Before I mention highlights, I’d like to proclaim the people of Hokkaido are the nicest around. Hokkaido may be a winter wonderland but the frigid air has not frozen the warm and kind hearts of the people. It’s no secret there’s loads of snow, hence the Yuki Matsuri or Snow Festival. There’s so many amazing things about Hokkaido in winter so check out the five highlights of Hokkaido.
1. Snow Festival, Tsu Dome, and Pictures
The Snow Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year from within Japan and abroad. The ice sculptures, the attractions, and the internationalism are something to be proud of. Take as many pictures as you can because the snow sculptures change yearly. Don’t forget to check out the Tsu Dome for snow tubing and rafting!
2. Sapporo Beer Factory
All you can eat yaki niku? Yes, please! For a modest price of 4,000 yen or $40, Sapporo Beer Factory presents raw lamb you cook yourself and pints of Sapporo Beer. The service is great and the place is warm and welcoming. It doesn’t get any better than this!
3. Otaru Lantern Festival
This was by far my favorite attraction of the Snow Festival. Otaru has its lantern fest around the same time as the Snow Festival. From cute snowmen with lights inside, illuminated snow pathways, a lit canal, and dyed ice vases, the setting is romantic, fun, and great for friends and family.
Never fret! The onsen will keep you nice and toasty on a cold winter’s day or night! We ventured to the famous Jozankei for a bath in the snow with a pretty view of the canal, mountains, and nature enveloped in snow.
The same way the state of Maine is to seafood, Hokkaido has some of the best sea critters I’ve ever tasted. The food at the Snow Festival is an attraction of its own. Featured were chocolate covered bananas, hot milk, snow crab, oysters, scallops, and snow crab and garlic fried rice. While in Hokkaido make sure you try Hokkaido ramen and the freshest sashimi around!
Has anyone ever been to Sapporo or Hokkaido? What are your recommendations to enjoy this winter wonderland?
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