Throughout the year, Hokkaido offers a bounty of natural expanses and tasty food

Hokkaido, the second largest of Japan's islands, is the country's Great White North. With superb skiing and snowboarding in resort towns like Niseko during the winter and cooler, drier summers than those down south, Hokkaido is a popular year-round destination. The seafood and produce are known to be some of the freshest and most delicious in Japan, and, unusually for Asia, it's also a center for dairy production. Be sure to try some of the local cheeses, ice creams and the creamy, dreamy butter. As Japan’s least developed island, Hokkaido has plenty of natural beauty to offer, such as seemingly endless fields of lavender in Furano, winter ice floes around the untouched Shiretoko Peninsula and hiking on Daisetsuzan, a fantastic place to admire autumn foliage.