Spring in Sapporo (March to May)

Honshu may be well into spring between from March to May, but in Hokkaido winter still hangs in the air. The sunlight intensifies and the snow begins to thaw, but the buds on the trees take some time to emerge. The cherry blossom front that sweeps Japan each year usually arrives in Sapporo in time for the Golden Week holiday at the end of April. With the arrival of the cherry blossom, the season where the city bursts to life begins as the trees that line the streets bud new leaves. Although the snow may be gone, there can still be a chill in the air and a light coat or stole is recommended for those who feel the cold.

The snow may be melting, but some cold still remains

Important information such as temperature and snowfall

Below are the average values for Sapporo between March to May (statistics from 1991 to 2020). Snow continues to fall in March and on some days in early April. The April thaw happens relatively quickly, but this can make conditions for walking difficult at times. Although the cherry blossom season in May is warm, it’s important to remember that there can be a big difference between the daytime and nighttime temperatures.

SnowfallMarch: 74cm, April: 6cm
Average temperature March: 0.6°C (33.1°F), April: 7.1°C (44.8°F), May: 12.4°C (54.3°F)
Minimum temperatureMarch: -2.9°C (26.8°F), April: 3.2°C (37.8°F), May: 8.3°C (46.9°F)

Recommended clothing

The best outfit changes considerably over the course of these three months. In March, snow is still falling and a coat is a must. Many days in April are brisk and with an average temperature under 10°C (50°F) an outer layer is still needed. In May, the weather is more typical of spring, but the mornings and evenings can still be cool, so a thin cardigan or other piece of clothing that can easily be put on or taken off is recommended.


Enjoying delicious spring in Sapporo

Food recommendations

There is an abundance of delicious food to be enjoyed all over Hokkaido, from edible wild plants nourished by the water from the spring thaw, to sweet vegetables overwintered under the snow and seafood caught following the umiake (“sea-break”), when the drift ice leaves the shore. As the cherry blossom arrives in late April, slightly later than on Honshu, celebrating the Golden Week holiday by enjoying Genghis Khan (Mongolian barbecue) while taking in the flowers is a unique Sapporo experience.

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Sapporo Gourmet Coupon
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Sapporo Gourmet Coupon

The Sapporo Gourmet Coupon app features a list of recommended restaurants curated by the Sapporo Tourism Association. When searching for a good place for dinner, be sure to check out the app for discounts on your meal!


The “musts” of Sapporo sightseeing in the spring

Enjoying spring near Sapporo City

There are plenty of ways to enjoy nature and the freshness of spring, from walking through parks surrounded by blooming flowers to taking in the beautiful cherry and plum blossom around Golden Week and seeing carp streamers flying in the hot spring towns. For those who enjoy getting active, there is sightseeing by rental bicycle, rafting on intense rapids fed by water from the melting snow and spring skiing that can be enjoyed until the end of April. Experience Sapporo’s nature first hand and make incredible memories of spring.

Picnic in the open air

DIY-style dining

Sapporo is full of fantastic food, and heading out for a picnic with some of the delicious dishes available on the lower floors of many department stores or some takeout sandwiches is a great way to enjoy it. There are plenty of options available thanks to the large number of parks and other areas surrounded by rich nature in and around Sapporo. No matter the occasion, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect to enjoy in the great outdoors.

Explore famous locations in Sapporo with bicycle rental

Experience the northern land of Hokkaido

The period between the mid-April thaw and the beautiful fall leaves of October is the perfect time to explore Sapporo by bicycle and experience northern Japan. Sapporo and its suburbs have wide, well-paved roads compared to Honshu, making it an easy area to ride around. Using the Porocle bicycle rental service in central Sapporo is also a convenient option for visiting sightseeing spots. One-day passes are sold at tourist information centers and certain hotels, so be sure to take a look.


Spring sightseeing recommendations

Spring events calendar

Finding your hotel

Looking for a hotel for your stay? Leave it to Welcome to Sapporo, with hotel information grouped by area. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, what you want to do and what food you want try, all that’s left is to choose a place to stay. Sapporo has abundance of unique hotels, whether you’re looking for hot springs and baths, large rooms, or delicious breakfasts.