33

The Hyperdia screenshot gives a hint: the curled arrow indicates backtracking, and that makes this trip a bit special. Here's a (simplified) diagram of the relevant train lines: To Asahikawa ^ | | Hakodate Main Line | | Shiroishi @==================> To New Chitose Airport | Chitose ...


30

It's safe. Per both the Japan Radiation Map and Safecast, radiation levels in Hokkaido are safe (green) at less than 0.05 microSieverts (μSv) per hour, or 1.2 μSv/day. For comparison, if you live in a brick or concrete house you get a dose of about 70 μSv/year, and if you spend 14 hours on a plane, you will get a dose of around 100 μSv from atmospheric ...


20

The dotted line you see on Google Maps is the administrative border between the districts Yamakoshi and Abuta. Looking at other maps of the region, there is however a foot path from the station to the beach and to the Buddhist temple. If you look at Google Maps, there are several photo spheres along this path, and it seems easily walkable. I can find no ...


14

Actually, just found the news dated July 4, 2016 (Russian). The article states that SASCO had signed an agreement to resume the Ferry service from Sakhalin to Hokkaido using "Пингвин-33" as a ship. Original Source on ria news (Russian)


12

I'm not brilliantly positioned to answer this, but since nobody else has... So I walked a small section of the route back in 2000 or so (Sounkyo Onsen to Kurodake and back) as a day trip, just enough to realize that it's a pretty "serious" national park and you'll want to be well prepared for a serious hike: As you can see, the problem is not that it's 55 ...


10

That's actually quite common. There are stations on the Welsh Highland Railway and Algoma Central that are also accessible only by rail. Many cabins along the Algoma Central are accessible only by rail or floatplane, and the train makes a flagstop for those patrons. Tourist railways have been known to have "stations" in the middle of nowhere, either as ...


9

May 31 2018 I got a e-mail message from Wakkanai municipality that during the summer of 2018 the ferry connection between Korsakov (Sakhalin, Russia) and Wakkanai (Hokkaido, Japan) will NOT operate.


8

The procedure for arriving and domestic-connecting passengers in Japan is the same. Everyone clears immigration and collects their bags for a customs check at their first entry point. Bags are only labelled as far as the first Japanese airport. After leaving immigration and customs in Haneda you will already be on the public side of the airport facing the ...


7

All transportation operators in the Sapica network also accept Kitaca, as well as the nine other major cards (Suica et al.). Basically, it's everything except JR Hokkaido, so it includes the city-operated subway and tram, as well as city buses (note, JR Hokkaido and JR Hokkaido Bus are different companies). That's all. In particular Transportation ...


6

Will Ferguson's The Hitchhiker's Guide to Japan (increasingly outdated, being from 1998, but still the Bible for this topic), this random Japanese forum and the Japan Times all agree: Hitchhiking is actually so uncommon in Japan that there are no laws specifically governing it. According to the Road Traffic Law, it is illegal to interfere with traffic,...


6

No, there are no plans to retain sleeper service to Hokkaido. Overnight trains of any kind are very much an endangered species in Japan: here's the full list on Wikipedia. Once Cassiopeia and Hamanasu get the ax there will only be two (2) regular services left in the entire country, namely the Sunrise Izumo and Sunrise Seto services from Tokyo to Izumo and ...


5

I wouldn't recommend it, but not because of Golden Week: it's just a poor season to go. Hokkaido is far up north and cold, and April is when the snow starts to melt. This means that by May, when Golden Week rolls around, most ski resorts will have closed and the few that may remain open won't be at their best. But it's also still too early for hiking or ...


5

1) The link you give refers to a new regional pass covering eastern Honshu and southern Hokkaido, not to the nationwide pass. If you have a nationwide pass, it will be valid. 2) There are no additional fees, but remember that seat reservations are mandatory on all Shinkansens at least between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Morioka (although in your case you will ...


5

Take a look at Japan's many low-cost carriers! From Tokyo: Vanilla Air, Narita-Sapporo fares from Y5,500. Skymark flies from Haneda/Narita to Sapporo and Asahikawa from Y10,000. From Osaka: Peach flies Osaka-Sapporo fares from Y4,950 one-way. Hitchhiking is generally a surprisingly viable alternative, but not in winter, and the sheer distance to ...


5

There's no need to stay in Haneda, you already hold a valid Japanese visa so you're free to leave and come back for your flight later, once you clear immigration. Not sure where you're planning to go, but it could take you anywhere from 30-50min from Haneda to the city itself, so make sure to factor that in. In case you're wondering what to do with your ...


4

It'll very much depend where on the island of Hokkaido you find yourself. The northern part of the island falls into the 'taiga' zone, with more snow than the rest. From Wiki: Snowfall varies widely from as much as 11 metres (400 in) on the mountains adjacent to the Sea of Japan down to around 1.8 metres (71 in) on the Pacific coast. The island ...


4

The sad but true answer is nowhere, really. While some 20,000 people in Hokkaido identify as Ainu, virtually all have more or less assimilated into Japanese society. By some estimates there are less than a dozen native speakers of the language left, and the Ainu "villages" at Shiraoi and Akan are tourist traps. Probably the closest you can get is the ...


4

There is no such thing as Ainu culture "in the wild" in any amount in Japan. They were only allowed to practice of their culture freely in 1997. Before that, their language was banned, their land seized and an active assimilation was in place to make them disappear and integrate 100% into the Japanese society. Today there is hardly anyone speaking their ...


4

Kitaca (Sapporo city), nimoca (Hakodate city and north-eastern Kyushu region), Suica (Kanto and Tohoku regions, and Niigata prefecture), PASMO (Kanto region), manaka (Nagoya area), TOICA (Tokkai region), PiTaPa (Kinki and Hokuriku regions, and Shizuoka city (apparently?)), ICOCA (Kansai, Chugoku, Hokuriku, and maybe Shikoku regions), はやかけん(Hayakaken) (...


3

It seems other users are experiencing similar issues as seen here. You can either: Bring cash to exchange Use an international ATM: Note these aren’t located at the airport. The two international ATMs are Sevenbank which accepts cards including AMEX and visa, and Japan Post Bank which also accepts international cards. (Not affiliated with these services) ...


3

Haven't been myself, but have always heard that the Shiretoko Peninsula at the northeastern edge of Hokkaido is the crowning jewel of natural Hokkaido. The mountains there are not as high, and you'll be out close to the sea facing Russia. This guy lives in Hokkaido and has done a a big hike around Shiretoko. Also, though it would not take your entire 5-7 ...


3

I recently read you could go by ferry directly from Tokyo to somewhere in Hokkaido (somewhere near Sapporo). It takes quite some time (something around 18h), but if you're ok with sleeping on a tatami mat in a big room with other people (apparently mostly truckers) it's probably a lot cheaper than trains (¥8,500 off season, ¥11,000 peak season). The ...


3

The quick answer is yes, you can. Read on for the details What to get You have to get your JR pass from your home country before you leave for Japan, they're not for sale there ! Here's a list of dealers, search for your region and buy it there. The green car is not necessary unless you want it, it's like a first class train. How it works Once you ...


2

Most of these are answered in the Daisetsuzan Guide and Wikivoyage. Briefly: April is too early, there will be snow on the ground and average temps are below zero. Most facilities are closed or unmanned until June. The only English-language map I'm aware of is in Lonely Planet's Hiking in Japan, and it's not very detailed. Sapporo has lots of hiking ...


2

My friend recently did a 7 - 8 day hike from Tateyama to Kamikochi. It's quite intense, but you can either choose huts or just camp at sites or wherever else. You could easily cut parts out to fit your schedule. This isn't my friend's blog, but it is the same trek with more info If you're looking for more specific information, update the question and I'll ...


1

I walked the whole thing (bottom Asahi-dake → valley down from Tokachi-dake). Here are the main difficulties: The most difficult part was actually climbing Asahi-dake, because a part of the slope is muddy and slippery. When dry I guess it is easy. There are also a few sections with a rope that you need to hold in a narrow very steep path. Not really ...


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