Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. It is also the least urbanised, famous for the volcanoes, natural hot springs (onsen) and snow fields that dot its landscape.
At 32,221 square miles (83,457 sq. km), representing over 20% of Japan’s total land mass, Hokkaido Island is the country’s second-largest island, while Hokkaido prefecture itself is the country’s biggest prefecture.
It is home to almost 6 million residents, and more than 1 million travelers from within Japan and around the world visit the island every year. They are drawn to the beauty of Hokkaido’s blue skies, its untouched wilderness of rolling hills, open fields and powdery snow, all of which are the perfect backdrop to savour its delectable local cuisine.
The indigenous people of Hokkaido are the Ainu, a race that also inhabit the Aomori region in the north of Honshu Island.