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4 things to experience in Hokkaido in autumn! From the climate to the places you should visit this time of year!

Autumn in Hokkaido is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature and scenery due to the pleasant weather. The calm atmosphere of Japan can be enjoyed, which is different from the energetic summer.

This article details the highlights of autumn travel in Hokkaido, from a description of the weather and clothing to the best places to visit.

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Hokkaido in Autumn

climate

Hokkaido in autumn (September to November) has a stable climate and comfortable days; September is still warm, but in October the mornings and evenings become colder, and by November it is cold enough to remind you that winter is coming. Especially from mid-October to early November, the temperature difference between daytime and nighttime is large, so care should be taken with clothing.

Things to Do

Hokkaido in autumn is at its best when the leaves are at their best and the scenery is beautiful. The autumn leaves also turn beautifully red at hot spring resorts such as Jozankei Onsen and Toyako Onsen, where visitors can enjoy the rich natural scenery as they soak in the hot springs. Autumn is also the season of harvest, and events are held to allow visitors to compare Hokkaido’s gourmet foods.

Autumn Fashion

When visiting Hokkaido in autumn, a layered style is recommended to cope with the temperature difference between day and night; lightweight long-sleeved shirts, cardigans, and light jackets are appropriate for September.

From October to November, you will need to take warm clothing such as heavy sweaters and coats, scarves, and gloves. It is also a good idea to carry water-repellent outerwear and a folding umbrella in case of sudden rain.

Things to do in Hokkaido in Autumn

Enjoy the colors of nature and scenery

Hakodate Onuma Park(函館 大沼公園)

In Hokkaido, the autumn foliage begins as early as September and reaches its peak in October in most areas. Daisetsuzan, which is said to have the earliest autumn foliage in Japan, allows visitors to take a ropeway to the top of the mountain and view the mountains in red and orange colors from a train window.


Autumn flowers in Hokkaido are another natural feature not to be missed. Cosmos and salvia replace the lavender of summer to color the vast fields. The landscapes of Furano and Biei show the serene beauty that only autumn can offer.

Refresh yourself in a hot spring

Autumn is the perfect season to relax in a hot spring as the days get shorter and the air begins to cool down. There are a number of popular hot spring resorts in Hokkaido, and we will introduce three of the most famous, “Hokkaido’s three major hot spring resorts”: Jozankei Onsen, Noboribetsu Onsen, and Yunokawa Onsen.

Jozankei Onsen (Sapporo)(定山渓温泉)

Jozankei Onsen(定山渓温泉)

Jozankei Onsen is a hot spring resort for those who want to relax and relieve fatigue in a rich natural setting. It is easily accessible from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo Station. Jozankei Onsen has been attracting people since ancient times, and a dip in the hot springs will warm you from the inside out.

Jozankei is famous for its beautiful scenery and offers beautiful views in each of the four seasons, such as Futami Suspension Bridge, Shiraito no Taki(Shiraito Waterfall), and Yu-no-taki (Hot spring Falls). There are also a variety of hands-on activities such as rafting, canoeing, and other water sports that allow visitors to enjoy nature at their leisure.

Access information to Jozankei Onsen Approximately 80 minutes from Sapporo Station by bus and 2 hours from New Chitose Airport by train and bus

Noboribetsu Onsen (Noboribetsu City)(登別温泉)

Noboribetsu Onsen(登別温泉)

Noboribetsu Onsen, one of Hokkaido’s representative hot spring resorts, is popular throughout the country for its powerful hell-hopping tour. You can experience the energy of nature at Lake Toya, which was the focus of attention at the “G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit,” and at Mt. Be sure to visit Cape Erimo, the farthest cape in the world.

Access information to Noboribetsu Onsen Approximately 2 hours from Sapporo by train and 1.5 hours from New Chitose Airport by train.

Yunokawa Onsen (Hakodate) (湯の川温泉)

Yunokawa Onsen(湯の川温泉)

Yunokawa Onsen is an elegant hot spring resort that tells a story of its long history. It is the closest hot spring resort to the airport in Japan, only 5 minutes by car from Hakodate Airport, making it very convenient and attracting many tourists. The smooth and pleasant water has a reputation for not cooling down easily, and is said to be “hot water for beautiful skin.

There are many attractions in the area, including a footbath in front of the tram stop and a botanical garden. At the Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden, monkeys enjoying the hot springs can be seen from December to May.

Access information to Yunokawa Onsen Less than 30 minutes from Hakodate Station by tram or bus, 5 minutes from Hakodate Airport by bus

Enjoy the Taste of Autumn

grilled saury

In Hokkaido, a variety of seafood is in season in autumn, and you can enjoy its taste even more than usual. The saury from Nemuro is fatty and is excellent not only when grilled, but also when served raw as sashimi or sushi.

Also, high-end ingredients such as snow crab, hairy crab, and salmon roe will have an enhanced flavor, and you will be able to taste the deliciousness of the ingredients themselves. You can taste dishes made with seasonal ingredients at local markets, restaurants, and izakaya (Japanese-style pubs), so be sure to experience the difference in taste when you come on your trip.

Join us for a gourmet event!

Autumn is also known as “the season of appetite,” as food and gourmet events are held all over Japan. Hokkaido, in particular, is said to be a treasure trove of food, with an abundance of delicious seafood, vegetables, meats, rice, and other delicacies.

Autumn festivals and gourmet events are held in various parts of Hokkaido, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy gourmet foods made from local ingredients and to experience local culture. Here we introduce two large scale gourmet events in Hokkaido.

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)

This gourmet event is held in Sapporo’s Odori Park. As the event is held in the center of the city, it is crowded with many people and stalls, making it one of Hokkaido’s most popular gourmet events. Various performances are held on a special stage, and you can enjoy a different kind of fun no matter how many times you come.

【Sapporo Autumn Fest】Date: September Location: Sapporo Odori Park *The timing and location of events may change.

North Hokkaido Food Festival“Tabe Marché”(北の恵み 食べマルシェ)

Park in front of Asahikawa Station

This is a popular gourmet event in the northern part of Hokkaido held in the center of Asahikawa City. Various gourmet foods from different regions gather and you can taste the delicious foods of northern Hokkaido all at once. It is easily accessible from Asahikawa Station, making it a great place to visit.

【North Hokkaido Food Festival“Tabe Marché”】Date: September Location: Asahikawa city center, Hokkaido *The timing and location of the event may change.

Hokkaido in September

In September, Hokkaido gradually begins to feel the cooler autumn weather. Autumn is also known as “the season of appetite,” as gourmet events are held and seasonal foods are abundant. Autumn foliage also begins to change around this time of year.

Hokkaido in October

Temperatures drop dramatically, and the cool autumn air gradually gives way to the cold winter air. Autumn foliage is at its best in most parts of Hokkaido. After a day of strolling outside, why not soak in a warm onsen to heal your body and soul?

Hokkaido in November

Temperatures drop significantly in Hokkaido in November, with days of minus temperatures not uncommon and even snowfall. This is the time of year when illumination begins, and the city is enveloped in colorful lights, allowing visitors to enjoy the gorgeous Hokkaido nights.

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