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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!
|Osaka||2hrs 15min by Flight|
|Tokyo||1hr 30min by Flight|
|Kyoto||11hrs by Train|
The former Hokkaidō Government Office in Sapporo
The Sapporo Beer Museum was opened in 1987 in a former brewery from the Meiji Period
Enjoy delicious corn ramen soup in Sapporo
Panoramic view of Matsumi Bridge crossing a "sea of trees" in Mikuni Touge Pass, in Daisetsuzan National Park
Snowboarding at Niseko Ski Resort in Hokkaido
Famous for its abundant wildlife, a pair of Red-crowned crane walk through the snow in Hokkaido
Hill of the Buddha shrine in Sapporo
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