Hokkaido is the northernmost part of Japan’s main island with beautiful landscapes, yummy fresh food and abundance of interesting experiences. But when Japan comes to mind, most people think of Tokyo and Kyoto, little did they know that Hokkaido is actually a huge treasure trove that they would love to discover too! Here’s 9 reasons why you need to fly to Hokkaido now!
Quick trivia before we reveal the top 9 reasons:
Did you know that Hokkaido’s land area is 116 times x Singapore?
Hakodate City alone is 677.9 square km versus Singapore is 721.5 square km! Here’s how vast Hokkaido’s land is: 83,456 square km
Hokkaido is much larger than Tokyo or Osaka! Make sure you plan sufficient travelling time in between! If you haven’t been to Hokkaido, you are missing out on so many amazing spots to explore!
NUMBER 1: FOOD
You name it, they have it! Everything in the freshest produce!
Some of the food you must try are:
- Hokkaido Potatoes: These are the freshest potato chips I have ever tasted!
- Fruits: In Japan, the perfectly round and unembellished red and gree-fleshed melons probably cost in the range of tens of thousands of yen, but in Hokkaido, heading straight to the source and picking your own fresh fruits definitely lowers the cost significantly! Strawberries, grapes, apples, you name it, they have it! Some of the farms to check out includes: Jozankei, Yamamoto, and Sakuranboyama.
- Hokkaido Milk: Enjoy the rich creamy soft serve ice cream made from the freshest Hokkaido milk!
- Hokkaido Seafood: Enjoy the rich Hanasaki crab and tuck into the ample meat of the red king crab!
And many many more!! YUMMY!!!
NUMBER 2, 3, 4, 5: Hokkaido is unique in all 4 seasons!
SPRING – Experience vast flower fields in Hokkaido that extends as far as your eyes can take in!
Here are some of the must-go places during spring!
- Shibazakura Festival” held at Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
- Shiretoko Spring-only Setsuzan Trekking where you can walk along the subalpine belt of altitudes between 600 and 700 meters in snowshoes.
- In Hokkaido, you can try out Skiing even in Spring!
- Goryokaku park is a must visit spot during Spring for the luscious cherry blossoms donning the star-shaped fort.
SUMMER – Hokkaido is blissful in summer with colourful vegetation all around!
- Take tons of photos with the Lavender fields that stretch as far as your eyes can take in at Farm Tomita in Furano. For the best experience, visit in July when they’re at their very peak!
- Breathtaking views of the sea of clouds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s Unkai Terrace! It’s only open from May to October, arrive as early as 4:30 a.m. for the best chances to witness this breathtaking view!
AUTUMN- Hokkaido’s mountains and forests are adorned with colourful leaves.
Some of the must visit places in Hokkaido during Autumn:
- Walk through the stunning Gingko Trees at Hokkaido University (Sapporo)- Seventy ginkgo trees are lined up along a road stretching for 380 meters, with the yellow foilage virtually covering the sky. Best time to visit will be from late October to early November.
- Head to Lake Notoro, a salt water lake that transforms magically in fall with the abundance of coral grasses (glasswort).
- View the multihued autumn foilage against the reflection on the pond surface of the famous Blue Pond in Biei. The best time to visit would be from mid May to late June.
WINTER – Transforms Hokkaido into a world of pure white snow.
- During winter, the snow covers the whole of Shikisai-no-oka, experience snow mobile riding across the vast lands to take in the awesome sights and views. It was a pretty exciting experience as I have not rode across such vast lands before! Highly recommended to try!!
- Go onboard the Aurora icebreaker ship on a sightseeing cruise to view drift ice in Monbetsu! Apart from going on the sightseeing cruise, why not put on a dry suit and go on a drift ice walk too!
- If you are adventurous enough, you could even try out ice diving which is available in February and March! It’s a really unique experiences where you can get excellent visibility thanks to the calm sea. The rocky topography is also home to seagrass, crabs, starfish and shrimps!
- Hokkaido is also home to world class powder snow! The biting Siberian cold air mass brings dry and loose “powder snow” into this region. You can enjoy skiing in Hokkaido for a rather long period of time, from November to April! I have personally tried skiing at other countries but nothing beats the powder snow in Hokkaido! It’s not as painful when you fall and best part of all, the sensation and speed you get when zooming past vast fields of powder snow! You can head to some of these ski resorts to try it out: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Furano Prince Snow Resort, Rusutsu Resort and more!
- You can also try out snowboarding as well! Would love to try out snowboarding the next time I hit the ski slopes!
- And with the beautiful winter landscape, have a cup of coffee amidst the soft powder snow and enjoy the snowy landscape view while taking tons of photos for memories!
NUMBER 6: Hokkaido is perfect for a self drive holiday
Go on the best road trip of your life in Hokkaido! It’s pretty easy to navigate your way around with the expressways available throughout Hokkaido. There’s also convenient roadside stations (Michinoeki) along the way where you can stop for a rest and pick up route information.
Some of the car rental sites you can check out:
You can also check out this link for more safety travel information: http://safety-travel.jp/
NUMBER 7: Hokkaido is easily accessible via many countries!
There’s so many International Airlines direct flights to Hokkaido!
A total of 19 Cities in 9 countries/regions! Some of the direct flights to Hokkaido includes Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Vladivostok, Manila & Finland in 2019.
And best part of all, air tickets prices are getting really affordable! Round trip air tickets from Singapore to Hokkaido starts from S$350 onwards whee!! Time to book our tickets to Hokkaido soon!
NUMBER 8: ONSENS (Hot Springs)
Some of the unique Onsen (hot springs) in Hokkaido with awesome views you must try!
- Kumo No Ue Onsen (雲の上温泉) – This hot spring bath is located at the highest altitude in Hokkaido. You can see Hidaka and Tokachi Mountains from the outdoor bath. It’s such a wholesome visual & sensorial experience you got to try!
- Open-air Bath On Ice (氷上露天風呂) – an ice onsen in Lake Shikaribetsu, Hokkaido. The only hot spring bath in the world situated on a frozen lake! Experience a unique experience of bathing in a hot spring made of ice.
Soak away your worries in a steamy bath with the best scenic views and let your body soak in the goodness from the all natural minerals.
NUMBER 9: WILDLIFE
Hokkaido is the place to go if you like to see wildlife in their natural habitat!
Some of the ways to see Hokkaido’s abundance of wildlife and breathtaking views includes:
- Take a whale-watching cruise in Shiretoko where you get to see pods of orca in Spring, Sperm whales over 15m long in summer and Stellar’s sea eagles during drift ice season in winter.
- Go canoeing in Kushiro, home to Hokkaido animals such as the Japanese crane and Ezo red foxes.
- Go on a nature trek at Shiretoko peninsula’s five lakes (Shiretoko Goko Lakes) and Sounkyo to see gorgeous fall colors including wild animals and beautiful waterfalls.
- Watch Brown Bears in action via the Shiretoko Peninsula Utoro Cruise.
Recently, I have also attended the panel discussion held by the Japan Government in Singapore where the panelist discussed on the Threats vs Technology in helping to build resilient nations & businesses.
Through the event, I got to know more about how well prepared Japan is and can better handle natural disasters with their experience and technology. I got to see how their water circulation technology and emergency shower packages can be easily deployed to disaster areas. More importantly, they also have in place advanced AI technology that helps with prediction, prevention and management.
To safeguard the tourists who might be faced with any natural disasters (earthquake, typhoon etc) and accidents (blackout, terrorism etc), Japan also has numerous Emergency Support Stations in place. And the following services are also available in multiple languages:
3) Others: charging locations for smartphones and wi-fi spots
After reading about all the goodness Hokkaido has to offer, it’s time to plan your next holiday to Hokkaido!!
For more information, you can check out:
Thanks for reading and see you in Hokkaido soon! 🙂 #resilientjapan