Welcome to Japan. When you live or study in Japan, you must go to Hokkaido once. Hokkaido has many beautiful sites and you might be surprised of such magnificent and cultural scene. Following is highly recommend places for foreigner that you must go once in Hokkaido.
Overview of Hokkaido
I think that Hokkaido is the second famous city following Tokyo for foreigner. The reason why Hokkaido is such attractive place for foreigner are snow, fresh sea food, hot spring and convenient to access from major foreign county. Also, you can see a lot of guide plate in English or Chinese for helping tourist in Hokkaido, so it is helpful for foreign tourist and let them easy to go to sightseeing. Recently, there are a lot of tourist to visit and stay to Hokkaido and the number of foreign tourist is dramatically increasing year by year. (Following graph is number of tourist from foreign country to Hokkaido in past 16 years.) You can see the booming of visit to there.
Source: Hokkaido Keizai Kankoukyoku
Please note that Hokkaido has the vast land in Japan and you have couple of options to go to famous tourist spots in Hokkaido. Generally, Hokkaido divides into four areas like central, North, South and East Hokkaido and there are differences to visit or see site by each region. Among them, Sapporo and Hakodate are the one of the most famous places in Hokkaido so, these two areas will be mainly described later.
Odori Park is the most famous place in Sapporo and almost all tourist visits to this place once. You can see the big TV tower from park and if you hope, you can go climb to observation platform and sky lounge and have some delicious Hokkaido foods in food court.
Sapporo Beer Museum
Sapporo Beer Museum is the must go place if you like alcohol. You can join the beer tour learning how to make beer and try various type of beers with cheaper price than usual. You also have a chance to buy original souvenir get only here.
Shiroi Koibito Park
Shiroi Koibito Park is the factory of the most popular sweets in Sapporo. I think that everyone has ever heard this sweet’s name once. You can tour around the factory and if you need, you can join the hands-on learning tour in the factory. Every foreigner loves this sweet so, must buy it for souvenir.
Nijyo market has over 100 years history and back to Meiji era, it has started to sell fresh fish by fisherman at this place. There are a lot of fresh sea food including fish, crab and salmon roe etc. You can recognize the difference taste of some sea foods that you usually eat.
As described above, there are a lot of attractive places in Sapporo so that you should research carefully in advance. Anyway, if you go to Hokkaido during winter season, you could visit to the standout event that takes place annually in the start of February is the Sapporo Snow Festival as well. If you live in tropical county and you have never seen snow, must-see it! But, take cate of terrible cold weather.
Hakodate is also one of the most popular tourist site in Hokkaido. With beautiful sceneries, historical cultures, delicious foods and various events constantly on offer, the city abounds with both urban charm and natural beauty.
Hakodate mountain has the world’s three major night view along with Hongkong and Naples in Italy. The night view is artistic, fantastic and take a person captive. This sceneries is a must see and highly recommend place when you visit to Hakodate.
Red brick warehouse
If you got to “Hakodate History Plaza”, “BAY Hakodate”, “Hakodate market” and “Kanemori hall” in this area, you can buy almost all souvenir in Hokkaido. You can see some hand-made grass, some antique, accessories and various type of delicious foods like cheese omelet and rise cake.
Hakodate Morning market
Speaking of Hakodate, fresh sea food!! Hakodate morning market is good access from Hakodate JR station. It takes a couple of minutes walking from Hakodate JR station. There are around 250 shops in there and it is always full of activity. You will enjoy having really fresh sea food and fishing squid etc.
Goryokaku is castle remains in Hakodate and the shape is interesting. The shape seems like star from top of the site. Highly recommend is that you climb up the Goryokaku tower and see panorama from top of the tower. If you visit this place spring season, you can see the beautiful cherry blossom.
Hokkaido has a lot of must-see places and you might be bothering which city or place that you better to go. Also, Hokkaido has vast land and it is impossible to go around all places for a couple of days. So, it is important to check carefully in advance and I hope you enjoy your stay in Hokkaido. Have a nice stay in Hokkaido and enjoy it!!