Top things to do in Northern Hokkaidō

Top Choice Seafood in Rebun-tō

Robata Chidori

Chidori does real robata-yaki, charcoal grilling in a pit built into the table. The speciality of the house is hokke chanchan-yaki (ホッケチャンチャン焼; ¥1000) – island-caught Okhotsk atka mackerel grilled with miso. The ika…
Top Choice Soba in Furano

Soba Haru

Not only does the owner Haru-san make the noodles here by hand, he made the wooden soba bar himself too. Stop by for a scrumptious handmade noodle meal at this spotless, lovely spot.
Top Choice Cafe in Asahikawa

Coffee Shop Tirol

Tirol may have only opened a few years ago, but the owner has kept the 70-year-old building lovingly intact, with a suitably vintage interior and jazzy soundtrack. The coffee (¥550), roasted in-house, is fantastic. …
Nature Reserve in Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park

Sarobetsu Wetlands

Part of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park, these marshlands are 40km southwest of Wakkanai. Fields of wild flowers bloom here in summer, which can be appreciated from boardwalks built over the marsh. Infrequent …
Museum in Asahikawa

Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Hall

Built in 1916 and thus just a few years past its 100th anniversary, this museum is less a collection of artefacts (though it has those too) and more the story of a local Ainu family desperate to keep the old ways al…
Japanese in Asahikawa

Furarīto Alley

This rambling collection of tiny restaurants runs the length of an alley between 4-jō-dōri and 5-jō-dōri, about a 10-minute walk north of the train station. Wander along (loosely translated, furarīto means wander) a…
Gorge in Sōunkyō Onsen


Sōunkyō is a string of gorges 15km long formed by the Ishikari River, the very same Ishikari River that empties out into the Sea of Japan just north of Sapporo. A few kilometres southeast of town on Rte 39, there's …
Ramen in Asahikawa

Ramen Aoba

The city's oldest ramen shop (opened in 1947!) serves delicious al dente noodles in a shōyu (soy sauce) seasoned assari (light) broth – classic Asahikawa-style. The proprietor truly loves foreign customers and may a…
Ramen in Furano

Chīzu Rāmen-no-mise Karin

Testing the adage that everything is better with cheese, Karin adds local Furano cheese to its ramen. Whether that sounds amazing or awful, you know you have to try it! It's in a nondescript brown-and-white building…
Viewpoint in Rebun-tō


This is the prettiest of the island's capes, where the waters are an almost tropical blue, framed by craggy rocks and grassy slopes. The Rebun-tō Traverse passes here; it's also accessible by road. As elsewhere on t…