Hokkaido is located in the most northern region of Japan and is surrounded by the Okhotsk Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. It covers a vast 3,450km area which means that visitors to Hokkaido will be surprised by the island's geographical diversity, with each region possessing its own distinctive scenery which changes with the seasons. Hokkaido boasts huge areas of fertile land, spectacular ocean views, ancient forests and some of the finest food in Japan. Come with us on a journey to Hokkaido as we introduce you to the best ways to enjoy your time on the island.
Travelling from Sapporo to Niseko takes just two and a half hours by train and once you arrive, you can admire the splendor of Mount Yotei, also known as "Ezo-Fuji" due the similarity it bears to Mt. Fuji. Niseko is an area rich in natural beauty and during the summer is host to a variety of outdoor activities such as rafting, cycling and horse trekking. In the spring, as the ice thaws, Niseko Shiribetsu River becomes the location for thrilling river rafting, producing Grade 3-4 rapids. As the summer approaches, not only does Niseko offer spectacular natural views but the reduction in fierceness of the rapids lets families and beginners experience the thrill of river rafting as well.
For truly immersing yourself in nature there couldn't be anything more suited than cycling, where you can feel the fresh air and admire the spectacular scenery at your own pace. How about taking a ride through a forest where you'll find yourself taking a deep breath as you become invigorated by the serenity of your surroundings.
Located in the center of Hokkaido, the towns of Furano and Biei are famous for their exquisite rural landscapes and lavender fields. In particular, Tomida Farm which is nothing less than a lavender paradise boasts an amazing 12 hectors of fields. From lavenders and poppies to ferns and herbs, there are a variety of flowers to admire as you take a relaxed stroll amongst nature. What's more, it is also host to a variety of local produce like cheesecake, milk and other delicious dairy products. Traveling northwest of Biei's town center is Patchwork Road which provides beautiful rural landscapes that alter with the season: in the summer and autumn visitors will be amazed by the rich green surroundings and in the winter by the white blankets of snow.
In Furano, you can also ride in a hot-air balloon that provides magnificent 360-degree panoramic views of Taisetsu and Tokachi mountain range.
It's not just Niseko where you can try your hand at rafting. Sorachi river in Furano also provides the opportunity for an excellent rafting experience, with currents varying depending on the location; from thrilling white water rafting at the source of the river to a more leisurely paddling experience further down steam.
However, no vacation to Hokkaido would be complete without experiencing first hand Hokkaido's local produce. For a truly fun day out that combines savoring some delicious fruit whilst experiences the outdoor beauty of your surroundings, we highly recommend taking part in the Furano melon harvest experience. Due to Furano's fertile land, Furano melons are known for their distinctive sweet and juicy taste. The harvest experience is a must for anyone in search of a memorable day out with tours available for booking up to 5 days before the commence date, which means that you can check the weather beforehand. Why not immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Hokkaido this summer!