Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park
Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park is the only government-managed park which lies on the outskirts of Sapporo. With over 800 species of seasonal plants and flowers from spring to autumn, a total of 60 varieties and 200,000 cosmos will blossom from early September, making the park a paradise to flower-lovers during the autumn months.
In addition to the white, yellow, pink, and violet landscape you can find here, the Cosmos Festival will be held in September. Be sure to attend handicraft workshops and barbecue events after taking a stroll through the flowers!
Country Garden, 247 Takino, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
14 September – 6 October, 9 am – 5 pm
35 minutes by bus from Makomanai Station
Chan Chan Yaki
No Hokkaido trip would be complete without three of the top signature dishes – Jingisukan (lamb barbecue), Ishikari Nabe hot pot, and Chan Chan Yaki.
Chan Chan Yaki is a homey recipe in which salmon, onion, cabbage, and other vegetables are grilled on an iron plate. It is believed to have started as a fisherman’s meal in Ishikari City in the old days but has now gained popularity as a culinary tradition in local households.
The dish can be found in a variety of flavors depending on the district but is most commonly steam-fried with miso paste and butter.
Hot tip: September is the best season for salmon! The freshest salmon is found in Hokkaido, so be sure to put Chan Chan Yaki on your to-eat list during your Hokkaido vacation.
Want to see the changing fall colors before anyone else in Japan does? Sounkyo is the best destination to get skyrocketing likes on social media this fall!
Consisting of ranges such as Kurodake and Asahidake, Sounkyo is the earliest autumn colored leaves spot in Japan. Leaves start changing at the 2,000-meter high mountains from late-August. In early-to-mid September, the whole region will then be clothed in fiery-red foliage, painting the landscape a vibrant gradation from red, yellow, to gold.
Kurodake rope-way is the best way to appreciate this paradise of fall foliage. The 7-minute skywalk is also a shortcut to the nearby hot spring town.
Sounkyo, Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
110 minutes by bus from Asahikawa Station
Road to Heaven
Doesn’t it look like a road leading straight into the sky?
Known as the “Road to Heaven,” this road which incorporates National Routes 334 and 244 has been drawing attention among people looking for a stunning photo. As seen from the top of the hill, the undulating course stretches for 28km and leads all the way into the horizon, hence the name. Surrounded by nearby Shari Plain, the Shiretoko mountains, and the Sea of Okhotsk, visitors can enjoy an idyllic view full of greenery in the summer months and be immersed in a silvery snow world in winter.
Between late-September and early-October, the sun goes down over the tip of the road. Imagine how gorgeous it will be!
Minehama, Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido
15 minutes by car from Shiretoko Shari Station
The road only opens in February and again from early-April to late-November, so plan carefully.
What, did you think that Hakodate had only seafood? The real inside scoop is this famous, long-established burger chain.
Founded in 1987, LUCKY PIERROT is a fast-food chain restaurant famous for its chicken burgers that’s exclusive to Hakodate. That’s right, that means you won’t come across any in Sapporo. This award-winning diner serves cheap but incredibly mouth-watering dishes topped with regional ingredients from prices as low as 350 yen!
The chain has 17 stores, each designed around a completely different wacky theme. Some La-pi (abbreviation called by local residents) lovers will even check-in various branches a day! Are you ready for a burger adventure with Chinese Chicken Burger, the most popular menu in the store?
Lake Shikaribetsu is the lake with the highest elevation in Hokkaido.
Also known as the Lake of the Sky, it’s 810 meters above sea level, and makes you feel like you’re reaching for the sky. From early to mid-October, autumn leaves stretch from the shore up to the mountains, turning the virgin forest into a vibrant fall landscape. Visitors can sign up for sightseeing cruises or canoe-rides and immerse themselves in the romantic atmosphere. And for those of you looking for a unique shot, the reflection of nearby Mt. Tenbozan on the surface of the lake is said to look like a pair of lips and is a popular photo spot.
Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan, Shikaoi-cho, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
100 minutes by bus from Obihiro Station