The "Drive Hokkaido!" app
Northern Japan by car
The company NAVITIME JAPAN have launched the "Drive Hokkaido!" App, running until 30 November 2017, with hopes of encouraging travelers to visit Hokkaido by car.
The great island of Hokkaido, in the northernmost part of Japan, has many natural landscapes often overlooked by foreign visitors. To help more tourists discover these hidden gems, usually off the beaten path and best accessed by car, a new application was created on July 18, 2017: "Drive Hokkaido!". The app was launched by NAVITIME JAPAN, a navigation technology company based in Tokyo, in cooperation with the Hokkaido Regional Development Office, a member of the Ministry of Territory, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The name of the project is "Hokkaido Guide".
Using the app
The multilingual app is for foreign travelers who rent a car during their trip to Japan. It shows the driver the most interesting places to visit by car across the island of Hokkaido (except the capital of Sapporo), depending on the season. In all, 43 destinations as well as many cultural and culinary experiences are listed in this travel guide to Hokkaido, including:
- Akan Lake
- Rausu fishing port
- Kushiro region
- Shiretoko Park
A complete list is found on the official website.
The "Drive Hokkaido!" app is linked to the car's navigation system (GPS) and provides map codes to the driver, in order to access these sites and get there using the best route. Some of these routes, called "panoramic roads", are a real attraction in themselves, more than just a way to the destination. If the driver agrees, the app can also collect their navigation data to gain a better understanding of the most popular destinations among overseas visitors.
After the arrival of the Hokkaido Shinkansen train in in 2016, a rental car is a complementary means of transport to visit the island's natural and cultural heritage, helping visitors to discover every nook and cranny of the island.