I just came back from a 2 week trip to Hokkaido. In August, it's in the mid-20s at night it cools down to 17-19ﾂ≫?ｹC. I suppose it's quite cool in October and some places will have autumn colors worth checking out.
As you didn't provide ANY information as to where exactly you want to go, it's really hard to answer your questions.
If you intend to visit many different places in Hokkaido, you'll need a rental car.
what is the weather like in this month? Like Mike wrote, you can use Google to find temperatures and weather. Generally, it gets colder as the month progresses.
what clothes/shoes should i pack? That depends entirely on what you plan to do. Hiking? City sightseeing?
any traveling essentials that i should bring? Just like any other trip. Money, passport, ID.
any suggestions on what utilities to bring? Not sure what you mean. Are you talking about hair dryer, shaver, computer, water heater, alarm clock, phone, camera, or what? Please tell us what you plan to do so we can give you better advice.
I have lived in Hokkaido for 15 years. They are rushing people around across a huge area in an unreasonable period of time each day.
DAY 01 MANILA / CHITOSE – SAPPORO (D.) Assemble at the airport for your departure flight to Sapporo – Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands. Hokkaido's weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures and frozen seas, while in summer, it does not get as hot and humid as in the other parts of the country.
Upon arrival, meet and transfer to Sapporo, the Capital of Hokkaido. Dinner at local restaurant Morinomiya (BBQ) or similar. Overnight at Keio Plaza Sapporo Hotel or similar class.
Why do they talk about WINTER? October is fall, so it is pointless information. This day seems the most reasonable of the whole trip, although they don't seem to cite any times of day for anything.
DAY 02 SAPPORO – ASAHIKAWA – SOUNKYO (B.L.D.) Breakfast at the hotel. Morning transfer to Asahikawa, a city in Kamikawa Subprefecture and the second-largest city in Hokkaido. Visit Snow Museum where you can see the ice sculptures. Also visit Asahikawa Sake Factory , tasting sake and see the process of making sake. Lunch at Five Star Buffet or similar. Then proceed to Sounkyo , the area is known for its hotels and onsen (hot springs) resorts as well as waterfalls and magnificent cliffs scenery. The term "Sōunkyō" means respectively the layer, cloud and gorge in Japanese. Visit Ginga No Taki and Ryusei No Taki Gorge Falls.
Lastly , transfer to hotel for check in.
Enjoy Japanese Style Ryokan and Hot Srping. Dinner at hotel or local restaurant. Overnight at Sounkyo Kanko Hotel or similar class.
Trip to Asahikawa is at least 2 hours. Snow museum is overpriced for what they have to offer. The Snow Crystal Museum - Hokkaido - Japan Travel, Anna Cocchiarella Sake Factory (Otokoyama?) and museum all before lunch is rushed especially if you want to sample or buy souvenirs at the sake factory. Sounkyo is another 1.5-2 hours away depending on bus and stops. Not especially rushed, but busy day. You'll need the onsen.
DAY 03 SOUNKO – ABASHIRI – MT. IO – MASHU LAKE – AKAN (B.L.D.) Breakfast at the hotel . Today, we will depart for Abashiri, known as the site of the Abashiri Prison, a Meiji-era facility used for the incarceration of political prisoners. Visit Ohotsuku Crystal Museum where you can experience the ice floe (frozen masses of seawater/saltwater) all year round. Lunch en-route at local restaurant (hot pot set). Then visit Mt. Io, a sulfur mountain covered by yellow sulfur. Proceed to Mashu Lake which is famous for the world record of transparency.
Lastly, transfer to hotel in Akan.
Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Hotel New Akan or similar class. Abashiri is at least another 2 hours away in the middle of nowhere. Boring scenery. This is when the day gets long because from Abashiri to Mt. Io is at least another hour away, then Mashu Lake (almost always convered in fog, by the way) is another 30-45 minutes up a very windy road. Not much to see there anyway. Getting to Akan at the end of the day will be another 1-1.5 hours drive. So, you're on the road a lot and seeing little.
DAY 04 AKAN – LAKE AKAN – IKEDA – FURANO (B.L.D.)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we depart for Lake Akan – famous for rare water plant, Marimo. Continue to Kushiro and visit the Observatory. You can see the great view of Hokkaido Marsh. Lunch provided at local restaurant en-route. Then proceed to Ikeda, a town known for producing world class speed skaters. Visit Ikeda wine castle factory and enjoy free wine tasting. Then transfer to Furano, famous for flower fields during summer and for winter tokachi mountain view.
Upon arrival, check in to hotel. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Shin Furano Prince or similar class. What does "depart for Lake Akan" mean? You can hike a little or take a boat for an hour, or souvenir shop. You could really spend the whole morning there. Going to Kushiro will be another 2 hours, not much to see unless they take you through the marshlands and STOP to see the wildlife. Next is the longest trek, another 2 hours of nothingness again to Ikeda (good winery tour). Unbelievable that they then want to haul your butts another 2-3 hours all the way to Furano! I hope you enjoy farmland because this whole area has nothing except that. The Furano flower fields have little in October. Flower, Furano and Biei Tourism Information You'll be too tired to take advantage of the huge fields anyway at this point.
DAY 05 FURANO- NOBORIBETSU – TOYA (B.L.D.)
Breakfast at hotel. Morning proceed to Noboribetsu and begin tour with visit to Noboribetsu Jidaimura samurai village, a historical theme park, where you can experience unique ancient Japan. Lunch at Jidaimura BBQ. Then visit Jigokudani Hell Valley.
Proceed to Toya, visit Bear Ranch and Showa Shinzan, one of the youngest mountain in Japan. Accompanied by earthquakes, the mountain suddenly rose from flat wheat fields to its current height of 290 meters between 1943 and 1945.
Lastly transfer to your hotel in Toya. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Toya Sun Palace or Toya Kohantei Hotel or similar class. You have at least a 3-hour ride to Noboribetsu.. I don't know the samurai village or theme park, but the Hell Valley is cool and stinky. Great town souvenir shops and local onsens, but you won't get to take advantage of them.
Lake Toya is an hour or so away. Skip the bear ranch but see Showa Shinzan. I'm appalled that they don't tell you about Mt. Usu in its backyard which erupted in 2000 and spilled lava all over the town (you can still see it, of course, and you can even tour the Mt. Usu crater itself, but they've skipped that for you). They should have taken you to the local orchards in the area, too.
Enjoy the onsen there.
DAY 06 TOYA – OTARU – CHOCOLATE FACTORY – SAPPORO (B.L.D.)
Breakfast at hotel. Morning transfer to Otaru City, known as the nostalgic port town and canal. Visit Kitaichi Glasswork shop and music box museum. Then transfer to Sapporo for tour including visit to Chocolate Factory, Odori Park, Old Government Building, Clock Tower, Underground shopping street.
Lunch at Grand Park Hotel (western buffet). Deluxe crab dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at Keio Plaza Sapporo or similar class.
Otaru is a great city, perhaps the best in all of Hokkaido, but it's still > 2hr from Toya by expressway, and that skirts the best part of the scenery. They should stop at Mt. Yotei instead where you can see the freshwater collection system at the bottom and drink from it. Anyway, Otaru is great, but you should spend all day at the places they recommend. You won't have time to see everything on their list there.
Then they don't tell you that you'll have to endure another hour or more ride back to Sapporo.
Chocolate Factory (Ishiya?) is nice, but be prepared to spend/waste more than an hour there. The clock tower in Sapporo is a waste of time, as is the government building. You can easily get lost in the underground shopping areas (not a bad thing), but they would also take more than half a day to enjoy. You won't have that luxury. Ask to be taken to the 12-block-long covered arcade shopping area called Tanuki Koji instead. It's only 2 blocks away.
DAY 07 SAPPORO – RERA SHOPPING MALL – CHITOSE – MANILA (B.) Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Rera Outlet Shopping mall, enjoy the last minute shopping.
Lunch at your own expense. Afternoon transfer to Chitose Airport for your departure flight back to Manila . Rera shopping mall is close to the airport but still over an hour from Sapporo, perhaps 2 depending on traffic. Good for outlet shop prices. You may want to spend longer there than the time you have left, depending on your flight.
I have the same opinion as he does. It was approximately 890 kilometers when I measured an itinerary. It is a tight schedule to move by bus, and to see the sights. I think that you should visit the famous place of colored leaves if you see the sights of autumn Hokkaido. "Shiretoko Peninsula","•Daisetsuzan National Park" ,"Hokkaido University ginkgo row of trees" All the colored leaves of Hokkaido of October are beautiful. "Furano, Biei Prefectural road 966"
There are many fine days in Hokkaido of the beginning of October. Because minimum temperature is around 8 degrees though the mean temperature of Sapporo is 15 degrees, it is considerably cold at night.
A lot of tours are like this. I did a 4 day bus tour myself about 30 years ago - it was like joining the military. Everyone up at 6AM...a lot of it is a blur and I can't remember many of the places I went to. I can recall a lot of boring hours on a bus, the smell of fertilizer wafting through the air, many people too tired to even look outside. Some of the best things were some of the greatest ramen I've ever tasted, the marimo, a spectacular view of the sea from a high cliff (Nemuro? Shiretoko?), being surrounded by about 30 stunned high school girls in some Asahikawa museum (maybe the first live westerner they'd ever seen) ...
The most amazing thing for me wasn't something even unique for Hokkaido - but the stars at night and the Milky Way were just mind blowing. Either that or one middle aged guy on the bus (who drank too much at night and one morning made the bus stop so he could throw up) saying, "Japan has both Hokkaido and Okinawa...why would anyone go abroad?"