SEE ALSO Tokyo fun guide | Seoul business hotels | Gulmarg ski resorts | Taiwan spas JUMP TO Ski resorts | Sapporo nightlife and dining | Spa areas | Japanese traditional inns | Adventure guide | Sapporo city hotels HOKKAIDO, in the far north of Japan, is an entertaining Asian winter playground that has, over the years, stamped itself firmly on the travel calendar. While the snows, partying crowds and winter ice-carving carnivals will not disappoint, Hokkaido Island is also an attractive summer destination.There are spas, hikes, rides, scenic vistas at every turn and a dramatic, scenic coastline.The airport handles over 120 daily landings and departures with direct services to several international destinations.
Take the lift to the 38th floor and enjoy the vistas with a coffee by day, or cocktail by night.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (tel: [81-11] 898-2692 or [email protected]) exhibits traditional buildings from all over Hokkaido dating back to the Meiji and Taisho periods (1868 to 1926), and is divided into different types of villages such as fishing, farming and mountain.
If you’re coming from Toyko, you might want to consider one of several night trains operated by Japan Railways ( The basic but comfortable Hokutosei sleeper train does the Ueno (Tokyo) to Sapporo run in 16 hours. Invest a little more in your ticket and you can travel in the more luxurious but less frequent Cassiopeia, which leaves each city three times a week.
This double-decker overnight train takes 17 hours for the run and offers private rooms only. It does the journey to Sapporo in around 21 hours with one departure each day.
The signs are mainly in Japanese so it’s best to go with a Japanese-speaking friend or tour guide.
If fish and old buildings don't get your heart pumping, try a trip to Sapporo Art Park (
Handling around 19m passengers annually, it is the largest airport in Hokkaido and the third busiest in Japan.
To accommodate the growing number of passengers from overseas, a new terminal opened in March 2010.
In winter, however, the place really comes into its own.