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Things to do in Sapporo

Things to do in  Sapporo

Welcome to Sapporo

Crowning Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido is Sapporo, a fashionable urban wonderland offering an imitable mix of neon-lit nightlife, traditional breweries, and ski resorts. The mountainous island’s capital is also famous for its weeklong Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place every February. Travelers visiting during the festival should head to Odori Park and the Susukino District to watch local artists create ice and snow sculptures. For lovers of the outdoors and winter sports, Sapporo is the ideal vacation destination. Mountain bike around Lake Shikotsu; go kayaking or canoeing on the Chitose River; hike through Nopporo Forest Park, home to more than 400 types of wild plant; and soak in the healing waters of Hoheikyo onsen. Taking a private tour of Sapporo’s thriving center means you can customize your itinerary to suit your interests. Stroll around the lush greenery of Odori Park (Odori Koen), sample local beer at Sapporo Beer Hokkaido Brewery, admire the neo-baroque architecture of Hokkaido Prefectural Office, or venture outside of the city to Otaru, where traditional mansions and cobblestone streets sit prettily on the banks of canals. If you’re looking to explore more of Japan, Sapporo serves as a convenient jumping-off point for day trips to Furano, whose lavender fields let off a gloriously heady scent; the snow-smothered slopes and hot springs of Niseko; and Biei in the Kamikawa District, whose Panorama Road reveals rolling hills and vast fields.

Top 10 attractions in Sapporo

#1
Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen)

Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen)

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Set at the base of Maruyama Mountain in the western suburbs of Sapporo, Maruyama Park (Maruyama Koen) comprises 15 acres (6 hectares) of virgin and secondary forest filled with oak, magnolia, maple and Japanese katsura trees. Some 1,700 Hokkaido wild cherry trees also grow within the park, making it a particularly popular destination come springtime.Predating the park itself is the Hokkaido Shrine, located at the north end of the park. Built in 1869, the shrine sees a steady stream of devotees, especially on New Year’s Day and the last day of winter, seeking the good graces of the four protective deities believed to be enshrined within.Visitors to Maruyama Park will also find Maruyama Zoo on the grounds. The zoo houses around 200 species of plants and animals and includes a tropical bird aviary and an insect house.More
#2
Mt. Moiwa (Moiwa-yama)

Mt. Moiwa (Moiwa-yama)

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One of Sapporo’s most famous sightseeing attractions is Mt. Moiwa (Moiwa-yama), a forested mountain located southwest of Sapporo. Popular for its city views, especially at sunset, the mountain’s summit and observation deck are accessible by way of the Mt. Moiwa Ropeway, an aerial tramway system that climbs 1,200 feet (366 meters) in two segments.From the summit, the views extend past the city of Sapporo to the Ishikari Plain, Ishikari Bay and the Yubari Mountains in the distance. In the winter, the south side of Mt. Moiwa serves as one of Sapporo’s most popular ski resorts.During the summers, hikers can take advantage of five different mountain trails winding through the forests of Mt. Moiwa.More
#3
Shiroi Koibito Park

Shiroi Koibito Park

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Shiroi Koibito is a popular Japanese cookie consisting of milk or white chocolate sandwiched between two ladyfinger biscuits. The sweet-themed Shiroi Koibito Park in Sapporo takes visitors behind the scenes to see how Hokkaido’s most famous confection is made.Entrance to the park includes a factory tour, Cookiecraft Studio where guests get to make their own Shiroi Koibito, toy exhibition, rose garden and a candy store selling a variety of sweet treats.Each hour, the Chocolate Carnival takes place in the courtyard and involves a parade of mechanical dolls. Modeled after the Benkei steam train, the Shiroi Koibito Railway is a hit with young visitors, as is the Gulliver House play area.More
#4
Odori Park (Odori Koen)

Odori Park (Odori Koen)

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Located in the heart of Sapporo and dividing the city into north and south, Odori Park (Odori Koen) offers a pleasant open and green space for relaxation and recreation. The city’s central park, which stretches for 13 blocks, is the main site for popular seasonal events and festivals.More
#5
Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo TV Tower

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East of Odori Park, and standing 483 feet (147 meters) tall, Sapporo TV Tower is an iconic landmark of the city. Head up to the observation deck, pull out your camera, and enjoy postcard-perfect views of Sapporo, nearby mountains, the Ishikari Plains, and the Sea of Japan.More
#6
Susukino

Susukino

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Head to Susukino for shopping, dining, and nightlife in Sapporo. The biggest entertainment district north of Tokyo, the lively Susukino district is packed with thousands of establishments, ranging from shops and arcades to restaurants, bars, karaoke boxes, nightclubs, and pachinko parlors, as well as adult-entertainment options.More
#7
Jozankei

Jozankei

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Jozankei is a hot spring (onsen resort town near Sapporo, on Japan’s northern Hokkaido island. It’s located within the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, built around cliffs on the Toyohira River. There are many traditional Japanese inns (ryokan to stay at in Jozankei, as well as baths that can be visited for a day or half-day.More
#8
Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko)

Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko)

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Located in southwest Hokkaido, close to Sapporo, Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko) is the second-deepest lake and second-largest caldera lake in Japan. Surrounded by volcanoes on all sides, the lake is a popular recreation area for locals and visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, hot springs, and beautiful scenery.More
#9
Hoheikyo Onsen

Hoheikyo Onsen

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As one of Sapporo’s most popular outdoor hot springs, Hoheikyo Onsen is an ideal place to relax in healing, naturally heated waters while enjoying the beautiful forest surroundings.Hoheikyo sits deep in a mountain canyon, and if you come during the winter time, you can soak in the volcanic hot springs surrounded by snowy peaks. During the summer, you can also spend time rafting and canoeing on the nearby Toyohira River. Hoheikyo Onsen has two separate baths, which are separated by gender and switch daily so both men and women can experience both baths. This is also one of the few outdoor hot springs in the area that allows alcohol in the bath, so you can sip a local beer as you soak. Also on-site is a popular Indian restaurant that is well known locally for authentic Indian curries and fresh nan bread.More
#10
Nopporo Forest Park (Nopporo Shinrin Koen)

Nopporo Forest Park (Nopporo Shinrin Koen)

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Explore the natural beauty and history of Hokkaido at Nopporo Forest Park (Nopporo Shinrin Koen). Covering an area of over 4,942 acres (2,000 hectares), Nopporo Forest Park is a flatland forest, wildlife sanctuary, and home to the Hokkaido Centennial Memorial Tower, the Historical Museum of Hokkaido, and the Historical Village of Hokkaido.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Sapporo

How to Spend 2 Days in Sapporo

Hiking and Biking in Hokkaido

Hiking and Biking in Hokkaido

Japanese Beer in Sapporo

Japanese Beer in Sapporo

Top activities in Sapporo

Explore Otaru & Yoichi

Explore Otaru & Yoichi

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Recent reviews from experiences in Sapporo

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Personalized Tour of Sapporo
jennylchu, Feb 2020
Sapporo / Hokkaido Full-Day Private Tour with Government Licensed Guide
He was very kind and gave us lots of information on what to do after the tour in Sapporo, Hakodate, and the rest of Hokkaido.
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Highlight of our trip to Sapporo
Gary_I, Feb 2020
Snowshoe Hike Tour from Sapporo
We were in Sapporo for the winter festival and were going to go skiing.
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Excellent way to get a quick snapshot of Sapporo! Definitely recommend.
damookie, Aug 2019
Sapporo Private Half-Day Tour with Local Licensed Guide
This flexibility allowed us to visit Mt.
star-4
The booking through Viator went...
David_B, Mar 2018
Horseback-Riding in a Country Side in Sapporo - Private Transfer is Included
The driver didn't speak English, but was super kind.
star-4
I travelled by myself this time...
KaMing_Y, Jan 2017
One Day Highlights Tour of Sapporo
Thanks to Ms Chieko Mizukoshi being my tour guide, brought me to see a few interesting attractions in such cold weather on that day -10C degrees.
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All about Sapporo

Time Zone
JST (UTC +9)

People Also Ask

What is Sapporo known for?

Sapporo is known for its wintery attractions. Since 1950 the city has hosted the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, in which international teams create hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures. Sapporo is an Olympic city, having hosted the Winter Games in 1972, and a gateway to the ski slopes of Hokkaido.

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How many days do you need in Sapporo?

Sapporo’s main attractions can be covered in a single day, but giving yourself at least two days provides a more relaxed experience and the chance to discover places by simply wandering around. You should certainly leave enough time to see more of Hokkaido.

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What should I not miss in Sapporo?

Sapporo’s main attractions include the Sapporo Beer Museum, home of one of Japan’s oldest beers, and Moerenuma Park on the city’s outskirts designed by the renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Visit the Susukino entertainment district at night to bathe in flashing neon and check out the fresh-off-the-boat seafood at Nijo Market.

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What does Sapporo mean in Japanese?

The name Sapporo comes from the Ainu language—the Ainu are the Indigenous people of Hokkaido. The name was created from the Ainu phrase “Satsu-Poro-Petsu,” which translates roughly to "important river flowing through a plain," in reference to the Toyohira River, which supplies water to the city.

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What is there to do in Sapporo in the winter?

When temperatures drop, there is much to do in Japan’s favorite winter city. The Sapporo Snow Festival brings giant snow statues and ice sculptures to parks in January. Hit the slopes at Sapporo Teine Ski Resort; go ice fishing on Barato River; and warm up in the steamy Jozankei Onsen.

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Is Sapporo worth visiting?

Yes. Sapporo is worth a visit if you are traveling to Hokkaido. However, you should plan your Hokkaido trip to include just a couple of days in Sapporo and leave plenty of time to explore more of the island, which is full of spectacular landscapes.

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