Best during winter! Five spots to enjoy the night views in Hokkaido
Winter is the time of year when the night views in Hokkaido are most beautiful. The combination of the softly falling snow and the glimmering nightscape under a clear sky is stunning. Here, we’re introducing five spots in Hokkaido to enjoy the night view, from the most popular to the lesser-known.
A writer based in Sapporo. Enchanted by the prefecture’s delicious cuisine and beautiful sightseeing spots, I currently run the blog “Hokkaido Life” to introduce information about Hokkaido. A coffee-lover, I can often be found cafe-hopping.
1. Mount Hakodate
Mount Hakodate in Hakodate City, located in the south of Hokkaido, is considered one of the “Top Three Night Views” in Japan. It has long been popularly called the “Million Dollar Night View” because of its beauty, and is well known not only in Hokkaido but also throughout Japan.
The best time to visit is from twilight to nightfall. The city is painted orange with the approach of sunset, gradually glowing brighter with lights as dusk falls until finally, the panorama shimmers jewel-like in the night. You won’t want to miss a second of this gradual, mesmerizing transformation of the nightscape.
The view from Mount Hakodate is lovely in photographs, but it’s certainly one you will want to see with your own eyes.
2. Mount Moiwa
Located in Sapporo, Mount Moiwa was selected as one of the “Japan’s New Three Most Spectacular Night Views” in October 2015. It sits in the center of the city, offering a panoramic view of the Sapporo nightscape.
“Magnificent” is the one word that best describes the 531-meter-high night view. The multitude of lights shining under the vast sky in Hokkaido’s largest city creates a view you will want to sear into your memory, not just keep in a photo.
Mount Moiwa is also known as a “Lovers’ Sanctuary,” and you can ring the “Bell of Happiness” at the summit. There is also a photo spot, so make sure to snap a picture to remember the evening.
3. Mount Tengu
Mount Tengu is situated in Otaru, a city to the west of Sapporo. It boasts a night view that is deemed one of “Hokkaido’s Top Three Night Views.”
You can enjoy the vast panorama of the Otaru cityscape against the expansive Sea of Japan.
There are four viewing areas on Mount Tengu, each one presenting a different scene of the city. Among them is the 1st observation deck, located closest to the city below. The view from there is breathtaking, the glimmering nightscape stretching out right before your eyes. The ropeway that runs nearby is also a great place to take pictures with the night view as your backdrop.
4. Wakkanai Park
Japan’s northernmost night view can be enjoyed at Wakkanai Park, from which you can look down at Wakkanai City. Stretching out below is the Port of Wakkanai, with the lights of the traveling ships and ferries creating a magical scene. It is a kind of dynamic nighttime panorama.
It is also the only spot in Japan that offers a night view of the Rishiri and Rebun islands.
Wakkanai Park is a relatively dim-lit spot, and if the weather is good, you’ll be met with a sky full of stars. The nightscape and starry sky in Hokkaido’s crisp, clear air will be an unforgettable experience.
5. Muroran Factory Night View
To the south of Sapporo is Muroran City, a night view spot that has been garnering attention in recent years. The factory and cityscape blend into a nighttime spectacle that is unique to Muroran. There are approximately ten viewing spots and offers its own different view from a different angle of the Muroran Factory in the night.
The city is flanked by the ocean on three sides, a trait that allows you to see the night view from both land and sea. If you board the night cruise, you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama you won’t be able to see from land. Hakucho-ohashi Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in eastern Japan, also lights up to create a captivating, 1,380-meter-long spectacle.
Enjoy a uniquely Hokkaido night view
Such as with snow festivals, many people imagine snow to be Hokkaido’s main wintertime hallmark. However, with its clear air, Hokkaido is also a place where you can set eyes on magnificent night views.
We highly recommend heading out to one of the night view spots mentioned above after a day of sightseeing and eating. There are many more night view spots than the ones we mentioned above. For example, if you want to see a factory night view, Tomakomai is also a good place to visit as you can get close to the factories.
The Hokkaido nightscapes that shimmer like jewels will surely embellish the memories of your trip.
*The information herein is as of October 2021.
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