Geography of Hokkaido
Japan in the world
                                               Map of Hokkaido

139°20’ – 148°53’ E. Long. 41°21’ – 45°33’ N. Lat.
Despite being at the northern tip of Japan, Hokkaido is located on similar latitudes to major American and European cities.
83,456 km2 (including 5,036 km2 of the Northern Territories) Accounting for 22% of the total area of Japan (October 2007), it is the largest prefecture and is equivalent to the size of Austria or twice that of the Netherlands or Switzerland.
5,627,737 (according to the 2005 National Census), which accounts for approximately 4.4% of Japan’s total population.
Of these, 1.88 million are concentrated in Sapporo. Population density is 67 persons/km2 (1/5 of the national average).
Hokkaido’s annual mean temperature is around 10.0ºC, which is similar to that of Chicago or Boston in North America.
Hokkaido enjoys four distinct seasons with no rainy season and a cool, refreshing summer with low humidity. In winter, there is considerable snowfall on the Sea of Japan side and there are many days with freezing temperatures even in the daytime.
Surrounded in all four directions by the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, Hokkaido is home to a variety of magnificent mountains, extensive wetlands, beautiful lakes, marshes, rivers, forests and more. With expansive farmland, also referred to as the breadbasket of Japan, the prefecture produces a variety of products, consisting mainly of rice, dry-field crops, and dairy and livestock products.
Hokkaido has two volcanic zones, along which many volcanoes and hot springs exist.
  Administrative division  
Hokkaido is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It has 180 municipalities in total – 35 cities, 130 towns and 15 villages – the largest number of municipalities in any one prefecture (as of March 31, 2006).
  Japan’s Northern Territories  
The territorial issues over four northern islands – Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai Islands – remain unresolved with Russia since 1945. The Hokkaido Bureau, recognizing the economic difficulties of the Nemuro area, which formerly had strong economic links with the territories, places great emphasis on promoting activities that contribute to improving the area’s prospects.
Comparison of areas
Topography of Japan and comparison of areas
Four seasons in Hokkaido
With its rich and spectacular natural environment, Hokkaido is ideal for leisure and recreational activities.
Cherry trees along Nijukken Road
Rafting on the Shiribetsu River
Autumn leaves at Lake Akan
Drift ice on the Sea of Okhotsk
Comparison of mean temperatures
Comparison of mean temperatures of Sapporo and major cities in the world.



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