Home to snow-capped peaks and the cavernous forests of Japan's wild north, the island of Hokkaido is a mecca for outdoor adventurers. Topped by the urban crown of Sapporo, the prefecture's neon-lit capital, Hokkaido combines metropolitan sparkle with exceptional skiing opportunities and the unspoiled beauty of three spectacular national parks. Before flocking to its natural wonders, join a Sapporo sightseeing tour to visit popular attractions including Hitsujigaoka Observatory Hill, the chocolate-themed Shiroi Koibito Park, and the Historic Village of Hokkaido. The city makes a convenient launchpad for day trips to Lake Shikotsu; the hot springs of Hoheikyo Onsen; the emerald Nopporo Forest Park; and Otaru, where you can take a rickshaw tour through this seaside town steeped in Japanese tradition. Winter-sport enthusiasts will be in heaven; ski on the world-class slopes of Niseko or experience smelt ice fishing in Kushiro before heading to the further-flung corners of Furano and Biei, famed for panoramic vistas and flower-filled fields. Meanwhile, the crystal-clear lakes, bubbling volcanoes, and steaming onsens of Daisetsuzan National Park beg to be explored by intrepid outdoor adventurers. If you're traveling to Hokkaido from Tokyo or Osaka, go by plane to shorten your journey time, as it can take up to 24-hours by car and will still require at least nine hours of travel time by bullet train.