Winter Hokkaido Travel: 3 Spots for Scenic Winter Views
The great outdoors is one alluring part of Hokkaido. The falling snow covers everything and transforms it to a world of white. Today we’ll be showing you spots for Hokkaido’s scenic winters, which are markedly different from Tokyo.
1. Mikuni Touge
View from Mikuni Touge, http://morinofukurou.com/
Mikuni Touge is off National Route 273. It’s over 1,000m high and is the highest mountain pass among all national routes in Hokkaido. The scenery you see looking down from the pass is famous as a spot for fall foliage but the view covered in snow is 1 scene you must also see for yourself.
2. Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Lake Shikaribetsu is the highest lake in Hokkaido. A settlement atop the frozen lake appears only in the middle of winter, known as the “Ice Kotan” (“Kotan” is Ainu for “Settlement”). A kotan is where several igloos are made together. These igloos resemble Japanese kamakuras but, while kamakuras are made from snow, igloos are made from blocks of ice.
They hold many events, among which is a rotemburo (open air bath). This is one thing you must experience. There’s nothing better than looking at the winter scenery from an onsen when the air’s below-freezing! Information: Map
3. Aoiike (Blue Pond)
Biei, Hokkaido, http://motorradna.exblog.jp/
Biei, Hokkaido is famous for its massive flower fields in spring and summer but it’s also impressive in the winter when it’s a carpet of white.
In Biei is the Aoiike, a very mysterious spot in Japan. It’s said that the clear blue color comes from the mixing of aluminum in the water with water from Biei River. It gets covered in snow during the winter so the time to see Aoiike with snow is within a few days following the first snow fall. It’s the ultimate scenic spot. Aoiike has become a globally famous tourist spot thanks to being used as backgrounds for certain Apple products. Information: Map
We’d recommend any of these 3 spots. Go and sightsee, enjoying the great outdoors while you taste the fresh seafood of Hokkaido.