• Hokkaido Airports Co., Ltd. (Chitose) and Hakodate Airport Terminal Building Co., Ltd. (Hakodate) have begun a verification experiment of a ‘remote guidance service’ at the General Information Desk on the first floor of the Domestic Passenger Terminal Building of Hakodate Airport, where staff members answer users' questions via an avatar (animated character) on the screen. The experiment, the first of its kind in Hokkaido, was conducted until December 8.

  • The ‘Airport Limousine Carriage,’ a horse-drawn carriage ride from Tokachi Obihiro Airport, on which to enjoy the rural scenery of the Tokachi region of eastern Hokkaido, was operated on a trial basis for the first time on November 21. The participants enjoyed the carriage ride while experiencing the equine culture that played a role in Tokachi’s development.

  • A cottage for high-end users has been completed at the Feriendorf glamping resort in the village of Nakasatsunai in the Tokachi region of eastern Hokkaido. The cottage has a luxurious interior complete with glittering chandeliers and high-quality furniture. The accommodation, which is surrounded by trees, is available for rent from December 1, at a rate of 150,000 yen per night (for four people), with two meals included. The aim is to meet the demands of more affluent customers from Hokkaido and beyond.

  • Tokachi City Design, the managing company of several businesses located in Obihiro City including "Hotel Nupka", will develop new types of sightseeing tours using Tokachi horse culture. A model tour was held from November 6 to 8. It provided a hands-on experience of the history of the Tokachi area as it grew together with the horses that were used in land development and agriculture, and also featured visits to places such as the Obihiro Racecourse to see Banei sled horse racing. This was the first model tour ever to include these features. Tokachi City Design plans to identify points for improvement in the tour and work towards offering it as a commercial tour from the next fiscal year onward.

  • On November 12, the Donan Isaribi Tetsudo (South Hokkaido Railway) began operating a ‘nighttime view train’ service on which the train’s interior lights are dimmed to allow passengers to enjoy the nighttime view from the windows of the train. Passengers were able to see the city of Hakodate across the sea, as well as the lights of the squid fishing boats.

  • The three-party team-up of the Hokkaido government, AIRDO, and the Nintendo partner company "Pokémon" (Tokyo) announced on November 8 that starting on December 1 for flights between New Chitose and Haneda, etc., AIRDO will be using a special decorated Boeing 767 (270 seats) with a theme based on characters from the popular game "Pocket Monsters".

  • The local tradition of lighting up the Otaru Canal in the Central Hokkaido city of Otaru is happening right now. Approximately ten thousand blue LED lights are shining, and the magical "Blue Canal" scene delights sightseers.

  • The Soya Scenic Byway route management representatives' meeting in Northern Hokkaido carried out a ‘cycle tourism’ monitor project for a new type of sightseeing using bicycles. Being able to experience the beauty and aromas is the appeal of riding a bicycle amid the abundant nature. The initiative aims to switch tourism in the Soya region from ‘transit-type’ to a ‘stay-type’, which is expected to increase consumption in the region after the Coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control. Our reporter pedaled with the monitors to discover a new style of travel.

  • The Funka Bay Toyoura Tourist Association in the town of Toyoura in central Hokkaido is working on the development of a travel program for hands-on ‘adventure travel (AT)’ which is popular in Europe and the United States, as a tourism promotion policy in anticipation of the spread of the Coronavirus being brought under control. In consideration of the international AT conference ‘Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS)’ to be held in Hokkaido in 2023, the association is seeking to create tours that incorporate the appeal of Funka Bay’s nature and the Ainu culture.

  • On October 14th, a stream-walking and autumn foliage viewing tour to Shiraoi Falls, one of the ‘three famous waterfalls of Shiraoi’ was held in the Shiraoi River which flows through the town of Shiraoi in central Hokkaido. Participants enjoyed the changing autumn scenery as they walked slowly along the beautiful ‘green tuff’ riverbed formed by the accumulation of volcanic ash.