There are countless things to do in Hokkaido during summer so to experience Japan’s second largest island is a challenge to see in only 3 days. Here’s how to experience the island and have a fun, relaxing time that might be quick, but still immersive!
Watch the video below for a visual journey of beautiful Hokkaido!
Can’t watch the video right now? No problem! I include a recap with photos and details below ▾
Sapporo Station Shopping
Head over to Sapporo Station, the main train station of Hokkaido. And like all major stations in Japan, it has a few malls connected to it, so shop your heart out with tax-free shopping! A few favorite malls to shop at are JR Bargain Tower for high-end bargain shopping and ESTA where BIC Camera, Uniqlo, and Loft is located.
TIP: Make sure to bring your passport with you! Most places require that you bring your passport and buy at least 50 US dollars worth of stuff to get it tax-free.
IF SHOPPING ISN’T YOUR THING: Take the subway over to the Sapporo Beer Museum to learn about the history of Sapporo beer while beer tasting!
Sapporo Beer Festival, Odori park
After exploring Sapporo station, walk over to Odori Park. It’s a famous park that runs through the center of Sapporo and is also the location of the Sapporo Beer Festival that happens every summer from July 20 to August 20. The festival is 6 blocks long, with each block featuring a Japanese beer, like Suntory, Asahi, Kirin, and of course, Sapporo! My favorite! 😋
Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space
After drinking, walk your tipsiness off underground through the Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space. It’s an underground walkway between Odori and Sapporo Station. It’s got a rat race feeling that you wouldn’t otherwise experience in the rest of Hokkaido.
ganso sapporo ramen street
For dinner, eat at Ganso Sapporo Ramen Street. It’s a tight alleyway of small ramen shops tucked inside Susukino which is only 2 subway stops away from Sapporo Station. Anthony Bourdain is known to have eaten here and you can see why once you have your share of the ramen. The best miso ramen I’ve ever had was from this alleyway. So don’t miss out on this!
IF IT’S NOT TOO LATE: Walk your ramen-filled belly off at Tanukikoji Shopping Street a few blocks away. The stores close at 8pm so we weren’t able to make it so what’s actually better is to check out the shopping street first and then eat ramen since the ramen shops close at 3am.
Pick up your car rental from Toyota Rent-A-Car at Sapporo Station. Make sure to reserve it online beforehand because we decided to walk in and we ended up waiting more than an hour. And take your time getting used to driving on the other side of the road, especially if you’re not used to it. When in doubt, keep left.
Lunch at Kumagera restaurant
Take a 2 and a half hour scenic drive through mountains and tunnels and stop at Furano to have lunch at Kumagera, a restaurant recommended by locals for their Hokkaido twist on Japanese cuisine. We had the pork whey curry which was really good. I actually couldn’t tell how different it was from other Japanese curries but it was some pretty damn good curry.
Next up, take a 15-minute drive to top your lunch with dessert at Tomita Lavender Farm, with their fresh lavender soft serve and walk around the flower farm. And don’t forget to take photos at this beautiful spot! The lavender is only in bloom from late June to early August and best viewed within the first 2 weeks of July.
Tomita Melon House
And the eating doesn’t stop yet! Right across Farm Tomita is Tomita Melon House, where you can eat the iconic Japanese melons in different forms from soft serve, to shakes, to the melons itself.
WHILE YOU’RE IN THE AREA: Drive 30-minutes to Shirogane Blue Pond and/or Shikisai No Oka, another beautiful flower farm. We decided to drive back since we didn’t want to drive in the dark.
Once you’re back in Sapporo, head over to Mt. Moiwa, known for its view of Sapporo. How you reach the top of the mountain is by ropeway and cable car. By going this way, you get to see the city lights slowly unfold in front of you, it’s a beautiful sight.
TIP: It’s best to go here at night. Even better is during sunset because the skies turn to a pretty purple and pink.
Drive 2 and a half hours down to Cape Kamui by oceans, mountains, and farmland. Cape Kamui is a peninsula with a hiking trail that looks like you’re walking along the back of a huge dragon. It goes up and down with some parts steeper than the other. After your hike, cool yourself down with soft serve ice cream served at the parking lot called “Shakotan Blue.” It’s vanilla-flavored but they colored the ice cream to match the blue color of the ocean in Shakotan.
TIP: Once you arrive at Cape Kamui, wear comfy shoes, use the bathroom, and bring water with you because you’re about to go on quite a hike.
Head over to Misaki restaurant, 15 minutes from Cape Kamui, for the freshest uni you’ve ever had! If you’ve never had uni or sea urchin, this is the best place to eat it for the first time.
TIP: Come in earlier for their rare, red uni since they only sell 20 to 30 bowls a day.
IF UNI ISN’T YOUR THING: Drive to Jozankei farm, a fruit farm that’s only 40 minutes from Sapporo, and eat “Gengis Khan” or Jingusikan, a grilled mutton dish that originated from Hokkaido. And then finish your food experience by picking fresh strawberries! The farm closes at 4pm.
More shopping at Sapporo Station!
Head back to Sapporo Station for one last shopping binge! Because if you’re Filipino like me, you’re always buying pasalubong for your family and friends back home. 😜 At the station, stores close at 9pm and restaurants at 11pm, so if you want, you can have dinner late. For convenience, you’ll find a whole floor of restaurants on the 6th floor of JR Tower once you’re done shopping.
TIP: Don’t forget your passport again! And a yummy spot for dinner is Nemuro Hanamaru, a popular rotary sushi restaurant for fresh seafood that won’t break the bank.
So there you have it! That is my perfect 3-day itinerary for a fun and relaxing summer in Hokkaido. I hope you enjoyed the tips I wrote down. Those were things I originally planned for but ended up not doing. If you liked this post, comment below and I’ll keep making more of these. But let’s be real, I’d still be making these posts because I love making them. 😁
Stay tuned for my next post, “How to Create the Orange & Teal Filter Using Adobe Lightroom (It’s so easy!)”
Talk to you soon!
If you liked this post, check out my other post, “8 Hokkaido Foods You Have to Eat During Summer.”