Often forgotten by some tourists, Hokkaido (北海度) is Japan’s northern island. Unlike the rest of Japan, Hokkaido is much less developed and therefore is a great place to relax and enjoy some hiking. It gets super cold in winter, but is a great place to escape the humidity in summer.
Get the ultimate guide with my Hokkaido travel book
Things to see and do
We have included recommendations on each page, but the main tourist hubs with cheap accommodation are Sapporo, Asahikawa and Hakodate. There are usually cheap youth hostels and hotels in other places as well though, and expect to pay less than the rest of Japan.
Buses are usually both the cheapest and fastest options in Hokkaido, as the trains are not at all as frequent or fast as in the rest of Japan. Trains are still OK for short journeys though.