CITIES: Hokkaido

SIDE TRIPS: Sapporo (especially if it intersects with the snow festival) + Otaru (light festival around same time), Niseko for winter sports fans, Lake Toya, Asahikawa, Shiretoko

about this trip

Winter season (Best in february):

Love snow and winter goodness? Enjoy festivities? Hokkaido has it all! For those willing to brave the cold, the cheery festivals across the towns and cities of Hokkaido will certainly warm you up. Enjoy a wide array of winter sports while zipping through gorgeous landscapes. The snowy white scenery of Hokkaido is simply magical throughout the winter.

Rest of the year:

Explore around the major city areas of Hakodate and Sapporo. Take a bike ride through rural stretches of beautiful fields, hike through the mountains and valleys of Sounkyo, or relax in the beautiful surroundings of Shiretoko and the rest of Hokkaido’s gorgeous lakes. While Hokkaido may be well known for its beautiful snow festivities, the seasonal changes are absolutely stunning year round.

why we're obsessed

  • Witness wilderness and wildlife of Japan that are completely different than any other part of the country.

  • Have a flawless dining experience at the locations and season that offers the best of the best

  • Select winter sports or visit panoramic vistas during specific seasons based on your interest

Sample ItinerarIES to Get you Started

Winter Version

DAY TRIP SUGGESTIONS: Sapporo (especially if it intersects with the snow festival) + Otaru (light festival around same time), Niseko for wintersports, Lake Toya, Asahikawa, Shiretoko

Day 1-2 (Hakodate)

Welcome to the snow lands of Japan! Hakodate, the third largest city in Hokkaido, is famous for beautiful nature and views. But it’s not just that. Walk through the town and you will see Western influence all over. This Western influence is one of the legacies of Hakodate’s development as one of the first harbor cities that opened up to international trade after the Era of Isolation.

Day 3-4 (Sapporo)

Enjoy the towering yet delicately carved structures and participate in snow sculpting competitions yourself! And when you are tired, take in the gorgeous view of Sapporo at the Sapporo TV tower with a cup of hot cocoa or a glass of Sapporo’s famous beer. Just a short trip away are the lights of Otaru’s Light Festival.

Optional Day 3: Niseko for a day of skiing or snowing if you enjoy winter sports.
Love the thrill of winter sports? Hokkaido’s Niseko is one of the best spots in the world to enjoy a day of skiing and snowboarding. Brace yourself for some adventurous slopes and twisting courses at the luxurious Niseko resorts.

Day 5-6 (Shiretoko Peninsula)

It’s been quite the journey, but you’ve finally made it to the northern peninsula of Hokkaido! The Shiretoko peninsula is home to a breathtaking array of sights to see and activities to do. Hop on a boat and go sightseeing off the glacial coasts or ride on a piece of drifting ice in the Okhotsk Sea. The lakes and waterfalls of Shiretoko are also some of Japan’s best natural wonders so be sure to check those out too!

Day 7 (Back home)

We hope Hokkaido was an unforgettable winter wonderland for you and that you will come visit again! But for now, it is time to return to home sweet home.

Rest of Year Version

Day 1-2 (HAKODATE)

Begin your journey into nature’s paradise with a relaxing day in Hakodate. As one of the first cities in Japan to focus on international trade, Hakodate is a delightful mix of cultures and home to some of Japan’s finest seafood. But the real beauty is just outside the city. Just half an hour north are the breathtaking island dotted lakes of Onuma Park. On the other side of Hakodate stands the gorgeous Mount Hakodate, which offers an unforgettable nightscape view of the city.


As you make your way up to Sapporo, fancy a side trip to one of the most gorgeous spots in the world. Lake Toya is known not only for its jewel like radiance, but also for its picturesque outline next to Mount Usu. The sight of cherry blossoms in the spring and flamboyant leaves in the fall is definitely a must!

Just a bit further up lies Hokkaido’s capital, Sapporo. While famous for its winter festivities, Sapporo is not just a city of snow festivals. With refreshingly arranged parks and gardens, as well as gardens and old fashioned markets, the city holds much in store for you. Sapporo is also home to one of Japan’s most renowned beer factories, Sapporo Beer, so if you are interested, give the factory a quick visit.

Day 5-6 (Furano lavender fields, Daisetsuzan National Park)

Hokkaido’s summer highlight is none other than Furano’s alluring lavender fields. Arranged magically, the colorful rows of flowers that stretch as far as the eye can see is an indescribable experience. Stroll through the fields or go on a leisurely bike ride along the countryside and take in the lovely scenery Furano has to offer.

But the nature hike doesn’t end there for those who want more! Venture through Daisetsuzan National Park, the largest in Japan and an absolute must visit for outdoor enthusiasts. The pristine untouched wilderness of Daisetsuzan is magical not only for us, but also for the abundant wildlife there too.

Day 7-8 (Abashiri, Shiretoko National parks)

 While Hokkaido’s landscapes are hard to beat, the sea life is equally as stunning. Travel to Abashiri for a day of whale and dolphin watching and fishing by the gorgeous shoreline. The coastal town also features hot springs and a wide array of historical heritage sites, including those of the indigenous inhabitants of northern Hokkaido, the Ainu people.

 Just a short distance over is the world renowned Shiretoko peninsula. The perfect hiking spot for nature lovers, the peninsula offers unparalleled stretches of glistening coastline and untouched wildlife. The numerous waterfalls and lakes are also some of the world’s best scenery, perfect for creating a lasting memory of Hokkaido.


We hope Hokkaido was an unforgettable winter wonderland for you and that you will come visit again! But for now, it is time to return to home sweet home.