Hokkaido

Lotteria serves up Shinkansen H5 Series Set to mark inaugural bullet train service to Hokkaido

Because the best way to celebrate the arrival of a fast train is with a serving of fast food.

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We try McDonald’s Japan’s new, as-yet-unnamed, Hokkaido hot potato burger

We got a sneak peek at McDonald’s Japan’s upcoming menu item: a burger topped with Hokkaido-grown mashed potato, cheese, and onion soy sauce.

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Hokkaido’s Shikaribetsuko Kotan — the beautiful village of ice that melts away in the spring

Imagine a beautiful remote lake in Hokkaido. Now, how would you like to stay there in a village made entirely of ice that exists only for one winter season?

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Japan’s train otaku ruin the sweet story of the lone schoolgirl and her train station

Japan’s feel-good story of the year takes a depressing turn as the lone passenger who made headlines is harassed by camera-toting otaku.

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Snow Miku is back, and this time she’s collaborating with μ’s from Love Live!

It’s less than a month till the Snow Miku 2016 festival! And even more fans will be delighted this year, as Miku teams up with μ’s from Love Live!

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Devoted David Bowie fan in Japan attempts to commit suicide following rock legend’s death

The announcement of David Bowie’s passing certainly came as a terrible shock, but perhaps just as shocking is the news of one Japanese fan’s attempted suicide in response to the star’s death.

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Train continues to stop at rural station for lone schoolgirl until she graduates in March

The story of the lone schoolgirl and the country train that takes her to school every day is capturing hearts around the world.

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Japanese restaurant lets generous customers pay for extra meals, needy customers eat for free

Celebrate the season of giving (and receiving!) all year round.

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Characters from Japan’s “oldest manga” return to enjoy Star Wars goodies in clever promotion

Japan’s rabbits, frogs and monkeys from a long, long time ago are collecting goodies from a galaxy far, far away.

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Eat up, take off – The 20 best airport restaurants in Japan, as chosen by travelers

20 mouth-watering reasons to check in early for your flight.

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Love Japanese hot springs? At Nakadake Onsen in Hokkaido, you can dig your own!

Two of the best ways to experience the pleasures of rural Japan are a long hike and a leisurely dip in a hot spring, or onsen, as they’re called in Japanese. With the country’s chains of volcanic mountains, there are plenty of spots where you where you can do both in the same day, with onsen resorts often not too far from where mountain trails start or end.

But instead of booking a room in an inn with a hot spring, you can do something even better in this part of Hokkaido by digging your own onsen!

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Michelin-listed ramen restaurant will turn you into a tiger with a single bite

It wasn’t so long ago that you’d hear expats and travelers in Japan express shock over the concept of sitting down in a restaurant and paying good money for a bowl of ramen. Seriously, aren’t those the cheap, instant noodles that college students, bachelors, and other people too lazy to cook survive off of?

Things are very different today, though. Ramen is currently the hottest segment of Japanese cuisine in the international dining community, with restaurants dedicated to it opening up in cities across the U.S. The humble noodles’ stock has risen so high that this ramen restaurant in Hokkaido is listed in the esteemed Michelin guide, so we decided to see if it was deserving of the honor.

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Newlyweds on honeymoon in Japan beat up convenience store clerk, get arrested

Although my wife and I have taken several trips together since getting married, we still haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. My old job required me to work weekends and I couldn’t take any time off around the date of our wedding ceremony, so I was back in the office two days after saying “I do.”

As such, my wife and I didn’t get to do the typical newlywed travel activities. You know, things like toasting each other with champagne every night for a week, lounging on the beach and giggling as we call each other Mr. and Mrs. Baseel, or beating the hell out of a convenience store clerk, like the Chinese newlyweds who are not only just married, but were also just arrested in Japan.

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That moment when Google Maps tells you there’s a crab claw somewhere…and there actually is!

Japan is full of places with unusual names, like Kinugawa (“Angry Demon River”), which caused all the flooding earlier this month. So, it’s understandable that when someone sees a place marked Crab Claw (“カニの爪” pronounced “kani no tsume”) on Google Maps, they might think it’s the name of a hill or some quirky little fishing village.

But one Japanese Twitter user decided to investigate and went to get a look at what this “Crab Claw” actually was. It turns out Google Maps wasn’t being coy or silly — it was being 100 percent literal!

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Domestic culture shock – 30 things people from Hokkaido experience when they move to Tokyo

When foreigners first move to Tokyo, they’re often amazed and overwhelmed by Japan’s biggest bustling metropolis. But sometimes culture shock can be more localized, and just because you haven’t left the country doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises in store when you move to a new town.

Hokkaido has more than five times the area of any other Japanese prefecture, and the lowest population density in the country to boot. So when someone born and raised on the northern island moves down south to Tokyo, which is more than 90 times as crowded as Hokkaido, he’s sure to be surprised by a lot of things, and here are 30 of them.

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Fisherman catches unreal-looking fish off the coast of Japan, turns out to be quite harmless

Yikes! What must have been going through the minds of a group of Japanese fishermen when they caught the shocking fish pictured above off the coast of Hokkaido? It’s a face that could keep anyone up at night with that gargantuan, gaping mouth.

Actually, on second thought, the big guy’s kind of growing on us…

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Hokkaido’s “White Shell Road” is gorgeous, makes us want to take a road trip! 【Photos】

In Hokkaido, there is an area of hilly countryside along the Souya Cape in Wakkanai, with peaks reaching from 20 to 400 metres above sea level. The area, known as Souyakyuuryou, features an idyllic backdrop of the Soya Strait, and with its wind farm and rolling hills it’s said to be reminiscent of the Netherlands. (It also reminds some people of the Ghibli classic Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!)

But by far the coolest thing about the area is that it also has a country road that used to be a plain old dirt road until they decided to make it pretty – with crushed white shells!

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Man exposes himself in Hokkaido, Twitter wonders if it was Death Note’s Ryuk

A tweet by UHB News, a Hokkaido-based news show, received a lot of attention online late last week for its description of an unusual event involving a case of public exposure. Though nothing anyone would consider especially important news, the tweet was retweeted over 10,000 times in just a few days.

What could have engaged that many people? Well, if you’re a fan of Death Note, you might recognize a certain part of this description…

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Rice field art: Star of Ted 2 appears in Japanese rice field this summer

Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

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Our 7 best conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo

When you think of the Hokkaido city of Sapporo, you probably think of winter. After all, this is the city that hosts the annual Yuki Matsuri snow festival where massive ice sculptures line its bustling streets, and millions of people stop by the city every year while en route to Niseko for some ski or snowboarding fun.

But when Japanese people think of Sapporo, they tend to think summer, when the far-north metropolis boasts cool, mild weather and abundant nature in a season where much of Honshu is blanketed in oppressive heat and humidity; the kind that makes you physically angry every time you step out the door.

Anticipating an influx of Japanese tourists to the area, our Japanese sister site recently put together its top picks for the best conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo, and we thought we’d share, since, honestly, Sapporo is a really, really nice place to visit this time of year and their seafood is to die for.

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