Even when compared with the rest of Japan, Hokkaido is blessed with four particularly distinct seasons. Spring is full of fresh new green foliage and beautiful flowers; in the summer people can enjoy fresh and pleasant temperatures; and in the fall, the rice fields welcome abundant crops whilst there are a variety of fall festivals for everyone to enjoy.

And then you have the most beautiful season of all, the winter. The land is wrapped in the cold crisp air, covered in pure white snow and peacefully goes to sleep for a very long time.

However, out in the snowy fields and the snowy mountains, everyone can enjoy a variety of sports. Also, having a soak in an open air bath, whilst enjoying the beautiful snowy scenery, is a truly exceptional experience. In Hokkaido, with its very distinct four seasons, there is always something magnificent to be found in each one of its seasons.

Hokkaido in Spring (April to June)

The land awakens from its long sleep in April. This is Hokkaido’s wildflower season. In Hokkaido, where many areas have a high latitude, you can see highland flora on the plains. For example, skunk cabbage can be seen on the marshes of the plains, and on the roadside while you are driving. On the fields, dogtooth violet and Corydalis Ambigua and suchlike lovely wildflowers will start to bloom. Also, even on the trees, elm and Erman’s birch trees (which on Honshuu, the main island of Japan, you can only see on the highlands) can be seen by the beachside plains in Hokkaido.

Late April is the time when the cherry and plum blossom trees are in full bloom. The cherry blossom is especially popular, and is said to be the national flower of Japan. There are over 100 parks in Hokkaido with cherry blossom trees, including Maruyama park and Goryokaku. While the cherry blossom is in bloom, many people enjoy picnicking with their families under the trees. As well as cherry blossom you can also see other flowers such as moss phlox, tulips, grape hyacinths and lilacs.

In the fields, the corn and wheat planted in the spring put out their shoots. It is the juicy green of the asparagus shoots that announces the first storms of spring. In the fresh verdure of the mountains snow still remains, and a chill lingers at dawn and dusk, but we feel the wind gradually growing warmer. The strawberry-gathering season will start soon. The king of the Hokkaido palate is the crab: we feast on horsehair crab, blue king crab, and red king crab. During this period in spring, after the drift ice on the Sea of Okhotsk has disappeared, the season for delicious horsehair crab begins.