Hokkaido may be a winter time destination but that doesn't mean it has anything less to offer in the summer. Being my first trip to Japan, I chose to head north because I craved a quiet destination with beautiful scenery away from the city's chaos. There are many perks to summertime Hokkaido. The weather was absolutely perfect, ranging from 6—23-degree celsius, making road trips a breeze. That being said, the long journeys and curvy mountain roads took a little getting used to, though a good music playlist would make everything better.
One thing I always look forward to in countryside destinations is its farms. Yorkshire Farm was our home for 3 nights where we enjoyed our cozy rooms, delicious meals, nature, and of course, interaction with the sheep.
Wearing a vintage button-up blouse, Mango denim dress, and rain boots (provided by the farm).
Guests are welcome to explore the entire farm and the sheep pastures. Like house pets, sheep tend to seek attention and affection too!
Hokkaido is where you'll find the most beautiful and romantic gardens. In the summer when it's off-peak season, I felt like I had the entire garden to myself! I could spend forever wandering around with a soft serve in one hand.
The best times to visit a garden are usually early morning or late afternoon, though I recommend the earlier because most attractions and cafes close by 6pm at the countrysides.
Wearing Nat Kent 'star burst' studs c/o Annielka Boutique.
The famous blue pond is also commonly referred to as the MacBook wallpaper in real life. It's undeniably stunning in reality, perhaps even so in the winter when branches are covered in snow, but also much smaller than imagined. It's all about perspectives. Beauty exists through all seasons.
Another great thing about Hokkaido is its adorable cottages that look like they're straight out of a fairytale. Hansel & Gretel vibes, yes?
As its name suggests, the panoramic flower garden spans an epic view across flower fields and towards snow-capped mountain ranges. Photos do this place little justice, also bearing in mind that we came here on a cloudy day and an awkward time when flowers aren't in full bloom.
This buffet-style restaurant serves some of the freshest and most unique vegetable dishes that also happen to be quite delicious. My only regret was not leaving enough room in my tummy for more.
Wearing COS wool knit cardigan, Uniqlo flannel shirt, Uniqlo jeans and Dr. Martens boots.
Just 1.5 hours drive north-west from Sapporo is Otaru, a historic sea town with many old preserved architecture. It is a perfect fusion of upbeat energy and old world charm.
If you only had an afternoon like I did, the Otaru Music Box Museum and Masazushi Sushi restaurant are musts. It's my bet that you will too fall in love with the town.
If the idea of a public bath intimidates you, which really shouldn't once you realize it's part of the Japanese culture, a stylish foot onsen may be a great introduction. Make sure to check out this traditional soba and tempura restaurant, located just 5 minutes away on foot.
Wearing Uniqlo x Hana Tajima hijab, Taobao blouse, Nat Kent 'tusk antiqued gold' necklace c/o Annielka Boutique and Pull & Bear jeans.
Get lost in the enchanting 'forest shop' of Milk Kobo...
Look out for pink sunsets while taking an evening stroll along the sidewalk of lake Toya. I hope you've enjoyed my diary and found it helpful in planning your own Hokkaido summer itinerary. Scroll down further and you'll find additional resources. Leave your favourite places in Hokkaido in the comments, I would love to keep them in mind!
Good to read:
Bumblebee Mum's Guide to Self-Driving In Hokkaido
Bumblebee Mum's Money Saving Tips
The Smart Local's Guide to Hokkaido
A Driving Handbook
Guide to Japanese Onsen