Hokaido | A land of national treasure

Posted by on October 4, 2013

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Hokaido is one of Japan’s most beautiful and least developed islands. Overall, Japan (日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) consists of a cluster of 6,852 islands and islets. All these islands invite you to discover unique and unexpected natural beauties, a rich culture and an always surprising weird landscape. The island Hokkaidō (北海道) is the second largest in size, but the most northern and least developed of the four main islands. Due to this fact its natural landscape remains pure and glorious, a true land of national treasure for Japan and the Japanese but also for the tourists and travelers that will make it there looking for a unique experience.

Hokaido

Hokaido

Hokkaidō means “North Sea Circuit” ie “Northern Sea Route”. The island is surrounded by three seas: the sea of Japan, the sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific ocean (not exactly a sea). It has a total population of 5,535,486 inhabitants, it is ranked 8th among forty-seven regions of Japan and it is divided geographically into fourteen prefectures. The capital and largest city is Sapporo (札幌 市) with a population of 1,890,561 residents in the prefecture Ishikari. Hokkaidō is a surprise since the very first moment in Chitose airport where you will land in order to get there. Then you can reach Sapporo from Hiroshima (Honshu island), where the heat is terrific. Hokkaido has siberian climatic conditions so you can confortably stay in summer but it’s covered by snow most of the year, winter however is also a great time to visit Hokkaidō since everyone and everything remain beautiful, calm and rich despite the snow and the low temperatures. Locals make traditionals statues out of snow, watch the deers and the swans along the lakes and the forests and prepare yummy food and lots of festivites you can watch or even participate, like the Snow Festval in Sapporo.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival

Furano is the center of this huge island. It is a long journey by train from Sapporo but the place really deserves it. In Hokkaidō you will meet scenic lakes with fairy bridge that will inspire and invite to you to the magic world of Japanese nature and landscape. You can walk around, rent a boat, enjoy nature and animals but also lots of colorful birds that will shift your gaze towards the trees and the sky. You will also meet small but extremely charming waterfalls all around the island… The landscape will make you dizzy with its beautiful colors and thousands of acres of flowers!

Lake Toya Hokaido

Lake Toya Hokaido

Furthermore, Hokkaidō offers some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets to watch with your partner, family or your friends! The sunset will relax you, putting in the most romantic atmosphere and preparing you to discover the night life of the island that will not let you down. The natural wealth of the island of Hokkaidō makes it a hot spot for your vacation especially if you are a fan of Japan and Japanese culture or sipmply a nature lover!

Higashimokoto Park

Higashimokoto Park

Hokaido photos: Troy Jack, J S, pirka makiri, David Brown.

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