The Top 3 Day Trips in Hokkaido


The Top 3 Day Trips in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is known as Japan’s wild north – and for a good reason. It has no shortage of fascinating things to see and do, including myriads of onsens (relaxing spring baths), caldera lakes, primeval forests, expansive swathes of wildness, vibrant culture, and much more. It so happens that day trips are a great way to experience the very best of Hokkaido away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Here are 3 best day trips from Niseko that’ll simply knock your socks off. With private transport and an English-speaking guide, you can rest assured you’ll have an unforgettable moment.

#1. Sapporo Day Trip

Sapporo is a dynamic and lively city with remarkable sightseeing gems. This beautiful destination is full of character and life – the reason why you’ll love this fun-filled day trip.

If you are lucky to get there early enough, you can take your late morning breakfast in Nijo Market. The next stop would a visit to the iconic Sapporo Clock Tower, a magnificent edifice built in the 1880s. Feeling a little thirsty? The day trip also includes a drive to the Sapporo Beer Museum. Don’t forget to indulge in a sumptuous lunch and a glass of the finest Sapporo beer at the Beer Garden.

Other highlights of this day trip include a visit to the Odori Park (anyone hungry for a grilled Hokkaido’s corn?), Hokkaido University Botanical Garden (with 4000+ kinds of fauna & flora), and the ski jump stadium. The list is actually endless … it all depends on the amount of time you’ll have for sightseeing.

Distance from Niseko:

  1. Car: 1 hour 45 minutes
  2. Train: 2 hours

#2. Noboribetsu & Lake Toya Day Trip

This is one of the most popular day trips in Hokkaido. Both Lake Toya and Noboribetsu are nestled in a geothermally active region with a mélange of active volcanoes and natural hot springs. Just an hour’s drive from the city of Sapporo, Noboribetsu is known for its snow-covered landscapes and breathtaking mountain views, all of which visitors can indulge in from the comfort of an onsen.

This sought-after day trip includes an exploration of Hell Valley, a 450-meter stretch of bubbling volcanic activity. You can also enjoy a relaxing hike to Oyunuma’s hot river, springs, waterfalls. From this vantage point, you take in the spectacular views of Mt. Yotei.

No Noboribetsu day trip is complete without a visit to the remarkable Mt. Usu-Zan Ropeway and Lake Toya, a beautiful caldera lake with interesting islands jutting out from the middle. To cap it off, you’ll get to try local delicacies and sample the cuisine of North Japan.

Distance from Niseko:

  1. Car: 1 hour 30 minutes (one way)
  2. Train: 3 hours 30 minutes (one way)

#3. Otaru Day Trip

Otaru is a frontier-era port town that was all the rage in the early 20th century. It is just 30 minute away from the city of Sapporo. This quaint harbor town is known for cozy cafés, glass workshops, rustic architecture, boutique shops, and amazing restaurants.

The highlights of the day trip to Otaru include sightseeing must-visit sites and attractions like Sakaimachi Historical District, Otaru Canal, Otaru Museum, Former Nihon Yūsen Building, Bank of Japan Otaru Museum, Otaru Music Box Museum, Nichigin-dōri, and Nikka Whisky Distillery, just to mention a few.

Taking fantastic photos along Shakotan Peninsula coastline, and indulging in mouthwatering seafood and other local eats

Distance from Niseko:

  1. Car: 1 hour 25 minutes (one way)
  2. Train: 1 hour 15 minutes (one way)

If any of these day trips take your fancy, please take a look at our comparison pages for the best transfer companies in Niseko.

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