Top 20 Hokkaido Attractions (2022)

hokkaido

(source: KKday International)

Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan, which means it has a variety of different weather conditions. It isn’t as hot or humid as the rest of the country and it’s met with quite a bit of snow. Additionally, the island is full of nature just waiting to be enjoyed by visitors. Keep reading for the top 20 attractions to visit in Hokkaido!

 

1. Goryokaku Tower

goryokaku tower

(source: goryokaku-tower.co.jp)

It’s not Japan without a tall tower from which you can see the city. The Goryokaku Tower opened in 2006 and is 107 meters tall. While it’s one of the shorter towers in Japan, it’s high enough to get a good view of everything you’d want. If you go when the cherry blossoms are blooming the views are particularly incredible, notably the mountains and the star-shaped fort! Even better, there’s plenty of placards with history up in the tower and it has both English and Japanese on the signs, which can sometimes be rare at tourist sites.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): ¥850

 

2. Mount Hakodate

mount hakodate

(source: Seb Ian/youtube)

When in a new place, head to a high spot like Mount Hakodate to get your bearings. You’ll be able to see a panoramic view of the island from the summit that stands at 334 metres high. Right in front of you will be Hakodate Bay and the Tsugaru Strait. It’s your choice of how to get up to this wooden mountain peak. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take the climb as there are plenty of walking trails provided. You can also opt to book a tour or ride on the specular ropeway gondola that is located 10 minutes walk away from the Jujigai tram station.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 10:00pm
Ticket Price(s): From ¥1,000 onwards

 

3. Asahiyama Zoo

asahiyama zoo

 

Both locals and visitors flock to the Asahiyama Zoo to see the animals and ecologies present. First opened its doors in July 1967, the zoo prioritizes in providing the best animal viewing experience through a huge aviary, passageway in the penguin enclosure and adding vertical tubes in the seal aquarium. This popular zoo of the north is home to 779 animals and over 135 species. Another notable highlight of the zoo is their success in the natural reproduction of polar bears within their facility which can be an extremely challenging task.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 3:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – ¥820 | Child – Free

 

4. Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

okurayama ski jump stadium

(source: zekkeijapan.com)

Constructed in 1931, The Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium is a five-storey building that is home to a museum, restaurants and retail stores. This Stadium was one of the venues for the 1972 Winter Olympics and is now a facility utilized for international competitions. If you’re a sports fan, this is a must-visit spot during your trip to Hokkaido. Opened throughout the year, the Okurayama Observation Platform and Launch offers a spectacular view of the entire city of Sapporo. Spots especially visible from here are Hokkaido University, Sapporo Domo, and Odori Park.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – ¥500 | Child – ¥300

 

5. Cape Kamui

cape kamui

(source:r/japanpics)

Cape Kamui is a famous scenic spot on the Shakotan Peninsula, with jagged clifts outstretching to the Sea of Japan. Be ready for the beauty of nature to hit you with a 300-degree view when you stand at the very tip. The hike to get there will take about 20-minutes, but it can be difficult for beginner hikers walking through narrow paths, steep stairs and a strong gush of wind when you are at the top. However, once you get there, the sight is beyond rewarding and you won’t regret getting to see it with your own eyes.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

6. Shiretoko Five Lakes

shiretoko five lakes

(source: thegate12.com)

The Shiretoko Five Lakes were formed by the eruption of Mount Io. After the eruption, the water from the underground springs formed five lakes; appearing like God’s five fingerprints. You can explore these pristine mountains and nature through an 800-meter-long elevated wooden boardwalk. It starts from the parking lot to the first and subsequent lakes. There’s also a variety of walking trails available for those who want to spend extended time in the area.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): ¥250

 

7. Moerenuma Park

moerenuma park

(source: designkultur.wordpress.com)

Moerenuma Park is a public park and an attractive green space that is the perfect spot for you to relax outdoors in Hokkaido. The park was designed by Isamu Noguchi, a renowned Japanese American sculptor. It is formerly a landfill, and the city of Sapporo entrusted Noguchi to design something remarkable in the space. Though he died even before the park was built, works continued with the park successfully opened in 2005. Have a picnic lunch, take a walk, or just sit and enjoy the best of Moerenuma Park.

Operating Hours: Daily, 7:00am – 10:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

8. Mount Moiwa

mount moiwa

(source: agoda.com)

Mount Moiwa is another option if you’re looking for a 360-degree view of the island. You’ll be most struck by the scenery of Sapporo while you’re there. The mountain is famous for its sunset and night city view, as you can see the sparkling light of this densely populated area. Take the Mount Moiwa Ropeway from the base of the mountain and you’ll get to enjoy a nice cable car ride up to the top. The station at the top also has a planetarium, theatre, observation deck, and restaurant, so you can schedule a few hours here to explore all the facilities.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:30am – 10:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – ¥1,700 | Child – ¥850

 

9. Farm Tomita

farm tomita

 

As Japan’s number one lavender field, Farm Tomita is famous and absolutely worth the visit. Situated two hours away from Sapporo city, this farm that spans as far as the eye can see; the land is covered with colourful crops and flowers. Everything is well-kept, and family-run where you can purchase fresh seasonal local produce too. Don’t leave without trying the melon or the lavender-flavoured ice cream; they are simply delicious.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

10. Blue Pond

blue pond

(source: hokkaidoguide.com)

Located in the town of Biei in Hokkaido, you will find this magnificent Blue Pond that is a popular attraction in this city. This is a man-made pond that was built to prevent damage to Biei in case Mount Tokachi erupts. Visitors get to walk through a mystical forest to see the pond which exists very much in nature. The pond colour changes to slightly to different shades of blue according to the seasons. Come and enjoy the serenity that comes with it!

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

11. Shikisai-no-Oka

shikisai-no-oka

(source: hokkaidoguide.com)

When you see Shikisai-no-Oka, you may think you’re actually in Europe. This panoramic flower fields that occupy 15 hectares of land looks like something out of the Netherlands with their gorgeous blossoms. There’s nothing that will put you at ease like a trip to these fields. The breathtaking beauty found in these hills will help you appreciate just how incredible this Earth is. What’s even better is that the flowers aren’t limited to one particular season. You’ll be able to see them from April to October with different flowers blooming. During the winter months, this area is used for snowmobiling instead. Either way, not a bad way to spend your time!

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 4:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

12. Niseko Village Ski Resort

niseko village ski resort

(source: niseko-village.com)

Nestled on the base of Mount Niseko-Annupuri, Niseko Village Ski Resort is the ideal mountain getaway in Hokkaido. If you’re an avid skier, then even you will be impressed with the champagne powder that tops Mount Niseko, which is known to be among the lightest and driest snow. Niseko Village Ski Resort is a haven with high-quality winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, cross-country snow rafting, and reindeer sleighing. The area doesn’t neglect other nature lovers as well. During June to October, find yourself horseback riding, golfing, and tree trekking if that’s more your speed. Once you get tired, why not treat yourself with an old-style Japanese onsen.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 9:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Subject to pass rates.

 

13. Jigokudani

jigokudani

(source: Blanscape/shutterstock)

If the ski resort was too chilly for you, Jigokudani is a place that will warm you up. Known as

Hell’s Valley

, this popular attraction is an onsen getaway that is frequented by both locals and tourists. Take a walk in the valley where you will get to see steam and boiling water that comes out of the small crevices in the ground. This place also offers a scenic route up the hill for a better view of the majestic jagged craters.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

14. Hokkaido Shrine

hokkaido shrine

 

The Hokkaido Shrine was built in 1869 by Emperor Meiji when he ordered the enshrining of three deities for the reclamation of Hokkaido. The final soul that worship here is Emperor Meiji. Hokkaido Shrine is a famous attraction that is famed for its cherry blossoms during the Spring. During your visit, you’ll see wild animals, plum flowers, and spots where festivals are held year-round.

Operating Hours: Daily , 6:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

15. Abashiri Prison Museum

abashiri prison museum

(source: tofugu.com)

The Abashiri Prison Museum is an outdoor museum of buildings that have been preserved from the Meiji era. It was originally equipped to hold over 1,000 criminals; home to some of the most atrocious criminals in Japan.

The museum illustrates the daily life of the prisoners through the many exhibits such as the main prison building, law court, bathhouse, and punishment chamber.

Operating Hours: Daily , 9:00am – 4:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – ¥1,100 | Child – ¥770

 

16. Otaru Canal

otaru canal

 

Situated 10 minutes away from JR Otaru Station, Otaru Canal is a famous port town northwest of Sapporo. This canal in Otaru is not only enchanting but has its historical significance as well. Built in 1923, this waterway was constructed to facilitate small ships to carry goods into the factories that are lined on the river bank. Otaru is also a leading glass and music box town where you will find a music box museum, stained glass museum and also Art Nouveau Art Deco Glass Gallery housed in these stone-built factories. When nightfalls, it exudes a magical charm with colourful lights illuminating the canal.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

17. Shirahige Waterfall

shirahige waterfall

(source: tripadvisor.com.my)

Shirahige Waterfall is a beautiful natural phenomenon you will have to visit if you are stopping by the Blue Pond. A water source for the Blue Pond, it is no surprise to see the same blue coloured water from the cascading falls. Located 600 metres above sea level, this place is also known as the ‘White Beard Waterfall by the locals. This attraction is opened throughout the year, offering a spectacular view throughout the seasons.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

18. Sapporo Clock Tower

sapporo clock tower

(source: hlj.com)

Sapporo Clock Tower is a famous heritage monument that sits in the heart of Sapporo. This wooden structure was constructed in 1878 with modern Western architecture; one of the last building of its kind in the city. The Clock Tower is opened to the public to learn more about the building and the city’s history through the museum and galleries that are located on the ground floor.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:45am – 5:10pm
Ticket Price(s): ¥200

 

19. Ningle Terrace

ningle terrace

(source: princehotels.com)

A small village in the middle of the Furano Forest is what Ningle Terrace is all about. Situated in the quiet town of Furano and within the vicinity of the New Furano Prince Hotel, you will find timber cottages selling local and traditional handicrafts. With 15 wooden workshops here, it is an ideal place for some light shopping and plenty of photo-taking. Ningle Terrance looks the best at night with plenty of fairy lights lighting up the entire area and can resemble a Christmas Town during winter seasons.

Operating Hours: Daily, 12:00pm – 8:45pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

20. Odori Park

odori park

(source: english.kyodonews.net)

Odori Park is a vast park that sits in the middle of Sapporo town. Odori translated to Japanese means ‘large street’, and it is exactly what it is, occupying 78,901 square metres of land. Adorn with tall trees and garden beds; this is a perfect place for people watching as many locals come there to relax or go about their leisure activities. This stretch is exceptionally beautiful and festive during Spring, Autumn and Winter.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

There you have it! The top spots to visit in Hokkaido. The island has a different vibe than the rest of the country due to its less-developed status and colder climate, but it provides the perfect option for a quick getaway.