Hokkaido is made up of four main areas.
CENTRAL, NORTHERN, SOUTHERN and EASTERN. Each area contains many places to visit and things to do. Please select from the list below to get more information on each area including main cities / towns and sightseeing spots.
Central Hokkaido is the political and economic hub of this prefecture. The capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo, is located here as well as the port cities of Otaru and Muroran. The major airport of this prefecture is located in Chitose approximately 50 minutes by train from Sapporo. The area has beautiful parks, wildlife areas, ski & snow board mountains and large hot spring (“Onsen” ) areas.
Historically speaking, Southern Hokkaido was the commercial and also for a limited time, political center of Hokkaido and offers a look into the past of this region. During the cold winter months this area also offers slightly more mild weather than the rest of the prefecture. Besides history, there is also still plenty of natural beauty and one of the oldest hot spring areas in Hokkaido.
Bordered by both the Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea, this area is home to the northern most point in Japan as well as large open pastoral leases. It is a favorite area for trekking and bird watching and home to the two islands of Rishiri and Rebun, which are known for their spectacular natural beauty and large variety of wildlife. Also well known is the road running along the coast from Sapporo to Wakkanai which delivers some of the best sunsets in Japan. Hot spring areas in this region include the Toyotomi Hot Spring and Wakkanai Hot Spring.
Eastern Hokkaido is home to one of Japan’s largest fishing fleets, the huge Kushiro Marshland, the WorldHeritage Listed Shiretoko National Park and the beautiful Akan National Park area. This area is not only known for it’s incredible scenery and well preserved forests, but is also home to two of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring areas called Akan and Kawayu. The area is also characterized by huge 2000 plus meter mountains and wide open plains for farming. This area produces huge amounts of farmed goods including vegetables, dairy products, flowers and flower related products. It is home to Hokkaido’s second largest city of Asahikawa as well as the famous Sounkyo Hot Spring area.