At Shiretoko, the north-eastern part of Hokkaido, brown bears roam free on the mountains overlooking the Sea of Okhostk and Stellars Sea Eagle fly above the deep blue ocean full of whales and dolphins. The Shiretoko peninsula is the home of Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO world heritage centre to protect the diverse and unique wildlife. It was one of the first settlements for the Ainu people in Hokkaido and now my favourite getaway when I want to be surrounded by mountains and sea. There is a lot more to Shiretoko than wildlife watching, so read along to know what awaits in this remote sanctuary.
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…)