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Hokkaido Holiday

This mostly undeveloped northern Japanese island features drift ice and hosted the Olympic winter games. It has some of Japan’s harshest winters.

If you are visiting Japan during the winter, consider dropping by its northernmost island, Hokkaido. As Japan’s snowiest island, Hokkaido is where residents from across Japan go to ski, see drift ice from the Russian seas and warm up in hot springs. Outside winter, Hokkaido is still a natural paradise worth visiting, with one twentieth of Japan’s large population on one fifth of its total landmass. Hike across volcanic mountain ranges, enjoy the blossom-filled city parks and explore the famous lavender fields of the central farmland.

You may not have expected drift ice to be part of your itinerary when deciding to visit Japan, but that’s exactly what you will find in the northeasterly Shiretoko National Park. The thick layer of oceanic ice drifts down from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk. Book an ice-walking tour to step out on the ice in a wetsuit, although expect to do some swimming in dangerously cold water if the ice is thin.

Find more wintertime activities in Daisetsuzan National Park at the heart of the island. Known as the “roof of Hokkaido” for containing the highest peaks on the island, the volcanic range is a great place to ski.

Outside winter, see some of Hokkaido’s most spectacular countryside in the central region around Furano. Vibrant lavender fields cover a significant portion of the farmland here. Visit Farm Tomita for a view of a picturesque hillside covered in parallel strips of lavender and wildflowers of various colors.

Hokkaido’s main cities are filled with natural areas as well. Explore the island’s capital of Sapporo, site of the 1972 Olympics. The 13-block Ōdōri Park runs from east to west through the center of the city. Hakodate, a port city on the southern tip of the island, features a star-shaped park covered in cherry trees. Take a gondola up nearby Mount Hakodate to look out over the cityscape, especially beautiful at night.

The quickest way to reach Hokkaido is to fly from Tokyo to Sapporo. You can also reach the island by train or ferry.


Top Hokkaido Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 1,293 properties in Hokkaido
SAPPORO VIEW HOTEL OODORI KOUEN AU$100
Reviewed on 18 Sep. 2019
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SAPPORO VIEW HOTEL OODORI KOUEN

SAPPORO VIEW HOTEL OODORI KOUEN

Nishi 8-chome,Odori,Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nice location close to Odori station, friendly staff

    JR INN Sapporo-eki Minami-guchi AU$102
    Reviewed on 12 Sep. 2019
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    JR INN Sapporo-eki Minami-guchi

    JR INN Sapporo-eki Minami-guchi

    1 Chome-10 Kita 3 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
       
      4.4 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Close to Sapporo station. Good breakfast and excellent staff

      Mercure Hotel Sapporo AU$131
      Reviewed on 4 Sep. 2019
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      Mercure Hotel Sapporo

      Mercure Hotel Sapporo

      2-4 Minami 4-jo, Nishi 2-chome Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
         
        4.5 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        The hotel room is clean and comfortable for our 4 nights stay. Location of the hotel is superb. Very near to Susukino subway station. Many tourist attractions are nearby too, such as Nijo market, ramen street, and etc. There are Family Mart, 7-eleven and Lawson everywhere:) very convenient and will ...

        Sapporo Grand Hotel AU$122
        Reviewed on 6 Sep. 2019
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        Sapporo Grand Hotel

        Sapporo Grand Hotel

        Nishi 4-chome 1-jo Kita Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
           
          4.4 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Good location and the restaurant had a great breakfast. Do not go for the japanese set meal. The western buffet spread was good, and included a Japanese breakfast station anyway.

          ibis Styles Sapporo AU$101
          Reviewed on 15 Sep. 2019
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          ibis Styles Sapporo

          ibis Styles Sapporo

          Nishi 3chome 10 10, Minami 8jo Chuo Ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
             
            4.5 of 5
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Good location very convenient and hotel staff very helpful.

            Hotel Paco Hakodate AU$87
            Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2019
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            Hotel Paco Hakodate

            Hotel Paco Hakodate

            Omori-cho 25-3, Hakodate, Hokkaido
               
              4.5 of 5
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Good price for the value. Close to the JR station. Breakfast is wonderful. Hope they offer half boarding which includes dinner with a reasonable price.

              Quintessa Hotel Sapporo AU$96
              Reviewed on 14 Sep. 2019
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              Quintessa Hotel Sapporo

              Quintessa Hotel Sapporo

              5 Chome Minami 8-Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
                 
                4.3 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Room and breakfast are very goods Some staff cannot speak English but full of service mind. Location is normal, walk to Tanukijoji around 10-15 mintues

                Gardens Cabin AU$70
                Reviewed on 9 Sep. 2019
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                Gardens Cabin

                Gardens Cabin

                4-4-1, 1Jo Nishi, Minami, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
                   
                  4.7 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  とてもきれいで、布団がふかふかで気持ちよかったです!

                  Hokkaido Flight Deals

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