Safe Travel Hokkaido

Although Hokkaido is safety for tourists. Advisable not to wander alone late at night, especially dark roads and parks. After the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures for infectious diseases have become the most important condition for safe travel in Hokkaido.

Prevent Infectious Diseases

For the time being, all travelers must continue with efforts to prevent the spread of infection like below:

  • Wear a Mask

  • Wash Your Hands

  • Speak Softly

  • Keep a Safe Distance

  • Avoid the three C’s : closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings

  • Use the Hokkaido Corona Notification System and the COVID-19 Contact-Confirming App (COCOA)

  • Choose an accommodation and restaurant that practices infection prevention measures

For more reliable and the latest information regarding COVID-19, check the Hokkaido Government official website.

Backcountry Rules

Backcountry skiing is popular activity in recent years, but DIY backcountry comes with serious risks such as avalanche and distress. We recommend to join a tour with English-speaking guides.

  • Top ski resorts and some tour agencies offer backcountry tours, with insurance and registration to the local police.

  • DIY backcountry skiers should submit a climbing plan (登山計画書: tozan keikakusho) to the local police station, then bring a map, beacon and GPS. Some ski areas have backcountry policies.

Climbing Plans & Trail Safety

We strongly recommended submit a climbing plan. You can send it online from Compass ( to the local police.

The mainland Hokkaido is a habitat of big higuma (brown bears). They are often act in the early morning and around dusk, and a few of them are aggressive against people. So serious hikers need to bring a kuma-yoke (熊避け: bear bell) and a steel food bin.

Many kita-kitsune (キタキツネ: Ezo red foxes) still have Echnococcus (エキノコックス) multilocularis. Don’t touch them and drink river water.

Driving & Road Safety

  • In an accident, call 110 to the police.

  • Road rage is a serious social problem. If you rent a car, we strongly recommended you to choice a multi-angle dashcam (ドライブレコーダー: drive recorder) attached.

  • If driving on leafy road after dark, do carefully for wandering deers and foxes.

  • Make sure your car is fitted with studless tyres during the cold season (October to April).

  • Make sure to your car is filled with fuel when you drive in rural areas or at night.

  • Keep a safe driving speed.

  • Don’t drink alcohol and drive.

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