The capital city of Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo is a city with full of tourist attractions such as sightseeing spots, events, restaurants with delicious Hokkaido dishes and shopping spots, and it’s a popular tourist destination through the year. Especially during winter, the city welcomes a large number of visitors when Japan’s biggest winter festival, “Sapporo Snow Festival” is held in February for a week. If you are planning to visit the festival this year and spend some days in Sapporo City, this is city has so much to explore. Let me introduce best bits of Sapporo today so you can spend wonderful time along with Sapporo Snow Festival 2019!
-Places to Visit in Sapporo
Main attractions of the city and most of them are located within walking distance in the city centre.
a large park which stretches east to west through the city. It is indeed the main site of Sapporo Snow Festival.
built in 1957, a 147 m high TV tower with an observation deck at 90 m. Located on the ground of Odori Park, in the northern area of the city.
built in 1878, and since then the Clock Tower (Tokeidai) has been a historical and cultural symbol of Sapporo City until today.
a.k.a. Red Brick Office is the symbolic building of the city and used to serve as a government office for about 80 years. Visitors can enter the building for free for exhibits and tourist information.
Hours: 8:45~17:30 (closed on Sat&Sun)
Sapporo’s biggest public market offering fresh seafood and vegetables from Hokkaido and many small stalls and restaurants where visitors can taste the fresh dishes.
the museum of the most famous beer brands in Japan, Sapporo Beer. It’s a former brewery from Meiji Period, and exhibitions and beer tasting are available.
Hours: 11:30~20:00 (closed on Monday)
located at the foot of Mt.Maruyama, the zoo houses about 200 species, about 1,000 animals. Can be reached within 20 mins from Sapporo City by public transport.
Hours: 9:30~16:30 (~16:00 Nov to Feb) (closed on 2nd&4th Wednesdays)
the biggest red light district in Hokkaido and there are hundreds of bars and restaurants. Enjoy drinking like locals in neon lights 😉
-Places to Visit outside of the City
I highly recommend you to visit some of these outskirts attractions, which are all located 10–15 km away from Sapporo City.
also known as “White Lover Park”, a theme park of the famous confectionery company, Ishiya which consists of a chocolate factory, exhibits, shop, cafe and restaurant.
a large and unique outskirts park designed by the famous Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
an open-air museum about the history and culture of Hokkaido
Hours: 9:00~16:30 (closed on Monday)
a hill top observation of Sapporo City and sheep farm
a 531 m mountain known for the best view of Sapporo City at night. The mountain can be reached by rope-way and it’s open till 10 pm.
Hours: 11:00～22:00 (ropeway)
the most accessible ski resort from Sapporo City, which was used as the site for Sapporo Winter Olympic back in in 1972.
-Things to Eat in Sapporo
Hokkaido is known as the biggest gourmet land in Japan, and the capital city Sapporo has lots of original local dishes to offer.
Hokkaido is one of biggest Ramen lovers in the country and several areas have their own regional Ramen dishes. Sapporo is known for its miso based broth, topped with sweetcorn and a slice of butter.
Sapporo Soup Curry
the city is known as the birth place of soup curry which has much more flavours and spices, and thinner soup than regular Japanese curry.
Hokkaido’s seafood is highly regarded with the quality and freshness. Donburi (rice bowl) of your favourite seafood is definitely the one can’t be missed out.
Hokkaido style BBQ comes with mutton and vegetables which goes perfectly with beer.
-Things to Buy in Sapporo
Make sure to shop specialties of Sapporo City before leaving! They can be found literally at every souvenir shops in town!
Shiroi Koibito (means “white lovers”) by Ishiya is the long-time beloved sweets for over 40 years with a delightful combination of langue de chat cookie and white chocolate.
Price: 576 yen (9pc)
Jaga Pokkuru is a potato snack from Calbee made with selected local potatoes.
Price: 550 yen (18g x 6)
Sapporo Times Square
fluffy cake filled with various cream made with local ingredients by the Sapporo based confectionery, Kakasha.
Price: 162 yen (1pc)