Charming bushy ears, squirrels survive cold winter

Winter, get close to wildlife

Maruyama Park

The northern landscape is closed off by the deep snow. While many mammals hibernate, Hokkaido squirrels are energetically active on the snow. They live in the forests in various parts of Hokkaido, but you can normally see them in city suburbs, and they are surprisingly familiar wild animals. Maruyama Park in the city of Sapporo is a place where you have a chance of observing these squirrels easily scampering around. The attractive long bushy ears of the Hokkaido squirrels are something that you will only see during the winter. It increases their cuteness.

Hokkaido squirrels do not hibernate

The Hokkaido squirrels are about 25 cm long, and unlike the chipmunks that also live in Hokkaido, they do not hibernate. They build nests in the high parts of hollow trees. They survive the harsh winter by eating the remaining nuts that have not been buried by the snow, plant seeds in hollow trees and wintering insects.

Looking for footprints on the snow

When looking for Hokkaido squirrels, pay attention to what is underfoot. While squirrels are creatures that are very cautious and hide, their footprints are not hidden. Sometimes you will discover the small, cute footprints of Hokkaido squirrels continuing like dots in snowy fields.

Soup curry

A popular dish that originated in Sapporo. This spicy soup is characterized by being full of unboned chicken and Hokkaido vegetables. You should definitely make the rounds of the many restaurants in Sapporo that specialize in this dish and compare the flavor.

Snow Light Path in Jozankei Onsen

Sapporo’s Okuzashiki Jozankei Onsen hot spring. The “Snow Light Path” (yukitouro in Japanese) that is held at the beginning of February is an event that is not to be missed. The lights of countless snow candles magically color this wintery hot spring town.


Location/Access Maruyama Park: 3 Chome Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
It is about 36 minutes from the New Chitose Airport to the JR Sapporo Station. Transfer to the Tozai subway line and it is about seven minutes to the Maruyama Park Station. From there, the park is five minutes on foot.
Inquiries Maruyama Park
TEL 011-621-0453

Jozankei Hot Springs Tourism Association
TEL 011-598-2012

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