Hokkaido trip preperation 6: Revisions to plans

As part of any planning, there would be changes to plans. Additions to it, and of course, removal of some.

I mentioned on twitter and part 2 of this series that I would be adding places to visit between Tokyo and Hakodate. These are Osaka and Hiroshima, with side trips from these two cities.

I know that I have visited Osaka before, but since I was based in Kyoto, an hour to get between Kyoto and Osaka, and with many places in Kyoto planned, it's difficult to add places in Osaka to visit that, in retrospect, there were more places in Osaka (and a viewing area in Kobe) that I did not visit, so being based in Osaka this time, and staying there longer, would give me more room. (The real reason for duration being to fill up most of the gap.) There may be a chance that I would visit Kyoto again, but only for the Fushimi Inari shrine and Ginkakuji. Both of which I had visited before on previous visit, but I did not "exit" properly for one because I found myself lost from going too deep inside away from everyone until I stumbled a small residential area, and I hear the scenery would be different in winter.

Why did I choose Hiroshima? Well, proximity from Osaka for one, and knowing more about the atomic bomb of 70 years ago. It wasn't until I began planning into detail that I found out about the island with the "floating" tori (Miyajima) is nearby, and Iwakuni when I was about to book hotel rooms.

Speaking of about to book hotel rooms, I encountered a problem with booking accommodation for Hakodate: no available place to stay in except for a hotel whose per night rate is outside my budget. It is hard for me to come to this decision, but I have no choice but to cancel the Hakodate leg of the trip.

How has this affected my planning since it left a gap? Well, I did not plan to stay in Hakodate for a long time, so it's not that big. Since no flights or other accommodation had been booked, I could just simply adjust my stay at other places:
  •  Length of stay in Osaka has been extended. No change with starting date.
  • Since extended stay in Osaka overlaps with original planned date of Hiroshima, it has been moved to a latter date with no change in total number of nights, except perhaps an additional day.
  • Stay in Sapporo has changed to an earlier date to coincide with the end of Hiroshima, or the day after if flights are at night or early morning, but I don't have a fixed end date other than halfway when the snow festival is still ongoing. (Do I want to stay around longer when the total duration of the whole trip has been long enough?)
  • Since the destination after Hiroshima is now Sapporo instead of the previously planned Hakodate, I now save more money from not needing to take the long-distance train/bus travel between Hakodate and Sapporo, and the fact that Chitose airport (serving Sapporo if you didn't know) is a more popular destination than Hakodate means lesser air fares.

As of time of writing, I still have yet to book accommodation in Sapporo, and flights from Hiroshima to Sapporo, and Sapporo to Tokyo. I could take the train, but from a cost and time perspective, airplanes are the way to go. Which airport in Tokyo? There's Haneda and Narita, but I prefer Haneda instead as it is closer to the city center.


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