Planning a self-drive 3-week Hokkaido trip in July 2011 for my wife and myself. Hope to traverse from one end (Cape Shiretoko) to the other (Cape Shakotan).
I'll have to say this trip planning process is probably the most painful one I've ever experienced. It's not the dearth of information that gets to me, but the fact that most of it is in Japanese. Sigh...
So, I hope to solicit some useful info from CSers who have traveled there on their own. Here are the issues I face:
a) Is it necessary to book hotel all the way? I'll be there in July. The towns I plan to visit include Utoro-Saki (near Shiretoko), Lake Akan, Kamikawa, Higashikawa (near Asahidake in Daisetsuzan), Kamifurano, Hokuryu and Shakotan.
b) So far, I've gotten some accommodation info from Google Maps, Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet). Is there a site/book with more comprehensive info?
c) How do I get the map codes of various destinations and hotels for the Japanese GPS? I know of Mapion and Puchitabi. But I'm hoping to find a site in English... Sigh..
Any other advice or help will be GREATLY appreciated.