Looking for a New Adventure in Japan? Come to Hokkaido!
Hokkaido seems like a separate country from Japan. With it’s beautiful summer flowers and unique winter snow festivals, it’s an area that is a great place to vacation for both locals and visitors.
Each city in Hokkaido is slightly different, and truly has something for everyone. However, one of the most fascinating things about Hokkaido is its influence by the West.
With its Western grid-like streets, cooler temperatures, and many English speaking locals, Sapporo seems like another world from Japan. Its population was virtually none until the late 19th century, and therefore the city doesn’t have quite the rich history like the rest of Japan’s major cities.
Hokkaido had a great metro system making it easy to get around, and it was much less crowded compared to cities in Honshu. Even the food and accommodation prices seemed much more affordable.
Sapporo had a great modern atmosphere, and I highly recommend checking out the Susukino district, which is very lively come nighttime.
If you like harbor towns, be sure to visit Otaru. With old lampposts lining the canals, worn warehouses, and merchant streets, it almost looked more like Victorian Europe rather than modern-day Japan.
Wander through Sakaimachi to see delicious free samples of chocolate, sweets, wine and beer. It’s a fun place to spend an afternoon walking and browsing through the local handicrafts. From custom music boxes to bizarre sand art, you’ll find a lot in this small area.
One of the best parts about Hokkaido is its food. While it is still very Japanese, the regional differences are highly apparent. If you like fresh seafood and sushi, visiting Otaru’s Sushi Street is a must.
This street has over a dozen sushi eateries lining the way, and it was some of the best sushi I’ve had in Japan.
Even journeying into Hokkaido’s countryside had us passing through farmlands being plowed by tractors, green fields with Western-styled farmhouses and even wineries and cheese factories.
Hokkaido is the perfect example of how Japan adapts to Western influences, yet makes them their own. It is truly a unique place that you must experience when visiting Japan!
[posted by Beth]
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