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  3. Our top 10 must-try winter activities in Hokkaido [First part]

This is so Hokkaido!


Our top 10 must-try winter activities in Hokkaido [First part]

The extreme cold of Hokkaido’s winter creates magical scenes of snow-covered beauty, unlike any other!

Activities to enjoy Hokkaido’s winter to the fullest

Race through breathtaking winter scenery with a team of trusty dogs! Experience dog sledding!

Make friends and form bonds of trust with a team of loyal dogs who will take your sled across vast snow-covered land. Hokkaido’s breathtaking outdoors are the perfect scene for this extraordinary experience.

The most memorable part is taking control of the dog sled as the musher. It’s as if you have become one of the pack as you soar over the snow-covered trail. You might just learn each dog’s unique personality: some love speed, some are dedicated to following the trail, others possess undaunting endurance. Together with these powerful companions, you will race through the forest and across the fields, enjoying the thrill of speed and the beauty of Hokkaido’s nature, making for a truly unforgettable experience.

Activity Season:
December – March
Activity Locations:
Minamifurano, Shikaoi, Sapporo, and more
For Reservations and Further Information:

No equipment necessary! Try your hand at pond smelt ice fishing!

Ice fishing for pond smelt is one of the seasonal joys of a Hokkaido winter. Pond smelt ice fishing from atop frozen lakes and rivers can be enjoyed from around late December to March. This activity is offered in many locations, such as the outskirts of Sapporo, Ohnuma, Kushiro, Abashiri, Tokachi, and more. In most cases, no equipment is required, and you can simply rent a package that includes all the required gear to get started. Ice fishing is an ideal family leisure activity that is fun for all ages!

Many of the fishing tours will fry the pond smelt you caught as tempura or karaage right on the spot for the ultimate in freshness.

There is nothing like the thrill of the catch, and the delicious flavor of pond smelt you just caught with your own two hands.

Activity Season:
Late December – March
Activity Locations:
Lake Shinotsu (Shinshinotsu Village)
Lake Kanayama (Minamifurano Town)
Ohnuma Quasi-National Park (Nanae Town)
Lake Abashiri (Abashiri City)
And more
For Reservations and Further Information:

Anyone can experience the ultimate winter scenery on a snowshoe tour!

Beautiful snow-covered scenery is one of the best things about Hokkaido’s winter. To enjoy these pristine silvery snowscapes to the fullest, we highly recommend you try a snowshoe tour! These tours are available throughout Hokkaido, in locations such as Shiretoko, Lake Mashu, Biei, Tomamu, and many more.

Wearing snowshoes, each step takes you deeper into a world of winter beauty unlike anything you have ever seen before.

While keeping an eye out for the snow conditions of the day, your guide will lead you along a safe and rewarding course. As you journey deeper into the winter forest, you may spot tracks left by animals on the trees. Finding footprints left in the snow by animals such as Ezo sika deer or Ezo red foxes is an exciting experience. If you are interested in spending some time immersed in the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors, we highly recommend to try a snowshoe tour.

Activity Period:
Early December – Mid March
Activity Locations:
Sapporo City, Shiretoko Five Lakes (Shari Town), Lake Mashu (Teshikaga Town), Biei, Tomamu, Niseko, and more
For Reservations and Further Information:

An otherworldly experience! Taking a walk atop drift ice!

Hokkaido’s drift ice can be enjoyed and experienced from late January through March.

Have you ever thought “I’d like to enjoy drift ice up close” or “I’d like to reach out and touch drift ice”? These dreams can become a reality – just put on a drysuit and try drift ice walking! This unique and exciting activity can only be experienced in Hokkaido. Thanks to the drysuit, this activity can be safely enjoyed even without the ability to swim. As you float on the sea atop drift ice, look out over a beautiful ice-blue world in this amazing, one-in-the-world activity.

You may even be lucky enough to spot seals sunning themselves atop drift ice, Steller’s sea eagles soaring through the skies, or clione floating in the sea.

Activity Season:
February – March
Activity Locations:
Utoro (Shari Town), Abashiri City
For Reservations and Further Information:
Shinra (Japanese)
Gojira-Iwa Kanko (Japanese)
Okhotsk Jinendo (Japanese)

How fun! How charming! Let’s take trick art photos! Go on an amazing Ice Horizon Walk!

As Notsuke Bay freezes, the ice stretches out to form the horizon. Known as ’ice horizon’, this phenomenon has recently become popular on social media, attracting attention to the region. The scene is so beautiful that you may doubt your eyes. The Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center offers two local snowfield tours to experience this remarkable scene. The ‘Todowara Ice Horizon Walking Tour’ (about 2 hours) visits the stark scene of a withered Sakhalin fir forest. For those who wish to take a shorter tour of the ice horizon, try the “Mini Walk” (about 1 hour). Both tours offer 360-degree panoramas of silvery snowfields, and a chance to experience an ‘ice horizon walk’ atop the frozen sea. Using perspective, you may be able to take some fascinating trick photographs. Experience the wonders of nature and try making your own original trick art!

Activity Season:
Mid January – Early March (depending on ice conditions)
Activity Location:
Notsuke Peninsula (Betsukai Town)
For Reservations and Further Information: