HOKKAIDO is a nature lover’s paradise. Wide open areas, pristine national parks and a huge selection of topographies to explore and enjoy.
THERE are six national parks in Hokkaido and five quasi-national parks, one each of which are at Niseko’s doorstep. Shikotsu-Toya National Park is the area surrounding the two pristine lakes of Toya and Shikotsu. This national park has some amazing mountains to hike including Eniwa-dake and Tarumae-zan, as well as the two beautiful lakes to enjoy.
Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park, which, aside from being a mouthful, is also the quasi-national park that surrounds the coastline from west of Niseko in Iwanai, all the way around to the coastline north of Niseko in Otaru. There are many beautiful places to spend a night or two camping along the rugged coastline, including some nice beaches.
A little further from Niseko is the Daisetsuzan National Park, which is Japan’s largest national park. The heart of the park is the giant Daisetsuzan mountain range, with a host of peaks that stretch above 2000 metres. There are numerous hiking options that range from a few hours (with the use of a cable car), to a grand traverse that visits many of the peaks and spans several days and over 55 kilometres.
Even further from Niseko is the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park that has the beautiful and remote islands of Rishiri and Rebun, perfect for hiking and enjoying nature.
Last but not least is Shiretoko National Park in the far east of Hokkaido. It’s known as being the most remote area of Japan, and is a refuge for deer and bears. It’s stunningly beautiful and pristine and a showcase of Hokkaido’s beauty.
Photo by Ross Cole-Hunter