What to do in Hokkaido
ocated in the northernmost part of Japan, Hokkaido (北海道) is well-known for its stunning unspoiled scenery and picturesque landscape, from the tropical blue lakes to the open fields of flowers and numerous hot spring locations. You will be in for a memorable and selfie-friendly holiday!
Hokkaido attracts millions of visitors annually, both international travellers and locals as well. With plenty of activities to do and sights to take in, there's something for everyone here at Hokkaido.
Hokkaido is also a popular winter destination well-known for the powder snow (affectionately nicknamed ja-pow), praised by skiers around the world as the best quality snow.
Here are some of the sights that you should visit when you come to Hokkaido!
One of Hokkaido's top tourist attractions, Lake Toya (洞爺湖) is a crater lake located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The clear waters here spans across 10km and is surrounded by a beautiful serene landscape, making it a perfect photo spot. There's also an active volcano here, Mount Usu with numerous hot springs.
You can get a panoramic view of the place from the observatory here or cruise on a relaxing ferry ride.
Hakodate Morning Market
One of the joys of travelling is the food! Who's ready for a sumptuous breakfast to kickstart the day? Hakodate Morning Market (函館朝市) is the best place for that, with plenty of fresh seafood, fresh produce and dairy products to choose from. King crab (kani), salmon roe, sea urchin (uni), and fresh squids are just some of the variety you can find here.
There are over 250 stores here that are opened daily from 5am (6am in the winter) till noon.
Jigokudani - Hell Valley
Located right next to Noboribetsu hot springs, Jigokudani (地獄谷) is a spectacular valley above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen. It is the main source for Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters, with plenty of hot steam vents, sulfurous streams and volcanic gases, not a daily sight that many of us have seen.
You can walk along one of the walking trails here through the wooded hills or head to the observation points for a panoramic view of the stunning valley. And of course, don’t miss a leisure bath in one of the many luxurious onsen you can find here!
Otaru (小樽) is a famous historical city and popular destination in Hokkaido. This small but beautiful harbour city is about half an hour northwest of Sapporo by train. One of the main highlights and instagram-friendly spot here is the Otaru Canal, a beautifully preserved canal area where the Otaru Snow Light Road event is held every February.
You can also find many sweet shops and cafes here to step in and chill the lazy afternoon away.
Okurayama Ski Jump
Constructed in 1931, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium is a ski jumping venue located in the Miyanomori area in Sapporo. It is one of the few 90 meter ski jump hills in the world and has hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics. Head to the Okurayama Observatory at the top of the hill for a splendid bird’s eye view of Sapporo. You might also encounter some practicing jumpers here and witness a ski jump up close!
Sapporo Beer Museum
Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan and Sapporo beer is the oldest brew in Japan, founded in Sapporo in 1876. The Sapporo Beer Museum was first opened in 1987 where visitors can learn more about the history of beer in Japan and their brewery process. At the end of the tour, beer tastings are available for a small fee. There’s also a museum shop with a variety of merchandise and souvenirs to bring home.
There are also many grill restaurants and beer halls located at the Sapporo Beer Garden just next to the museum. BBQ and beer sounds like a perfect dinner date.
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