Best Spring Season Destinations In Hokkaido | CoolJapan

While Hokkaido is perhaps best known for its cold climate and snowy landscapes, Japan’s northernmost prefecture is also a picture of wild, rugged beauty in other seasons such as Spring. Because of its geographical location, Hokkaido experiences Spring later than other parts of Japan, with cherry blossoms and other Spring flowers emerging only in May instead of April. However, when the flowers do blossom, it’s a riotously colourful sight to behold.

Here are some must-visit places to enjoy the best of hanami (flower viewing) in Hokkaido.

Furano Town

Iceland poppies in Furano start blooming in May.

Iceland poppies in Furano start blooming in May. (Photo from: photoAC)

In Hokkaido, the town of Furano comes alive every Spring with its fields of resplendent flowers — from tulips and Iceland poppies to the crowd-favourite, lavender. Furano is also well-known for its delicious local wines and cheese. Make a day trip out of it by driving the scenic route from Furano town to Biei. The latter is where you’ll find the Blue Pond (Aoiike), a picturesque body of water that was made famous after it was adapted as an Apple Mac wallpaper.

Matsumae Castle Park


(Photo from: City of Hakodate)

With over 10,000 cherry blossom trees in about 250 varieties spread out across the park, this is one of the best places in the country for hanami. Matsumae Castle is also where you’ll find Japan’s northernmost castle, a historic three-tower structure that was home to the Matsumae Clan of feudal lords from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Sapporo Yurigahara Park

Conveniently located about a 30-minute drive from the city centre, this sprawling park used to be a venue for a popular flower fair. Today, Yurigahara Park attracts plenty of flower lovers in Springtime, with its proliferation of daffodils, grape hyacinths and tulips.

Rebun Island

Wooly Geranium or Chishimafuuro

Wooly Geranium or Chishimafuuro (Photo from: Hokkaido Government Souya General Subprefectural Bureau)

Home to just 3,000 people, this tiny island off the northwestern tip of Hokkaido is nonetheless famous for its diverse array of flora, especially its alpine flowers. There are over 300 varieties of alpine plants on Rebun Island, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Plan your visit between June to August, which is when the flowers are at their most abundant, and you can enjoy the scenery along the island’s many walking trails.

Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park

Kamiyubetsu Tulip Fair

(Photo by: kyman)

You don’t have to travel to the Netherlands in order to experience a little slice of Dutch beauty in Japan. From early May to early June, the town of Yubetsu in the northern region of Hokkaido plays host to the famous Kamiyubetsu Tulip Fair, where visitors can admire a sea of multi-hued tulips. There is even a replica of a traditional Dutch windmill for tourists to snap photos with, as well as shops selling novelty wooden clogs.