Chef Tomoyuki Kon frowns as he ponders potatoes. Not any old potatoes, but those grown on Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido – and in particular, he is trying to pin down precisely why they are so tasty.
I am surveying fields of sundrenched green crops growing beneath cartoon blue skies – when farmer Satoru Urushihara suddenly crouches down next to me. Without a moment’s hesitation, he digs deeply into the soil with his fingers – and, with a sudden tug, a large white bulb materializes in his hand.
Green forests. Peaked mountains. Aromatic whiskeys. Powder snow. Delicious vegetables. Hot spring onsen. It’s impossible to list all the reasons why I always love visiting Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. But for starters, here are ten good reasons to jump on a plane and start exploring.