It’s July, one of the best months of Hokkaido!!
Hokkaido has been very popular globally especially for its powder snow during the winter.
Living in Niseko, I was surprised how Niseko becomes the most international location of Japan in the winter.
I came across so many internationals that loved the winter and they keep coming back, but doesn't really know how it's like in the summer.
I also realized a good number of them were interested in how it’s like to stay in Hokkaido in the non snowy seasons.
To tell the truth, I prefer the green season to the winter here.
I have been on roadtrips across Hokkaido, and maybe my experiences might help you get a good image of how great it is to make a visit.
Nature, hiking, camping, food... These are all my favorite things, and if you like it too, then what I'm about to post for the next year or so might be of an interest to you, too.
Hokkaido is home to really nice food.
Oysters, wagyu beef, pork, chicken, lamb, vegetables, seafood, you name it.
Now is the period of uni, sea urchin.
I didn't even like sea urchin til I ate it for the first time in Hokkaido, and became a fan of it ever since.
Hokkaido is a place like no other, at least in Japan.
Flat and wide land, lots of nature, and wildlife.
I love meeting deers, foxes, and even bears on my roadtrips.
I live in Otaru, so first my plan is to visit all the listed villages in Hokkaido.
The travel map looks like this.
1200 km, 20 hour drive. I have a few places that If I'm close, I must go so it will be a little more than this but the rough sketch of it is this, about 2 weeks trip.
The pins on the google maps are the villages that I found from an interesting website below.
I have a kei car that is spacey and has a good height so I can sleep no problem in the car. I've bought a battery that I can charge my laptops and phones, and have a pocket wifi that makes my car a moving office.
I will do another article of what I have in my car.
Japan is really convenient in terms of road trips, toilets are open 24 hours in road stations called "michi no eki" and convenience stores all over the country.
We still do have new cases, around a 100/week in Hokkaido.
I've checked with the government and we are actually permitted to move around for leisure, although big events are either cancelled or held in smaller sizes than usual.
We are to keep social distances, and the government prefers us not to be indoors with other people as much as possible.
I was surprised that we are even allowed to visit outside of Hokkaido relatively freely as well.
Of course, this may change if the number of Corona Virus cases rise more than it is right now.
Most of you that are from overseas will have to go through a 2 weeks isolation period even if you have passed the Corona Virus check at the airport.
Well, that's quite a long time... No wonder the inbound for May and June 2020 has decreased by 99%.
So I hope you stay safe for now in your own countries, and our blog posts will be something exciting to read for your next visit when the Corona Virus cases are settled.
One of my partners that is working on this Helping Dragon Project found an article of “Genkai Shuraku” which translates to over the limit villages.
Over the limit as in it is such a countryside that it shrunk and shrunk and is already very difficult to manage.
These villages are usually full of nature and have gotten its own unique characteristics, and some of them have used what they thought was nothing and turned into a treasure.
Then I found The most beautiful villages of Japan page. You can read about it in English from here.
It actually includes many villages that I know, and I thought it might be really nice if I get to go blog and youtube about it to share it worldwide.
Although I strongly believe and want these villages to stay untouched as it is now, I also want to help in any way I can to sustain it.
I came up with this idea, mainly because I have done it last year. When I was moving to a different apartment, it took longer for the registration to go through, so I did a short car trip.
Then I realised there are so many people doing the same thing!!
I also came across some internationals in the ski slopes and they were telling me that til the next winter comes, they will buy a car and do a roadtrip down to our southern island Kyushu, then up.
There is a ferry that you can put your car and do a circle around Japan too. This makes it easier to travel around, especially when you want to avoid the crowd.
Well, hope the posts I will be making weekly from now on will be entertaining!!