Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan. It might be the least developed out of Japan’s four main islands but it is rich with high quality and fresh seafood and it has a lot of tourist spots that attract visitors from all over the world. If you are visiting Hokkaido for the first time, it might be hard for you to decide what places to include in your itinerary. So, in order to have a memorable and authentic Japan experience in Hokkaido, choosing the right places to visit is the key. Here are some of the places that you should visit and experience in Hokkaido that can finally cross out from your bucket list!
Enjoy the fine snow of Niseko
The snow is Niseko is very popular not only in Japan but also to the world because of its fine powder snow. Niseko is considered the “Powder Capital of the World” because of its consistent snow powder all throughout the year. Niseko Ski Resorts, composed of four interlinked ski resorts, is very famous among skiers and snowboarders around the world. You don’t have to worry about not having experience in skiing or snowboarding because the resort has courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skilled snowboarders. Niseko also offers heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cat skiing. You can definitely enjoy snow in Niseko all through the season.
Take a dip at high-quality Onsens
Hokkaido is a large island so it is no surprise to have several volcanoes on it which in return, makes high-quality onsens that add pride in the prefecture. One very popular onsen in Hokkaido is Noboribetsu, which is almost synonymous with the phrase “Hokkaido hot springs.” It is considered one of the best hot springs in Japan that they even make their own bath salts and sell them throughout the country. Another one is Jozankei which is also one of the top onsens in Hokkaido. People from Sapporo are more likely to visit Jozankei because of its location and high-quality service. There are a lot more onsens in Hokkaido which you can search about and visit during your stay. After long and enjoyable activities with the snow, taking a dip at any of these onsens is really a taste of heaven.
Walkthrough the rainbow meadows of Furano
Furano is a town in the central area of Hokkaido known for its beautiful rural landscape. There’s a lot of flower fields in Furano where you can enjoy its view and aesthetics. Some of the flower field in Hokkaido includes Tomita Flower Field, Choei Lavender, and Hinode Lavender Field which are all very famous for its lavender field. Rokugo Viewing Platform (Furano Jam Garden) is also popular for its lavender field as well as a sunflower field. Aside from the flower fields, there are also some activities to enjoy in Furano like mountain biking, canyoning, and water rafting.
Attend the Sapporo Snow Festival
There are a lot of Winter Festivals around the world but one of the most popular ones is the Sapporo Snow Festival which has been around since 1950. It is one of the most anticipated festivals in Japan, with over 2 million visitors every year, the festival does not only attract locals but foreign tourists as well. Sapporo Snow Festival has several activities but the biggest highlight is the gigantic snow statues and buildings throughout Odori Park. Some of the snow structures have some lights on them which adds more fun and excitement to the spectators.
Be one with nature at Shiretoko National Park
At the easternmost part of Hokkaido, you can find Shiretoko National Park, one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural Site). Shiretoko National Park has a vast forest and a wide marine area. The marine area of the peninsula is considered the world’s southernmost place where drift ice generally forms. Shiretoko National Park is also considered one of Japan’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks due to the variety of wildlife it has, both on land and underwater. There are also a lot of hiking spots in the national park. A nature cruise is also offered along the coast of Shiretoko, where you might spot bears on the beaches and some of the 14 different species of whales that visit the coastline. Shiretoko National Park is a little far from Hokkaido’s main island but it is definitely a worthy place to visit.
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