Asahikawa is located almost in the center of Hokkaido, and is the second largest city in the prefecture after Sapporo. The city is full of natural splendor, with the magnificent Mt. Daisetsu-zan in the background and 120 rivers flowing through it. It is also the gateway for tourism to Soun Gorge and the Furano area. Asahikawa's thriving art world has led it to be called a town for art. Sculptures that made a famous sculptor dot the shopping park along Heiwa-dori Avenue, the road that leads straight from Asahikawa Station.Situated on a hill overlooking the town, the Hokkaido Traditional Arts and Crafts Village is full of buildings resembling castles from the Middle Ages in Europe, and has the atmosphere of an amusement park. There is a gallery of works made using the world-famous Yukara-ori, the traditional textile fabric of Hokkaido, from which you can get a better understanding of traditional Japanese fabric.
Hokkaido Prefecture4 Videos
The Shiretoko-hanto Peninsula in northeastern Hokkaido juts out into the Sea of Okhotsk. It is said to be the last unexplored region of Japan, and consists of steep mountain peaks covered with virgin forests. Cormorants and white-tailed sea eagles live there, and the whole area has been designated as a national park. The towns of Utoro and Rausu on the eastern side of the peninsula are the starting points for tourists. Visitors can see the whole of the peninsula and its cliffs by boarding a sightseeing boat that departs from Utoro Port.Shiretoko is known as a "waterfall kingdom," and many waterfalls can be seen from the sightseeing boat: the warm-water Kamuiwakkayu-no-taki Falls, which gives off steam; Furepe-no-taki Falls, which is so beautiful it is called "maiden's tears;" and Oshinkoshin-no-taki Falls, which flows alongside a road and drops magnificently towards the sea. There are also the Shiretoko-Goko (five lakes), which are small, quiet lakes surrounded by a virgin forest, and known as "the five jewels." You can walk round these five lakes in about an hour. In winter, the coasts of Shiretoko are sometimes surrounded by ice floes.
Located in the southwest of Hokkaido and facing the Tsugaru Strait, Hakodate developed as a port town for trade with foreign countries at the end of the 19th century, and is a gateway connecting Hokkaido with Honshu by the Seikan Tunnel. A morning market is held at the bay area near the railway station, where more than 360 stalls packed tightly together attract shoppers with freshly caught squid, scallops, salmon eggs, Atka mackerel, and many other kinds of fresh fish and shellfish. A five-minute walk will take you to the moored Seikan Strait ferryboat, named the Mashu-maru Memorial Ship, which used to link Aomori in Honshu with Hokkaido. There is a restaurant and a coffee shop at its bow where you can spend a nice, relaxing time viewing the scenery around the port.
Niseko is located in the Southwestern part of Hokkaido, in an alpine region that is dominated by Mt. Yotei (Yotei National Park) to the east and Mt Annupuri to the west. Niseko is conveniently located 100 kms from Sapporo which is Hokkaido's largest city. The Niseko district has earned a reputation as one of the best ski area's in the world, home to the Annupuri Ski Resort and the Niseko Village Ski Resort the resort is gaining momentum on the world stage.However it is not just winter that is popular in Niseko, the summer's are also very special and the district stands out as a all year round outdoor activity destination. The name Niseko is derived from the ethnic Ainu language of Hokkaido. Niseko Annupuri translates to "Mountain with a river, which runs around the bottom of a sheer cliff" The weather is typical inland weather, with an annual average temperature of 6.3 degrees Celsius, the deepest snow in winter is 200cm in depth.