The Top 5 Things to Do in Hokkaido
The island of Hokkaido is a place of unique culture (home to the native Ainu), as well as a vast, wild, and mountainous terrain.
The capital of Sapporo, completely juxtaposed with the wild and snowy regions of the island, is often called "Tokyo of the North". With so much variety in its landscapes and culture, there is a great deal of excitement and beauty in Hokkaido.
Here are 5 of the best things to do in frozen northern Japan!
1. Drink wine in Furano and stroll through the rainbow fields.
Japan doesn't normally come to mind when it comes to wine vacations, as people more instinctively gravitate towards sake and beer culture here.
However, Hokkaido has some fantastic vineyards and wine varieties, with some of the most prominent beings in the stunning Furano region, offering views of the Daisetsuzan Mountains, as well as fields of lavender and rapeseed that will make you believe you are from vacation in France.
Places to visit include Furano Winery, Tada Farm and Vineyard, and Furano Winery. Be sure to stroll down Ningle Terrace, a tree-lined path lined with colored lights and log cabins showcasing the work of local creators.
2. Try the different varieties of ramen
Hokkaido has more than five types of ramen, each one hot, filling, and perfect for the cold. Sapporo ramen, in particular, is loved throughout Japan and ranks high on the list of favorite ramen varieties after Tokyo.
Another very popular Hokkaido ramen is Hakodate Ramen, which is pale pork ramen, filled with umami, topped with green onions and bamboo.
Other famous Hokkaido ramen dishes include Kushito Ramen, Muroran Curry Ramen, and Asahikawa Ramen.
Visiting Sapporo Ramen Yokocho is an easy way to sample many of Hokkaido's ramen dishes in one area.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Things to Do in Hokkaido's Capital
Source: Abroad in Japan
3. Hiking in Daisetsuzan National Park
Known as "the playground of the gods" and "the roof of Hokkaido," this is Hokkaido's largest national park, offering visitors unspoiled wildlife, natural hot springs, and epic mountains.
With an average elevation of 6,500 feet, including Mount Tomuraushi and the Ishikari and Tokachi mountain ranges, this alpine landscape is spectacular to look at, but it also offers serene meadows and an abundance of flora and fauna, including deer, brown bears, and Japanese pika.
Visitor centers around the park can help with maps and guides to nearby plant and wildlife species.
This is a must-see for anyone who enjoys hiking or wants to get a taste of Hokkaido's spectacular scenery at an affordable price.
4. Catch the Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival is a truly magnificent event, with the largest illuminated sculptures often reaching up to 25 meters wide and 15 meters high.
Mainly held in Odori Park, this is one of Japan's most famous and beloved snow festivals, and a must-see if you visit Hokkaido during February.
If you can, try to get a magical view of the towering snow sculptures from above, like the Sapporo TV Tower (which extends its opening hours during the festival).
For updates on the festival and events, visit their official website.
5. Visit the Ainu National Museum
Learn about a vital part of Hokkaido's heritage at this new museum, which is the first museum dedicated to the indigenous Ainu.
It also has the title of the northernmost museum in Japan and can be found an hour from Sapporo, in Shiraoi, on the sprawling Poroto Lake.
The museum is also called Upopoy, which comes from the Ainu word for "sing together."
The exhibits highlight the indigenous Ainu culture, their way of life, and customs such as traditional costumes and dances.
You can also see a traditional Ainu village with outdoor recreation. Find out the opening hours and how to book tickets on their website.
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