Otaru is one of my favourite spots for a day tour from Sapporo in all seasons. This old town of Hokkaido is known for its glass works, sushi, ski resorts, and a romantic canal giving it a feel of Venice. However, all this while I never knew about a secret that Otaru holds. It has the largest lily garden in Hokkaido, and probably one of the biggest in the country. The Onze Harukyama Yurien (lily garden) opens only for one short month in summer. In 2013, to attract more business, Snow cruise Onze ski resort in Otaru started this garden. Easy accessibility along with a view of stunning flowers with the Ishikari bay, makes the Onze Harukayama Lily garden, a great site for a quick visit.
Hokkaido is known as a wintry fairyland. For half a year, outdoors here is mostly white. However, with the arrival of spring, pink and white cherry and plum blossoms, rainbow coloured tulips, stunning lilacs, and aromatic lavenders abloom. A number of flower admirers from all over the country come here in spring and summer to enjoy the beautiful flowers. The Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park is a captivating flower park in Hokkaido famous for the Shibazakura (lawn Cherry blossoms) flowers. Every year in May and June, vibrant Shibazakuras blushing around the foothill of Mt. Mokoto, along with lush green forests and a blue sky create a fantasia. You can make the most of your trip to the park by combining it with a visit to the famous Higashimokoto Nyurakukan (Dairy museum), popular for its cheese.
Ever dreamt of spending summer, on a remote island, where the four elements of nature meet? Where you get pure air to breath, peaceful and cold blue sea for a swim, dormant volcanoes a constant reminder of the fire burning within the Earth and isles covered with rare flora and fauna. Hokkaido is such a place where summer lasts for a very short period, but when it does it is nature at its best. In this summer series, I am going to talk about the unfrequented islands on the northernmost frontiers of Hokkaido which are quietly tucked away from mainland’s hustle and bustle. Rishiri is one such islands, a true bliss for nature lovers.
I was standing on top of a snowy mountain, digging my feet in the snow to avoid sliding down. My stomach was full of fluttering butterflies. I wasn’t afraid, I knew I would fall soon after I let go of my grip. Instead, I felt happy, the feeling of standing up to myself and thinking I can do it even though I knew I couldn’t. Maybe it was the adrenaline, or maybe it was the majestic view of the sprawling city painted white with snow. With these emotions I attempted my first Ski experience last winter with countless falls sprinkled with fleeting moments of success. I am glad, I live in Hokkaido, which becomes a big polar playground every winter, where you can come to bury you worries deep in the snow. If you are a skiing/snowboarding pro or a novice, there is something for everyone here. This is my list of the top eight ski resorts in Hokkaido where you can slide your way to white happiness.
Hokkaido is one of the snowiest places on Earth. As winter arrives, the landscape of Hokkaido starts losing its colour to prepare for a white canvas. First, the mountains turn white, announcing the beginning of the makeover. Then, the trees get covered by white pixie dust, and inch by inch snow piles on every night leaving a glistening carpet in the morning. I love winter in Hokkaido, and the snow has a way of making everything look beautiful. A sunny morning after fresh snow fall looks like a paradise, even the mundane red post-box looks awfully cute covered in snow. I am not the only who admires the winter in Hokkaido. People from all corners of the world visit Hokkaido to enjoy the beauty of its mountains and the adventure of its ski slopes. In the first blog of winter special series, I will be talking about things you must do this winter in Hokkaido, the land of goddess Kuraokami. (more…)