Sapporo Travel Guide

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You will find Sapporo, surrounded by beautiful nature on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Memorable experiences await in Sapporo with its fantastic ski resorts on the outskirts of the city and its annual snow festival. The city has a lot to offer but it is best known for its iconic beer. We recommend that you visit Sapporo during the winter.

Snow festival

Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is the city’s well-known snow festival that takes place annually in early February. The festival is divided into three areas, Odori, Susukino and Tsu Dome.

To experience fantastic sculptures of ice and snow, you should visit Odori and Sasukino where sculptors from all over the world exhibit their sculptures to participate in the big competition held in connection with the festival.

Visit the Tsu Dome and release the inner child. The area has three different ice slides and several snow slides for tobogganing. If you get hungry, just go into the big dome of snow, here you will find different food stalls and a stage with nice performances.

Sapporo Beer Museum

Beer fans see here! The island of Hokkaido is the beer’s birthplace in Japan and Sapporo is home to the oldest and one of the country’s most famous beer brands, Sapporo Beer.

Visit the Sapporo Beer Museum and join a guided tour of the history of beer in Japan and the process of producing the beer. Then enjoy a freshly brewed beer directly from the brewery. It can not be fresher than that. 

We also recommend a visit to Sapporo Beer Garden which is located in the same house. Here you will find several restaurants but also atmospheric beer halls that offer “all you can drink” and “all you can eat”.

Tv Tower

An iconic landmark in Sapporo and definitely worth a visit. Go up to the 90 meter high tower and look out over the city and enjoy the beautiful view. If you are lucky, on cloudless days you can see all the way to the sea.

Do not miss to visit the underground shopping center Aurora Town which is connected to the TV tower. Aurora Town stretches 312 meters and is home to many fantastic shops.


Another iconic building in Sapporo is the Tokeidai bell tower. The house that is home to the bell tower was built in 1878 and in 1881 a bell was installed from Boston.

The building has had several purposes, but today it is a popular museum that represents the history of the house, the clock and Sapporo. 

Ishiya chocolate factory

Treat yourself to a visit to the Ishiya chocolate factory and taste their famous white chocolate cakes called “shiroi kobito”. If you take the guided tour, you can follow the entire manufacturing process of the chocolate cakes. It is also possible to create your own chocolate cakes. 

The factory also has a park, Shiroi kobito park, with restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a delicious cake buffet and see a robot show to then visit the toy museum. If you are traveling with children, this is definitely something to recommend.


Curb Market is one of the largest outdoor markets in Sapporo with its 80 shops and restaurants that stretch along several blocks. The market is best known for specializing in shellfish such as crab, sea urchin, salmon roe, squid and scallops. Take the chance to taste freshly caught seafood at one of the market’s restaurants.

The market is open daily 06:00 – 17:00.

Nijo Market can be found in central Sapporo and is an indoor market that stretches along an entire block. This market also has a fantastic selection of seafood and a strong recommendation is to visit the market early and enjoy a seafood breakfast at one of the restaurants.   

The market is open daily 07.00 – 18.00.


If you want a fun night out, head to Susukino, Japan’s largest entertainment district in Japan north of Tokyo. Here it is packed with bars, restaurants and shops.

For a complete night out, we recommend a visit to one of the area’s all karaoke bars or for the game-loving one a visit to a pachinko slots. Just be careful not to let the entire travel fund disappear in one night.

Also take the opportunity to visit Ramen Yokocho which is a narrow alley with restaurants and serves Sapporo’s famous ramen. During the winter festival, an ice sculpture competition is held in Susukino.


Sapporo Factory is a large shopping center in central Sapporo with 160 shops, several restaurants, cafes and a large cinema with several lounges. There is also a small brewery that serves freshly brewed beer in their beer hall. This is how you can satisfy your shopping cravings, hunger, beer cravings and get entertainment, all in one place.

Sapporo Factory is open daily from 10:00 to 20:00.

Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade is a shopping center that stretches over 1km long and has everything you need for a pleasant shopping time. There are almost 200 stores and all stores are under one roof. There is also a large selection of restaurants & bars and in the evenings there are several karaoke bars. 

Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade is open 24 hours a day but many of the stores choose to open at 10am.

Kaitaku no Mura

Visit the historic village of Kaitaku no Mura and travel back in time to the year 1868 and experience what it was like to live in Sapporo at that time. The village is divided into four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm and a mountain village. There is also an old model of a railway station.

The village functions as an open-air museum and consists of 60 different buildings representing classic houses from the entire island of Hokkaido between 1868 – 1926.

Stroll around the characterful houses and then continue in the lush garden with small shrines. A perfect visit for the whole family.

Mt. Moiwa

Visit Mt. Moiwa and experience a view that is hard to beat. From the top of the mountain you get a fantastic view of the city, the Mashike Mountains and Ishikari Bay. It should be extra beautiful in the evening and is said to be one of the best views in Japan. 

For the fast one can hike up the mountain to the lookout point, but for the more comfortable one we recommend Mt. Moiwa Ropeway which is a cable car that takes you to the top in two stages.

At the top you will find an observation deck where you can look out over the city. There is also a planetarium, a theater and a restaurant that offers a nice view of the city.

The mountain is also home to Mount Moiwa Ski Resort which offers several ski slopes, but they are located on the other side of the mountain so you can not reach them through the cable car.

Botanical Garden

Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens is one of the most beautiful gardens in Sapporo and has a lot to offer. Release all stress and walk around among beautiful flowers and stately trees.

The garden has several small gardens with different themes, including a garden full of lilac bushes. There are also greenhouses to visit and a museum to learn more about Hokkaido’s history.

Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing moment away from the city mullers.


Teine Ski Resort is the largest and most famous ski resort in Sapporo. It was here, among other things, that the Winter Olympics were held in 1972. The facility is only 40 minutes from the city center and has a large selection of ski slopes divided into two areas Highland zone and Olympia zone. Where the former is for the slightly more experienced skiers and has a snow park with jumps, boxes and rails.

The resort is open daily from 09:00 to 15:45 and offers night skiing on certain dates until 21:00. For a full day it costs 5400 yen, half a day 4100 yen and for an evening session 2100 yen

Kokusai Ski Resort is located on the outskirts of Sapporo and is significantly smaller than Teine Ski Resort, but the amount of snow and the quality of the snow is hard to beat. That is why many choose to go here instead. Kokusai is mainly aimed at beginners or intermediate skiers with almost only blue and green slopes, which makes it a perfect place for families with children.

The resort is open daily from 08:30 to 17:00. For a full day it costs 4600 yen and a 4-hour session costs 3900 yen.

The ski season in Sapporo is from mid-November to the beginning of May and that is when all ski resorts are open.


Odori Park can be found in the middle of central Sapporo and this is where the annual snow festival is held. Even in summer it is worth visiting due to its magnificent flower gardens, extensive selection of trees, fountains and sculptures. The park stretches along 15 blocks and at one end you will find the previously mentioned TV tower.

Moerenuma Park is a large park on the outskirts of Sapporo with a lot to offer. In addition to its large green areas, there are several uniquely designed areas such as the large glass pyramid Hidamari, Mount Moere which offers a view of the entire park, a sea fountain with water shows and Moere Beach which is an artificial swimming beach. 

Asahiyama Memorial Park was opened in 1970 to celebrate Sapporo’s 100th anniversary. The park has a lookout point that allows for a spectacular view of the city and the sea. This is the main reason tourists choose to visit the site, but the park also offers hiking trails, picnic areas and playgrounds for children.

Maruyama Zoo

Maruyama Zoo is not a huge zoo but still worth a visit as it is one of the country’s largest nature-oriented zoo. They put a lot of focus on creating natural habitats for the animals so that they can act according to their natural instincts. This gives visitors an authentic experience.

Maruyama Zoo is home to over 180 different mammals, birds and reptiles, but the animal that attracts the most visitors is the polar bears. Take the chance to see polar bears up close, it may be your only chance to see a polar bear as they are about to become endangered.


Okurayama ski jump stadium is a famous place in Sapporo because the Winter Olympics were held here in 1972. Here the participants competed in 90 meter ski jumping. The slope is still used today for various ski jumping competitions such as the world championships. 

When the ski jump is not in use, it is a perfect vantage point. At the top is, among other things, an observatory that can be reached via a chairlift. From there you get a spectacular view of beautiful Sapporo.

Do not miss to visit the Sapporo Olympic Museum located at the foot of the ski jump. Here you can see an exhibition about the Olympics in 1972. The museum also offers several different sports simulation games such as ski jumping, ice skating and hockey. The games are included in the museum’s entrance fee.

Sapporo Station

You will find Sapporo Station in the center and is the city’s primary train station, but is worth visiting for several other reasons. Adjacent to the station building there are several shopping centers and restaurants.

The impressive observation deck T38 is located in the JR tower that rises above the station and is a big reason why many choose to visit the building. With its impressive 160 meters above the ground, you are offered a beautiful view of Sapporo.

Here you will also find Sapporo Ramen Republic, inside one of the shopping centers in the station building. The theme is Ramen, which is a specialty in Sapporo. Here you will also find eight small Ramen restaurants with different varieties of the dish.


Jozenkai is a small town located about 1 hour outside of Sapporo and is known for all its Onsen and Ryokan. If you want an authentic experience of Japanese hot springs and accommodation, this is the place to go.

If you choose to stay at a Ryokan, you get to experience traditional Japan as well as its residential culture and food culture. Most Ryokans have their own Onsen for their guests but many allow you to visit one of the hot springs without staying there. 

In addition to visiting Jozenkai for its hot springs, many choose to go here in the fall to experience the beautiful nature and see the autumn shifts of the trees. Along the ale and the side valleys, the colors become extra strong. The best month to experience this is October.

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You do not have to worry about holding on to your valuables or walking around with large sums of cash. The Japanese are a very loyal and well-educated people with very few thieves and the like. Seeing younger children ride the subway home from school alone is not an unusual sight to see in Japan. Of course, there are jerks everywhere, but Japan has very few of them.

Buy a JR pass if you plan to move to other cities. If you only want to be in Sapporo, you can do well to pay for your transport at a time. But most visitors take a week in Tokyo and then move on to Kyoto, Osaka and other popular cities. These routes are quite expensive without a JR pass. Nalatrip is a official reseller of these passes.

The Suica card – a fantastic IC card that can be pre-loaded with money to easily flip beverage machines, the subway and other machines for a cash-free and fast payment. Alternatives to the card are Icoca Card & Pasmo Card .

The best time of year to visit Sapporo is in the winter when the snow is thick. It is in the winter that most activists and the winter festival are held. Sapporo is also beautiful to visit the rest of the year but is best known for being a winter town.

Sapporo Airport is called New Chitose Airport (CTS / RJCC) and is located about 1 hour outside the city. If you have bought JR pass, you can exchange it at the airport.

Bus, train and taxi are available at the airport and take you quickly into town.

Japan uses the Japanese Yen – JPY.

We recommend a small change before the trip at Forex or another currency exchange to be able to pay for any transport from the airport, food and drinks on site.

Secure ATMs for cash withdrawals are available around the city. You do not have to worry about walking around with larger sums of cash as the country is very safe.

7-eleven usually have a very good exchange rate. We therefore recommend that you only bring a small amount and withdraw more cash on the spot.

Do not change at the Airport. Visit a bank or 7-eleven in town.

Tips are not appreciated by the staff and can sometimes be considered offensive.

If you want to tip, in that case ask the staff before if it’s okay. Most likely you will get a no, as tips are not part of their everyday life.


Japan uses socket A, adapter might be required.


Check the status of your country here.


Japan is in the timezone GMT+9. Expect jetlag.

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