Nature and Gastronomy in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku


South and Central Regions

Unforgettable memories await you in this blissful intersection of land, sea, and culture. Discover Sapporo, the capital of the North, Hakodate, the gateway to the North, and the world's foremost resorts.


This town, whose name means 'sheer cliff' in Ainu, is a ski resort renowned for its extra light and bountiful powder snow. However, there is more to Niseko than just great snow. Throughout the year, one can enjoy various outdoor sports, including canoeing, mountain climbing, golf, and horseback riding. It is an extremely popular destination with people from all over the world, as one can indulge in the freshest of foods and soak in a variety of relaxing natural hot springs after partaking in outdoor activities. Niseko also boasts a variety of boutique bakeries, breweries and ice cream shops to make your visit even more enjoyable.

Access: 1 hr. and 40 min. from JR Otaru Station to JR Niseko Station by rail, 2 hrs. and 30 min. from New Chitose Airport by car 1hr. 30 min. from JR Otaru Station to JR Kutchan Station by rail, 2 hrs. from New Chitose Airport to Kutchan by car

Sapporo Ramen

'Sapporo Ramen' is a delicious combination of frizzy noodles and a tonkotsu (pork bone) broth that is fortified with lard to bring out its richness.


Northern and Eastern Regions

Dynamic nature will envelop you in the North and East. Traverse the World Heritage Site of Shiretoko and Japan's northernmost coastline, where drift ice floats ashore.


Furano is known for its world-class ski resort (and as a site for the World Cup) and its vast lavender fields. Lavender blooms from June - August, but there are also countless other flowers that blossom from spring to autumn. Along with appreciating nature, one can enjoy various outdoor sports all year, from canoeing to rafting, golfing, trekking, and much more. Also savor the local wine and dairy products.

Access: 2 hrs. from Sapporo by car, 1 hr. from Asahikawa Airport by car 2 hrs. from Sapporo by rail (Hakodate Main Line and Nemuro Main Line, transfer at Takikawa Station)

Kushiro Wetlands

Japan's largest wetland is also famous for its flying Tancho (red crowned) cranes. This is a habitat that features exquisite plants, freshwater fish, and lush wildlife - it is also a nature reserve and has been designated as a national park. One can take in views of the landscape from the observatory or the boardwalk, while meandering down the Kushiro River, or even on the special sightseeing train 'Norokko-Go'.

Access: 25 min. from JR Kushiro Station to JR Kushiro Shitsugen Station 40 min. from JR Kushiro Station to Kushiro Wetland Observatory by bus.


This 'blue forest' ('aoi mori') is nearly surrounded by the sea. Journey through magnificent forests and lakes, as well as the World Heritage designated Shirakami Mountains.

Oirase Stream

The sole outlet for Lake Towada flows with crystal clear water for nearly 8.7 miles. Here, one can enjoy natural wonders that could never be manmade - various large and small waterfalls, mossy rocks, weaving forest landscapes, and even tree tunnels. Visitors feel reinvigorated by the tree tunnels as they traverse the roads and promenades that have been built around the mountain stream. It is beautiful all year, but especially during the arrival of spring and autumn foliage.

Access: 2 hrs. from JR Aomori Station by bus

Hirosaki Park

This is a leading cherry blossom destination, with 2,600 cherry trees on view. The park is made up of the grounds that surround Hirosaki Castle, which is protected by a moat, three types of earthworks, and six stone walls that are largely in the same condition since their construction in 1616. *Current large-scale renovations of the stone wall are preventing visitors from visiting the castle tower. An observation deck is available instead. The renovation is scheduled to be complete by 2025.

Address: 1 Shimoshirogane-cho, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-8356


Akita prefecture is nestled between the Sea of Japan and the Ou Mountains. Revel in the snowy countryside in the winter, and the many cultural events of the summer.

Kakunodate Samurai Residences

This elegant attraction presents historic samurai residences of the Edo Period nestled among beautiful cherry trees. Many features of the samurai town are intact, including late-Edo style mansion elements such as gates, main houses, and storehouses.

Access: 20 min. walk from JR Kakunodate Station

Nyuto Onsen-kyo

Nyuto hot springs are made up of seven inns scattered at the foot of Nyuto Mountain in Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Each hot spring inn has its own water source, so there is a wide-range of qualities to choose from.

Access: 45 min. from JR Tazawako Station by bus


370 miles of rias coastline, and a land of falling stars - this birthplace of Japanese folklore still has many stories to tell. Perhaps you will find the inspiration to tell your own.

Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

Chuson-ji is a World Heritage Site, and an example of Buddhist architecture that features gardens based on 'Jodo' ('pure land') ideals. It was founded in the 9th Century and then expanded on a grand scale by the Oshu Fujiwara clan at the beginning of the 12th Century. Konjikido (Golden Hall), which was built in 1124, is the only remaining building that shows the appearance of Chuson-ji at that time. Hiraizumi was built almost 1000 years ago as the Oshu Fujiwara clan's 'Paradise' and it showcases the former glory of this noble family.

Access: 8 min. from JR Ichinoseki Station to JR Hiraizumi Station by rail, 20 min. from JR Ichinoseki Station to JR Hiraizumi Station by bus
Address: 202 Koromonoseki, Hiraizumi, Iwate 029-4102

Wanko Soba

Servers dump one mouthful of soba noodles after another into contestants' (yes, contestants!) bowls in this fun, lively eating frenzy.