Hiking, Camping, And Exploring In Hokkaido’s Beautiful Forests

by erin on June 20, 2011

It’s easy to think of towering skyscrapers and flashing lights when you think of a vacation in Japan. Cities like Tokyo are a popular spot, but so are destinations like Hokkaido, but not for the same reasons. Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost island, and it’s paradise for those who are outdoor types. Hiking, camping, and exploring untouched natural habitats are all reasons that people come from all over the world to Hokkaido, Japan. Before you leave, you will need to get a passport. If you get your passport online, you can get yours in the shortest time frame possible.

Official Websites

More and more travelers are starting to switch over to getting their passports online. On these official websites, you have access to all sorts of passport services, where you can renew passport online, replace a damaged passport, get passports for your children, and more. The best part is that these sites offer expedited service, so you can have your passport in a week, a couple days, or even 24 hours.

National Parks

What makes Hokkaido so popular is the sheer amount of National Parks that feature undisturbed forests. Shiretoko, which translates into “end of the Earth,” is one of these places. Located at the north-east tip of the island, this pristine National Park has earned the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to see the hot-spring waterfall, and be careful, as Shiretoko has the highest population of brown bears in Japan.

Extreme Hikers

Daisetsuzan National Park is for those who are looking for an intense hiking trip. Reserved for “extreme hikers,” Daisetsuzan, which translates into “Great Snowy Mountain” provides a tough hiking experience. It’s the largest National Park in Japan, and it is located right in the middle of the island.

Natural Terrain

While it might not be advertised as well as the gorgeous natural terrain is, Hokkaido is famous for its food, and even its beer! The best-known dish in Hokkaido is the ramen, and it’s definitely very, very different than the ramen college students eat. This ramen is made with the best noodles and is topped with an assortment of things, including lamb, vegetables, other meats, and even seafood. It is said that Ishiya Chocolate has the best chocolate around, so be sure to try some. Hokkaido is home to many beer breweries, with Sapporo Beer Brewing Company being the most prominent. You can also expect to get excellent seafood in Hokkaido, since most of the population lives along the coast.

Snow Festival

If you plan your trip just right, you can be in Hokkaido for the Sapporo Snow Festival. This festival is regarded as one of the most fun and interesting attractions in Hokkaido, and for good reason! People come from around the globe and build the most eye-opening sculptures with snow. This makes for a fantastic whole day or half day activity, as there is plenty of yummy food and an endless amount of snow sculptures.

Cultural Context

What makes hiking and camping in Hokkaido so different from another place is the simple fact of getting to do it in a different cultural context. Hokkaido also has its share of cities. This makes it possible to see what everyday life is like in one of Hokkaido’s metropolitan areas and then spend the night in a pristine natural environment. Just be sure to get your passport online before you leave. Remember that you can also renew passport online and many other services as well.

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