The word Sapporo means “important river flowing through a plain” in Ainu language. This capital of Hokkaido is Japan’s fifth largest city and the center of this island’s politics, economy, and culture. The charms of this city include amazing local delicacies, picturesque scenery and the annual Sapporo Snow Festival held in February.
Clock Tower (Tokeidai)
A beloved symbol of Sapporo built in the early period of Sapporo’s development in 1878. The idea behind the tower came from Dr. Clark who was the school’s first vice principal. It was used as a facility where Agricultural School students conducted their military training and physical education, and as the main hall where commencement and other ceremonies were held. The clock was bought from Boston. Today it serves as a museum with displays about the history of Sapporo and the building. There are also displays about clock and a spacious ceremony hall. The chimes can be heard every hour and the building is beautifully illuminated at nighttime. Activities : Photo stop Fee : JPY 200 (museum) Time required : 10-15 minutes
Former Hokkaido Government Office Building (Akarenga Chosha)
As its name indicates, this building housed the government of Hokkaido for over 80 years. It was designed and built using the American Neo-Baroque architectural style popular abroad during that time. Inside, there is a conference room, a museum shop, a tourist information office and a few historical exhibition rooms and libraries. Visitors can enter free of charge.
Activities : Photo stop Fee : None Time required : 15-20 minutes
Sapporo Beer Museum
As the birthplace of beer in Japan, this is the nation’s only museum dedicated to beer. It explores the long history of Sapporo Beer (one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in the country) passed down from 1876. After the exhibitions, beer tastings are available at a small fee. Alternatively, paid tours are held in Japanese that include a tasting session at the end. Next to it, the Sapporo Beer Garden has a few restaurants popular for all-you-can-drink beer and all-you-can-eat Jingisukan (Image via official website).
Activities : Beer learning & tasting Fee : JPY 500 (guided tour) Time required : 20-30 minutes
Odori Park (Odori Koen)
Located in the heart of Sapporo, this park stretches about a kilometer and a half over twelve city blocks and offers pleasant green space. It is also the main site of the yearly Sapporo Snow Festival. The park is home to about 400 lilac trees. In summer, the park changes into a large beer garden, while in autumn, it showcases food stalls by restaurants from around the city and beyond.
Activities : Seasonal Fee : None Time required : at least 20 minutes
This entertainment district is packed with stores, hotels, bars, restaurants, karaoke shops, pachinko parlors and red-light establishments. Overflowed with about 80,000 people at night, Susukino is the “district that doesn’t sleep.” For ramen hunters, do not miss Ramen Yokocho, a narrow lane lined with shops serving Sapporo special ramen. For shoppers, make sure to check out Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade where you can enjoy endless shopping.
Activities : Shopping Fee : None Time required : 1-2 hours
Shiroi Koibito Park
A chocolate entertainment park operated by Ishiya, a Japanese confectionery manufacturer famous for producing Shiroi Koibito cookie (a thin layer of white chocolate in between two butter cookies). This park merged British and Hokkaido cultures and you can visit the free area (shop, café, restaurant), and the paid area (chocolate-related exhibits and cookie production process) (Image via official website).
Activities : Shopping Fee : JPY 600 (paid area) Time required : 1 hour
Seafood Buffet NANDA
Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is one of the world's top destinations for crab connoisseurs. There are three main types of crab: zuwaigani (snow crab), tarabagani (red king crab), and kegani (horsehair crab). In Nanda, a seafood buffet restaurant in Susukino, you can have all-you-can-eat seafood, wagyu, Hokkaido melon and dessert. Additional fee allows you to have all-you-can-drink beverages and alcohol.
(Image by Nanda)
Website : https://g-nanda.com/en/
The hot spring culture has been with the Japanese for a long time. It gives health benefits, as well as a relaxing effect on your mind and body. In Hokkaido, there are several popular onsen towns such as Noboribetsu, Jozankei, Toya, and Tokachigawa.
One of the most popular souvenirs from Hokkaido. Shiroi Koibito is a confectionery of white chocolate sandwiched between freshly baked two thin butter cookies. The carefully controlled oven temperature creates a crisp and light texture that easily melts in your mouth. You can easily buy this product at souvenir shops in department stores and stations. Its aqua-colored packaging is a trademark known by every Japanese person.
ROYCE’s Chocolate Potato Chips
This is one of Sapporo’s staple souvenirs. It is a chocolate-coated potato chip snack with the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. Once you start eating them, you will not be able to stop. The eye-opening unique combination of sweet-salty, the crispy and light texture of ridged potato chips blend in perfect harmony.
(Image via Pinterest)
Located between Minami Nijo and Minami Sanjo in Sapporo, Tanukikoji stretches for 900m from east to west and is home to around 200 shops. You will find restaurants, fashion stores, souvenir shops, and all kinds of other specialty shops here.
Sapporo Station is not just Hokkaido’s largest station, but also a hub for shopping and dining. From fancy restaurants to cozy cafes, a selection of luxurious boutiques and even a cinema, Sapporo Station has it all.