Budget Rent a Car’s Recommendations

Special Feature: Winter Driving Spots in Hokkaido

This special feature will outline some recommended spots that are accessible by car
from our Sapporo, New Chitose Airport, Hakodate, and Asahikawa Budget Rent a Car stores.

For Anyone Planning a Trip to Hokkaido

Although the lifelines and public transport in Hokkaido experienced temporary instability due to the East Iburi earthquake on September 6th, the region has now recovered to the point that all travelers can move about and stop over without problems and safely enjoy their trip.

What kind of place is Hokkaido?

Although the lifelines and public transport in Hokkaido experienced temporary instability due to the East Iburi earthquake on September 6th, the region has now recovered to the point that all travelers can move about and stop over without problems and safely enjoy their trip.

Studless tires are required from November to April

Hokkaido experiences lots of heavy snow in winter, with temperatures falling below freezing. Studless tires are necessary when driving in Hokkaido from November to April.
(Depending on the region, studless tires may be required from as early as October right up until the middle of May)

But fear not! This is Budget Rent a Car!

At all our stores in Hokkaido

All cars come
equipped with
studless tires

AND!

Cars come with
a 4-wheel drive
as standard

  • ○Cars with 4-wheel drive as standard are only available at the Sapporo Station North Exit and New Chitose Airport stores. In addition, depending on variables such as the season and class, certain vehicles may not be available.
  • ○Studless tires and 4-wheel drive will be available during the period from November to April
    (This period may be extended due to the amount of snowfall that year)

Precautions when driving on winter roads

Even with studless tires, there are things to avoid when driving in Hokkaido in winter. Always avoid these 5 “sudden” actions. Braking suddenly, steering suddenly, starting suddenly, accelerating suddenly, and sudden movements such as hurrying. These can all make the driver lose control of the car. Always set off slowly, bring the car to a stop slowly, and take extra care in order to avoid both oncoming cars and cars in front.

We highly recommend the Niseko region, winner of the World Ski Award in the Resort category for 3 consecutive years!

Mostly targeting ski resorts from Europe and the Americas, the World Ski Awards 2015 awarded 1st place to the Niseko region for the 3rd consecutive year in the regional resort category.

The snow in Europe is usually firmly packed, as in the Alps. However, the snow in Hokkaido is smooth powder snow that gets thrown high into the air whenever a turn is made. This lightweight snow has been reputed as the best in the world. Since it snows every day, there’s a layer of new snow every day, making artificial snow unnecessary, unlike in Europe.

The ski season around Sapporo and the Niseko area
generally lasts from the end of November until the start of May.
* This varies depending on the weather conditions that year

Good news for all our skiing and snowboarding guests!

We offer many vehicles with ski racks at the New Chitose Airport and Sapporo Station North Exit Budget Rent a Car stores.

* If interested, please confirm with the store in advance, as certain vehicles may be excluded from the offer.

Recommended Car Models for Road Trips in Hokkaido

We really recommended this car model. You can drive this car anywhere – from the city to the depths of nature – thanks to its unique, urban, and sleek design, as well as its Subaru SUV capabilities. This crossover SUV features world-class safety performance. Even if you’re driving along the snowy roads of Hokkaido or are setting out on a long journey, you can be safe – wherever your destination.

Please choose “Passenger Car” on the car model search screen when making a reservation.

Ski resorts in the Niseko area

Niseko Grand HIRAFU

Japan's largest ski resort, attracting many skiers and snowboarders alike. Once you ski here, you can never go back! Enjoy the world-famous powder snow in a state-of-the-art facility.

Opening Hours
: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Night Skiing
: 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM (until March 20th)
Address
: 204 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 044-0081

Access from store

120 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 112 km)
120 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 96 km)

Rusutsu Resort

From kid-friendly areas for families with children to non-pressed snow courses praised by skiers from around the world, these 3 mountains offer a wide variety of options, with 37 courses in total! This world premier ski resort caters to everyone, from beginners to experts.

Opening Hours
: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Night Skiing
: 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM *9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in April
Address
: 13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1711

Access from store

90 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 88 km)
95 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 74 km)

Niseko Village Ski Resort

Niseko Village Ski Resort is a holy ground of powder snow overlooking Mt. Yoteizan. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowmobile riding, and snowshoeing in the incredible powder snow.

Opening Hours
: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Night Skiing
: 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM (until March 20th)
*Business hours vary depending on the period
Address
: Higashiyama Onsen, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1592

Access from store

120 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 114 km)
120 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 97 km)

Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area

A ski resort perfect for beginners and families, with plenty of wide, gentle slopes. Recommended for anyone who wants relax and enjoy their time at a ski resort.

Opening Hours
: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Night Skiing
: 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM (until March 20th)
Address
: 485 Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1511

Access from store

120 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 115 km)
120 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 98 km)

Ski Resorts in the area around Sapporo

KIRORO SNOW WORLD

A full-fledged snow resort only 60 minutes from Sapporo. With plenty of recreational activities besides skiing, children and non-skiers alike can enjoy this resort, too.


Opening Hours
: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Night Skiing
: 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (until April 6th)
Address
: 128-1 Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido, 046-0571

Access from store

150 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 124 km)
77 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 54 km)

Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort

This resort boasts the vastest and most expansive ski slopes in all of Hokkaido. It’s also famous for its long season, being open until as late as the beginning of May. In addition to skiing, you can also enjoy the nearby Jozankei and Asarigawa hot springs.

Opening Hours
: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Night Skiing
: none
Address
: 937 Jozankei, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 061-2301

Access from store

100 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 85 km)
70 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 47 km)

Reserve it now
with the simple procedure!

Select pick-up location

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Snow Festival

Adults and children alike can enjoy Hokkaido's biggest event, the Sapporo Snow Festival, or the Otaru Snow Light Path, a fascinating attraction featuring fantastical worlds made from the interweaving of snow and candlelight. We will be introducing the 2 largest snow festivals in Hokkaido that fascinate visitors.

Sapporo Snow Festival

With its incredible and enormous statues made from snow and ice, the Sapporo Snow Festival has been delighting a wide host of visitors for many years. There are snow slides and more in addition to the snow statues, so children and adults alike can have fun.

Festival Period
: February 4th to 11th (Odori Site and Susukino Site)
January 31st to February 11th (Tsudome Site)
Site Location (varies depending on the venue)
Odori Site: Odori Park, Nishi 1-Chome to Nishi 12-Chome
Site Location (varies depending on the venue)
Odori Site: Odori Park, Nishi 1-Chome to Nishi 12-Chome
Tsudome Site: Sapporo Community Dome (also known as Tsudome), 885-1 Sakaemachi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo
Susukino Site: the city road along Nishi 4-Chome (Ekimae-dori) from Minami 4-Jo to Minami 7-Jo

Access from store

80 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 46 km)
10 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 2 km)

Otaru Snow Light Path (Otaru Yukiakari no Michi)

A fascinating and fantastical event that illuminates the old streets of Otaru by candlelight. Although the Sapporo Snow Festival may be the most famous snow festival, this festival is also popular, attracting 500,000 visitors over its 10 day period.

Festival Period
: February 8th to 17th
Venues
Otaru Canal, the Former Japan National Railway Temiya Line, Asarigawa Hot Springs, Mt. Tengu, Otaru Art Base, and throughout the city






Access from store

130 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 109 km)
60 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 36 km)

Hot Springs

With 251 hot spring areas, Hokkaido is in 1st place for the greatest number of hot springs in Japan. When talking about Hokkaido we picture nature, snow, and gourmet cuisine, but hot springs are also a fascinating attraction of Hokkaido. With its nationally rare water quality and many hidden springs, as well as magnificent natural scenery, Hokkaido’s hot springs have long captivated and soothed many visitors.

Noboribetsu Hot Springs

One of Japan’s famous hot spring regions, it always ranks high in Japan's 100 Best Hot Springs. Number 1 in Hokkaido for abundant water quality, the springs have a distinct sulfur-aroma as they are rich in hydrogen sulfide. Said to be effective in whitening skin and helping to recover from fatigue, the springs are becoming more popular.

Address
: Noboribetsu Onsen-cho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, 059-0551

Access from store

95 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 73 km)
145 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 113 km)
235 minutes by car from the Hakodate Airport store (approx. 203 km)
225 minutes by car from the Hakodate Station store (approx. 200 km)

Toyako Hot Springs

Part of their charm is being able to comfortably relax even in winter, due to the area having less snow and a relatively warmer climate compared to the rest of Hokkaido. In addition, the incredible view of the lake and the surrounding mountains is simply breathtaking, and is one of the 3 Landscapes of Hokkaido.

Address
: Toyako-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 049-5721

Access from store

110 minutes by car from the New Chitose Airport store (approx. 99 km)
125 minutes by car from the Sapporo Station North Exit store (approx. 104 km)
180 minutes by car from the Hakodate Airport store (approx. 157 km)
170 minutes by car from the Hakodate Station store (approx. 154 km)

Access to Attraction

Recommended Deals in the Hokkaido Area

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with the simple procedure!

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