporo station
    half day @ Sapporo
    hope to cover Sapporo Breweries & Shiroi Koibito Park.
    still dunno how to get there...


    02-Aug - Thu
    whole day @ Furano
    what time does the sun sets?
    Anyone know the timing of the last train back to Sapporo?


    03-Aug - Fri
    check-out hotel
    whole day @ Otaru
    check-in hotel near Tomakomai station
    hope to cover Otaru Canal, Tenguyama, Otaru music boxes and Otaru glass crafts.
    what time does the lights by the canal turn on?


    04-Aug - Sat
    whole day @ Hakodate
    hope to cover Hakodate morning market, Goryokaku, Kanemori, Motomachi and Hakodateyama.
    what time is the last train back to Sapporo?


    05-Aug - Sun
    check-out hotel
    0743 - train to CTS airport
    0828 - arrive CTS airport
    0930 - domestic flight to Haneda airport
    1100 - touch down Haneda airport
    train to Asakusa Station
    check-in hotel near Asakusa Station
    half day @ Tokyo
    hope to cover Sensoji shrine, Toshogu shrine, Benten shrine and Odaiba.
    still dunno how to get to Asakusa from Haneda airport...


    06-Aug - Mon
    check-out hotel
    train to Narita airport
    1000 - depart Narita airport

    **help needed for those highlighted in red... appreciate any info or suggestions!
    Sapporo Beer Museum

    Beer Museum can be accessed by the "Loop 88 Factory Line" bus that stops among other places at Odori Station and in front of Seibu department store near Sapporo Station.

    Address: North 7, East 9

    Shiroi Koibito Park

    Take the Subway Tozai Line to its western terminus Miyanosawa Station. From there, the Shiroi Koibito Park is a 5-10 minute walk.

    Last train from Furano is at
    20:38 leave Furano by rapid train
    21:34 arrive Takikawa
    21:39 leave Takikawa by limited express train
    22:38 arrive Sapporo

    Sunset's around 1830

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    Sapporo Beer Museum

    Beer Museum can be accessed by the "Loop 88 Factory Line" bus that stops among other places at Odori Station and in front of Seibu department store near Sapporo Station.

    Address: North 7, East 9

    Shiroi Koibito Park

    Take the Subway Tozai Line to its western terminus Miyanosawa Station. From there, the Shiroi Koibito Park is a 5-10 minute walk.

    Last train from Furano is at
    20:38 leave Furano by rapid train
    21:34 arrive Takikawa
    21:39 leave Takikawa by limited express train
    22:38 arrive Sapporo

    Sunset's around 1830
    thanks ReiszRie!
    its really great info!
    now the biggest uncertainty is Haneda airport to Asakusa station.
    anyone know the timetable n price for this trip?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    take the keikyu line to shinagawa and change to asakusa subway line to asakusa

    total one way cost would be at around 600yen

    let me know if you need any further information.
    Last edited by ReiszRie; 21st July 2007 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Hi louischia. Looking at the way you plan your schedule mad me sweat.

    Firstly before you embark on the programme, you need to look at the transport system, getting the detail and cost. Then you can plan properly considering the time required for commute etc.

    You should start by studying the train system of the places you are going. For Hokkaido, it is JR Hokkaido.

    Then to check the connecting train from one place to another, you can use this web service. Just enter the train station you are leaving, the time, and the station you want to arrive, and it will show you all the coonecting trains, time taken, transit time, and the prices.

    http://www.hyperdia.com/hyperWeb/

    If you are spending about 7 days, you can get the JR pass at 28,800yen from JAL office here. Then when you reach japan, convert the pass at any major train station. Remember to specify effective from which day when converting. Don't worry about language as there will be japanese staff who speak english there. If you reach Japan in afternoon, probably not worth it to start effective that day. Get hold of the JR map and know all the nearby train station of the attractions that you are visiting. And according to ur liking, enter the details into the hyperdia website to know the connection train and total time taken to transit. Print out the details of your preferred train schedule for whole trip and just submit to the train ticket booking counter and all the tickets will be issued to you one shot. You can put the tickets for each day in individual small envelope available FOC there. One thing to note is that the timing listed in hyperdia is most accurate so very sure to be punctual. To enter station names into hyperdia, you

    After transport, next thing is accomodation. A good site is this:
    http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/en/

    Just specify the day and place you are visiting. You just need to enter VISA credit card number for reference. You wil not be charged through the card beforehand. When making payment, you can pay cash or credit card. Look out for discount as japan hotel always got some promotion if you look hard enough to sniff out bargains. Some are special for monday only, or for continuous stay, etc.

    Hope this is helpful. Be sure to spend alot of time to plan to make ur trip worthwhile. Remeber not be shy. Anything just ask as nowadays many jap speak simple english. Just don't ask the older jap as they are still jap-superiority complex.

    Anything, just ask lah. i just returned from DIY Hokkaido holiday in May. I have stayed there for more than 1.5 yrs while in previous jobs. Not possible to give advise all the way, but feel free if you need help. Enjoy ur trip.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    actually not necessary. i have come across on a week's trip a lot of Japanese elderly who are very nice, some of which do not understand English while some others does - but none are rude. Malcolm may have seen more, but it is probably not that bad.
    Last edited by zoossh; 21st July 2007 at 02:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    i love http://travel.rakuten.co.jp....esp their offer in newsletter
    go register an account.....get a address in japan (doesn't matter if not yours)

    oh ya go change some yens if u are going....
    now yen realli at REAL LOW.......last change 1.24 nia
    Last edited by vaxvms; 21st July 2007 at 10:01 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    louis, if you are not very fixated with the idea of going hokkaido, or dun mind going next time where timing is better.

    i would suggest that you concentrate your tour on a smaller region. just think about this, would you miss a location or even miss your flight when you miss a last train or something? you can't plan your tour to be "just right" - only tour agencies can do that becos they have the experiences and the resource.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    thanks for all the concern! i felt so warm...

    ya... actually i also felt a bit apprehensive about missing flights or train.
    but ive paid for return flight to Narita n domestic flight to CTS n back...
    hotels also booked for 4 days in Sapporo n 1 day in Tokyo.

    a fren opens me to another option of driving in Japan!
    i can better control my timings n enjoy more of the scenery while cruising Hokkaido!
    sounds good to me...
    anyway, im used to driving alone down to penang n back.
    but still, looking at the distance still a bit nervous...
    what u guys think now?

    01-Aug - Wed
    0700 - touch down Narita airport
    0917 - train to Haneda airport
    1104 - arrive Haneda airport
    1200 - domestic flight to CTS airport
    1335 - touch down CTS airport
    1419 - train to Sapporo station
    1455 - arrive Sapporo station
    check-in hotel near Sapporo station
    half day @ Sapporo
    -Shiroi Koibito Park
    -Ishiya Chocolate Factory
    -Sapporo Beer Museum
    -Sapporo Factory

    02-Aug - Thu
    collect vehicle @ Sapporo station
    Sapporo --> Furano 142km
    Furano --> Sapporo 142km

    03-Aug - Fri
    check-out hotel
    Sapporo --> Otaru 39km
    -Otaru Canal
    -Otaru music boxes
    -Otaru glass crafts
    -Tenguyama
    Otaru --> Tomakomai 104km
    check-in hotel near Tomakomai station

    04-Aug - Sat
    Tomakomai --> Hakodate 244km
    -Hakodate morning market
    -Goryokaku
    -Kanemori
    -Motomachi
    -Hakodateyama
    Hakodate --> Tomakomai 244km

    05-Aug - Sun
    check-out hotel
    Tomakomai --> CTS airport 30km
    return vehicle @ CTS
    0930 - domestic flight to Haneda airport
    1100 - touch down Haneda airport
    train to Asakusa Station
    check-in hotel near Asakusa Station
    half day @ Tokyo
    -Sensoji shrine
    -Toshogu shrine
    -Benten shrine
    -Odaiba

    06-Aug - Mon
    check-out hotel
    train to Narita airport
    1000 - depart Narita airport

  15. #15
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    tokyo consider harajuku (moreover it is sunday, you can see the cosplay) and tokyo towers.

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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    actually not necessary. i have come across on a week's trip a lot of Japanese elderly who are very nice, some of which do not understand English while some others does - but none are rude. Malcolm may have seen more, but it is probably not that bad.
    Hi, Zoossh. Perhaps you have not seen enough of japan, that is why you have very good opinions of japanese.

    When I first touchdown in Nagoya 8yrs ago for 1st buz trip lasting 3months, I also got very good impression of japanese. Very polite, very helpful although english very jialat. Bt after a while, you will start spotting bad rude japanese. It depends on locality also. If you always hang around in country-side places like Nagano, Niigata, etc, most of them are polite. BUT if you ever go to Osaka, you will know what I mean. Many times while waiting for train, I was pushed away even though I was not blocking the way! My wife was very shock by the encounter she got too. They just look straight and too bad if you are there. And they do not surrender their seats to needy ppl, just like here. First thing they do when they got a seat is to close their eyes! And this is a daily encounter, mind you, not once-in-a bluemoon thing.

    And if you ask for directions, if you lucky you will get some help. Some will simply brush you away. I heard my jap colleagues that some of them purposely give wrong direction as they do not ike foreigners. That is why in Japan, foreigners are termed officially as 'aliens'.

    Now is much better already. Last time, there are not many japanese signboards and direction boards.

    If you only go Japan for short trip, chances are you will be impressed by them based on their reputation. You will look at everyone thinking they are polite. Live along then you will know their colors. It is like when I first set foot in Japan, wah the japanese girls all look so nice with their groomong and so on. After living for a while, then you will start to take note that there are much more ugly japanese girls than pretty ones! You did not notice intitally because subconsciously you are ignoring them.

    I am not biased towards japan, nor do I condamn them. Just my frank remarks after staying there for a while. These things you will not realise on short trips as you will be rushing here and there to notice. Everything will be so nice and beautiful.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    those in hokkaido and northern tohoku are known to be much friendlier and helpful compared to those from cities afterall...

  18. #18
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolmneo View Post
    Hi, Zoossh. Perhaps you have not seen enough of japan, that is why you have very good opinions of japanese.

    When I first touchdown in Nagoya 8yrs ago for 1st buz trip lasting 3months, I also got very good impression of japanese. Very polite, very helpful although english very jialat. Bt after a while, you will start spotting bad rude japanese. It depends on locality also. If you always hang around in country-side places like Nagano, Niigata, etc, most of them are polite. BUT if you ever go to Osaka, you will know what I mean. Many times while waiting for train, I was pushed away even though I was not blocking the way! My wife was very shock by the encounter she got too. They just look straight and too bad if you are there. And they do not surrender their seats to needy ppl, just like here. First thing they do when they got a seat is to close their eyes! And this is a daily encounter, mind you, not once-in-a bluemoon thing.

    And if you ask for directions, if you lucky you will get some help. Some will simply brush you away. I heard my jap colleagues that some of them purposely give wrong direction as they do not ike foreigners. That is why in Japan, foreigners are termed officially as 'aliens'.

    Now is much better already. Last time, there are not many japanese signboards and direction boards.

    If you only go Japan for short trip, chances are you will be impressed by them based on their reputation. You will look at everyone thinking they are polite. Live along then you will know their colors. It is like when I first set foot in Japan, wah the japanese girls all look so nice with their groomong and so on. After living for a while, then you will start to take note that there are much more ugly japanese girls than pretty ones! You did not notice intitally because subconsciously you are ignoring them.

    I am not biased towards japan, nor do I condamn them. Just my frank remarks after staying there for a while. These things you will not realise on short trips as you will be rushing here and there to notice. Everything will be so nice and beautiful.
    thanks for sharing the parts on osaka. i hope i have better luck when i go kyoto and hokkaido next time.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    generally, japanese are friendly and helpful towards foreigners

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hokkaido - sweet summer! (help needed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by louischia View Post
    thanks for all the concern! i felt so warm...

    ya... actually i also felt a bit apprehensive about missing flights or train.
    but ive paid for return flight to Narita n domestic flight to CTS n back...
    hotels also booked for 4 days in Sapporo n 1 day in Tokyo.

    a fren opens me to another option of driving in Japan!
    i can better control my timings n enjoy more of the scenery while cruising Hokkaido!
    sounds good to me...
    anyway, im used to driving alone down to penang n back.
    but still, looking at the distance still a bit nervous...
    what u guys think now?

    01-Aug - Wed
    0700 - touch down Narita airport
    0917 - train to Haneda airport
    1104 - arrive Haneda airport
    1200 - domestic flight to CTS airport
    1335 - touch down CTS airport
    1419 - train to Sapporo station
    1455 - arrive Sapporo station
    check-in hotel near Sapporo station
    half day @ Sapporo
    -Shiroi Koibito Park
    -Ishiya Chocolate Factory
    -Sapporo Beer Museum
    -Sapporo Factory

    02-Aug - Thu
    collect vehicle @ Sapporo station
    Sapporo --> Furano 142km
    Furano --> Sapporo 142km

    03-Aug - Fri
    check-out hotel
    Sapporo --> Otaru 39km
    -Otaru Canal
    -Otaru music boxes
    -Otaru glass crafts
    -Tenguyama
    Otaru --> Tomakomai 104km
    check-in hotel near Tomakomai station

    04-Aug - Sat
    Tomakomai --> Hakodate 244km
    -Hakodate morning market
    -Goryokaku
    -Kanemori
    -Motomachi
    -Hakodateyama
    Hakodate --> Tomakomai 244km

    05-Aug - Sun
    check-out hotel
    Tomakomai --> CTS airport 30km
    return vehicle @ CTS
    0930 - domestic flight to Haneda airport
    1100 - touch down Haneda airport
    train to Asakusa Station
    check-in hotel near Asakusa Station
    half day @ Tokyo
    -Sensoji shrine
    -Toshogu shrine
    -Benten shrine
    -Odaiba

    06-Aug - Mon
    check-out hotel
    train to Narita airport
    1000 - depart Narita airport
    may i suggest you visit Hakodate 1st and move to Sapporo on the second day, set up base camp in Sapporo and have day trips to Otaru and Furano

    this might be alot more efficient

    Otaru in fact has very limited sights and their sights are located within arm's reach of one another, so you need not allocate too much time for Otaru

    driving free & easy is IMO not recommended as first, you'll have to have a very detailed map and good navigational skills (even locals requires GPS to get them around) and knowledge of the japanese language to read road signs... the chances of screw ups whilst driving free & easy for the first time (even more so if this is your first trip to japan/hokkaido) is exponentially higher than taking the public transport

    if you need itinerary ideas/suggestions for your trip, you could e-mail me at aktb12@gmail.com i might be able to help you out on that part.

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