5 reasons to visit Hokkaido

by By Jackie Loh (jackiel@sph.com.sg)
published on 30 June 2016

Planning a trip to Japan? Hokkaido is amazingly picturesque and well-loved by both domestic and foreign tourists for its unspoiled nature, captivating landscapes and rich food culture.

Here are five reasons to make Hokkaido your next travel destination.

1. MAGIC OF THE SEASONS

Tourists go to specific parts of Hokkaido to catch the magical full-bloom display of flower farms. Notable sites to visit include Farm Tomita, the most famous lavender flower field in Japan. The viewing season for lavender is usually in July. Enjoy the tradition of viewing autumn leaves. Takino Suzuran National Park offers one of the best autumn viewing spots. October is the best month to view the full colours of the autumn leaves.

2. BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES

Take a break from city life and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Tourists and visitors drive past winding roads and the countryside to discover the best landscapes Hokkaido has to offer. Travel to the eastern part of Hokkaido to visit the spectacular Shiretoko and Daisetsuzen National Park. Visit Jigokudani in Noboribetsu with its famous onsens in the area, surrounded by active volcanoes. Explore Cape Kamui and walk the Charenka trail to see the vast blue ocean.

3. RAMEN CULTURE

Ramen is regarded as a cultural icon and is a popular choice especially in the cold season. Hokkaido has its own ramen culture that comes in different styles depending on the region. Hakodate ramen comes in a sea salt broth while Sapporo ramen has a miso-based soup. Visit the Asahikawa Ramen village which has eight of the region’s most renowned ramen outlets all at one location.

4. SEAFOOD CULTURE

You must try the fresh seafood in Hokkaido. The cold sea surrounding Hokkaido is filled with nutritious plankton, which gives rise to its high quality and delicious tasting seafood. Crabs, sea urchin and squid are the hot favourites in Hokkaido. Visit the Hakodate morning market and treat yourself to a whole new gourmet and visually exciting experience with the vast variety of fresh seafood.

5. POWDER SNOW

Hokkaido is known for its powder snow and is the place for skiing. Colder temperatures in Hokkaido keep the powder snow dryer, compared to other parts of Japan. Niseko is currently the most popular international ski destination in Japan.