Publication Date:  10th May 2024


Hokkaido (Japan) travel guide. Holiday advice and expert travel advice, covering accommodation, cuisine, getting around, winter sports, hiking, national parks and nature reserves. Features Sapporo, Otaru, Niseko, Furano, Bei, Wakkanai, Rishiri, Mombetsu, Hakodate, Asahikawa, Daisetsuzan, Akan-Mashu, Kushiro-shitsugen, Shiretoko and Ainu culture.

About this book

New from Bradt is the first ever, standalone English-language guide to Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island and northernmost prefecture. Home to under 5% of the country’s population, this is a land of vast, wild expanses that demands exploration at any time of year – and feels a world away from Tokyo.
Penned by an outdoors-loving travel writer resident in Japan, Bradt’s Hokkaido delves far deeper into this frontier land than country-wide guidebooks can possibly do. Author Tom Fay provides detailed coverage of the island’s history, unique wildlife, local food, the Ainu (indigenous people), outdoor activities, skiing logistics, hiking courses and the practicalities of visiting in winter, when deep snow carpets the ground and the sea turns to ice.
Hokkaido’s varied landscapes include remote mountain ranges, fertile lowland plains, sweeping forests and enormous wetlands home to rare birds and other wildlife. Even for the Japanese, Hokkaido has a somewhat wild and exotic aura – place names have distinct Ainu origins and the capital Sapporo is closer to Russia’s Vladivostok than to Tokyo, while the Siberia-influenced climate and wide open spaces are unlike anything found in the rest of Japan.
Hokkaido’s mild summers are ideal for sightseeing, cycling, camping and hiking. Why not climb the island’s highest mountain in Daisetsuzan National Park – an untouched wilderness of simmering volcanoes and stunning nature – or marvel at colourful fields of flowers around Furano and Biei? In winter, you can go to snow festivals, walk on sea ice (or board an icebreaker) to explore the Sea of Okhotsk, watch flocks of sea eagles or track brown bears in Shiretoko National Park, or head to popular ski resorts such as Niseko where the huge dumps of perfect powder snow attract skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
Throw in hot springs (and thus ryokan hot-spring inns), active volcanoes, speciality seafood and quirky foodstuffs such as chocolate-covered crisps, excellent transport links and renowned Japanese hospitality, and Hokkaido is a thrilling and varied off-the-beaten-path travel destination, to which Bradt’s Hokkaido guidebook is instantly the essential companion.

About the Author

Tom Fay (thomasfay.com) moved to Japan in 2007, aiming to explore the country, picking up the language and travel around Asia. An avid mountain climber, he soon discovered Japan to be a paradise for outdoor lovers, with much more on offer than ‘just’ Mt. Fuji. He found that some of Japan’s most impressive and wild landscapes lie in Hokkaido, the mysterious, remote and (for around half the year, at least) frozen frontier in the country’s far north. Whether it be bear-spotting on the Shiretoko Peninsula, sampling fresh uni (sea urchin) from Rishiri, or escaping the summer heat in the wilderness of Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido continues to draw him back time and time again. His travel writing has been published in several guidebooks about travelling and hiking in Japan, and in publications such as The Guardian, Wanderlust, The Japan Times and Forbes Travel Guide. Hokkaido his first book for Bradt.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Background Information
Chapter 2 Practical Information
Chapter 3 Sapporo
Chapter 4 Western Hokkaido (Ishikari, Shiribeshi & Iburi)
Chapter 5 South-western Hokkaido (Hiyama & Oshima)
Chapter 6 Central Hokkaido (Sorachi & Kamikawa)
Chapter 7 Southern Hokkaido (Hidaka & Tokachi)
Chapter 8 Eastern Hokkaido – South (Nemuro & Kushiro)
Chapter 9 Eastern Hokkaido – North (Abishiri)
Chapter 10 Northern Hokkaido (Rumoi & Soya)
Appendices Language