The coming Christmas holidays will be an unforgettable experience for you if you’re in Hokkaido.
You’ll be overwhelmed by the vast volume of snow. Wherever you go, the ambience is so heavenly gorgeous. To a person who lives in an all year round summer, this is definitely a fascinating place for you.

White winter in Hokkaido is so enchanting, everywhere is like a paradise.

Fantastic winter in Hokkaido

From December to March every year, it is usually the winter season in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. It is a plain of white coat with white snowflakes sifting in the air. It is even more fascinating in Hokkaido where the snowflakes are so light and powdery. Savour this snowy winter in Hokkaido with Apple Vacations and you will not only enjoy the mesmerising white beauty, you will also get to savour the great taste and experience the fun of Hokkaido.

Snow slide is so exciting.

Hands-on experience is most memorable.

Snow soft as powder

Hokkaido is well known for its snowy white winters. Most Japanese usually refer the Hokkaido snow as powdery snow due to its soft texture as well as its light, cool and dry nature that allows it to slip off easily. Whether you are playing a snow war or building a snowman or snow sliding or skiing, it is so soft, easy to control and it does not hurt.

There are about 100 ski resorts in Hokkaido. The largest ski resort is characterised by its beautiful landscape, the world’s best snow quality and a long ski track. This winter let us take you to the world renowned 5-star resort – the Hokkaido Rusutsu. This place is not only a popular winter ski resort in Japan, it is also frequented by many Hong Kong movie stars and international celebrities.

For those who don’t ski, they can opt for a variety of winter activities like snowmobile, dog sledding, snow rafting, ice fishing, etc. These are some of the new programs in snow activities that are more exciting and fun.

On top of all these, there are even more exciting activities in Hokkaido. Well, every year during early January the thick huge chunks of ice from the Sea of Okhotsk start drifting south to the warmer climate region. This is the season when the coast of Hokkaido experiences the ice drift phenomenon. Tourists can take the ice-breaker cruise to watch the ice drift and savour the experience of sailing through the ice. If you are lucky enough, you may even see seals sunbathing or lazing on the ice. For the more adventurous ones, you can don a dry suit and try your hand at ice floe walks or even ice floe diving! If you do that, it will definitely be an unforgettable experience.

Hokkaido’s famous powdery snow – so soft, cool and dry, it drifts off easily.

Resting on a bed of snow….it’s so comfortable.

For those who do not ski, there are other snow activities such as dog sledding.

Magnificent Mountains & Landscapes

Other than snow activities, Hokkaido also offers a taste of nature at their Daisetsuzan National Park (meaning the Great Snowy Mountain National Park). The cable car service takes us directly up to the 5th station at 1,984m height hovering over the steep gorges and the majestic snow-capped

mountains. It is truly an amazing natural landscape of Hokkaido. In addition, we will also head over to Lake Toya which is an impressive landscape formed due to the volcanic activities many years ago. At the same time, we can also make a brief stop at the Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch that is home to about 100 brown bears that are easily 2m in size.

Visiting the Otaru Canal is another unforgettable nostalgic experience. Otaru Canal was once a prosperous port where large vessels unloaded their cargo to smaller ships, which then transported the goods to warehouses along the canal. It was also known as the Wall Street of the North. When its role was obsolete, the canal was turned into a tourist attraction while retaining its nostalgic history. When the old fashioned gas lamps light up in the evenings, the romantic atmosphere is a signature of the Otaru Canal.

Leaving our symbol of love at Lake Toya. Take a closer look at Japan’s most active.

Volcano Mt. Usu.

A Memorable Chapter in Hokkaido

Onsen bathing has always been a favourite past time of the Japanese. Nowadays, more and more people are catching on this activity. While some of us may hesitate upon hearing the need to be naked at the bath, do not let this hold you back. Once you are in the bath, everybody is naked and nobody bothers about one another. Just get down to the bath quickly and enjoy the hot spring (onsen). You will then realised that hot spring bath is such an enjoyable experience.

The Delectable Cuisines

The mouth-watering food of Hokkaido is absolutely irresistible. There are some people who came not only for these cuisines but also to be taken home as souvenirs. In fact, the catch in winter is so fresh and delicious, just nice to be eaten raw as Sashimi. The varieties of fish, crab, abalone, octopus, etc will make you crave for more.

At the same time, the usual ramen, fried dumpling (gyoza), fresh vegetables, tofu, shrimp burger, the special made ice-cream will also satisfy your palate.

Tried eating raw abalone or even a simple cooking is good enough?

The famous giant crab of Hokkaido.

Apple Vacations – Chinese New Year Special direct flight package to Hokkaido

Time really flies and there is only two more months to the next Chinese New Year. If you are planning for a holiday trip, do consider our Direct Flight Package to Hokkaido. Sign up and enjoy discounts on our tour packages (only for specified packages) and also get a box of Hokkaido’s specialty the Shiroi Koibito Chocolate.

Why wait? Sign up for your winter holidays with Apple Vacations – Direct Flight Package to Hokkaido now!

Advantages of direct flight package

It only takes 8 hours to reach your destination. You will save up to 60% of travelling time without flight transit. This will allow more time for visiting places of interests and a more enjoyable journey.
Reduction of 20% in terms of time and money for accommodation, meals and transportation due to transit flights.
Enjoy better in-flight cabin service as it is a chartered flight.

Where is Hokkaido?

Hokkaido is an island at Japan’s northern extremity and it is more than 3,000km from Okinawa Island which is located at Japan’s farthest south. Located on the same latitude as Changchun of China, the Mongolian plains, Urumqi, Austria, Provence of France, Montreal and Washington, Hokkaido enjoys distinct four seasons in a year just like these countries. Hokkaido is surrounded by five seas at its
periphery.

Fast facts of Hokkaido

One of the 47 prefectures in Japan.
Total of 3,455.33 sq km, accounting for 22% of Japan’s land area.
Surrounded by the Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean, Sea of Okhotsk and the Tsugaru Straits.
Population of 5,507,456 (as at October 2010), accounting for 4.4% of Japan’s total population.
Second largest island in Japan (Honshu is Japan’s largest island) and also 21st largest island in the world.
The most charming character of Hokkaido lies in the unique beauty of its four seasons, its natural landscapes and its delicious cuisines.

At the Shiretoko Peninsula, put on the dry suit and it’s so fun doing the ice floe dive.

Cruising on the ice-breaker is a wonderful winter experience in Hokkaido.

Due to the citizen’s movement, the Otaru Canal and part of the street was preserved and became the city’s popular attraction.

Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch.

Enchanting night view of Sapporo.

Travelution 2011 November/December Issue

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李桑 作者

在旅游业纵横驰骋1万1000多个日子, 探秘南北极境, 足印遍布7大洲113国! 由衷信仰,“出走” 身体力行,“走出”