The second largest island of Japan, Hokkaido, is very well known for its hot springs, volcanoes and ski resorts. The seasons of this island tend to change quickly and very easily so you have to be prepared when you want to travel here. One of the first things that should cross your mind when planning the trip is what you want to do there. This should be the leading essence of your whole plan.
For those who love snow
The winter season in Hokkaido is extremely cold and very snowy. For those who want to do snow sports and learn some skiing, going during the months from December until March will be the best. There are multiple ski resorts where you can go on the pro tracks and also learn from local and international professionals.
There are a plethora of snow and ice related activities in Hokkaido as well. You can go on ice slides, snow tubing, ice rafting, riding snow mobiles. But these activities are operated starting from end of December so plan your timing correctly.
The Sapporo snow festival is one of the kind and is a popular attraction for those who want to enjoy the festival and also fun food and activities that come with it. The festival is held usually somewhere in early February and attracts a lot of people. So be prepared to meet hundreds of people like you who came to enjoy the place.
About 40 minutes by train from Sapporo is Otaru. And here the ‘Otaru Snow Light Path Festival’ by the canal is held annually. It is also held in the same timing as the Sapporo festival so you can enjoy two festivals in February.
Another festival that is held along this timeline is the ‘Asahikawa Winter Festival’ which can also be reached through the great local transport.
If cottage accommodation is not your thing then you can get to Lake Toya and enjoy the services of the Toyako Onsen located at the foot of ‘Mount Usu’ and enjoy daily gorgeous views and landscapes. Or you can get even higher quality hot spring joys at the hot spring resort Noboribetsu which is annually featured across world class accommodation magazines.
All the major cities in Hokkaido have hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast Launceston City Tasmania and home stays and other accommodations types. You can ask and book these for reasonable prices and even cheaper during off season months.
Hokkaido has multiple cities and each with their own unique winter traditions you can enjoy. The multiple snow and winter festivals are only the tip of the berg when it comes to snow and Hokkaido.