5 fun summer activities in Hokkaido for a memorable vacation.

Hokkaido: 5 fun summer activities for a memorable vacation

Hokkaido is a breath of fresh air from Japan’s bustling, and sometimes overstimulating large cities. 

Pristine lakes, fruit farms, lavender fields, and hearty foods have made it people’s summer home away from home.

Others often visit to experience it with friends, families, and their romantic partners. Will you be next? 

Here are just some of the best Hokkaido activities you can do with the kids and kids-at-heart.

A Hokkaido clock tower in front of a building.

Explore the best of Sapporo with a day tour

Booking a tour is the best way to cover Sapporo without worrying about missing the train or any of the can’t-miss attractions.

Your tour guide may take you to historic landmarks such as the Clock Tower, the shopping district of Tanukikoji, or the Central Wholesale Market.

There’s also a chance you’ll drop by the Ski Jump Stadium. A lift carries you to the top where you can immerse in unobstructed views of Sapporo 300+ meters from the ground.

Of course, you can definitely explore the city on your own!

For those who collect goshūin (a unique seal representing each shrine or temple), you can purchase Hokkaido Shrine’s original design of the accordion books used for collecting the seals.

People working in a Hokkaido factory.


Make cookies and other confections at the Shiroi Koibito Park

Ever wondered what it’s like to be Willy Wonka?

Well, step inside Sapporo’s very own chocolate factory and theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company.

Watch the candy-making process through large windows, learn about the history of chocolate with a projection mapping show, or join a cookie-making workshop.

You’ll be happy to know that Shiroi Koibito’s has a miniature train that passes through the garden area. 

The park also has a public area with a garden, shop, café, and restaurant where you can take a break.

While taking a break, go ahead and buy some (or a lot!) of their signature Shiroi Koibito cookies: decadent white chocolate sandwiched between thin butter cookies.

You’ll spot it easily—it’s one of the most famous souvenirs from Hokkaido!

A Hokkaido bike parked in a field.


Bike through the scenic mountains and flower fields of Biei

Not fond of jam-packed package tours? Relish the beauty of the countryside at your own pace. 

All of the rent-a-cycle shops in Biei offer a selection of electric and road bicycles plus free sightseeing maps in different languages.

You can start your adventure at Panorama Road near the Bibaushi station or at Patchwork Road beside JR Biei Station. 

Many recommend Panorama Road because of the romantic hills, breezy fields, and beautiful observatories along the route.

Summer is a great time to pass by the tulip farm in Shikisai-no-oka, too!

From here, you can hop on a KURURU bus which will tour you around the neighboring Furano Marche, Furano Cheese Factory, and the Furano Winery.

A bunch of cherries from Hokkaido in a basket on a table.

Go cherry-picking at Ohashi Cherry Farms

If you’re visiting around the end of summer, you may miss the prime time for the cherry season.

But at the 50-year-old Ohashi Cherry Farms, a half-hour drive away from Furano, you can harvest delicious cherries year-round—thanks to its 11-acre indoor orchard.

And no need to worry about the long walk. You can ride a shuttle bus to travel between orchards!

Here you’ll find 1,500 trees with 50 varieties of cherries, some of which aren’t even sold at markets.

There’s the tarty Sato Nishi, plump Nanyo, saccharine Gassan Nishiki, and Summit, Japan’s largest cherry and the most luscious of all.

Luckily, you can buy the cherries you just picked and snack on them on the way back to your hotel!

A coffee machine in Hokkaido is pouring coffee into cups


Go night shopping in the middle of nature at Ningle Terrace

Hidden in the forest of the New Furano Prince Hotel, Ningle Terrace is the string of log houses you might have seen in the popular drama Yasashii Jikan (A Tender Time).

Its name, Ningle, is a nod to The Wise Man of the Forest in the book by So Kuramoto.

In fact, the shopping area was built based on the writer’s ideas, which explains the fairytale-like ambiance! 

Choose from many handmade crafts in the Furano style—including pottery, jewelry, and glass art.

Alternatively, you can attend the workshops and try your hand at making a traditional Japanese candle, wooden puppet, or kaleidoscope.

At night, the place puts you in a romantic mood with its light bulb-lined walkways and crisp forest air.

So take this opportunity to bond with your sweetheart! Get cozy with freshly-ground coffee at the Coffeehouse and admire the lovely forest view that surrounds it.



Have you tried any of these? Share your experience below or suggest other activities that are perfect for spending summer in Hokkaido. Look forward to hearing about it!

For more insider tips and trip-planning hacks, check out my Travel posts.

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