Hokkaido, the large island at Japan’s northern end, is home to populations of adorable little critters that can’t be found anywhere else in Japan. There are seven cute little critters in particular that you will absolutely fall in love with!

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Some of these are just subspecies of other more widely-spread critters, while others are unique natives. All of them, however, are cute. Whether it’s for the winter sports, natural sights, unique culture or cute animals, Hokkaido is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Japan. A photographer who goes by Pop Shiretoko on Twitter took most of these pictures, so check them out!

More info: Twitter (h/t: rocketnews24)

Ezo Momonga

The adorable ezo momonga is a type of flying squirrel unique to Hokkaido. Its huge, dark eyes and little paws are so cute that it has become a local mascot of sorts, appearing on the regional railway’s refillable ticket cards.


The Shima-Enaga is a type of long-tailed tit that lives only in Hokkaido. Unlike the Northern long-tailed tits in the rest of Japan, this one doesn’t have brown “eyebrows” – its face is completely white.

Hokkaido red fox

The Hokkaido red fox is simply a sub-species of the common red fox, but we really love foxes, so we won’t miss the opportunity to post a few more.

Hokkaido red squirrel

The Eurasian red squirrel is spread far and wide throughout Asia and Europe, but Hokkaido has its own subspecies and is the only place in Japan where these squirrels can be found.

Ezo Naki Usagi

The Hokkaido crying rabbit, or ezo naki usagi, is a local subspecies of the Northern Pika, an adorable critter that lives throughout northern Japan and northern Asia. It is said that this adorable critter was the inspiration for Pikachu, possibly everyone’s favorite Pokemon.


The Iizuna, or least weasel, belongs to a sub-species that prefers the northern climates of Hokkaido, Siberia and northern Scandinavia. Unlike some other least weasels, this subspecies’ coat turns white to camouflage it in the winter.

Ezo Fukuro

The Ezo Fukuro is a local sub-species of the Ural Owl. Unfortunately, these guys probably love to feed on some of the other cute and tasty animals in this post!