Attractions

Hokkaido

Hokkaido

Introduction

An Island of natural beautiful

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, Hokkaido is an island of natural beautiful. Hokkaido, formerly known as Ezo, is Japan's second largest island of Japan's four main islands; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectures. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel.

Hokkaido has majestic and diverse mountains, vast wetlands, natural lakes and marshes which create beautiful sceneries. With its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons and hikers, cyclists and campers from June to September. There are many natural parks inside of Hokkaido like Shiretoko Peninsula which was registered to Unesco's World Natural Heritage in 2005. There are areas where you will find forests and rivers in their primary state and cranes, eagles, owls, brown bears, and Ezo deer live within these forests and are protected and monitored according to species. The drift ice that can be seen between January and February are just another magnificent part of Hokkaido's winter beauty. The ice breaker cruises that move along breaking the drift ice are a popular ride. Cruises depart from Abashiri and Monbetsu.

Gourmet

Hokkaido is also referred to as “the breadbasket of Japan” since farming and fishing are major industries in the region and its fresh and quality products of Hokkaido win high popularity in Japan.

Hokkaido which is surrounded by sea on all sides is a cornucopia of fresh seafood such as crab, scallop, sea urchin, salmon roe, salmon, herring, flounder, cod, arabesque greenlings, squid, octopus, shrimp, abalone, surf clams and kelp. The crab in particular is exceptional, with an extensive range from Horsehair Crab (ケガニ kegani), Queen Crab (松葉ガニ matsubagani), and Red and Blue King Crab (タラバガニ tarabagani ). The icy waters home to these crabs help to produce there rich, sweet flavor. The mutton barbeque, a traditional Hokkaido dish is made with lamb and fresh vegetables dipped into a secret sauce and then barbequed on a helmet like hot plate, a definite favorite among tourists as well as locals. Sapporo Ramen noodles, Asahikawa Ramen and Hakodate Ramen have different flavors, and are a popular dish. Dairy is also very prominent, which explains why there are so many confectioneries, cheese factories, and there are many wineries and breweries too!

Weather

The weather here is generally mild throughout the year. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures and frozen seas, and the merciful lack of Japan's muggy summers and rainy season makes it a very popular domestic destination between May and August. Some of Hokkaido's inland areas have a continental climate, with large daily and yearly temperature variation.

Capital

Hokkaido's largest city is the capital, Sapporo. Sapporo, the city of 1.9 million is the major spot for sightseeing in Hokkaido. Everything from gigantic shopping malls to museums, parks, art museums and restaurants, historical facilities exist for fun sightseeing. Other major cities include Hakodate in the south and Asahikawa in the central region. Other important population centers include Kushiro, Obihiro, Kitami, Abashiri, and Nemuro.

Pioneers

From 1868 to 1912, many pioneers came from various parts of Japan to Hokkaido in search of a new life. Before that Hokkaido was only inhabited by the hunter-gatherer Ainu culture. People from outside of Hokkaido learned how to survive through the severe temperatures and develop this difficult land with the help of America and other countries, by learning their techniques and receiving advice on agriculture and industry. The pioneers brought many types of folk art and qualities from their homeland to Hokkaido, which then blended with each other and formed a unique and open minded culture that is typical of Hokkaido. In order to really get a feel for the history and culture of the native Ainu, the best place to visit is the Akan Ainu Kotan, or the Shiraoi Ainu Porotokotan. There you will see mock religious ceremonies, as well as exhibitions that explain and show how the native Ainu lived daily.

 
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Attractions

  • Sapporo Odori Park

    Sapporo Odori Park
    It is known as the heart and the symbol of Sapporo. With fountains, lawns, etc, the park is a relaxing space for the citizens. It serves as the main site of Sapporo’s big events and ceremonies.
  • Otaru Canal

    Otaru Canal
    With its gas lamps and red bricks warehouses, Otaru Canal keeps its early romantic atmosphere. The canal is an ideal place to enjoy the stroll and excellent seafood.
  • Hokkaido Shrine

    Hokkaido Shrine
    This shrine is one of the most popular Japanese temples. It is not only a place for praying for good fortune, but is also called a Power Spot. It is also known as one of the best cherry blossom-viewing spots.
  • Asahiyama Zoo

    Asahiyama Zoo
    It is known for its unique facilities where visitors can observe and interact with animals. Cages and tanks are designed and set in a way that visitors see animals’ behavior and habits.
  • Shiroi Koibito Park

    Shiroi Koibito Park
    It is a theme park by Ishiya which produces Shiroi Koibito cookie. The park consists of various Disneyland style buildings housing shops, cafe, various chocolate related exhibits and a chocolate factory.
  • Ainu Museum

    Ainu Museum
    Ainu Museum is the most important museum about the Ainu in Japan. You can learn about Ainu history and culture through Ainu folk dance, songs, crafts and food. All facilities are based on Ainu designe.
  • Sapporo Clock Tower

    Sapporo Clock Tower
    It is regarded as both a historical and cultural symbol of Sapporo. The building was constructed during the early period of Sapporo's development in 1878. Currently, this is the oldest building in Sapporo.
  • Kitaichi Glass

    Kitaichi Glass
    Kitaichi Glass is a long-established handmade glassware shop. The one that represents Kitaichi Glass the best among its stores is the Kitaichi Glass 3gokan which also is the center of glasswork of Otaru.
  • Otaru Music Box Museum

    Otaru Music Box Museum
    It is one of the largest museum shops of music boxes in Japan. The beautiful century-old building, designated as one of historic landmarks of Otaru, is full of music boxes in various sizes and types.
  • Lake Akan

    Lake Akan
    Lake Akan is a lake of mystery and beauty. It is one of the most renowned sightseeing sites in with its awe-inspiring landscape. It is also known as the home place of miraculous marimo.
  • Lake Mashu

    Lake Mashu
    A mysterious lake, Lake Mashu is one of the clearest lakes in the world, and is often obscured by a heavy mist and fog. It is known as the Sapphire of Mashu because of its blue colored water.
  • Showa Shinzan

    Showa Shinzan
    Showa Shinzan is one of Japan's youngest mountains and a volcanic lava dome. It is valuable from the viewpoint of education and academy because of its form.
  • Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

    Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
    Built a century ago, it is a waterfront shopping, gourmet, and culture spot housed in red brick warehouses redolent with the atmosphere of yesteryear.
  • Hakodate Meijikan

    Hakodate Meijikan
    The building was formerly the Hakodate Post Office which was built in 1911 but has now changed into a much-loved shopping mall with a cafe, glassworks shop, music box shop and more.
  • Mount Hakodate Observatory

    Mount Hakodate Observatory
    The observatory is located on the mountaintop of Mount Hakodate. The night view from the observatory is known as one of the best views in the Hokkaido, Japan and the world.
  • Ganso Ramen Yokocho

    Ganso Ramen Yokocho
    Ganso Ramen Yokocho is a narrow lane lined with 16 stores serving Sapporo's famous ramen you've ever tasted. Your trip to Sapporo is not complete without paying a visit to Ganso Ramen Yokocho.
  • Tanukikoji Shopping Street

    Tanukikoji Shopping Street
    A very popular shopping mall housing about 200 shops selling clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, Hokkaido delicacies and locally made gift items.
  • Noboribetsu Hot Spring

    Noboribetsu Hot Spring
    Famous for the variety of hot water springs, it is one of Japan’s best known spa resorts and is the most popular of Hokkaido’s many spa towns. It attracts more than 3 million visitors a year from the world.
  • Noboribetsu Jigoku-dani

    Noboribetsu Jigoku-dani
    It is the source of the Noboribetsu Hot Spring. Volcanic pits, steam vents and geysers are constantly puffing out from the earth providing a dramatic and beautiful scene. Certified as Hokkaido Heritage.
  • Noboribetsu Bear Park

    Noboribetsu Bear Park
    There are mover than 100 of Ezo bears which are the largest species of animal in Japan. You can learn about the Ezo bears, Ainu people here and have fun by joining the features programs and events.
  • Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura

    Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura
    Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura is a history theme park highlighting city life in the Edo Period. Step back in time to enjoy traditional games, activities, theaters, street performances and more.
  • Tokachigawa Hot Spring

    Tokachigawa Hot Spring
    This hot spring is the best-known and most popular lowland resort in Tokachi. Tokachigawa is not only providing hot springs, but also we can enjoy a natural splendor that’s unique to Hokkaido.
  • Farm Tomita

    Farm Tomita

    Among flower fields of various sizes all across Hokaido, the best spot to view the lavender is Farm Tomita in Furano, whose lavender and flower fields with the Tokachi mountain range as backdrop are spectacular.

  • Soun-kyo Gorge

    Soun-kyo Gorge
    The gorge is a touristy hot spring resort with a pleasant village center, onsen baths and beautiful nearby waterfalls. It is also a good base for walks and hiking tours into the national park.
  • Ryusei and Ginga Waterfall

    Ryusei and Ginga Waterfall
    In the Soun-kyo Gorge there are many waterfalls. Of these, the most beautiful are the Ryusei Waterfall, with its fierce 90-meter drop, and the Ginga Waterfall, with its slender descending line of water.
  • Otokoyama Sake Museum

    Otokoyama Sake Museum
    It is a museum of Otokoyama Sake Brewery which is an award-winning and the most famous sake brewery in Asahikawa. You can have sake tasting for free and purchase special editions of Otokoyama here.
  • Northern Horse Park

    Northern Horse Park
    The park is a horse-themed nature park. In this park, you can not only enjoy horse riding, carriage riding and other outdoor activities but also see various types and colors of horses.
  • Trappistine Monastery

    Trappistine Monastery
    The first convent in Japan. The red-brick contemplative convent was built in a solemn combination of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Highly recommended are original sweets.
  • Goryokaku Park

    Goryokaku Park
    The park was converted from Goryokaku which is known for final battle of the last civil war in Japan but now is famous for its flowering cherry trees. Also has Goryokaku Tower, museum and other facilities.
  • Chitose Salmon Aquarium

    Chitose Salmon Aquarium
    Here is an aquarium where visitors learn about the ecology of salmons and freshwater fishes of the Northern Pacific through videos and aquariums. You can also observe the environment of the river directly.
  • Hohei-kyo Gorge

    Hohei-kyo Gorge
    The gorge is a popular year-round hiking spot, and there is a good reason to visit—it's beautiful. The lake was selected as one of the "top 100 dam lake" and the forest is "top 100 forest of the water source".
  • Lake Shikotsu

    Lake Shikotsu
    The second largest and deepest caldera lake in Japan, known for its cystal clear water and beautiful view of the mountains, and popular for fishing, boating, canoeing, diving, bird watching, cycling, etc.
  • Onuma Quasi-National Park

    Onuma Quasi-National Park
    It is known for its picturesque and island dotted lakes, and is the major park in the south of Hokkaido. Visitors can enjoy walking, cycling, canoeing and cruising, promising visitors a fulfilling experience.
  • Toyako Hot Spring

    Toyako Hot Spring
    It is a beautiful lakeside resort and is one of Hokkaido's three most impressive landscapes. Landscapes include Lake Toya, Mt. Usu, Mt. Yotei, etc. Yearly hold popular events also attracts visitors.
  • Ryugetsu

    Ryugetsu
    One of the major sweets shops in Hokkaido. The representative cake Sanporoku is awarded at many competitions. The ingredients are all produced in Hokkaido, ensuring quality and freshness.
  • Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO

    Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO
    The wharf houses numerous souvenir shops and eateries ranging from large-scale restaurants and food stalls. Tourists and local people enjoy sightseeing, eating, shopping, and relaxing here.
  • Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe

    Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
    It is a popular theme park focusing on fish, marine mammals, sea creatures and some other animals. Visitors can't miss popular events such as king penguim parade, shark hunting show and so on.
  • Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum

    Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum
    Located on top of Mt. Tentozan, the museum is an museum to learn about the drift ice around the year, the ecosystem of the Sea of Okhotsk and to see clione which is commonly known as sea angel.
  • Lake Notoro

    Lake Notoro
    Lake Notoro is one of the only places in Japan with glasswort. During the late summer the glasswort change color, bathing the coast in a carpet of crimson, which is one of the best in Hokkaido.
  • Former Hokkaido Government Office

    Former Hokkaido Government Office
    Built in 1888, this American-neo-baroque structure was constructed as a base of the Hokkaido administration. Located in front of the building is the beautiful flower gardens and a pond.
  • Abashiri Prison Museum

    Abashiri Prison Museum
    The museum is originally the Abashiri Prison. It illustrates the daily life of prisoners and the buildings that were actually in use in the Meiji era have been kept and shown to the public.

 
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Attractions in Japan

 
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