Some of Sapporo’s rivers are known for their summer recreational opportunities. While the Barato River also offers canoeing, kayaking and paths for cycling along the banks, the best action happens in winter when the river freezes over and becomes an ideal spot for a popular Sapporo pastime, ice fishing.
Each winter, frigid temperatures transform parts of the Barato River into giant snowfields, where it’s possible to pitch a fishing tent, carve a hole in the ice, cast a line and reel in smelt. While locals might take their catch home with them, ice fishing tours offer visitors the chance to sample their catch cooked tempura-style in a wok of hot oil right in the tent.
Ice fishing is typically possible on the Barato River during February and March, and the snowfields are located about 30 minutes outside of Sapporo.