Hokkaido is one of my new favorite places in Japan to visit, known for its natural beauty. I recommend getting a tour guide, like Discover Hokkaido Tours so you can enjoy visiting some of these beautiful nature spots without having to guess where to go. Our lovely guide was Ms. Kaori Takamatsu and Mr. Iguchi Hiro-san was our driver of a luxury minivan equipped with an infant car seat (so we didn’t even need to pack one on our trip).
Our favorite baby friendly places to visit in Hokkaido;
1.) Ezo Fuji.
We enjoyed the beautiful Mt. Yotei, also known as ‘”Ezo Fuji’ or Hokkaido Mt. Fuji” located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is also called Yezo Fuji or Ezo Fuji (蝦夷富士), “Ezo” being an old name for the island of Hokkaido, because it resembles Mount Fuji. (Source: Wikipedia) There are beautiful farms along the way, so I snapped a quick photo while we were driving to give you an idea of how gorgeous this is.
Nakayama Pass is a great location to view Ezo Fuji and get some pretty photos. It also has a rest stop in case you need to stop and use the restroom or nurse your baby.
2) Kubota No-en or Kubota Farm.
We couldn’t resist stopping at a cute farm along the side of the road, on our way to Lake Toya. This was such a cute market with local produce, especially known for their asparagus. They had an abundance of white and green asparagus Baby Blake decided to chew on some to soothe his teething. He also made friends with the goats and rabbits they had on their cute farm.
3) Lake Toya Observatory
The scenery here was just breathtaking. I couldn’t stop taking photos of the caldera. We enjoyed the panoramic view of Mt. Usu, which is an active volcano. This is the exact location where the media broadcasted the last eruption of Mt. Usu in the year of 2000. There is also an area with a large patch of grass where your baby can crawl or walk around. Blake enjoyed admiring flowers and exploring grass for the first time.
4) Wakasaimo Hompo
This is a great spot to get lunch, and it’s very baby friendly, with traditional Japanese seating and they provide chairs for your little one. It’s located on the shore of Lake Toya. The tempura veggies and soba noodles were amazing here.
Baby Blake discovered Chawan-mushi to be delicious. Chawan-mushi (茶碗蒸し, literally “tea cup steam” or “steamed in a tea bowl”) is an egg custard dish found in Japan. The custard consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, dashi, and mirin, with numerous ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko, yuri-ne (lily root), and ginkgo. (Source: Wikipedia).
5) Noboribetsu Jigoku-dani/ Hell Valley
Jigokudani (地獄谷) or “Hell Valley” is a spectacular valley just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen, which displays hot steam vents, sulfurous streams and other volcanic activity. It is a main source of Noboribetsu‘s hot spring waters.
From the valley, there are attractive walking trails through the wooded hills above Noboribetsu. If you follow them for about 20 to 30 minutes, you will get to Oyunuma, a sulfurous pond with a surface temperature of 50 degrees Celsius and a smaller, even hotter, mud pond nearby. (Source: Japan Guide)
6) Noboribetsu Grand Hotel
My husband and baby enjoyed our own private hot spring here. I recommend making reservations in advance. It’s very baby friendly and even has a safe place to put your baby while you enjoy the hot springs. Our room came with a cute chair, water toys and mini bath for our baby to enjoy the water also.
7) Farm Tomita
This is one of the highlights of Hokkaido in my opinion. It’s best to visit this farm in the middle of July when the lavender flowers are in blossom. Lavender and various colorful flowers are planted on the farm, and they are in their full glory from spring to autumn. There are many facilities on the farmland: display areas for flower arrangements, a gallery exhibiting photos of the flowers of the four seasons on the farm, a museum, a distillery house where lavender essential oil is extracted, gift shops and cafes. Walking around the flower gardens is free throughout the year, from sunrise to sunset. The farmland can become terribly crowded during the times when the flowers are in bloom and during long holidays in Japan. Despite its location in Hokkaido, the area sometimes has unexpectedly high temperatures during the daytime in summer so you should visit the farm in early morning of a weekday to fully enjoy the beautiful landscape. The farm’s gift shops and cafes are open approximately from 8:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m., but the times can change depending on the season. (Source: Japan Hoppers)
We would definitely visit here again and take our time enjoying some of the sites and exploring new ones with our little one.