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Sapporo - Japan's fifth largest city

Noboribetsu Furano Sapporo Otaru Niseko
Map of the Hokkaido region
Map of the Hokkaido region
Sapporo is Japan's fifth largest city. With a population of 1.85 million it is Hokkaido's political, economic, cultural and transportation center. During the Meiji period, the Japanese government, eager to fortify its northern defenses, established the Kaitakushi (Development Commission) to aid in developing the region. The result was a beautiful town with streets crossing at 90 degrees that less than 130 years later finds itself a major Japanese metropolis. Today, Sapporo is the jewel of Northern Japan with tourists particularly interested in landmark buildings from the pioneering age; the Clock Tower, the old red brick buildings as well as the charm of nature found lining the streets in the shape of famous poplar, elm and acacia trees. Combined with the region's pure air, abundant greenery and culinary treasures, Sapporo is a truly unique city.

General Information

Hakodate Sakura Matsuri Festival
Hakodate Sakura Matsuri Festival

- Goryokaku Park, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
- April 26 (Sat)-May 18 (Sun), 2014

The cherry blossoms in Hakodate start blooming in late April and stay through early May, with the peak time around the "Golden Week" holidays (Apr. 29-May 5). Hakodate Park and Goryokaku Park, which are known as great sakura viewing spots, are filled with people enjoying the beautiful flowers every year.
*Schedule is determined according to flower forecast.

http://www.hakobura.jp/english/ (Japanese version only)
Matsumae Sakura Matsuri Festival
Matsumae Sakura Matsuri Festival

- Matsumae Park, Matsumae Town, Matsumae County, Hokkaido
- April 26 (Sat)-May 18 (Sun), 2014

Matsumae Park is chosen as one of the "100 best sakura viewing places in Japan" and about 10,000 trees of 250 kinds of cherry blossoms, including early blossoms, mid blossoms, and late blossoms, bloom one after another during the month from late April to late May. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful cherry blossoms against the background of the Tsugaru Strait. During the festival, a variety of events will be held, such as a samurai warrior parade, Matsumae local products fair, folk entertainment performances, and a float parade.
*Schedule is determined according to flower forecast.

http://file.asobube.com/feature/tokusyuu.html (Japanese version only)
Shikaribetsuko Kotan 2014
Shikaribetsuko Kotan 2014

- Lake Shikaribetsu, Shikaoi Town, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
- January 25 (Sat)-March 31 (Mon), 2014

A "village" appears on the frozen Lake Shikaribetsu only during winter with an "Ice Bar," which is a 6-meter tall bar made of ice, and an "Ice Theater," a screen made of ice. Soaking in an open-air bath on the frozen lake is free and enjoyable with a feeling of liberating openness. A concert and a candle night are held during the event.

http://www.nature-center.jp/ (Japanese version only)
Diamond Dust in Kawayu
Diamond Dust in Kawayu

- Kawayu Onsen Hot springs, Teshikaga Town, Kawakami-gun, Hokkaido
- December 20 (Fri), 2013-March 20 (Thu), 2014

Kawayu Onsen is a major hot springs resort in eastern Hokkaido, located between Lake Kussharo and Lake Mashu. During the festival, about 20,000 light bulbs illuminate the whole town of Kawayu Onsen. The "Jewel Hunting in the Diamond Forest" event is held from January 20 to February 20. Participants in snowshoes search for diamond dust as they stroll along routes decorated with illuminations.

http://www.masyuko.or.jp/pc/event/ev_diamond.html (Japanese version only)
The Winter Opening of Asahiyama Zoo
Shikotsuko Momiji Matsuri (Autumn Leaves Festival)

- Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
- November 18 (Mon), 2013-April 7 (Mon), 2014

Asahiyama Zoo, the northernmost zoo in Japan, has been a popular attraction with its interesting and cute animals and exciting interactive facilities that allow visitors to view the animals moving, swimming, and flying up close. After snow lies thick on the ground in Asahikawa, polar bears and snow leopards become much more active and entertain visitors with their lively behaviors.

http://www5.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/asahiyamazoo/
All information is subject to change without notice.
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