In the beginning of the Meiji Period, when the development of Hokkaido was started on a large scale, Sapporo was chosen as the island’s administrative centre and enlarged according to the advice of foreign specialists. Consequently, Sapporo was built based on a North American style rectangular street system.
Sapporo became world famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there. Today, the city is well known for its ramen, beer, and the annual snow festival held in February.
During the Snow Festival, the streets are filled with ice sculptures created by artists from around the world. The sculptures are illuminated at night – a fantastic sight.
The city is also home to the Sapporo Brewery and the famous white chocolate biscuits “White Lovers” exclusively sold in Hokkaido.
In the entertainment district of Susukino are lively clubs and discos – some of the best nightlife in Japan.
MOUNTAINS AROUND SAPPORO
In winter, the mountains around the city are a resort paradise, offering Japan’s best snow, with a well-developed ski lift system. For some of the best powder snow in the world, go to Niseko, a couple of hours from Sapporo.
On this northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, over 15 feet of snow falls in the season. So there is fresh powder snow almost daily. And many hotels offer ski-in ski-out facilities directly from the hotel reception.
In summer, the natural surroundings of the many national parks are inviting areas for day trips or long mountain walks. Hokkaido is a volcanic island, and there are plenty of hot springs, and attractive spa locations in the mountains. At many hot spring hotels and resorts (onsen) you can soak in the hot spring waters in the open air.
- From Tokyo Haneda to New Chitose Airport (890km)(1h45)
- It is possible to travel to Sapporo by train, but domestic air is recommended
Sapporo on our Google map