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9 places in Hokkaido where you can see unique winter scenery

9 places in Hokkaido where you can see unique winter scenery


Hokkaido has a strong image of winter with its pure white snow.
This article introduces spots where you can enjoy Hokkaido's unique winter scenery.
Go there to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the scene.

Author of this article

Asahiyama Zoo

"Asahiyama Zoo "is the northernmost zoo in Japan, opened in 1967.
The park covers an area of more than 15 hectares and is home to more than 100 species of animals.
It is a popular spot for both domestic and international tourists because it uses an exhibition method called "behavioral exhibition "that allows visitors to see the animals as they are.

Asahiyama Zoo is a highly satisfying place to visit at any time of the year, but in winter you can enjoy animals that can only be seen at that time of the year.
Snow begins to fall around November, and from late December to March, the park is covered with snow, creating a fantastic mood.

The Asahiyama Zoo's winter specialties are the energetic "polar bears "and "penguin walks ".
Polar bears, which by nature inhabit cold regions, are energetic, moving around all day long.
The Penguin Walk, a popular event, allows visitors to get up close and personal with the adorable penguins as they march across the snow.
You can observe animals that can only be seen in winter, so be sure to visit Asahiyama Zoo in winter.

"Spot Information "
Spot Name: Asahiyama Zoo
Phone number: 0166-36-1104
Address: Asahikawa-Go Asahiyama Zoo, Higashi-Asahikawa Kuranuma, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido, 078-8205, Japan
Opening hours: Summer 9:30-5:15 (last admission 4:00) / Winter 10:30-3:30 (last admission 3:00)
Regular holiday: no holiday
Admission: Adults (high school students and above) 1,000 yen / No admission for junior high school students and below
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 25 minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport

Goryokaku Tower

"Goryokaku Tower "is one of Hakodate's most popular tourist attractions.
This observation tower stands next to "Goryokaku ", a national special historic site, and offers a view of Goryokaku from above.
The first Goryokaku Tower was built in 1964, and it continued to watch over Goryokaku for 40 years.
Rebuilding was undertaken for the 40th anniversary, and the current Goryokaku Tower was completed in 2006.
Twice as tall as the previous tower, the 90-meter-high tower overlooks Goryokaku and the city of Hakodate.

Goryokaku is popular for its cherry blossoms in the spring, but it is also beautiful in the winter.
The silvery white Goryokaku, covered in snow, is a sight that can only be seen by those who visit in winter.

Inside the tower, you can learn about the history of Goryokaku.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Goryokaku Tower
Phone number: 0138-51-4785
Address: 43-9 Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001, Japan
Hours: 9:00-18:00 (observation ticket sales end at 17:50)
Closed: No holidays
Admission: Adults 1,000 yen / Junior and senior high school students 750 yen / Elementary school students 500 yen
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 17 minutes by car from Hakodate Airport


"Sounkyo "is a precipitous canyon that stretches for 24 km surrounded by nature.
Visitors can enjoy seasonal scenery, and there are many tourist facilities such as hot springs and parks in the valley.
The Ainu people were the first to discover Sounkyo and called it "Sounbetsu ", which means "river with many waterfalls" in Ainu language.
A number of waterfalls cascade down from the cliffs, providing a majestic and powerful spectacle of nature.

Even in Sounkyo, where there are numerous scenic spots, you can enjoy wonderful scenery that can only be seen in winter.
One of the three major winter festivals in Hokkaido, the "Ice Fall Festival "is a special site built on the banks of the Ishikari River where ice sculptures of various sizes are erected.
The ice sculptures on display are beautiful and fantastic works of art created over a period of three months.
And the ice sculptures are colorfully illuminated, making them a great photo opportunity.

There is a spot where you can have a drink inside an ice sculpture, a spot where you can enjoy ice climbing, and a tube slide that the kids will love, so the whole family can enjoy themselves to the fullest.
Please come and see Hokkaido's unique ice festival, which takes advantage of the cold enough to freeze even waterfalls.

"Spot Information "
Spot name, : Sounkyo Onsen Ice Fall Festival Special Site
Phone number: 0165-82-1811
Address: 〒078-1701 Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido, Sagumo Gorge
Opening hours: 17:00 - 21:30 (final admission 21:15)
Admission: 500 yen as a cooperation fee
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 1 hr. 30 min. by car from Asahikawa Airport

cape (math.)

"Cape Nodori "is a cape jutting out into the Sea of Okhotsk on the east side of "Lake Nodori ".
A lighthouse stands at the tip of the cape, and in summer, the surrounding greenery is lush and relaxing.
Cape Nodori is located in Abashiri, one of the coldest areas in Hokkaido.
In winter, many tourists visit this spot to see the unique scenery of Abashiri, which is extremely cold.

Every winter around February, drift ice from Russia comes ashore at Cape Nodori.
Many tours are offered to observe the drift ice up close, so it is recommended to join and enjoy the experience.
Visitors can enjoy various activities, such as trekking down the snow-covered path with snowshoes to get close to the drift ice, and sightseeing boats that break the drift ice as they go.

In addition to the ice floes, one of the main attractions is the beautiful icefalls that hang down from the cape.
The water from the falls is not frozen, but water seeping out of the ground and water from the stream is frozen, so the clarity is very high and the beauty is perfect.
We hope you will come and witness this wonderful sight that is worth walking on snow-covered roads to see.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Cape Nodori
Phone number: 0152-44-5849 (Abashiri Tourist Association)
Address:〒093-0087 Natori-misaki, Abashiri, Hokkaido
Hours of operation: -
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 45 minutes by car from Memanbetsu Airport

Whitebeard's Waterfall

"Shirohige-no-taki Waterfall "is a scenic spot in the Shirogane Onsen district of Biei-cho.
The reason it is called "White Whiskers" is because the waterfall water flowing down through the gaps between the rocks looks like white whiskers.
Whitebeard Falls is an unusual type of waterfall that cascades down through a gap in a canyon cliff and is classified as a type of "submerged waterfall ".
The water source is groundwater and subterranean water from the Tokachi Mountain Range, which is characterized by its clarity and cleanliness.

Shirohige-no-taki Falls is located at the confluence of the main stream of the Biei River, the Iwosawa River, and the Shirinasawa River, and the combination of these three rivers causes the water to appear blue.
This is why the Biei River is also known as "Blue River ". The popular sightseeing spot in Biei-cho, "Blue Pond ", looks beautiful blue due to the water and light reflected from the flowing Biei River.

We recommend visiting Shirohige Falls in winter, when the area around the waterfall is covered with snow and the contrast with the blue water flow is fantastic and beautiful, a view unique to winter.
It is illuminated in the evening, making it even more beautiful.
Come and enjoy this wonderful sight that you must see at least once.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Shirohige Falls
Phone number: 0166-92-4321
Address: 〒071-0235 Shirokane, Biei-machi, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Hours of operation: -
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 35 minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport

ningle terrace

"Ningle Terrace "is located in the popular Furano hotel "New Furano Prince Hotel "and offers a fairy-tale view of the world, as if you were lost in a fairy tale world.
Fifteen log houses stand side by side in the terrace, each selling crafts and accessories.

You can enjoy the lovely atmosphere of Ningle Terrace any time of the year, but you can enjoy an even more beautiful sight in winter.
It is recommended to visit in winter, as the surrounding area is covered with snow, and when it gets dark, the log cabins and boardwalks are lit up, providing the best view of the warmth of the area.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Ningle Terrace
Phone number: 0167-22-1111
Address:〒076-8511 Nakamigori, Furano, Hokkaido
Hours of operation: 12:00 - 20:45
Closed:Not fixed depending on the store
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 1 hour drive from Asahikawa Airport

SL Winter Marshland

"The SL Winter Marshland "is a sightseeing train that has been in operation since 2000 and has become a wintertime tradition in Hokkaido.
The sight of the train steamrolling across the snowfield is so cool that it has become a popular content that attracts a rush of people who want to ride it every year.

The train route runs between Kushiro Station and Shibecha Station, crossing the rich nature of Kushiro Marshland.
From inside the train, you can frequently see red-crowned cranes, Ezo sika deer, and other animals, making the ride enjoyable for everyone, from children to adults.
The train will provide sightseeing information through in-train announcements, and souvenirs and memorabilia will be available for sale, making it possible to fully enjoy the ride from start to finish.

The service days are limited, and reservations can be made through JR's online reservation service or affiliated travel agencies.
If you are planning to visit Hokkaido, please schedule a ride.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: SL Winter Marshland
Phone number: 011-222-7111 (JR Hokkaido)
Operation Dates: Stated on the official website
Service section: Kushiro Station - Shibecha Station
Boarding fee: Adults 2,970 yen / Children 1,480 yen

Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan

"Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan "is a village made of snow and ice that appears only for two months every winter.
The beautiful white village on the lake, which appears only in winter when the waters of Lake Shikaribetsu are icy, is an extraordinary and unique Hokkaido spot that you should experience at least once.
Many facilities will be constructed for all-day fun, so you can enjoy visiting with any partner, whether family, friends, or partners.

A popular annual event is the "Ice Bar "where you can enjoy drinks and alcoholic beverages in ice glasses.
We recommend that you make your own ice glasses and enjoy delicious drinks in your original ice glasses.
The "ice open-air bath "and "ice footbath "are also popular, where you can get warm to the core in the extreme cold.
Soaking in an open-air bath amidst a spectacular view of the silver world as far as the eye can see is a wonderful time that can only be experienced here.

Other plans include sleeping in igloos, dome-shaped ice lodges built on the lake, and "night watching "to explore nature, illuminated only by the moon, stars, and other natural lights, so you can enjoy yourself from morning till night.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Phone number: 0156-69-8181
Address:〒081-0344 Hokkaido Kawahigashi-gun Kaguchi-cho Kitakamaku Mubanchi Lake Sanbetsu Onsen
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 1 hour and 15 minutes by car from Tokachi Obihiro Airport

Ootsu Coast

"Otsu Coast "is a great photo spot where jewel-like blocks of ice called "Jewelry Ice "are launched onto the shore every year from January to late February.
Jewelry ice is not a layer of pure white ice like drift ice, but ice from the Tokachi River that has flowed out into the Pacific Ocean and washed up on the shore.
The water is from the clean Tokachi River, so it is very clear and looks sparkling as it reflects the sun's rays.

Jewelry ice cream appears in different colors at different times of the day, so it is recommended to visit at any time of the day.
Be careful not to fall because the ice is slippery and the footing is poor and the waves are sometimes high.
Please go and see the beautiful sights created by nature, which can only be seen during the particularly cold season.

"Spot Information "
Spot name: Otsu Coast
Phone number: 015-578-7202
Address: Otsumotomachi, Toyokoro, Nakagawa-gun, Hokkaido 089-5461, Japan
Hours of operation: -
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Nearest airport: 65 minutes by car from Tokachi Obihiro Airport


Hokkaido is an area where you can enjoy the unique winter scenery created by nature to the fullest.
There are many photo-worthy spots, including villages made of snow and ice and jewelry created by nature.
Let's spend a special time in Hokkaido for the best and most memorable experience.

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