Hokkaido (83,423 km2 ) is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands. Japan's coldest region, Hokkaido’s weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures and frozen seas, while in summer it does not get as hot and humid as in the other parts of the country.
With its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the winter season. The generally high quality of powder snow and numerous mountains in Hokkaido make it a popular region for snow sports. The snowfall usually commences in early November and ski resorts such as Niseko, Furano, Teine and Rusutsu usually operate between December and April.
Unlike the other major islands of Japan, Hokkaido is normally not affected by the June–July rainy season and the relative lack of humidity and typically warm, rather than hot summer weather, makes its climate an attraction for hikers, cyclists and campers from other parts of Japan. The summer season is considered to be from June to September.