Long stretching across Hokkaido’s heartland from the mysterious Hidaka Mountains to the deep-blue Soya Strait near Sakhalin Island, Northern Hokkaido (simply called Do-hoku) offers more than 300km of grand mountain ranges, along with the scenic coastal roads from the Ororon Line to the Okhotsk Line.
Hokkaido’s second largest city of Asahikawa lies on the Kamikawa Basin. The city is straddles the clear rivers and laid out in a grid pattern, with its varied attractions, bustling izakaya, ramen spots, craft studios and home to Kamikawa Ainu. There are also several scenic ski slopes and rice fields around the city.
Daisetsuzan National Park
Known as the Kamui Mintara (Playground of the Gods in Ainu), Daisetsuzan National Park (Nutapukaushipe) is home to great ridges, highland wetlands, deep gorges and international onsen resorts in Northern Hokkaido.
Furano & Biei
Stretching across Hokkaido’s middle ground from the dramatic rural village Biei to the tranquility forested Shimukappu, this agricultural basin along Route 237 ranks high on wish list for many travelers. In summer the picturesque hillside breadbasket and flower gardens covered with colorful patchwork like a mini European village. In winter Furano and Tomamu turns into the international ski resorts.
The peaceful Nayoro Basin spreads alongside Teshio-gawa, Hokkaido’s second longest river that flows gently to the Sea of Japan. Many travelers just go through this area and aim for Wakkanai, but a few relaxed places are worth to take a placid time and get their taste of the night sky full of stars.
Rumoi & Orrin Line
Heading northwards through the scenic coastal road Ororon Line from Sapporo or Otaru, this long and slim region shows off pleasant sandy beaches, fishing towns, ocean-view campsites and onsen – along with touching sunset over the sea.
The remote pair of tiny islands Teuri-to and Yagishiri-to in the Sea of Japan that can be seen in a day trip or longer from Haboro by ferry.
Soya & Wakkanai
The northernmost region of mainland Japan, Soya is a dramatic destination for hitchhikers, cyclists and motorcyclists. With the wilderness islands, primeval wetlands, quiet marshes, wildflower gardens and bamboo grass hills as your playground.
Wakkanai is at the end of the JR Soya Line and Route 40 from Asahikawa, as well as the start of the line for the summer ferry heading further north to Sakhalin Island, Russian Far East.
Our Travel Guides
For more info about Northern Hokkaido, Asahikawa, Furano, Rumoi and Soya, check out our ebook travel guides.