Majestic and beautiful, Eastern Hokkaido (simply called Do-to) boasts no fewer than wilderness national parks ideal for climbing, trekking, wildlife watching, getting into the smoothing onsen and learning about Ainu culture. This area has Japan’s largest wetland, plateau, lagoon and sandbank as well. During midwinter fantastic sea ice covers from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Nemuro Strait. It is a land of sprawling fields and dairy farms, particularly the Tokachi Plain and the Konsen Plateau. Easygoing Obihiro and Kushiro are strongholds of the region’s rich food culture, there are plenty of reputable restaurants and bars in the attractive nightlife districts.
Obihiro & Tokachi
‘Crossing the Karikachi Pass, there is real Hokkaido.’ The magnificent Tokachi is Japan’s ‘Agricultural Kingdom’, with endress picturesque countryside and beautifully mountain ridges. Friendly chefs making delicious sweets, buta-don (pork bowl) and handmade soba from local produces. The nature-rich Northern Tokachi offers soothing onsen, serene lakes, hiking trails and civil engineering heritages. The vague and marshy Tokachi Coast lies on the Pacific Ocean, and the popular destination of sea fishing and the ‘jewelry ice’. Obihiro is a good base of explore throughout Tokachi. Read more articles >
Kushiro & Nemuro
These two neighboring regions from Kushiro Shitsugen National Park to the Nemuro Peninsula contains wilderness wetlands, brackish lakes and scenic peninsulas. Konsen Plateau is Japan’s top milk producing area and more than 200,000 cows (!) living here. It is cool climate and foggy in summer. On the other hand, elegant tancho (Japanese cranes) dance on the sanctuaries during the sun-soaked winter. Atmospheric fishing towns and rustic dairy farms exist side by side, where you can explore these destinations from the foodie port town of Kushiro, de facto capital of Eastern Hokkaido. Read more articles >
Akan-Mashu National Park
Picturesque caldera lakes, attractive onsen and lakeside Ainu kotan (villages), Akan-Mashu National Park contains many of Eastern Hokkaido’s classic natural wonders. Founded in 1934, around 90% of the park comprises undeveloped nature reserve, inhabited by Ezo red fox and deer. Akanko Onsen’s lakeside Ainu kotan on the western part of the park is a pleasant base for hiking in the volcanic mountains and mysterious marimo viewing for Churui-to. On the eastern side of the park, the town of Teshikaga is accesible by train from Kushiro and Abashiri. Kawayu is Eastern Hokkaido’s most reputable onsen village. Read more articles >
‘The end of the earth’ in Ainu, the finger-shaped Shiretoko Peninsula juts up into the Sea of Okhotsk is spectacularly scenic. Great mountain ridges, shimmering blue water and towering cliffs weave on the peninsula. Shiretoko was once Hokkaido’s ‘last true wilderness’, and today the core area is listed as a Unesco World Natural Heritage Site that provides a fantastic retreat for independent hikers. Perhaps you might encounter higuma (brown bear), but don’t approach them to avoid the risk. Utoro Onsen and Rausu are good bases for exploring the peninsula. Read more articles >
Okhotsk & Abashiri
As its name suggests, this idyllic northeastern region lies along the Sea of Okhotsk. The almost flat shoreline contains Japan’s biggest lagoon, pleasant brackish lakes and wildflower gardens. Roughly around February, pure white ryuhyo (drift ice) from the mouth of Amur River occasionally covers the sea. Two of Okhotsk’s port cities serve as icebreakers and interesting museums. Further inland is splashed with forested landscapes, relaxed onsen, woodworking studios, phlox and tulip gardens. Kitami, the economic center of the region, is one of Hokkaido’s sunniest cities en route to Abashiri from Asahikawa and Tokachi. Read more articles >
Our Travel Guides
For more info about Eastern Hokkaido, Tokachi Kushiro, Nemuro, Shiretoko and Okhotsk, check out our ebook travel guides.