Main City: Sapporo
Population: 5,183,000 people, ranking 8/47 prefecture (2021)
Area: 83,423 km2
Geographical / Landscape description
The island of Hokkaido is located at the north end of Japan, near Russia, and has coastlines on the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Pacific Ocean. The centre of the island has a number of mountains and volcanic plateaus and there are coastal plains in all directions. Major cities include Sapporo and Asahikawa in the central region and the port of Hakodate facing Honshu. Moreover, the islands count six active volcanoes.
Hokkaido is known for its relatively cool summers and icy winters. In winter, the heavy snowfall makes the region one of the most attractive for skiing, luring tourists from all of Asia and Oceania.
Recent history, culture
Hokkaido culture is strongly linked with the rich natural environment of the prefecture. It is home of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, who value harmony with nature and have a very traditional culture quite different from that of the Japanese.
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