Autumn in Hakodate: sights and events rich in history and tastes

a statue -not quite Napoleon- but close

Once summer in Hakodate is gone, so is the heat; and a pleasant season begins. If you are going to visit Hakodate in autumn, it is a good idea to first go for a walk through the city, which you can expect to be imbued by the colors of the season. The leaves on the trees lining the streets and parks turn a vibrant shade of red.

How about a walk through the popular sightseeing areas and the western district? In the western district the Hakodate Orthodox Church is a well-known sight, but actually the area comprises many temples and shrines too that are also worth exploring.

Hakodate is fortunate to be surrounded by seas and mountains that both are sources of an abundance of delicious food. A gourmet event is held during the autumn’s harvest period. In addition, I will also introduce other charms of Hakodate in autumn, describe its climate and given some clothing suggestions.
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From New Chitose Airport to Sapporo by rental car: recommended locations along Lake Shikotsu

view of Lake Shikotsu

From New Chitose Airport—the “gateway to Hokkaido”—to Sapporo it takes only about 50 minutes if you go in a straight line over the Hokkaido Expressway. However, if you’re renting a car at New Chitose Airport and have some time to spare; I recommend not heading straight for Sapporo, but instead to take a route along Lake Shikotsu, where there are several sights worth seeing.

It’s a bit of a detour, but it’s a nice drive with an abundance of nature and a typical Hokkaido-ish feel to it. A few Chitose sightseeing spots await you as well, so let’s see check this route out!

Here I will introduce sightseeing waypoints along Lake Shikotsu in the order they are passed when driving the route from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo.
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Delicious food of Hokkaido: 15 recommended delicacies

recommended delicacies

“If I go on a vacation I want to eat tasty food!”

Yes, I think that’s a wish shared by pretty much everyone. It can be very disappointing to travel somewhere without getting the chance to taste some of the local specialties.

This is especially true when traveling to Hokkaido, which is nothing short of a gourmet’s treasure trove. Not only are the ingredients produced here topnotch, they also form the basis for many unique local dishes.

With that in mind, I will feature here, as a traveling reporter, my favorite 15 Hokkaido delicacies, which I hope you will get to try too!

I have selected only dishes which I wholeheartedly recommend as delicacies that you should try at least once, so you might want to hold on to this article for future reference!
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Highlights of August: enjoy the refreshing summer of Hokkaido!

Hokkaido sunflower field

As you know, Hokkaido is a wonderful place where you can enjoy each of the four seasons in various ways.

The island always excites its tourists with activities and events that take full advantage of the harsh winter, shibazakura cherry blossoms and stunning lavender fields blooming from spring to summer, and a vast sea of autumn leaves in autumn.

Let’s see what awaits you in August, the month generally considered to be midsummer?

Here I will introduce the highlights and events of August in Hokkaido from ranging staple to specialized information. Let’s check out Hokkaido’s unique seasonal fun activities.
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A guide to the sight and events of Hakodate in summer

Sight from Mt Hakodate In Hakodate tourism thrives regardless of the season. On June 1 the seasonal ban on catching squid, a Hakodate delicacy, is lifted; and many tourists come to taste the fresh squid, and see the lights of the squid fishing boats dotted across the Tsugaru Strait at night. However, at classic tourist attractions such as the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward and Mt Hakodate, there are ways to enjoy the rest of the summer too! Here I will give some suggestions on how to enjoy summer in Hakodate; a season in which various events take place, such as the Hakodate Open-air Theater, where the history of Hakodate is reenacted, and the Hakodate Port Festival, where citizens gather to enjoy the short summer with every ounce of their beings.
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Four charming summer festivals in Hakodate and southern Hokkaido

Hakodate fireworks

What can you look forward to when visiting Hakodate in summer?
Freshly caught squid, seafood gourmet, an exotic townscape which contrasts with its green surroundings, the view of a sea of clouds, and foggy night views from Mount Hakodate; summertime Hakodate is full of charm and attractions.

Summer in Hakodate is also a time for festivals. Here I will introduce 4 summer festivals in Hakodate and southern Hokkaido that you should not miss out on if you’re in the Hakodate area at the right time. All these summer festivals have their own unique charms!
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A goal-based comparison of drift ice viewing tours

eagles on drift ice
Drift ice on Hokkaido’s Sea of Okhotsk is a phenomenon limited to the months February and March. It would not surprise me if gazing upon such an otherworldly scene, as shown on TV and in sightseeing magazines, was on many people’s once-in-a-lifetime wish list.

But you might be thinking “I have no idea how to get to such a location!”, or “I know there are many tours available, but which one would suit me best?”, or “how do the tours differ from each other, and how should I choose?”.

Here I will address those concerns by providing information on tours that will get you to Hokkaido’s miraculous drift ice, and by categorizing them by their objectives I will try to make it easier for you to find the one that suits you best. From all the tours available, I hope you will find the one that will let you enjoy yourself to your heart’s content.
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Cape Erimo: what makes braving the winds worthwhile?

Cape Erimo is well known in Japan for Shinichi Mori’s enka song Erimo Misaki. Located at the southernmost tip of the Hidaka mountain range, which is said to be the geological backbone of Hokkaido; the cape is known for its magnificent natural scenery, as well as being famous as a harbor seal habitat.

Furthermore, there are sightseeing spots at Cape Erimo such as its white lighthouse and the Wind Museum Kaze no Yakata, in addition to many souvenir shops and restaurants offering fresh sea food. Nature, sightseeing, delicious food and souvenirs; here all the essential components are present that make for a great travel destination.
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Kushiro Marsh in winter: observe Japan’s famous cranes from a canoe!

Kushiro Marsh in Winter

The Kushiro Marsh is renowned as a breeding ground of the elegant red-crowned crane, also known as the Japanese crane; or tancho, as they are called in Japanese. The area is famous for the fact that it is possible to see the cranes gracefully flap their wings from up close every year when winter comes.

On this occasion though, I am going to describe the appeal of a way of enjoying the Kushiro Marsh in winter that has recently become popular: exploration by raft or canoe. Furthermore, in this article I will also include crane viewing locations and feature the steam locomotive Fuyu no Shitsugen-go which traverses the marsh in winter, so I hope you will immerse yourself in all that the area has to offer.
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