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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 each participants’ turn to take 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 will learn each dog’s unique personality: some love speed, some are dedicated to following the trail, others possess undauntable endurance. Together with these powerful companions, you will race down forest trails and across snow-covered fields, enjoying the thrill of speed and the beauty of Hokkaido’s nature in a truly unforgettable experience.

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

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

Ice fishing for pond smelt is a seasonal joy of Hokkaido’s 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 of your own is required, and you may simply rent a package including all the required gear. Suitable for all ages, ice fishing is an ideal family leisure activity.

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

There is nothing else like the thrill of the catch, and the delicious flavor of pond smelt caught by your own hand.

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 to 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 observing 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 marks 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 to spend 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! Freely 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 – 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! Chaming! Let’s take trick art photos! Try an amazing Ice Horizon Walk!

As Notsuke Bay freezes, the ice seems to form a 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 see the ice horizon on a shorter tour, 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 (Bekkai Town)
For Reservations and Further Information: