Hokkaido is the second largest and most northern of Japan’s four islands, near Russia, with coastlines on the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk.
Hokkaido has at least five volcanoes that are considered active. There are many natural areas and national parks, with tourism an important part of the economy. People come from all over the world to ski in Hokkaido. If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know how much snow we get! Agriculture is also important to the economy in Hokkaido with wheat, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beet, onions, pumpkins, and corn grown here.
Eastern Hokkaido is well known to birdwatchers and is home to red-crested white cranes, which are a symbol of Japan. At the beginning of the twentieth century they were thought to be almost extinct, but now number about one thousand. With a wing span of two meters they are the largest birds in Japan.
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and the fifth largest city in Japan. It is famous for the Snow Festival and for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics.