Quick Trips

The seafood section of Sapporo’s Nijo Market isn’t on the scale of Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market — but the monster king crabs for sale there look like they could compete for Japan’s crustacean crown.

Jozankei Onsen is a hot spot for those seeking a relaxing getaway in Hokkaido

A great place to relax after a hard day of skiing or marveling at snow sculptures is only an hour’s drive or bus ride from downtown Sapporo. Jozankei is one of Hokkaido’s most popular hot springs drawing 1.6 million visitors each year, including 180,000 foreigners — twice as many as came a decade ago.

Celebrate all things sweet at the Shiroi Koibito Park, dedicated to Hokkaido’s famous souvenir

On Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, Shiroi Koibito is, quite possibly, the region’s most popular omiyage, and has attained an almost mythical status among Hokkaido’s visitors.

Warm winter waters off the coast of Okinawa draw whales, watchers

The Kerama Islands are only about 25 miles from Naha — just an hour-long ferry ride away. During the winter season, the waters surrounding the small group of islands transforms into one of the best whale-watching spots in the world.

Enjoy stunning views of Sapporo atop Hokkaido’s Mount Moiwa

If you fare well in cold weather, or own enough warm clothing, you can experience some spectacular views of Hokkaido’s largest city from the summit of Mount Moiwa.

Churaumi Aquarium offers family-friendly respite from Okinawa’s heat and rain

One of the most famous features of the Churaumi Aquarium is the massive Kuroshio Sea tank, which holds nearly 2 million gallons of water and measures more than 115 feet in length.

Flower power: Winter no match for nature’s blooms on Okinawa

On Okinawa, hanami is more subdued compared to the hanami celebrations on the mainland. Here, hanami is less about bentos and beer and more about enjoying nature.

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