The wide open roads and endless choice of parks, campsites, beaches, trails and much more make Hokkaido a fantastic place to wander with the family during the green season. Filmmaker and snowboarder Neil Hartmann has made Hokkaido his home for nearly three decades packs. During the green season, he packs his family and gear into his camper van and explores Japan’s northernmost island.
“We like to set out with a rough goal, but with the freedom to change plans at a moment’s notice,” says Neil. “There are so many unknown gems just waiting to be discovered and explored.”
On his first episode of Hokkaido Outdoor Trips, Neil explores the Shakotan Peninsula famous for its azure blue waters and dramatic cliffs. When planning a day trip on the road with the family, he wants to remind readers to not over schedule. Hokkaido is a big island, so take your time to enjoy it.
Day Trip Itinerary to Shakotan Peninsula
- 7:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.: Preparation at home! Cooking and packing the van.
- 10:00 a.m.—11:30 a.m.: Driving from Sapporo, Jozankei to Otaru, Yoichi and Shakotan Village. Arrive at Shimami Beach around lunch time. Explore the beach before continuing on to Kamui Misaki for a lunch break.
- 2:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. Late lunch at Kamui Misaki. During strong wind you may not be able to walk out to Chalenka Trail at the end of the point, but the view is still enjoyable.
- 3:00 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.: Drive along the coast stopping occasionally to check the beautiful views of the ocean. Pass through Kamoenai, Iwanai and Tomari Villages before arriving in Kutchan for a late afternoon coffee break. Enjoy great views of Mt. Yotei and Niseko Annupuri still covered in spring snow.
- 6:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.: Drive back to Sapporo over the Nakayama mountain pass.
Long-time Hokkaido resident Neil Hartmann wears many hats. During his 30-year Japan career, he has been a director, photographer, editor, cafe owner, Airbnb host, Youtuber, Instagrammer, and always a snowboarder. This father of three girls is the creator of the snowboard movie series “Car Danchi.” He was the MC at the Nagano Olympic snowboard halfpipe competition in 1998 and DJ on Hokkaido’s FM radio station Air-G from the early to late ’90s. Neil formed a small creative company called IAC (I am Creative inc.) and he now jumps from one project to the next, directing TV commercials for Hokkaido resorts and promoting tourism across Japan and has a long history working with brands like The North Face, Burton Snowboards, Niseko Grand Hirafu and more. Now he is focused on traveling with his family and making fun movies about life outdoors to share with the world through his YouTube Channel.