The capital of the northern island of Hokkaido, Sapporo offers something different from its sister cities in Honshu. Hokkaido offers fresher air and fresh seafood, and can be considered Japan's version of "the outback". Sapporo is the starting point for rural adventures. In Sapporo itself, summers are commonly enjoyed in big beer gardens in the centre of town, as live music sets the scene. In wintertime, Sapporo's Ice Festival, with fantastic ice carvings, is a major highlight.