Keen skiers often come for its famous snow slopes, but explore a little further and you’ll find skiing is only one of the many things to do in Hokkaido.
When winter has come and gone, there is still a lot to do across the area – whether you’re interested in food, nature, art or beer!
7 top things to do in Hokkaido
Originally Hokkaido’s gateway, the town of Otaru features a beautiful canal. With a promenade on one side and a row of warehouses on the other, the picturesque canal offers a glimpse into Otaru’s past as a major port town. Take the time to explore the area by either going for a walk, riding a rickshaw or taking a guided cruise.
Kitaichi Glass Sangokan
Kitaichi Glass was established in 1901, during Otaru’s heyday as a major port town. The company produces high-quality glassware, and its shop, Kitaichi Glass Sangokan (3gokan), is located in a historical stone and timber warehouse. With three floors of assorted glassware, the store is the perfect place to explore and pick up a shiny souvenir to take home.
Shiroi Koibito Park
One of Hokkaido’s famous food exports are the delicious Shiroi Koibito cookies. Located in Sapporo, the Shiroi Koibito Park is a whimsical park dedicated to sweet confectionary. You can purchase cookie tins personalised with photographs, along with other sweet treats. The café is located in a park alongside a toy museum and rose garden.
Sapporo Beer Museum
Housed in a repurposed sugar factory from the Meiji Era, the Sapporo Beer Museum is the only beer museum in Japan. Other than showcasing Japan’s beer history and beer production, you can also taste the golden drop for a small fee. Continue your beer tasting in the Sapporo Beer Garden next door where you can taste one of Hokkaido’s local dishes, called the ‘Genghis Khan’. This tasty meal consists of lamb and mutton grilled on a pot with a raised centre, which represents a Mongol hat.
Sakuranboyama Tourist Orchard
For the chance to pick your own fruit, head to the Sakuranboyama Tourist Orchard, a 20 hectare farm with more than 5,000 fruit trees. Choose from cherry, plum, grape, prunes, and apples to pick and graze on, depending on the season.
Asahiyama Zoo is recognised as one of the best zoos in Japan. It is famous for its Penguin Parade which draws a lot of tourists in winter. The zoo prides itself on recreating the natural habitats of the animals they care for.
Furano Lavender Fields
Hokkaido is known for its lavender, which has been cultivated on the island for decades. The flower fields of Furano have become a major tourist drawcard during the summer, when they are in full bloom. Various farms in area also have cafes and stores that sell lavender based products.
And there you have it – seven must see attractions for a trip to Hokkaido! Have you been?