50 Things to Do in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is a great place to experience the magic and splendor of nature, so why not visit there and enjoy the beautiful greenery and delicious seafood that Hokkaido has to offer?


Things to Do

21.Asahiyama Observatory [Sightseeing]

Located at the center of the Asahiyama Memorial Part, to the south east of Sapporo City, the Asashiyama Observatory offers an excellent view of the whole of Sapporo. A bus service to the observatory runs from the Maruyamakoen Station. Away from the city, the night view from the observatory will help soothe your tired heart.

22.Sapporo TV Tower [Sightseeing]

Standing tall to the west of Sapporo Odori Park is the Sapporo TV Tower. The Sapporo TV Tower is open to visitors, and you can enjoy a fantastic night view of Sapporo from the observatory deck of the tower. The tower is illuminated at night, and the coloring of the illumination changes with the season. We highly recommend visiting the tower at night!

23.Okhotsk Ice Flow [Sightseeing]

At the Okhotsk sea to the northwest of Hokkaido, you can see the ice flow from late February to early March and feel the cold of Hokkaido. You can go on a tour of the ice flows on an icebreaker which departs from Monbetsu.

24.Soup Curry [Food & Drink]

One of Hokkaido’s local dishes. Different to regular curry, the sauce is very thin. There are about 250 soup curry restaurants in Sapporo City, so you can enjoy a wide variety of flavors. Why not try and search for your own favorite?

25.Cape Soya [Sightseeing]

Located on the northernmost point of Japan, a monument to peace and harmony was built on the north of the cape. From the cape, it is possible to see the dim outline of the island of Sakhalin across the sea. Around the momument is a footbath, so you can relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

26.Kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) [Food & Drink]

In Sapporo City, you will find a number of kaiten-zushi, or conveyor belt sushi restaurants, where the sushi is placed on plates on a conveyor belt which goes around the restaurant. Popular restaurants include Toriton, Hanamaru and Nagoyaka-tei. Here, you can have your fill of the delicious free ingredients that Hokkaido has to offer.

27.Asahikawa Sounkyo Icefall Festival [Event]

An ice festival held in the secluded region of Sounkyo. At the festival, ice sculptures and art pieces are beautifully illuminated, transforming into a magical fairytale land. For a real taste of Hokkaido, we recommend the sake served in a glass made of ice. 

28.Sapporo Odori Beer Garden [Food & Drink]

One of Japan’s largest beer gardens, held at the Sapporo Odori Park from mid-July to mid-August. Beer makers from all over Japan open up stalls at the park which stretches 1km from east to west. The whole town bustles with excitement and people during this fantastic event, and we really recommend a visit!

29.Lake Shikotsu Hyoto Festival [Event]

A festival held every year from January to February at Lake Shikotsu, located south of Sapporo, where magical sculptures expressing the beauty of nature decorate the lake. The access to the event is great, with a free bus service from Sapporo. Here you can enjoy a slightly different atmosphere to the Sapporo Snow Festival.

30.Hot Springs [Activity]

Hokkaido has a lot of great onsets, with unique hot springs dotted around the whole region. There is nothing better than relaxing in an outdoor bath while enjoying the winter scenery. Jozankei in Sapporo City is a great example of a hot spring town of Hokkaido. Why not warm yourself up in the various types of hot springs that Hokkaido has to offer?

31.Steam Locomotives [Activity]

SL Fuyu no Shingengo, the steam locomotive running on the Senmo Line connecting Kushiro and Shibecha Station, cuts through the Kushiro marsh, giving you the chance to see a wide variety of wild animals, including the Japanese crane. With announcements like a guided tour and all sorts of souvenirs and food available on the train, we’re sure you’ll never be bored.

32.Niseko [Activity]

Niseko is a globally famous ski resort known as the mecca of powder snow. Visitors from all over the world come to the 4 ski slops, known as Niseko United to enjoy snowboarding and skiing. The sensation of skiing above the clouds is fantastic and something we highly recommend.

33.Asahiyama Zoo [Activity]

The largest zoo in Hokkaido, located in Asahigawa City. Here, you can see the animals in a slightly different environment to what you find in other zoos. During the famous “Penguin Walk,” you will have the chance to see the penguins up close and the wall through the zoo without and chains or barriers.

34.Kaminokoike (The Pond of God’s Child) [Sightseeing]

In a small town called Kiyosato to the north of Lake Mashu is a secluded pond called Kaminokoike. With a circumference of 220m and a depth of 5m, it is a very small pond, but the water is so clear that you can see through to the very bed of the pond. We really recommend taking a trip to this spectacle of nature.

35.Otaru Masazushi [Food & Drink]

A sushi restaurant a 5-minute walk from Otaru Station. The restaurant offers fresh fish which the chefs go out to the market to buy every morning. Here, you can enjoy seasonal Hokkaido ingredients made in the traditional style that will leave you without words!

36.La Vista Hakodate Bay [Sightseeing]

A 13-storey hotel located near to Hakodate Port. The top floor has a hot spring from which you can enjoy the spectacular night scenery of Hakodate. The hotel offers a delicious breakfast menu which is rated highly in the “Best Hotel Breakfast in Japan Rankings” every year. We recommend the “Katte-don,” a rice bowl where you can pile on your favorite fresh seafood.

37.Shiretoko [Sightseeing]


A famous tourist spot located on the eastern side of Hokkaido, the Shiretoko Peninsula has been designated a world natural heritage site. The 8 Shiretoko Sites are well worth a visit! There are cruisers that will take you to the Shiretoko Cape, where you can see wild bears and deers up close.

38.Sapporo JR Tower Observatory [Sightseeing]

Connected directly to Sapporo Station, the tower features an observatory deck at 160m along with cafes and bars, so you can enjoy the spectacular night view. The tower also has a string of shopping centers and is often crowded with tourists.

39.Abashiri Prison [Sightseeing]

One of Hokkaido's most famous museums, Abashiri Prison has dolls of prison escapees, and holds all sorts of events, including events where you can sample the prison food. Originally believed to be inescapable, but following the routes of the prisoners who managed to escape can be quite enjoyable.

For a deeper background to this prison and its history, check out this article:

40.Oshinkoshin Waterfall [Sightseeing]

Located on Route 334, Oshinkoshin Waterfall is known as the twin beautiful waterfalls as the falls are split into two. From an observatory deck above the falls, you can enjoy the view of the Okhotsk Sea and Mt. Shiretoko.


Next: No.41-50 Further exciting spots and activities in Hokkaido

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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