Sapporo

A winter wonderland & summer haven on Japan’s northernmost island

Japan’s northernmost and second-largest island, Hokkaido, offers a delightful contrast to the more urbanised and frenetic Honshu Island in the south. Seemingly another world away from Honshu (although connected by the world’s longest undersea tunnel), Hokkaido presents a relatively unspoilt, frontier-like island, with a naturally beautiful landscape covered with mountains and forests.  

Centrally positioned on Hokkaido Island, the charming capital city, Sapporo, makes for a convenient base to experience the abundance of outlying natural distractions, such as Japan’s best ski resorts, a kingdom of hot spring destinations and dramatic coastlines. Founded relatively recently in 1868, Sapporo ranks as one of Japan’s youngest cities.  After gaining world-wide recognition hosting Asia’s first-ever Winter Olympics in 1972 – the landmark Okurayama Ski Jump is still a visible legacy – Sapporo upgraded fast and evolved as a major international destination. With a population of around two million and a wide-open, modern grid-plan layout that blends with expansive green spaces, the capital offers a refreshing change to other urban centres.

While it cannot boast the ancient treasures of other Japanese cities, Sapporo conjures up plenty of attractive alternatives and leisurely pursuits, as well as an amazing food culture. With snow on the ground for roughly a third of the year, Sapporo resembles a magical winter wonderland, while the short but mild northern summer, plus dazzling spring and autumn seasons, offer a relaxed and fun outdoor lifestyle, ranging from barbecues to beer festivals. Enjoy the warm Hokkaido hospitality, slower pace of life and genuine chance to connect with nature!

WHY WE THINK YOU’LL LOVE IT

  • Surrounded by some of Japan’s wildest and remotest lands, Sapporo is the gateway to endless nature that features forested mountains, national parks and pretty beaches
  • Recognised as the ‘Kitchen of the North’ ‘Crab Capital’ and birthplace of miso ramen, food is a top attraction, with world-renowned bountiful island produce and seafood
  • Recognised as the ‘Kitchen of the North’ ‘Crab Capital’ and birthplace of miso ramen, food is a top attraction, with world-renowned bountiful island produce and seafood
  • Sapporo’s year-round supply of outdoor events and festivals provide a great opportunity to meet the locals, have fun and experience the relaxed Hokkaido lifestyle
  • Hokkaido’s four colourful seasons each present distinct characteristics and diverse roll-call of ever-changing culinary treats, things to see and do and striking scenery
Within Easy Reach Of...
Osaka 2hrs 15min by Flight
Tokyo 1hr 30min by Flight
Kyoto 11hrs by Train
Travel Tips
  • World-famous Sapporo Beer was founded as Japan’s first brewery. Get a taste of its history at the acclaimed Sapporo Beer Museum and adjoining Beer Garden
  • One of Japan’s best-known winter events, Sapporo Snow Festival wows millions of visitors annually with its massive ice sculptures and night-time illuminations
  • Sapporo’s surrounding nature provides a seasonal supply of outdoor activities and adventurous pursuits, from mountain biking and hot springs to drift ice cruising 
  • Take a two-hour train ride south to internationally-renowned Niseko ski resort, Japan’s most famous ski and snowboarding playground and Hokkaido’s powder snow capital
  • Sample delicious, freshly-caught seafood, including world-famous crabs, at food stalls within bustling Nijo Market, the city’s celebrated, century-old fish market

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