Hokkaido Winter Self Drive Travel – New Chitose Airport

New Chitose Airport is the airport most international tourists will touch down in Hokkaido. It is also one of our favourite airports to explore.

If your departure flight is in the morning like ours, it is recommended to tour Shin Chitose Airport during your arrival before starting your Hokkaido Trip as you won’t have time to visit it during departure day. The airport is also home to both Royce Chocolate World & Doraemon Sky Park.

Shin Chitose Airport is also the perfect place to buy omiyage (souvenirs) from Hokkaido with all famous souvenirs such ask Kinotoya, Le Tao, Shiro Koibito, Royce Chocolate, Snaffles are available in this airport. Most of the shops are located in the domestic terminal, 8 mins walk from the international terminal.

If your flight is in late morning onward, Shin Chitose Airport is a great choice to do your final shopping. Shops gradually open from 8.30am. If you are taking AirAsia X flight, it might be too rush on departure day.


Kinotoya Bake Cheese Tart

Kinotoya Ice Cream – Most Ice Cream in Hokkaido is so much better than the ones in Malaysia

Before collecting your rental car or leave the airport, we recommend visiting the Hokkaido Ramen Dojo (3rd Floor, Domestic Terminal) which houses more than 10 Hokkaido ramen shops.

Hokkaido Ramen Dojo

Ramen in Japanese is noodles. Different regions in Japan features their own unique soup base hence it is improper to compare against another region’s ramen. For example, Ichiran & Ippudo are from Fukuoka which specializes in Tonkotsu Ramen while Sapporo is famous for Miso Ramen, Shoyu ramen in Asahikawa and Shio Ramen in Hakodate.

Simple saying Ramen is like Laksa where we have Penang Asam Laksa, Johor Laksa, Sarawak Laksa, and Nyonya Laksa. You can’t compare Penang Asam Laksa with Johor Laksa as they are totally different.

Ebisoba Ichigen specializes in shrimp broth ramen. The soup has strong shrimp umami, topped with oozing nitamago, tender Japanese char siew and shrimp eggs. Ichigen opens at 10 am and fills up very fast hence it is good to be there before 10 am.

Ebisoba Ichigen – Shrimp & Salt Ramen

Baikoken Asahikawa Ramen

Baikoken Ramen was established in 1969. Their shoyu ramen is popular in Asahikawa and they are the previous winner of the Asahikawa Ramen Awards’ Grand Prix.

Their Signature – UmaKara Rayu Ramen Shoyu Ramen

Ramen Sora, Sapporo

Ramen Sora with establishments in Las Vegas, Singapore & Philippines is famous for their miso ramen. Fried miso is added to the light soup coupled with medium size wrinkle Sapporo noodles. Furthermore, their tender yet flavourful pork fillet is boiled for 5 hours.

Hokkaido Butter Corn Miso Ramen


Pokemon Store

Doraemon Sky Park

Hello Kitty Happy Flight

Hokkaido Car Rental

We booked our Nissan car online with ToCoo Japan. If you are travelling to few cities, Hokkaido Highway Pass will be beneficial as HEP allows unlimited use of Hokkaido’s expressways, for one fixed price thus saving on toll.

Read: How to Rent a Car in Hokkaido

Pocket Wifi

We rented our portable wifi from Roaming Man which offers 3GB data daily at a 4G speed at only RM12 per day for up to 5 devices.

Promo code: RMWIFI19 for 10% off discount. (validity: 4th May till 31 July 2019, for travels until 31 Dec 2019)

Our Hokkaido Self Drive Travel Blogs

About Tommy Ooi 509 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.


  1. Hi Tommy,

    May I know how was the coverage for the Roaming Man portable wifi at whole Hokkaido? My family and I plan to travel the whole Hokkaido, just worry about the coverage at rural area.

    Also, I am confuse about the collection and returning of ETC & HEP to ToCoo, do we need to post back to them before we take off from Japan? or just return together with the car to car rental company?

    Thanks so much for blogger your trip, it is so informative!

      • Thanks for the prompt reply. Actually we are taking the 9:20 am flight back to KUL as well, the company that offer HEP only open at 8 am or 8:30 am, and unfortunately Nissan Car rental company is not available in my filter date, I am worry that I cannot make it for boarding, may I know how long it take you to return that car and reach airport? Are you always return at 7 am only? Did you try 8 am before?

        • Hi Ruiyin, the safest method is to stay in Chitose 1 night before and return the car b4 the car rental closes. The risky one is the driver not to have check-in luggage, drop everyone and luggage at airport by 7.30am to check in and go return the car by 8am. While return he need to inform counter to arrange first shuttle back airport. Will be super rush

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