March to April is somewhere between winter and spring, and many people wonder what to wear. Hokkaido is not an exception, climate here is still winter in early to mid March, as many of the winter activities last until then. For those who are coming to Hokkaido, use this article as your clothing guide!
Around mid February, which is after the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, you can feel the warmth of spring sun but be on your guard!
There are many days that the temperature go down to -2 to -3 degrees celsius, so we Hokkaido people dress like winter until mid March.
Gradually we wear less items and materials change from wool to cotton or linen.
In April, average temperature is about 7 degrees celsius. Temperature raises over 10 degrees in late April, however, it still gets cold in morning and night around 3 to 4 degrees celsius, so do not forget to bring your jackets.
Wear thermal underwears until mid March
Thermal underwears are still useful until early to mid March. If you are used to coldness, you may not need them.
Thermal underwears can be switched to short sleeve. Considering the temperature rising during the day, camisole might be enough.
For your legs, thick tights or leggings are necessary until early March. After that, you can switch to thin tights. We usually don’t walk around in bare legs even in early April, it will be too soon to dress like that.
For tops, cotton knit cardigans are useful
We wear wools until early to mid March. After that, cotton or linen will be warm enough.
Rather thick cotton knit cardigans are very useful.
If you are wearing suits, change to spring suits from late March or early Spring.
Bottoms should still be covered
Denims can be worn from March. Basically cotton or linen is okay but choose something rather thick and warm.
Spring in Hokkaido get pretty windy, so if you are wearing cropped pants, wear socks to cover your legs.
Use thick tights or leggings if you are wearing short pants.
You can remove liners of coats from mid April
Wear winter jackets until early to mid March, but you may want to switch your clothing to spring coats.
You can remove the liners of coats from mid April. Items such as scarfs can be changed to spring material around this time. However, remember that spring in Sapporo is pretty windy so choose something that protects you from wind.
By the way, Hokkaido refers to spring material as more thicker and warmer items than most people think.
Avoid sheepskin boots, nubuck shoes or sneakers
If you are traveling Hokkaido around March to April, be careful about shoes.
Snow on streets start to melt and wet roads are everywhere. Bring waterproof spray or creams. Its peak is early to mid March but still be prepared to wet roads until early April.
You must avoid sheepskin boots, nubuck shoes, or sneakers. Not only you get soaked and cold, your shoes will get dirty because of muddy water from melting snow.
You might want to wear rain boots but what’s bothering is there are frozen roads until mid March. Choose ones with non slip shoe sole.
I wear long rain boots with non slip shoe sole when the roads are too wet.
Sometimes I carry around packable rain boots so that I can change the shoes during the business meeting and when I walk outside. Those packable boots slip easily so I pay extra attention when I walk outside.
Appropriate style I felt from my business trip to Tokyo
Those things are applicable around Sapporo. Season change about half month late in east and north Hokkaido. There are some areas use stove until early May.
Also this is my feeling but I think dressing like January to early February in Tokyo is appropriate in Hokkaido until mid March.
For example, during my business trip to Tokyo in January to February, I was wearing thermal camisole as my underwear, plus 2 layers of thin wool tops or 1 wool sweater (sometimes I wore cotton long sleeve under the wool sweater). For bottoms, I used cotton tights or knee length leggings + long socks. This is how to dress like in Hokkaido early March.
Also, it will be too hot to go to Tokyo after mid April. Therefore, I wear rather thin clothes and stand the coldness in Sapporo.
I hope this article helps your trip.
Flowers in Hokkaido including sakura start to bloom from late April. It is too cold to dress like people in Tokyo, so prepare some thick clothes when you come to Hokkaido!
Written by / Hokkaido Likers writer FUKKO
Illustration / Noriko Nakata