Top 12 Day Trips From Sapporo, Hokkaido

| 5 min read

In the northern part of Hokkaido, Sapporo can be found as its graceful capital. A city with a Japanese atmosphere that combines spirituality through shrines, wonderful nature from the surrounding mountains and rivers, and culture that lives through their architecture and their way of life. The city name itself was taken from the indigenous people of Ainu word “sat poro pet” which can be translated into “great dry river”. When it comes to accommodation, the city is abounding with luxury hotels. If you would like a homier experience, an Airbnb vacation rental is your best bet. Also, while you’re enjoying your stay here, go on a day trip and explore nearby places with destinations such as Lake Toya, Jozankei onsen or hot spring, a distillery in Yoichi, Asahiyama Zoo, and many others including a spot to see cherry blossoms. Continue reading for the top day trips from Sapporo, Hokkaido.

1. Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya

day trips from sapporo | lake shikotsu and lake toya

Join this trip for a whole day that takes you away to the two magnificent lakes of Hokkaido. Starting off with an estimated one hour trip from Sapporo, you will arrive at Lake Shikotsu that has clear and pristine water. Surrounded by majestic mountains including Mount Eniwadake, Lake Shikotsu offers picturesque view of a clear lake and wonderful surroundings of Japanese wilderness. After having lunch, continue to Lake Toya where mountains surround the caldera including active volcanoes. See the surrounding nature from an elevation through Mt. Usuzan Ropeway and have a panoramic view of the lake from Silo Observatory.

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Hokkaido Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya Tour - Klook

Duration: 10hrDuration

2. Jozankei Onsen

There are plenty of activities to do and trips that you can go to in Sapporo and nearby places, but if you just want to relax for a whole day, an onsen or Japanese hot spring is the perfect place to be! Jozankei Onsen is a spa resort area in Shikotsu-Toya National Park that has 56 sources of hot springs that can be accessed by guests. The onsen can be traced back to 1866 when a monk named Miizumi Jozan discovered hot springs in the area and established a healing spa. There are traditional and more modern restaurants in the area and if you want to extend your stay for more than a day, just book one of the hotels nearby.


Address: Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 061-2301, Japan

Website: Jozankei

Opening hours: 12pm - 8:40pm (daily)

Price: 2.000 Yen (19 USD) for adults; 1.000 Yen (9 USD) for children

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3. Okhotsk Sea

オホーツク海 (Sea of Okhotsk) at Soyamisaki - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Benford Choi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Marvel at the sight of Okhotsk Sea where seemingly endless drift ice can be found. A part of the Pacific Ocean, you can visit this wonderful destination from Sapporo to gaze upon the frozen sea and feel the cool winter breeze. Eagles soar in the sky and seals can be seen wandering around the sea, all in the drift ice that dominate the terrain. There are two ways to experience the Okhotsk Sea, join a cruise and see it all on a ship, or walk along the coastline.

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4. Southern Hokkaido

day trips from sapporo | southern hokkaido

Probably one of the most famous icons in Japan is the sakura or cherry blossom tree. Prepare yourself on this day tour from Sapporo to Hokkaido, because you will experience the beauty. After a drive from Sapporo to the southern part of Hokkaido, the tour will take you to Goryokaku Park and Matsumae Park. Walk to the many paths and also the castle grounds while seeing the beauty of over 250 kinds of cherry trees. When the blooming season comes, from April to late May, expect a festival with many food stalls.

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Southern Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Day Trip from Sapporo, Japan - Klook

Duration: 15hrs10 Min Duration

5. Mt. Teine

A mountain in Sapporo that is known for the snow and winter sports such as skiing, Mt. Teineyama or Mt. Teine stands tall in the area with an altitude of 1,023 m (3,356.2 ft). At the top you can see marvellous views of Sapporo’s known places such as Ishikari plain, Ishikari Bay, Mashike Mountains, and even the whole city itself. With a history of being the first Winter Olympics venue in 1972, Mt. Teine Ski Resort is the main place to visit. Explore the mountain, do some sightseeing, hike, and maybe even rent some skis or snowboards—Mt. Teine is a Japanese winter wonderland for everyone to enjoy.

Mt. Teine

Address: Heiwa, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 063-0029, Japan

Website: Mt. Teine

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Full day for 5400 Yen (50 USD); half day for 4100 Yen (38 USD); nighter for 2100 Yen (19 USD)

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6. Sounkyo Onsen

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Escape to the tranquil oasis of Sounkyo Onsen during sightseeing around Sapporo. It is nestled in the picturesque Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan. This hidden gem offers a rejuvenating experience surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

Indulge in the therapeutic hot springs known for their healing properties, and immerse yourself in the soothing embrace of the mineral-rich waters. Embark on scenic hikes along the majestic Sounkyo Gorge, marveling at cascading waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and vibrant foliage during the changing seasons. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture as you explore traditional ryokans, taste delectable local cuisine, and witness mesmerizing fire festivals.

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7. Nakafurano

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Your itinerary of Japan is not complete until you have scheduled a visit to Nakafurano, which is a picturesque destination nestled in the heart of Hokkaido. This charming town is renowned for its stunning lavender fields and breathtaking landscapes that captivate visitors year-round.

Immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant purple hues as you wander through the fragrant lavender fields, creating a sensory symphony that delights the senses. Experience the warm hospitality of local farmers and indulge in farm-to-table delights, savoring fresh produce, dairy products, and mouthwatering desserts. Capture the perfect Instagram-worthy moments at popular attractions like Farm Tomita and the Furano Cheese Factory.

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8. Otaru and Yoichi (from USD 86.0)

Go northwest from Sapporo and you will find Otaru, a harbour city where the sea takes you into a calm Hokkaido mood. This day trip will start at Yoichi Distillery where Nikka Whiskey is produced and continue to the canals and city shops in Otaru. Have a seafood lunch and end your day in Tengu Mountain with a panoramic view of Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. Feel the sea breeze of a seaside city that can stay in your memories forever.

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Explore Otaru & Yoichi

Duration: 9 hours

9 reviews

9. Noboribetsu and Lake Toya

Another private tour with a chartered car to your liking, this day trip will take you from Sapporo to Noboribetsu and Lake Toya without the hassle of commuting by bus or train. Places that you will visit are Jigokudani crater, a hot spring that flows from Lake Oyunamagama named Oyunumagawa Natural Footbath, the caldera Lake Toya, and Usuzan Ropeway that will take you to a breathtaking view of the area. End it with some ice cream at Lake Hill Farm.

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Private Lake Toya and Noboribetsu Sightseeing from Sapporo

Duration: 10 hours

4 reviews

10. Shakotan Peninsula (from USD 97.0)

Go west of Sapporo on a day trip to get to Shakotan Peninsula where you can see an amazing view of the sea while walking into some marvellous landscapes. The tour will take start at Shimamui Coast to catch a glimpse of the Shakotan Blue and then continue to Cape Kamuy at the tip of Shakotan Peninsula. Afterwards, have a relaxing bath at Misaki no Yu Shakotan with a 360-degree view of the surrounding nature. End the trip with a visit to Yoichi Distillery where Nikka Whiskey is made.

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Shakotan's Breathtaking View (Excluding Multilingual Audio System)

Duration: 10 hours

1 review

11. Asahiyama Zoo and Shirogane Blue Pond (from USD 134.0)

Take a day trip from Sapporo to one of the best and most popular zoos in Japan. Afterwards, some nature sightseeing will take you to wonderful places such as Shirogane Blue Pond. After seeing polar bears and red pandas in the zoo, have lunch at Kumi Furano Herb Hill. Other than the pond, you can also head to Shirahige Waterfalls.

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Asahiyama Zoo & Shirogane Blue Pond Tour (from Sapporo)

Duration: 12 hours

5 reviews

12. Furano and Biei

In this day trip, a driver with a chartered car of your choice will take you on a private tour from Sapporo to Furano and Bei. Create your own schedule and make a plan for the destinations that you want to visit. If you want the full tour, the trip will take you to the flower garden Shikisai no Oka, Panorama Road Ehana that overlooks hills and fields, the lavender fields of Farm Tomita, Sanai no Oka Park, and a gallery named Takushinkan.

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Furano and Biei One-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle from Sapporo

Duration: 10 hours

1 review

Indulge the beauty of Sapporo and beyond

There are plenty of day trips that you can choose from during your vacation in Sapporo. Explore the beautiful Hokkaido nature through its lakes, mountains, hills, and fields. Visit a distillery that makes famous Japanese whiskey, discover new cities, or maybe take a whole day to simply relax in an onsen. Whatever you choose, remember to indulge in all the beauty and experiences that you can get when visiting Sapporo.

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Frequently asked questions about day trips from Sapporo

1. Which day trip destinations around Sapporo are ideal for couples?

If you are a couple visiting Sapporo and would like to spend quality time together around the city in some of the nearby places during your day tours, you can explore Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya.

2. Which locations near Sapporo should ideally be visited in spring?

If you are visiting the city of Sapporo in spring, a nearby place to visit during this time on your day tour is Southern Hokkaido for its fantastic cherry blossoms.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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A freelance journalist and writer currently based in Bali, Indonesia with a keen interest on timeless pieces and globally relevant issues. Writing everything and doing odd jobs is my means of living.

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