Exploring Kawayu Onsen – Hokkaido’s best hot spring town?

As part of my research for my new Hokkaido travel book, Super Cheap Hokkaido, I went to a hot spring town that I had been hoping to visit for a long time, Kawayu Onsen. On the eastern side of Hokkaido, it’s pretty much away from where most tourists will go, but could still be consideredContinue reading “Exploring Kawayu Onsen – Hokkaido’s best hot spring town?”

Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido

Coming to Tokyo or Kyoto a little bit too late for the cherry blossoms? Maybe coming to Hokkaido is your solution. The season starts here from around mid-April to the end of the month. There are a host of cheap and free places to check out the sakura trees, but here are our highlights! GoryokakuContinue reading “Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido”

Top 5 Autumn color spots in Hokkaido

Want to head up north to Hokkaido for the Autumn leaves this year? The vast nature here, unspoiled by all the concrete and construction of more populated areas makes it an awesome place to see the red and golden leaves. Times vary for when to see the leaves in Hokkaido, so please check each places averageContinue reading “Top 5 Autumn color spots in Hokkaido”

Niseko

Niseko (ニセコ町) is my far the most popular ski resort for foreigners, and also the most foreign friendly with a host of services and restaurants catering for foreigners. It is therefore a great place to come if this is your first ski or snowboard trip to Japan, but people living here or those experienced traveling inContinue reading “Niseko”

Tokachi Onsen

Tokachi Onsen (十勝岳温泉) is a famous hot spring area in Hokkaido. Quieter than places such as Sounkyo Onsen and with a less touristy feel, it’s a great place to come for some hiking and relaxing. Budget travel tips Bring some food with you, as there is no big shop here and the restaurants can be aContinue reading “Tokachi Onsen”

Fukiage Hot Spring

Fukiage Hot Spring (吹上温泉) has to be one of the best, if not the best, onsen (hot spring) experiences we have ever had. What sets this area apart is that while it’s very easy and cheap to access, Fukiage Hot Spring provides a truly authentic onsen experience up in the mountains. Budget travel tips Bring someContinue reading “Fukiage Hot Spring”

Biei

Biei (美瑛) is known all over Japan as one of the best places to go for lavender viewing. It’s also a great place to go other times of the year due to its beautiful countryside hills that make for a great walk or bike ride. There is lots to do here, so spend at leastContinue reading “Biei”

Naka-Furano

Naka-Furano (中富良野), in Furano, is one of the best places to come for flower viewing in Hokkaido, along with Biei. As it’s all free it’s great for budget travelers, and has plenty to do to fill a whole day. The main flower season is between June and September. Lavender is usually best around mid July to theContinue reading “Naka-Furano”

Shiraoi Ainu Museum

Please note the museum has closed for renovation The Shiraoi Ainu Museum (アイヌ民族博物館) offers an interesting glimpse into the Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Hokkaido and nearby Russian areas. The Ainu people had, and still do have, a very different culture, religion and traditions to the rest of Japan, as well as a uniqueContinue reading “Shiraoi Ainu Museum”

Otaru

Otaru (小樽) is one of the main tourist hotspots in Hokkaido, well known all over Japan for its lovely, quiet canal. While there are plenty of tour buses and touristy shops, the town has a really laid-back feel and is definitely worth a visit. Budget travel Pick up a free map from the station beforeContinue reading “Otaru”

Hakodate

Hakodate (函館), as one of the first cities in Japan to open up to international trade, provides visitors with something different from the rest of Hokkaido. Dutch, American, English and other traders came and settled here many years ago, creating a rich history and places to visit that feel like a fusion of east andContinue reading “Hakodate”

Noboribetsu Onsen

Along with nearby Lake Toya, Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is a great place for budget travelers who want to experience an onsen (hot spring). With lots of volcanic activity to see, plenty of walking and hiking routes and free hot springs, this place has to be seriously considered if you are coming to Hokkaido! Budget travel tips BookContinue reading “Noboribetsu Onsen”