100 Things to Do in Hokkaido, the Beautiful Northern Region of Japan, in 2018

  • HOKKAIDO
  • VARIOUS AREAS
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  • Hokkaido is one of the four main islands of Japan. It is a skiing and snowboarding hotspot in winter and is home to the indigenous people of Japan, the Ainu. The region is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, its February Snow Festival, and its amazing seafood. A great place to visit for sports in winter and its blooming flower fields in summer, this lovely region is not to be missed during your trip to Japan and is a popular vacation spot among Japanese people from all over the country.

    Whether you visit in summer to catch the flower fields and fireworks, or in winter to experience seasonal events and skiing, Hokkaido has something for everyone. Check out these 100 things to do in Hokkaido to help you experience as much as you can of this beautiful island.

    Would you like to stay in Hokkaido? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    1. Get a Private Customized Tour Around Lake Toya

    This activity is ideal in summer and involves exploring the area around Lake Toya in the southwestern area of Hokkaido. It is part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park and has a perimeter of 43 kilometers. Marvel at the scenery, discover waterfalls, take amazing photographs and even try harvesting corn or potatoes on this exciting outdoor adventure.

    The tour is three hours long and offered only to one group per day, meaning you will get a completely private experience when you go. This activity is available until October.

    Booking details: Private Customized Tour around Toya Lake in Hokkaido!

    2. Go Night Trekking

    If you’re the adventurous type, there’s no way you can miss this night trekking course with an experienced guide. Go walking in total darkness, leaving your nose and ears in charge of your senses. View the spectacular stars without light pollution and ponder life amidst nature. Learn a bit about the local wildlife all in the safe hands of a professional. This tour is available all year except in winter, so book it for something a little different.

    Booking details: Go Night Trekking in Sapporo!

    3. Go Sea Kayaking

    Why not experience some of Hokkaido’s breathtaking nature next summer and go sea kayaking? All levels, including complete beginners, are welcome. During the day, the guide will take you to a quiet spot for lunch. This activity takes place at Maruyama Park, one of the nicest parks in Hokkaido, and it is available for those three years old and up.

    Booking details: Go Sea Kayaking in Hokkaido!

    4. Go on a Summer Cycling Tour

    Due to its breathtaking views, clean air, and pleasant weather, Hokkaido is ideal for cycling in summer. You can explore some gorgeous natural sites of this lovely island including flower fields, mountains, rivers, and more. Why not join a professionally-guided cycling tour to experience Hokkaido from a bicycle?

    There are many courses you can choose from and there are three levels:

    Booking details: Summer Cycling in Hokkaido

    5. Make Cheese, Butter, and Ice Cream at the Furano Cheese Factory

    Furano Cheese Factory is known for its rich quantities of milk and high-quality cheese. You can visit the factory to make your own butter, your own ice cream, your own cheese, and your own bread! Each workshop has its own time frame and rules, so check them out in the link below. The workshops are held between April and October.

    Booking details: Make cheese, butter and ice-cream at Furano Cheese Factory!

    6. Go Horse Riding Near Sapporo

    40 minutes from downtown Sapporo is the opportunity to go horse riding, an experience that is relatively rare in Japan. Tour the beautiful Hakkenzan eight-peaked mountain and even have fun feeding the horses. You can choose between a 40-minute, 60-minute, and 90-minute trek and you don’t have to worry about getting to the farm because the booking also includes taxi pickup service to and from Sapporo.

    If you love horse riding and would like to see the eight-peaked mountain from horseback, don’t miss this from your itinerary. There is also the opportunity to go horse riding near Lake Toya if you would prefer.

    Booking details: Horseback Riding in Sapporo with Taxi Pick-Up Service

    7. Ride a Dog Sled, Snow Mobile, and a Banana Boat Near Sapporo

    In winter, there is an opportunity to ride a real dog-pulled sled in the snow! This affordable package includes the dog sled, a ride on a snowmobile, and a ride on the snow version of a banana boat. Have a hilarious and fun-filled day in the snow.

    Children must be 13 years old and above to ride the dog sled, over 5 years old to ride the banana boat, and over 15 years old to ride the snowmobile by themselves. This tour is available in winter, so be sure to keep an eye on the calendar. The tour will be resumed when the host knows the predicted snowfall.

    Booking details: Ride a dog sled, snow mobile and a banana boat near Sapporo!

    8. Have an Izakaya Experience in Sapporo

    An izakaya is a traditional pub serving snacks and alcoholic drinks that Japanese people continue to enjoy today. Meet up with a local in Sapporo and visit his favourite izakaya with him! Try pub food such as tempura, seafood, sushi, and skewered chicken. The host is not a professional tour guide but he’ll make sure you have a fun evening in Sapporo like the locals do.

    Booking details: Izakaya Experience in Sapporo

    9. Try an Unusual Snowshoe Experience in Niseko

    Niseko is a fantastic ski resort in Hokkaido, but there is more to do there than just skiing and snowboarding. Try a snowshoe tour, where you’ll wear special snowshoes to walk through the forest or down a mountain slope, observe wild birds, and enjoy the beautiful nature of Mt. Niseko and Mt. Yotei. You can even have some tea and cookies during your break. This refreshing day in the great outdoors might be what you need to shake off the stress of the city.

    Booking details: Try snowshoe experiences in Niseko, Hokkaido

    10. 5-Day Winter Package Tour from Sapporo

    If you visit Hokkaido in winter and it’s your first time going, consider booking a five-day ready-made itinerary. You’ll be picked up from New Chitose Airport and taken to your hotel. In the entire package, you’ll see some of Sapporo city’s best attractions, enjoy a feast of Hokkaido crab, a tour of Otaru City, a trip to Lake Shikotsu, Toya, and Noboribetsu, and much more. This package is available between the 2nd of December and the 31st of March. Check out the link below for full details.

    Booking details: 5-day Winter Package Tour from Sapporo in Hokkaido

    11. Go Hiking and Have Some Coffee at the Summit of Sapporo

    Hiking has to be part of your Hokkaido holiday if you’re visiting in the warmer months. Be picked up from Sapporo Station or your hotel and join locals on a hike in the mountains where the air is clean and refreshing. Choose your preferred itinerary depending on your time frame and enjoy a special coffee at the summit. You can request English, Spanish, or Korean language guides for this activity.

    Booking details: Enjoy hiking and get great coffee at the summit of Sapporo!

    12. Have a Special Spa Treatment (Two People)

    You may be visiting Hokkaido to escape the busy life of the city. If this is the case, consider staying at resort spa Mizuno Uta for a day. Choose from a choice of a facial oil massage, a half body treatment, or a foot treatment, relax in the establishment with comforting music and aromas, and take advantage of the on-site facilities such as a foot bath, sauna, and baths.

    You can also have a meal of seasonal Hokkaido ingredients. This is for two people, so book it with your mum, sister, or best friend to be truly spoilt during your stay in Hokkaido.

    Booking details: Enjoy a Relaxing Time with a Spa Treatment in Hokkaido!

    13. Take a Dynamic 5-Day Tour Around the Highlights of Hokkaido

    This five-day tour best taken in summer takes you to places such as Lake Masshu, Furano, Biei, Sapporo, Asahiyama Zoo, and much more to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Some meals are also included in the price and there is an upgraded version available. Click the link below for more details on this action-packed vacation.

    Booking details: 5-day dynamic tour around the highlights of Hokkaido

    14. Experience a Japanese Tea Ceremony

    The tea ceremony is a tradition that has been passed down in Japan for generations. You can experience this elegant culture in Sapporo where you’ll dress in a kimono, learn how to use chopsticks, and make green tea before enjoying it with “wagashi”, Japanese traditional sweets that go well with the tea. Authentic tea sets are available to buy, too. Experience this interesting culture in Japanese, Chinese, or English and take photographs with the staff afterwards.

    Booking details: Experience Tea Ceremony in Sapporo, Hokkaido

    15. Get Amazing Wedding Photos Taken in Hokkaido Nature

    Relive your special day in the beautiful nature of Hokkaido. Professional photographers will take gorgeous photographs of you and your special one among flowers, snow, and mountains and later, you can stay in Sapporo in a hotel included in the price. For the ultimate romantic getaway with amazing photographs to keep, book this fun, three-day package.

    Booking details: Have amazing wedding photos taken in the nature of Hokkaido

    16. Take a 2-Day Private Guided Tour of Muroran, Otaru, and Sapporo

    This two-day tour includes transportation and takes you to many lovely places around Hokkaido. These include Muroran City, where you’ll see Cape Earth and Sokuryozan Observatory Tower, and Makkari, where you’ll be able to buy tofu products. Stay at a hot spring hotel near Lake Toya and sample delicious food on your journey. There is much more involved in this tour, so click the link below for all the information.

    Booking details: 2 Days Private Guided Tour in Muroran, Otaru & Sapporo!

    17. Join a City Sightseeing Bus Tour of Sapporo

    This tour is for you if you’d prefer to see the sights of Sapporo from the comfort of a bus. This reasonably-priced tour includes a trip to Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium to see some marvelous views and Sapporo Central Wholesale Market where you can go shopping for souvenirs. This hassle-free tour is best suited to those who can’t or don’t enjoy walking.

    Booking details: Join And Enjoy City Sightseeing Bus Tour in Sapporo!

    18. Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Niseko with a Local

    Niseko is a great place to go for winter sports. Head there with a local to see some private backcountry areas to avoid the crowds. Learn some tips with skiing or snowboarding and find out where the best slopes are. After that, your guide will show you some good places to eat and relax. This activity is for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

    Booking details: Enjoy a Niseko Backcountry ski & snowboard tour

    19. Go and See the Drifting Ice

    In winter, gigantic blocks of ice float on the surface of the water, creating a haunting and beautiful sight. Embark on a boat to see this drifting ice up close for some amazing pictures of this natural phenomenon. Later, you can visit a local shop for famous seafood products and a delicious lunch. If you’d prefer to see drifting ice from the land without having to ride a boat, check out this walking drift ice tour.

    Booking details: Monbetsu Garinko II Ice Drifting Tour From Sapporo!

    20. See Some of Hokkaido’s Most Beautiful Sights

    This English guided tour visits some impressive volcanic sights including Lake Toya, Mt. Usu’s ropeway, and the stunning Hell Valley, amongst others. Let the comfortable coach guide you to these places where you can take some amazing photographs of some of Hokkaido’s most stunning natural beauty.

    Booking details: Shore Excursion From Muroran to Lake Toya & Noboribetsu!

    21. Try Sapporo Ramen and a Mutton Barbeque

    You can’t make a visit to Hokkaido without sampling some of its exquisite food! Ramen, a noodle broth dish, is famous in Hokkaido and with this activity, you can try ramen in Sapporo along with a delicious mutton barbeque. With this affordable price, you can see some nice places in Sapporo such as Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, Odori Park, and the Clock Tower, sampling the delicacies along the way. Have a delicious and fun-filled day in Sapporo with this tour.

    Booking details: Enjoy Sapporo and try Sapporo ramen and mutton BBQ!

    22. Try Fresh Seafood and Ride a Rickshaw in one of Hokkaido’s Oldest Port Towns

    Already seen Sapporo? No worries! Otaru is another wonderful area in Hokkaido that has been one of the main port towns of the region for years. Stroll down Sakaimachi district and enjoy some local specialties. Make your own glass beads and even tour the beautiful canal area on a traditional rickshaw. You’ll also get to see Herring Palace. Set a day of your Hokkaido trip aside to see this charming port town!

    Booking details: Find historical assets and try fresh seafood in Otaru

    23. See Kushiro, a Natural Wonderland in Hokkaido

    This activity takes you to the largest wetland in Japan in Kushiro Shitsugen National Park. From the comfort of your seat in a car, you can see rivers and endangered Japanese cranes flying over the marshland. Choose your departure point and check the full itinerary in the link below.

    Booking details: Shore Excursion to Kushiro, a Natural Wonderland in Hokkaido

    24. Go to the Yoichi Distillery

    In the town of Yoichi, just an hour by public transportation from Sapporo, is the Yoichi Whisky Distillery featuring spirits by Nikka. It was opened in 1934 and you can go on either a guided tour (Japanese only) or a self-guided tour with English brochures (though on the self-guided tour, some buildings are off-limits).

    See how whisky is made and how it changes with age, and learn about the romantic love story between Nikka’s founder and the love he found when he travelled to Scotland to learn about authentic whisky.

    Nikka Whisky Museum website
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    25. Have a Luxury Stay with Amazing Night Views

    This hotel package tour allows you to stay at JR Tower Hotel Nikko where you’ll sleep on an airweave mattress and enjoy the gorgeous view from the guestroom. Make use of the sky resort spa and spoil yourself during your stay. What better way to enjoy your vacation in Hokkaido than a luxury stay with one of Sapporo’s best views?

    Booking details: Enjoy a Sky Spa & Sleep on an Airweave Mattress in Hokkaido!

    26. See Yuni Garden and the Northern Horse Park

    Just outside Sapporo is a beautiful English-style garden with hundreds of kinds of herbs and flowers. Visit this garden and have a buffet lunch at the Yubari Hotel before visiting the Northern Horse Park and then visiting Sapporo city in the afternoon. This delightful day out is great for families. Please note it’s only available during certain times in summer and that guidance is in Japanese only.

    Booking details: Enjoy 1-Day Tour, Yuni Garden & Northern Horse Park, Sapporo

    27. Have an Afternoon Tour to Explore Sapporo’s Best Highlights

    Is it your first time in the biggest city in Hokkaido? See the best of Sapporo hassle-free with this tour.Try amazing sushi and fresh seafood at Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and visit Hokkaido Shrine and Shiroi Koibito Park. You’ll also pass by many other attractive buildings and landmarks and get to know Sapporo. You can also get discounts at select restaurants if you show your tour ticket. This day out is great for groups and families.

    Booking details: Afternoon Tour to Explore Sapporo’s Best Highlights

    28. See Shiroi Koibito Park and Otaru

    With this lovely day out that departs from Sapporo, you can visit the glass museum in Otaru, see the Nikka Whisky Distillery and take a trip to the cookie factory in Sapporo’s Shiroi Koibito Park. The tour is adjusted slightly depending on whether you embark in winter or summer; for example, in summer you can also visit Otaru Canal. Guidance is only available in Japanese.

    Booking details: Shiroi Koibito Park and Otaru tour, from Sapporo Hokkaido

    29. Discover Otaru and Niseko on a Tour with an Overnight Stay

    Have a local guide show you round some beautiful spots in Hokkaido. Visit Otaru and walk the canal area and local districts, and see the Yoichi Whisky Factory on the way to Niseko, where you’ll spend the night in a cottage. Enjoy great seafood and a relaxing drive among Hokkaido’s vast fields and beautiful nature. For a lovely two days with a local guide to see some must-see locations in Hokkaido, click the link below to book.

    There is also a one-day or half-day tour for if you can’t spend the night in Niseko. If you’d like to see one place at a time, there is also a tour just for Otaru and a tour just for Niseko.

    Booking details: Discover Otaru and Niseko on a tour with overnight stay

    30. Hike Niseko’s Mountains and Stay in a Forest Cottage

    From spring until autumn, Niseko’s mountains are a great place to go hiking. This experience takes you to some of the many beautiful areas around Niseko that not only include mountains (where you’ll eat your lunch), but lakes and forests, too. After your walk, you can relax in a hot spring. If you choose the overnight stay plan, the host will organise an optional barbeque at the cottage where you’ll stay. Refresh your mind and body amidst Hokkaido’s nature.

    Booking details: Enjoy Hokkaido’s nature by hiking Niseko’s mountains

    31. Go Skiing at Kiroro Ski Resort

    Skiing or snowboarding is a must if you visit Hokkaido in winter. Kiroro Ski Resort has 21 ski runs for various levels of skiers and has other activities available such as snowshoe walking. The link below allows you to make a reservation at this resort and includes transportation by bus or taxi from and to a variety of locations.

    What’s great about this resort is that it has a day nursery, making it perfect for families with small children. There are also alternative facilities for those who don’t want to ski, such as a hot spring, pool, and day spa.

    Alternatively, there is also the Sapporo Kokusai Skiing Resort if you’d prefer.

    Booking details: Reservation for Ski Tour at Kiroro From Sapporo in Hokkaido!

    32. Experience Some of Hokkaido’s Winter Festivals

    If you’re visiting Hokkaido in February, then you can’t miss two of Hokkaido’s biggest festivals! Check out the Sapporo Snow Festival (6th to 12th) and the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival (3rd to 12th) with this package tour, which also includes a three-night hotel stay, two full course dinners, and additional day tours. Check out the link below for the full itinerary and experience Hokkaido’s winter festivities with an experienced guide.

    There is also an option to just see the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival if you’d prefer. You can also book only the Sapporo Snow Festival.

    Booking details: Hokkaido’s Winter Festivals in a Package Tour from Sapporo

    33. Explore Four Off the Beaten Path Activities in Niseko

    Niseko is famous for skiing but that isn’t the only activity available there. You can try snow rafting, horse riding, powder snow cross-country, and even reindeer sledding! Check out the link below for further details and the exciting packages they have available.

    Booking details: Explore Four Off the Beaten Path Activities in Niseko

    34. Take a Sightseeing Boat Along the Dramatic Shiretoko Coast

    There are some sights such as waterfalls and cliffs that can’t be seen from walking trails. Take an exciting boat to explore the rugged coastline of the Shiretoko Peninsula. You’ll get to see the unspoiled natural park and there is even a chance to see brown bears and other wildlife!

    If you’re especially interested in spotting sea mammals and birds from a boat, also check out the Shiretoko wildlife boat ride.

    Booking details: Take a sightseeing boat along the dramatic Shiretoko coast

    35. Experience the Best Sapporo Izakayas and Restaurants

    Are you curious about what great food Sapporo has to offer? A local person, who can speak English and Spanish, will take you to a great restaurant in central Sapporo to try sushi and other local delicacies. You can also visit a traditional izakaya pub together and dine like a local! The friendly host will meet you and drop you off at your hotel if you wish. Spend a fun evening and potentially make a new friend!

    Booking details: Experience the best Sapporo izakaya and sushi restaurants!

    36. Go Canoeing on Lake Akan

    Lake Akan is a lovely part of the Akan National Park. Why not go canoeing on its crystal-clear waters? Choose between the introduction and adventure course and ride a two-person canoe on the lake. Look out for local wildlife and bask in the beauty of the surrounding area. Drinks and snacks are included!

    Booking details: Go canoeing in Lake Akan, part of Akan National Park!

    37. Visit the Most Scenic Photo Spots of Akan National Park

    If you’re interested in visiting Akan National Park but don’t want to go canoeing, this activity might suit you better. Visit a variety of amazing sightseeing spots such as three different lakes, sulfurous vents of Mt. Iozan, and bubbling mud pools. Explore Akan National Park’s natural beauty and take some breathtaking photographs along the way.

    Booking details: Visit the most scenic photo spots of Akan National Park

    38. Go Canoeing and Trekking On and Around Lake Shikotsu

    Lake Shikotsu is part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park and with this activity, you can canoe on this beautiful lake and also do some trekking afterwards. Transportation to and from Sapporo is included. This activity is available between May and September.

    Booking details: Explore Lake Shikotsu on a canoe and trekking!

    39. See the Natural Beauty of the Lavender Paradise, Furano

    Furano is in the centre of Hokkaido and is known for its gorgeous flower fields in summer. With this private tour, you can see the amazing lavender fields in Farm Tomita, visit local cheese factories or wineries, and enjoy the countryside. It’s best to take this tour between July and August when the flowers are in season.

    Booking details: See the natural beauty of the lavender paradise Furano!

    40. Go Skiing with a Ski Instructor

    Less than an hour away from Memanbetsu Airport is a skiing location where you can get taught by a professional ski instructor who will teach you various ski techniques. There are three local ski areas here with six hot springs and is great to go with children.

    The ski instructor will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the ski area and then a hot spring. Click the link below for more information on equipment and the model day plan.

    Booking details: Go Skiing in Northeast Hokkaido!

    41. Visit Hakodate

    Hakodate is a beautiful harbour town and was one of the first places to open to international traders after the end of the shogunate. Visit this interesting town with a splash of western flavour to see one of Japan’s top three night views. Stroll down old streets and see the star-shaped citadel. This half-day tour is a must for those wanting to visit this lovely place.

    Booking details: See the beauty of the international harbor town Hakodate

    42. Discover the Fascinating Historical Legacy of Sapporo

    If you’re interested in the history of Japan’s fifth largest city, this tour is a great choice. This tour starts from either your hotel or Sapporo Station and takes you to some of the best historical highlights including the open-air Historical Village of Hokkaido Museum, the Clock Tower, Odori Park, and Sapporo TV Tower. Later, you can go to the Sapporo Beer Museum and enjoy some local drinks in the beer garden.

    Booking details: Discover the Fascinating Historical Legacy of Sapporo

    43. Visit a Japanese Farm

    In northeast Hokkaido is a farm which has been taken care of for three generations. You can visit this farm to ride a tractor and try different farming activities depending on the season. The most popular of these is potato farming. Take in the surrounding nature, birch trees, and spot an aeroplane from the nearby airport. Try a day of farming with local people and be part of “green tourism”!

    Booking details: Experience potato farming in northern Hokkaido

    44. See the Beautiful Sun Pillar at Lake Masshu

    The “sun pillar” is a rare and beautiful sight you can only see in winter. It is a vertical shaft of light that is seen during sunrise or sunset that involves the sunlight reflecting off the surfaces of ice crystals. Book to meet your guide who’ll take you to the perfect spot to see this charming natural phenomenon. You’ll meet at Masshu Station and visit Lake Masshu to wait for this lovely display. If you’ll be in Hokkaido in winter, definitely give it a try.

    Booking details: Beautiful Sun Pillar Tour at Lake Masshu in Hokkaido!

    45. Have a Private Cycling Tour in Niseko

    You’ve seen trekking and snow activities in Niseko, so how about trying this cycling tour? Most of this refreshing activity involves downhill slopes so it’s more relaxing than challenging. All of the offered days out are private so you can enjoy them freely with your friends or family.

    Booking details: Private Cycling Tour in Niseko, Hokkaido!

    46. Go Pole Walking in Sapporo

    The last on this list is an activity where you can walk in the natural parks of Hokkaido. Enjoy the clean and refreshing nature around you and take some great pictures. This healthy activity is suitable for any level of hikers and walkers. Click below for a list of their itineraries.

    Booking details: Go Pole Walking in Sapporo!

    47. Visit Cape Kamui

    This beautiful cape gives a charming view of the sky and the land together and being there gives you a strong sense of adventure. Cape Kamui is located in Shakotan and is just gorgeous to go and feel the nature and sense of freedom of this place.

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    48. Visit Asahiyama Zoo

    Located in Asahiyama in the center of Hokkaido is Asahiyama Zoo, a popular zoological garden that includes a glass tunnel through a penguin pool and glass domes so you can observe polar bears and wolves in natural habitats. You can also see displays of eagles, cranes, deer, apes and large cats. This zoo, suitable for the whole family, is a great day out.

    Asahiyama Zoo website *Automatic translation available
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    49. Explore Shiretoko National Park

    The First Lake of Shiretoko-goko Lakes in Autumn #shiretokogoko 秋中盤の知床五湖の一湖 #知床五湖

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    Shiretoko is a peninsula in the northeast of Hokkaido. The national park is just breathtaking; it’s a place to see floating ice, the Shiretoko Mountain Range, gorgeous cliffs, and a treasure of local wildlife and plants. You can spend a day or two exploring some of the most beautiful natural lands in Japan.

    Shiretoko National Park website
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    50. Visit Moerenuma Park

    Beautiful no matter what the season, this large and artistic park is perfect for dog walking and romantic strolls. There is the iconic play mountain, a sea fountain, a museum, a wading pool, and plenty of playgrounds. This unusual park was designed by Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi and is a favourite stopping point for families and couples.

    Moerenuma Park website
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    51. Relax in a Hot Spring

    Hokkaido’s low temperatures and snow make it a great place to relax in an “onsen” hot spring, the classic Japanese way of unwinding. Highly recommended onsens include Nukumori no Yado Furukawa in Sapporo and Yunokawa Hot Spring in Hakodate.

    52. Attend the Nemuro Crab Festival

    If you’re going to be in Nemuro during the first week of September, you cannot miss the highly anticipated annual crab festival! Try crab soup or whole crab inside a tempting hotpot at this massive event that has been attracting visitors since 1969.

    Nemuro Crab Festival website *Japanese only
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    53. See the First Sunrise in Japan

    While you are in Nemuro, head to Cape Nosappu before morning to witness the first sunrise of Japan. As the cape is the country’s easternmost point, you will see the sun rise here while it is still dark everywhere else in the country. A sunrise is a pretty special experience by itself, so why not make it even more special by witnessing the very first sunshine of the day?

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    54. Eat Fantastic Local Ramen in Asahikawa

    Hokkaido is known for its rich and tasty ramen noodles. Asahikawa Ramen Village is a highly recommended place to get authentic and hearty dishes containing seafood, thick slices of pork, bioled egg, bamboo shoots, and vegetables that will have you coming back for more in no time.

    Asahikawa Ramen Village website *Japanese only
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    55. Go to the Asahikawa Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival

    If you are in Asahikawa, be sure to check out the gorgeous illuminations that light up the snow like a fairytale. Also called the Asahikawa Hot Springs Ice Fall Festival, this spectacular event lasts from January to March. To complete the experience, get some sake served in a glass made of ice!

    Festival website *Automatic translation available
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    56. See a Breathtaking Sea of Clouds

    If you visit Unkai Terrace between May and October, you may get the chance to see a truly spectacular sight: an enchanting “sea of clouds.” Head to the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu and take a ten-minute cable car to the spot where, if the conditions are good, you’ll see what is surely a rare sight of ever-changing, floating clouds. Check the weather before you go and see if you are lucky enough to witness this marvellous spectacle.

    Unkai Terrace website
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    57. Ride the Waves at the Mina-Mina Indoor Wave Pool

    Also at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is the famous indoor wave pool, meaning you can enjoy a warm summer swim even in chilly Hokkaido! Even if you’re not staying at the resort, you can visit this pool with a day pass, but if you are staying, it’s free to use.

    This indoor pool generates waves so you can feel like you’re swimming in the sea. There is also a spa facility here. Take a break from the cold and go swimming in a perfectly maintained summer-like indoor pool! You can access it between April and the beginning of November; be sure to check their website below before you go.

    Mina-Mina Beach website
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    58. Catch the Hakodate Morning Market

    Up bright and early in Hakodate? The morning market opens at 5:00am daily and here you can get fresh seafood, fruit, and vegetables, try squid fishing, and enjoy hearty meals for breakfast, including the popular seafood rice bowl, to start your day. A visit to Hakodate isn’t complete without a look at this exciting marketplace, so be sure to add it to your itinerary.

    Hakodate Morning Market website
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    59. See the Magnificent Blue Pond

    TREEt yo self

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    Biei is one of the most beautiful parts of Hokkaido, especially in summer when flowers and trees blossom. The Shirogane Blue Pond is an impressive sight any time of year, with its vivid blue colour and trees and stunning natural background. If you are in the area, you cannot miss this mysterious viewing spot.

    Biei Blue Pond website *Japanese only
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    60. Learn All About the Indigenous Ainu People

    The Ainu, Japan’s indigenous population, have long been ignored and oppressed. Today, there are only a few left speaking their ancient language and maintaining their traditions. They weren’t officially recognised by the government until 2008. To find out more about their fascinating beliefs and customs, pay the Village Museum in Shiraoi a visit. Visitors and interests help keep this endangered culture alive.

    Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan website
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    61. Eat at Hokkaido Beer Garden in Sapporo

    If you’re in Sapporo and craving meat and seafood, pay a visit to the Hokkaido Beer Garden, a fantastic and highly recommended restaurant offering all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink sets, including beef, mutton, crab, seafood, all on a delicious barbeque. Alcoholic drinks are also available here. For a luxurious treat and delicious meal, be sure to give this restaurant a try.

    Hokkaido Beer Garden website
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    62. Explore Susukino

    まだ4時半でこの暗さ!笑笑

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    Right near the Hokkaido Beer Garden is Susukino, which is Sapporo’s answer to Tokyo’s bustling and bright city districts. If you’re missing the city life, explore this area, which its glamorous nightclub a-life, AZUBAR for experienced bar visitors, and the NORBESA Ferris Wheel.

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    63. Drive on the Rollercoaster Road

    By car is a great way to explore the nature-filled hills of Hokkaido, so if you get the chance, head to Kamifurana-cho, nicknamed “Rollercoaster Road” for its steep slopes and length, which resembles the tracks of a theme park ride. If you love driving, you can’t miss this road from your route!

    Rollercoaster Road website *Japanese only
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    64. Witness the Beauty of Shikaribetsu Lake

    810 metres above sea level is this beautiful lake and the nearby “lips mountains,” with take the shape of a mouth when reflecting off the water. This lake is gorgeous by itself, and is also the hub for various activities such as kayaking and the nature centre. In the summer, it’s a colourful display of blue and green, and come winter, you’ll be able to see igloos built on top of it! Don’t miss one of the loveliest lakes in Japan while you are in Hokkaido, whatever the season.

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    65. Challenge Yourself to Endure Record-Low Temperatures

    This unique attraction invites you to test your endurance in the lowest temperature ever recorded: -41 degrees celsius. Head inside a -20 degree room where you will get blown by an ice-cold wind, the coldest thing you’ll probably feel in your life! There is also a fun slide and a warm room for if you get too chilly. Try out this unusual challenge and brave Hokkaido’s lowest recorded temperatures at Kamikawa Ice Pavilion!

    Kamikawa Ice Pavilion website *Japanese only
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    66. Try Food Made from the Freshest Azuki Beans in Japan

    Tokachi Hills is a beautiful garden park where you can try an impressive selection of locally-produced food from sweets and bread to pork rice bowls and dairy products. This is where you’ll find fresh and local azuki beans, a staple taste in many traditional sweets, in the form of delicious ice cream. You can also buy special azuki vinegar here.

    Tokachi Hills is an experience in itself bursting with activities and marvelous food. Spend a whole day exploring this unique and exciting place!

    Tokachi Hills website
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    67. Try Some of the Best Ice Cream in the Country

    #yukijirushiparlor #sapporo #near #tokeidai

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    Hokkaido is the place to be if you love dairy products. Hokkaido’s “soft serve” ice cream is everywhere; if you want to try this deliciously creamy treat, visit Yukijirushi Parlor in Otaru! You can get various types of ice cream sundaes topped with fruit and cream, coffee and other beverages, and there is also a great selection of local souvenirs.

    Yukijirushi Parlor Tabelog page
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    68. Take the Sightseeing Covered Wagon Tour in Sapporo

    If you’d like to see the city of Sapporo in the comfort of a modern wagon, consider taking this famous tour that leaves from Odori Park and travels through central Sapporo to various photo and scenic spots. It’s a great way to see the city’s essentials. See the website for details and booking information.

    Sightseeing Covered Wagon Tour information website
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    69. Attend the Belly Button Festival in Furano

    If you’re going to be in Furano in the summer, you can’t miss the curious Belly Button Festival, locally called the “Hokkai Heso Matsuri.” It started in 1969 as a way of uniting and energizing the town’s people through dance. See hundreds of dancers performing together, some with masks painted on their torsos, and join in the festivities with street food this July!

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    70. Visit Rausu

    Rausu is a gorgeous town on the eastern peninsula of Hokkaido. It is home to the Shiretoko National Park, the beautiful Rausu Kunashiri Observatory Deck, and offers the Shiretoko Highway, a scenic drive if you’re arriving by car. If you’re going to be in this area, don’t miss a trip to this lovely town blessed by nature.

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    71. See Foxes at Kita-Kitsune Farm

    Up in Kitami, you can easily see the charming red foxes of northern Japan. The foxes here are accustomed to people, so it’s easy to see them, but keep in mind that you are not allowed to try to pet or feed them. It’s truly a great experience to get up close to these really beautiful, sweet creatures. Visit this place for great food and greater sights.

    Kita-Kitsune Farm website *Japanese only
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    72. Go Fruit Picking at Jozankei Farm

    ツヤツヤのいちご🍓 召し上がれ〜(^^) #定山渓ファーム

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    This orchard is a great place to spend a day picking and eating fruit. Seasonal fruit last from early summer until November, including plump, fresh strawberries in June, cherries, plums, pears, and grapes in September and October, and more. You can also fish in the pond, feed the ponies, and experence making pizza or jam. It’s an excellent family or couples’ day out so make sure you don’t miss it, especially if you’re in Hokkaido between summer and autumn!

    Jozankei Farm website *Japanese only
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    73. Eat Delicious Seafood in Wakkanai

    稚内の海鮮、最高♪

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    The town of Wakkanai is one of the most northernmost parts of Hokkaido, on the coast. Wakkanai is well known for its amazing seafood, particularly scallops, octopus, kelp, pollack, cod, flouder, and sand lance, as well as the regionally famous sea urchin bowl. Explore this town’s culinary prowess at restaurants such as Urokotei, Ryoshi no Mise, and Kita no Ajigokoro Takechan.

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    74. Visit Cape Noshappu

    Close to Wakkanai is the beautiful Cape Noshappu, which boasts splendid views of the sea, a lighthouse, Esandomarigyoko Park, a 100th year memorial tower and various attractions. It’s a fun spot within easy distance of Wakkanai and well worth a visit.

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    75. Check Out the Noshappu Aquarium

    With 120 species and easy access from Wakkanai and Cape Noshappu, the aquarium is a great choice to see some of the local wildlife such as seals. Though relatively small compared to the larger aquariums of big cities, this place is worth seeing and is fun to couple with a trip to the adjacent Wakkanai Youth Science Museum.

    Noshappu Aquarium website *Automatic translation available
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    76. See Spectacular Flower Fields at Shibazakura Park

    Moss phlox is a pink and purple coloured flower that blooms in spring after the cherry blossom season has ended. The sight of the bright pink slopes that you can see from early May when the flowers bloom is a truly wonderful thing to experience. Head to Shibazakura Park i spring for some sweeping views of this carefully kept and beautiful flower.

    website *Automatic translation available
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    77. Ride a Steam Locomotive

    Steam trains hold a sense of romance and adventure. If you love steam trains, try riding the SL Winter Shitsugen! You can ride it on JR Hokkaido’s Senmo Main Line through eastern Hokkaido. On specific days in February, it runs between Kawayu Onsen and Kushiro.

    SL Winter Shitsugen website *Japanese only
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    78. Try Hearty and Delicious Soup Curry

    Soup curry is another Hokkaido dish that you have to try while you are there. The light spice of the curry and the meat and vegetables make it a hearty dish that will keep you warm in the colder climate. If you are in Sapporo, check out the highly rated Curry Di.SAVoY or Soup Curry GARAKU. If you are in Asahikawa, try Fuwawa. For Hakodate, head to Asian Bar Ramai.

    79. Visit the Abashiri Prison Museum

    See the carefully conserved Abashiri Prison as a cultural property, and makes for a very interesting visit. You can take a guided tour and even try an authentic prison-style meal for a one-of-a-kind experience. It is located about four kilometres from JR Abashiri Station and offers free parking, as well as a 10% discount coupon, which you can get on their website.

    Abashiri Prison Museum website
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    80. Marvel at the Beauty of Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Known as the Twin Beauties Waterfall, this beautiful body of water can be found near Rausu. It has an observatory and in winter, you can witness the gorgeous drift ice that drastically changes the scenery. For nature lovers, this is a must-see.

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall website *Japanese only
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    81. Enjoy the Exhilirating Mt. Moiwa Ropeway

    Getting up and down a mountain is easier by cable car, locally called a “ropeway.” You can see some gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape while relaxing in a comfortable car that will take you to the top of Mt. Moiwa! Thismountain is a great place to see local wildlife and can be reached by car or train.

    Mt. Moiwa website
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    82. Don’t Miss the Onuma Quasi-National Park

    This forested park is a trip for those looking to hike, cycle, and camp. There are lakes on which you can ride a boat, a dormant volcano for great views, and endless places to explore. You can reach this beautiful national park by train or by car, and there is an information centre, restaurants, and a sourvenir shop. If you are looking for outdoor activities in the warmer seasons, Onuma Quasi-National Park is perfect.

    Onuma Quasi-National Park website *Japanese only
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    83. Attend an Unusual Summer Festival

    Every year on the last weekend of August, Noboribetsu City hosts a spiritual festival called the Noboribetsu Jigoku Festival that honours passed spirits with prayer and thanks with performances, dances, fireworks, and taiko drumming. There are also floats with figures of ghosts and even the King of Hell! This is the time when the gates to Hell are supposedly open, so join the festivitis, grab some street food, and appease the spirits that appear on these days.

    Noboribetsu Jigoku Festival website
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    84. Take a Walk in Jigokudani

    While you are in the pretty town of Noboribetsu, why not take a walk in Jigokudani, also known as “Hell Valley?” Despite the name, it s actually a very relaxing and pleasant walk where you can see some spectacular views of volcanic activity, wooded trails, and the changing colours of leaves in autumn. There is even a natural foot bath in which you can soak your feet during the walk. If you go in the evening, it is cooler and less crowded, though you might see more sights if you visit in the daytime.

    Jigokudani website
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    85. Have a Delicious Lunch at Soba-Dokoro Fukan

    Considered one of the best restaurant in the town is Soba-Dokoro Fukan, where you can get tasty soba noodles, tempura, and succulent fried chicken. It’s good to go for lunch after a walk, and the hot soba noodles are perfect for when it’s cold. If your stomach is rumbling, consider this popular eatery.

    Soba-Dokoro Fukan Tabelog page
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    86. Try the Natural Footbath at River Oyunuma

    . #大湯沼川天然足湯 #登別 #地獄谷 #道南

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    If you’re up for a walk, be sure to visit River Oyunuma, one of the most well loved spots in Noboribetsu. This pretty brook serves as a natural foot bath in which you can dip your toes and relax after a good hike! Be sure to take your own towel.

    Natural Footbath at River Oyunuma website
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    87. Connect with Nature at the Tokachi Millennium Forest

    A carefully conserved area, Tokachi Millennium Forest has a lot of things to keep you entertained: beautiful gardens, wide-open spaces, and woods. The gardens are unique and inspired by various cultures. Walk around these stunning and well-kept gardens or explore the area by segway; there are also various restaurants and shops.

    Tokachi Millennium Forest website
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    88. See Lake Kussharo

    Easily memorable for its stunning winter view and the large island in the middle, Lake Kussharo has hot springs and an observatory near it and is a great place to go for a scenic drive, a Japanese-style bath, and its picturesque scenery. The park is part of Akan National Park and is the largest lake in Japan to completely freeze over in winter.

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    89. Visit the Horse Museum in Obihiro

    This small but free museum in Obihiro is informative and tells the history of agricultural horses, which played a big role in the settlement of Hokkaido. If you love horses and you’re interested in learning a bit about the area’s local history, drop by this interesting place.

    Local History Museum website *Japanese only
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    90. Visit the Racetrack

    To add to your experience of learning about Obihiro horses, go and see a race at the horse racetrack! Here, you can bet on races and enjoy the thrill of one-ton trained horses racing each other. The Hokkaido people have a unque love for horses, so if you are a fan of these beautiful animals, take some time to visit the racetrack.

    Banei Rokachi Racetrack website
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    91. Relax in Manabe Garden

    Also in Obihiro is the beautiful Manabe Garden, a shady and spacious garden boasting many differnt kinds of trees and plants that you don’t usually see in Japanese gardens. You can easily spend a pleasant hour or two exploring this lovely area and is very romantic on a warm day.

    Manabe Garden website
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    92. Pay a Visit to Obihiro Shrine

    Though perhaps not as grand as some shrines in other parts of Japan, Obihiro Shrine nevertheless plays an important role in the town’s history and is considered to be something of a hidden gem. It is located near the racetrack and boasts inviting white gates just waiting to be explored.

    Obihiro Shrine website *Japanese only
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    93. Have a Drink at Kita no Yatai

    Literally meaning “food stalls of the north,” Kita no Yatai is a street of 20 small, traditional izakaya pubs where the locals go for a drink and a bite to eat. Explore the different sake options and unique pub food after a long day of walking and sightseeing, and find your new favourite corner izakaya!

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    94. Get Your Shopping Fix at Tokachimura

    If you need to get souvenirs or you’re just looking to get your retail fix, pay a visit to the charming Tokachimura Sanchoku Market, where you’ll find stalls selling everything from toys and books to clothes and food. This unique market is a treasure trove of unique items and special foods, of which the black pork is highly recommended.

    Tokachimura website
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    95. Visit the Historical Village of Hokkaido

    Hokkaido historical village, Sapporo

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    This open-air museum in Sapporo opened in 1983 and gives an interactive insight into the frontier period life in Hokkaido, which was between the mid 19th century and the early 20th century. Observe the old stone and wooden buildings and absorb the realistic atmosphere of farm life and Shinto spirit. It is a great way to take a look at how the people of Hokkaido lived a hundred years ago.

    Historical Village of Hokkaido website
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    96. See Mt. Asahi

    With beauty to rival that of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Asahi is worth a visit for walkers and hiking enthusiasts. With a large lake and volcanic rock, the sweeping views around this mountain are something to behold. Take a light stroll or a more challenging hike if you prefer, and enjoy the scenery of one of Japan’s prettiest mountains.

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    97. Look at the Star-Shaped Fort from Goryokaku Tower

    Goryokaku Tower is an observatory deck in Hakodate from which you can see sweeping views, including the star-shaped fort in Goryokaku Park and Hakodate city. Each season has different views to offer, and winter is particularly beautiful as the star is more easily seeable and the area is decorated with illumination lights.

    Goryokaku Tower website
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    98. Have a Picnic in Goryokaku Park

    Now that you’ve seen the unique star-shaped park from above, why not go down and visit it? It’s a beautful leafy area perfect for picnics in summer, and the 1860s fort is a historical marvel to behold. It is also a fantastic place to be to see the cherry blossoms that bloom in spring.

    Goryokaku Park website
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    99. See Gorgeous Flower Fields at Shikisai no Oka

    【RETRIP×北海道】 北海道にある四季彩の丘。色とりどりのお花が一面に咲いている景色はとても綺麗ですよね。 credit:amana images #retrip_nippon #retrip #retrip_ns #リトリップ #リトリップ国内 #北海道 #hokkaido #四季彩の丘 #絶景 #日本の絶景 #explorejapan . 【RETRIPで絶景検索!】 RETRIPでは各地の素敵な絶景のお写真をお待ちしております。#retrip_〇〇 と最後に地名をつけて投稿されたお写真は、こちらのアカウントでご紹介させていただきます。おでかけ先の地名を入れることで、簡単に絶景検索もできるので、ぜひ利用してみてください。 また、#retrip_nippon をつけて投稿された日本の絶景のお写真は、こちらのアカウントでご紹介させていただきます。 . ▼RETRIP[リトリップ]のアプリは AppStore、GooglePlay「リトリップ」で検索! プロフィールのURLからもダウンロードできます♬

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    Shikisai no Oka, or Shikisai Hill, is another one of Hokkaid’s best flower viewing spots. It boasts a multitude of different colours in its multiple flower fields, and is a highly rated spot to see in Biei if you are visiting in the summer.

    Shikisai no Oka website
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    100. Relax by Lake Onneto

    Considered to be one of the great secret lakes of Japan, this Ainu-named freshwater lake sparkls in different hues of green and blue, a gorgeous spectre beneath mountains and blue skies. It is the perfect place to stroll, have a picnic, and take photographs to commemorate your journey in the exciting northern prefecture of Hokkaido.

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    If you need transportation from Chitose Airport, be sure to book one of the following airport transfers.

    Alternatively, you could also rent a car. Please keep in mind you’ll need either a Japanese driver’s license or an International Driver’s Permit.

    Don’t forget to book a portable Wifi router to get easy access to the internet anywhere in Japan. With this list of things to do in Hokkaido, you no doubt have some great ideas of what you’d like to spend your time doing during your trip. Whether you’re looking for winter sports, seeing luscious flower fields, basking in nature or bathing in a hot spring, Hokkaido has something for everyone. Enjoy your trip!

    Would you like to stay in Hokkaido? Check out all the hotels in the area here!