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jesselt (Offline)
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When is a good time to visit Hokkaido? - 02-02-2011, 06:41 AM

Hello,

For my next trip to Japan with my wife I would love to visit Hokkaido. My previous two trips were spent in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Osaka (which I loved, hence why I went back again) but next time I want to try something new. I also would love to visit Japan in the winter, but I'm not sure if winter+Hokkaido is a good idea

We have lived in cold climates our whole lives (Northern Idaho/Washington) so typical cold weather isn't that bothersome to us, but we would like to be able to stay outside all day without wishing we were inside the whole time

Should I do Hokkaido during the summer instead, or would it be a good experience during the winter? Autumn and Spring are hard times for us to take off for a couple of weeks unfortunately.
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GoNative (Offline)
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02-02-2011, 08:14 AM

Winter is cold and snowy throughout the island and there's not a whole lot you can do unless you want to go skiing or snowshoeing. Sure seeing frozen lakes and snow on the beach is pretty cool and the ice festival in Sapporo is a great experience but unless you're into winter sports I'd suggest coming in the summer.
Most of the island has mild summers and in some parts of the far north and north east they are actually pretty cool with some areas barely getting temperatures into the 20's (celcius) until August. In the central area like around Furano and Asahikawa or over on the plains near Obihiro it is actually quite warm and almost hot at times with temps sometimes getting up into the mid thirties. If you come in June most of the higher mountains will still have drifts of snow remaining which makes a great contrast with the verdant green of the valleys.
Around the coastal areas it remains pretty mild with temps rarely getting above 30. There are some incredibly beautiful lakes around the island like Shikotsuko, Toyako and Akanko which are great areas for camping (if you're into that) or have nice ryokans you can stay at.
In terms of cities I'd really recommend Hakodate and Otaru and of course Sapporo.
Anyway if there's any particular area you'd like advice on let me know. I've been to most parts of the island.
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jesselt (Offline)
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02-03-2011, 03:42 AM

Thanks GoNative! I think I'll save my Hokkaido trip for summer then

I might just wait until I'm ready to return to the Kansai area for winter so I can revisit they lovely temples in the snow, but I'm considering Okinawa too (I don't know if I can handle it in the summer haha)
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godwine (Offline)
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02-03-2011, 01:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesselt View Post
Thanks GoNative! I think I'll save my Hokkaido trip for summer then

I might just wait until I'm ready to return to the Kansai area for winter so I can revisit they lovely temples in the snow, but I'm considering Okinawa too (I don't know if I can handle it in the summer haha)
I am going this June. The 2 largest festival (Yosokoi and Shrine festival) happens back to back, so there are a lot to see during the week of June 10-17 (I think)... the best time to see the flower field in furano is also during this time....
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