The Official Hokkaido Adventure Travel Guide

SAPPORODestinations

Northern Capital Backed by Nature

As the largest city and capital of nature-rich Hokkaido, Sapporo is the perfect place to base any trip around the prefecture in, with convenient plane and train access throughout Hokkaido from Sapporo makes exploring Hokkaido in its entirety simple. Begin your exciting Hokkaido trip in Sapporo, indulging in the art, culture, and gourmet the modern metropolis has to offer, or swing by at the end to unwind with something to drink or a stylish desert in the city’s nightlife. Sapporo’s proximity to its surrounding nature also means those who can’t get enough of adventure in Hokkaido can continue their journey here; with hiking, canoeing, and more all accessible within an hour of downtown, you don’t even have to leave the city for big Hokkaido excursions.

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Art is Everywhere

Part of what makes Sapporo such a cool destination is the way art is truly a part of the city. The art created in Sapporo, as well as the art scene in which it is appreciated, are seamlessly integrated into the urban and natural environments.

One spot to experience this is the Hill of the Buddha, a fascinating space conceived by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando that features a 13.5 meter tall Buddha statue buried in a man-made hill so only the top of its head is visible. The hill is covered in 150,000 lavender plants that dye the area vivid purple every summer, and the modern concrete interior below transports you from the natural world to the spiritual as you face the giant Buddha inside.

Moerenuma Park is another beloved art space in the city, designed by acclaimed sculpture and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. Designed to be thought of as one large sculpture, Moerenuma is a combination of aesthetic architecture and impressive scenery, with outdoor attractions for every season, as well as playground areas and an art gallery.

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Culinary Capital

Hokkaido is a treasure trove for incredible cuisine, and Sapporo is where the most delicious things from all over the prefecture gather. As Hokkaido is surrounded by three oceans, the freshest seafood is available all over the city, in destination ranging from historic fish market to affordable conveyor-belt style sushi restaurants to high-end establishments.

The region’s ample farmland also means plenty of local produce and meat, perfect for local Sapporo favorite Genghis Khan, lamb barbecue grilled with fresh vegetables. Nothing matches this hearty meal better than a glass of Sapporo’s eponymous beer, which the city began producing as Japan’s first domestic beer in 1876 and has since grown into a world-famous brand. Another highly-recommended Sapporo-born food is miso ramen; thick curly noodles immersed in rich miso-flavored broth make for a meal beloved by locals and visitors alike since its creation.

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Winter Wonderland

Once the city’s beautiful green season and autumn end, Sapporo’s famous winter takes the stage. Freezing air from Siberia is blown across the Sea of Japan into Hokkaido, creating generous snowfall of top-quality powder in the region, and Sapporo is blessed with an average of five meters of this dreamlike snow every year.

Such conditions are a paradise for winter sports lovers everywhere, and with multiple ski resorts throughout the city, you don’t have to go far to experience them. Amongst them, Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort is particularly renowned for the quality of its powder snow, with a long season running almost half a year, and Sapporo Teine, which hosted several events in 1972 Winter Olympic Games, offers not only fantastic snow, but a stunning nighttime view from the top overlooking nearby Ishikari Bay. Every ski resort in the city guarantees an enjoyable trip to the slopes with their individual charms, making skiing in Sapporo a worthwhile part of any trip to the city.

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