All About Japan

6 Hokkaido Animals that Hide in Snow

| Animals , Hokkaido
6 Hokkaido Animals that Hide in Snow

Hokkaido is home to some of the most adorable winter animals that have adapted to be able to hide perfectly in the whiteness of snow. See if you can spot them!

6. Hokkaido Snow Rabbit

6. Hokkaido Snow Rabbit

The Ezo yuki usagi is a mountain hare native to Hokkaido. Its name literally translates to"Hokkaido snow rabbit" (Ezo is the old name for Hokkaido), and it adorably camouflages against its native snow with its fluffy coat of pure white fur.

5. Snowy Owl

The snowy owl, called the shiro-fukuro (literally "white owl") in Japan, is an adorable and elegant native of Hokkaido. Its pure white feathers help it to camouflage perfectly against the snow, allowing it to keep an eye on its unsuspecting prey.

4. Long-Tailed Tit

4. Long-Tailed Tit

This tiny white bird, called the shima-enaga, could be mistaken for a clump of snow during the winter. It's known as the long-tailed tit in English.

3. Siberian Flying Squirrel

3. Siberian Flying Squirrel

This little guy is a Siberian flying squirrel, known locally as an Ezo momonga. He usually hides during the winter months to keep warm, so if you ever catch a glimpse of this cute and elusive creature, consider yourself quite lucky!

2. Harp Seal

2. Harp Seal

These fluffy white seals, called tategoto azarashi in Japan, float around in the northernmost parts of Hokkaido and adorably blend into the ice sheets they live on. These seals are quite rare and absolutely adorable!

1. Japanese Least Weasel

1. Japanese Least Weasel

This funny-looking guy is a Japanese least weasel, or Ezo okojo (sometimes also called a Japanese stoat, or short-tailed weasel, and also known in Japanese as an iizuna). These critters are quite special because they normally have brown fur, but it changes to white during the winter. They can also stand on two legs when they get curious!