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17 AWESOME Things to Do in Hokkaido, Japan (2024 Guide)

Shiretoko-Go-Ko Things To Do In Hokkaido

From hiking through several national parks to sipping a Sapporo beer over a steaming bowl of miso ramen, here is our list of awesome things to do in Hokkaido, Japan!

Hokkaido truly is Japan’s last remaining wilderness.

It contains 20% of the country’s land area with only 5% of the population.

Hokkaido only became part of the Japanese ‘mainland’ in 1869.

Its rural roots are evident everywhere, farmland wraps around the hills and mountains, the roads are empty and traffic jams are limited.

This is Japan at its most rugged, most inspiring, and most breathtaking.

The second largest of the home islands is made for a road trip, so hire yourself a car and go explore one of the most beautiful places in Japan.  

Shiretoko-Go-Ko Things To Do In Hokkaido
Rain clouds over Shiretoko National Park

The Best Things to Do in Hokkaido 

If you are not sure what to do in Hokkaido, then you’ve come to the right place!

Hokkaido is chock full of things to do – whether you want to hike in the mountains, relax in some hot springs, check out the ski resorts, or eat some of the best sashimi in Japan.

In terms of what to see in Hokkaido, the island is home to some of Japan’s most stunning and sublime scenery, with notable places being the Shiretoko and Akan National Parks.

There is so much to do in Hokkaido that you could be here for months and still not see everything.  

As tourism to Japan grows year on year, Hokkaido has still managed to remain reasonably off the beaten track.

There are a variety of reasons for this, including the apprehension of renting a car, concerns over the language barrier, and difficulties getting there to name a few.

Here is our list of some awesome things to do in Hokkaido.

READ MORE: Play your perfect Hokkaido itinerary in this post!

1) Explore the Shiretoko National Park 

In some ways Shiretoko National Park has an almost end of the world feel to it.

Jutting out of the northeast corner of the island like a finger pointing towards far away Kamchatka, it is one of the highlights of any trip to Hokkaido. 

The best place to stay is in Utoro, at the southwestern end of the park.

Some travel guides recommend staying Shari which is an hour away from the park itself. Whereas Utoro is only 15 minutes away. 

The park is full of hiking trails from short strolls to multi-day hikes.

The jewel in the hiking crown is climbing to the summit of Mount Rausu, which offers stunning views of the peninsula.

Just be aware that this is the hike you are most likely to come across…

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