visitor needs to see
laid-back city of Sapporo,
here are seven ways to get the best out of this Japanese gem.
Three Sites Featuring Snow Sculptures Large and Small
Visited by Tourists from Around the World
What started out as a display of six snow sculptures created by local junior and high school students in 1950 has become the Sapporo Snow Festival, the largest winter event in Sapporo that attracts more than two million visitors from both Japan and abroad every year. Snow sculptures of various sizes adorn the 1.5 kilometer stretch spanning from 1 to 12 chome in Odori Park. These sculptures are also lit up from sun down to 10:00pm. The International Snow Sculpture Contest is hosted at 11-chome, drawing contestants from around the world. During the event, visitors can even catch a glimpse of the contestants at work here. At the Tsudomu Site, you will find attractions such as the giant slide and both indoor and outdoor events for visitors to enjoy the snow. At the Susukino Site, you will find the ice sculpture contest, illuminated ice sculptures, and an ice bar. Be sure to visit each site to enjoy the unique attractions and make the most of this winter event.
Endless color sparkles in the white Sapporo winter
The tradition of seasonal lights began in Japan in Sapporo in 1981. During the event, a variety of sparkling works of art of all sizes decorate Odori Park, while glittering lights adorn the trees around Ekimae-dori and Minami 1-jo dori. If you really want to get into the holiday spirit, be sure to head over to the German Christmas Market in Sapporo, held on 2 chome in Odori Park. This Christmas season, we’ll keep the lights on until midnight, making the area a great place to take a romantic late-n
A Month-Long Display of German-Style Christmas Lights
The market has been held in Sapporo since 2002, when the city marked the thirtieth anniversary of its sister-city ties with Munich, Germany. Stalls selling Christmas items, hot wine, and German food are set up for about a month at Odori Park. Also on sale are commemorative mug cups which change design each year. There are outdoor concerts, indoor workshops, and if you’re lucky you might receive a gift from Santa Claus! Tents with seats are available near the food stalls, so you don’t have to worry about the snow. The Christmas mood deepens from late November, when the Sapporo White Illumination also begins at Odori Park.
The observation hill offers commanding views of downtown Sapporo and on sunny days the view extends as far as Mt. Shokanbetsu in the distance beyond the Ishikari plain. Here, you will also find the Hitsujigaoka Rest House, which serves jingisukan featuring different types of meat, Sapporo Snow Festival Museum, where you can check out mock-ups of ice sculptures, Hitsujigaoka Footbath, where you can enjoy hot springs from across Hokkaido, and Austria House, which sells souvenirs and original soft serve ice cream flavors. Various events are also held throughout the four seasons, including sheep shearing, lavender picking, and gourmet events showcasing seasonal tastes.
The Sapporo Beer Museum just reopened to the public in April 2016 after undergoing a complete renovation. The museum also offers a premium tour where you can sample “Fukkoku Sapporo Bakushu”, a unique beer brewed according to the methods used back in 1881. Having the chance to discover the passion that the Japanese forefathers of beer put into their work makes the end product taste that much better.
“Sapporo’s Annex” — The valley in the hot springs district with history and popularity that continues to charm The history of the Jozankei Hot Springs dates back to 1866, when Miizumi Jozan, an ascetic monk, discovered the hot springs and opened a healing spa. Jozankei is also famous for its scenic beauty. Visitors will be treated to picturesque views during every season at Shiraito Fall, Yunotaki and the Pool of Maizuru. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the world: take a leisurely walk in nature and enjoy the hot springs.
The Hokkaido Shrine was built in 1869 after the Meiji Emperor decreed that the “three pioneering gods” be enshrined to uplift the spirit of the pioneers. The protective deities, who have overseen the development of Hokkaido and the happiness of its people, continue to play an important part in Hokkaido citizens’ lives — particularly on New Year’s Day, the day before the start of spring, and during exorcisms and weddings. The nature-rich shrine, where visitors are likely to see wild squirrels, draws many visitors in the spring when cherry and plum blossoms bloom simultaneously.
From the starting point of the jump, which is located 307 meters above sea level, one can see a panoramic view of downtown Sapporo, Ishikari Plains, and the Miyanomori Ski Jump Stadium, where 70-meter jumps are held. In the winter, visitors can take in the snow-covered landscape and experience the perspective of the ski jumper from the “Viewing Lounge” on days without competitions.
Nijo Market is said to have developed in the early Meiji Period, when fishermen from Ishikari Bay started selling fresh fish there. Over a century later, the market continues to serve local residents’ culinary needs. Owing in part to its central location, the market is also popular among tourists, who come in search of Hokkaido souvenirs such as crabs and scallops.
Mt. Moiwa at 531m high is located close to the center of Sapporo. It is very popular among Sapporo citizens because it can be climbed with ease. There are 5 courses which can be completed even in light clothing (shortest course 2.4km, longest course 4.5km) and the mountain is bustling with trekkers on the weekend in summer. The peak features a panoramic view of Sapporo downtown, the Ishikari Bay in the Sea of Japan and the Mashike Shokanbetsu Mountains. Along with offering a great view during the day, the nighttime view is a must-see.
Completed in 1956, Sapporo TV Tower is located in Nishi 1-chome, or the eastern edge of Odori Park, which divides central Sapporo into northern and southern zones. It has been a Sapporo landmark and witnessed the development of the city for more than half a century. From the observation deck, which is approximately 90 meters above ground, visitors can enjoy beautiful seasonal views of Odori Park and various events carried out in the park. When the sky is clear, one can see as far as Ishikari Plain and the Sea of Japan.