Actually, there is a lot of nature around Sapporo City!
We introduce spots where you can enjoy the Hokkaido's typical massive nature closely such as the sea, mountains, lakes, and rivers.
There are activity tours such as cycling and winter sports as well!
If you’re here with a guardian, anyone at primary school age or above can try driving the excavator! Comes with a spectacular lunch, with salmon as its main dish.
As there’s snow from December through March, you can come here at any point during that time to experience snow removal, on the plot of a diner run by Ishikari fishers. Yoshioka, the owner fo the diner, supplies the excavator, a Komatsu WA200. Yoshioka is very practiced in removing snow around the neighbourhood, and will walk you through shovel movement, handle operation and everything else about how to move the vehicle. The session lasts about 15 minutes. Up to two people can get on together. You can also do this with your children. After getting rid of the snow, step inside for lunch. Ishikari has always been a region known for cooking with its locally caught salmon. This diner is famous for its set dish centered around thick, tasty pieces of salmon.
Harvest, process and eat it yourself. Depending on the season you can enjoy a lot of different programs!
In this program you can watch the ingredients of food growing in fields and rice paddies, and go through the process of it being harvested and ending up on your table, as a family. Depending on the time, the crops harvested and the program will differ. For example, in early November, you will harvest and cook the sugar beets that make up the source of sugar. In February you can dig up and eat vegetables caught under the snow. Additionally, you can measure the sweetness of harvested strawberries and harvest them while learning more about the plant in a greenhouse - always a popular program. Participants have rated it highly as well. Why not try it and make some memories?
Tube sliders and the always-popular snow rafting! You can borrow long boots too, so you don’t have to bring anything.
North Snowland In Chitose is about jumping into the white winter view and playing to your heart’s content. The tube slider rings with cheers, and both children and adults are sure to be hooked on the sense of speed racing down the snowy mountain. Snow rafting, mini-snowmobiles and other activities make a satisfying lineup here. During summer, this is a golf course filled with greenery, so you might meet Sakhalin foxes or Ezo squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris orientis). Sunny or not, Hokkaido’s winter is cold! Before you play in the snow, we recommend you guard against the cold by going into the golf club’s centre house and borrowing some rental wear (1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for children) and rental longboots (500 yen).
There’s so much to do in the powder snow, starting with tube sledding down a 200m slope!
Listen closely and you can hear birds calling, from the Japanese tit to the Eurasian jay, while footprints of Sakhalin foxes can be seen in the snow - Takino Snow World is the winter opening of the nature-filled Takino Susuran Hills Park, and it shows. The tube sledding down a 200m long course, one of the biggest in the country, is sure to entrance children and adults both! Use the free rope tow (9:15 AM to 3:30 PM operation) to go back to where you started. The sled slope has a"little sled corner"and a Takino Forest Zone to play around in the fluffy snow, so little children will be fine too. Apart from this, you have the family slope meant for ski and snowboard beginners, as well as a cross country course for ski or snowshoe walking.
Borrow a bike to enjoy the blue lake and mountain view. From the oldest iron bridge in Hokkaido to observtion spotos, take a trip you could only have at Shikotsu Lake.
Borrow a bicycle at the Shikotsu Lake Visitor Centre, tour the tourist spots, and buy a souvenir at the gift shop. Shikotsu Lake is a caldera lake made by volcanic activity 40,000 years ago, with a circumference of 40km. It’s the second deepest in Japan, down to 360m at its deepest point. Its clear waters are also famous, with a colour the residents call Shikotsu Lake Blue. The Yamasentetsu Bridge, with its eye-catching red, is laid across the Chitose river that flows from Shikotsu Lake. Cross the oldest still-working iron bridge in Hokkaido, to the highest observation spot on the lake edge. The view of the lake and the mountains beyond it is breathtaking. Past that, you can go to the source water field that descends to the side of the lake, to touch the water of the lake itself.
Walk through an orchard garden where fruit trees and flowers coexist. Savour nature’s blessings with fruit harvesting and pizza-making.
Feel nature close to you, enjoy its soothing feeling in this farm that built its orchard in the middle of untouched nature. First, walk around the orchard garden, the"garden within an orchard". The seasonal fruit harvests, and the"witch tomato"mini-tomato grown with a monthly rhythm-farming method are both popular. You can also enjoy other activities, such as the tree adventure that lets you walk through the air in the forest, or the fishing area anybody can try. We recommend trying the cooking course to make a seasonal pizza. Start from stretching out the dough, load it up with seasonal vegetables and cook it in the farm-made pizza oven. Try the joy of making and eating it on the spot for yourself.
Giant slides, snowmobiles, snowball fights and so on make for a festival filled with winter joys that local people look forward to as well.
Held on the first sunday of every February. This winter event is for adults, children and tourists to all join in and play in the snow. The night before starts the preparations, with ice candles lighting up. The entire town is plunged into a magical, otherworldly atmosphere. On the day, you can play with giant slides, snowmobile test drives, snowball fights, strikeout, kick bowling and other winter-only activities, as well as enjoy an idol group’s live show and other events. There’s also a limited supply of free hot chocolate. If you get hungry, head over to the food booth that sells light meals and local specialities. From gyoza, to shiruko, to oden and rice made with local signature mushrooms, there are lots of warm foods to pick from! The afternoon starts off a raffle with a chance for all sorts of impressive prizes!
Try to get the best time racing on snow! Don’t worry about going off-course, just enjoy some spectacular drifts.
You can try drifting on snow in a specially built course. The car you drive will be the Legacy B4, a Subaru sportscar. A four-wheel drive with winter tires in the front, summer tires in the back. After practicing for 20 minutes, try to get the best lap time on a 600m course. Even if you go well off course and end up in a snow drift, there’s heavy equipment ready to pull you out, so we recommend you don’t hesitate to try some wild drifts. The course is on private land, so a driving license isn’t necessary. As long as you’re over 140cm tall, anyone can participate. As an optional bonus, there are menus that involve a drone filming your racing, or sitting next to a professional while they drive.
Open for a limited time only on the first, second and third saturday and sunday of February! Enjoy snow rafting and other fun experiences unique to winter.
A limited-time winter camping experience in a popular campsite. During the day, try snow rafting in a park near the campsite, then at night, take in the lights of originally made lanterns, and take in an authentic Finnish atmosphere in a tent sauna. Accomodations are in the most popular cottage, a car site where you can park a camping car, or a free tent site where you can set up your own tent, whichever you prefer. Additionally, you can rent a barbecue grill for free (charcoal and logs are paid for). If you buy the salmon chan-chan set or the mutton barbecue set, you can skip past all the hassle of setting up. Yakitori and alcohol can be bought here too. Comes with tickets to the Naganuma hot spring that’ll warm you to the core of your body! * Open period and contents change every year, please check in advance.
Have a wonderful experience in the field, harvesting and eating corn
Corn is one of Hokkaido’s classic tastes, and can be bought in stores as well, but freshness is the most important part. So if you go to a farmer’s fields and eat it freshly picked, the sweet, watery taste of it will be unlike anything you’ve had. Why not try it yourself? The farm owner will tell you how to judge corn and pick it (Japanese and simple English only), and then you start harvesting. First try it raw in the field, then move and enjoy some boiled corn. You’ll never forget the taste! The field is not for tourism, but where corn is grown before shipping. Be sure to bring shoes, clothes you can afford to dirty, and keep up good manners during your stay. There’s also corn for souvenirs (3 per adult).
30 minutes by car from the centre of Sapporo. With nature at your back, playful animals come to greet your family
Earthdream Kakuyama Farm is your best way to meet so many different animals. First is the petting mansion, the highlight of the petting zoo area. Alpacas, a particularly unique animal, are all waiting there and eager to see you. Horses, lambs, goats, mini-pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, and other more familiar animals are also there. Feeding, as well as walking, riding, or sledding with horses are also an option here. If it suddenly starts to rain, try the Dreamland Children’s Kingdom. From treehouses to net climbing, it offers a range of indoor exercises. The store has Tonden Farm’s original sausage on the bone, Ishikari River bacon, beef hamburgers and more, all available at the outlet price.
Watching gliders fly through the blue sky like birds can be a wonderful feeling all by itself
The Shinshinotsu gliding area, held by the Sapporo Flight Association, is located in the middle of the Ishikari plains, on the banks of the Ishikari river. Here are some gliders in flight. Members enjoying flying sports through "winch flight". Just watching takeoffs and flight is exciting. If visiting to watch, talk to the blue car by the runway from the bank roads, since the fast-moving wires and gliders can be dangerous. They’ll guide you to a safer spot to watch from. On sundays and holidays you can also try riding for yourself. Talk to them on-site. Enjoy feeling like a bird in the sky. However, bear in mind that if there are many people it might not be possible for everyone to fly.
Enjoy "glamping" and "empty-handed camping" on the shores of Shinotsu Lake
The oxbow-shaped Shinotsu Lake is a spot many people flock to for outdoor activities in summer, and fishing for Japanese smelt in winter. The "Tappu-no-yu" hot spring hotel is also nearby. The lake has a comfortable campsite just next to it, so spend a night in a tent. The ‘glamping plan’ comes with a tent sized for 2 to 3 adults complete with bedding, a fridge, an electric kettle and so on. In addition to this, it offers a free hot spring pass, dinner and breakfast, a towel set, a rental cart, a bicycle, fishing gear etc., providing a luxurious outdoor experience. For a more easy-going, casual approach, there’s also the empty-handed camping plan, giving you a standard tent (2 to 5 people) with dinner, breakfast, and a ticket to the hot springs. Both require reservations.
Coming from the sea is one of the more interesting ways to approach Shukutsu,
with a 20 minute boat ride that lets you take in the salt breeze and majestic view
For the second day, go towards Shukutsu, once a hub of herring fishing. You can go by car as well, but a boat trip is more entertaining. The Otaru marine tourism boat Aobato lets you enjoy a taste of boating trips while watching the Otaru streets and Mt. Shokanbetsu. From Otaru port to Shukutsu port is a 20 minute trip, with 5 round trips per day. The seating inside is spacious, giving you a relaxing journey. There’s also the Otamoi route, spanning about an hour with two round trips per day between Otaru and Shukutsu port (3 round trips during summer holidays and days off). It offers an incredible view of the Niseko Shakotan/Otaru Coast National Park’s rows of cliffs. Try to be ready 15 minutes before boarding, or a little earlier during crowded periods like holidays. Alternatively, a reservation will let you take it easy.
A magnificent worship space created by the world-famous architect, Tadao Ando.
The Great Buddha enshrined in Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo city. It's called "Atama Daibutsu (Head Great Buddha)”. Although it's a cemetery, it has become a famous place where tourists from all over the world visit. The Great Buddha itself was originally built outdoors as a "Great Buddha of spiritual commemoration". But an architect, Tadao Ando designed Hill of the Great Buddha as a commemorative project in 2016 which is the 30th anniversary year of the opening of the park. Now, it has tourists coming to visit its unique shape. As you can only see its head sticking out from the hole in the center of the dome-shaped roof, it's called "Atama Daibutsu (Head Great Buddha)”. Its appearance integrated with fresh green in spring, lavender in summer, and the snow-covered hill in winter has become a new famous place with its artistic charm in Sapporo. There is "Rotunda Cafe & Store” on the banks of the water garden. You can take a break with a light meal or tea, and also buy original souvenirs. In addition to this Atama Daibutsu, 33 Moai statues which are nearly 10 meters high are lined up, and there are also statues which were modeled on Stonehenge of an ancient English ruin, and Kannon statues. It's a mysterious art space, and you can enjoy its own view of the world. This vast site with a total area of 1.8 million square meters is a cemetery where graves of the deceased are lined up. But since it's a park cemetery regardless of denominations, welcoming a lot of people for sightseeing and leisure.
With the activity, you can enjoy Lake Shikotsu which is one of the clearest lakes in the world.
Lake Shikotsu, the second deepest lake in Japan is located about 60 minutes drive away from Sapporo city, and about 40 minutes drive away from New Chitose Airport. It's surrounded by mountains at an altitude of 1,000 m such as Mt. Eniwa, Mt. Fuppushi, Mt. Tarumae. The caldera lake is about 40 km in circumference and the northernmost non-freezing lake in Japan. Even though it's surrounded by mountains, there is a hot spring area on the east side of the lake, and the road extends from there along the shore of the lake, so you can enjoy a lakeside drive with the spectacular scenery. Lake Shikotsu offers a variety of activities, and we particularly recommend the “Clear kayak”that enables you to fully enjoy the inside of “Lake Shikotsu” which is one of the clearest lakes in the world. The bottom of the clear kayak is transparent, and you can observe the underwater such as 10 meters long driftwood lying on the bottom of the lake, swaying aquatic plants, and sometimes you can even see fish swimming vigorously! When the conditions are met, its transparency can reach 50 m. The guide will explain about the nature and creatures around Lake Shikotsu from various angles. Aquatic plants grow thick around Chitose River where the kayak departs, and many creatures such as fish and shrimps can be observed. You can enjoy the different tastes of each season all the year round with this clear kayak. You can enjoy it without feeling cold by wearing a dry suit in winter!
Enjoy the feeling of becoming one with nature by jumping into a forest.
There is a nature-rich park with the theme of interaction between the city and rural areas, “Lulu Map Nature Park Fureland” in Eniwa City which is located about 40 minutes drive away from Sapporo. The park can be enjoyed across generations. Forest Adventure Eniwa opened on this site in 2018, and it's an outdoor park under the theme of coexistence with nature. The period of one year is divided into two seasons that are Green Season (mid-April to the end of November) and Winter Season (December to mid-April), and each attraction is designed to be enjoyable. In the Green season, you can enjoy experiencing exciting activities such as the one that you glide on trees like flying squirrels, “Zip Slide” that you slide down about 200 meters from the top of the tree to the ground, and “Tarzan Swing” that you fly in the air like Tarzan with the magnificent nature of Hokkaido. The highlight of winter is “Zip Trip Tour”. It's an activity where you can enjoy forest adventure. The guide staff bringing out the charm of winter will accompany you to the course. The charm is that you can enjoy an extraordinary experience that you can't experience anywhere else as gliding through a snowy field. You can also enjoy the survival game [Laser Tag] , and the [Snowshoe Tour] where you can take a walk while watching nature in the forest. Lulu Map Nature Park Fureland has a lot of facilities to enjoy such as a park golf course, a day camp, a soft-serve ice cream workshop, and a walking path. The whole family can enjoy the whole day.
Both kids and adults can be very satisfied with the snow festival. The beautiful fireworks that color the winter sky are breathtaking.
The winter big event of Tobetsu Town, "Asoyuki Square″, themed on interaction of parents and kids, is held in mid-February every year. It features events for kids such as experience events of snowmobiles and horse sledding, kid's fairs, and kid's rice cake making, etc. There is also a food section offering meals that use local ingredients. The place has a relaxing atmosphere where families can spend time comfortably. Kids are happy with playing the snow slide because there is no long queue unlike a snow festival in a big city. The experience of riding on a vehicle is also a very popular event, where you can enjoy a valuable experience. The even is cooperated by the Self-Defense Force, and held annually. The hight is beautiful fireworks that color the winter night sky. Usually fireworks remind us of summer, but fireworks look even more beautiful in winter because the air is clear. "Asoyuki Square″ is a popular event, where both kids and adults can enjoy. Please visit the event!
Don't have to bring anything! Enjoy smelt fishing, and tasting freshly fished smelt!
Lake Shinotsu is known all over Japan as a smelt fishing spot. One of the charm of the place is that people who don't have tools, knowledge, or even beginners and kids can enjoy smelt fishing. Lake Shinotsu has three fishing spots, "South Fishing Spot", "North Fishing Spot", and "Tappu Fishing Spot". At first, please sign in at "Tappu No Yu". There are several plans available. The one we recommend is cabin fishing, which includes rental equipment and hot spring bathing. There is a stove installed inside the cabin, and it's much more comfortable than finishing outside as you don't have to be affected by snow or wind. There is a guide staying too, so you can also ask them how to put bait, or tips of fishing. There are three options for smelt that you fished, "Sell", "Bring back home", and "Taste immediately". The one we recommend is of course "Taste immediately"! Bring freshly fished smelt to the restaurant of "Tappu No Yu”, and taste them by Tempura. The taste of crispy batter and slightly bitter smelt is amazing. It must be even more delicious as the smelt is fished by yourself! Finally, warm your cold body by soaking in hot springs. "Tappu No Yu″is a natural hot spring, where you can look out over the lake. Its alkaline springs flow directly from the source. There is also a private bath where you can spend time with your family. Please enjoy the very exciting winter activities with your friends, and family!
You can interact with many animals, and experience activities in the guest ranch.
Heidi Farm is where you can enjoy interacting with animals and a variety of activities. There are full of animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and rabbits in the animal zone where you get to see first when you enter the park. At the right time, you can see baby animals, or even a birth scene! The experiences that you can feed a baby goat or sheep with milk in a baby bottle, or milk a cow and feel the warmth of them are distinctive of a ranch. You can also experience horseback riding around the course in about 10 minutes on the shaking back of a horse at the horseback riding section. The staff will pull the horse, so inexperienced people can also enjoy it safely. I want to have fun by moving my body to the fullest! For you, there are a variety of activities such as archery, park golf, and fishing ponds where you can catch carp! If you like cooking, we recommend the experiences of making raw caramel, butter, and ice cream using special recipes. You can also experience digging potatoes in autumn. Of course, you can also bring back potatoes that you harvest home! Take a break with a light meal or a special soft serve ice cream at the "Café Train･Clara" after having fun to the fullest. The exterior / interior of the café is train-shaped. Let's also enjoy Genghis Khan, which is a speciality of Naganuma town, at "Genghis Khan Higashiya" to your heart's content on weekends.
The Hokkaido's rural landscape with vivid colors spreads out on a gentle hill.
When heading towards the direction of Higashioka from Route 337, you can see a gently undulating hill at an altitude of 60 to 100 m. This place is called Palette Hill. Flowers of brassica hirta bloom in early summer, and sunflowers planted for green manure bloom in autumn there. The agricultural products make a patchwork, and you can also look out over the mountains of Yubari from a distance ... You can enjoy the Hokkaido's beautiful and grand rural landscape with the contrast between the sky and the earth. Please be noted that because the sunflower field is a private property, entering there is not allowed.
Enjoy cycling through the landscape of the countryside while collecting shrine red ink stamps of Ishikari Tobetsu.
Departure is from Tobetsu Shrine, which has an extensive land. The shrine's precinct is close to the park with rich greenery, and just walking along the approach makes you feel sacred. After visiting Shotoku Shrine, which is inside of the shrine's precinct, split into two courses with a guide and visit. The idyllic scenery rooted in the area, such as the abandoned station and the two-story wooden school building is also a highlight. After visiting the shrines in the town along the course, you will return to Tobetsu Shrine and receive a red ink stamp book. One of the attractions is that you can get red ink stamps, even if shrines you visit on the day are unmanned. After exercising pleasantly by cycling, have relaxing lunch at a popular restaurant in Tobetsu Town. We have selected popular restaurants that use local ingredients such as Japanese restaurants that are beloved by locals, soup curry restaurants that are soul foods in Hokkaido, and fashionable café restaurants. You can enjoy the nature and culture of Tobetsu Town.
It's a campsite that you can easily get to, and is also a spot for the spectacular scenery of the sunset.
It's a campsite that you can easily get to in about 30 minutes by car from Sapporo. Even though it's a lake, it is a small artificial lake. There are playground equipment such as slides and swings, which kids can enjoy on the shore, and you can also enjoy playing with water there. It is a park with a laid-back atmosphere that makes locals feel like coming to for a walk. The lake is a habitat of large Japanese crucian carps, and you can also enjoy fishing. In addition to the tent site, there are 6 bungalows which are equipped with basic campsite facilities such as a water place, toilets, and hot showers (only for guests staying in the administration building). There is also a farmer's market next to the administration building, so you can collect ingredients locally too.