Outdoor Experience Hokkaido during the green season with these activities!

Hokkaido’s lush green season offers a wide range of activities to enjoy without being restricted by snow or the cold. Here we introduce some activities that let you dive into nature during the refreshing weather of the green season.


Rafting is an activity where you navigate a rubber boat together with your group down a beautiful river, all the while enjoying the changing scenery around you. Rafting on the Shiribetsu River, a clear stream in Niseko, is particularly rewarding. The guide will give you a crash course on how to ride the boat and use the paddle before you set out, so even first-timers can relax and enjoy the tour! There is also a family course passing only over slow currents, which allows families to enjoy the river together with children younger than 6 years. You will be wearing a dry suit so you can have fun in the water not only in summer, but also in spring and autumn. Rafting is especially thrilling in spring, when the melting snow makes the river swell.

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Horse trekking

Climb up a hill overlooking Lake Toya in the southwest of Hokkaido and enjoy the magnificent scenery from horseback. This area was the first to be registered as a geopark in Japan and you can experience the vast nature that has developed there over the times up close. There are a variety of courses, from easy courses for beginners to full-fledged mountain courses with steep inclines. The horses are well-trained and the staff will provide assistance at any time, so even while riding and holding the reins on your own, you can focus on marveling at the spectacular scenery. Children under 140 cm tall can participate with the support of a staff member walking along, which makes this activity enjoyable for the whole family.

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Kayaking lets you enjoy Lake Shikotsu and the Chitose River, which boast of having the best water quality in Japan. You can get there easily: it takes about an hour by car from Sapporo City, or 40 minutes from New Chitose Airport. This activity is not only great in summer, but also in spring or autumn when the water is said to be the clearest. As you paddle slowly across the beautiful “Shikotsu blue” surface of the lake, the silence is only broken by chirping birds and other sounds of nature. The clear bottom of the kayak allows you to see all the way to the bottom of the lake. You might glimpse some rare fish and in summer, blooming Chitose buttercups, a natural treasure. If you are lucky, the lake surface will act as a mirror and reflect the clouds and surrounding mountains.

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The Urahoro Hill Country is located between Obihiro City and Kushiro City and is an area that still retains the undeveloped, original landscape of Hokkaido. You can choose from two types of paragliding: enjoying a walk through the air by tandem flying together with a pilot, or taking a lesson first and then flying on your own. We would recommend the tandem flight, as it allows you to soar higher. Depending on the weather conditions, the pilot will decide whether to use a motor paraglider or fly unpowered on an updraft. During the 10 minutes of your flight, you can also take as many photos and videos as you like! The view from the sky over the vast expanse of Hokkaido is truly stunning. Since safety is the top priority, flights may be cancelled last minute due to bad weather, but there is no cancellation fee in such cases.

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Cycling in Hokkaido is a great way to enjoy a refreshing breeze while riding through magnificent nature. There is a cycling course in Onuma National Park, which is about 20 minutes from Hakodate Station by express train. The path along the shores of Lake Onuma is fairly flat, so even a leisurely ride will take you around the lake in about an hour and a half. Bicycles can be rented at the "Friendly Bear" bicycle rental shop in front of JR Onuma Koen Station. Rishiri Island also has a beautiful cycling path that takes you halfway around the northern part of the island. With Rishiri Fuji always in view, this scenic course keeps you entertained by leading you along plains and the seaside and then up mountain roads to an altitude of about 120 meters. There are a lot of rest places along the way. We recommend renting a mountain bike at "Yukiguni Rental" in front of the ferry terminal. Cycling gives you the freedom to ride at your own pace and take any detour you want along the way.

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Asahidake, at 2,291 meters above sea level, is the highest active volcano in Hokkaido. A ropeway takes you to the fifth station in about 10 minutes, so even children and beginner hikers can enjoy hiking in the mountains. The autumn foliage of Asahidake is famous, and the Ainu people call the beautiful scenery of the numerous alpine plants in bloom “Kamuimintara (God’s Garden).” The peak season is in late July, when you can see the impressive scenery of snow lingering at high altitude mixed with flower fields. We recommend stopping by Sugatami-no-ike, a 30-minute walk after getting off the ropeway. The mystical reflection of Asahidake in the blue water is an absolute must. If you are in for some serious mountain climbing, you can also aim for the summit. At the foot of the mountain, you will find a hot spring area that is perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking.

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