Hokkaido prefectural symbol
- % water
- Total (Jan 1, 2003)
|Pref. Flower:||Sweet briar|
|Pref. Bird:||Red-crowned crane|
Hokkaidō (北海道, literal meaning: "North Sea Circuit"), formally known as Yezo, is the second largest island of Japan. The Tsugaru Strait separates it from Honshu, although it is connects to Honshu through a submarine train tunnel, or Seikan tunnel. The largest city on Hokkaido is Sapporo, which is the capital of Hokkaido prefecture.
Hokkaido has been the homeland of the Ainu race since time immemorial. Many place names are in fact derived from Ainu language such as Sapporo.
It is divided into four parts:
- Eastern Circuit (道東): 網走, 知床, 阿寒湖, 屈斜路湖, 摩周湖, 釧路, 帯広, 十勝川
- Southern Circuit (道南): Sapporo(札幌), 定山溪, 支笏湖, 洞爺湖, 登別, 小樽 , 函館, 湯の川;
- Central Circuit (道央): 富良野, 美瑛, 旭川, 層雲峽
- Northern Circuit (道北): 稚内
- 6 national parks:
- 知床 Shiretoko N.P
- 阿寒 Akan N.P.
- 釧路湿原 Kushiro Marshlands N.P.
- 大雪山 Taisetsuzan N.P.
- 支笏洞爺 Shikotsu-Toya N.P.
- 利尻礼文サロベツ Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu N.P
- 5 quasi-national parks (準国立公園)
- 12 circuital natural reserves