Highlights of Hokkaido

A tour of Hokkaido opens up an island of wide-open spaces, rugged coastline, and steaming volcanoes making it an ideal destination for those looking for adventure. The northernmost of Japan’s main islands, Hokkaido is perfect for visiting during the summer months and is best explored by hiring a car and hitting the open road.

Back to All Regions of Japan
Odori Park, Sapporo
The capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo is a city of almost two million people but a more relaxed one than its counterparts on Honshu. Easy to explore it is most famous for beer gardens in the summer and a snow festival (Yuki Matsuri) in the winter.
View of the city, Hakodate
Located in the south west of Hokkaido, the city of Hakodate is the gateway to the island. There are direct trains from Tokyo, taking less than seven hours, making this the perfect first stop before setting off to explore the rest of the island. 
Mount Yotei, Lake Toya
Located in the south-west of Hokkaido, Toya Onsen is the perfect place to break the journey for one or two nights if driving or taking the train from Hakodate to Sapporo. It is famous for its hot springs which can be enjoyed at most of the hotels even if you are not a guest there.
Wheatfields, Biei
Biei is a small town in the heart of Hokkaido surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside. During the summer many varieties of flowers are in full bloom but it is the lavender that is most striking and what the area is famed for.
Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan
Daisetsuzan is the largest National Park in Hokkaido and is a superb area for hiking and wildlife watching. The main attraction is Mount Ashidake which has a peak of 2,290 metres. A trek to the top can be organised with a local guide either all on foot or by taking the gondola some of the way.
Akan Lake, Japan
Lake Kussharo is located in Hokkaido's Akan National Park and is the largest of the three lakes within it. It is a great destination for hiking, cycling and kayaking and has an abundance of free-to-use hot spring baths.
Shiretoko Peninsula Coast, Japan
The Shiretoko Peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the Shiretoko National Park. The area is a haven for wildlife and offers some of the finest hiking trails in all of Japan. Joining a cruise along the peninsula’s remote western coastline is one of the best ways to view a variety of the area’s wildlife.  
red-crowned cranes, Kushiro
The largest city in eastern Hokkaido renowned for its fresh seafood and home to the iconic red-crowned crane. Its domestic flight connections and short distance from two major National Parks make it a convenient entry or exit point from Hokkaido.
Abashiri harbour
Beginning life as a remote Meiji-era penal colony, Abashiri is now the largest town on the Okhostk coast of north-eastern Hokkaido and is famed for its seasonal seafood and dramatic winter ice flows.