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The Definitive Guide to September in Hokkaido 2019 vol. 1

Kimono  Experience


Looking to experience wearing a kimono while in Hokkaido? The town of Esashi won’t let you down!

The town of Esashi was once a prosperous seaside town during both the Edo and Meiji periods. Boasting over 100 years of history, nowadays the town is still the hub of historical assets like the tradesmen’s houses, shrines, and breweries. This town full of traditional heritage sights might make you want to try on some traditional kimono.

The kimono plan costs 3,500JPY/person, which includes both kimono rental and dress-up fee. You only have to bring yourself! So why not explore these historic sights while wearing a kimono and make it a walk that you’ll never forget.

Date: 29 Apr. – 31 Oct. 2019
Access: About a 2 hour drive by car from Hakodate Station

Food Markets


Food markets offer the unique opportunity to eat like the locals.

Japanese food markets, such as the one in Hakodate, usually start their business before dawn and they never let you down when it comes  goodies. A variety of fresh seafood take-out in the market attracts tourists from all over, even in the early hours of the morning.

Come visit some of these shops to try their delicious goods and maybe strike up a conversation with the colorful store-owners!

It only takes you a few minutes’ walk to Hakodate Morning Market, “Nijo Market,” and Otaru Sankaku Market from the nearest station, so head on down!

Tokachi White Birch Avenue


White birch is one of the most iconic symbols of Hokkaido. As the filming location of a movie “What the Snow Brings” (2005) and “Massan” (an NHK morning TV drama series), Tokachi White Birch Avenue has always been the most symbolic part of Tokachi. Along the 1.3km-long colonnade, white birches present fresh green in summer and silver white in winter.

After snapping some beautiful photos, you can finish your walk by climbing up to the vantage observation deck, where you can overlook the dynamic view of Tokachi ranch.

*Observation deck is closed from December to May.

Tokachi White Birch Avenue
Address: 8-1 Komaba Namiki, Otofuke-cho, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
Access: About 35 minutes by bus from Obihiro Station

Sapporo Autumn Fest


Eat ‘til you fall down at Hokkaido’s biggest food festival!

“Kui-da-ore” (“eat till you drop” in Japanese) probably best describes “Sapporo Autumn Fest,” the biggest food festival and the most symbolic event of Sapporo. At the 12th annual Sapporo Autumn Fest, you can expect to find gourmet food from all across Hokkaido gathering in Odori Park.

Split into 8 differently themed venues such as “meat,” “Saké,” and “Ramen,” this event is a shortcut to taste goodies from Hakodate or even Shiretoko without ever even leaving Sapporo! As the festival is attended by over 2 million visitors every year, it can get super crowded on weekends. Try to clear up a weekday afternoon so you can chill and take your time enjoying carious delicacies.

Sapporo Autumn Fest
Venue: Odori Park 1-chome, 4~8-chome, 10~11-chome
Date and Time: 6 Sep 2019~29 Sep 2019, 10:00~20:30
Access: A minute from Odori Station

Cafe Gake-no-Ue


Have you ever sipped a tea while overlooking a cliff-drop?

As the name suggests, “Cafe Gake-no-Ue” (literally meaning “Cafe on a cliff” ) is a cafe built on a 40 meter-high cliff. Take a brave step and look out from the terrace deck! Many scream out “it really is a cliff!” on shivering legs.

Enjoy the beauty of the Shirai river below, singing birds, chirping cicadas, and natural gifts from of the Hokkaido landscape.

Check out the majestic view on the second floor through the window. Might offer a nice chill-out tea break or an adrenaline-pumping coffee stop. Your Results May Vary!

Cafe Gake-no-Ue
Address: 567-36, Jouzankei, Minami-ku, Sapporo City
Hours: 10:00am~6:00pm (closed on Mondays)*closed on Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday
Capacity: 23 (non-smoking seats only, including 15 summer-time terrace seats)
Parking lots: 10 (free of charge)

Note: students under middle-school-age are not allowed


Taushubetsu River Bridge


Your last chance to visit the “phantom bridge” !?

Taushubetsu River Bridge is an arched concrete bridge hanging over Lake Nukabira built by former Japanese National Railways. It’s nicknamed the “phantom bridge” because it repeatedly emerges from the water only to disappear below it with the changing water levels. If water is calm enough, the surface of the water reflects the arches and resembles a pair of eye glasses, which gives it its alternative nickname, “Meganebashi” (Glasses Bridge).

Access to the bridge is limited. You can either participate in the local tour organized by Higashitaisetsu Nature Guide Center or get a vehicle permission in advance at the District Forest Office if you want to get close enough to the site. In the end, viewing it from the observatory deck located east of the spot would be much easier.

The bridge is still intact, for now, yet expected to collapse soon due to recent earthquakes. So there’s no time to lose!

Taushubetsu River Bridge
Address:Kamishihoro-cho Kato-gun, Hokkaido
Access:About 5 minutes by car from Nukabira Onsen