Otaru

Otaru is a port city on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, about 25 minutes from its capital, Sapporo. Otaru thrived as a trading center until the mid 20th century when coal mines around the city started to run dry. Today, Otaru serves as a bedroom community for the Sapporo workforce as well as a wonderful…

Moerenuma Park

In the world of man-made parks, few can rival the beauty of Moerenuma Park in Sapporo. Artist Isamu Noguchi designed the park as one huge¬†sculpture, built on the site of a waste treatment plant. Vast areas of green space are broken up by amazing geometric play structures, water features and even a 100m hill that…

Hokkaido Inu

Not to be confused with its smaller cousin the Shiba Inu, the Hokkaido were bred as family protectors and hunters on Japan’s northern most island for which they are named. Hokkaido, Shiba, Akita and other similar looking breeds are all Spitz types dogs, with thick fur coats, short pointy ears and a curly tail. Though…