Guide to Sapporo mountain climbing even beginners can enjoy

In Sapporo, the city next door to nature, why not go out mountain climbing on courses even beginners can enjoy?

Sapporo is a city next door to nature. If you make your mind up to go out on a fine day, there are mountains that are right nearby. In spring, they shine with the yellow-green of newly growing shoots and leaves. In summer, there is the lively chirping of cicadas in the deep-green forests. In autumn, the leaves are colored red and yellow. In winter, everything falls silent, piled up with snow. In Sapporo, where the climate changes with the seasons, nature also changes vividly. The day after you have enjoyed some shopping and eating gourmet food, take a little side trip, away from the center of the city, and set out into the heart of nature. This time, we introduce mountains with spectacular views that can be enjoyed even by beginners. Make your choice of transport, such as subway, streetcar or car, depending on your level of stamina.


Go by subway!
“Maruyama”, an easy course recommended for beginner climbers and travelers

Maruyama with a height of 225m was designated as a National Natural Monument in 1921, and you can enjoy mostly untouched virgin forest. From the starting point of the climb to the summit, even a beginner can make it in about 40 minutes one-way. When you come out from the Hachijuhakkasho trailhead closest to “Maruyama-Koen” subway station, you will encounter lines of Jizo and Kannon statutes along the promenade. Dressed by local residents, their clothing and hats, which change with the seasons, is one of the attractions. How about taking some rice balls along with you and enjoying them together with the view of Sapporo from the rocks on the summit?

Access to Maruyama “Hachijuhakkasho trailhead”, closest to the subway station
Get off at Subway Tozai Line “Maruyama-Koen” Station, then a 10-minute walk down Minami Ichijo Dori in the direction of Maruyama Zoo

Mt. Sankaku

Go by bus!
“Mt. Sankaku”, where you can choose the walking distance depending on the route

Mt. Sankaku is 311m high. The footing is good, so it is even recommended for beginners with children. Depending on the route, you can choose from long and short courses or courses that go around the mountain, but the climb typically takes about 45 minutes one way. Go through the forest that continues from the foot of the mountain and arrive at the first class triangulation station on the summit, and the scenery suddenly changes and rewards you with a view of the whole of Sapporo city!

Access to Mt. Sankaku “Yamanote trailhead” where there are restrooms
From Subway Tozai Line “Nishi 28-chome” Station, take JR Hokkaido Bus Yamanote Line [Junkan Nishi 20], [Junkan Nishi 21] and get off at Yamanote 4-jo 11-chome (8 to 17minutes), then a 5-minute walk.

Mt. Moiwa

Go by bus!
Take on the challenge of walking without using the ropeway! “Mt. Moiwa”

Mt. Moiwa is 531m high. The mountain is about 2.9km from the Jikeikai Hospital trailhead to the summit, so even a beginner can make it in about 1 hour and 15 minutes one-way. As a mountain designated a National Natural Monument, it has the attractions of 450 varieties of plants and the large linden trees you can see in the virgin forest along the mountain climbing path. On the summit, there are restaurants with spectacular views and fun attractions such as the “MEGASTAR-IIB” super planetarium. There are restrooms and changing rooms for mountain climbers on the first floor of the ropeway summit station, so you can get changed and freshen up before taking the gondola back down the mountain.

Regular-route buses are also convenient
From Subway Tozai Line “Maruyama Koen” Station, take the JR Hokkaido Bus (Loop line 10, 11), and get off at “Jikeikai-mae”, and it will be right there.

Access to the “Jikeikai Hospital trailhead” by streetcar, enjoying views of the city on the way
Get off at streetcar “ropeway trailhead stop” (takes about 20 minutes), go up the hill of Mt. Moiwa via Kanjo Dori, turn left at the traffic lights where Seiko Mart can be seen on your right.)

 Mt. Hakkenzan 

Go by car!
“Mt. Hakkenzan”, where you will encounter magnificent views of the sheer cliffs

When you look up at 498m high Mt. Hakkenzan from the foot of the mountain, its pointed, sword-like rocks are very impressive. Authentic mountain climbing along sheer cliffs can be enjoyed just an hour away from the center of Sapporo city. Fill in a Mountain-Climbing Registration Form in the Mt. Hakkenzan lodge, make your way along the nature path with the rope as your guide, and as you approach the summit, the rocks become increasingly steep. The precipice offers a wide field of view, and you can enjoy spectacular views of the greenery at the foot of the mountain and flowing Toyohira River below, and the city that can be seen beyond the overlapping mountains. Persons with a fear of heights, please beware!

Access to Mt. Hakkenzan “Minamiguchi trailhead”, where you can get a taste of an authentic mountain climbing mood immediately after your climb
About 35 minutes by car from Sapporo city center