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Early spring clothing advice for men traveling to Hokkaido through March to April

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 lasts 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, morning and night still gets cold until 3 to 4 degrees celsius so do not forget to bring your jackets.

Wear thermal underwear until early or mid March

Thermal underwear is still necessary until early to mid March. If you are used to coldness, you may not need them. Comparing to January or February, the coldness gets mild in March.
Then you can shift the underwear to short sleeve. Consider that temperature goes up during the day. You will not need summer underwear in spring here. 
If you are going to be outside for a long time, I recommend to wear leggings under the pants. 

Switch to spring suits from late March or early April

Autumn / winter suits are useful until early to mid March, but switch to spring suits around end of March.
Vest or sweaters on shirts can be cotton from early March. You can choose not to wear those after mid March.
You will not feel hot with liners of coats until early April. If you think you are going to be outside long, better to wear your liner with. 
You can also choose to take on and off liners at airports. I am a women but I do have few experiences to take on and off the liners in the plane or at airports. 
Additional items such as mufflers, gloves, and earmuffs are necessary until early to mid March.

For casual wears, dress like autumn until early to mid March

For casual wears, we people in Hokkaido wear thin wools and winter material pants until early to mid March.
After that, you can switch the materials to cotton or linen. For tops, shirt + foodie or cardigans would be appropriate.
Of course jackets are necessary until April. Spring in Sapporo is pretty windy and cold, so choose something that can avoid winds.

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.
This is about it. I hope this article helps you.
Those things are applicable around Sapporo. Climate in east and north Hokkaido is about half month late. There are some areas use stove until early May.
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!
  • Early spring clothing advice for men traveling to Hokkaido through March to April

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Fumiko Magota