Known for its serenity, breath-taking sceneries and freshness in seafood that’s out-of-this world, pre wedding photography in Hokkaido has proved to be a popular option for many couples.

Leaving for an overseas photography trip is almost like a honeymoon, except that ample research and preparation work needs to be done before you can totally sit back and relax!

If you’re not a big fan of itinerary planning and researching, this article is written to help the busy (definitely not lazy) you to work out a feasible photography plan in Hokkaido.


1.      Furano

Hokkaido pre wedding, Furano LavendersImage Resource

Probably every bride’s dream, Furano is a flower paradise filled with lavenders, poppies, lilies and sunflowers. The array of colours and never ending field of flowers have constituted to countless “million dollar” shots for couples.

Our first and most important suggestion is that you need to check out how to get there. It is not as complicated as you may imagine it to be, just a little costly perhaps. For drivers, you can obtain international license to drive in Hokkaido. Check out here to see how to do it.

The next thing you need to research on, is where to get the rented vehicle. If you’re staying in Sapporo, there are plenty of car rental systems/companies within the city area. You may select your desired vehicle, but be reminded you don’t always get the selected model. The more popular chains for vehicle rental are, Times Car Rental, JR Hokkaido Rent-a-car, and Toyota Rent-a-car. For our Hokkaido pre-wedding photography trip with the lovely couple, Ken+Deb, we used Times Car Rental as it was located just around our hotel.

For photographers going on leisure photography trip, you can check out how to get to Furano from Sapporo through Googlemaps, or here.

During the lavender season, starting from August, special train services that brings visitors to the various flowerlands in Furano are available. So if you’re visiting Furano on your own, be sure to check out the availability for those special trains.

Our second suggestion is that you should always check if the weather is in your favour. While the colourful flowers appear wonderful in pictures, heavy rainfall can seriously dampen and mess up your schedule, especially if you had spent hours travelling there. Advice is to carry ponchos with you as shelters may not be located in close proximity within Furano.

Lastly, remember to check the season and tally your choice of colours to wear for the shoot! You wouldn’t want to be wearing red when it’s the season of red flowers!

2.      Otaru

hokkaido pre wedding, OtaruImage Resource

A quaint little town surrounded by rustic architectures, Otaru is a really romantic town to be in with your partner. Many couples have their photos taken at the renowned Otaru Canal. Do take note that shops around Otaru do not close late (around 6pm they shut shutters), so remember to eat your fill of good food while in the area. No matter what happens, you have to try the grilled seafood! Our photography suggestion is to go for the night canal shoot where the lights around the town would have lit up. This is because the lamps add a lot of warmth to the rustic architectures, and the reflection of the lights from the canal is just pretty amazing.


3.      Moerenuma Park

Moerenuma Park
Moerenuma Lourve Glass
Our suggestion – This is a place photographers cannot miss, be it rain/shine/snow. Almost across all seasons, Moerenuma Park offers couples and photographers many great spots to shoot. The Lourve like glass pyramid situated within the park offers a seriously unique minimalist perspective, while the balance of modern structures and grasslands on the outside adds on a futuristic veil to your photos. There are many structures in the area for you to choose, but bear in mind that the park is hugeeeeee. So before you head there, be sure to have a look at what structures you want to shoot in, otherwise you may spend bulk of your time walking from spot to spot.


4.      Sapporo Shrine

Sapporo ShrineImage Resource

I would recommend those without travelling woes to check out Hokodate. Reason why I am not writing about Hokodate is because it requires a four hours drive from Sapporo and travelling there may not be very wallet-friendly for many couples. The alternative place to get beautiful traditional Japanese architecture shots is the Sapporo Shrine. The long walkway leading up to the main shrine is a good photo spot! Photography are usually allowed in temple grounds but not in indoor areas, do watch out for the prohibitory signs!


5.      Sapporo Factory

Sapporo Factory

Constructed on Japan’s first beer brewery, couples and photographers can look out for the red brick Akarenga building that brings you back to Hokkaido’s early developments in the 1800s. The classic Akarenga colour against Hokkaido’s clear blue sky is definitely a good additional to your album. Our suggestion is have your shoot on Sapporo Factory arranged on a day where you are looking to relax. The complex has around 160 shops with a functioning brewery where you and your partner can go have a few beers and shop around.

We are fond travelers and adventure seekers, if there’s a dream destination for you and your partner but budget is currently your top consideration, speak to us, let us know your story. If we adore your idea, anything is possible!