Hokkaido is one of the most striking prefectures in Japan, as it takes up the entire Northern Island. Hokkaido is famous around the world for the amount of snow that hits the region. Snow actually covers the capital city, Sapporo, for around a third of the year.
The natural scenery in Hokkaido is enough to make any traveller fall in love with the Prefecture, and most of the people who live in Hokkaido live towards the cities in the West. This means that the population in the rest of Hokkaido can appear to be rather sparse. There are actually four different geographical locations in the Prefecture: Northern Hokkaido, Eastern Hokkaido, Southern Hokkaido, and Central Hokkaido.
As travellers, we are drawn to places where there is a lot for us to do. In Sapporo, you can go and see one of the most famous snow festivals in the world, or you can go and see children of just school age racing sled dogs. Step away from the capital and into Hakodate, where you can go up Mt. Hakodate to see the beauty of the city from higher up.
If you would like to see everything that Hokkaido has to offer then you should travel to Furano, where you can take a hot air balloon ride into the sky. This can be done throughout the year, so you could see fields of snow that go off into the distance, or the world-renowned flower fields that Furano is famous for in the summer.
For a closer view of the winter landscape, you should travel up to Abashiri, which is right on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk. At the start of the year, you can take an icebreaker through the floating drift ice that covers the sea, seeing the colours of the romantic sunset dancing on the ice.
The reality is that Hokkaido has a lot to offer every type of traveller. Yet, the locals believe that you can never truly see what Hokkaido has to offer in just one season. The seasons are captivating there, as they change quickly from one extreme to another. The famous cherry blossoms that draw tourists to Japan can be viewed in spring, the flower fields in Furano can be viewed in summer, and the land of snow and ice begins to appear in the winter.