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The Best of Hokkaido

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Hokkaido is Japan’s land of abundant nature and national parks. For avid skiers, Hokkaido’s slopes are hailed as the Japanese equivalent to the Alps. For hikers, climbers, and campers, summertime in Hokkaido is all wildflowers, green meadows, and starlit nights.
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Niseko, Abuta District, Hokkaido, Japan
In Niseko, mountain ranges, lakes, wildlife, and volcanoes—including the dormant Fuji doppelganger Mount Yotei—are the main attraction. The area is known for fresh powder skiing and snowboarding, which is best followed by a soak in...
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Mount Hakodate, Hakodateyama, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0000, Japan
Touted as one of the best night views in the world, Mount Hakodate—locally, Hakodate-san—feels like the center of the world. Take the short cable car ride to the top of this dormant volcano and view a stunning contrast of city lights...
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Hokkaido, Japan
Shiretoko National Park is a largely untouched Japanese wilderness. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its valuable ecosystem and biodiversity, much of the park is best viewed via boat or multi-day treks. Connected by narrow trails, the five...
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Japan, 〒060-0053 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Minami 3 Jōhigashi, 1 Chome, 札幌市中央区 南三条東1丁目
Located in central Sapporo, Nijo has been the city’s fish market for over a hundred years. Go for a fresh seafood breakfast; uni-ikura donburi—sea urchin and salmon eggs on rice—is a popular choice. Here among the region's freshest fish, you’ll...
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Japan, 〒064-0805 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Minami 5 Jōnishi, 3 Chome, 南5条西3丁目
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Enter Ramen Alley near Susukino station and shoulder up to the counter at Aji No Karyu. This small shop seats about 20 and serves up Sapporo-style miso ramen, distinct for the addition of a large slice of butter combined with the thin slices of ...
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13 Chome-25 Kuroganecho, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0018, Japan

Near Kushiro’s railway station, this flopping-fresh fish market is the place to stop for a delicious sushi or sashimi lunch. Vendors hawk everything from sea urchins, tuna belly (otoro) and enormous Hokkaido crabs to whelk and whale meat. A...

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9 Chome-1-1 Kita 7 Jōhigashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 065-8633, Japan
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Part of the Sapporo Beer Museum, this pleasant beer garden is worth carving out some time for. As well as being able to taste the famous brew in a beer-hall setting, you can cook your own lunch—usually lamb or vegetables or...

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7 Chome-6 Kurokawachō, Yoichi-chō, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaidō 046-0003, Japan

Some of Japan's best whiskey—and the Japanese take this drink almost as seriously as the Scots do—comes from Yoichi Nikka Whisky Distillery, just outside Otaru. The distillery was built in 1934, after Taketsuru Masataka came back to...

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Located in the hot-spring resort area of Akankohan near Kushiro, the small village of Ainu Kotan is home to Hokkaido’s indigenous people, the Ainu. The store-lined main street here is touristy but nonetheless ideal for one-stop shopping for...

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14-12 Suehirochō, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō 040-0053, Japan
The Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse is a retail arcade set in an old warehouse. Think of it as a Japanese shopping street gone indoors. You’ll find everything from Starbucks and traditional Hokkaido sweets to an endless selection of omiyage (gifts).