If you'd like to get up close and personal to see the drift ice, the best way to do it is by going out on one of the region's ice breaking ships. I recently got to experience a trip out on the Garinko II icebreaker in Mombetsu, Eastern Hokkaido - and it's definitely something I won't forget in a hurry.
The region first started doing these sightseeing trips to see the drift ice back in 1985, when the ships only had a capacity of 32 people. These days, the Garinko II carries around 70 people on each journey. It's fascinating watching just how the ship operates - it has a couple of giant drills, which bore their way through the ice.
If you look carefully when you're out on the ship, you're likely to see a variety of birds including eagles - there was this guy just hanging out amidst the icy landscape!
If you'd like to book a tour on the Garinko II icebreaker ship, there are some details on their website here in English. They run a number of departures each day, including a sunrise cruise - which would be pretty magical!
The map details for the Garinko Icebreaker departure terminal are below. If you're interested in heading to the region, ANA airlines fly directly into Mombetsu Airport from Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Mombetsu Airport is just over 10 minutes by car to the ship itself.