Best Things to Do in Hokkaido in September: Sapporo Autumn Festival, Hakodate Morning Market and More

If you are going to go sightseeing, you may want to incorporate into your itinerary things that can only be seen or experienced during that time of the year. In this issue, we will introduce the conditions, events, and recommended spots in September in Hokkaido for those who are interested in such things.


About Hokkaido in September

Sapporo Clock Tower(札幌時計台)

Atmospheric temperature

In September, Hokkaido gradually begins to feel the cooler autumn weather. Average temperatures range from about 15 to 22 degrees Celsius, with pleasant daytime temperatures, but mornings and evenings are cooler, and in some places it can even feel cold. Especially toward the end of the month, temperatures begin to drop further, indicating the deepening of autumn.


In September, Hokkaido hosts a variety of autumn festivals to give thanks for the harvest and events to enjoy food culture. For example, “Sapporo Autumn Fest” is a food event held in Sapporo City, where visitors can taste fresh local agricultural products, marine products, and gourmet foods. There are also many events in nature, such as autumn leaf peeping and wildlife watching tours, where visitors can enjoy activities unique to autumn.


September is a beautiful time of year when nature in Hokkaido changes colorfully. Especially toward the end of the month, when the autumn leaves begin to change, you can enjoy spectacular views of the autumn foliage in places such as the Daisetsuzan Mountains and the Shiretoko Peninsula. This time of year is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling, as it is a respite from the summer heat. Gourmet travelers can also enjoy fresh seafood and mountain delicacies.

September Fashion

When visiting Hokkaido in September, you will need clothing that can handle the temperature difference between day and night. While days can be warm, mornings and evenings can be chilly, so long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and light jackets are recommended. In addition, because of the rainy days, it is recommended that you bring water-repellent outerwear and a folding umbrella. If you are planning to go leaf peeping or outdoor activities, remember to take extra precautions against the cold.

Activities to Enjoy Early Autumn in Hokkaido

Early autumn in Hokkaido is a season of mild weather and abundant nature. It is also a time when you can gradually enjoy the colorful autumn leaves in the vast natural parks and mountains, and you can enjoy hiking while admiring the rich natural scenery. We hope you will enjoy this wonderful experience that will refresh your mind and body.

Kumakgoe Waterfall River Walk (熊越の滝リバーウォーク)

Kumagoe Waterfall(熊越の滝)

Staff engaged in nature conservation activities in Shiretoko offer tours that give visitors a sense of Shiretoko’s wilderness and culture, and since the tours are offered over a long period from mid-April to mid-October, visitors can view the changes in nature at different times of the year. Walking together through the forests and rivers, they will show you a side of Shiretoko that you cannot see just by sightseeing.

Shiretoko Rausu Lincle official website :

Shiretoko Goko Lakes Guided Tour(知床五湖ガイドツアー)

Shiretoko Goko Lakes(知床五湖)

The Shiretoko Goko Lakes are five small lakes in Shiretoko.This tour allows you to explore the Shiretoko Five Lakes, a representative area of the World Heritage Site Shiretoko. You can fully enjoy the attractions of Shiretoko, such as the traces of animals and the rugged nature. Guided tours are led by guides who are well versed in the nature of Shiretoko, so beginners can feel at ease. There are also several types of tours available, so join one that suits your purpose and the time you have to spend in the area.

SHINRA official website:

Enjoy September’s events!

Even after the full-blown summer is over, various events will continue to unfold in Hokkaido. Since the heat has calmed down and it is easier to spend time outside, you will be able to enjoy outdoor events even more.

Sapporo Autumn Fest(さっぽろオータムフェスト)

Sapporo Autumn Fest(さっぽろオータムフェスト)

The Sapporo Autumn Fest is a month-long event held in Odori Park, where Hokkaido’s gourmet foods are sold. Gourmet foods not only from Sapporo but also from various regions in Hokkaido will be gathered, making it a perfect event for those who want to taste all the gourmet foods of Hokkaido.

In addition to Sapporo ramen and soup curry, a wide variety of sweets and alcohol are available. In addition, the outdoor stage will be filled with various performances every day, making it worth a visit for those who want to experience the festival atmosphere.

Hokkaido Art Fireworks Festival at Moerenuma Park (北海道芸術花火 モエレ沼公園)

Hokkaido Art Fireworks Festival at Moerenuma Park (北海道芸術花火 モエレ沼公園)
Hokkaido Art Fireworks Festival at Moerenuma Park (北海道芸術花火 モエレ沼公園)

The “Moerenuma Art Fireworks” is one of the largest fireworks displays in Hokkaido, held in September.

The performances by Japan’s best pyrotechnicians are truly breathtaking. Fireworks synchronized with music are as beautiful as works of art. Enjoy an impressive fireworks display in Hokkaido in September, when you feel the end of summer!

Taste the season in Hokkaido!

Kindaitei (元祖 鮭鱒料理金大亭)

Ishikari Nabe(石狩鍋)

Ishikari Nabe is the birthplace of Ishikari Nabe, one of Hokkaido’s most popular local dishes. Ishikari nabe” got its name from the town of Ishikari, which is famous for its salmon. The miso-flavored soup is filled with chopped salmon meat and vegetables.

The restaurant has a long history dating back to 1880, and its interior is quaint, making the food even more delicious. Ishikari nabe, a light yet rich Ishikari Nabe, is recommended from around September, when the seasonal fall salmon is in season.

Nitori Tourist Orchard(ニトリ観光農園)

Image of apple picking

Opened in 1870, this long-established orchard offers grapes, apples, pears, chestnuts, and prunes for harvest in September. Individual visitors do not need to make reservations, and there are all-you-can-eat only and take-home courses available, allowing visitors to enjoy the fruits of the season to their heart’s content.

At the center house, you can purchase original juices and jams, which make great souvenirs. You can also grill and eat Genghis Khan, although reservations are required.

Asaichi Shokudo Nibankan (朝市食堂 二番館)

Hakodate Asaichi (Hakodate Morning Market)(函館朝市)

The restaurant is located at the Hakodate morning market, a 2-minute walk from JR Hakodate Station. The specialty is a very reasonable Kaisendon (bowl of rice topped with seafood), which can be had for only 550 yen! There are many other dishes on the menu, all reasonably priced, so we recommend ordering a variety of dishes to compare.

September is the time of year when salmon and whitebait are in season in Hokkaido. Try the seasonal fish, which are more flavorful and exquisite than usual.

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