Travel to Hokkaido Island 北海道

The big wild island with grandiose landscapes

For the Japanese, Hokkaido is synonymous with wide-open spaces and wild nature. The northern tip of the archipelago, where temperatures can reach minus 30 degrees in winter in the far north of the island but where lavender and sunflowers bloom in summer. Mountains, volcanoes, plains, lakes, rivers, marshes, hot springs, and magnificent national parks populated by wild animals attract thousands of visitors each year, especially during the summer when temperatures are cooler than in the rest of Japan, and in winter for the perfect powdered snow.

Although only 16% of the land is cultivated, Hokkaido is also famous for its vegetables (onions, asparagus), potatoes, corn, melons, and dairy products.

One of the island's specialties is lamb and mutton, very rarely eaten in the rest of Japan. The typical dish is called Genghis Khan. It is thin slices of mutton or lamb grilled with vegetables on a cast iron plate.

Finally, beer and whiskey made in Hokkaido are renowned throughout the Archipelago and even beyond.

 

Tarabagani, the Hokkaido crab

Yoshimasa Yamaichi

sashimi

A salmon sashimi

Wikimedia Commons

Places to visit in Hokkaido

 

Hokkaido is renowned for its natural parks and beautiful wild landscapes, the main ones being:

  • Shiretoko - Crystal clear lakes, hot waterfall, wild animals (beware of bears!), and onsen enchant visitors.

  • Cape Nosappu - Japan's most easterly point, with sweeping views of the Pacific.

  • Akan National Park - Dominated by the sacred Ainu mountains O-Akan Dake and Me-Akan Dake, this natural park is also endowed with splendid lakes and hot springs.

  • Mount Apoi Classified as a geopark by UNICEF, the place is a delight for hikers.

  • The Notsuke Peninsula - A huge 26-kilometer long strip of sand and land that borders the Pacific Ocean. A unique place.

  • Rebun Island - The end of the world. Rebun Island is the last inhabited northern island of Japan.

Les paysages du parc de Shiretoko.

The landscapes of Shiretoko Park.

JNTO

What to do in Hokkaido?

 

In addition to visits and hikes in the sites and national parks mentioned above, you can enjoy the thermal springs and/or indulge in the pleasures of winter sports. Hokkaido is known for having the best snow in Japan. What could be better than soaking in natural hot water pools after a cool day's walk or after hurtling down the snowy slopes that Hokkaido's ski resorts are famous for?

 

 

 

Un spot de randonnée en raquettes de la station Niseko

A snowshoe hiking spot from Niseko station

Jun Kaneko

Jozankei onsen

The Jozankei Spa District

Sapporo travel


Address, timetable & access

  • Address

  • Timetable

    Sapporo is served by daily flights from Tokyo and major cities in Japan. Four other airports are scattered from north to south of the island. Hokkaido is also accessible by Shinkansend from Honshu.

Latest Articles

The sika deer : A fascinating species native to East Asia

The sika deer (Cervus nippon) is a captivating species native to much of East Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, eastern China, Korea, and parts of Russia.

Where to admire the cherry blossoms in spring

Japan is renowned for its distinct and beautiful seasons. One of the most eagerly awaited is undoubtedly spring, with the blossoming of the sakura cherry trees.

Vue sur la rivière traversant Yakushima

Excursion to Yakushima: At the heart of Princess Mononoke Island

Many visitors to Japan share the same desire when visiting the country: to "get off the beaten track". 

See All (427)