Hokkaido: Places to Explore


  • Abashiri

    A good touring base for eastern Hokkaido, Abashiri is a small town in the shadow of Tento-san. On the town outskirts are shallow coastal lakes with flowers and seabirds. Bicycles can be rented for slow... Read more

  • Akan National Park

  • Asahikawa

    Asahikawa, Hokkaido's second-largest city, is the principal entrance to Taisetsu-san National Park. It is not terribly cosmopolitan; daytime life centers around a pedestrian shopping area and at night the... Read more

  • Biei and Furano

    Flower fields and small farms at the base of the Taisetsu-san mountain range attract thousands of domestic and East Asian visitors hoping to get a taste of the simple country life. Although Western visitors... Read more

  • Hakodate

    Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars, and fresh fish on every menu. In the downtown historic quarter... Read more

  • Niseko

  • The Northern Cape and Islands

    Japan's northernmost point is windy and empty. In the short summer season, tiny alpine flowers bloom in coastal grasslands and on rocky outcrops overlooking the sea. In winter, little happens as people... Read more

  • Otaru

    Otaru nets its wealth in tourists these days, but the canal where barges used to land the catch of the day is still the center of action for thousands of domestic and Asian visitors reeled in by images... Read more

  • Sapporo

    Modern, openhearted Sapporo is a good planning base for any trip to Hokkaido's wilder regions, with plenty of English-language information and transport connections. Hokkaido's capital is also worth a... Read more

  • Shikotsu-Toya National Park

  • Shiretoko National Park

  • Taisetsu-san National Park