Hokkaido Things to Do

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    Hakodate night view
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    Sapporo railway station
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Hokkaido Things to Do

  • Eiffel tower-Sapporo style

    At the east of Odori Park is the TV Tower. It is 90 meters high and has a 360 degree of the city and souvenir shops below it. It's one of the hard to miss landmarks of the city. Admission is 700 yen and opens from 930 am to 9 pm.

  • Visit Farm Tomita in Kamifurano.

    Furano is known for its lavenders...Even if we were a bit too late because we didn't visit Hokkaido until autumn, we still made it a point to go to Furano and see the endless hills of flowers. Most of these flowers are actually located in Kamifurano so you still need to take a train to Kamifurano from Furano but the ride is relatively shorter....

  • Furano: Smell the flowers at Farm Tomita

    Most visitors to the farm arrive from early July to catch the lavender season in summer, when Farm Tomita's lavender field (and the surrounding hillsides) is awash in purple and the scent of lavender is hangs sweetly in the air.However, besides its lavender blooms, the farm also cultivates a wide range of colourful flowers, from poppies and tulips...

  • Anui Village

    Anui is the native of Hokkaido, the Anui village tells how the native lives and also their culture. Also dont missed the Anui mini museum. Drop by to my travelogue to find out more about Anui.

  • Go to an Ainu Village

    The Ainu today are the descendants of the original peoples of Honshu & Hokkaido.The Ainu culture was forced to assimilateto Japanese culture and as a result muchof their culture has been lost.Some of the Ainu I met look very different than regular Japanese. I felt as if some ofthem resembled American Indians more so than Japanese.The Ainu village...

  • NISHIN GOTEN (Herring mansion) at OTARU

    OTARU is a port town on the coast of the sea of JAPAN, located at 30 kms from SAPPORO.NISHIN GOTEN was the house of a magnate of the herring fishing industry. Originaly build in 1897 in Tomaru village it was relocated to OTARU.Admission : 1000 yens

  • Ainu museum at Shiraoi

    Ainu means Human. The Ainu are the indigenous people of Hokkaido, they have their ownculture and language.This museum recreate an Ainu village on the shore of lak Poroto. There is some Ainu's houses, a botanical garden and a museum.Traditional Ainu's dances are performed. It's an interesting place for information on Ainu's culture.

  • Visit to MATSUMAE Castle

    Matsumae is the southermost town in HOKKAIDO. This small town played and important role in the trade and warfare with the AINU tribes , and also in the boshin war of 1868/1869.The castle officially named "FUKUYAMA castle" is the only one in HOKKAIDO and the last Japanese style castle to be built in Japan.It's was rebuilt in 1959, the original...

  • The Sapporo Ice Festival: Spectacular

    ...At the time of my visit in 2010, the Sapporo Ice Festival had been going on for 61 years and showed no signs of getting old. In fact, at this festival the Japanese Army (yes, the Army) was in the process of building the tallest sculpture ever to be featured at the festival -- a 26-meter high model of a greman cathedral....Since we went to...

  • Lake Shikotsu-ko: ice free with ice...

    ...Lake Shikosu-ko is well-known as Japan's northernmost ice-free lake, which results from its depth. A calderic lake, it's clear blue water makes it look inviting for a swim, even in the middle of winter. Surrounded by mountains, it is clearly a jewel of Hokkaido, though the shore is more built up than one would expect for a National Park....In...

  • Try the Lavender Ice Cream

    While in Farm Tomita, don't forget to try the Lavender Ice Cream, it costs only 250 yen and it's quite a delicacy ;-)

  • Shop and dine or just stroll in Otaru

    Otaru is just half and hour away from Sapporo but you'd feel like you're transported to another far away place. It's a canal town and played an important part in the herring industry. It is attractive and picturesque and it's a favorite afternoon or weekend gateaway of locals and foreigners alike. Just stroll along the different shops, have some...

  • Endless hills of Biei

    Biei is a favorite among artists and nature-lovers. The open fields, often covered by lavender and poppies are so different from the mainland that you'd often wonder if you have left Japan? Some famous sites include the Ken and Mary Trees, the Seven Stars Tree, the Family Tree and some of the famous arts and galleries like Takushinkan. Visit it...

  • Shop and eat at the Fish Market!

    Nijo Fish Market is one of Sapporo's best. Buy a bowl of rice and select your own sashimi toppings, gawk at fresh delicacies or sit down at a shop. Prices are reasonable and seafood are fresh. Fresh Salmon and Salmon Roe over rice is our favorite. Snow crabs are very popular, too! It's open from 7am to 6 pm although individual shops will have...

  • Stroll along Odori Park

    Odori Park is is a major city feature. Dividing the city north to south, it is the site of many events throughout the year. But what is nice about it is the greens and flowers that dot the entire park and the benches around it. It's just nice to have a stroll or sit on the benches and do people-watching. If the sun is out, the feeling of sitting...

  • Asahikawa: Sample Otokoyama Sake

    In the Hokkaido's second largest city, sample one of Japan's historic brands of sake at the Otokoyama Sake Brewery & Museum. Inside the building, you can find out more about the history of the company, how sake is made and also view a large woodblock print (ukiyo-e) collection.With the compound, is a lovely garden to stroll in and have some...

  • Sapporo: Sapporo Brewery

    This is the original site of the Sapporo Brewery, which was the first brewery established in Japan back in 1876. Visitos can find out how the beer is brewed and also the history of the company. At the end of the tour, visitors can of course sample the variety of beer on the tap, accompanied by cheese and crackers.Some quirky souvenirs available at...

  • Otaru: Wander its quaint cobbled streets

    Otaru is a small town in central Hokkaido, a couple of hours away from Chitose. The main attraction here is the Otaru Canal, where most tourists gather for a picture. Lining the canal are small stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs and you can even have your picture taken on the trishaws parked at the nearby junction.Away from the canal, there are...

  • Sapporo: Take a stroll through Odori...

    Odori Park is located in the middle of the City. In spring and summer, the flowerbeds are covered with flowers of every colour! It is a very popular place for the workers in the city to rest here, stroll here or come here during lunchtime with their bento boxes.In winter, the park is also the place where the ice sculptures for the Snow Festival are...

  • Freeze in the Ice Pavilion

    If you visit Hokkaido in spring or summer, you'll not get to experience the very cold Hokkaido winter, during which the area is buried in snow and ice. But you can feel what it'll be like at the Ice Pavilion, where the temperature is kept under 0 degrees celcius and the walls and ceiling are caked in ice.Don't worry if you have not brought winter...

  • Sapporo: Explore the Nijo Fresh Seafood...

    The Nijo Fresh Seafood Market is typical of a market in Southeast Asia, with 50 small shops under one roof. The difference here is that the shops sell mainly seafood - fish of all kinds, Hokkaido's ubitquitous hairy crabs, unagi (eel), sea urchins, and so on. In one of the nooks and crannies, you may find a little eatery. When I say 'little', I...

  • Shiraoi: Learn about the Ainu culture

    The Ainu people are one of Hokkaido's well-known native tribes. The village serves as a centre showcasing the Ainu tribe's culture and history. Here, visitors can learn about how the tribe survived by hunting and then later by bartering, their weapons and other hunting tools, and the clothes they fashioned to keep warm.Visitors will also be treated...

  • Sounkyo: Water falls at Sounkyo Gorge

    Mount Daisetsuzan is accented by dramatic columnar cliffs that are lined with picturesque waterfalls. Two in particular are worth stopping for - the Meteor Falls and the Milky Way Falls, which are conveniently located next to each other.In winter, the falls freeze in mid-flow, forming a silver slivers of ice across the rockface, like a fragile...

  • Noboribetsu: Get a whiff of Hell Valley

    If you never attended science lessons in the lab and don't know what sulphur looks or smells like, you'll find out here!Hell Valley, or Jigokudani, is a sulphurous valley that is popular with visitors both local and foriegn. The air in the valley and the areas around it is heavy with the smell of sulphur, which visitors get used to after a while....

  • Otaru - Freshly cooked seafood while you...

    It's worth the wait, seafood is YUM!Pictured here: A shopkeeper grilling freshly caught scallops... mmmm!

  • Best eating places in Sapporo

    Sorry to say but the red light district near Susukino in South eastern Sapporo has really great tasting food to offer. City area marked by the strange looking clock monument. Ramen, Gengis-khan (sp?), Yakitori, Udon, to name a few cuisines.

  • Otaru - Street Scene

    Newer buildings such as these shops near the sea are present in that quaint little town of Otaru. Good bargains can be found here!

  • Souvenirs - Music Boxes From Otaru

    Seems like 1000s of varieties, ranging from US$5 to US$250 or so. From simple designs to elaborate custom-made designs/tunes, and from cheap metal to expensive lacquered tulip wood!

  • Otaru's famous music boxes - ORGEL

    Something that seems to delight Westerners, as these music boxes are getting rare and not normally available for sale outside Otaru! Remember the name for these boxes is "ORGEL". I forgot and asked the locals for directions to this shop, using Japanese equivalent of the words "music box". It didn't work! It was after some lengthy explanation on...

  • Visit Otaru

    A beautiful fishing town that has so much character. Pictured here is a tourist hotspot - The Otaru Canal.

  • Japanese Lavender

    Sweeter smelling and less pungent than Western varieties, the Japanese lavender is a must-see in the summer months starting 2nd week of July to end August. Best viewing areas are located in the East-central areas of Hokkaido, where the air is cooler and fresher.

  • Getting to the Lavender Farms

    As you emerge from the Nakafurano JR Station, take a right and you will see this bridge. Walk through it to get behind the station, and walk straight down that road. A map will be present as you emerge from the end of the bridge. A map is also present outside the Station before the bridge.

  • Lavender fields (July-August season)

    One of the key attractions of Hokkaido in the summer months, is viewing lavender.There are several farm locations in the Asahikawa area, though I would highly recommend "Nakafurano" over others like "Lavender Station" and "Furano". "Lavender Station is most central but trains getting there are irregular and only at certain times of the day. More...

  • Eat Melons!

    Melon season is around June-August, therefore prices of melons are competitively low. The Hokkaido variety is more tasty than melons from the rest of Japan so it will be good to try some. Melons from Hokkaido cost more in other parts of Japan. Melon-flavoured snacks are also available, like Melon ice-cream, Kit-Kat in Melon, Melon flavoured chews,...

  • Must-see destinations in Hokkaido

    If you're travelling free and easy on a short trip in Hokkaido, here are the places you should get to, and are easily accessible by train: For sightseeing/adventure: Otaru - quaint old town with rich culture Nakafurano - Lavender (summer) and skiing (winter) Noboribetsu - Hot spring baths "on-sen" Hakodate - a self-contained islet...

  • Go to Mashuko

    Lake Mashuko is probably THE most beautiful body of water in all of Japan. The downside of trying to see it is that it is often covered with fog or mist (to the point where you can't even see you're own hand right in front of you).The best times of year to visit Mashuko are said to be around October when there tends to be less mist.There are some...

  • Farm of Gan

    This farm is very close to Bibaushi station, 15-20 mins walk. Bibaushi station is very small, but you would find something there.

  • Sounkyo Gorge

    Sounkyo Gorge is situated in Daisetsuzan National Park. This gorge consists of many cliffs - 100 meters tall. When we went, it was winter, so the gorge was frozen over. Sounkyo Gorge is best know for its many waterfalls, the two most popular ones are the "Ginga no Taki" (silver-river falls), and the "Ryuusei no Taki" (shooting-star falls), where it...

  • Panoramic Akan-Ko

    Akan Ko, or Akan Lake is a volcanic lake found in the Akan National Park. Because the park has many hot springs and beautiful and panoramic views, it is a very popular destination for many Japanes who wants to be one with nature.Akan Ko has a very special thing that can be found in its depth - marimo - furry green balls of algae. Museums in the...

  • Winter Wonderland - Sapporo's Snow...

    Sapporo's Snow Matsuri or Snow Festival is held annually every February along the city's Odori Park. This park is strategically located in the center of the city from east to west.The festival is usually held about a week. Many snow carvings and beautiful ice statues are on display. Many countries take part. Famous monuments like China's Forbidden...

  • Jigokudani Valley at Noboribetsu Onsen

    Noboribetsu Onsen is a well-known hot springs to many Japanese. One of its best attraction is the Jigokudani Valley (Hell's Valley) where volcanic gases can be seen rising from the rocks of the valley. The smell of sulfur is strong but bearable. The water, if you drink it, is suppose to be good for your health. So we did. :)My Noboribetsu Onsen...

  • Otaru Music Box Museum

    For over a century the historic, red brick building, housing the"Otaru Music Box Museum" has been holding history.The beautiful heaven sent sounds from the music box now embrace this nostalgic city of Otaru. Otaru Music Box Museum is a must-go place for those people who like glass accessories, music box, especial dollay, and ornament.Especial...

  • Lavander Farm - Farm Tomita -Nakafurano...

    The most exciting day in the trip, the lavander farm, i have waitied for this day for very very long. And finally i have seen the lavanders. They are very beautiful and at one corner of the farm, they have this rainbow field make out of different colours of flowers. They are so beautiful

  • Jigoku " Hell Valley" - Noboribetsu...

    Hell Valley is actually active volcanoe valley. It is near the hot spring resorts, be prepare for strong sulphur smell.

  • White chocolate factory - Ishiya Factory...

    This Ishiya Factory produced the best white chocolate in the country, you an get it anywhere other than in Hokkaido, not even in toyko or in other cities as they dont export out of hokkaido. A very good gift to bring back for your friends and relatives. The factory is a very fun place to tour around as they have a mini toy museum, a tour to see how...


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Comments (1)

  • kasemthailand's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Japanese (people and flowers are punctual)
    I went to Furano on June, no flowers bloom yet. Flowers bloom after July only.

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