Recommended for sightseeing in Hokkaido in November! Introducing the best spots unique to this season!

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 season. In this issue, we will introduce the situation, events, and recommended spots in November in Hokkaido for those who are interested in such things.


About Hokkaido in November

Night view of Sapporo

Atmospheric temperature

In Hokkaido in November, temperatures drop significantly, and it is not uncommon to see negative values on average. The mornings and evenings are especially cold, and snow begins to accumulate as early as in inland areas. Even in coastal areas, snow flakes increase and the landscape changes to a winter landscape.


In November, Hokkaido hosts a number of events and other activities in preparation for the coming of winter. In Sapporo, “Sapporo White Illumination” usually starts in November and the city is decorated with beautiful lights. This is also the time of year when visitors can enjoy hot springs while feeling the arrival of winter. Winter is also the season for seafood, and you will be able to enjoy the fresh seafood of Hokkaido.


A trip to Hokkaido in November is a rare opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of winter. As early as this time of year, ski resorts begin to open for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. However, it is important to plan carefully for weather and road conditions.

November Fashion

Winter-ready fashion is essential for a visit to Hokkaido in November. Make sure you have a heavy coat, down jacket, sweater, scarf, gloves, and hat to protect yourself from the cold. In particular, warm, waterproof boots are appropriate, as feet often get wet from snow and rain. Also, since there is a large temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, it is advisable to dress in layered styles so that you can regulate your body temperature.

Illumination Spots Adding Color to Hokkaido Nights

Winter nights in Hokkaido are usually decorated with fantastic illuminations starting in November. Tourist spots are filled with colorful lights, and the streets are filled with people and a lively atmosphere. Illuminations illuminated in the natural surroundings of Hokkaido create a fantastic space with natural light. The art of light will create a warm landscape that will make you forget the coldness of Hokkaido.

The duration of the event depends on the conditions of the year, so it is recommended to check the official website before visiting.

Odori Park(大通り公園)

Odori Park Illumination(大通公園 イルミネーション)

“Sapporo White Illumination” is held mainly in Odori Park and Sapporo Station in Sapporo City. Some of the booths are inspired by Christmas markets in Munich, Germany, which is a close friend of Sapporo. Visitors can enjoy authentic German Christmas food and wine, and feel like traveling to Germany.

You can also see the entire venue from the Sapporo TV Tower, and the illumination glowing in the snowy landscape is fantastic. A wide area will be illuminated, and the period of illumination differs from venue to venue, so please check before visiting.

Blue Pond (青い池)

Blue Pond Illumination

The Blue Pond in Biei is lit up from around November, offering a fantastic view that is different from that of summer. The icy blue pond is covered with snow and lined with pure white trees. The “Sirahige Waterfalls” in the upper reaches of the Blue Pond are also illuminated, so please be sure to visit.

Toyako Onsen(洞爺湖温泉)

Lake Toya(洞爺湖)

The “Illumination Tunnel” has appeared at Nigiwai Hiroba in Toyako Onsen since November every year, and is a popular sightseeing spot in Toyako Onsen that can be enjoyed only in winter. The tunnel, illuminated with colorful LED lights, is a fantastic space that is a complete change from the usual atmosphere of the hot spring resort. After enjoying the romantic atmosphere, it is recommended to stay and relax in the hot spring to warm up your cold body.

Otaru Snow Story & Yoichi Snow Story (小樽ゆき物語&余市ゆき物語)

Otaru Canal(小樽運河)

“Otaru Snow Story” and “Yoichi Snow Story ” are long-run illuminations that usually start lighting up in November. Otaru Canal, a famous sightseeing spot, is illuminated by blue LEDs, creating a more romantic atmosphere.

The ginkgo and maple trees in front of Yoichi Station are wrapped in amber-colored bulbs that resemble whiskey, creating a warm atmosphere. It takes less than 30 minutes from Otaru Station to Yoichi Station by train, so please enjoy the two illuminations with different atmospheres.

Shiroi Koibito Park (白い恋人パーク)

Shiroi Koibito Park Illumination

The illumination at Shiroi Koibito Park, a tourist facility in Sapporo, is also usually turned on in November every year. Visitors are entertained by illuminations based on various themes each year.

Since it is held for a long period of time, it is easy to fit it into your travel plans. Of course, you can also visit and experience Shiroi Koibito Park as usual, so please enjoy it together with the illumination.

Enjoy the taste of the season!

November in Hokkaido is a time of abundant seasonal produce with the onset of winter. Fresh seafood is on display at the market during this season. In particular, king crab and snow crab are symbolic of Hokkaido in winter, and their taste is exceptional. Restaurants and izakaya (Japanese style pubs) in Hokkaido offer menus featuring seasonal ingredients, so be sure to enjoy the flavors of this season.

Ichiba Shokudo Ajidokoro Takeda (mantis shrimp)( 市場食堂 味処たけだ)

mantis shrimp

Ajidokoro Takeda is located a minute walk from Otaru Station. The restaurant is popular for its rice bowl menu, including the “ANA special rice bowl” jointly developed with the airline company ANA. Here, you can enjoy boiled mantis shrimp, which is available at the market after the fishing season begins in October. Freshly landed, the oysters are exquisite.

Taihou Sushi (shishamo smelt) (大豊寿司)

Shishamo smelt Sushi

Shishamo smelt are in season from October to November. Shishamo smelt can only be caught in certain areas of Hokkaido, and the ones sold in supermarkets are actually different fish.

Normally, shishamo smelt is grilled, but in Mukawa Town, famous for its shishamo smelt, some restaurants serve raw shishamo smelt as sushi. It depends on the timing and fishing conditions, but you should definitely try the shishamo smelt only available in Hokkaido during this season.

Kissho (Hakkaku)(吉翔)


Hakkaku is a member of the Scorpionfish family, and is usually in season during the winter. The fish may look a bit scary, but when served as sashimi, the taste is said to be light, fatty, and sweet. It is a rare fish and may not be in stock, so it is recommended to check before visiting.

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