If your idea of a perfect vacation involves majestic forests, clear blue lakes, pillowy powder snow, and amazing, farm-fresh food, Hokkaido is an absolute dream. In summer, the relatively cool weather is perfect for exploring its stunning natural beauty, while winter transforms it into a snowboarding and skiing paradise. If you’re lucky enough to be there in early February, don’t miss the annual Sapporo Snow Festival and its gravity-defying ice sculptures of everything from Doraemon to Darth Vader.
As Japan's largest producer of meat, dairy and produce, Hokkaido also boasts some of the country’s most scrumptious cuisine. The list of must-eats include king crabs, Sapporo ramen and soup curry, a hearty dish of braised chicken and a bounty of fresh local vegetables in a fragrant, spicy broth. The only proper way to enjoy Hokkaido is to munch your way through it, helped by a few good slugs of the local Sapporo Beer.
There’s plenty to eat, see and do in Hokkaido – get acquainted with one of Japan’s most popular destinations.
Each of the four seasons in Hokkaido brings its own unique charm, but the most popular times to visit are summer and winter.
First time? A good place to start is Sapporo with this three to four-day sightseeing and shopping itinerary.
Hokkaido's main airport is the Sapporo New Chitose Airport. Getting to the city is easy with a network of buses, trains and taxis. If you plan to travel a lot by train and bus, learn how you can save by using the JR Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Hokkaido is synonymous with seafood - king crabs, scallops, oysters, salmon other yummy treasures from the sea.