Hokkaido is found on the Northern tip of Japan and is surrounded by water on all sides. Many think of it as the “Last Frontier” where untouched wilderness and beautiful natural landscapes abound. Hokkaido’s capital is Sapporo and is a popular tourist destination that is filled with natural and cultural attractions.
Hokkaido in Spring
The cherry blossoms bloom in Hokkaido during April up to Mid May. Aside from the Hanami season, Spring brings the bounty of the sea back to the tables and stomach of the locals. It may also come as a surprise, but the skiing resorts are still open in Niseko and Mt. Kurodake during this time of year.
Hokkaido Shrine Festival
The Shrine Festival in Hokkaido commemorates the coming of Spring. Although Hokkaido’s population is quite few (just over a million) almost half of them participate in this event. Parades of Mikoshi and people wearing Yukata is the custom during this yearly event. If you love to eat, you can also visit the food stalls that are available during this time of the year.
Hokkaido in Summer
One of the most noticeable changes in Hokkaido during the summer are the flowers. The most popular example of this is the world renowned Lavender fields in Furano. Here you’ll find rows and rows of flowers in different colors, as if you’re looking at a rainbow on the ground. The rich and vibrant colors are a favorite among the tourists who visit Hokkaido just to see the flower fields during the summer.
Yosakoi Soran Matsuri
If you have to describe this festival in two words it would be “Pure Energy”. This dynamic festival is not only popular in Hokkaido, but in the whole country as well. It started in 1992 with only a thousand dancers. Today, it is an international event that is joined by over 30,000 dancers in Japan and abroad and watched by millions. The event is usually held in Odori Park and the dancers parade on the streets while dancing.
Hokkaido in Fall/Autumn
Some people say that the best place to go in Japan during Autumn is Hokkaido. Since this land is well known for its untouched natural beauty, it’s hard to deny that claim. For seasonal travelers, the trip to Hokkaido during this time of the year won’t be complete without tasting the seasonal delicacies.
This is an international competition that is held in Hokkaido every year. Racers from all over the world compete in this competition that is considered as a “World Championship Rally”. It’s hard not to feel the rush when you see this cars racing in speeds that you don’t normally see up close and personal.
Hokkaido in Winter
The winter in Hokkaido is not just cold, it is VERY COLD. There are times when the weather is quite harsh and snowfall will cover the land without mercy. Of course, that is “normal” in Hokkaido so the locals are used to it. There are plenty of events during winter time like the Otaru Snow Light Festival that is held in the canal area of Otaru.
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival is among the most anticipated event in the city during winter time. Famous sculptures from all over the world go to the city to showcase their talents and skills. This international competition that takes place on the month of February are held at Odori Park. Here you’ll find giant ice and snow sculptures that will amaze and take your breath away.
Have a good trip and travel!