Ultimate Hokkaido TripSelected tourist attractions

🕓 2023/4/23

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What is Hokkaido?

Hokkaido, located at the northernmost tip of Japan, is known for its unique natural beauty and history. Human migration from Siberia during the Ice Age led to the flourishing of Jomon and subsequent Jomon cultures. The Ainu culture also developed, giving birth to distinct customs and beliefs. This region has been called Ezo (Emishi) since ancient times and had exchanges with the mainland of Japan. Hokkaido is an attractive area in Japan where one can enjoy beautiful landscapes and unique cultures. It is also a thriving city with tourist attractions and business centers.


Top 3 Selected Tourist Attractions in Hokkaido

1. Moerenuma Park


● Attraction

Moerenuma Park captivates visitors with its unique design and diverse attractions. Amidst artworks created by the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, the park offers a space where nature and art harmoniously blend, unfolding the beauty of each season. In spring, cherry trees bloom in full glory, while summer offers leisure time in vast greenery. Autumn brings colorful foliage, and winter showcases serene snowscapes. Particularly, the glass pyramid "Hidamari" allows visitors to enjoy varying views under the sunlight at different times, becoming a symbolic presence in the park. Thus, Moerenuma Park presents a fresh experience for all visitors throughout the seasons.

● History

Moerenuma Park, a project that transformed a waste disposal site used since 1979, began construction in 1988. Designed by the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, the park continued to be built based on his master plan even after his demise. It opened in 2005, winning numerous awards for its unique design and integration with nature.

● Access

  • Address: 1-1 Moerenumakoen, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido.
  • Google Maps Link: Moerenuma Park on Google Maps
  • Public Transport: Accessible by subway and bus from Sapporo Station. Take the Toho Line to Kanjo Dori Higashi Station, a 6-minute ride, then transfer to either Chuo Bus Higashi 69 (bound for Ainosato Kyoikudai Station) or Chuo Bus Higashi 79 (bound for Nakanuma Shogakko Dori) and get off at Moerenuma Park East Entrance bus stop.



2. Sapporo Nijo Market



● Attraction

Sapporo Nijo Market, with a history of over 125 years, is a charming market known for fresh ingredients from Hokkaido. The market's eateries offer a wide variety of local flavors, including fresh seafood bowls, sea urchin and salmon roe bowls, mixed rice dishes, ramen, and parfaits. Known as "Sapporo's Kitchen," the market is beloved by locals and tourists from early morning till evening. Its arcade features hanging buoy lights and characteristic wooden boards shaped like crabs, inscribed with store names. On sunny days, blue noren curtains with "Nijo Market" written on them are hung.

● History

The origin of Nijo Market dates back to the "Nijo Fish Town" formed in the early Meiji Era. Fishermen from the Ishikari Beach ascended the Ishikari River to Sapporo, selling their catch locally. Around 1903, the modern fish market began to take shape, and by 1910, shops lined up to the east 2-chome. Entering the Showa Era, it settled as the "Central Market," and after World War II, shops selling side dishes and dried goods emerged, popularizing the name "Nijo Market."

● Access

  • Address: Sapporo City Chuo-ku Minami 3 Jonishi 1-chome to 2-chome
  • Google Maps Link: Sapporo Nijo Market on Google Maps
  • Walking: About 20 minutes from Sapporo Station, 5 minutes from Odori Park, and 10 minutes from Susukino.
  • Subway: The nearest stations are "Bus Center-Mae Station" (Tozai Line) and "Odori Station" (Namboku Line, Toho Line), each about a 5-minute walk. From Sapporo Station, take the subway from "Sapporo Station" to "Odori Station" on the Namboku or Toho Line, then walk.
  • Taxi: About 1.3 km from Sapporo Station, the fare starts from 670 yen to 1,000 yen, and the journey takes about 5 minutes.



3. Goryokaku

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● Attraction

Goryokaku is renowned for its unique star-shaped design, symbolizing Hakodate's spring. In spring, Goryokaku Park is adorned with about 1,500 cherry trees, captivating visitors with its beauty. From the Goryokaku Tower, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of this uniquely shaped fortress, as well as the impressive landscapes of Hakodate city and the Tsugaru Strait. Additionally, the site is significant as a battleground of the Boshin War, allowing visitors to reflect on Japan's modern history through various exhibits and information boards.

The surrounding area includes cultural facilities such as the Hakodate Magistrate's Office and the Hokkaido Hakodate Museum of Art, offering insights into history and culture. Moreover, enjoying local seafood delicacies is another highlight when visiting Goryokaku. Thus, Goryokaku offers a multifaceted attraction, combining historical background, natural beauty, and regional culture..

● History

Goryokaku was constructed at the end of the Edo period to defend against foreign invasions. However, it was actually used during the Japanese civil war, the Boshin War. In 1868 (the first year of the Meiji era), the former Shogunate army, led by Takeaki Enomoto, landed in Ezo (present-day Hokkaido) with about 3,000 soldiers and occupied Goryokaku.

This was a movement aiming for a different government from the Meiji government. However, the overwhelming offensive by the Meiji government forces gradually cornered Goryokaku, leading to many former Shogunate soldiers, including Toshizo Hijikata, losing their lives here. This battle is known as the last of the Boshin War, marking the end of the Shogunate.

● Access

  • Address: Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
  • Opening Hours: April to October 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM, November to March 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • Admission Fee: Free (Admission fee required for Hakodate Magistrate's Office)
  • How to Access: Take the city tram bound for Yunokawa from Hakodate Station, get off at the "Goryokaku Park Mae" stop, and walk for about 15 minutes.
  • Official Website: Goryokaku Tower Official Website
  • Google Maps: Location of Goryokaku