15. May 2022 | Nature

Hokkaido Trivia – How Cold Is Hokkaido?

You might still remember the Beijing Winter Olympics gold and silver speed skate medalist Miho Takagi.  She comes from Makubetsu in inland Hokkaido, freezing winter with little snow. The kind of place where good skaters are born.

In general, Hokkaido’s winter climate differs in regions.

(1) Northwest side facing the Sea of Japan: windy days with lots of snow
(2) Northeast side facing the Sea of Okhotsk: cold, sunny days with little snow (Abashiri)
(3) Southeast side facing the Pacific Ocean: cold foggy days with little snow
(4) Southwest side facing the Pacific Ocean: warm with little snow

When I came to Abashiri 15 years ago, winter temperature could easily drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius.  Can you imagine how it feels to have your nose hair freeze?😊  Recent years it hardly goes lower than minus 15 degrees.

Rikubetsu in inland which is also a “basin” surrounded by mountains has a record of minus 40 degrees Celsius.  The coldest town in Japan!

Hope this can be a little hint for you to enjoy your activities in Hokkaido in your future travels!