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HOKKAIDO / TOHOKU
北海道・東北

Hokkaido is directly accessible from China and South Korea via New Chitose Airport. Besides hot springs and local foods, the attractions of the region include dramatic landscapes such as those of its two World Natural Heritage sites: the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido and the Shirakami-Sanchi mountain region of northern Honshu. From driving and golf in summer to skiing in winter, the region is ideal for outdoor pursuits and also offers all the beauties of Japan's four seasons, from cherry blossoms in spring and lush greenery in summer to rich colors in fall and snowy landscapes in winter.

Map

KUSHIRO KUSSHARO SAPPORO HAKODATE FURANO TOWADA SHIZUKUISHI SENDAI KUSHIRO KUSSHARO SAPPORO HAKODATE FURANO TOWADA SHIZUKUISHI SENDAI

KUSHIRO
釧路

Kushiro is famous for the wetland scenery of the Kushiro Shitsugen National Park. Stand at a lookout point on a clear day and you will have a view of majestic mountains rising in the distance. The wetland area is served by two special tourist trains: the Norokko-go in the summer season (normally from late April to late October) and the Fuyu-no-Shitsugen-go steam locomotive in the winter season (normally from late January to early March). These give visitors the opportunity to admire the graceful tancho cranes (red-crowned cranes) that are a national symbol and to experience the wide-open skies of the wetlands. When it comes to eating, Kushiro is the best place to sample the robatayaki style of charcoal grilling, which is said to have originated here. Hokkaido offers a rich store of other local foods, including fresh seafood delicacies that change by the season. Within easy reach of Kushiro are sites such as Lakes Mashu and Kussharo that offer wonderful encounters with the natural world.

Recommended Experiences

  • NUSAMAI BRIDGE

    Sunset over the Pacific, seen here from Nusamai Bridge, is said to be one of the three scenic wonders of the world (five minutes' walk from the Kushiro Prince Hotel.)

  • NOROKKO TRAIN

    The Norokko-go meanders through the Kushiro Shitsugen National Park in summer.

  • ROBATAYAKI

    Robatayaki grill (5–10 minutes' walk from the Kushiro Prince Hotel)

Accommodations

KUSSHARO
屈斜路

Lake Kussharo is the largest crater lake in Japan and the second largest in the world. The sweeping view from the Bihoro Pass over this dramatic landscape with its rich seasonal variation has been described as one of the finest on earth. In February and March, when the lake freezes over, a ridge of cracked ice up to two meters high forms across the middle of the lake under certain conditions. Magnificent to behold, this phenomenon is known as omiwatari, literally "the god's crossing." Part of the same enchanted landscape is Lake Mashu, reputed to be among the clearest lakes in the world, where surface mists bring kaleidoscopic change to the scenery. Meanwhile, off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula—a natural World Heritage site in eastern Hokkaido—another magical sight can be enjoyed from late January to late March, when the Sea of Okhotsk turns pure white with a covering of drift ice.

Recommended Experiences

  • Bihoro Pass

    About 15 minutes' drive from the Kussharo Prince Hotel

  • Lake Mashu

    About 30 minutes' drive from the Kussharo Prince Hotel

  • Omiwatari

    About 20 minutes' drive from the Kussharo Prince Hotel

  • The Shiretoko Peninsula, a natural World Heritage site

    About 130 minutes' drive from the Kussharo Prince Hotel

  • Drift ice on the Sea of Okhotsk

    About 80 minutes' drive from the Kussharo Prince Hotel

Accommodations

SAPPORO
札幌

Easily accessible through New Chitose Airport, Sapporo is one of Japan's leading tourist destinations. Odori Park, which runs through the built-up city center, is the venue for a variety of seasonal festivals and events, giving opportunities to watch displays, eat, and dance. The Sapporo Snow Festival in Odori Park is a major celebration that attracts more than 2 million visitors from Japan and beyond. The inventively designed collection of snow sculptures is lit up at night, when the park turns into a magical art space. The observatory on top of Mount Moiwa provides an expansive view over the city of Sapporo. The Sapporo Clock Tower and the redbrick former Hokkaido Government Office are among the carefully preserved cultural heritage sites dating back to the Meiji Period of the late 19th century. And while in Sapporo, make sure to try the local specialties, Sapporo ramen noodles and soup curry.

Recommended Experiences

  • Odori Park

    About three minutes' walk from the Sapporo Prince Hotel

  • Sapporo Snow Festival

    About three minutes' walk from the Sapporo Prince Hotel

  • The former Hokkaido Government Office, famous for its redbrick construction

    About 15 minutes' walk from the Sapporo Prince Hotel

Accommodations

HAKODATE
函館

Hakodate took the center stage of history with the opening of its port to foreign trade in 1859. One of a number of ports whose opening ended several centuries of self-imposed isolation for Japan, the city today retains a unique atmosphere arising from the historical fusion of Western influence with native Japanese style. Hakodate is situated on the Oshima Peninsula, which forks into two smaller peninsulas, the Kameda to the east and the Matsumae to the west. The sightseeing circuit that takes in both peninsulas, known as the Figure of Eight, offers all the delights of touring in Hokkaido: natural scenery to admire, famous attractions and historic locations to visit, hot springs to relax in, and fresh local foods to sample. The base for this tourist circuit is Onuma, an area with a rich natural environment embracing three lakes and Mount Komagatake.

Recommended Experiences

  • Mount Komagatake, as seen from Onuma Quasi-National Park

  • Night-time view from Mount Hakodate, considered one of the world's three greatest nightscapes

    About 50 minutes' drive from the Hakodate-Onuma Prince Hotel

  • Goryokaku Fort, designated a special historic site

    About 40 minutes' drive from the Hakodate-Onuma Prince Hotel

FURANO
富良野

Furano presents a breathtaking sight when viewed from the hill of Biei. In summer, the sweeping landscape is a patchwork of colors as lavender blooms alongside a host of other flowers, one brighter than the next. In the autumn, the wheatfields ripen to gold, while the silent and silvery winter scenery is a wonderland you want to keep as your own secret. Fed by the majestic peaks of the Tokachi Mountain range are the blue waters of Aoi-ike (Blue Pond). Accessible to the general public only since 2010, this little-known spot radiates a mysterious appeal that has been spread by word of mouth. Furano is also a thrilling ski resort that has hosted FIS World Cup events 10 times altogether. On the road to Asahikawa is Biei-Shirogane hot spring, ideally situated to enjoy both Asahiyama Zoo and Furano.

Recommended Experiences

TOWADA
十和田

One of the finest landscapes in the Tohoku region, Lake Towada is surrounded, depending on the season, by a panorama of fresh greenery or of autumn color. Starting at Lake Towada is the approximately 14-kilometer-long gorge of the Oirase Mountain Stream (Oirase Keiryu), officially designated as a scenic beauty spot and natural monument. Flowing among rocks and trees, forming waterfalls and clear pools, the stream offers an easy hiking course that attracts many visitors to admire the forest scenery in the spring and autumn. Near the mouth of the gorge is the hot spring resort of Tsuta, renowned throughout the Tohoku region. Hirosaki Castle, with the park surrounding it, is one of the best places in the Tohoku region to see cherry blossoms, offering a superb spectacle both in daylight and at night, when the trees are lit up. The castle and park also offer views of Mount Iwaki, known for its beautiful shape as the Fuji of the Tsugaru region, which forms a stunning backdrop during cherry blossom season.

Recommended Experiences

  • Kankodai (observatory) overlooking Lake Towada

    About 20 minutes' drive from the Towada Prince Hotel

  • Oirase Keiryu

    About 30 minutes' drive from the Towada Prince Hotel

  • Hirosaki Park

    About 60 minutes' drive from the Towada Prince Hotel

Accommodations

SHIZUKUISHI
雫石

Shizukuishi is a ski area with unbeatable snow conditions that has played host to the Alpine World Ski Championships. Soaking in a hot spring is an enjoyable part of the after-ski experience. Stretching along the southern skirts of Mount Iwate, the extensive grounds of the Koiwai Farm enterprise and its nine buildings—which are registered by the Japanese government as a Tangible Cultural Property—are worth a visit for their insight into Japan's dairy history. Within the farm grounds, the Makiba-en (a beautiful pastoral area) offers a wide variety of facilities where visitors can get closer to nature and animals as well as restaurants and shops where they can buy and sample dairy products. About 100 minutes' drive further south lies the Hiraizumi World Heritage site, location of national cultural treasures such as the Chuson-ji Temple Konjikido (Golden Hall) temple complex. Built according to the precepts of Pure Land Buddhism, the ideal world created by its structures and spaces has no parallel elsewhere.

Recommended Experiences

  • Shizukuishi Ski Resort

    For details, please visit the website:
    http://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/shizukuishi/

  • Koiwai Farm

    About 15 minutes' drive from the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel

  • Bonfire festival at Chuson-ji Temple

    About 100 minutes' drive from the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel

Accommodations

SENDAI
仙台

SENDAI UMINO-MORI AQUARIUM

This new aquarium opened on July 1, 2015 in Sendai, the City of Trees. By proposing a new connection with the sea and with water and bearing witness to the regeneration of nature, including the water environment, it illustrates the strong and forward-looking approach of the Tohoku region. Through this approach, the aquarium aspires to be a symbol of the region's recovery, inspiring its visitors with hope and energy.

Recommended Experiences

  • SENDAI UMINO-MORI AQUARIUM

    About 150 minutes' drive from the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel

  • Dolphins' performance

    For details, please visit the website:
    EVENT INFORMATION