Top 10 Tourist Attractions & Best Things to Do in Hokkaido, Japan

The first image of Hokkaido is the Mother Nature which stretches out in this vast land. Since the Hokkaido Bullet-train line opened in March 2016, Hokkaido has been more and more of a popular holiday destination. There, you can come in contact with the characteristic climate, the natural environment and its own culture. Starting with mouth-watering gourmet, the magnificent landscape as well as nature, the scenery and various activities are all very attractive to visitors. Here are the recommended sightseeing spots which will make your trip to Hokkaido very enjoyable without fail. They are all splendid places which you don’t want to miss!


1. Asahiyama Zoo

1. Asahiyama Zoo

It is located in Asahikawa and has high popularity nationwide. They have been paying particular attention in the way of the exhibition of the animals to live as naturally as possible. At the same time, it is very attractive to visitors that they can see the powerful and dynamic animals very closely.

The Zoo is quite different from other zoos in Japan. As it is located in the frigid zone, they are all inhabitants of the cold weather so we can hardly meet them.

It’s a big opportunity for you to see them! Both children and adults unconsciously smile at some of the scenes and it comforts visitors. This is one of the places you should visit when you are in Hokkaido on holiday.

■Information
Name: Asahiyama Zoo
Address: Kuranuma, Higashi Asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa-city, Hokkaido
Opening hours: depends on the season
Admission fee:
[High school student and above]: 820yen
[Junior High & under]: free
Access: 40-minute-ride on an electric-bus from the Asahikawa station
Website:http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/

2. Otaru Channel

2. Otaru Channel

Otaru which is full of Hokkaido delicacy is famous for the town in which the shipping industry had prospered. If you visit Otaru, you can recognize the nostalgic scenery with the warehouses from the old times along the channel. At night, the gaslights are lit and the channel looks more charming. You may be overwhelmed by the beauty!

You can enjoy cruising on a small boat or you can enjoy an unfamiliar wonderful town scenery on the Rickshaw. Otaru is just the right town for people who want to be intoxicated with the fantastic scenes in Hokkaido, people who want to have a date there or people who love taking photos.

What sort of things interest you? No matter who you are, there is no doubt that you will be impressed by its attractive atmosphere.

■Information
Name: Otaru Unga(Channel)
Access: 8-minute-walk from the JR Otaru station
Website:http://www.city.otaru.lg.jp/

3. Mt. Hakodate

3. Mt. Hakodate

The exotic town streets and the scenery facing the sea from a lot of slopes form the symbolic aspects of Hakodate. The night-view from Mt. Hakodate from where you can see clear across the Bay is very popular worldwide and it has received 3 stars in the Michelin Guide.

The best season is winter with the clear air and the best time is 30 minutes after the sunset. Please put it into your itinerary!

It is a very enjoyable journey to go up the Hakodate mountain, using the ropeway. The night-view of Hakodate from Mt. Hakodate is indescribably beautiful. This magnificence is the highlight.

It is only here that you can see the fantastic port with the mountain range of Mother Nature behind. You can’t go home without viewing this night-view! The beautiful scene will be enshrined in your memory for a long time.

■Information
Name: Hakodate mountain ropeway
Address: 19-7, Moto-machi, Hakodate-city, Hokkaido
Access: a 10-minute-walk from the Jujigai station using a tram
Website:http://334.co.jp/

4. Goryokaku

4. Goryokaku

“Goryokaku” is the star-shaped, pentagon historic spot which has been considered to be a symbolic place in Hokkaido. It is especially popular among Japanese who love histories. The Hakodate Senso(war) during the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate took place there and it was the first “western-styled fort” in Japan.

There are various way to enjoy the place, but the best season is needless to say, spring. When the Goryokaku is filled with the cherry blossoms in April, visitors who want to enjoy the cherry blossoms cluster together and the place is bustling with turn-outs.

It is good to visit inside the Goryokaku, but the 107m-tall tower from where you can see clear across the entire Goryokaku is the highlight. It is really impressive!

■Information
Name: Goryokaku Tower
Address: 43-9, Goryokaku-machi, Hakodate-city, Hokkaido
Admission fee:
[Adult]: 840yen
[High & Junior School student]: 630yen
[Primary pupil]: 420yen
Access: 15-minute-walk from the Goryokaku-koen-mae station using a tram
Website:http://www.goryokaku-tower.co.jp

5. Noboribetsu hot-spring

5. Noboribetsu hot-spring

The Noboribetsu hot-spring has been loved by people since the Edo-era (1603-1868) as one of the most famous hot-spring villages. Even today, the charming scenery can be seen in the area.

The high quality hot-spring water is worldly famous and popular. Soaking yourself in it and easing your day to day fatigue is the most common way for visitors to enjoy it.

Not only enjoy a hot-spring, but also you can come in contact with the Edo culture and the street, like the Noboribetsu Date-jidai Mura where you can see Ninjas. The “Bear Pasture” is in the surroundings.

What you should do in Noboribetsu is firstly you can stroll around the town with the Edo charm and then soak yourself in the hot-spring to comfort your fatigue from your trip. Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

■Information
Name: Noboribetsu-onsen
Address: Noboribetsu-onsen-machi, Noboribetsu-city, Hokkaido
Access: 15-minute-ride on a bus from the JR Noboribetsu station
Website:http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/

6. Hoshino Resort TOMAMU

6. Hoshino Resort TOMAMU
photo by aloalo1998   /   embedded from Instagram

What an individual gigantic tower resort it is! It has been achieving popularity internationally. You can enjoy this attractive facility in various ways seasonally, but the best season is winter. Many skiers gather here to enjoy their skiing in the fine snow.

The synonym of the Hoshino Resort TOMAMU is the “Balcony of the sea of clouds”. The clouds spread out like the waves of the sea which you can see from the balcony and is such a dreamy wonderful natural phenomenon!

Whether you can actually see it or not depends on your luck. The sea of clouds only appear under the specific climatic conditions early in the morning. But, if you are usually a lucky person, it could happen!

■Information
Name: Hoshino Resort TOMAMU
Address: Naka Tomamu, Shimukappu-mura, Yufutsu-gun, Hokkaido
Website:http://www.snowtomamu.jp/

7. Tokachi Sennen-no-mori

7. Tokachi Sennen-no-mori
photo by eri6719   /   embedded from Instagram

The garden where you can enjoy the blessing of Mother Nature has been fully maintained and is full of beautiful flowers. You’ll be comforted just by sitting with a cup of tea in your hand, viewing this wonderful garden.

Spending time, feeling completely relaxed is one way to enjoy the Tokachi-Sennen-no-mori. However, if you want to enjoy yourself by undertaking activities, don’t worry, there are various things for you to do there, such as taking the guided tour on the Segway, the horse-riding experience and the making cheese experience.

It is one of the precious places where you can be seduced by the nature in Hokkaido.

■Information
Name: Tokachi Sennen-no-mori
Address: 103-6, Minami 10-sen, Haobi Aza, Shimizu-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Admission fee:
[Adult]: 1,000yen
[Primary& Junior-high student]: 500yen
[age 11 & under]: free
Access: 45-minute-ride in a car from Obihiro
Website:http://www.tmf.jp/

8. The Lake Mashu

8. The Lake Mashu

In Japan, the Lake Mashu ranks first in water transparency and ranks second in the world next to the Lake Bikal in Russia. It deepens suddenly and as its transparency lessens the reflection of light becomes a blue colour.

On a fine day, you can see the “Blue Mashu” surface which amazes visitors. It is an extremely famous sightseeing spot in Hokkaido.

Depending on the weather conditions, the fog is common to occur, but it is also worth seeing, even if that’s the case. So, it is the spot which will never let you down, no matter when you visit. If you visit there in your car, driving around the area is truly memorable. Please take a deep breath of clear fresh air!

■Information
Name: Lake Mashu
Address: Teshikaga-cho, Kawakaki-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 20-minute-ride on a bus from the Mashu station

9. Farm Tomita

9. Farm Tomita

The scenery at this farm is representative of one in Hokkaido. You can see the lavender field spread out in front of you. The peak of the blossoms is from early to the middle of July.

Various other flowers are also growing there and in Summer, the field looks like a rainbow with flowers in full bloom. If you want to see beautiful flowers in Hokkaido, it has to be this farm! Don’t forget the peak is July!

You can taste the soft ice-cream with the lavender flavor. It is a popular gourmet here. The lavender flavor is a very unusual one, so it’s hard to find soft ice-cream with the flavor in other places in Japan.

Please indulge yourself with this delicious soft ice-cream, viewing the splendid scenery. Does the soft ice-cream have a purple color? Please find it out for yourself there!

■Information
Name: Farm Tomita
Address: Kisen-kita 15-go, Naka Furano-cho, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 5-minute-walk from the Furano-bus Naka-Furano stop
Website:http://www.farm-tomita.co.jp/

10. Kushiro Marsh

10. Kushiro Marsh

It is the largest marsh in Japan. The untouched nature has been kept and cherished for a long, long time. The beauty of the marsh is proud of its appearance.

You can enjoy the natural beauty of the marsh and on the top of that, you can come across the precious animals which inhabit the marsh, such as Tancho-cranes and Ezo-deer. Sightseeing in the marsh on the canoe is very enjoyable.

Apart from that, you can also enjoy the Wakasagi(smelt) fishing in winter. It is a precious experience to have. In the fall, when the changing colurs are at their peak, many people come and see the magnificent autumnal colors. But the Kushiro Marsh is always attractive in each season respectively.

■Information
Name: Kushiro Marsh
Access: just there from the Kushiro-shitsugen station

Let’s fly to Hokkaido!

It only has a 150-year-history, but is full of attractions. Come and see it with your own eyes! Hokkaido is full of natural beauty all of which can’t be talked about in this limited space. You can enjoy many scenic spots as well as delicious gourmets which have been cultivated by the nature. Hokkaido offers various ways to enjoy it. No matter when you visit there, you can enjoy the place to the full. Please put those famous places in your schedule.

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