Located in the northernmost part of Japan, Hokkaido is Japan’s second-largest island. Winters are harsh, with below-zero temperatures, lots of snow, and frozen seas. In contrast, summers are pleasant and less hot and humid than in other prefectures. Travel in Hokkaido is ideal for those who enjoy outdoor activities and the beauty of nature.

Easily reached by various modes of transportation, Hokkaido offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Whether you are exploring its vast landscapes, indulging in seasonal activities, or simply soaking in the serene environment, travel in Hokkaido promises a memorable adventure for all nature enthusiasts.

Fun Facts About Hokkaido

  • Hokkaido is in the very north part of Japan
  • Hokkaido is the second largest prefecture, roughly 100 times bigger than Tokyo metropolitan area with the lowest population density in Japan
  • Hokkaido has multiple locations that are recognised by UNESCO, including Shiretoko world heritage, Mt. Apoi Geopark, and Toya Caldera & Usu Volcano geopark
  • Hokkaido has Seikan Tunnel, the world’s deepest & longest undersea tunnel
  • Warm in summer, cold in winter with a lot of snowfall
  • Gorgeous and unspoiled nature
  • Winter sports in winter
  • Lakes, rivers, mountains for hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rafting in summer
  • The Sapporo Snow Festival is popular 
  • Ancestral land of Ainu indigenous people, who live close to nature and have their own language, culture and religion.

What To Do During Your Travel in Hokkaido

Flower Gardens of Shikisai-no-oka

Travel in Hokkaido: Ultimate Guide to Amazing Experiences, Delicious Cuisine, and Best Stays

From April until October, the hills of Shikisai-no-oka are filled with a rainbow of flowers. Take advantage of the beautiful blossoms and the panoramic view. In the winter, the flowers are replaced by a blanket of snow, perfect for cruising around on a snowmobile or sledding down the slopes.

Sapporo Snow Festival 

Travel in Hokkaido Sapporo Snow Festival

Held every year in February, the Sapporo Snow Festival features 250 snow and ice sculptures, Hokkaido special gourmet options, a skating rink, and more. It spreads across three locations: Odori Park, Tsu Dome, and Susukino.

Furano Lavender Fields 

Travel in Hokkaido Furano Lavender Fields

Enjoy the beautiful blankets of lavender and flower fields at Farm Tomita in Furano. Best visited during July, the farm is free to enter. Enjoy the flowers, the cafes, and shops next to it and take time to also try the famous soft serve, a specialty from Hokkaido.

Shirogane Blue Pond

Travel in Hokkaido Shirogane Blue Pond

Located in Biei, this is a man-made basin with an unreal blue colour and wispy trees that stick out from the pond. The scenery changes according to the time of the year, but it remains stunning, and at night it’s illuminated, creating an even more magical sight.

Niseko and Furano Ski resorts

Travel in Hokkaido Niseko and Furano Ski resorts

Hokkaido is one of the most famous destinations for skiers and snowboarders in Japan due to the soft powdery snow in winter. Enjoy either Niseko or Furano Ski Resorts and the incredible background they’re set in.

Noboribetsu Hot Springs 

Travel in Hokkaido Noboribetsu Hot springs

There’s nothing better than soaking in a steamy hot bath of an onsen during the cold weather. Noboribetsu hot springs are among the best and most effective in Japan.

Shiretoko National Park

Travel in Hokkaido Shiretoko National Park

Located on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Shiretoko National Park has been a World Heritage Site since 2005. The park is a true natural gem. Explore the outdoors of this beautiful and unspoiled national park: keep your eyes open for sika deer and brown bears, visit the numerous waterfalls and lakes in the protected area, and see the drift ice in the winter.

Fruit Picking

Fruit in Japan can sometimes be expensive. Explore Jozankei, Yamamoto, or Sakuranbo-yama farms and pick out fresh fruits. This is the best way to enjoy delicious fruit at a cheaper price.


Travel in Hokkaido Otaru

Otaru is a small harbour city, and it takes about 30 minutes from Sapporo by train. Since this town is located on the harbour, the fishing industry is critical in this region. There are various attractions and food that visitors can enjoy.

What to Eat and Drink During Your Travel in Hokkaido


Travel in Hokkaido Seafood
Credit: Sky Niseko

Seafood is very abundant in the waters around Hokkaido. Therefore, feasting on crustaceans is much cheaper than anywhere else in the country.


Travel in Hokkaido Crab
Credit: Hokkaido Labo

Hokkaido is famous for its incredible seafood, but none compares to the famous Hokkaido crab. There are a few famous types of crabs, including king, horsehair, snow, and hanasaki queen, and you can enjoy them throughout the year.

Hokkaido Jingisukan

Travel in Hokkaido Hokkaido Jingisukan
Credit: Japan Deluxe Tours

Japanese grilled mutton, lamb, and vegetable dish prepared on a metal skillet or other grill.

Hokkaido Zangi

Travel in Hokkaido Hokkaido Zangi
Credit: Trippino Hokkaido

Zangi is a deep-fried chicken dish, similar to karaage. It is different because it is first marinated to make the meat flavourful before being covered in seasoned batter and then deep-fried.

Sapporo Ramen

Travel in Hokkaido Sapporo Ramen
Credit: Aspirant SG

Sapporo ramen is miso-based ramen, and it is made with a rich chicken, fish, or pork broth. The soup is flavoured with red soybean paste, also known as aka miso. 

Hokkaido Sweets

Hokkaido has a lot of delicious sweets, including the famous lavender ice cream and melon sweets.

Dairy Products

Hokkaido is known for its dairy products. From milk and ice cream to butter, you can find all kinds of delicious dairy products.

Sapporo Soup Curry

Travel in Hokkaido Sapporo Soup Curry
Credit: Hokkaido Guide

Soup curry is a light curry-flavoured soup with chicken and vegetables. Like the name suggests, Sapporo soup curry is more “soup-y” than your typical curry.

Ishikari Nabe

Travel in Hokkaido Ishikari Nabe
Credit: Ishikari Nabe

Nabe is a hot pot and is popular in Japan, especially in winter. In this local dish, the main ingredient is salmon, and the soup is flavoured with miso.

Where to Stay in Hokkaido

The Orchards Niseko

Travel in Hokkaido The Orchards Niseko
Credit: MnK Niseko

Situated within the tranquil area of Niseko and only a 5-minute drive from Grand Hirafu Ski Resort, The Orchards is a community resort with a relaxing ambience and clear view of the mountain ranges of Mt. Yotei and Hirafu. Boasting spacious, comfortable, and convenient chalet-based accommodation, it is in close proximity to amenities such as restaurants, supermarkets, and ski trails. The Orchards is perfect for couples, large groups, and families looking to relax and enjoy skiing with passes available at the property.


Travel in Hokkaido Zaborin
Credit: Agoda

Zaborin is a contemporary luxury ryokan nestled in Kutchan-cho that offers the best experience and culture Kutchan-cho has to offer in a single, award-winning ryokan. The ryokan provides a traditional cultural experience with its kaiseki breakfast and dinner, indoor and outdoor communal onsen, all while having modern, all-encompassing amenities with various choices in sleeping arrangements and suite configurations. In addition to its culture and design, Zaborin boasts a great location with unparalleled views and the feeling of closeness to nature with its garden and balcony.

Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga

Travel in Hokkaido Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga
Credit: Booking.com

Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is a comfortable hotel in Kushiro perfect for resting and rejuvenation in your travels, offering a warm, comfortable, and traditional hospitality experience. Designed with comfort at the forefront, the hotel incorporates traditional Japanese aesthetics, the rustic feel of Lake Akan, modern and comfortable rooms, and amenities such as hot-spring baths, a sauna, and massage facilities.

Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa Mizu no Uta

Travel in Hokkaido Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa Mizu no Uta
Credit: Agoda

Tsuruga Resort offers luxurious accommodation and hot-spring baths by Lake Shikotsu. Massage services and a fitness centre are also available. Some rooms even come with a private open-air hot-spring bath, providing a unique and relaxing experience.

Unique Things to Do in Hokkaido

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival is held for one week every February in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. It is one of the most popular winter events in Japan. The festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site, and TsuDome Site.

Otaru Snow Light Path

Travel in Hokkaido Otaru Snow Light Path
Credit: Experience Niseko

The Otaru Snow Light Path, held every February, is a winter festival in which the city of Otaru is decorated with illuminated snowy sculptures and lights for a truly beautiful and romantic sight of the city.

Sapporo TV Tower

The Sapporo TV Tower and Clock Tower are iconic sightseeing spots in Sapporo. The Sapporo TV Tower is often referred to as the “big brother of Tokyo Tower” and it represents Sapporo. The Clock Tower, though sometimes called a disappointing tourist attraction, is a famous historic building.

Cape Soya

Travel in Hokkaido Cape Soya for sightseeing in Wakkanai

If you visit Wakkanai, you can’t miss Cape Soya Misaki. Many people have seen this on TV!

Abashiri Prison

Abashiri is a prison, notoriously known as a “cold and painful prison,” but now it is a museum.

Fishing Squid in Hakodate

Travel in Hokkaido Fishing squid in Hakodate
Photo by OKJaguar From Wikimedia Commons

Catch squid yourself at Hakodate Morning Market. It’s fun to have a rare experience!

Experience a Ranch in Teshikaga

Travel in Hokkaido Experience a ranch with Teshikaga
Credit: Teshikaga Navi

Experience milking a cow in Teshikaga.

Rafting with Shimukappu

Travel in Hokkaido Rafting with Shimukappu
Credit: Ki niseko

Experience rafting with melted snow in Shimukappu.

Soup Curry

Travel in Hokkaido Soup Curry
Credit: Asian Inspiration

Japanese curry rice was born in Hokkaido, and various arranged curries were created from there. Soup curry became popular as one of them, and it continues to be enjoyed to the present day.

Embrace the Wonders of Hokkaido

Travel in Hokkaido offers an unparalleled experience, blending rich cultural heritage with breathtaking natural landscapes. From the vibrant flower gardens and enchanting winter festivals to the thrilling outdoor activities and delicious local cuisine, Hokkaido presents a unique and diverse range of attractions. Whether you are exploring the UNESCO-recognised sites, skiing on the powdery slopes, or indulging in the freshest seafood, every moment in Hokkaido is filled with wonder and delight. The island’s beauty is matched only by the warmth and hospitality of its people, making every visitor feel welcome and at home.

Hokkaido is a destination that captivates the senses and leaves lasting memories. Its seasonal charm, from the lavender fields in summer to the snow-covered landscapes in winter, offers something for every traveller. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of Japan’s rich traditions, Hokkaido has it all. Embrace the wonders of Hokkaido and discover a place where nature and culture come together in perfect harmony, creating an unforgettable journey that will beckon you to return time and time again.