Sapporo is Hokkaido’s principal city, and is home to over 1.9 million people.
Sapporo’s notable sightseeing areas include Sapporo Station, Odori, and Susukino. Jozankei, one of Hokkaido’s three great hot spring districts, lies on the outskirts of the city. Sapporo is home to abundant sightseeing opportunities, vibrant nature, and alluring cuisine. Sapporo also makes an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas such as Otaru and Lake Shikotsu.
- Planning Hints
- To experience Sapporo’s sightseeing attractions and cuisine, plan on one night and two days. Many of Sapporo’s main sightseeing attractions can be found throughout the city center, and rewarding sightseeing experiences are easily possible on foot or by subway.
- We also recommend considering two nights and three days, using Sapporo as a base to explore surrounding areas such as Otaru and Lake Shikotsu.
In the city, the Sapporo Subway is the main transportation method. The subway runs on three lines: the Namboku Line (Green), the Tōzai Line (Orange), and the Tōhō Line (Blue).
The subway very conveniently links major points of interest, such as JR Sapporo Station, Odori Park, Susukino, and Maruyama Park, and is a favorite method of travel for tourists and locals alike.
Transportation in Sapporo’s city center is further complemented by a streetcar, which runs on a loop between Nishi Yonchome and Susukino. From the streetcar, you can relax and enjoy the subtly ‘retro’ vibe of the townscape. The streetcar also offers convenient access to Mount Moiwa.
Money-saving passes such as the ‘One-day Ticket for Subway Use’ allow unlimited rides on the subway or streetcar during a day. These one-day tickets are ideal for visiting the many sightseeing spots throughout the city.
One-day Ticket for Subway Use
This money-saving pass allows unlimited rides on the subway for the whole day.
【Price】 Adults 830 yen, Children 420 yen
【Sales Points】 Subway ticket-vending machines, commuter pass sales offices and other places
One-day Streetcar Pass
This money-saving pass allows unlimited rides on the streetcar for the whole day.
【Price】 Adults 500 yen, Children 250 yen
【Sales Points】 Streetcars, Commuter Pass Sales Office at stations such as Odori and Susukino
Throughout the year, the Sapporo Snow Festival, Beer Garden, and other events celebrate the changing of seasons.
When visiting Sapporo, be certain to check what sort of events are being held!
Major Sapporo Events
Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Beer Garden
Mid July to Mid August
Sapporo Autumn Festival
Early September to Early October
Sapporo White Illumination
Late November to Mid February
An abundance of sightseeing attractions are found throughout Sapporo. Many favorite spots are concentrated near the city center, and can easily be explored and enjoyed on foot or by the subway.
This landmark parkland spans about 1.5 km, running east to west through the city center. A variety of events are held here throughout the seasons, such as the iconic Sapporo Snow Festival.
◎ Enjoy breathtaking views from the observation floor of Sapporo TV Tower. Don’t miss the enchanting sight of Odori Park decorated with winter lights.
◎ From late April to early October, find the famous ‘Corn Wagon’ in Odori Park!
The Corn Wagon sells corn, potatoes, and more. How about stopping to enjoy some sweet, delicious Hokkaido corn during a stroll through the park?
Mount Moiwa Observation Deck
Mount Moiwa reaches an elevation of 531 m. The iconic night view of Sapporo from Mount Moiwa has been designated as one of the new three great night views of Japan, together with Hakodate seen from Mount Hakodate and Otaru. From the mountaintop observation deck, the city lights of Sapporo sparkle like clusters of jewels, forming an incredible 360-degree panoramic night view.
◎ The vast, 360-degree panorama offers continuous views from the Sapporo cityscape to the Ishikari Plains.
◎ The mountaintop observation deck are accessed by a ropeway and a mini cable car.
◎ Popular attractions include the ‘Fortune Bell’ and ‘Love Padlocks’, which are said to deepen the bonds between lovers.
Shiroi Koibito Park
This theme park is operated by the Ishiya confectionery company, which is renowned for creating ‘Shiroi Koibito’ cookies, an iconic Hokkaido souvenir. Here, you can try decorating your own heart-shaped Shiroi Koibito cookie, sample delicious cafés, enjoy factory tours, and more! The park is particularly popular in winter, when evening snows sparkle under beautiful illumination.
◎ Don’t miss the opportunity to create your own, one-in-the-world Shiroi Koibito cookie — a perfect souvenir!
◎ From November to February, the park’s colorful illumination is absolutely enchanting.
Hokkaido Jingu Shrine
Hokkaido Jingu Shrine is considered the foremost ‘power spot’ in Hokkaido. This popular sightseeing spot attracts visitors from throughout Japan and around the world. The shrine is also a popular hanami (flower viewing) destination. From early to mid May, around 1,400 cherry trees and 250 plum trees in the shrine grounds and neighboring Maruyama Park come into bloom, attracting many visitors to enjoy scenes of breathtaking seasonal beauty.
◎ Omikuji (fortune papers) are available in various languages! A wonderful memento of your visit.
◎ Considered a ‘power spot’ to boost one’s fortune in love and marriage, the shrine is a popular place for ladies to visit.
Jozankei Onsen Hot Spring
Among the many hot springs in Hokkaido, Jozankei is among the most renowned, attracting about 2.4 million visitors every year. Just 60 minutes from Sapporo’s city center, Jozankei is situated amidst vibrant nature, where seasonal beauty abounds and a variety of exciting activities await!
◎ In autumn, changing leaves bring vivid color to the entire valley, creating a scene of incredible beauty.
◎ Enjoy various activities with the seasons, such as nature appreciation, white-water rafting, fruit picking, skiing, and playing in the snow.
Sapporo is full of tempting local cuisine, ranging from iconic Genghis Khan lamb barbecue, fresh seafood, internationally-renowned ramen, and a variety of signature sweets. To introduce a few “must-try” local dishes…
Hokkaido’s iconic local lamb barbecue dish. Sapporo is home to an abundance of Genghis Khan specialty shops, with various styles, such as lamb and mutton marinated in signature seasoning blends, or non-marinated versions served with flavorful dipping sauces.
Sapporo Bier Garten
Premium beer together with Genghis Khan lamb barbecue… If this sounds good to you, we recommend heading straight to the Sapporo Bier Garten! Factory-fresh draft beer is a perfect match for Sapporo’s iconic soul food, and this beer hall is the perfect venue to enjoy these true Hokkaido flavors!
◎ This beer hall can also accommodate large groups. An excellent venue to enjoy true Hokkaido flavors with family or groups of friends.
◎ Beer aficionados are sure to enjoy a variety of factory-fresh premium draft beers and a special brew served only at Sapporo Bier Garten.
◎ Learn about the history of beer at the adjoining Sapporo Beer Museum, Japan’s only beer museum.
Sapporo’s local cuisine is perhaps best known for miso ramen. Notable for toothsome, moderately thick, curly noodles and soup primarily based on pork bone and chicken stock, Sapporo ramen stands with Hakodate and Asahikawa as one of the three greatest ramen styles of Hokkaido. Mixing the soup into the stir-fried vegetables as they cook is a distinguishing feature of Sapporo ramen.
One of Sapporo’s most popular foodie destinations, this narrow alley is lined with popular ramen shops, and bustling with visitors night and day. Conveniently just a few minutes on foot from Susukino Station, this is the perfect place to find a satisfying bowl of ramen after seeing the sights of Sapporo.
◎ Many restaurants offer convenient multi-language menus.
◎ Easily accessed from Susukino.
Sapporo’s own unique style of curry, known for its light soup. Spicy and healthful, this dish features plenty of vegetables, served in large pieces atop heartwarming broth. Each restaurant blends its own spices, creating a unique profile of fragrance and heat as the soup is painstakingly simmered to perfection.
End the Evening with a Parfait
After drinking or dining, a very popular evening trend in Sapporo is to finish the day with a special parfait. Each venue has its own unique style, using firm or soft ice cream with seasonal fruit, chocolate, and more to create desserts so beautiful that you’ll want to take a photo first!