The beautiful country of Japan is an exciting place to explore, especially those away from the crowds of Tokyo. Chitose, a city in the Ishikari subprefecture, and its surrounding areas in Hokkaido makes a great potential destination due to its beautiful natural surroundings. Those planning to go here can visit through New Chitose Airport, located more or less three miles away from the city. It is one of the busiest ports of entry in Japan, handling about an average of over 15 million passengers every year.
New Chitose Airport, built in 1991, is a replacement for the adjacent airport that now exclusively serves the Japanese self-defence forces. This port of entry serves the Sapporo metropolitan area with many of the passengers coming from within Japan. The rest of the flights include international destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as direct connections to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Russia and Guam.
What to see & do
The wide-ranging natural sights of Chitose make charming locales for travellers to visit in the area. Shikotsu-Tōya National Park is one of the popular nature spots around here, attracting various tourists to more than 900 square kilometres of its territory. Those going here will find outdoor activities, such as exploring the volcanic caldera lakes that formed the hot springs the park is well known for. Noboribetsu is the top resort within the park where one can stay for a while and relax with spa treatments. Others more interested in outside fun can head to the mountains in the area, which offer breathtaking views for those who reach the summits.
Fishing is also popular here, as the 'chippu' or the red salmon thrive in the waters of Lake Shikotsu. Visitors can hire boats to go on a fishing trip or cruise around the area to see the Indian Fish Wheel. Those curious about its purpose will find that it collects the chippu returning to spawn during the summer. This collection is part of the conservation plan set on Lake Shikotsu to protect the area from overfishing.
Those going in wintertime to this area can also venture to Mount Eniwa, a dormant volcano. Skiing and sledding are popular here due to the steep inclines of the mountains. This made it become the activity area of the 1972 Winter Olympics, which ushered in a massive amount of tourists in the area. Those coming in other times of the year will also find Mount Eniwa perfect for hiking. Professional hikers will have fun, as the climb grows progressively steeper as one goes up to the peak.
After exploring the scenery in Chitose, one can head to other parts of Sapporo to continue the journey. Visitors can check out Ōdōri Kōen, a long park that takes about one block of the city. Those going here can join in the
city's major events and festivals. There is also a TV Tower at the eastern end of the park, which rather stands out amidst the green. It makes for an interesting sight, however, as it somehow represents modern Japan living with its traditional values.
How to get around within Chitose
When in Chitose, travellers will find a variety of public transportation to move from one area to another. The bus network is the most common and fairly reliable option in the area. Taxis can also be found in different parts of the city for those going to see its landmarks. Those going to the national parks, on the other hand, might have to arrange for private transport or look for shuttle buses transporting passengers to the area. Travellers connecting to Sapporo will also find various train services going around the region, with one connecting to Tokyo.
How to get there
Travellers going to visit the area can schedule incoming flights via New Chitose Airport. Airlines serving here include Aeroflot, Air China, Air Do, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Eastar Jet, EVA Air, Fuji Dream Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Ibex Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, Jetstar Japan, Jin Air, Korean Air, Peach, Singapore Airlines, Skymark Airlines, Spring Airlines, T'way Airlines, Thai Airlines, TransAsia Airways, United Airlines, and Vanilla Air.
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