25 Oct 2016

 When it comes to exploring Hokkaido:  Landscapes, foods, major events in winter, magnificent sights, nightview....... There are too many reasons that you need to pack right away and head to the north end of Japan. 

 Are you ready to enjoy you time off by traveling to Hokkaido? Here are the best 20 things we highly recommend you not to miss while taking a trip. 

Ōnuma Quasi-National Park

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

Enjoy a variety of activities within the grand nature of Hokkaido
Located close to Hakodate, this is a large park which includes 3 lakes and the volcano Komagatake. This is a large natural resort which can be enjoyed fully by families for the environment that is very Hokkaido.

A park with many sights to see surrounded by Japanese white birch and maple trees Ōnuma Quasi-National Park is one of the New Top Three Views of Japan alongside Miho-no-Matsubara in Shizuoka Prefecture and Yaba Valley in Oita Prefecture. The park includes the three lakes of Onuma, Konuma and Junsai. The name of Onuma came from the Ainu word “boro toh” which means “a large marsh”, the meaning of “onuma”. A serene and relaxing scene of lakes and marshes spreads out surrounded by nature including Japanese whi...

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Price
- Free
Vehicles and other activities require separate charges
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Lake Shikotsu

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

Japan’s northernmost ice-free lake is a part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Although it is located in a very cold region of Japan, the water at the bottom of the lake is quite warm which means it is a caldera lake that doesn’t freeze over. The area has numerous tourist spots and surrounding nature.

Enjoy the magnificent landscape by the lakeshore The origin of Lake Shikotsu came from the Ainu word for “big hollow”. It is a caldera lake which was formed about 40,000 years ago and is known for being the nation’s northernmost ice-free lake. Also, it is a beautiful body of water that boasts one of the best examples of clear water in Japan. In the area around the lake, there is a magnificent range of mountains including Mt. Eniwa, Mt. Tarumae and Mt. Fuppushi. You can enjoy yourself simply walking around the lakeshore area...

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Website
en.wikipedia.org

Sapporo TV Tower

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

The night view of Sapporo from the jewel-like TV Tower has been called one of the New Top Three Nightscapes of Japan
The symbol of Sapporo standing out in the middle of the city. There is an observation deck to enjoy the nightscape along with restaurants. It is a superb spot to appreciate the scenery of Sapporo which changes every season.

The symbol of Sapporo to enjoy shopping and dining Sapporo TV Tower which is located in Odori Park in the center of Sapporo is famous as a tourist spot representing the city. At a height of 147.2 meters, it is easy to see and access once you walk upon Odori Avenue so that it is visited by many tourists. During events such as New Year’s, the tower is illuminated in a variety of colors so that it is recommended as a photography spot. It doesn’t just fulfill a role as a television broadcast tower, but it is also a commercial facilit...

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Phone
011-241-1131
Price
- Adult: 720 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
The above is the admission to the observation deck in the tower
Website
www.tv-tower.co.jp

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

The red brick warehouse is a famous Hakodate tourist spot where you can enjoy shopping and cuisine
The townscape that has been recognized as a prefectural heritage site and the historic red brick warehouse’s atmosphere create a must-see tourist destination when you come to Hakodate.

A tourist spot steeped in the profound atmosphere of the Meiji Era The mark consisting of the kanji for “woods” under a right angle displayed on the red brick warehouse is the official trademark for the old Kanemori Yobutsu-Ten (Western Goods Store). This warehouse which was built in the Meiji Era is operated by Kanemori Shosen Inc. which began as Kanemori Yobutsu-ten. The property has been recognized as a Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings and is also known as a famous tourist site in the city of Hakodate whic...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 7:00 PM )
May vary depending on the season
Phone
0138 -27-5530
Website
www.hakodate-kanemori.com

Abashiri Prison Museum

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

An outdoor museum to learn about the history of the reclamation of Hokkaido and the prisoners who lived there
Part of the buildings that had actually been used during the Meiji Era has been preserved and opened as a museum. Carvings of the prisoners of the time have been left, and there is a fascinating air to the place.

Learn about the prison during the development of Hokkaido The reclamation of the huge area of Hokkaido occurred during the Meiji Era. It was a time when many hands were needed, so prisoners were also used as a labor force. Abashiri Prison Museum is known as a valuable facility where you can get a glimpse of prisoners working off their sentences through their contributions to the development during this age and their lifestyles. As Japan’s only prison museum, tableware and historical goods that were used in the relocated barracks dur...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
April-October  8:00am-6:00pm
November-March 9:00am-5:00pm

Phone
0152-45-2411
Price
- Adult: 1080 JPY
- Child: 540 JPY
Website
www.kangoku.jp

Biei Hills

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

There is no doubt about the impressiveness of the horizon and the hills that go off everywhere
The town of Biei in Hokkaido is famous as a town of hills which has been used in commercials and televised dramas. The epic landscape just spreads out and it feels as if you are standing in the middle of a painting.

Patchwork Road The hills of Biei in Hokkaido are characterized by a wealth of agriculture. It is especially the farmscapes on these hills that make it the No. 1 tourist spot for Biei. Forests were cleared to create the farmlands of today which led to the grand hills that can be seen today. Biei, which is located at the foot of the Daisetsuzan Tokachidake Mountain Range, is filled with crops that differ from season to season especially to prevent repeated cultivation so the hills take on different colors resembling a patchwork. For that reason...

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Phone
0166-92-4378
Website
www.biei-hokkaido.jp

Sapporo Snow Festival

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

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

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

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

Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

The source for Noboribetsu Onsen. The spectacular sight of the hot water that bubbles up even now makes it a highlight.
Located right next to Noboribetsu Onsen, white smoke wafts up from the blowholes and you are enveloped in hot air that feels just like hell. The primeval forest in the surrounding area is beautiful for its foliage in fall.

Feel the breath of the great land Jigokudani is located right beside Hokkaido’s Noboribetsu Onsen. With the remains of a 450-meter crater, even now gases of sulphur and other elements and hot water used at the onsen rise up as the source spring. From the reddish-brown face of the mountain, smoke puffs up and you can feel the surrounding hot air on your skin. At the entrance of Jigokudani, there are also 2 observation points which are recommended to view the whole landscape. The contrast between the surrounding primeval forest and the...

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Price
- Free
Website
en.visit-hokkaido.jp

Kami-no-Koike

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

A beautiful cobalt-blue pond created from the underground springs of Lake Mashū
A pond that has a depth of up to 5m, it is fed with 12000 tonnes of underground water per day from Lake Mashū. In its clear waters, there are fallen trees and fish. And depending on the season, the hue of the blue color changes.

A mysterious blue pond Lake Mashū is called Kamuito (the Pond of God) in the Ainu language, and its water level doesn’t change at all since there are no rivers flowing in or out of the lake. It is said that the explanation lies in the waters of Lake Mashū flowing into the surrounding ponds as underground water. Kami-no-Koike is one of those ponds, and its name means “The Child Pond of God”. It is a small pond with a circumference of 220m and a depth of 5m, but it is a popular place visited by many tourists. The overriding...

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Price
- Free

Lake Toya

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

The 9th biggest lake in Japan and one of the Three Great Landscapes of Hokkaido
A lake located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Lake Toya is a caldera lake formed from volcanic activity. Along with nature and the surrounding landscape, you are completely free to enjoy the onsen and the outdoors any way you like.

A huge natural environment blessed with flora and fauna With Shikotsu-Toya National Park in the surrounding vicinity, Lake Toya has also been registered as a Japanese and World Geopark. Furthermore, it is one of Hokkaido’s foremost tourist spots that has been recognized for its myriad beautiful views that have been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Great Views. It also boasts status as Japan’s 3rd-largest caldera lake as well as a picturesque spot to see Mt. Usu and Mt. Showashinzan, and even Mt. Yotei off in the distance. Th...

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Website
en.wikipedia.org

Patchwork Road

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

A patchwork landscape of hills spreading over a wide area
The scenery of farmland spreading over a beautiful hilly zone brings together a wonderful collection of flowers and produce. There are many tourist spots to enjoy the grand landscape where you can appreciate the nature of Biei.

The grand nature of Biei is on an astounding scale The hilly area that spreads everywhere is the attractive Biei of Hokkaido. One of the tourist areas where you can enjoy the grand scenery born in the midst of Mother Nature within the prefecture is Patchwork Road. To avoid any damage from continuous re-planting of the same or similar crops in the same area, a variety of flowers and produce is raised in this area. The scenery is just like a patchwork quilt and the path that goes through this hilly area to be able to view this scenery is Patc...

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Website
en.wikipedia.org

Shikisai-no-Oka

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

Panoramic flower fields overflowing with the scent of lovely blossoms throughout the four seasons
Several dozen kinds of flowers bloom in the wide fields, and the large vicinity of Biei Town becomes just like a carpet of blossoms. You can also enjoy snowmobiling during the winter.

The large gardens have a breathtaking beauty Biei in Hokkaido has rolling hills surrounded by a chain of mountains so that the area can be appreciated for its grand landscape. With its never-ending horizon and Mother Nature, it is a tourist area to calm body and soul. Shikisai-no-Oka consists of panoramic flower fields which makes use of the dynamic nature in Biei. Within its 15 hectares, it boasts a variety of blooms from spring to autumn. The scene of colorful flowers against the backdrop of the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range is incredible. I...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0166-95-2758
Price
- Free
However, there is a request for donations of 200 yen at the entrance to cover maintenance costs
Website
www.shikisainooka.jp

The Seven Star Tree

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

A lone oak tree standing among the hills of Biei which stretch off in all directions
The Seven Star Tree became an overnight sensation when its image was used on a package of Seven Star cigarettes. It is a scenic spot that represents the beautiful scenery of the hills of Biei.

Enjoy the wide hills of Biei The town of Biei is an agricultural region in Hokkaido and is an attractive tourist area for its landscape of hills on the wide farmland. Beautiful scenery can be enjoyed such as Patchwork Road for its patchwork-like fields of differing colors due to the different types of crops planted, and Panorama Road with its 360-degree view of the landscape. This is a hilly region whose expressions change over the seasons. An oak tree that has become a symbol for the hills Near Patchwork Road where the beautiful hills of...

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Lake Mashū

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

A beautiful crater lake in Mashū Blue whose clarity is the highest in Japan
The beautiful scene of volcano, forest and lake enjoyed in Hokkaido’s Teshikagacho District. The crater lake of Lake Mashū has also been chosen as a heritage site for the prefecture, and the surrounding area can also be enjoyed for its onsen villages.

A grand landscape born from nature Lake Mashū has a depth of up to 200 meters and is a crater lake which boasts a clarity that is one of the highest in the world. A crater lake is formed when the crater part of a volcano collapses into itself, and since there are no rivers and few impurities to flow into it, the lake water that is conserved there has a high transparency. It is a lake whose surface changes expression with the season and the daily weather. It is also a lake which is often foggy to the point that it is referred to as Foggy Lake...

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Price
- Free
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Blue Pond

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

This mystical pond whose appearance changes depending on the season and the angle of light is a hidden must-see spot
Within the natural and hilly Biei area, this is a prominent tourist spot. Truly one of the hidden scenic sites whose entry was restricted up to 2010.

A mystical pond which shines in blue The town of Biei in Hokkaido where the Blue Pond is located is a place where you can feel the great outdoors of the prefecture through its rolling hills. Along with the Furano district, Biei is a popular area that is a member of The Association of The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan. The town has many tourist spots such as magnificent Mt. Tokachi which have been blessed by nature and are very relaxing. The Blue Pond is one other such site. It is a body of water that was created from a dam which was built...

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Price
- Free
Website
www.biei-hokkaido.jp

Farm Tomita

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

Enjoy the spectacular view of Japan’s largest lavender field
Hokkaido’s leading tourist spot where you can enjoy the entire day admiring the 15-hectare lavender field and cultivated flowers, along with delicious cuisine making use of local ingredients.

Japan’s No. 1 lavender field Furano City in the center of Hokkaido is especially famous for its lavender and every year, numerous tourists come and visit for that wonderful scent and view. Farm Tomita is renowned for having the largest lavender field in the Furano area. Boasting a wide 15 hectares, the peak time is in July and so the journey to the farm is notable for its traffic jams. Also, the farm’s Traditional Lavender Field has the longest history of its type in Japan. Its grand landscape unfurls like a violet carpet and the...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0167-39-3939
Price
- Free
Website
www.farm-tomita.co.jp

Mt. Moiwa

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

You can enjoy the 360-degree grand panorama of the scenery of Sapporo
Mt. Moiwa can be counted as having one of the Top 3 Night Views of Hokkaido alongside Hakodate and Otaru. On top of that, in the primeval forest of Mt. Moiwa that has been designated as a Natural Monument, you can encounter various examples of flora and fauna.

The grand panorama of the scenery of Sapporo There is the Mt. Moiwa Viewing Point where you can get a panoramic view over Sapporo from the 531m summit. From here, you can get a 360-degree view of the city where the Ishikari Plain and Ishikari Bay spread out. Named Inkarushibe after the Ainu word for “a place to be always climbed and look out over”, the Viewing Point is enjoyed for its dynamic view. The lovely night view that spreads out in front of you has a grandness only to be found in Hokkaido. Accordingly, the incredible beaut...

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Business hours
- Everyday
Price
- Free

Mt. Hakodate

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

The 3 Michelin Star night view of Hakodate has a beauty that is a must-see
From Mt. Hakodate, you can get a panoramic view of the city of Hakodate below. In front of your very eyes, the wide Hakodate Bay and the Tsugaru Strait spread out. The expressions change with the seasons but it is especially the night view that has an overwhelming beauty.

Also enjoy the view on the ropeway There are many ways to get up to the peak. Mt. Hakodate has an altitude of 334m, and because there are paths available to get up the mountain, you can climb up there in a little under 1 hour. For example, there are gentle walking trails. You can also try recommended routes to reach the peak while feeling the nature of Mt. Hakodate. As well, there are tour buses and a direct bus from JR Hakodate Station to the peak, but a ride to the top on the ropeway via a large gondola is wonderful. The gondola holds 125 p...

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Price
- Adult: 660 JPY
- Child: 330 JPY
Admission is required when using the ropeway to get up the mountain.

Website
www.334.co.jp

Asahiyama Zoo

The best 20 things to do while you travel to Hokkaido

Photo by Planetyze

Impressive for its various methods to charm visitors with the animals’ lifestyles and conduct
Asahiyama Zoo is not just limited to the animals but also covers the natural ecologies that thrive there. There have been particular efforts given to breeding in the cold regions, and the zoo has been successful in the natural reproduction of animals such as polar bears.

Displays that have become famous overnight Currently visited by over 3 million people annually, Asahikawa Zoo has naturally been popular with the Japanese but has also attracted overseas tourists. In the 1990s, annual visits had dropped to 200,000 people, but through various tactics to be able to view the animals up close and have them live in their own environments, it progressed to the point of becoming Japan’s No. 1 zoo. As a good example in recreating different regions, it is a zoo that has gotten attention from the rest of the nati...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:30 AM ~ 3:30 PM )
Please check the homepage for opening schedule

Phone
0166-36-1104
Price
- Adult: 820 JPY
Website
www5.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp

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