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Japan has been a favorite destination ever since the days I had the penchant for Japanese cuisine and its pop culture craze of the Walkman, Pacman, and now Gundam.

Destinations including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya , Kyoto, Chiba are places I have been to but another place further captured the wanderer in me, this is Hokkaido.

Sometime in August, thru the invitation and opportunity accorded by the Hokkaido Golf Tourism Association (HGTA), members of the media (Asian Journal Media Group included) as well as buyers from the different golf travel operators from 8 countries including the Philippines, attended the 3rd Japan Hokkaido Golf Tourism Conference (HGTC) and toured Hokkaido’s top golf courses and hotels.

Hokkaido, which is located in its northernmost part is considered among Japan’s best golf sites considering these major reasons:

1) Cool Golfing weather which makes summer heat bearable;
2) Hokkaido offers 150 Golf courses to choose from;
3) Excellent turf meaning lush greenways and may courses uses “bentgrass” in Hokkaido golf courses.

This was enumerated during the exchange made with HGTA’s President Seiji Takahashi and its director Tadashi Endo.

Also, Mr. Endo indicated that the New Chitose International Airport offers easy access for visitors for tourist and golfers alike. Philippines Airlines which now offers direct flights from Manila to Sapporo will open more accessible linkage between these two countries.

Mr. Takahashi further said that the service being offered at these golf courses are indeed of world class quality some even offering “onsen baths” to relax after a game of golf, not to mention to enjoy a gastronomical feast, like succulent lamb barbecue with cool Sapporo Classic Beer.

It is known worldwide that Sapporo offers among the best beer like the Sapporo Classic Beer. We even had the chance to catch the annual Sapporo Beer Festival held every August at the famous Odori Park.

For the sumptuous foodie lovers and the curious culture enthusiast, a ménage of fresh seafood, sushi, sashimi coupled with authentic Japanese culture, arts and tradition is available.

With the efficient and accurate transportation service, surely traveling within the area is a breeze. For families, shopping is a must offering goods that is proudly made in Japan.

Hokkaido also been known as a winter sports destination, the city of Sapporo is now reaching out to tourist and golfers during the summer season. Golf courses as mentioned above numbers to 150 courses ranging from seaside and mountain view courses that can offer a wide variety of options for everyone in Asia, Australia and North America among others. Hotels and resorts via the assistance of the Hokkaido Golf Tourism Association are now packaging golf tours for its guests while the families of the golfers enjoy tours catering to the pleasure and needs of every family.

The four day event was capped al fresco with cheers of Kanpai and a delicious feast of Japanese grill bbq beneath the summer sky of Hokkaido with newly found golfing buddies from all over the globe.

Truly anyone planning a golfing tour with their families can reach out to the Hokkaido Golf Tourism Association. For more information, visit www.hgta.jp.

Vince Samson
Vince Samson

Vince Samson is the Vice President for Marketing and Special Events of the Asian Journal Media Group-Philippines.

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