Hokkaido: Which Season to Really Visit for Magical Moments

Hokkaido: Which Seasons to Visit for Magical Moments.

Hokkaido, the north-most point of the Japan Archipelago, has breathtaking scenery that looks different with each passing season. Here’s a guide to show you why Hokkaido is special, especially in winter, and to help you choose the most suitable time to experience its ever-changing scenery.


Winter Wonderland (December–February) 

Snow Festivals and Winter Sports

A Hokkaido winter turns the region into a wonderland of snow and ice, full of magic fairies that put a shiny glitter on everything. One of the greatest things that you would like to mention about winter here is the Sapporo Snow Festival.

This is one of the most exciting winter festivals, where you can see ice sculptures in the streets of Sapporo. Whether the sculpture depicts some famous person, historical event, or just a funny character from a TV show or a film, it is made with fine detail.

Hokkaido is a place for those who love snow sports. The island is well-known all over for its excellent skiing and snowboarding slopes at Niseko, Rusutsu, and Furano.

They have perfect powdery snow, wide-open runs, and beautiful views. If you are a professional or a beginner, you will definitely enjoy Hokkaido’s ski slopes.

Free Ice Sculpture Close-Up Photo Stock Photo

Wildlife Encounters 

Hokkaido winters provide an opportunity to see some rare animals as well. A must-visit place is the red-crowned cranes in Kushiro. These beautiful birds, known for their beauty and as a symbol of fortune, perform dance-like movements in the snow. To watch these swarms of cranes is a calm and tranquil experience, which reveals the gentle face of winter in Hokkaido.

a large bird with a red head standing in the snow

Cultural Experiences

 A journey to Hokkaido in winter cannot be called perfect without enjoying an onsen. Hokkaido has many hot springs due to the natural heat from the earth. Places such as Noboribetsu are well-known for their hot springs, which are said to be good for your health. Imagine sitting in a warm outdoor bath, surrounded by snow. You can’t wait to try this in Hokkaido. It will be a perfect way to wind down and warm up after spending time in the snow. 

A visit to Hokkaido in the winter is full of wonder because it has lots of beautiful memories. The Sapporo Snow Festival, with its icy statues, skiing, red-crown crane dancing, and soaking in hot springs, are just a few of the things that make it a time of both beauty and fun.


Spring Fete (March-May) 

In spring, when the frigidity of winter has evaporated, Hokkaido comes to life in a rainbow of colors. This is the time when the island gives us another face of itself with splendorous cherry blossoms and huge fields of flowers, making the scenery full of colorful shades.

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Cherry Blossoms and Flower Fields

Cherry blossom season in Goryokaku Park illuminates the pink-rosy atmosphere in Hakodate. The star-shaped fort will be covered with fluffy, pink blossoms that give it a dazzling outlook.

 In Biei and Furano towns, meadows burst into color with tulips, lilacs, lavenders, and other flowers, reminding us of the approaching spring. This spot is for those who love nature and photography, since they can take photos of the gorgeous nature of Hokkaido in the spring.

yellow red and purple flower field during daytime

Festivals and Events

The springtime celebrations in Hokkaido are very massive, and one of the most popular ones is the Hakodate Goryokaku Festival. Imagine samurai showing among the cherry blossoms and delicious local menus—it’s a mixed culture, history, and nature that stands for the very spirit and soul of spring.


Outdoor Adventures

Spring is also a good time to get fresh air. Daisetsuzan National Park has trails that wind through forests and past lakes, bearing some traces of winter. It’s a unique time to observe the park revive spring, from the first green buds to snow melting, which will enable mountain streams.

Summer in Hokkaido is a nice respite from the heat, with the warmth of the sun and the tranquil breeze, and a scenery that is green and embellished with flowers.


Lavender and Summer Flowers

There is no better place than Furano during the summer, which is well known for its beautiful lavender fields. The landscape of rolling hills covered in stunning shades of purple is an experience you will never forget. One of the highlights of Farm Tomita is not just the lavender but a wide range of other seasonal summer blooms, perfect for adding some nature to your relaxing walk.


Festivals and Fireworks:

During the summer, the island awakens with festivals. The Yosakoi Soran Festival in Sapporo injects color into the streets with vivacious dances and enthusiasm. Simultaneously, the Lake Toya Fireworks Festival hosts nightly shows designed to illuminate the summer night sky, echoing off the lake in a brilliantly symphonic dance of Hokkaido’s summer character.

group of kids standing while raising their hands

Outdoor Activities

What better season is it than summer, when you can do a lot of outdoor activities? You can bike around Hokkaido’s gentle hills or go rafting on its clean, fresh rivers. It’s the season to get wild; let yourself soak up the real taste of Hokkaido nature.

Keep connected throughout your Hokkaido journey with an eSIM from Airalo

Autumn Awe (September–November) 

When summer’s heat gives way to the chilly atmosphere of fall, Hokkaido gracefully presents itself, dressed in the most vibrant colors that could rival any artist’s masterpiece.

a person walking on a sidewalk

Autumn Foliage

In areas like Jozankei Onsen near Sapporo, autumn dresses up the landscape into a colorful canvas made of red, orange, and yellow hues. It’s a great destination to enjoy the fall leaves. Imagine enjoying the warm onsen waters with all these colors around you—it is a peaceful, beautiful scene of Hokkaido that autumn brings about.


Food and Harvest

However, fall is when Hokkaido displays its bountiful harvest. Sapporo Autumn Fest is a huge gathering of the products of the beautiful land, including succulent seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a moment to appreciate the most delicious seasonal dishes and relish the richness of Hokkaido’s harvest.

Walking in the woods in autumn becomes much more enjoyable with the cooler weather. You can feel the fresh air and see the views with all the autumn colors. By the end of the day, there is nothing more soothing than sitting in a warm spring with the fall colors surrounding us. It’s a perfect finish to the day in Hokkaido’s nature. 

Hokkaido, with its special features throughout the year, is a magical place of its own. Whether it’s the vibrancy of spring, the pleasantness of summer, or the peace of autumn, Hokkaido beckons you to explore its beauty.

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Travel Logistics

Are you getting ready for Hokkaido? It’s fun to plan! The island can be reached by plane, and there are frequent flights out of Hokkaido’s New Chitose airport. Moving around Hokkaido is not an issue, as some trains and buses can go to almost all the places you may want to visit. If you are someone who likes to spend time alone, a rental car would be an excellent choice. All you need is an international driving permit if you are coming from abroad.



Hokkaido offers different types of accommodation. In the case of luxury, there are many fancy resorts with marvelous views. To have a truly authentic Japanese experience, it is recommended to stay in a ryokan with traditional rooms and baths. But don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget; there are heaps of guesthouses, hostels, and cheap hotels.


Cultural Etiquette

In Hokkaido, like any part of Japan, one gets introduced to the local customs. Keep in mind that when you enter someone’s home or some inns, you have to take off your shoes. You should bow when you say hello, and keep it a little quiet on buses and trains. Besides that, just saying “itadakimasu” before eating and “gochisosama deshita” after meals is a good way to show your gratitude for your food.



Hokkaido is a place of amazing scenery and culture, and every season has different things to explore. Starting from winter’s ice sculptures to summer’s lavender fields and, last but not least, the colorful autumn, there will always be much to see. Therefore, select a season you love the most and come and visit Hokkaido yourself. And do not forget to share your stories to inspire each other. It makes each of us ready to visit and explore all the beauty of Hokkaido.

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