HOME Hokkaido Hokkaido Noboribetsu / Lake Toya 9 Days in Hokkaido: Suggested Itinerary Including Lake Toya, Muroran and Noboribetsu
9 Days in Hokkaido: Suggested Itinerary Including Lake Toya, Muroran and Noboribetsu

9 Days in Hokkaido: Suggested Itinerary Including Lake Toya, Muroran and Noboribetsu

Date published: 3 June 2020
Last updated: 9 September 2020

Central Hokkaido is home to a wealth of attractive tourist destinations. As soon as you arrive at New Chitose Airport you can rent a car and start off your Hokkaido road trip!

Here are some recommendations for visitors of all ages to make the most of your time, ranging from inspirational views and outdoor activities like mountain climbing or canoeing to places where you can learn about history and culture, theme parks, aquariums, and local cuisine.

Table of Contents
  1. Day 1: From New Chitose Airport to Lake Shikotsu
  2. Day 2: From Sobetsu to Lake Toya Onsen
  3. Day 3: Enjoy Lake Toya!
  4. Day 4: Muroran’s superb views and local delicacies
  5. Day 5: Time travel to the Edo period in Noboribetsu
  6. Day 6: Experience the history and culture of the Ainu
  7. Day 7: On to Tomakomai and its impressive greenery
  8. Day 8: Leisurely sightseeing in the Chitose area
  9. Day 9: Last day! New Chitose Airport

Day 1: From New Chitose Airport to Lake Shikotsu

Day 1: From New Chitose Airport to Lake Shikotsu

Upon renting a car, leave New Chitose Airport and take Routes 36 and 16 toward Lake Shikotsu.

The 7th Station of Mt. Tarumae, an active volcano south of Lake Shikotsu, can be reached by car, and from there the hike to the summit of the eastern peak takes about 50 minutes. The ascent is suitable even for beginners and you can enjoy a magnificent view of Lake Shikotsu from the trails and peaks.

The view from Mt. Tarumae

After descending, you can learn about the Lake Shikotsu area at the Shikotsuko Visitor Center, take a stroll along the lakeshore, or participate in watersports before staying the night at a lakeside hotel.

Day 2: From Sobetsu to Lake Toya Onsen

Day 2: From Sobetsu to Lake Toya Onsen
July is cherry season!

On day two, take Route 453 from Lake Shikotsu to Lake Toya. Along the way, you can pick fruit in Sobetsu, known for its fruit farms. Sobetsu Fruit Village (Sobetsu Kudamonomura) is a tourist farm with many orchards where you can pick plums, grapes, and apples depending on the season.

After picking fruit, head to the gorgeous Usuzan Ropeway!

From the large windows of the Usuzan Ropeway’s gondolas and the mountain top observation deck, you’ll be presented with a spectacular panoramic view of the vast natural scenery and the local landmarks, Showa Shinzan and Lake Toya. Make sure you get some rest nearby – a great place to stop is at Toyako Onsen.

  • Sobetsu Fruit Village
    そうべつくだもの村
    • Address 485 Takinocho, Sobetsu-cho, Usu-gun, Hokkaido, 052-0101
    • Phone: 0142-66-2333
      Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (depending on the harvesting conditions of each orchard)

  • Usuzan Ropeway
    有珠山ロープウェイ
    • Address 184-5 Showa Shinzan, Sobetsu-cho, Usu-gun, Hokkaido 052-0102
    • Phone Number 0142-75-3113
    • Hours: 8:00 - 18:00 (depending on the season), closed for maintenance in winter
      * Temporarily closed until 6/30 due to coronavirus. For details, please check official website: http://usuzan.hokkaido.jp/ja/

Day 3: Enjoy Lake Toya!

Day 3: Enjoy Lake Toya!
Canoeing on Lake Toya

The third day of the trip centers around Lake Toya. Rent a bike to do some cycling or go canoeing. We also highly recommend the sightseeing boat to Nakajima, at the center of the lake.
There are many stylish cafes near “Toyamizu Station,” perfect for lunch or tea time. Or, if you like hot springs, it's fun to visit a few around the lake and spend the day comparing bath hopping!

The Lake Toya Long Run Fireworks Festival as seen from the guest rooms and open-air baths of Toyako Onsen.

An instalment of the “Lake Toya Long Run Fireworks Festival” is held every evening from late April to October - you can't miss this beautiful show!

  • Lake Toya
    洞爺湖
    • Address Toyako Onsen, Toyako-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 049-5721
    • Phone: 0142-75-2446 (Toyako Onsen Tourist Association)
      * Due to the spread of coronavirus, there may be temporary closures and schedule changes. For details, please check the official website of the Toyako Onsen Tourism Association: https://www.laketoya.com/

Day 4: Muroran’s superb views and local delicacies

Day 4: Muroran’s superb views and local delicacies
Hakucho Bridge

Depart Lake Toya from the Uchiura Bay side, and drive along the sea on National Highway No. 37/Route 779 towards Muroran.

Then, cross the beautiful 1,380-meter Hakucho Bridge (Swan Bridge) to see the curving horizon from Cape Chikyu and the cliffs of Tokkarisho Lookout.

Cape Chikyu
Tokkarisho Lookout

As a manufacturing town, Muroran’s steel and shipbuilding industries create a uniquely fantastic “factory night view” which can be appreciated on a night cruise.

Muroran night cruise

A must-try is “Muroran Yakitori,” which is made with pork instead of chicken.

Muroran Yakitori is typically eaten with Western mustard.
  • Hakucho Bridge
    白鳥大橋
    • Address Jinya-machi to Shukuzo-cho, Muroran-shi, Hokkaido 050-0067
    • Phone: 0143-23-0102 (Muroran Tourism Association)
      *Please check the Muroran Tourism Association official website for information regarding facility closures due to coronavirus: http://muro-kanko.com/

  • Cape Chikyu
    地球岬
    • Address 4-77, Bokoi Minami-machi, Muroran-shi, Hokkaido, 051-0003
  • Tokkarisho Lookout
    トッカリショ
    • Address 3-chome, Bokoi Minami-machi, Muroran-shi, Hokkaido, 051-0003
  • Star Marine, Inc.
    スターマリン株式会社
    • Address 1-127-12, Shukuzu-cho, Muroran-shi, Hokkaido, 051-0036
    • Phone Number 0143-27-2870
    • Please check website for seasonal business hours: http://www.muro-nc.com/night_cruising.html

Day 5: Time travel to the Edo period in Noboribetsu

Day 5: Time travel to the Edo period in Noboribetsu

The next morning, take Route 36 to Noboribetsu, one of Hokkaido's leading hot spring areas. There you’ll also find Noboribetsu Date Jidai Village – a popular theme park that recreates the townscape and culture of the Edo period.

Edo period Noboribetsu Date Jidai Village

There you can spend the day watching ninja and oiran shows in the village’s theaters, strolling through the elegant town in rented costumes, and throwing shuriken or painting wooden kokeshi dolls.

The ninja show at the village theater
Souvenir photos in costume

Staying at Noboribetsu Onsen overnight, you can also explore the hot spring town and find Oni (demon) statues everywhere. Jigokudani and Noboribetsu Bear Park are two of the area’s other recommended destinations.

Oni statues in the hot spring town
Jigokudani is known as “hell, where demons live” due to its bubbling, boiling eruptive craters.
  • Noboribetsu Date Jidai Village
    登別伊達時代村
    • Address 53-1 Nakanoboribetsu-cho, Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaido, 059-0463
    • Phone Number 0143-83-3311
    • Hours: Summer 9:00 - 17:00, Winter 9:00 - 16:00
      * Temporarily closed due coronavirus. Please check official website for reopening date and adjusted business hours: http://edo-trip.jp/

  • Jigokudani (Hell Valley)
    登別地獄谷
    • Address Noboribetsu Onsen, Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaido, 059-0551
    • Phone: 0143-84-3311 (Noboribetsu International Tourism and Convention Association)
      *Please check the Noboribetsu International Tourism and Convention Association official website for information regarding facility closures due to coronavirus:
      http://noboribetsu-spa.jp/

  • Noboribetsu Manseikaku
    • Address Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 21, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, 059-0551
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Noboribetsu Station (Muroran Main Line)

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

  • Noboribetsu Sekisui Tei
    • Address Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 203-1, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, 059-0596
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Noboribetsu Station (Muroran Main Line)

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

Day 6: Experience the history and culture of the Ainu

Day 6: Experience the history and culture of the Ainu
Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park (Image courtesy of The Foundation for Ainu Culture)

On day six, drive east along the coast from Noboribetsu to neighboring Shiraoi, and head to the National Ainu Museum and Park – Upopoy – to learn about the history and culture of the Ainu People, through traditional Ainu dances and performing arts, food, and craft making.

“Hanchikappurimuse” (Waterfowl Dance) (Image courtesy of The Foundation for Ainu Culture)

Enjoy a lunch featuring the local specialty, Shiraoi beef, then head back to Noboribetsu and the popular Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe aquarium.

Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe

After taking in dolphin and sea lion shows, the penguin parade, the huge sardine-filled aquarium, stay one more relaxing night at Noboribetsu Onsen.

Penguin parade
Dolphin show
  • UPOPOY National Ainu Museum and Park
    ウポポイ(民族共生象徴空間)
    • Address 2-3 Wakakusa-cho, Shiraoi-cho, Shiraoi-gun, Hokkaido 059-0902
    • Phone Number 0144-82-3914
    • Hours: Opens at 9:00, closing time varies depending on the season (Please see official website); closed Monday (or the weekday following a national holiday) and December 29 - January 3
      *May 29, 2020 Grand Opening postponed due to coronavirus. Please see official website for details: https://ainu-upopoy.jp/

  • Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
    登別マリンパークニクス
    • Address 1-22, Noboribetsuhigashi-cho, Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaido, 059-0492
    • Phone Number 0143-83-3800
    • Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (last admission 16:30)
      https://www.nixe.co.jp/

Day 7: On to Tomakomai and its impressive greenery

Day 7: On to Tomakomai and its impressive greenery
Tarumae Gully

On the seventh morning, leave Noboribetsu Onsen and head east, stopping by green, moss-covered Tarumae Gallo on the outskirts of lush Tomakomai for some photos of the gully’s mysterious beauty. (For a shot like the one above, you’ll need boots and waterproof clothing.)

After a satisfying meal of Tomakomai's famous hokki (clam) curry, take Route 36 to Chitose. There you can observe salmon and other fish from around the world at Salmon Hometown Chitose Aquarium, one of Japan's largest freshwater aquariums, and stay overnight in Chitose.

Day 8: Leisurely sightseeing in the Chitose area

Day 8: Leisurely sightseeing in the Chitose area
Horseback riding at Northern Horse Park

The day before leaving Hokkaido, relax near the airport in the Chitose area. At the Northern Horse Park, you can go horseback riding and watch delightful pony shows. The park’s restaurant also serves delicious barbecue lunches.

Fun “Happy Pony Show” performances
A relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride that circles through the large garden.

The Kirin Brewery Hokkaido Chitose Factory is another worthwhile stop. You can learn about the beer making process from the raw ingredient stage all the way to packaging, and, at the end, try a sample!

There is a parking lot, so it’s possible to come by car, but of course if you plan to drink, you’ll need to use public transportation. You can walk from JR Osatsu Station, or use the free shuttle bus that departs from JR Chitose Station on weekends and holidays.

Kirin Brewery Hokkaido Chitose Factory. There is also a shop where you can buy souvenirs to commemorate your trip.
Take a tour to fully enjoy the charm of Kirin Ichiban Shibori Draft Beer
  • Northern Horse Park
    ノーザンホースパーク
    • Address 114-7 Misawa, Tomakomai-shi, Hokkaido, 059-1361
    • Phone Number 0144-58-2116
    • Hours: 4/15 - 11/5 9:00 - 17:00, 11/6 - 4/9 10:00 - 16:00; closed 4/10 - 4/14
      * Temporarily closed due to coronavirus. Please see the official website for reopening information: https://www.northern-horsepark.jp/

  • Kirin Brewery Hokkaido Chitose
    キリンビール北海道千歳工場
    • Address 949-1 Kamiosatsu, Chitose, Hokkaido, 066-8711
    • Phone Number 0123-24-5606
    • Hours: 9:00 - 17:00, closed Mondays (open on public holidays, closed the following weekday), year-end and New Year holidays (Other temporary closures. Please contact for more information)
      * Temporarily closed due to coronavirus. Please check official website for reopening information: https://www.kirin.co.jp/entertainment/factory/chitose/

Day 9: Last day! New Chitose Airport

Day 9: Last day! New Chitose Airport

Having arrived at the last day of your trip, head to New Chitose Airport a bit early to check out the variety of shops and restaurants, museums, and hot springs. Or, if you have a later flight, you may want to do some of your Chitose-area sightseeing before departing.

There are many attractive spots throughout Hokkaido. Traveling around the island can take a long time, but that just means you can enjoy a leisurely-paced sightseeing tour!


Text by:minna no kotoba sha

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Share this article.

Search