Hokkaido Weather December Averages, Japan
What's the Weather like in Hokkaido in December
December is the time of year when Hokkaido morphs into the winter wonderland for which it is so famous. Although average temps are still bearable at the beginning of the month, they are fervently crispy towards the end, which is when this lovely island is once again covered by a blanket of pristine, white, fluffy powder. This when the yearly ski season begins in earnest!
The average temperature for December is only -1°C, although this is mostly due to the very sharp drop in temps mid-month. Travel here during the first two weeks, and you're likely to enjoy days of up to 10°C.
Monthly highs of 3°C and lows of -4°C may make for a bleak outlook on December, yet the increase in snowfalls makes this anything but a dull month to visit.
With only 2 hours of daily sunshine (one less than the preceding month of November) there may not be much light in the sky, but there will be plenty of the ground!
Rainfall is at its lowest levels in December, with Hokkaido seeing only 86mm of rain over the course of the month. There is 100mm of rainfall in Sapporo. The dry air makes this a lovely time to visit, as there is no freeze which a thick coat, hat and gloves can't control.
Average Sea Temperature
As the air temperature drop, so does the average sea temp, which in December is merely 10°C.
Hokkaido Hotels in December
The Club Med Sahoro
The Club Med Sahoro is said to be one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the whole country and a fantastic choice for families or large group of friends travelling together. At a time of year when heavy snowfall and icy roads make travelling around a challenge, it's brilliant to have the best of Hokkaido come to you in one, delightfully enticing place. You accommodation choices range in luxury and price, and the total price includes comprehensive kid's clubs to keep young and young-ish entertained all day, ski passes for all, a well stocked-gym, aerobic and other exercise classes, evening entertainment, three meals a day (including snacks and some alcoholic drinks) and, if you wish, also your flight and airport transfer from Chitose. If you're looking for a stress-free vacation then this is definitely a great option for you.
Sahoro Resort Hotel
On the foothills of majestic Mt Sahoro is also where you'll find the Sahoro Resort Hotel, a dedicated skiing mecca ideal for those who like a little more independence and a touch of Japanese flare. This is also a very convenient place to stay, as the bottom ski lift is found merely metres outside of the front door. This resort boasts both outdoor and indoor onsens and a sauna, as well as a spa offering various aromatherapy services. The addition of a kid's centre and child care also makes family vacationing very easy here.
Bars and Restaurants
Japan is a delectable epicurean destination, so aside the amazing skiing and onsen indulging you are also guaranteed a rather epic gastronomic adventure. Whilst the Japanese cuisine may seem exotic to many, it's worth noting that it's not nearly as adventurous as, say, traditional Chinese. This can only be good news for those who like to order blind or to simply point at some weird looking plate on a menu. Chances that it will be inedible to you are rather slim here.
Hokkaido boasts a few specialties of its own accord, with ramen noodle dishes, spicy sake and seafood pickles being among the most revered. Sapporo beer is arguably the most exported of all Hokkaido produce and you'll find it sold just about everywhere. The Japanese tend to drink their beer with their meals, so although there are no 'pubs' as such, there are plenty of eateries where beer varieties on offer are immense. Genghis Khan is a chain of BBQ grill joints which allow guests to cook their own meats (usually mutton but most often lamb) on specially made table grills, and are considered the closest thing to a beer garden in Japan. You'll find a branch in almost every city in Hokkaido, yet the Sapporo branch is said to serve the best food variety of all.
Things to do in Hokkaido in December
If you want to take advantage of Hokkaido's best powder, then book your flight to arrive in Sapporo, the island's capital city. Before heading off to the ski fields, spend a few days exploring this bustling city and discovering its wonderful attractions. Your first point of business should be to head up to the observatory of Mt Moiwa, from where you can enjoy uninterrupted and utterly breathtaking views of the city and outlining mountain ranges.
Yawaraginosato Hoheikyo Onsen
In the late afternoon, head to the charming Yawaraginosato Hoheikyo Onsen, a very relaxing thermal pool complex ideal for a family visit. You can spend a few hours here soaking your cold bones, sipping hot tea and delighting your taste buds in an authentic Japanese meal. This is certainly a feast for all the senses. The onsen is easily reached by free shuttle bus from the Sapporo JR station and the rather slow ride takes just over an hour. Set amidst natural surroundings in the outskirts of the city, this is actually a fantastic day trip destination. Rent some snow shoes and head off for a fun walk in the forest, or book a revitalising massage for the end of your stay. Package deals include onsen use, the activity of your choice and, funnily enough, an Indian curry dish for dinner.
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