Hokkaido has so much to offer: some of the best seafood in the world; beautiful, unspoiled nature; great nightlife; and some of the most romantic spots for you and your partner. In this article, we enumerate some nice dating spots that we think are the best.
Shikisai no Oka, Biei
Who doesn’t like flowers? Your significant other will surely appreciate a trip to Shikisai no Oka in Biei. This panoramic flower garden is the biggest in the Furano area, boasting seven full hectares of a wide range of flowers that change with the seasons. The name translates to “Hills of Seasonal Colors” and, while spring is a great season to visit, it’s also wonderfully vibrant in the summer, when the blooms form neat carpets for you to enjoy.
In the winter, these rolling hills are covered in powdery snow, making it ideal for winter sports enthusiasts who enjoy snowmobiling and sledding.
To tour the gardens, there are golf carts and tractor buses ready to take you around the park for a small fee. Due to the size of the gardens, it’s recommended to take one of these modes of transportation. There are also a variety of souvenir shops and restaurant for you and your partner to unwind after a long day of flower-viewing.
Otaru Canal, Otaru
Completed in 1923, during the height of Westernization in Japan, Otaru Canal was opened as a means to transport goods from large ships to warehouses along the canal. It was a central trading feature that gradually became obsolete with the advent of modern dock facilities into the port city. Still, the canal remains were beautifully restored by the citizens of Otaru, and the warehouses have since been converted into shops, museums, and restaurants.
What sets this charming slice of history apart are its unique features. At night, the canal is lit by 63 old-fashioned gas lamps that lend a warm glow and a 1920s vibe. During the daytime, the canal itself is dotted with colorful flower boxes containing different blooms for a pleasant walk. There are rickshaws for rent for those who wish to immerse themselves in the experience.
A canal cruise is also available, departing from the Chuobashi Bridge and lasting 40 minutes. You may opt to go on the day cruise or the night one – our experts recommend that taking the night cruise is a far more romantic option.
Every February, a winter festival is held in Otaru around the same time as the nearby Sapporo Snow Festival. Just as in Sapporo, you’ll find the little town decked out in lights and snow statues that stay up for ten days. Otaru Canal serves as the main highlight for the town’s Snow Light Path Festival.
Cape Chikyu, Muroran
In little-known Muroran, the sleepy little town of Cape Chikyu is known for its steelwork and fishing industry. “Chikyu” literally translates to Earth, and here you’ll find arguably the most scenic panorama where the horizon curves distinctly, reminding you that the earth is round after all.
It is but one of eight specific scenic spots in Muroran called the Muroran-Hakkei. Climb up to the observation deck and find yourself in awe of the sheer vastness before you – there’s also a charming white lighthouse standing over the cliff. You’ll also find the Bell of Happiness here. According to local legend, it will bring you happiness and luck if you ring it.
For a truly romantic holiday, going on a ski date in Hokkaido is a great way to complete your trip.