Melissa C. Koh

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Summer in Hokkaido

Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan’s four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with very high amounts of snowfall, sub zero temperatures and frozen lakes and waterfalls, making it a perfect place for a winter wonderland getaway and winter sports like snowboarding and skiing. While in summer it does not get as hot and humid as in the other parts of the country, it offers an abundance of greenery and nature, making it a go-to destination for outdoor-lovers seeking adventure.

There is plenty to do in this Northern state of Japan and we had an amazing time discovering it during our recent trip with Club Med.
Club Med Tomamu is an ideal family holiday destination as it not only offers exciting outdoor pursuits, but is jam-filled with really fun and upbeat activities that is available for all ages. Here is a little sneak of our cosy home away from home during our 4-day stint in Hokkaido.

So here’s our non-exhaustive list of things to do in Hokkaido in the Summer:

1. Mountain Biking

Gear up and take your bike out for a ride on a scenic mountain biking trail about a 3 minutes away from Club Med Tomamu. The lush greenery, rolling hills, blue skies and mountains are so breath-taking you’ll almost hear the sound track of The Sound of Music play in your head.

~ The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music ~

This is an excellent way to incorporate some cardio into your vacation while soaking in the lush and breathtaking scenery, sunlight and fresh air Hokkaido has to offer during the summer. Our mountain biking brought us to a small farm and we couldn’t help but make a quick pit stop to get some pictures with the cute sheep. We took the beginners run, so it was quite a leisurely cycle for us. Of course, there are more difficult courses if you’re looking to challenge yourself!

2. Picnic in the mountains

20 degree weather with sunshine makes for an excellent opportunity for an outdoor picnic. And we definitely seized it. The staff at Club Med set up an amazing picnic-cum-barbecue experience during which they served warm wine, barbecued meat, cheese, fruits and bread. French music playing in the background, excellent company and great food. Needless to say, it was an afternoon well spent and also picture perfect opportunity with the rolling hills in the background.

3. Visit Flower Fields

One definite plus point when travelling to Hokkaido during spring or summer is that flowers will be in bloom. Hokkaido has a number of flower farms that are opened to public. We visited Tomita Farm, located in Furano town, and were treated to a breathtaking visual display of rows upon rows of flowers. Unfortunately, it was yet to be in full bloom during the time we were there (third week of June) but nonetheless it was still extremely captivating. I can just imagine how it’ll be like when it is in it’s peak.

4. Visit the Blue Pond

Make a trip to the Blue Pond in Biei to feast your eyes on a man-made marvel that features partially submerged trees in shimmering blue waters. The pond is a result of works on the Biei River, carried out after the 1988 eruption of Mount Tokachi, to protect the town of Biei from volcanic mudflows. The blue hues of the pond waters are due to the presence of minerals in the water and the the rocks at bottom of the pond that are whitened by sulphur and components of lime stone.
We were blessed with really great weather! Be sure you check weather forecast so it doesn’t disappoint! I’ve heard that the “blue” water isn’t as vivid in the rain.

4. Visit the Blue Pond

Make a trip to the Blue Pond in Biei to feast your eyes on a man-made marvel that features partially submerged trees in shimmering blue waters. The pond is a result of works on the Biei River, carried out after the 1988 eruption of Mount Tokachi, to protect the town of Biei from volcanic mudflows. The blue hues of the pond waters are due to the presence of minerals in the water and the the rocks at bottom of the pond that are whitened by sulphur and components of lime stone.
We were blessed with really great weather! Be sure you check weather forecast so it doesn’t disappoint! I’ve heard that the “blue” water isn’t as vivid in the rain.

5. Unkai Terrace

The Unkai (“Sea of Clouds”) Terrace is exactly what it’s name suggests. A possible highlight of a trip to Hokkaido is visiting this terrace amongst a sea of clouds. If you are lucky enough, the clouds settle just below the terrace and resemble rolling ocean wave. Unfortunately for us, the clouds were too high and surrounded the terrace like a thick fog preventing us from seeing any view, let alone a sea of clouds. We joked that it was PSI 200. Instead, we decided to order hot soup and enjoy the chilly weather up in the mountains.

This time, the weather wasn’t in our favour but the Unkai Terrace is definitely on our list for the next time we visit!

I hope I’ve convinced you that Hokkaido is a beautiful place all year round with something spectacular to offer in each season. Watch my video for some of our best moments during the trip!

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