Hokkaido: Guidelines to a Perfect Snow Holiday

Whether you’re coming to Hokkaido to spend quality time with the family, indulge in the amazing cuisine, relax in the hot springs and bask in the stunning scenery surrounding them, or take on some slopes at the some of the best ski resorts in Japan, the prefecture has something to offer everyone.

Here are a few guidelines to help you narrow down the plethora of choices available for a snow holiday that’s perfect for you.

snowboarding in japan

For a vacation that the whole family will enjoy, opt for a resort with plenty of facilities and a wide variety of activities. Niseko and Hakuba are two of the largest resorts in the area and offer plenty of options in terms of accommodation and activities, including skiing or snowboarding lessons for children or beginners, spas and massages for Mom and Dad, as well as restaurants and entertainment.

Snowboarding in Japan

It’s best to book early in order to take advantage of cheaper airfare and about 20%-30% savings on accommodations. Keep in mind that most early bird deals expire by the end of May.

shoulder months of March and April

Couples seeking a bit more privacy and romance may not see the appeal in crowded places like the resorts mentioned above, especially during peak season. The best way to enjoy all that Niseko and Hakuba have to offer, while also avoiding the scores of people that these places attract, is by getting there during the shoulder months of March and April, making a point to avoid school holidays.

You can also seek smaller, local Japanese ski resorts such as Myoko, Rusutsu, Shiga Kogen or Tomamu. Couples should also be able to find great snow and a romantic, just-us-two atmosphere in the city of Furano in central Hokkaido.

The Best Onsens

Hokkaido takes pride in having some of the best natural hot springs in the world. For open-air baths with majestic views, check out Kumo no Ue Onsen, an inn featuring a hot spring bath that looks out onto the snow-covered peaks of the Hidaka and Tokachi mountains. You’ll feel as though you were bathing on a cloud.

Meanwhile, for another unique experience, head out to Lake Shikaribetsu during the months of January to March and experience a hot spring bath in the middle of a lake that’s frozen solid at this time. For a more conventional hot spring inn experience, check out Ryotei Hanayura, located in Noboribetsu. Voted #1 hot spring in Japan, this ryokan combines traditional Japanese charm with modern resort hotel facilities, ensuring a relaxing holiday.

Great Japanese Cuisine

Hokkaido is home to many signature dishes that are sure to make your mouth water. Similar to other places in Japan, Hokkaido has a variety of local ramen dishes like Sapporo Ramen, Hakodate Ramen, and Asahikawa Ramen. If you’re looking for other dishes to warm you up after a cold night, you might want to try a traditional hot pot of Ishikari Nabe.

Great Japanese Cuisine

The fertile soil in Hokkaido is also the ideal place to grow its famous Yukari King Melon, considered as one of the most expensive fruits in the country. Finally, there’s no better way to top off a meal than with a nice glass of Sapporo Beer. The Sapporo Beer Museum tells an interesting story of the history of beer in Japan.

signature dishes

Great Japanese Cuisine

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I fell in love with traveling much earlier than I fell in love with my first man. And I'm still faithful to that love (But I have exchanged some men since my first one). I have never had a reason to regret my passion. I constantly dream of going further, it gives me indescribable emotions and meaning to my life.

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