Winter in Sapporo (November to March)

As the cold begins to draw in, the first snowfall of the year can be seen in November. From late December, the amount of snow begins to increase as Sapporo transforms into a winter wonderland just waiting to be explored, covered in pure white snow that lasts until March.
Sapporo in winter is an incredible experience, with a variety of winter activities to be enjoyed, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, as well as events such as the iconic Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place around the city when the cold reaches its peak in January and February.
Read on for some important information to keep in mind before you travel.

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Enjoying hot springs and sento bathhouses in Sapporo

*Updated November 6, 2019
Bathing is an incredibly important part of Japanese culture. In addition to bathing at home, Hokkaido residents love to take day trips to one of the island’s plentiful hot springs and sento bathhouses. In Sapporo, Hokkaido’s main city, there are many bathing facilities to take a warm, relaxing soak, with several hot spring towns nearby for those who don’t mind venturing a little further out. Most hot springs and sento bathhouses are open to both people staying the night and day visitors. Read on to find out the best places in Sapporo to take a relaxing dip after a hard day’s traveling.

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Tidbits on how best to enjoy delicious Genghis Khan (Mongolian barbecue) in Sapporo

Genghis Khan (Mongolian barbecue) is a Hokkaido local dish that consists of grilling mutton and vegetables on a special grill that has a raised mound in the center. Not only do Sapporoites enjoy drinking beer and eating Genghis Khan in restaurants, but they also enjoy barbecuing it outdoors while camping or viewing the cherry blossoms. Also, many households own a dedicated grill just for making their own Mongolian barbecue at home. It is regarded as the most-loved soul food of the city by residents, as you can even find disposable grills for Mongolian barbecue in Sapporo’s hardware stores, while some restaurants serve the cuisine on a grill shaped like the prefecture of Hokkaido.
The types of meat used include lamb, which is soft and doesn’t have a gamey taste, and mutton, which is the meat from an older sheep with a unique and gamey taste. Choose from seasoned meat marinated in sauce, or unseasoned meat that you dip into a sauce after cooking. The flavor of the sauce and the way the meat is cut varies by restaurant and supplier. A Mongolian barbecue can be capped off by cooking udon or ramen noodles in the leftover juices, or adding tea to the sauce and drinking it. Each restaurant has their own unique way of presenting the meal, making every outing fun and interesting. Meat is typically imported from New Zealand or Australia, but some restaurants serve rare Suffolk sheep raised locally in Hokkaido. Explore the many restaurants to find your favorite seasoning and way of eating Genghis Khan.

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