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5 things to experience in Hokkaido in summer! Recommended spots for this time of year based on the climate.

Hokkaido in summer is full of events and scenery that can be enjoyed only at this time of year. The mild weather of spring has passed, and the days are humid and muggy, but they are filled with events to enjoy Hokkaido’s natural beauty. We hope you will enjoy the unique summer scenes of Hokkaido to the fullest.

This article details the highlights of summer travel in Hokkaido, from descriptions of climate and clothing to the best places to visit in summer!

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Hokkaido in Summer

 Sapporo Beer Garden

climate

In summer (June through August), Hokkaido is characterized by low humidity and pleasant weather. It is cooler than other parts of Japan, and fresh breezes blow even in summer. However, be aware that there are hot days with temperatures exceeding 30°C (86°F). Around June, which is early summer, the mornings and evenings are often cool, so long-sleeved clothes and a light jacket are useful.

Things to Do

In summer, Hokkaido is alive with nature and full of activities and events. With high temperatures and a desire to be outside, summer is the perfect time to enjoy Hokkaido’s spectacular nature! Another major attraction is the abundance of seafood and the opportunity to taste fresh seafood. You can also enjoy summer events such as beer gardens, summer festivals, and fireworks festivals held throughout Hokkaido.

Summer Fashion

When visiting Hokkaido in summer, it is important to prepare clothing that can handle the temperature difference between day and night. Short-sleeved shirts, T-shirts, and shorts or light pants are comfortable during the day, but it can get cold in the mornings and evenings, so it is best to bring a long-sleeved shirt, a light sweater, or a cardigan. Also, don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for touring the sights. If you plan to engage in outdoor activities, choose clothing that is easy to move in and functional for more enjoyment.

Things to do in Hokkaido in summer

Abundant nature and outdoor activities

Hokkaido is known for its abundant nature and diverse outdoor activities during the summer. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy Hokkaido’s natural attractions to the fullest. Here are three particularly recommended summer activities.

Canoeing and Rafting

rafting

Water activities on rivers and lakes are recommended in summer in Hokkaido. There are rivers and lakes in various areas in Hokkaido, where you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing.

At Lake Shikotsu and Lake Kussharo, visitors can enjoy the surrounding nature while paddling on the tranquil surface of the lakes. Rafting on the Tokachi River and Biei River is also recommended for those seeking a thrilling activity. The cool water of the natural rivers and lakes is comfortable and an experience that can be enjoyed only in the hot summer.

cycling

cycling

Hokkaido’s vast nature is ideal for cycling. You can enjoy cycling while feeling the tranquil scenery and fresh summer breeze. Some spots offer full-fledged bicycle rentals such as cross bikes and road bikes, while others offer bicycles for casual rides around town, so you can use them according to the distance you need to travel and the purpose of your trip.

hiking

hiking

If you are looking for a more casual activity, hiking is a great option. Hokkaido has several national parks, and summer is the best season for hiking. The Daisetsuzan National Park in Kamifurano Town has different level climbing courses, so even beginners can enjoy hiking. There is also a ropeway, making it easy to enjoy mountain climbing.

Summer Events and Festivals

Makomanai Fireworks Festival (真駒内花火大会)

Many festivals and events are held in Hokkaido during the summer. From Sapporo’s beer gardens to Hakodate Minato Matsuri, you can see the lively atmosphere of people enjoying festivals.

Some festivals last for several days, while others include parades and fireworks displays, bringing excitement to the entire city. Fireworks festivals are also held in various locations, adding color to Hokkaido’s summer nights and providing unforgettable summer memories.

Foods in season in summer

Squid rice bowl

Hokkaido’s summer is filled with delicious seafood and vegetables! Sea urchins from Rishiri and Rebun islands, said to be the most delicious sea urchins in Japan, are in season, and Hakodate’s famous Surumeika (Japanese common squid) is especially delicious at this time. Fresh Japanese common squid is sometimes served as sashimi when it is still moving.

Yubari melon (夕張メロン)

Hot summer is also a time when vegetables and fruits are at their best. Corn, a staple at barbecues and festival stalls, is so sweet that it can be eaten raw. Melons, a specialty of Hokkaido, are also juicy enough to overflow with juice. All of these foods are exceptionally delicious only when they are in season.

Attractive as a summer resort due to its cool climate

Kushiroshitsugen National Park(釧路湿原国立公園)

While the rest of Japan experiences heat, Hokkaido enjoys a cool and comfortable climate. This makes it highly attractive as a summer resort and easy to spend time in even in summer. Kushiro, located in the eastern part of Hokkaido, is particularly famous for its low average summer temperatures.

The last few years have seen scorching hot days in Hokkaido, and the temperature can be quite high, so take frequent hydration and rest breaks to avoid heat stroke.

Enjoy the summer night sky in Hokkaido

Starry sky at Shin-ei Hill, Biei-cho (美瑛町 新栄の丘の星空 )

In addition to daytime activities, summer in Hokkaido offers plenty of opportunities to observe the beautiful starry sky. Especially in the countryside where there are few people, you can enjoy nature at night under a star-filled sky.

The camping and glamping areas are rich in nature and are ideal for stargazing as you can view the stars from the campgrounds.

Hokkaido in June

June is the time of year when temperatures gradually rise in Hokkaido and the daytime weather becomes relatively pleasant. Local festivals are held, plants and flowers begin to bloom, and beautiful nature sightseeing can be enjoyed.

Hokkaido in July

Summer has begun in earnest, and this is the time of year when various festivals and outside events are held. Hokkaido has a relatively cool climate compared to other parts of Japan, but it is essential to take precautions against the heat, as temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius on some days.

Hokkaido in August

If you want to enjoy the summer in Hokkaido, we recommend activities that allow you to experience the magnificent nature. Hokkaido is rich in nature and offers a variety of outdoor activities, so be sure to experience them to create your summer memories.

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