Hokkaido Holiday Vacation

By: Chris Chew

Things to do in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is one of Japan's 4 main islands and is located northern most part of Japan. Hokkaido literally means 'Road of the North Sea'. The island is a very popular destination for tourists on vacation holiday in Japan because of its natural beauty, especially during winter.

Hokkaido Japan

The island of Hokkaido is actually a huge land mass and is about twenty three percent of Japan's entire land mass. Even if you visit Hokkaido in summer, the weather can be very pleasant due to its low humidity.

  • Before the mainstream Japanese considered the island as suitable for human habitation after the Meiji Restoration, the island was home only to a few exile samurais and the native Ainu people who are the aboriginal tribesmen. The Ainu people are the last of Japan's indigenous people most of whom are still dwelling in Hokkaido.
  • In the past, the island's inhabitants are very concerned about their survival and thought that the island is spooked with the restless spirits of Ainu gods who often belch fire from the mountains (volcanic eruptions) and trampled the earth in anger (earthquakes).

Things to do in Hokkaido
There are many natural tourist attractions since the island is well endowed by the beauty of nature.

1) Mount Daisetsu National Park
Sometimes called The Roof of Hokkaido. Gaze in amazement at the snow peaked mountain ranges or visit the Kushiro marshland which is home to many adorable marsh dwelling animals including the sacred crane.

2) Shikotsu Toya National Park
If you are into adventure tourism, Shikotsu Toya National Park is must. You will find many magnificent volcanoes and breathtaking scenic lakes in this national park and if you are tired after your sightseeing trips, go pamper yourself with natural spa treatments at the many hot springs such as in Noboribetsu, Jouzankei and Sohunkyo.

3) Sapporo (Hokkaido Vibrant City)
If you are in Hokkaido during winter, then you must make a beeline to Sapporo, which is Hokkaido's vibrant capital city which is famous for its pulsating nightlife and the extraordinary Snow Festival every February. Sapporo, with a population of about 1.8 million people is a city of fine restaurants and luxurious hotels.

4) Skiing
If you enjoy winter skiing, you may like to check into some winter ski resorts. Sapporo outback island is sometimes referred to as Japan's 'Wild West' and still retains a distinct pioneer feel. This is the reason why the island is really the land of the backpackers.

In Hokkaido, Adventure tourists can enjoy exploring the vast wilderness, go winter skiing, even be a trout fisherman or go trekking in countless trails along rugged coastline, through wildflower fields or up the summits of snowcapped mountains.

So if you are going to Japan for your holiday vacation, do make sure you do not miss the beauty of Japan's Wild Wild West, the island of Hokkaido.

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