Pictures That Prove Hokkaido is Japan's Most Breathtakingly Beautiful Region

Furano transforms beautifully with the seasons
Furano transforms beautifully with the seasons | © thanyarat07 / Getty Images
Dave Afshar

Hokkaido may rank third in popularity as a tourist destination after Tokyo and Kyoto, but it is considered by the Japanese to be the most beautiful region in the country. Located at the northernmost tip of Japan, the scenic coastline, snow-capped mountains, and unspoiled nature attract millions of international travelers every year. Have a look at some of Hokkaido’s most awe inspiring views.

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Lake Toya

Toya Lake, Toya, Japan

This massive, circular lake is located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park and has a diameter of about 10 km. The mountains and volcanos surrounding the lake provide a perfect vantage point for photographers or hikers who simply want to enjoy the view.


This peaceful, old fashioned port city is located less than an hour’s drive from Sapporo. Known for its cozy cafes, sushi restaurants, and the Otaru Canal, this is a prime spot for couples and families looking to get out of the big city.

Biei Town

M50FYW Biei flower fields. Image shot 08/2017. Exact date unknown.

Frequently used as a backdrop for TV dramas and commercials, this small town of around 11,000 people is famous for its rolling hills, greenery, and fields of flowers. The best way to see the town is to rent a bicycle and ride along the “Patchwork Road”.

Blue Pond

Also located in the town of Biei, this man made pond was created in 1988 to protect the area from volcanic flow from the nearby mountains. Naturally occurring minerals in the water give the pond a bluish hue.

Shimamui Coast

Running along the Shakotan Peninsula, the Shimamui coast offers visitors the best view of the Sea of Japan. The area is located about two hours from Sapporo by car.

Noboribetsu Hell Valley

Jigokudani valley or hell valley, active volcano in Noboribetsu city, Hokkaido © Thanya Jones / Alamy

Just above the famous onsen town of Noboribetsu is Hell Valley, which gets its name from the hot steam vents and the smell of sulphur caused by volcanic activity. From the valley, there are several trails for walking and day hikes.

Shiretoko Lakes

These five crystal clear lakes reflect the surrounding trees and mountains of the Shiretoko mountain range, offering travelers one of the most tranquil environments in all of Hokkaido.

Footbridge at Shiretoko

Head to Shiretoko National Park to see the resident population of brown bears

In addition to its five lakes, Shiretoko boasts several trails for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. The footbridge across the marshland helps hikers cross the area.

Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens

Established over 200 years ago, these botanical gardens maintained by Hokkaido University are open daily to the general public. In addition to plants, the garden also features a natural history museum, traditional Hokkaido homes, and a tropical greenhouse.

Mount Rishiri

Siver hikes Rishiri Mountain with his board strapped to his back.

This extinct volcano rising out of the Sea of Japan is one of the few mountains in the world that features a view of the ocean from all sides. The mountain is hugely popular among hikers and campers (there’s a campground at the base) and a festival is held every July 2nd and 3rd to celebrate the beginning of hiking season.

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