Hakodate, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya 3 days sample trip plan. Southern Hokkaido 3-day highlights

limited express hokuto onuma
The limited express train “Hokuto” is running by Onuma lake.

This 3-day trip plan covers these following spots in the southern Hokkaido:

✔ Noboribetsu Onsen
✔ Lake Toya (Toyako Onsen)
✔ Hakodate
✔ Onuma Park

You can make this 3 days trip from either Sapporo and Tokyo.

Overview

3-day trip route map
The blank map provided by CraftMAP

On day 1, go to Hakodate and enjoy visiting some tourist spots, such as the nightview from Mt. Hakodate.

On day 2, stop by Onuma Park for a few hours and then move to Lake Toya (Toyako Onsen).

On day 3, move to Noboribetsu Onsen and go back to Sapporo (or Tokyo).

JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass and JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass cover most part of this trip.

Day 1, Sapporo – Hakodate

If you visit Hakodate in the late April or early May, Goryokaku is a perfect place to see the cherry blossom.

On the first day of trip, you will take the limited express Hokuto from Sapporo and spend the rest of the day there.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
08:32Sapporo station
(The limited express Hokuto 6)
12:23Hakodate station
Sightseeing in the downtown Hakodate
17:00Hakodate station tram stop
(Hakodate city tram)
17:10Jujigai tram stop
(walk 10 minutes)
17:20Hakodate Ropeway the mountain base station
(Gondola ride 5 minutes + extra minutes to purchase a ticket)
17:45Hakodate Ropeway the summit station
Enjoy one of three best nightviews in Japan.
19:00Hakodate Ropeway the summit station
(Gondola ride 5 minutes)
19:05Hakodate Ropeway the mountain base station
(walk 10 minutes)
19:15Jujigai tram stop
(Hakodate city tram)
19:25Hakodate station
You may change the time to visit Hakodate Ropeway by the sunset.

If you depart from Tokyo, the schedule is the following:

TimePlace and transportation
08:20Tokyo station
(The Hokkaido-Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa 7)
12:18 / 12:36Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station
(The rapid Hakodate Liner)
12:51Hakoadate station
After arrival in Hakodate station, the schedule is same as the trip plan from Sapporo.

Highlight

Hakodate waterfrond area

Christmas light up at Red Brick Warehouse District at Hakodate waterfornt (C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization / JNTO

There are many shops and restaurants around the Hakodate waterfront area. The photo above was taken in the light up season but you can visit there in any seasons.

The nightview from Mt. Hakodate

This view is called “the million dollar nightview.

Mt. Hakodate is located at the end of the peninsula. The view is known as one of the three best nightviews in Japan with Kobe and Nagasaki. It is very very popular spot in Hokkaido.

You must check the time of sunset before going up. I recommend you to go up one hour before sunset to avoid the busy time.

Stay overnight in Hakodate. You can enjoy a fresh seafood for dinner.

Day 2, Hakodate – Onuma Park – Lake Toya

Lake Toya toyako onsen
There are various hotels by the lake in Toyako Onsen.

On the second day of trip, you will drop by Onuma Park on the way to Lake Toya.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
08:55Hakodate station
(The limited express Hokuto 6)
09:24Onumakone station
Sightseeing in Onuma Park
11:18Onumakoen station
(The limited express Hokuto 11)
12:43 / 12:55Toya station
(Donan Bus)
13:13 / 15:00Toyako Onsen bus terminal / pier
(Lake Toya Cruise)
15:25 / 15:55Walking in the Nakanoshima island
(Lake Toya Cruise)
16:20 / 16:41Toyako Onsen bus terminal / pier
(Donan Bus)
16:44 / 17:14Nishinoyama Yuhodo bus stop
Walking on the trail
(Donan Bus)
17:18Toyako Onsen bus terminal
You may remove Nishinoyama trail walking.

Highlight

Onuma Park

There are many trains around the lake.

Onuma Park is very accessible spot. Lake Onuma (means large one) and Lake Konuma (means small one) are in this park. Onumakone station is located just between Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma. You can start walking from the station.

You can rent a bike or a boat if you like. You can see Mt. Komagatake over tha lake.

Lake Toya (Toyako Onsen)

The cruise boat takes you to the Nakanoshima which is the island in the lake.

Lake Toya is the third biggest crater lake in Japan. There is an active volcano, Mt. Aso. You can ride a cruise on the lake and drop by Nakanoshima island in the lake. You can enjoy short walking in the forest.

I added a small walking on the trail of Nishinoyama after the cruise tour as well. The trail head is located 5 minutes away from Toyako Onsen by the bus. Mt. Usu erupted in March, 2000. You can see some destroyed houses, roads and some craters. It is only 2km trail but if you feel too much, you can remove this part of the trip. Please find more information in the link below:

Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark (English official site)

Day 3, Lake Toya – Noboribetsu – Sapporo

noboribetsu
There are many “Oni” (Japanese orge) in Noboribetsu because Noboribetsu has the hell valley.

The 3-day trip will be wrapped up. You will move to Noboribetsu Onsen and spend there until the end of this trip.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
08:26Toyako Onsen bus terminal
(Donan Bus)
09:31 / 16:00Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal
Sightseeing in Noboribetsu Onsen
(Donan Bus)
16:12 / 16:27Noboribetsu station
(The limited express Hokuto 13)
17:47Sapporo station

If you go back to Tokyo, your schedule is the following:

TimePlace and transporation
08:26Toyako Onsen bus terminal
(Donan Bus)
09:31 / 15:20Noboribetsu Onsen bus terminal
Sightseeing in Noboribetsu Onsen
(Donan Bus)
15:32 / 15:55Noboribetsu station
(The limited express Hokuto 13)
18:09 / 18:40Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station
(The Hokkaido-Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa 48)
23:04Tokyo station

Highlight

Hell Valley (Jigokudani)

The hell valley is located just a step away from Noboribetsu hot spring town.

Jigokudani means simply a hell valley in Japanese. You can see many steam vents along the trail in this valley. This is a main source of Noboribetsu Onsen.

Travel cost

All train trips are covered by JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass or JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass. The local bus trips, the express bus ride and the admission fees are extra. If you use Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day (at 17,400 yen), you can get your money worth by this 3 days trip.

I used the express bus “Iburi” for Toyako Onsen to Noboeribetsu Onsen. Because this bus service connects these places directly. If you take the local buses for Toyako Onsen to Toya station and Noboribetsu station to Noboribetsu Onsen, you can save more than 1,000 yen. But you have to change the buses and a train. And the trip time is longer.

Please see the table below to find the cost breakdown:

TripCost
The limited express Hokuto from Sapporo to Hakodate
or
The Hokkaido-Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and the rapid Hakodate Liner from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Hakodate
Covered
Hakodate City Tram for the round trip to Jujigai410 yen
Hakodate Ropeway1,500 yen
Donan Bus from Toya station to Toyako Onsen bus terminal330 yen
Toyako Kisen (Lake Toya cruise)1,420 yen
Donan Bus for the round trip to Nishinoyama Yuhodo560 yen
Donan Bus express “Iburi” from Toyako Onsen to Noboribetsu Onsen1,900 yen
Donan Bus from Noboribetsu Onsen to Noboribetsu station340 yen
The limited express Hokuto from Noboribetsu to Sapporo
or
The limited express Hokuto from Noboribetsu to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and The Hokkaido-Tohoku Shinkansen Hayabusa from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Tokyo
Covered
Total cost6,470 yen
Accommodations and meals are not included.

Summary

This is a very simple trip plan but you can cover major places in southern Hokkaido area.

I hope you can enjoy this trip.

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