Some countries are best visited in the summer when the blazing sun and pristine beaches makes for a great tropical getaway. Some other countries on the other hand, are known for their winter scenery with fluffy white snow and picturesque snow caps. But for Hokkaido, an island in the Northern region of Japan, the place is known for its natural beauty that extends through all four seasons. With a gorgeous scenic view and a bustling food scene filled with the freshest seafood finds (it is surrounded by water, after all), Hokkaido remains one of the most popular destinations in Japan that’ll prove to be a feast for your eyes and tummy.

Want to explore the beauty of Hokkaido for yourself? Here are some things you have to do for a quintessential experience that’ll redefine the meaning of an island getaway.

1. Shiroi Koibito Park


shiroi 2

Image credits | traveldreamscapes.wordpress.com

Shiroi Koibito, or better known by its moniker 白い恋人 is the snack/ souvenir to get when in Japan. For a manufacturer of this biscuit to have a park dedicated to its process and store shows just how popular the brand is. Take a peek at how your favourite biscuit is made, or roam the flower garden located around the factory that’s home to vibrant blooms.

2. Asahikawa Zoo


Image credits | ana-cooljapan.com

Located in the heart of Hokkaido itself, the Asahikawa Zoo is home to numerous animals housed in unique enclosures to give patrons a varied experience like no other zoo. One prime example is the ‘Marine Way’, a glass pipe that provides a 360 degree view of the adorable seals that glide through.

3. Fort Goryokaku

fort goryokaku

Image credits | explorejapan-jtl.blogspot.sg

To call Fort Goryokaku a star would be an apt description. This unique establishment is a Western citadel constructed in the shape of a star back in the Edo period. What used to be a defense fort is now a public garden that changes to a shade of blush pink come cherry blossom season. Roam its premise and soak in the tranquil vibe of the place.

4. Hakodate Asaichi


Imag credits | japanphototrip.com

Located just mere minutes away from the Hakodate Station, this morning market sees around 300 stalls peddling the finest and freshest produce you can find. From their famously fresh seafood to vegetables, take a peek at how the locals source for the best and freshest bargain. In fact, it doesn’t get any fresher than having the thrill of fishing for your very own squid and consuming straight after.

5. Furano Flower Fields


Image credits | ana-cooljapan.com

The endless sight of lavender fields and other flowers creates a visually arresting sight that makes it almost criminal not to visit it when you’re in Hokkaido for the summer. Feast on the expansive view of flowers of every colour coming together to form almost like a kaleidoscope – it stretches on for as far as your eyes could see. Escape the urban jungle and walk into a flower jungle filled with pretty flowers.

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6. Odori Park

Sapporo @ TV Tower

Image credits | e-perpustakaan.com

This park is flanked by the urban streets of Sapporo, and is the destination for many festivals such as the popular snow festival. It is also where the famous Sapporo TV Tower is located, with its architectural details reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. The park is peppered with swing-sets and statues, making it feel like you’re almost walking in a movie set.

7. Jigokudani


Image credits | zekkeijapan.com

This volcanic caldera created by the eruption of Mt. Hiyoriyama did hardly anything bad to get its English name Hell Valley. As a main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters, this valley gets its heated spring water from the volcanic activity. Oyunuma, a sulfurous pond, can be reached by following the river, where you can soak your feet and enjoy a natural foot bath.

8. Sakaimachi Street Along Otaru Canal


Image credit | lifetoreset.wordpress.com

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Image credits | myyearinjapan.wordpress.com

Think of the Sakaimachi Street as somewhat like the makers’ street of Hokkaido that features some of the best handiworks of craftsman in Japan. The Box Music Museum attracts crowds that sell handcrafted music boxes and a standing steam clock located right outside its premise. Walk down the street and you’ll be greeted with glass workshops and other stores selling little knick-knacks.

9. Kani Goten


Image credits | kanigoten.co.jp

Known for their quirky exterior and quality food choices, Kani Goten (also aptly translates to Crab Palace) serves up more than 70 varieties of Japanese cuisine. With a bear figurine resting on the roof, and a restaurant and  seafood market rolled into one, this place is the perfect example of not judging a book by its cover.

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