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Thread: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    i have no time to read others' reply.

    however if you are driving up the mountains, you may be required to use snow chains on your tires.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    battery failure is common ... keep them warm and recharge whenever you can.

  3. #23
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by pokiemon View Post
    i have no time to read others' reply.

    however if you are driving up the mountains, you may be required to use snow chains on your tires.
    Thank you for your input.
    We decided not to self drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by LancerEX View Post
    battery failure is common ... keep them warm and recharge whenever you can.
    Certainly expected, with snow and sub-zero temperature.
    Thank you for reminding me on this one most important expect.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    limwhow,
    you made a good choice of not self-drive. driving condition on icy road are dangerous. plus weather can be unpredictable & change quickly ~ so you need to keep abreast of weather condition, road closure blah blah

    imho, hokkaido is probably only good for ski & snowboard during winter.
    for me, best to base at one place & enjoy the winter. however, you still be too early for sapporo winter festival which held from 7 ~ 13 Feb 2011
    http://www.snowfes.com/english/place/index.html

    hakodate is a fishery port, you can have your freshest seafood there & hakodate nite view from hakodate-yama is very beautiful (rival those night view from hongkong & naples). some russian churches if you find architecture interesting

    I want to recommend Daisetsuzan National Park but this best for autumn, and during winter best for snowboard & ski.
    oops just forget this lah ....

    good luck ...

    Quote Originally Posted by limwhow View Post
    • My itinerary are roughly at this point in time like this:
      Day 1: arrived at Sapporo and walking tour of Sapporo: Sapporo Clock tower, Sapporo Beer Factory, Ishiya Chocolate factory, Odori Park, Night life scene and Underground shopping, Old Hokkaido Government Buidling, Hokkaido Museum.
      Day 2: take Hokkaido JR to Otaru and stay there for one night. Hope to enjoy some onsen there and eat some fresh seafood.
      Day 3, Day 5: Take the Hokkaido JR to Hakodate and stay two nights there.
      Day 6: Take the IR back to Sapporo. Day trip to Nopporo Forest park to do sleighing on mild slope. Then return to Sapporo to spend the night.
      Day 7: Another day trip from Sapporo to hopefully one of the nearby lakes - Lake Toya or something like that. Spend the night in Sapporo.
      Day 8 -Flight home.
      Thus with an itinerary like this, would you advise me to buy a what, 3-Day or 4-Day Hokkaido JR pass?
      And in your opinion, would you add in any other nearby destination cos I have quite a lot of time around Sapporo?
    • What do you think of a trip to Lake Akan? Is it too far for nothing?
    • What do you think of Noboribetsu?

    Wow... such a loadful of stuff I have asked you.
    Would really appreciate more of your kind help for a lost fellow CS-er here!

  5. #25
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by blurfoto View Post
    limwhow,
    you made a good choice of not self-drive. driving condition on icy road are dangerous. plus weather can be unpredictable & change quickly ~ so you need to keep abreast of weather condition, road closure blah blah

    imho, hokkaido is probably only good for ski & snowboard during winter.
    for me, best to base at one place & enjoy the winter. however, you still be too early for sapporo winter festival which held from 7 ~ 13 Feb 2011
    http://www.snowfes.com/english/place/index.html

    hakodate is a fishery port, you can have your freshest seafood there & hakodate nite view from hakodate-yama is very beautiful (rival those night view from hongkong & naples). some russian churches if you find architecture interesting

    I want to recommend Daisetsuzan National Park but this best for autumn, and during winter best for snowboard & ski.
    oops just forget this lah ....

    good luck ...
    blurfoto, thank you so much for coming onto my thread and answering some of my questions.
    Yes, I do wish to take it easy and relaxed for this trip.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    when it comes to providing travel information, japanese are probably the most attentive & detailed people on this planet
    go browse around perhaps you can find some useful information for your trip planning

    http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/
    http://www.bfh.jp/en/special/hokkaidodrive09e/douoh/

    cheers!
    Last edited by blurfoto; 18th October 2010 at 10:10 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Hi limwhow,
    jus saw your this thread and realize that you r going Hokkaido in dec... i'm still looking around and wondering where to go next feb/CNY. btw you not going to tokyo?

  8. #28
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canto View Post
    Hi limwhow,
    jus saw your this thread and realize that you r going Hokkaido in dec... i'm still looking around and wondering where to go next feb/CNY. btw you not going to tokyo?
    Haha... yupe only going to Hokkaido.
    Not to any other cities in Japan.
    Because we just wanted to take it easy.
    Feb would be a good time to go Hokkaido too cos they have the snow festival there.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by limwhow View Post
    Haha... yupe only going to Hokkaido.
    Not to any other cities in Japan.
    Because we just wanted to take it easy.
    Feb would be a good time to go Hokkaido too cos they have the snow festival there.

    icic..was considering to attend the snow fest den travel to tokyo...

  10. #30

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Hi, i backpacked in Hokkaido for 8 days in Apr this year...

    For Onsen, you may want to consider Noboriebetsu instead of Otaru... the onsens in Noboriebetsu are more well known and representative of Hokkaido onsens... I spent one whole afternoon in the Daiichi Takimotokan onsen there... there is even a swimming pool inside... and outdoor onsens also, so you can dip in the warm, nourishing onsen water and enjoy the view of Hell Valley... Noboribetsu can be a day trip from Sapporo... You can enjoy a walk in the beautiful forest around Hell Valley in the morning before going for an onsen dip in the afternoon...




    In Sapporo, I recommend Moerenumakoen and Hitsujigaoka... you can visit both places in half to 3/4 of a day...

    Moerenumakoen is the Hidamari Pyramid is... In winter, most of the facilities are closed, but it is still a nice place to take a walk and see the interesting structures there...


    Hitsujigaoka is where you can have a view of the sapporo city... there are sheep there, but in winter, they are kept indoor...

    If you go Lake Toya, highly recommend you go see Showa Shinsan and Uzu crater... otherwise, Toya is just a normal lake and rather quiet in winter...


    With two days, you can also go up to Biei... it's really very beautiful there, with large expanse of snow covered fields...


    have a nice trip and take lotsa photos... =)
    Last edited by askaboutlife; 25th October 2010 at 01:31 AM.

  11. #31
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Hello askaboutlife,
    thank you so much for showing me your photos and for sharing with me your experience.
    These are really invaluable to me.
    Thank you once again.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    The Chinese travel book is available at Toa Payoh Popular...I just saw it during lunchtime today...

  13. #33

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    I did a 15 days free and easy trip to Hokkaido in Feb10 and I took train through out the trip. They have rather good extensive network there in Hokkaido so do not worry.
    As what other bros have highlighted, driving in winter condition is a no no especially for us who do not have experiences in drivingin such slippery road.

    My itinerary can be found in this thread. However, i did not visit Furano or Biei. http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...light=hokkaido

    Best time to visit Hokkaido will be in Feb. You can catch the ice breaker cruise and the snow festival.
    Another place which i love it, will be Kushiro to view the Dancing Crane at Tsuruimidai but this will take up the whole day which some might feel that it is not worth the trip.
    One thing you must do is to enjoy the powder snow at Niseko or Furano. I spent 2 days there skiing at Niseko and enjoy the snow activities.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Driving in Hokkaido in Dec...I did it!

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=626388

  15. #35

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    Driving in Hokkaido in Dec...I did it!

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=626388
    wow! bravo ..... what are the dates that you went in Dec? it seems there aren't any snow in the city yet. I guess heavy snow only in the highland.

    When I went over to Hokkaido during early autumn (Oct), I really can't stand the cold especially at night, even worst when the wind are blowing. I guess i bring the wrong clothing

    their on-board GPS really sophisticated right? you can enter phone, address and it will leads u there. anyways, I'm sure you will go more places during summer / autumn seasons. I think spring still pretty cold for folks from tropical climate

  16. #36
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaguaPhoto View Post
    The Chinese travel book is available at Toa Payoh Popular...I just saw it during lunchtime today...
    Hahah... thanks for telling me.
    But that day they were out of stock. So I bought many other Chinese books for Hokkaido.
    Now I have more than I can read..
    Thanks thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by colourfulfaces View Post
    I did a 15 days free and easy trip to Hokkaido in Feb10 and I took train through out the trip. They have rather good extensive network there in Hokkaido so do not worry.
    As what other bros have highlighted, driving in winter condition is a no no especially for us who do not have experiences in drivingin such slippery road.

    My itinerary can be found in this thread. However, i did not visit Furano or Biei. http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...light=hokkaido

    Best time to visit Hokkaido will be in Feb. You can catch the ice breaker cruise and the snow festival.
    Another place which i love it, will be Kushiro to view the Dancing Crane at Tsuruimidai but this will take up the whole day which some might feel that it is not worth the trip.
    One thing you must do is to enjoy the powder snow at Niseko or Furano. I spent 2 days there skiing at Niseko and enjoy the snow activities.
    Hello colourfulfaces, thanks so much for showing me your link.
    You have a beautiful thread to Hokkaido.
    And yes, I have already decided not to take the risk of driving in winter.
    Hahaha...

    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    Driving in Hokkaido in Dec...I did it!

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=626388
    Wow, Madmax, you are brave.
    And you have a great link.
    Thank you so much for giving me the heads up.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by blurfoto View Post
    wow! bravo ..... what are the dates that you went in Dec? it seems there aren't any snow in the city yet. I guess heavy snow only in the highland.

    When I went over to Hokkaido during early autumn (Oct), I really can't stand the cold especially at night, even worst when the wind are blowing. I guess i bring the wrong clothing

    their on-board GPS really sophisticated right? you can enter phone, address and it will leads u there. anyways, I'm sure you will go more places during summer / autumn seasons. I think spring still pretty cold for folks from tropical climate
    I went on 10 Dec and came back on 20 Dec. The people at JTB told me it won't snow yet but I guess they were wrong!

    My family was quite used to the cold and very prepared because we were at NY in Dec 2008.

    Quote Originally Posted by limwhow View Post
    Wow, Madmax, you are brave.
    And you have a great link.
    Thank you so much for giving me the heads up.
    You are wise not too drive if you are not prepared to. My wife and I love to drive, having driven in many places before. So, we are kind of adventurous. The chalet you see in my link is the Niseko Country resort. It is 10 min away from Niseko Hilton. There was a day which we drove to it for skiing. When we left at 5 pm, it was dark and with blizzard conditions. Roads did not have lights. Visibility was 5-10m. It is not for the faint-hearted.

    Another heads up if you have not experienced below zero temperatures:
    1. Clothing - Thermal wear, thick shirt, fleece jacket, woollen down-feather jackets, face masks (those that covers from nose downwards). Codry pants is good too.
    2. Lip balm - Apply every 2 hrs, especially after meals to prevent cracking
    3. Body lotion - Apply generously to prevent skin from cracking

    I noticed there are many attractions covered. Do relax because it can be quite agonising in the cold and your body does not want to move.
    Last edited by Madmax; 26th October 2010 at 09:57 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    I went on 10 Dec and came back on 20 Dec. The people at JTB told me it won't snow yet but I guess they were wrong!

    My family was quite used to the cold and very prepared because we were at NY in Dec 2008.



    You are wise not too drive if you are not prepared to. My wife and I love to drive, having driven in many places before. So, we are kind of adventurous. The chalet you see in my link is the Niseko Country resort. It is 10 min away from Niseko Hilton. There was a day which we drove to it for skiing. When we left at 5 pm, it was dark and with blizzard conditions. Roads did not have lights. Visibility was 5-10m. It is not for the faint-hearted.
    Wow bro, really admire you. Though it is dangerous and not for the faint hearted but i do wish to try it someday to experience it.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    to be safe, i think keep driving to day if possible. I didnt have good experience while driving at night there.

    my exciting(yet boring) evening experience on a long tollway route couple years back:
    -few cars, very lonely drive.
    -low visibility, can see only road reflectors
    -heavy downpour and wet, wipers wiping full speed (can imagine worse if road is snow-covered)
    -Gps went quiet (on tollway with no directions)
    -radio signal faint with noise, turn off due nuisance.
    -everyone is sleeping even my vehicle commander.

  20. #40
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hokkaido in mid-December ~ dangerous for self drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by seii7 View Post
    to be safe, i think keep driving to day if possible. I didnt have good experience while driving at night there.

    my exciting(yet boring) evening experience on a long tollway route couple years back:
    -few cars, very lonely drive.
    -low visibility, can see only road reflectors
    -heavy downpour and wet, wipers wiping full speed (can imagine worse if road is snow-covered)
    -Gps went quiet (on tollway with no directions)
    -radio signal faint with noise, turn off due nuisance.
    -everyone is sleeping even my vehicle commander.
    Haha... thank you so much for sharing with me!

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