Hokkaido may be famous for its exceptional food with the freshest produce, but asides from its delectable cuisine there's plenty to do year round. It is also known for its primeval forests, volcanoes, bubbling natural hot springs, fields of alpine wildflowers, and ski areas. Rugged yet tranquil, the island's stunning scenery will surely leave you wanting more. Download the Hokkaido Travel Guide and Offline Map to help you plan out your trip.
From April to October, dozens of flowers blanket the hills of Shikisai-no-oka, so there are many months to feast your eyes on a rainbow of blossoms. In the winter, snow covers the grounds and you can cruise around on a snowmobile or go sledding down the slopes. No matter what season you decide to visit, they also have an alpaca ranch where you can help feed the fuzzy animals.
The island’s capital may be one of the most underrated cities in Japan. Home to the eponymous beer (a museum has been dedicated to it), expansive sculpture parks, and delectable regional cuisine such as soup curry and jingisukan (grilled mutton), there’s plenty to see and eat in Sapporo. And of course there are markets to visit. Nijo Market is the most accessible from downtown, but if you want to shop with the locals, head out to Jyogai Ichiba for a more authentic experience.
Just a short 30-minute train ride from Sapporo, Otaru is particularly known for glassware and music boxes, but if you’re going to make a trip to this small harbor city, make sure to grab lunch at Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten, where you’ll have some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever sunk your teeth into. Walk off your meal along the Otaru Canal before you turn onto Sakaimachi road to do a little shopping at the number of shops that line the street.
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