According to the results of the 2021 Domestic Prefectural Attractiveness Survey, Hokkaido has been in first place for 13 consecutive years. Of all the regions and attractions in Japan, Tokyo and Mount Fuji are the most popular among foreign tourists, with Hokkaido coming in third place. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Hokkaido? Is it the scenery of Sapporo, Hakodate, Otaru and Furano? Or the wonders of Lake Toya? Is it the zoos of Asahikawa or Lake Mochou, which has the highest transparency and the water is like a sapphire? Here we will introduce you to some tips about Hokkaido, which we hope will help you in your future trip to Hokkaido.
Are people in Hokkaido cold-resistant?
Hokkaido is the northernmost part of Japan, and the average winter temperature is below 0 degrees.
According to the residents of Hokkaido, they are even less cold-tolerant than people living in a big city like Tokyo.
Since the winter temperature in Hokkaido is very low, the houses are built to keep warm and protected from the cold. Hokkaido houses are very well insulated and windows are not opened on the north side to minimize the possibility of cold air entering the rooms. In addition, in winter, the air conditioning and heaters in Hokkaido homes are kept on 24 hours a day, and all public places such as stores, shopping malls, and restaurants are heated all the time, so it is possible to get hot and sweaty instead of feeling cold when you enter. That’s why Hokkaido residents don’t need to fight against the cold in winter, and they are even warmer than the residents of Kanto and Kansai.
Do I need to wear extra thick clothes when I travel to Hokkaido?
In Hokkaido in winter, the temperature is almost always below 0 degrees and snowfall is common. If you are planning a trip to Hokkaido, you will want to wear the thickest clothes you can find to protect yourself from the cold.
In fact, as we mentioned above, Hokkaido houses are better insulated and the heaters are often on 24 hours a day because it is so cold outside. Therefore, if you wear extra thick clothes, you may sweat directly inside.
It is recommended that you wear an extra thick jacket when traveling to Hokkaido, and that you wear thin spring or autumn clothes underneath. When you are outdoors, wear a thick jacket, scarf and gloves to protect yourself from the cold; when you go indoors, take off your jacket, scarf and gloves.
Hokkaido is the last in Japan in terms of stove ownership?
Yes, you read that right. Hokkaido, where the average winter temperature is below 0 degrees, has the lowest rate of stove ownership in Japan.
As we said above, Hokkaido has heaters in every home, and in winter, there is no need to have a stove as the heat is on 24 hours a day.
Are there really bears in Hokkaido?
Yes, there are.
Although bears are no longer found in the streets of major cities such as Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate and Asahikawa, they can be found in the surrounding mountainous areas or in tourist areas with dense vegetation. In Hokkaido, bear sightings are in the news several times a year.
A bear that runs away when it sees a person is fine, but if it doesn’t run when it sees a person, then it must be a fierce and aggressive bear.
Here are some ways to deal with bears.
- It is useless to play dead, you will be eaten.
- If you turn around and run, you will be caught up. The best way to escape is to face the bear step by step backward.
- Scare the bear with a loud voice.
- If you are holding food, immediately throw it in the opposite direction of you. If possible, run away quickly while the bear goes to eat the food.
I hope you don’t encounter a bear.
Is it hot in Hokkaido in summer?
The average temperature in Hokkaido in summer is around 25 degrees Celsius, and there are only a few days a year when the temperature exceeds 30 degrees. At night, it even drops to 20~24℃, which is a very suitable temperature. So why is Hokkaido rumored to be very hot in summer?
It’s probably because of the air conditioning.
The average temperature in January and February is 7~9℃ below zero, so heating is a must in all houses. In summer, the temperature is more comfortable and many places do not even have air conditioning. Is it because people outside of Hokkaido are used to air-conditioning in summer and suddenly feel uncomfortable in Hokkaido, where air-conditioning is not used in summer?
However, now that air conditioning has been installed in Hokkaido’s shopping malls, cabs, and trams, I’m sure it’s not particularly hot anymore.
When is the best time to visit Hokkaido?
Hokkaido is a place where there is something to do and see in all seasons, so it’s hard to say when is the best time to visit Hokkaido.
For example, in winter, Hokkaido has the “Snow Festival”. Sapporo’s Odori Park has colored lanterns, and there’s an ice festival at the Tegumo Gorge. Spring comes late in Hokkaido, so if you go in May, you can catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom; in the summer, there is lavender in July and August, and red maple in September and October.
In addition, Hokkaido is rich in products. Oysters, sea urchins, king crabs, milk, strawberries, cantaloupe, Hokkaido’s geographical location and the temperature difference between day and night make it a rich and tasty place to visit.
Interesting knowledge in Hokkaido
- Almost all Hokkaido residents play an ice or snow sport.
- Hokkaido is about the size of Austria in terms of surface area.
- Hokkaido’s fried chicken is called “Zanki”.
- Hokkaido is famous for Daisetsuzan, but there is no mountain called Daisetsuzan in Hokkaido. Daisetsuzan is the general name of several mountains in Hokkaido that are connected together, and it is also called the “Daisetsuzan System”.
- There is anti-slip grit along the roads in Hokkaido, so you can pick up some and sprinkle it on the snow during heavy snowfall.
GetAround Japan is your number one travel guide, providing the latest information on visiting and living in Japan, with tips on what to eat, things to do, and places to stay.
Whether you’re planning for a trip far in the future, or already in Japan in need of some fresh ideas, our archive of posts will help you find the best way to fill your time and get the most out of your travel experience.
We provide you updates on serious policies that affect visitors and foreign residents while also keeping things light and fun with articles on quirky trends and pop culture.
How do we know how to provide visitors the information they need? Our affiliate company CDJapan Rental provides WIFI and Sim Card rentals to thousands of visitors to Japan every year. In other words, we are constantly in touch with and listening to the voices of our customers, and infuse our blog with the information they ask us for.
For inquiries, contact us here
CDJapan Rental (Neowing Corporation) 1-10-15-3F Nihonbashi Horidome Chuo, Tokyo 103-0012, Japan