Mar 23 2015 16 CommentsHokkaido: scenery and steel Hokkaido, Japan’s largest and northernmost prefecture, is well known for its beautiful scenery. But the island also has a fair amount of heavy industry, which unsurprisingly isn’t quite as easy on the eyes.
I guess it provides a lot of jobs so a ugly necessity? But I wouldn’t want to live near it. Looks like a major pollutant.
I suppose it does. Much needed jobs to be honest. Pretty rundown part of the country.
But yeah, we wondered what was being pumped out…
Hans ter Horst says
Quite the contrast, still I need to visit Hokkaido, it’s high up on my list; I then hope not to run into kind kind of areas too often there 🙂
The contrast of the beautiful landscapes and the industrial polluting areas reminds me of the time when I first took the shinkansen past Fuji-san and watched the industrial area with all the yellow smog against the dreamy quality of the volcano. Having said that, Fuji-san is also supposed to be a large garbage dump at the lower regions…
Can’t recommend it highly enough. Fascinating place and lovely people. Been great both times I’ve been. A real mixture of natural beauty, industry and decay. All being well I’ll definitely be back.
Yeah, know exactly what you mean about whizzing past Fuji. Doesn’t quite live up to the images we invariably see, does it?
That is quite a contrast. Clouds or pollution?!
To be fair, the stuff coming out of the chimneys wasn’t especially dirty looking, so I’ll say clouds. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely convinced.
Not the image I’ve always had of Hokkaido. I always wanted to go skiing there. Where abouts is this?
No, it’s certainly not the brochure or TV image. But that can arguably be said for most places if you dig even slightly beneath the surface. This was taken in Muroran, in the southeast of Hokkaido. Near-ish to some tourist spots, but not in any way a tourist spot itself.
Not anywhere near as bad as cities in China. This could pass for Pittsburgh, USA.
Yes, can’t argue with that at all. China is a completely different proposition. To be honest, the main reason this particular view â€“ and several other similar ones we saw â€“ interested me was because Hokkaido is always billed as a place to enjoy untouched natural beauty. A claim that in some areas is true, but there’s also a fair amount of industry and a huge amount of ugly, and often dilapidated structures. Quite a lot of it near the touristy areas too.
At least the buildings are interesting looking and colorful. Far prettier than the monstrosities we pass here in Texas. Much nicer background, too.
Yeah, that’s very true. The buildings might not be pretty, but they are pretty striking. Lit up at night it’s another story altogether from the photos I’ve seen, but time and a lack of transportation meant we couldn’t see it. Maybe next time…
I spent three days in Sapporo one August. The weather was perfect (no humidity to speak of) and the twilight reminded me of summer at home (Seattle). It really has a lot to offer and unlike all the major cities on Honshu, 30 minutes to an hour out of town and you’re in some pretty lovely countryside.
Been near Sapporo twice now, but never actually ventured into the city. Have explored some of the scenic spots nearby though, and yes, I couldn’t agree more. Some genuine lovely views.
It is noted how dark blue the sky becomes in the more northern latitudes. Beautiful !
It was beautiful. And even more beautiful as we were expecting grey, snow heavy skies. We got very, very lucky with the weather.