The Complete Guide to Hokkaido This May vol. 2 – HOKKAIDO LOVE!

Travel around Hakodate on a retro tram

Explore the streets of Hakodate on a retro tram! Every year from May through to October*, the Hakodate Haikara Go, which is a tram that was originally built as Hokkaido’s first tram in 1918 has been restored in the modern-day and runs mainly on weekends and public holidays**. It is known as the Ring Ring Train by locals due to the sound of the conductor ringing the train’s bell twice when a passenger is getting off at the next stop.
The fee and route for this tram are the same as the typical Hakodate city tram meaning it’s perfect for sightseeing within the city. Not only the exterior and interior are retro, but the way the fare is collected is also something of a relic, the conductor walks the tram and collects the fare manually, which is something that is a rare occurrence even within Japan. To check when the tram is running, the routes it will take, and its timetable, we would recommend using the Hakodate Haikara GO Location System.
*There are possibilities of non-service due to rain or railroad car inspection.
**The tram does run on certain weekdays as well as Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.

May 15th – October 31st annually
9 am until evening

Create your own original seafood donburi

Kushiro Washo Market is one of the three biggest markets within Hokkaido, it is a short walk from Kushiro Station and sees endless visitors year-round searching for various fish and marine products.
If we’re talking about the market’s must-eat food, then it has to be the katte don which is a type of donburi where you put whatever toppings you want which has been gaining popularity recently. You can get a giant bowl of rice at a designated store, then visit various different fishmongers and place things such as sea urchins, Japanese scallops, squids, northern shrimps, and other seasonal seafood on top of the rice to create a seafood donburi, you can then have the final store clerk pour some soy sauce over the dish for you and the donburi is complete.
If you have around 2000 yen as a budget, you can get so many ingredients that they are almost overflowing out of the bowl! “勝手 (katte)” ( means “as you please” in Japanese), creates the perfect image for this completely original donburi, why not try making your own original donburi?

13-25, Kurogane-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido
January-March 2020: 8 am – 5 pm (Excluding Sundays) / April 4th – April 30th, 2020: 8 am – 6 pm (Excluding Sundays)
*Please check the official homepage for details about operating hours after April.
A 5-minute walk from JR Kushiro Station


Events of Hokkaido

You can’t talk about Hokkaido’s autumn and winter without participating in the many events! If you’re someone who gets a little flustered when trying to decide which of the many events to participate in within Hokkaido, our staff has put together our 4 most recommended events.
You have the Miracle Illuminations which contains some of Japan’s quickest fall color light-ups, and the Hyoubaku Festival where snow sculptures can rise to many meters high among many more events that take place in the cold! But it is because it’s cold that you have the chance to make memories of a lifetime with these various events; watch the fireworks light up the night sky, see the illuminations, and explore the village made of ice. If you watch this video which is filled with lots of hints, we’re sure you’ll want to visit Hokkaido as soon as possible.

Event List
– Sounkyo Spa, Sounkyo “Hyobaku Festival”

– Lake Shikaribetsu “Lake Shikaribetsuko Kotan”

– Tokachigawa Onsen “Sairinka®”

– Sounkyo Spa, Sounkyo’s Fall “Miracle Illumination”(Sounkyo Miracle Illumination ~Fall~)

Please also check out some of Good Day Hokkaido videos!: 

Enjoy all 5 senses at Japan’s biggest Nanohana flower field

We are going to be especially introducing a superbly picturesque location to our fans which looks like a “yellow carpet” and makes you want to brag about it to your friends! In Takikawa City, Central Hokkaido, during the middle and end of May you are able to see a dream-like view of over 160 hectares of nanohana (rapeseed) flowers together with the remaining snow of the mountain in the city’s planted area. We promise you will be able to see a “Sea of flowers” from the viewing platform which is available during the Takikawa Nanohana Flower Festival at the flower field grounds. After seeing your share, don’t forget to make your way to the cuisine event venue where you can try nanohana sweets, ramen, jingisukan, donburi, and much more.
Note: Due to these beautiful flowers being the agricultural produce of the farmers, entering locations outside of the designated venue is strictly prohibited.

Ebeotsu-cho, Takikawa-shi, Hokkaido
Mid-May – End of May
After getting off at JR Takikawa Station, take the Takifuka Line transit bus for 20 minutes before getting off at the “Ebeotsu Chuo-Dori” bus stop where you can then take a 25-minute ride in a “Nanohana Taxi” to the venue.
The “Nanohana Taxi” runs for 1 week, however, the schedule of this week will be decided based on when the flowers will bloom. 

A cafe where you can enjoy 2 of Asahikawa’s most famous products

Do you know about Asahikawa’s 2 famous specialties? Today our Hokkaido-born staff are going to introduce them to you!
Asahikawa Furniture made of high-quality Asahikawa City wood and Kibana (a sweet which is a sandwich of white chocolate and almond) which has received the Monde Selection excellent sweet award for 32 years in a row. To experience this collaboration of Asahikawa’s most famous products, we recommend Kibana no Mori, a concept shop created by the sweet maker Tsuboya Sohonten who has been in business for over 90 years.
At the cafe inside of the store, you are able to see an overlook of the garden, and enjoy tasting premium and exclusive sweets and cakes whilst sitting on the famously comfortable Asahikawa chairs. You can also try out making Kibana for yourself at Minna no Cook Labo (*reservation required). By the way, the Kibana No Mori building was designed under the supervision of the famous architect Kengo Kuma’s architectural office. Just this makes it worth a look surely!

Minami 6 jo-dori 19 chome, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
9:30 am – 7 pm (no set holidays) Cafe Hours: 10 am – 5 pm
10 minutes via car from JR Asahikawa Station


Winter fun guide!

I want to see an amazing white blanket of snow that covers the entire landscape! I want to see all of the natural phenomenons that occur during the winter months! I want to join in on all of the seasonal events and activities! For people who are thinking about these things, we are bringing you some photographs we have taken of various places to see around Hokkaido.
If you’re going to be sightseeing in Hokkaido, then you should definitely visit during winter! Our staff absolutely adored the open-air bath in the Shikaribetsu igloo village and the Jewelry Ice which made you feel like you had stepped into a movie, but we wonder, what would your favorite be? If you have just 5 minutes, we can give you just a taste of what it’s like to explore Hokkaido during the winter!

Location List
– Kamishihoro “Taushubetsu Bridge”
– Lake Nukabira “Mushroom Ice”
– Betsukai “Betsukai Ice Horizon”
– Lake Shikaribetsu “Shikaribetsu igloo village”
– Lake Akan “Ice bubble” “Sunrise”
– Toyokoro “Jewelry Ice”
– Sounkyo Spa, Sōunkyō “Hyobaku Festival”
– Tokachigawa Onsen「Sairinka®」
– Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort & Sapporo Teine (Highland Ski Center) “Skiing”

Make sure to check out Good Day Hokkaido videos also:
For people who want to experience everything Hokkaido’s winter has to offer: