Hokkaido Prefecture has a population of 5.4 million people, out of which 0.5% are of foreign nationality. The prefecture’s capital is Sapporo with around 2 million inhabitants.

With 83,423.82k㎡, Hokkaido is Japan’s biggest prefecture and due to its location in the north of Japan, summer does not get as hot as in other places in Japan but winter can be hard and long with a temperature falling way below zero.

Best of Hokkaido

A Perfect Travel Destination

Hokkaido is extremely popular as a travel destination. 2.5 million visitors come to Hokkaido each year for its numerous attractions, such as Sapporo’s unique Snow Festival that is held every February and displays dozens of ice sculptures. Or Asahiyama Zoo with its famous penguin parade. Or the winter paradise of Niseko, which offers some of the best powder snow in the world.

City Walk at Sapporo Snow Festival, Hokkaido
City Walk with hundreds of sculptures at Sapporo Snow Festival

The old clock tower is a famous tourist attraction in Sapporo, although truth be told it occasionally makes the list of Japan’s three most disappointing attractions as first-time visitors often walk past without noticing it.

A Natural Paradise

Shiretoko National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park in the north of Hokkaido is home to the biggest population of Japanese brown bear and a popular spot for watching drift ice. Large parts of the park are only accessible by foot or boat.

ice walk tour in hokkaido
Ice Walk Tour in Shiretoko Drift Ice

If you want to know how clear the clearest lake in the world is, Lake Mashu is the place for you!

Authentic Hokkaido Ramen Heaven

When the Japanese think of Hokkaido, many think of high-quality food. Salmon catches, and potato yields account for 80% of the nation’s share and crabs are another popular product.

Jingisukan, Ishikari Nabe, Sake no Chanchanyaki, Obihiro Butadon, Mori no Ekiben Ikameshi and Sapporo Curry Soup are dishes loved by locals and gourmets alike.

Many cities in Hokkaido have their own unique ramen that is worth trying, such as Sapporo, Hakodate, Asahikawa, Kushiro, and Muroran.

Living in Hokkaido

The city of Furano is noted for its lavender fields. Biei offers wide flower fields as far as the eye can reach only disrupted from the faraway mountains.

Colorful lavender field in Furano
Colorful lavender field in Furano

The southernmost city Hakodate is famous for its breathtaking night views over the city. You can enjoy this spectacular view from the closeby Mount Hakodate.

Kamenori Red Brick Warehouse in Hakodate Bay Area
Breathtaking view of Hakodate Bay Area

Eniwa City is home to the Sapporo Beer Factory and offers free tours where one can sample the beer. Nikka Whiskey is a product of the town of Yoichi and you can absolutely have the tour on the distillery

Not far from Sapporo lies the town of Otaru. Otaru is well-known for its sake distilleries, glassworks and its picturesque canal lined with restored warehouses.

Average Living Expenses in Hokkaido

The average rent for a one-room apartment in Sapporo is around 43.000 Yen monthly. Compared to other cities’ rent is around 35.000 Yen monthly.

Living expenses in total including electricity, internet, mobile phone, food, and entertainment should be calculated with roughly 100.000 to 160.000 Yen monthly.