Instagram-worthy Locations in Hokkaido, Japan
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Instagram-worthy Locations in Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido, a heaven for landscape photographers.

There are numerous amazing photography spots in Hokkaido. Hokkaido is a Japanese northeastern island with naturally beautiful landscapes. Whether spring or winter, there are forests, waterfalls, and flower fields which look as if they have been ‘photoshopped’ before they are captured through the lenses of a camera.

Cabin in the middle of Daisetsuzan

1. Alpine flower fields

Daisetsuzan National Park is Japan’s largest national park. Fifteen mountains as high as two thousand meters are located in the middle of Hokkaido. The Daisetsuzan is also one of the 100 soundscapes of Japan, protected from noise pollution. Biei and Furano are located at the base of Daisetsuzan. According to Fodor’s Travel Guide, Furano is famous for their colourful lavender farms while Biei has fields of potatoes, corn, soba and sunflower which are planted for crop rotation. The best time to travel depends on what type of shots you’d prefer: the cold and delicate winter, the rusty autumn or the lively and vibrant spring.

A photo posted by @yotsub4 on Aug 9, 2013 at 2:33am PDT

2. Seas or Mountains

Shiretoko Five Lakes are known as Shiretoko Goko in Japanese. On one side, you can enjoy the panoramic view of Sea of Okhotsk. On the other, you’ll be able to capture the majestic mountains against the backdrop of lush greenery. There are two ways to travel at Shiretoko Five Lakes. The elevated wooden path is always open as they are protected from bears.

Getting closer to nature for close-up photos is easy with ground pathway which eventually leads you back to the elevated wooden path.

Oshinkoshin waterfall

3. Waterfalls

Known for being a fan-type waterfall that splits by a rock, Oshinkoshin waterfall gushes into the Sea of Okhotsk. While the best spot for photographing the view is from the observatory on top of the waterfall, many would prefer taking photos from the bottom as the top is misty and the water vapour might blur camera lenses. Bring fisheye lenses for your camera to take panoramic shots of the waterfall as it is difficult to fit the entire waterfall into one photo.

Reach Oshinkoshin Waterfall by travelling through the main coastal roads from Shari Town Center to Utoro. By driving, it is minutes away from Utoro.


4. Night-time Aurora

If you do plan to take photos at Oshinkoshin Waterfall, why not visit Utoro as well? Take photographs of the colourful night-time laser show. Utoro hosts a light show with lasers called the Shirotoko Aurora Fantasia which starts at 8pm during the winter. The Shirotoko Aurora Fantasia was inspired by an aurora that appeared in 1958.

The show normally runs from February to Mid-march.


Find places to stay in Hokkaido while you’re on a photography trip.