Hokkaido is located in the northernmost part of Japan. It is surrounded by ocean, and its area is larger than the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu combined, which makes you wonder what kind of place it is.
Let’s take a look at what one year is like in Hokkaido.
The summer is full of life
The air is crisp and dry in summer, making it a comfortable climate to live in.
We recommend canoeing, which is something you can only experience here in the summer, or riding a hot air balloon, which allows you to get a great view of the vast land of Hokkaido.
Riding down a river in a canoe, while taking it easy and enjoying the green surroundings, will make for a great summer memory. For those who love thrills, we also have wild streams for whitewater rafting.
If you like flowers, there are many places with sunflower fields that you can check out. The sight of around 1.5 million sunflowers at Himawari no Sato in the town of Hokuryu is absolutely stunning. The sunflowers are in their full bloom at the end of August. The sunflower maze in Hokuryu is a very popular place to visit, and it can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
The fleeting but beautiful autumn秋
In Hokkaido, the autumn foliage can be seen as early as around the middle of September.
Daisetsuzan is the spot where fall colors show up first in Japan. Here you can enjoy green, yellow, and red colored leaves at the same time. We recommend riding the ropeway in Asahidake, and viewing the autumn foliage while taking a relaxing walk.
You should also visit Lake Onneto, which is called the mysterious color-changing pond. The autumn leaves are reflected on the mirror-like surface of the water. There is a trail around the lake, and it is said that if you look at the lake from a particular angle, it will change its color.
The extremely shiny winter
The winter is cold in Hokkaido, and depending on the area there is a lot of snowfall. There are plenty of events in Hokkaido that make use of the winter chill.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is an event where people make stunning snow sculptures of things like popular characters and famous buildings in the world. Once it gets dark and the sculptures are lit up, the festival area looks magical.
Wakasagi ice-fishing is also something you can only experience in winter. You make a hole in ice, and wait until a wakasagi fish gets caught on your fishing rod. Making tempura on the spot out of the wakasagi fish that you catch will make for a hot and delicious meal. There are places that will prepare all the needed equipment for you, provided that you reserve beforehand, so all you need to remember is to bring warm winter clothes.
The life starts to bloom in spring
All the snow that has piled up will melt away by around mid-April, when spring begins.
At Asahiyama Zoo, you can watch animals mill around, and at the same time view the cherry blossom trees that are inside the zoo.
There are plenty of ranches in the Obihiro area where you can try making cheese and ice cream yourself, which makes it a popular spot for people with families.
Since Hokkaido is much cooler than Honshu, crab can still be caught in spring. Spring is also the season when you can eat delicious Japanese scallop and hokke (a type of mackerel), both of which we highly recommend you try.
Hokkaido truly has fun in store throughout all four seasons; why not come for a visit?