Hokkaido is a group of islands at the far north of the Japanese islands and is on a parallel to Russia. The capital of which is Sapporo.
In winter Hokkaido is known for its skiing resorts and winter sports. Hokkaido also offers the visitor delicious seafood, fresh dairy produce, and plenty of hot springs.
Home to around 5% of the total Japanese population, the main industry is food and lumber production but recently the automobile industry has began setting up in Hokkaido due to the lower production costs.
Getting to Hokkaido can be a bit difficult as there are no bullet trains to Hokkaido. Travel therefore has to be by normal train (Hokutosei Sleeper train is best) and this does take time, 16 hours from Tokyo, passing through the Seikan Tunnel, the world´s longest undersea tunnel (53.85 kilometres). The quickest way to get here is by plane but its not as cheap as the train.
Sapporo the capital, is a fairly new city by Japanese standards and does not have the temples and shrines usually found in other parts of Japan. However it does have a chocolate factory, Ishiya Chocolate factory, which can be toured daily from 9am – 6pm.
Depending on which time of the year you choose to visit depends on the activities you can participate in. As mentioned above, in winter the main activity is skiing as the temperature can fall as low as -14 degrees C. Where as in summer the temperature can reach 36 degrees C.