Rent a car in Hokkaido

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Hokkaido

Car Rental Deals in Hokkaido

A car rental in Hokkaido, Japan from SIXT can make your trip unforgettable. Hokkaido prefecture is known for its rolling hills, beautiful wilderness, and unique climate, setting it apart from the other Japanese regions. Our customer service will make sure your rental car is exactly what you need with the features to support an amazing ride for business or pleasure. 

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Rent a Car in Hokkaido with SIXT

Pick up your car rental in Hokkaido’s capital city, Sapporo, and strike out to visit Asahikawa, Hakodate, or one of the national parks. Trusted brands like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, featuring a range of sizes and models, are sure to fill your rental car needs while witnessing the beauty of Hokkaido.  

Our Services

When preparing for your car rental road trip in Hokkaido be sure to check out all the extra features available. From child seats to four-wheel drive - a confidence booster in winter months - you will be sure to find what you need. GPS service and automatic transmission also comes standard with many vehicles. 

  • Hokkaido is known for its stunning wild countryside. While exploring it, a station wagon can be an excellent choice for carrying all the necessary gear. 

  • Compact cars and sedans will serve you well on the small city streets. 

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Driver’s License

You will need an International Drivers Permit unless you have a Japanese license. You can get these from the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) before you leave.  

Minimum Age and Additional Drivers

You must be 18 years or older to rent a car in Hokkaido. There are no fees for additional drivers. 

Refueling

All vehicles are supplied with a full tank of fuel and should be refilled prior to their return to SIXT. Otherwise the current prices per liter of gas or diesel will be charged in addition to a refueling fee. If desired, the vehicle will be refueled after returning it to the station but inquire about this when picking up your car rental. 

Accidents

In the event of an accident please contact the police immediately and report any damages to the rental vehicle directly to SIXT. 

What to See with a Rent a Car in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, originally home to the Ainu people, has many remote areas. A car rental can easily facilitate visiting these special places.  There are also many hot springs throughout the island such as Noboribetsu Onsen, trendy ski resorts, and national parks. Being the northern-most region of Japan the weather in Hokkaido can be more variable, and colder than the rest of the archipelago. Special care should be taken when driving, particularly in the winter months as very little salt or sand is used on roads. 

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National Parks

Shikotsu-Toya National Park 

Begin your tour of national parks here at one of the most popular. Not far from Sapporo this park has several gorgeous lakes and volcanoes. It is also home to two canyons several hundred meters long, blanketed in thick moss. These canyons also have no entrance fee. 

Daisetsuzan National Park 

Head east and you can find Daisetsuzan National Park situated right in the center of the main island. This is Japan’s largest national park. There are no train stops anywhere in the park so a car rental in Hokkaido is an excellent option for getting here. Daisetsuzan approximately translates to “great snowy mountains,” so plan for snowy conditions from October to June. In some places patches of snow remain year round! Those looking for a challenging hike should considering stopping by. 

Akan and Shiretoko National Parks 

Continuing your road trip in Hokkaido heading east there are two more parks. The first is Akan, featuring mysterious lakes. Then situated on an eastern peninsula arrive at Shiretoko park. Besides having more beautiful lakes and hot springs, this park is home to Japan’s largest bear population. Most hikers wear tiny bells to warn of their location. But don’t worry: Bears usually shy away from any human contact. 

Important Cities

Sapporo 

By far Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo is also its capital. As one of Japan’s newest cities it boasts a well thought out layout and wide boulevards. Here you can try many of the famous local dishes like miso ramen and, of course, sushi. For seafood lovers Hairy Crab is a special treat. If you are visiting in the winter be sure to check out the city’s Snow Festival as well as its famous ski resorts. 

Asahikawa 

This city makes a good base for exploring the nearby Taisetsu-zan mountain range. Those who don’t want to venture out to the mountains can enjoy the famous Asahiyama Zoo. Another option is to visit the Otokoyama Sake Brewing Museum which features 340 years of brewing tradition portrayed on Japanese block prints. 

Hakodate 

The largest city in southern Hokkaido, Hakodate was the capital of the short-lived Republic of Ezo. On clear days you can experience stunning views on Mount Hakodate and Goryōkaku Tower. While here be sure to try some of Hakodate’s famous dishes featuring squid. 

Climate, Cuisine, and Traveling with Children

Climate 

Hokkaido attracts tourists from Japan and around the world year-round. The formidable winter conditions are matched with dazzling scenery to be enjoyed in many ways, from skiing in some of Japan’s best powder to keeping warm in its many hot springs. Summertime in Hokkaido is markedly less hot and muggy than its neighboring islands to the south, which makes it a preferred summer vacation spot for locals. 

Cuisine 

Seafood figures prominently in Hokkaido’s cuisine. As is the case elsewhere in Japan, sushi and ramen are regular features. But with amazing attention to detail and unique local takes on these traditional items, as well as many more, traveling in your rental car can facilitate trying as many of these variations as possible. 

Traveling With Children 

Traveling in a car rental with children will makes for an easy and comfortable trip. You will be able to access a variety of hiking trails and attractions with ease. You will also find that there is so much beauty to be found directly out the window of your ride. If you decide to go camping be sure to plan for chilly nights, even in the summer. There are also many amazing resorts for those looking to stay in luxury. 

Why rent with Sixt?

Why rent with Sixt?
  • New cars - on average 3 months old
  • Premium fleet of german cars
  • Car rental made quick and easy
  • Unlimited miles on standard vehicles
  • Free cancellation when you pay on arrival
  • Friendly 24/7 customer service

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