Hokkaido is filled with natural treasures, like the World Natural Heritage Site Shiretoko, or Kushiro Marsh. Come be captivated by the beauty of Lake Toya, given shape over long ages, the stunningly colored Blue Pond, or the distant islands floating against the horizon. Let the mysteries of mother nature leave their mark on you.
The most photogenic sightseeing spots of summer in Japan based on non-Japanese tourists' photos on Tripadvisor
Lake Toya is Japan’s third largest caldera lake, created by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 110,000 years ago. Sightseeing boats allow visitors to enjoy viewing the lake’s beautiful surroundings, and to alight and stroll on islands on the lake during summer.
- Toyako-cho, Abuta-gun
- 20 minutes by Donan Bus from JR Toya Station to Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal.
Mystic cobalt blue pond in silence
This pond was formed in 1988 when a dam was created to protect citizens from eruptions of the nearby Mt. Tokachi-dake. It is named “Aoi Ike (Blue Pond)” for the bright blue color caused by sunlight hitting particles in the water, creating a uniquely beautiful scene that is becoming increasingly popular with Japanese and overseas tourists alike.
- Shirogane, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
- 20 minutes by Dohoku Bus from JR Biei Station to Shirogane Aoi-ike Iriguchi bus stop.
Awesome Mt. Rishiri Fuji and a paradise of alpine flowers
These islands are located to the west of Wakkanai. A beautiful mountain in the center of Rishiri Island is popular with mountain climbers. Rebun Island is known for its 300 or so varieties of lovely alpine plants and flowers that bloom in summer.
- 1 hour and 40 minutes by Heartland Ferry from Wakkanai to Oshidomari.
- 1 hour and 55 minutes by Heartland Ferry from Wakkanai to Kabuka.
Shakotan blue: must-see sight in summer!
The Shakotan Peninsula located to the west of Otaru in central Hokkaido is known as a scenic spot with appeals including precipitous cliffs and fantastically shaped rocks. Cape Kamui on the peninsula commands a view of the beautiful clear sea whose color is known as Shakotan Blue.
Shakotan Peninsula, Cape Kamui
- Kozakicho, Shakotan-cho, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido
- 2 hours and 20 minutes by Chuo Bus From Otaru Station Bus Terminal to Kamui-misaki bus stop.
Japanese Whisky Appreciation
Masataka Taketsuru was a leading expert of whisky in Japan. After his studies in Scotland, he chose Yoichi town for brewing. There is a restaurant at the factory and tours of the distillery are also available.
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
- 7-6 Kurokawacho, Yoichi-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido
- 35 minutes by Chuo Bus from Otaru Station Bus Terminal to Yoichi Ekimae Jyujigai bus stop.
Superb view overlooking the Hakodate Bay
The Motomachi area at the foot of Mt. Hakodate is full of sloping streets, but the view straight back towards the port along Hachimanzaka is so beautiful, it makes this the most popular slope in the area.
- Suehiromachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido
- 7 minutes by tram from JR Hakodate Station. Get off at Suehiro-cho stop and walk 7 minutes.
Kushiro Wetland: the largest wetland in Japan
Japan's largest wetland, Kushiro-shitsugen is known as a habitat for red-crowned cranes, a Special Natural Monument of Japan. Well-maintained walking trails through the wetland's pristine natural environment are equipped with viewing spots where visitors can enjoy beautiful landscapes.
Kushiro Marsh Observatory
- 6-11 Hokuto, Kushiro, Hokkaido
- 40 minutes by Akan Bus from Kushiro Station to Shitsugen Tenboudai (Observatory) bus stop.
Fantastic 5 lakes in the deep virgin forest
Shiretoko National Park is World Heritage Site with unspoiled natural ecosystems remaining from ancient times. Nearby you'll find the shiretoko Wold Heritage Conservation Center and Shiretoko National Park Nature Center. Shiretoko Goko Lake is Five magical lakes surrounded by primeval forest. Stroll around all five lakes on the walking track and see a breathtaking panorama of the Shiretoko Mountain Range from the viewpoint. You might even see a wild animal or two!
Season: Late April to Late November.
Shiretoko Goko Lakes
- Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido
- 20 minutes drive from Utoro.
Japan's Earliest Autumn Leaves, on an Overwhelming Scale
Hokkaido offers ample opportunities to climb mountains while viewing colorful autumn leaves. Enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage in the magnificent Taisetsu Mountain Range,where among the 2,000-meter peaks autumn arrives earlier than anywhere else in Japan.
Season: mid September to early October.
Taisetsuzan National Park
- 1 hour and 50 minutes by Dohoku Bus from JR Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal to Sounkyo bus stop.