Climate and Clothing
Climate and temperature in Hokkaido varies depending on the region. The southern and central inland regions have relatively higher temperatures, while the northern and Pacific coastal areas are usually colder. Temperature and wind strength can also vary depending on the altitude. It is best to check detailed weather forecasts for each specific area that you plan to visit. There can also be large differences between day and night temperatures, so it is recommended that you bring an extra coat or jacket.
Temperatures are a pleasant 10-20℃. The Golden Week long vacation in early May means that can tourist spots can be very crowded. Cherry blossoms usually bloom from late April to mid-May.
- Other Useful Items to Bring : Hat, Sunscreen
Summers in Hokkaido are less humid and more comfortable compared to mainland Japan, but temperatures can still go over 30℃. Evenings and early mornings can be somewhat chilly, so bring a sweater or jackert just in case.
- Other Useful Items to Bring : Hat, Sunscreen,Insect repellent
Temperatures tend to drop drastically as the short summer ends, and coats and scarves are recommended items from October onwards. This is the season to enjoy colorful autumn leaves all over the island.
- Other Useful Items to Bring : Scarves, Jacket
As the short autumn comes to an end, the long winter season begins. In the Furano area, temperatures can drop to below -20ºC from January to February. To keep yourself warm outdoors, you should wear thermal underwear and multiple layers of clothing. Note that the indoors can be quite warm due to heating.
- Other Useful Items to Bring : Knit hat, Gloves ,Scarves,Kairo
Hot Springs (Onsen)
Hokkaido is the prefecture with the most number of hot spring resorts in Japan. Each onsen district has its own unique spring water quality. When entering a hot spring in Japan, you must be completely naked (although there are exceptions which allow swimsuits). Wash your body thoroughly before getting into the bath. You can also use a bucket to pour hot spring water on yourself to help your body get used to the temperature. When walking outside of the bathtubs to other areas, use your small towel to cover yourself for modesty.
※After eating or vigorous exercise, rest for 30 minutes to an hour before getting into a bath. Avoid entering hot springs when you are intoxicated.
Approximate Cost of Commodities
- Taxi … Basic fare（1.6km）650 yen to 670 yen
- Cup of coffee … 450 yen to 600 yen
- Can of beer … 350ml 200 yen to 230 yen
- Mineral water … 500ml 100 yen to 120 yen
- Lunch at a restaurant … 800 yen to 1,500 yen
- Onsen … 1 entry 450 yen to 1,000 yen
In the Hokkaido countryside and suburban areas, there are not many options for public transportation. Depending on your destination, it may be most convenient to rent a car, rent a bicycle, or get on a taxi.
Driving a Car
Control your speed on straight roads
There are many long, straight roads in Hokkaido, and there is a tendency to drive too fast on them. Always observe traffic rules and be aware of traffic lights and stop signs.
Take regular breaks in long-distance driving
When you are driving long distances, you should take a 10-20 minute every 2 hours. If you feel sleepy or tired, do not force yourself. Park you car to take a rest and refresh your body.
Beware of animals
Watch out for wild animals crossing the road. Drive carefully and pay attention to the road in front of you, especially on mountain passes in the morning or at night.
Beware of Slippery Roads in Winter
In winter, roads can become very slippery when covered with snow or ice. It is important to reduce speed early and gently, especially at intersections, curves, and downhill roads. Avoid hard braking and acceleration, or abrupt steering wheel movements. Always check the weather forecast before going on a long drive.
Check Your Fuel Level
In the Hokkaido countryside, gas stations can be hard to come by, and they may be closed at night. To avoid running out of gas in the middle of the road, keep an eye on your car’s fuel level, and refuel early and often.
Compared to Tokyo and other major cities, most of Hokkaido has very few public Wi-Fi hotspots. They are most likely available at convenience stores and fast food restaurants. Many hotels and lodging facilities also offer free Wi-Fi, but you should confirm it before making a reservation. If you want to be connected to the Internet at all times, it is probably best to buy a prepaid SIM card or rent a pocket Wi-Fi device.
Announcement regarding Wi-Fi hotspots in Nakafurano Town (Japanese)
Information about public wi-fi hotspots can be found in the link below. The hotspots are JR Nakafurano Station, Choei Lavender Field and Flower Park.
Travel Manners and Etiquette
Each and every traveler enjoys travelling in their own unique way. However, the key to an even more rewarding journey is to understand the customs, culture, and mentality of the locals. Please check out “The Traveler’s Etiquette Guide to Hokkaido” below. This guide will help you gain an insight into the nature and culture of the Japanese, and make your Hokkaido trip a more memorable experience.
※Source: Hokkaido Tourism Organization