Okay do Hokkaido. We promise we’ll rhyme better next time. It’s probably the laid back lifestyle here compared to the rest of Japan that influenced our lazy rhyming. Hokkaido makes for about 20 percent of Japan but is home to just about five percent of the population. The area faces harsh climate in the winters as it is the northernmost part of Japan. In fact, Russia is just a 15-minute flight away, or a 43km walk over a frozen sea in winter. So unless you like skiing, winter isn’t a time to go to Hokkaido, but autumns are.
Autumns here are lovely with greens turning to pleasant yellows and different shades of red, transforming the landscape into a romantic painting. There’s a lot to see around this time, and Sapporo is the place to start. We’ve got some beautiful HomeAways handpicked for your autumn vacation in Hokkaido. Have a look.
The largest city in the island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is known for its autumn fests. The months of September and October are the peak months of farm produce, and the locals celebrate with food festivals to spread the joy. It is much cooler here than the rest of Japan so a light jacket here in autumn goes well with the food and wine tastings, the celebratory mood, and the fading landscape. Mild snow towards the end of the season signals the commencement of winter when a blanket of white covers the reds and yellows. You’ve got a short window of autumn opportunity, so here’s a list of HomeAways you need to book quickly.
1. Sky high
This cute two bedroom HomeAway will give you a lovely view of the Sapporo skyline. It’s in the convenient Susukino area with excellent connectivity to local transportation hubs as well as the airport, bus, and train terminals. The house has a jacuzzi, television, wireless internet, a fully equipped kitchen, and can accommodate upto eight guests. The owner will also provide a wireless Wi-Fi router so you can stay connected anywhere in town during your visit.
Average price per night: SGD 123
2. Stylish apartment
This modern HomeAway has contemporary interiors, ideal for young tourists looking for a stylish home to spend the autumn holiday in. The entire home has room for twelve guests with two double beds in each of the two bedrooms and four single beds in the living room. It is three minutes away from the Maruyama Koen subway station so accessibility to the apartment is good. You get the usual wireless internet, a jacuzzi, television, air conditioning, heating and a well-stocked kitchen. This could be your HomeAway on a road trip as parking is included too.
Average price per night: SGD 412
3. Quirky duplex
This cute and quirky HomeAway is just a minute away from Hiragishi station. The apartment is available for six guests and has two brightly furnished bedrooms. The owner provides high speed portable Wi-Fi, so you can take your laptop to the many restaurants and cafes just minutes from this house to enjoy the local ambience while staying connected to the digital world. There is a television, heating, hot tub, and a fully equipped kitchen in this home.
Average price per night: SGD 69
Otaru is just about an hour away from Sapporo, but the landscape changes as you go from a landlocked city to the harbour town. It’s especially beautiful as the sun begins to set since the city has a network of canals that give it a calming atmosphere. Otaru is a romantic city where one could go for slow walks along the canals and enjoy street food at the ramen shops. Alternatively, you can hire bicycles to explore the small city.
1. Wooden house
Planked wooden interior give this HomeAway a pleasant warmth that you will particularly appreciate towards the end of autumn when night temperatures drop below 10 degree Celsius. There’s even a fireplace to cosy around after spending the day exploring the town. The house has three bedrooms, can accommodate upto eight guests and comes with wireless internet, air conditioning and heating.
Average price per night: SGD 135
2. Compact nester
When it’s been a long day of doing touristy things and all you want to do is get to your HomeAway and crash for the night, this quaint apartment is just what you want. It has one bedroom, can house up to five guests, gets a modern kitchen with all the appliances you need, and comes with a television, wireless internet, heating, and a hot tub. This house also has a parking spot included in the rent.
Average price per night: SGD 213
Niseko, located in Shiribeshi subprefecture, Hokkaido, is a skiing paradise with plenty of mountain slopes and the famous Mount Yotei where the ski resorts are located. Winter may be the time for the adventurous, but it is autumn that really paints a pretty picture of the town with the shedding leaves lining Niseko’s streets and the cool temperature giving you a pleasant vacation experience. It is far more laid back than most Japanese cities and since tourism is the town’s main revenue, the experience for tourists is better too.
1. Chalet in Hirafu
Space constraints in Japan are known, but that impression is set by major cities. Go to Hirafu and you will find this sprawling chalet built with spacious rooms. An extended family of eight guests can stay here. Located just 700 metres from the village centre, this chalet has three bedrooms, six beds, but you’d prefer to stay out in its yard for a barbecue dinner or cuddle up by the fireplace with a view of Mount Yotei from the living room. The owner also offers a 4WD van for use during your stay.
Average price per night: SGD 686
Minutes away from Niseko, Kutchan is a little farther from . If you are looking for a high-end luxury chalet without paying a bomb for it, it doesn’t harm moving a bit further. Besides the mountain, Kutchan has a nice nature park, restaurants, and museums. You could indulge in shopping at the various tourist stores or get to the luxurious chalets for some time indoors.
1. Chalet of suites
The large wooden chalet is great for a weekend with the extended family. This HomeAway can house upto ten guests, has four bedrooms of which there is one queen suite and two king suites. It comes with a traditional Japanese Hinoki bath tub, oversized rain showerheads, and a proper professional kitchen. The kids will love it too as the home has a room with a PS3 unit, a plasma television, wireless internet, air conditioning, and heating. Just like the Niseko chalet, this one also comes with a 4WD van.
Average price per night: SGD 946
HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.sg or download the HomeAway Asia app to choose the ideal holiday homes and homestays for your next holiday.