The northernmost island of Hokkaido makes up 22% of Japan’s total land area, and is the 21st largest island in the world. The island consists of four main regions (‘Dohoku’ in the north, ‘Doto’ in the east, ‘Donan’ in the South and ‘Douou’ in the centre) and is also home to Sapporo, the fifth most populous city in Japan and famous around the world as the origin of the country’s oldest beer brand.
As a tourist destination, Hokkaido is a true delight. As the seasons change, the scenery, foods and activities that can be found there change with them; from exhilarating snow sports and mesmerising snow festivals over the winter months to beautiful fields of flowers and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lakes, hills and national parks in the summer, you could make multiple visits to this wonderful island and enjoy a different experience every single time.
Hokkaido is a particularly great location for those who love the outdoors, but also for foodies. After a busy day of cycling around Lake Toya, hiking up Mount Rasu or snowmobiling at Shikisai-no-Oka, visitors can feast on crab, squid and other cold-water seafood delicacies which have been caught fresh by community fishermen, bought at local fish markets and then prepared by expert chefs at restaurants across the land.
What’s more, Hokkaido is the historic home of Japan’s native Ainu people who today run cultural events, workshops and performances at museums and special preserved locations in order to help educate visitors from near and far about their traditions, lifestyles and customs.