Skiing & Snowboarding
Hokkaido has some of the best ski resorts in the world.
Niseko United is the biggest ski resort in Hokkaido, with four ski resorts on one mountain, Niseko Annupuri. Between the four resorts there’s bound to be a course for every one of all levels of skiing and snowboarding to enjoy. Niseko also has some of the driest, lightest powder in the world, a rich variety of terrain and beautiful winter woods. In total there are around 60 courses!
And you can ski or snowboard on all four resorts with the purchase of a single all-mountain pass!
Rusutsu Resort is the No.1 ski resort in Hokkaido and is the largest single ski resort, covering 3 peaks and 37 courses. Everyone from beginners to super advanced is sure to find a favorite course. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, they also offer dog sleighs, trekking, snow trains, snowmobiles, tubing, and much more for your whole family to enjoy. Even indoor programs such as ice cream making, natural hot springs to soak in, and even an indoor amusement park.
Hokkaido is famous for having some of the best crab you can find. There are four main kinds of crab in Hokkaido, the Hanaski crab, hairy crab, snow crab, and king crab. There’s a certain method to eating these delicious creatures as well. You’ll notice once Japanese people start digging into their crabs, everyone becomes completely silent, carefully shelling their crabs. Make sure to place the crab shells into the bowls on the table, as dropping them on the floor is considered disrespectful.
Morito Omiya, who founded “Aji-no Sanpei,” is the man who created miso ramen. Before then, ramen was only served in a soy sauce based soup, but Omiya was trying to create a new flavor and after several attempts, finally came up with the miso-flavored soup in 1954. Since then Miso ramen is known as “the specialty of Sapporo.”
Ramen has come a long way and now with more than a thousand ramen restaurants just in the city of Sapporo, how can you decide which one to go to?
Visit Ramen Yokocho (Ramen Alley) to find some of the best ramen in Sapporo. It’s a street lined completely with just ramen shops, old and new. It started with 8 shops in 1951 and has now grown to 17 shops, each with their own unique take on this dish that is taking over the world!
Here are two great onsen, both free of charge!
Fukiage Onsen is one of the greatest secrets of Hokkaido. It’s located on Mt. Tokachidake in the middle of the woods, and this natural hot spring is not only free to access but it is also open 24 hours a day. This bath is not managed by any company so anyone can go at anytime and is not for the shy bathers as it’s mix-gendered and has no changing rooms. If you go at night though, the view of the moon and stars are absolutely breathtaking, just make sure to bring along a flashlight!
In Hakodate, there is an open-air hot spring bath on the seashore of the Esan Point. Mizunashi Kaihin Onsen free of charge and has two bathing areas standing over the sea, filled with natural hot spring water spouting from the crevices under the rocks. They go underwater at high tide and the water becomes too hot at low tide, so make sure to plan out when to go. Bathing is possible only for the 2 hours each side of low tide. Although there are separate men and women’s changing rooms, men and women bathe together here, so most people wear swimsuits. You can enjoy both sea bathing and hot spring bathing at the same place!