Mountain in Hakodate

Hakodate-yama & Ropeway

Mention you've been to Hakodate and every Japanese person you know will ask if you took in the night view from atop Hakodate-yama – it's that famous! Take the ropeway (gondola) to the top for amazing views over the …
Brewery in Sapporo

Sapporo Beer Garden & Museum

Part museum, part beer garden, this legendary Sapporo attraction is in the original Sapporo Beer brewery, almost due east of JR Sapporo Station. There are free one-hour tours of the museum (recorded English commenta…
Top Choice Museum in Sapporo

Ōkura-yama Ski Jump Stadium

This ski-jump slope was built on the side of Ōkura-yama for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games. At 133.6m it's just slightly shorter than Sapporo TV Tower (147m), with a 33-degree incline. What would it feel like to whiz…
Top Choice Market in Hakodate

Hakodate Morning Market

With crabs grilling over hot coals, freshly caught squid packed tightly in ice-stuffed styrofoam and the sing-song call of vendors, Hakodate Morning Market does a fantastic impression of an old-time seafood market –…
Top Choice Lake in Kawayu Onsen


Considered by many to be Japan's most beautiful lake, Mashū-ko once held the world record for water clarity. The island in the middle was known by the Ainu as the Isle of the Gods. A road runs along the western rim.…
Top Choice Lake in Kawayu Onsen


Japan's largest caldera lake is a rich blue on sunny days. A small volcano peeks out from the centre, creating the island Naka-jima – best viewed from the Bihoro Pass.
Top Choice Canal in Otaru

Otaru Canal

Historic Otaru canal is lined with warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was a time when traditional Japanese architecture was infused with Western-style building techniques, so some of the bu…
Top Choice Village in Akanko Onsen

Ainu Kotan

This collection of 36 households is actually the largest Ainu village in Hokkaidō. Residents make a living promoting their culture: dancing on the stage at Ikor, cooking pochie (fermented potato dumplings) in restau…
Top Choice Park in Sapporo

Ōdōri Kōen

Ōdōri Kōen is the long, block-wide park that splits Sapporo into its north–south grid. Fully 13 blocks (1.5km) long, with the TV Tower at its eastern end, the park plays host to the city's major events and festivals…
Shinto Shrine in Sapporo


Dating back to 1869, this is one of the oldest shrines in Hokkaidō and is known for its spectacular cherry and plum blossoms in spring. It's inside sprawling, woodsy Maruyama-kōen (円山公園).