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Exploring the Wonders of Hokkaido:
A Traveler’s Journey

Roger said: "As an American traveler with a thirst for adventure and a love for nature, visiting Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, had always been on my bucket list. Known for its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and delicious cuisine, Hokkaido promised an experience unlike any other part of Japan. Choosing to travel with Asia Tourist was a wise decision, as it left me with beautiful memories of an incredible journey."

Meeting Our Guide, Hanson

Upon arriving in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, I was greeted by our tour guide, Hanson, from Asia Tourist. A local with a deep passion for his homeland, Hanson spoke fluent English and had a warm, welcoming smile. He handed each of us a detailed itinerary and a small booklet on Hokkaido’s history and culture. “Welcome to Hokkaido!” Hanson exclaimed. “This island is famous for its natural beauty, from the lavender fields of Furano to the rugged coastlines of Shiretoko. We’ll explore these places and more, while I share stories and insights about our unique way of life.”

Exploring Sapporo

Our first stop was Sapporo, a city that beautifully blends modernity with tradition. Hanson took us to the iconic Sapporo Clock Tower and the historic Hokkaido Government Office, both of which stood as testaments to the city’s rich history. We then wandered through Odori Park, where the scent of blooming flowers filled the air. Hanson treated us to Sapporo’s famous miso ramen at a local restaurant. As we savored the rich flavors, he explained the origins of the dish and its significance to the region. “In Hokkaido, we take pride in our food,” Hanson said. “Each dish tells a story of the land and the people. Miso ramen, for example, was developed to suit the colder climate here.”

Journey to the Countryside

Leaving the city behind, we ventured into Hokkaido’s breathtaking countryside. The rolling hills of Biei, covered in vibrant flowers, were a sight to behold. Hanson explained how the area was known for its picturesque landscapes, often featured in Japanese postcards. Next, we visited the Blue Pond, whose ethereal blue waters seemed almost otherworldly. Hanson shared the local legend of the pond’s creation, adding a mystical touch to our visit. At each stop, Hanson’s thoughtful gestures enhanced our experience. He provided binoculars for bird watching and pointed out rare species, ensuring we didn’t miss a thing. His deep knowledge and love for Hokkaido were evident in every detail he shared.

Experiencing Local Culture

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting a traditional Ainu village. The Ainu are the indigenous people of Hokkaido, with a rich cultural heritage. Hanson introduced us to an Ainu elder, who welcomed us with a traditional dance performance and shared stories of their ancestors. “The Ainu have a profound connection with nature,” Hanson explained. “Their traditions and practices are a vital part of Hokkaido’s history and identity.” We also participated in a hands-on workshop, where we learned to craft simple Ainu garments. Hanson’s patient guidance and the elder’s warm hospitality made the experience deeply meaningful.

Relaxing in Onsen

No trip to Hokkaido would be complete without experiencing an onsen, or hot spring bath. We visited Noboribetsu, famous for its therapeutic hot springs. Hanson guided us through the onsen etiquette, ensuring we felt comfortable and respected the local customs. As I soaked in the warm, mineral-rich waters, surrounded by the serene beauty of nature, I felt a profound sense of relaxation and connection to this incredible island.


As our journey came to an end, I reflected on the diverse experiences Hokkaido had offered. From the vibrant city life of Sapporo to the tranquil beauty of the countryside and the rich cultural heritage of the Ainu, Hokkaido had captivated my heart. My visit to Hokkaido was an unforgettable adventure, made even more special by Hanson’s exceptional guidance. His deep knowledge, passion, and thoughtful service provided a unique window into the soul of Hokkaido. For anyone seeking to explore the true essence of Japan, a trip to Hokkaido with a guide like Hanson and the expertise of Asia Tourist is a journey not to be missed. ​ Choosing Asia Tourist for this trip was undoubtedly the best decision I made, as their professionalism and dedication ensured every moment was perfect. Their attention to detail and commitment to providing an authentic experience truly set them apart.

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