Cultural in Furano

Hokkai Heso Matsuri

Taking its humorous nickname, Heso-no-machi (Belly-Button Town), to heart, Furano celebrates the 'navel festival' on 28 and 29 July. If you're in town, take the opportunity to strip off, have a silly face painted on…
Cultural in Asahikawa

Kotan Matsuri

Held on the autumn equinox in September on the banks of the Chubestu-gawa, south of the city. There are traditional Ainu dances, music and prayer ceremonies offered to the deities of fire, the river, kotan (the vill…
Cultural in Asahikawa

Asahikawa Winter Matsuri

Held every February and into its sixth decade, Asahikawa's winter festival is second only to Sapporo's. The International Ice Sculpture Competition is a highlight, along with local food and fun events.
Sports in Wakkanai

Japan Cup Dogsled Race

The biggest dogsled race in Japan takes place early in February and winds through some truly inhospitable frozen terrain (dress warmly!). Local buses (¥280) run to Ōnuma and a free shuttle bus operates between the b…
Wine in Furano

Furano Wine Matsuri

This harvest festival held on the third Sunday in September offers all kinds of drink and food tastings, along with events. In an effort towards sustainability, organisers ask festival-goers to bring their own chops…