Hokkaido is blessed with a vast natural landscape that is its major attraction, although there are plenty of natural and cultural attractions to keep visitors entertained no matter the season. Depending on the season, what you see in Hokkaido varies greatly. In winter, the snowscape brings numerous festivals where ice carvings and romantic light-ups take place in various towns around the island. The Sapporo Snow Festival is the largest celebration with ostentatious ice carvings, while in Otaru, the Snow Light Path Festival is a more small-scale affair featuring candles along the canal.
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Use the. Hokkaido is accessible by plane from all major airports in Japan to New Chitose Airport outside of Sapporo. It's also possible to take the bullet train from Tokyo; the journey is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
The fastest way to reach Hokkaido is by plane. By train, it takes around eight hours from Tokyo. There are also some inexpensive long-distance ferries from Honshu to ports outside of Sapporo. Show More Information. Ishikari Nabe. The Ishikari River in Hokkaido is famous for the delicious salmon that swim in its waters. Ishikari nabe marries this salmon with locally grown potatoes and various seasonal items in a kelp and miso broth, all cooked together in a boiling clay pot.
Hokkaido Seafood. Japan is synonymous with seafood, and it features on menus everywhere throughout the country. Yet, for the very freshest, most delicious and widest array, Hokkaido is considered the place to go. Crab, scallops, sea urchin, squid and salmon are but a few of the delicacies for which Japan's northern island is famed. To try a little of everything, Muroran Yakitori. Pig farming flourished in this region in the s, and many yakitori restaurants began putting Muroran yakitori on their menus.
Also known as Muroran yakiton, the dish got its name because the juicy chunks of pork are skewered and grilled in the same way yakitori is prepared. Obihiro Butadon. Locally sourced pork is aged briefly to bring out its natural umami, then grilled and served over Hokkaido rice. A simple dish that showcases the natural flavors of Hokkaido. Sapporo Ramen. Served in a rich miso soup and topped with butter, sweet corn, bean sprouts and pork, this winter warmer is on the menu at ramen restaurants throughout Sapporo and the rest of Hokkaido.
Bibai Yakitori. While most yakitori places offer the standard, recognized chicken parts, Bibai is all about the gizzards, hearts and livers. Try a few skewers and see what you've been missing. Kegani, horsehair crab, can be served raw, boiled or grilled, and yields exceptionally sweet, tender meat. You can find kegani in sushi, bento boxes and hot pots across Hokkaido.
Hakodate Ramen. Hakodate ramen takes the traditional pork or chicken soup base and adds kelp or other seafood to give it the flavor of Hakodate's rich fishing heritage.
The result is a lighter, less oily soup stock. Kushiro Kattedon. Buy a bowl of rice at Kushiro Washo Seafood Market and wander the stalls, filling it with as much fresh, reasonably priced seafood as you like. Okhotsk Atka Mackerel. Hokke, also known as the Arabesque greenling, lives in the cold waters of the Sea of Okhotsk. A flavorful, juicy fish, hokke can be served raw, boiled or grilled with lemon and soy sauce. Its high fat content makes it a great partner for white rice and alcohol. Cuts of lamb or mutton and vegetables are cooked at the table on a domed metal grill.
Served with dipping sauces, it's a delicious, communal style of dining. The dish's name refers to Genghis Khan, because the Japanese thought lamb was a favorite of Mongolian soldiers. Soup Curry. It's curry in a delicious soup form.
This spicy dish is filled with all manner of seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin, okura and lotus root. It often includes meat, from wagyu beef to Hokkaido snow crab.
Yubari Melon. A hybrid melon grown in greenhouses in Yubari that is famous for its perfectly round shape and intense sweetness. You might never enjoy another melon quite as much ever again. Asahikawa Ramen. With an extra layer of oil on top of a delicious soy sauce-based soup, Asahikawa ramen is extra fun to slurp thanks to its thin, firm and wavy noodles. Traditional Ainu Crafts. They once survived by hunting, fishing and foraging, and created many beautiful objects used in their daily lives such as knives and clothing.
Yakumo Wood-Carved Bears. Bolta Figurines. Bolta ningyo are dolls welded from bolts, nuts, washers and other components, made in Muroran, a city of iron in Hokkaido. The five-centimeter-high bolta character comes in poses, appearing as a warlord, musician, singer, tennis player, tea ceremony master, astronomer, thinker and many other guises.
Nibutani Tree-Bark Textiles. Bark from Manchurian elm or Japanese lime trees is handspun and woven into distinctively textured fabric. Nibutani tree-bark cloth was a common material in Ainu households for centuries. Nibutani Trays. Hand-carved wooden trays featuring traditional motifs unique to Ainu culture, including soft spirals, diamond-shaped eyes, thorns and fish scales.
Each piece is intricately fashioned to accentuate the wood grain. Ainu bachelors didn't put a ring on it, they carved love tokens, including Nibutani trays. As the snow melts, Hokkaido transforms. Hokkaido's northern location means its cherry blossom season is later in the year, in May. Summer is lavender season in Hokkaido, and there are dozens of other flower festivals too. The last mountain snows melt, allowing opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rafting and other green season sports.
In fall, view spectacular illuminations in the cities and colorful foliage in the national parks. Taste Hokkaido's seasonal produce when it is freshly harvested. Hokkaido is synonymous with skiing in Japan. Don't miss a chance to glide down the slopes of the Niseko, Rusutsu or Furano resorts after a fresh snowfall. Sapporo's world-renowned winter snow festival, with its massive snow and ice sculptures, attracts thousands of people every year.
Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with visitjapanjp. Good Day Hokkaido. Airport Access. HOME Back. Cat Island Tashirojima. Hiking in Japan. Kamakura Festival. Snow Like No Other. Restaurant Search. Weather Forecast. Planning a Trip to Japan? My Favorites. The wilderness of Hokkaido provides numerous outdoor pursuits, and its cities, nestled against the backdrop of mountains and lakes, provide culinary delights and a dose of culture.
Hokkaido offers many things to do throughout the year. The mild weather in summer is great for exploring the green hills and national parks.
Visit the lakes, rivers and mountains for hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rafting. See animals and birds in their natural habitats and bathe in volcanic waters with picturesque backdrops. In winter you can enjoy world-class skiing at the many resorts on the island.
Alternative winter sports, like snowshoeing, dog-sledding and snowmobiling, are also available and you can attend one of the grandest festivals in Japan—the Sapporo Snow Festival. How to Get There. Explore Hokkaido by Area.
Trending Attractions in Hokkaido. Local Specialties. Ishikari Nabe The Ishikari River in Hokkaido is famous for the delicious salmon that swim in its waters.
Hokkaido Seafood Japan is synonymous with seafood, and it features on menus everywhere throughout the country. Muroran Yakitori Pig farming flourished in this region in the s, and many yakitori restaurants began putting Muroran yakitori on their menus. Obihiro Butadon Locally sourced pork is aged briefly to bring out its natural umami, then grilled and served over Hokkaido rice.
Sapporo Ramen Served in a rich miso soup and topped with butter, sweet corn, bean sprouts and pork, this winter warmer is on the menu at ramen restaurants throughout Sapporo and the rest of Hokkaido.
Visiting Hokkaido's Lake Akan - A Mystical Area Home to Unique Treasures!
Use the. The recent boom in Halal tourism is partly because citizens of Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are generally exempt from obtaining visas if they hold an ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Muslim travelers are coming to Japan in record numbers. The majority of Muslim visitors to Japan are from these countries. Other reasons for a boost in halal travel in Japan include an increase in Muslim-friendly and halal-accredited restaurants and facilities, mosques and tours. Japan is tolerant of different religions and becoming more attuned to the needs of Muslim visitors.
Sample itinerary Hokkaido 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days
Located in eastern Hokkaido, Lake Akan is surrounded by gorgeous natural scenery and high-quality hot springs. It is the home of the special natural treasure, "marimo," and filled with the charm of the indigenous Ainu culture. Here we will take a look at some of the best and most popular sightseeing locations around Lake Akan, which draws in many visitors from both locally and around the world. Lake Akan is located in Kushiro City of eastern Hokkaido. Born from a volcanic eruption in the Akan caldera approximately years ago, it was designated as Akan Mashu National Park , together with the neighboring Lakes Kussharo, Mashu, and Onneto.