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Hokkaido ranked most popular part of Japan for Japanese

2020年06月17日 09時00分

Hokkaido continues to be ranked as the most popular area in Japan among Japanese people. According to a survey on the attractiveness of areas around Japan conducted annually by a private research company in Tokyo, Hokkaido ranked first in 2019 for the 11th consecutive year. Kyoto was ranked second and Tokyo third.

Hokkaido has a population of 5.24 million, the eighth largest of the 47 prefectures in Japan. It covers an area of 83,456 km² and is blessed with beautiful nature. Its population density is the lowest in Japan at 66 people/km², just one-ninth of that in Tokyo.

Its rich nature and delicious food attract many tourists. In FY 2018, 55.2 million people visited Hokkaido. The number of overseas visitors has also been increasing, from less than 1 million annually until FY 2012 to more than 3 million in FY 2018.

The average annual temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius, and the winter low is below -10 degrees Celsius. Western Hokkaido in particular has a lot of snow and is home to many ski areas. Above all, the Niseko area has become popular as an international winter resort, attracting substantial foreign investment in businesses such as hotel development.

Hotels in the Niseko area

The economy of Hokkaido is relatively stable. Its gross domestic product in FY 2016 was approximately 19 trillion yen. The income per capita was 2,617,000 yen.

The main industry is the wholesale and retail trade, which accounts for 12.8% of total production. Other industries include real estate (11%), manufacturing (10.1%), and health and social services (10%), which refers to medical and nursing services. The percentage of the construction industry is 7.4%, which exceeds the national average of 5.6%.

The annual construction investment in Hokkaido in FY 2017 was approximately 3 trillion yen, which accounted for 5.5% of Japan’s total. Of this amount, private investment was 1,251.4 billion yen and public investment was 1,768.4 billion yen. There are 19,478 construction companies (constructors licensed by the government), of which 96% have a capital of less than 50 million yen.

The most developed city in Hokkaido is Sapporo, which has a population of 1.96 million. The Hokkaido Government and other administrative agencies, as well as numerous company headquarters, are concentrated in the city.

In the spring of 2031, Sapporo will be connected to Tokyo by the Shinkansen bullet train line. Operation of the Shinkansen started in the Hakodate area in southern Hokkaido in 2016, enabling people to travel from Tokyo Station to the area in just over four hours.

It is estimated that the economic effect of the extension of the Shinkansen to Sapporo will be 2.5 trillion yen during the construction period, and that there will be a positive impact of more than 140 billion yen per year after the opening of the section.

The City of Sapporo aims to host the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The economic ripple effect of the Olympics in Hokkaido is expected to be 966 billion yen.

Investment in airport development in Hokkaido has also started. Since January 2020, a private company has operated seven airports in Hokkaido. This company plans to spend 429 billion yen to improve the airports over the next 30 years.

New Chitose Airport International Terminal Building

Please pay marked attention to the topic of economic development in Hokkaido.

(This article has been newly written for this page.)

Sources: “Regional Brand Survey 2019” (Brand Research Institute), “Hokkaido Economic Calculation” (Hokkaido Government), “Outline of the Construction Industry in Hokkaido” (Department of Construction, Hokkaido Government), “Current Status of Hokkaido Tourism 2019” (Department of Economic Affairs, Hokkaido Government)

日本語原文(The following is the original text written in Japanese.)















出典 ブランド総合研究所「地域ブランド調査2019」、道「道民経済計算」、道建設部「北海道における建設業の概要」、道経済部「北海道観光の現況2019」

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