7 Best Things to Do and Enjoy in Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, has plenty of things to do and see for any traveler. Hokkaido, which means Northern Sea Circuit in Japanese, offers beautiful scenery and unique activities that interest even seasoned travelers. Visitors will be able to enjoy everything from world-class skiing and snowboarding to whale watching and hiking up volcanoes. Here are the best things to do in Hokkaido and have a memorable experience.

1. Skiing and Snowboarding

Two of Hokkaido’s most popular winter sports are skiing and snowboarding. The northern island is home to some of Japan’s best powder; resorts like Club Med’s Sahoro and Tomamu offer challenging runs for both pros and beginners alike. In addition to skiing and snowboarding facilities that rival those found anywhere else, there are plenty of backcountry exploration opportunities through heli-skiing and ski touring.

You can experience premium skiing at a japan ski resort at any level of ability. For example, if you’re starting or have limited time on your trip, you can get your feet wet with a short lesson before hitting one of many beginner slopes in Hokkaido. If you’re an experienced skier looking for a challenge, Sahoro resort has many black diamond runs where experts go to test their skills against steep drops and mogul fields. Don’t forget your camera!

2. Relax and Hit The Slopes at Sapporo Club Med Resort

If you’re looking for a four-star experience but don’t want to spend four-star prices (or look like a four-star tourist), try out Sahoro Club Med Hokkaido resort. The hotel has both a summer and winter location on Mount Moiwa. Hike through an azalea garden in spring; ski down tree-lined runs in winter; hike through alpine valleys and fields of lavender in summer.

There are also plenty of activities available year-round, including guided snowshoe tours and a toboggan run that takes you from sea level up to 1,200 meters above sea level. The all-inclusive package includes accommodations, meals, drinks (including alcohol), and use of most facilities.

3. Enjoy Outdoor Hot Springs, Onsen

Many of Japan’s best hot springs are in Hokkaido. There are many places to get your onsen fix, from onsen at Japan ski resorts to those secluded among nature. Here, you can relax and unwind as you soak away your worries and cares. There is something for everyone here: from traditional bathhouses with communal baths to modern facilities with private rooms, each offers a unique experience that all ages can enjoy.

After an onsen trip, you might want to hit up one of Hokkaido’s Japan ski resorts; they are some of Japan’s best winter destinations. The snowfall is abundant—and so are activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and more! You can also try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing if you want a different workout or take it easy while enjoying the scenery.

4. Enjoying Sushi and Other Japanese Delicacies

At its most basic, sushi is raw fish and rice. But it’s also a delectable art form that innovation can help elevate. For example, there’s Inari Sushi—rice with aburaage (deep-fried tofu) stuffed with sushi rice and topped with deep-fried tofu skin. At a quality ski resort Japan, you can find Aburi Sushi on almost every menu. The dish combines thin slices of fresh fish seared at high heat, which gives them a unique flavor and texture.

The chef then places these slices over rice and garnishes such as pickled ginger or wasabi paste. This type of sushi has become so popular that many chefs have created their signature versions. Sushi comes alongside traditional dishes such as miso soup and edamame beans, an internationally respected Japanese delicacy. It’s common for a meal to start with these appetizers before moving on to more substantial fare like tempura shrimp or chicken teriyaki.

At Hokkaido’s top Japan ski resorts, visitors will find plenty of options for dining out on sushi. And if they’re feeling adventurous, they might try something new like uni from a sea urchin or Yakiniku BBQ with whisky. Or perhaps they’ll enjoy some familiar favorites, including California rolls and spicy tuna rolls. If you’re planning a trip to one of Japan’s top ski resorts soon, make sure your hotel room includes breakfast; eating breakfast together is an integral part of Japanese culture.

5. Enjoy Night Life in Hokkaido

Of course, it wouldn’t be a list of top things to do without nightlife. Sapporo has a thriving craft beer scene with one-of-a-kind bars popping up. There are also a lot of fantastic pubs and clubs throughout Hokkaido. To make sure you’re having fun at all times, choose a hotel with an onsen nearby for after-party relaxation! If you’re visiting during wintertime, there are also plenty of great ski resorts that offer a variety of activities, including snowboarding, skiing, and much more.

If skiing isn’t your thing, then head over to one of these many hot springs or public baths that you can find all around Hokkaido. These hot springs will help relax sore muscles from skiing or traveling around town! A ski resort Japan tour is a must if you plan to spend time in Hokkaido, so check out some incredible places like Tomamu Hokkaido Ski Resort or Sahoro Resort. You’ll love it here!

6. Cruise The River of Blue Pond

Seeing Lake Toya is a Hokkaido bucket list item nearly impossible to describe. You can cruise a river of blue ponds during fall at sunset. It’s so mesmerizing and surreal—you feel like you’re on another planet. It’s a truly breathtaking sight you shouldn’t miss when visiting Japan. If you want to see it for yourself, head over to Lake Toya and rent a boat for an hour or two.

You’ll cruise and take in all of its beauty without worrying about getting lost or your feet hurting from walking much. Plus, you get to sit down! The best part is that you can bring your food and drinks if you don’t want to pay for them! Just make sure you have enough cash as there aren’t any ATMs nearby. Also, look for a nearby Japan ski resort where you can hit up some powder after your boat ride!

7. Geographical Sightseeing

A sunset visit to Unkai Terrace is a must for any visitor or resident of Sapporo. Here you can find an unobstructed view of Mount Yotei (Hokkaido’s highest peak) and stroll along with one of Sapporo’s most famous sightseeing spots. There are also some nice cafes and shops nearby, so if you take a picnic or stop by on your way home from work, it makes for a great evening activity!

If you’re looking for must-see attractions on your trip to Hokkaido, get started with some geographical sightseeing. Head to Daisetsuzan National Park and make your way through Biei and Furano by train before enjoying a beautiful drive up Mt. Yotei and onto Akan National Park—take a cable car to Kurobe Dam; for breathtaking views! Once you’ve explored nature, head to one of Hokkaido’s ski resorts or spend a day at a ski resort Japan Club Med Tomamu.


Traveling to Northern Japan is an excellent choice. Hokkaido is home to Mt. Asahidake and other notable peaks; it’s an island north of Tokyo with abundant natural beauty and is over 80% covered by forests and mountains. It’s also home to Sapporo—the biggest city on the island, with just under 1 million people. Popular towns include Otaru and Kushiro. No matter the season of your visit, Club Med has a place for you full of activity; from skiing and snowboarding to golfing and hiking, there’s something for everyone. At Hokkaido in Japan, you will find world-class service and a unique family atmosphere that makes the region one of Japan’s most popular travel destinations. Book your next vacation at Club Med today!

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