Pedalling in the snow

Fatbiking in winter

Fat-tire biking – “fatbiking” – has become an extremely popular outdoor activity recently. They are basically mountain bikes fitted with fat tires, built to ride on soft terrain like sand or snow. Fatbiking is an one-of-a-kind, fun way to explore Hokkaido both in summer and especially in winter.

There are many fatbiking tours available, from easy city rides in Sapporo (2-3 hours) that take you to the city’s famous sites, to more adventurous rides in the rugged wilderness on the northern shores of Hokkaido along the Okhotsk Sea.

Some unique tours here include riding along the shoreline around Abashiri at the edge of Okhotsk’s famous drift ice, or riding the winter cycling route between Notori and Tokoro (10km along the coast). Experience the unique sensation of pedalling across the soft snow with a gorgeous view of drifting sea ice.

Want to taste some fresh local food too? You can also ride across the frozen surface of Lake Abashiri, where you can feast on freshly-caught wakasagi (Japanese smelt) or visit the Drift Ice Festival to try local winter cuisine at Yatai Mura food village. There are also night-time tours for winter stargazing. 

Check out Hokkaido Okhotsk (Japanese only) for details on the tours. For more fun activities in winter in Hokkaido, visit



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