Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

by Amy - TripleLights travel specialist

Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island and the coldest place in Japan. Thus, it is a popular skiing destination with foreign travellers thanks to its substantial snow fall and gorgeous ski resorts. The highlight of winter in Hokkaido is certainly the famous Sapporo Snow Festival which is well known for having many breathtaking ice sculptures. Make sure that Hokkaido is on your list of places to visit if you are in Japan during the winter!

Sapporo Snow Festival

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

A snow festival featuring snow statues and illumination centering around Odori Avenue in Sapporo
One of the largest events in Hokkaido for which more than 2 million people visit annually. Plenty of events where you can encounter huge snow and ice sculptures only to be found in an environment rich in snow.

The Odori Avenue venue The Sapporo Snow Festival takes place mainly at 3 venues, and the events held there can vary depending on the venue. First, the most well-known part of the festival which involves the gigantic snow and ice sculptures is held on Odori Avenue. This is the main venue for the snow festival. Spanning from Odori Avenue Nishi Itchome to Juu-Nichome, there are snow sculptures so large that you have to look up, as well as citizen-made sculptures all over that are small and cute. There are also interactive events such as a snow...

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Price
- Free
Varies according to the event
Website
www.snowfes.com

Eat Local Foods

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Hokkaido is famous for having lots of fresh seafood, vegetables and delicous dairy products. A trip to Hokkaido would not be complete without trying the local foods. In the winter, a bowl of miso ramen or a steaming pot of Ishikari nabe is just what you will want. Seafood such as crab and sushi is another important delicacy of this region.

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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

The largest resort among the Niseko ski resorts that can be enjoyed by the whole family
Graceful skiing on a huge site that spans from the summit of Mt. Annupuri to the foot of the mountain. A ski resort that can be enjoyed by the whole family with a variety of courses.

The most popular ski resort in Niseko Every year, many skiers from Japan and abroad come to Hokkaido’s Niseko area in search of high-quality powder snow. Even among the many ski resorts there, Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu is always blessed with opportunities to ski on fresh snow thanks to the large site, and it has also been popular with overseas skiers. With a variety of courses available, you can ski down and enjoy different vistas without tiring of any of them. Naturally, it’s great for advanced skiers, but school less...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 8:30 PM )
Phone
0136-22-0109
Price
8-hour lift ticket (Niseko All Mountain) Adults 5600 yen、Children 3100 yen
1-day ticket Adults 5100 yen, Children 2800 yen
※Ski resort fees will differ depending on usage time. Niseko All Mountain and all 1-day tickets are representatively listed.
Website
www.grand-hirafu.jp

Niseko Village Ski Resort

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

Enjoy sports, shopping and cuisine as you enjoy nature on Mt. Niseko Annupuri
The super popular ski resort will satisfy even the most advanced of skiers. The high-quality powder snow is the selling point. In 2014, a shopping area reminiscent of an old Japanese town was also opened.

It’s not just about skiing! You can enjoy a variety of activities Mt. Niseko Annupuri at Hokkaido’s Niseko. The lovely natural scene that spreads out there is especially full of winter sports, and during that season, many tourists visit so that they can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Among the numerous ski resorts on Annupuri, the Niseko Village Ski Resort has a lot of slopes with a high degree of difficulty so that the advanced skiers can enjoy them to their hearts’ content. Furthermore, besides skiing and snowboarding, a...

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Phone
0136-44-2211
Price
8-hour lift ticket (for all mountains in Niseko) Adults: 5600 yen Children: 3100 yen
1-day ticket Adults: 5000 yen Children: 3100 yen
(Peak season 12/13-3/22)
1-day ticket Adults: 4600 yen Children: 2850 yen
(Off season 12/1-12/12, 3/23-4/7)
F
Website
www.niseko-village.com

Rusutsu Resort

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter
Photo by Planetyze
Hokkaido’s largest ski resort where you can enjoy the view from the mountaintop
The total length of the ski runs is 42km. One of the charming points of the resort is that there are a variety of courses for beginners and advanced skiers to enjoy.

While getting that perfect view Rusutsu Resort is the largest resort of its kind in Hokkaido located in the village of Rusutsu. With a total of 37 courses, it expands through 3 mountains: Mount Isola, East Mountain and West Mountain. In particular, a superb view of Lake Toya and Mt. Usu spreads out from Mt. Isola which you can ski down while seeing the façade of Mt. Yotei. To be able to see this incredible view as you go down the mountain is a true pleasure that can only be experienced in Hokkaido. From the continuous high-quality mo...

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Phone
0136-46 -3111
Price
- Adult: 5500 JPY
- Child: 2750 JPY
Cost of a one-day ticket
Website
en.rusutsu.co.jp

Noboribetsu Onsen

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

Hokkaido’s foremost onsen town where you can enjoy hot springs in the middle of grand Mother Nature
Noboribetsu Onsen which is easily accessible from urban centers such as Sapporo and Hakodate is far and away the most popular onsen area in Hokkaido. You can even do a day-trip tour of 14 onsen

The popular onsen area that regularly ranks highly in Japan Noboribetsu Onsen which is located close to Hokkaido Prefecture’s Noboribetsu City, is a highly popular onsen town that has gathered many fans in the nation. An area that has had a long history ranging from the Edo Era, it has garnered overwhelming fame and popularity even within the prefecture since its first onsen inn was established in the Meiji Era. Along with the fact that it has great access from Hokkaido’s urban centers, it is an onsen area with fine quality water...

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Phone
0143-84-3311
Website
www.noboribetsu-spa.jp

Ningle Terrace

Best Things to do in Hokkaido in the Winter

Photo by Planetyze

A shopping area whose log houses produce a warm atmosphere
Located in the forest of the New Furano Prince Hotel, it’s an area where you can enjoy shopping in the middle of nature. Its craft shops and cafes have become famous so that it has even been used for filming on TV.

A shopping area of a string of log houses Hokkaido’s Furano is a city of sights to see from the lavender in summer to the skiing in winter, and Ningle Terrace is a shopping area located in a forest next to the New Furano Prince Hotel. “Ningle” refers to a 15cm-tall character known as The Wise Man of the Forest in a book of the same title written by So Kuramoto, famous for the popular drama “Kita no Kuni kara” (From the North Country), and the shopping area was created based on the writer’s ideas. The craf...

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Business hours
- Everyday (12:00 PM ~ 8:30 PM )

 

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26 Oct 2016

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Recent Tour Reviews in Hokkaido

“ Great Experience ”

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5 hours ago Traveler: Cristine -   Tour Guide: SkyX

We had a great time!
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“ Thank you Yuichi! ”

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5 months ago Traveler: Hansen -   Tour Guide: Shinobu

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“ More than my expectation ”

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Very nice n knowledgeable of the area, he tried very hard to make sure we were enjoy our tour, I will request him to be my next trip in Sapporo
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5 months ago Traveler: Alicia -   Tour Guide: Yuichi

Among the past few private tour guides we had experienced during our trips in Tokyo and Hokkaido, Yuichi came out tops as being very professional and his conversational English was clear and understandable. He kept on providing commentaries of the places, food and unique quirks without us asking / prompting. His comments were also very insightful and interesting. During our toilet breaks while...
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“ Friendly ojisan ”

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6 months ago Traveler: Julia -   Tour Guide: TR Taxi

On time ! Never disappointed us ~ airport pick up, hotel pick up, meet up point pick up ! All really on time and we met a very experienced driver !! Even though he is 74 years old ojisan. His energy never look like his age! His driving skill during heavy snow also excellent !! Overall just “Best” Thanks for all ! Really appreciate him , wish can come again and meet him up. 👍👍👍
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6 months ago Traveler: Valerie -   Tour Guide: Shinobu

He is an Accommodative and friendly guide . He can adapt to last min changes of the itinerary. Helped my kids during their skiing lesson and he fulfilled most of our request throughout the journey . Overall we give him a 8/10 . He needs to improve on his command of English otherwise all are good ! Keep up the good work and thanks for the wonderful 5 days journey
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6 months ago Traveler: Glo -   Tour Guide: TR Taxi

I misplaced his card but I think that was his name - he was an older gentleman - he was very good, extremely nice, and even though he didn't speak English, he was able to understand my broken Japanese and take me to the places we wanted to go. He was always available and ready when we were done. He was always nearby. When we met him, he had an itinerary with a timeline. It was awesome and helped u...
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Yuichi-san did a great job being my guide for the day in Sapporo. We covered a lot of ground that I would not have been able to do on my own. Yuichi-san met at my hotel to start the tour. We had already communicated a few times before the date so that Yuichi could put together an itinerary of what I was interested in. My trip to Sapporo was in late October. So I wanted to see the Autumn Leav...
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