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HOME Hokkaido Hokkaido Furano / Biei / Sounkyo Discover Hokkaido - Japan’s Mystical Northern Island
HOME Hokkaido Hokkaido Sapporo / Chitose Discover Hokkaido - Japan’s Mystical Northern Island
Discover Hokkaido - Japan’s Mystical Northern Island

Discover Hokkaido - Japan’s Mystical Northern Island

Date published: 5 January 2021
Last updated: 12 February 2021

Hot springs, boundless nature, deep snow, fresh produce - many things come to mind when thinking of Hokkaido! To bring our readers the most comprehensive Hokkaido guide, LIVE JAPAN has spent years uncovering the mysterious island’s most well-hidden gems!

Here, we present the best of our bulky Hokkaido collection. Use these Hokkaido guides to get a head-start on planning your next trip!

The Otaru Canal Cruise: Gorgeous Brick Buildings!

The Otaru Canal Cruise: Gorgeous Brick Buildings!

Across Japan, the city of Otaru is known as ‘the museum without a roof.’ Considering the seemingly endless rows of historical structures and antique streets, it’s fair to say this is a fitting name! The collection of old storehouses along the charming Otaru Canal represents the peak of this beauty, making for picture-perfect scenery from whatever angle you snap!

For the best views, Otaru Canal Cruises will take you on a relaxing journey through the historical port system. There’s no better way to take in the world-famous icon than this!

A Magical World of Music Boxes at Otaru Orgel Doh

A Magical World of Music Boxes at Otaru Orgel Doh

The Otaru Music Box Museum is one of Otaru’s big attractions, though it's often left out in foreign guidebooks. Out of its seven stores across the city, we toured three of the biggest: the Otaru Orgel Doh Main Building, the Antique Museum in Hall Number 2, and the Handicraft Studio Yō-kōbō. Join us through an adventure of melodic magic at Japan’s largest music box stores!

Moerenuma Park: Isamu Noguchi's Stunning Living Sculpture

Moerenuma Park: Isamu Noguchi's Stunning Living Sculpture

Moerenuma Park, a landmark in the outskirts of Sapporo City, was designed by Japanese-American sculpture artist Isamu Noguchi. Opened in 2005, the delicately crafted park is a work of living art begging to be explored!

Loved for its duality as both impressive art and a place for the locals to unwind, we'll take you inside and share some of the ways both kids and adults can enjoy this scenic slice of nature!

7 Ways to Enjoy Shiretoko in Winter!

7 Ways to Enjoy Shiretoko in Winter!

The Shiretoko Peninsula, part of northeast Hokkaido, juts out into the freezing Sea of Okhotsk. Possessing rare natural features and a unique ecosystem, it was designated a natural world heritage site in 2005.

If you're going to visit this remarkable isolated paradise, it’s got to be in winter! From ice floes to snowshoeing, here are seven tips to get the most out of your trip to Shiretoko!

Deep Into Hokkaido History: Discover the 'Pioneer Village' That Inspired a Mega-Popular Manga Series

Deep Into Hokkaido History: Discover the 'Pioneer Village' That Inspired a Mega-Popular Manga Series

The Historical Village of Hokkaido in Sapporo City allows an authentic, open-air peek into the architecture of Japan's pioneering days! Many of these nostalgic buildings have been gaining traction after their appearance in the super-popular manga and anime Golden Kamui, with a number of visitors touring the sight on an ‘anime pilgrimage.’

Here we present some of the Historical Village’s highlights! With an intriguing contrast between traditional Japanese architecture blended with an increasingly westernised industrial society, The Historical Village of Hokkaido is a must-visit for Japanese history buffs!

Furano & Biei: Top 10 Things To Do in Japan’s Beautiful North!

Furano & Biei: Top 10 Things To Do in Japan’s Beautiful North!

The Biei/Furano area is one of Hokkaido’s top sightseeing destinations. With an entirely different atmosphere every season, it’s not a place you can visit just once! In spring, blooming flowers envelope the city in their sweet, nourishing scent, while the flourishing agricultural, dairy, and livestock industries supply a bounty of mouthwatering local delicacies. In winter, deep snow blankets the region, making the dozens of open-air hot springs a warm blessing to escape the brutal, yet beautiful, winter air.

Here are ten places in the Biei/Furano area you can enjoy all throughout the four seasons!

Shibazakura Park Hokkaido: The Ground Comes Alive With the Colors of Sakura

Shibazakura Park Hokkaido: The Ground Comes Alive With the Colors of Sakura

Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park is located in Higashimokoto, Ozora Town, at the foot of Mt. Mokoto. The park, which is open from May 3 to September 30 every year, explodes with pink moss phlox flowers, reeling in nature-lovers from all over Japan and the world!

Make the most of this natural velvet carpet with our complete Shibazakura Park guide here!

Hokkaido's Shirogane Blue Pond: Stunning Seasonal Tips For Biei's Mystical Spot

Hokkaido's Shirogane Blue Pond: Stunning Seasonal Tips For Biei's Mystical Spot

Hokkaido's Shirogane Blue Pond (or Aoike) is one of the island's most popular sightseeing destinations! The pond's mesmerizing deep hues, which look almost as if they were dyed, make for a surreal spectacle!

We’ll guide you through this must-see icon as it changes through each season, along with some photography hints to capture the blue in all its glory! We’ll also let you in on some other gems in the area for a full day’s worth of fun!

One Week in Hokkaido: 8-Day Itinerary For First-Timers (Sapporo, Otaru, and Niseko)

One Week in Hokkaido: 8-Day Itinerary For First-Timers (Sapporo, Otaru, and Niseko)

Got one week in Hokkaido? This 8-day Hokkaido itinerary is the perfect introduction for first-timers to the exotic island. Broken down by day, this road trip starts from the vibrant city of Sapporo before winding through the photogenic hotspots of Niseko, Shakotan, Yoichi, and Otaru. You’ll be able to tick off most of Hokkaido’s must-see gems no problem!

Use this sample Hokkaido itinerary as a reference and customize it to your liking for the Hokkaido trip you've been dreaming of!

The Hot Spring Wonderlands Hidden in Japan's Deep North!

The Hot Spring Wonderlands Hidden in Japan's Deep North!

With so many volcanically active areas, such as Asahi-dake, the Shiretoko Mountain Range, and Mount Meakan, Hokkaido is bubbling with hot spring activity. Many of these onsen can be found nestled amongst breathtaking scenery, with coastal, mountainside, and metropolitan panoramas aplenty! What's more, there is a massive variety of hot spring water types - including some with organic plant matter!

So what are the best Hokkaido onsen to visit? Here we'll introduce the hot spring areas we’re sure you'll be adding to your bucket list!

With boundless sightseeing, Hokkaido is one of Japan’s most dazzling gems! Our Hokkaido guides present the best picks of the island’s wealth, allowing you to plan your northern adventure armed with local knowledge and insider tips! Get some good shoes and head up north on your next Japan journey!

Written by:

Steve Csorgo

Steve Csorgo

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Steve currently lives in Niigata City, two hours north-west of Tokyo. His passions include discovering local sake, dining at interesting restaurants and travelling as much of Japan as possible.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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