Summer Road Trip Guide
Niseko’s green season is time for exploring Hokkaido’s nature. Why not take a road trip during your visit?
Some popular road trips from Niseko are outlined below so you can discover a new place that could be the highlight of your vacation. As business hours may change without notice we recommend you check details with the destinations directly before you make the journey.
Shinsennuma Marsh, Goshiki Onsen and Onuma Marsh
A popular trek for families is Shinsennuma Marsh. A boardwalk extends through the wetlands to the small lake and is easy to walk, even for small children. In late June the flowers surrounding the area are in full bloom. Walking an extra 15 minutes will get you to Naganuma Lake and on a clear day you can take a beautiful photo here.
The small onsen village of Goshiki is nestled in the mountains about a half hour drive from AYA Niseko. You can soak in the natural onsen there surrounded by greenery for 800 yen. From Goshiki Onsen you can climb to Nisekonupuri in 1.5 hours or walk to Onuma Marsh in about 2 hours.
Take the kids on a trek in Shinsennuma Marsh
Just 20 minutes drive from Grand Hirafu is Kyogoku’s Fukidashi Park. Enjoy a locally-roasted coffee and custard pudding at Kyogoku Purin Café Mocha in the centre of the park and take a stroll around the small lake and you will see Mount Yotei appear behind the trees to frame your photo. You should climb the stairs up to the observation deck for a spectacular view. Have a delicious lunch at the nearby Meisui Udon Nonosan, a very well-known udon noodle restaurant on the 276 highway - no visit to Kyogoku is complete without sampling their dishes!
Driving south through Niseko town, you can reach Makkari in around 25 minutes. You may like to visit Niseko View Plaza’s vegetable market, Niseko Gelato or Haru bakery on the way. Makkari Shrine is a popular sakura viewing spot in spring and visitors can enjoy the scenic location year-round with snow, summer greenery, or autumn colours. Nearby is a freshwater spring where you can taste the pure water of Mount Yotei, and Wakimizu no Sato shop for the freshest tofu products. For hikers, the Makkari trailhead will lead you to the crater summit in around 5 hours and is known as the easiest route up Mt Yotei.
Around an hour’s drive from Niseko is Lake Toya which is best visited during the summer. It’s a scenic spot to take photos while strolling among the sculptures on the shore.
The most recommended activities on the water are SUP and kayaking around the lake, with rental equipment available from The Lakehouse at Toyako. They also host events from time to time.
Or take a cruise to circle the uninhabited Nakajima Islands in the centre of the lake. You can stay onboard the ship, or you can disembark and trek in the forest around Oshima Island. While in the area, visit Wakasaimo sweet store for some local treats and ice cream.
Rent a canoe or SUP from The Lakehouse at Toyako and explore the lake
Take the route 229 coastal road around the northwestern cape of Hokkaido. Enjoy spectacular views out over the ocean and cliffs during the drive and stop at Cape Kamui to walk the track out to the lighthouse. Try some of the region’s specialty dish “uni” (sea urchin) if you visit between June and August. You can also find some impressive viewpoints at Shimamui and Cape Ogon if you continue travelling towards Yoichi and Otaru.
Part of the attraction of a holiday in Hokkaido is driving the country roads between rivers, mountains, forests and open farmland. A stay in Niseko will bring you into the fresh air of the wilderness, but the roads lead to so much more adventure!