Travel Guide: Explore Amazing Places and Activities in Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo is the capital and largest city of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It is an amazing destination for any traveler with a love for both nature and activities in the city. Famous for its colder climate and large amounts of snowfall, there are many winter attractions to explore around the city. There are many options to choose from, such as experiencing winter festivals, or visiting ski resorts for winter sports.

Not only does the Sapporo area offer various activities in the winter, there are many things to see and do all throughout the year. Here you can also experience the delicious foods of Hokkaido and enjoy many kinds of seafood during your visit.

New Chitose Airport

New Chitose Airport

Even upon arriving in the Sapporo area, there are plenty of things to do and see within the New Chitose Airport. If you have time to explore, you can choose to go shopping, dine at one of the many restaurants, or even stay at a hot spring hotel for the night.

If you choose to go shopping, there are many places to choose from. You can look around and find various shops selling sweets and many different souvenir items. If you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture, stop by the Pok√©mon store, where you can shop for many kinds of character goods. You can also visit and admire the Snow Miku Sky Town store and museum, selling many vocaloid products representing the theme of winter in Hokkaido.

There are also many different dining options available. You can choose to eat foods such as fresh seafood, fast food, and different kinds of noodles. If you would prefer something else, visit one of the many cafes offering coffee and other drinks to take a moment to relax.

If you want to relax in a hot spring, or “onsen”, you can stop by the New Chitose Airport Onsen. Here you can enjoy the hot spring, get a massage, and even spend the night. After a busy schedule of flights and travelling, this is a great way to rest and recharge for your trip.

Odori Park and Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park

Located within the city of Sapporo, Odori Park is a beautiful location of nature within the surrounding city and urban environment. There are many trees and plants surrounding the area, as well as benches where you can sit down to take a break from the busy city. There are also beautiful fountains and statues to admire, as well as colorful arrangements of flowers on the grassy lawn.

To get a view of the park, a great option is to visit the Sapporo TV Tower. Go to the observation deck around 90 meters high above the ground to take in the cityscape of Sapporo. There is also a souvenir shop that you can stop by to shop for products with the theme of the tower. At night, the tower is lit up with illuminations. The combination of both buildings and nature creates a unique and beautiful view that you can enjoy in all seasons.


Sapporo Lilac Festival

Many events take place in this park throughout the different seasons of the year. In the spring, you can celebrate and enjoy the Lilac Festival and admire the many beautiful blooming lilac trees while you walk through the park. At this festival you can enjoy many events, such as music performances and a tea ceremony held outside. You can also try Hokkaido wine and food, as well as shop around markets and a cafe.

In the early summer in June, you can also experience the YOSAKOI Soran Festival. During this event, you can watch teams of dancers performing, dancing with hand clappers made of wood, called “naruko”. The performances also include the traditional fisherman song Soran Bushi. Experience the powerful and the lively energy of the dance and music, while also enjoying the vibrant colors and costumes.

In the autumn, you can observe the stunning fall colors of the surrounding trees in the park. At the Sapporo Autumn Festival, you can also enjoy lots of amazing cuisine and dishes. Sapporo and Munich, Germany, are sister cities, and part of the festival includes an Oktoberfest environment with German foods and beer. In other areas of the festival, you can also experience the local dishes and ingredients of Hokkaido. The winter is also a great time to visit Odori Park. With the great amount of snow in Sapporo, you can experience the Sapporo Snow Festival with its stunning snow statues and other winter activities.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an event held every year featuring grand ice and snow sculptures, as well as many other winter activities. Held over a week in February, the event takes place in three locations: the Odori site, the Tsudome site, and the Susukino site.

At the Odori site, you can find many detailed snow sculptures depicting characters, places, scenes, people, and many other kinds of artwork. Through the beautiful illuminations of the huge sculptures, you can view a stunning night landscape of these works. You can also enjoy the view of this scenery from the Sapporo TV Tower overlooking the festival.

Whenever you get hungry, you can also visit places such as the food square, or various street food booths, where you can try amazing dishes from all around Hokkaido. Here you can try all kinds of foods, such as ramen and many types of seafood like crabs and scallops. Surrounded by the cold weather, these foods will be great to keep you warm as you admire the snow statues.

At the Tsudome site, there are more ways to enjoy the winter scenery, featuring many activities such as snow and ice slides. The site also offers many other kinds of attractions, such as an indoor park with activities for kids. This is a great location if you are looking to interact more with the snow, or want to find many fun activities if you are travelling with children.

Along with the snow sculptures at the Odori site, the Susukino site includes sculptures made of ice. The transparent artworks are carved with beautiful details, reflecting the lights of the surrounding shops. You can also view the statues lit up with bright neon lights that shine upon them, containing many beautiful colors.

Shiroi Koibito Park

Shiroi Koibito Railway

If you’re a chocolate lover, this park is definitely a great place to visit. Created by the confectionery company Ishiya, Shiroi Koibito is a famous cookie with either white or milk chocolate in the center. If you prefer something else, there are also many other kinds of treats you can try in the park as you enjoy its attractions. You can visit restaurants serving many food options or try their soft-serve ice cream.

If you are interested in the process of how these confections are created, there are many touring opportunities to choose from. Wander around the dream-like factory by participating in an unguided tour where you can watch the creation of the Shiroi Koibito cookies. To experience more of the process, you can take a course on the types and tastes of chocolate, and even a cookie-making class.

There are many ways to explore the beautiful garden area of the park. If you visit in the summer, you can enjoy the view of blooming roses in the garden. You can also ride a miniature train on the Shiroi Koibito Railway, where you can see the cute candy-themed decorations and take in the natural beauty of the park.

If you want a souvenir to remember your amazing experiences, you can choose to shop around the stores. Here you can buy treats, as well as many different kinds of items like bags and stationary all with the theme of the park. You can even buy personalized souvenirs, like a keychain with your name, or even a cookie tin box with your photo. Overall, this is a beautiful place to visit with many great activities to make you feel like you stepped right into an adorable storybook.

Sapporo Teine Ski Resort

Sapporo Teine Ski Resort

One of the venues for the 1972 Winter Olympics, you can visit Mt. Teine and spend time participating in many winter sports and activities. The resort has two zones, the Olympia Zone and the Highland Zone, both with different ski courses. The resort has courses for all levels from beginner to advanced, so anyone can enjoy their visit. You can take a course with a view of the city as you ski down the slope, enjoying the panoramic scenery while you’re surrounded by the sparkling snow.

Even if you don’t know how to ski, there are also lessons you can take at the Teine Olympia Ski School. You can take a class if you don’t have any ski experience, and there are also private lessons for both skiing and snowboarding. With these options, you can enjoy and gain experience at the resort even if you are new to these winter sports.

Hokkaido University

Botanical Gardens in Hokkaido University

Located close to the Sapporo Station, Hokkaido University has a beautiful natural campus. Visit the Botanic Garden to see all kinds of plantlife. Here there are many rock gardens, maple trees, roses, and many other kinds of gardens with various plants. You can visit the Northern Peoples Museum to learn about the culture and practices of the northern peoples in Hokkaido, with a focus on the indigenous Ainu people. Visit the museum to observe the tools used in rituals and hunting, as well as clothing. You can also learn about different items made from plants and how they were used, and see these plants in the Northern Peoples Ethnobotanical Garden.

On the campus, you can also enjoy the greenery and the stream in the Central Lawn. Take a stroll in Elm Forest to view the many elm trees and enjoy the surrounding university environment. With all of the different kinds of plantlife, the campus has stunning autumn colors and a vibrant spring to admire.

Nijo Fish Market

Nijo Fish Market

One of the famous specialty foods in Sapporo is the many different kinds of seafood. The Nijo Fish Market is a place where this all comes together for an amazing experience of being surrounded by fresh fish from the sea. Walk along the market and stop by each store to see the different varieties and arrangements of products. You can find many types of fresh crabs, such as king crabs, which you can spot through their bright red colors.

Not only does the market have many kinds of crabs, each store also sells all sorts of other seafoods. You can find uni, many varieties of fish both dried or fresh, salmon roe, scallops, and much more. The countless options make this market a paradise for any seafood lover. This is also a great place to try fruits such as melons, with many places in the market also selling these products in addition to seafood.

There are many restaurants in the market to eat different kinds of dishes. A fantastic dish at these restaurants are the different types of seafood bowls, a bowl of rice topped with many kinds of seafood with various combinations. These restaurants and dishes are a popular breakfast choice, and a great place for visitors looking for an amazing seafood experience.

Foods in Sapporo

Hokkaido Melon

Hokkaido is known for its agriculture and farming, with many green fields across the landscape. There are many kinds of special foods grown and made in Hokkaido, which you can find and enjoy in the Sapporo area. One of the most famous of these fruits is the Yubari King melon. Grown in the small city of Yubari, close to Sapporo, these melons are known to be very sweet. They are also very expensive and considered an amazing luxury fruit. You can buy these melons throughout Sapporo, or even visit a melon buffet in Yubari during the summertime to experience the famous sweetness for yourself. Another special food here is corn, called toukibi in Hokkaido. You can enjoy this food served in Odori Park, where you can also relax and admire the peaceful natural environment.

Hokkaido Dairy

Soft-serve ice cream

Hokkaido is also a place known for dairy products, such as milk, butter, or soft-serve ice cream. If you want to try ice cream and other Hokkaido desserts, one place to visit would be the Odori Bisse mall. At this mall, there is a floor for desserts, where you can try the different flavors of their ice cream. Here you can also enjoy many other kinds of desserts using dairy products from Hokkaido.


Miso Ramen

Sapporo is also famous for its ramen. A great place to visit if you want to try different ramen dishes is Ganso Ramen Yokocho, or Ramen Alley, an alley lined up with many ramen shops. Located in Susukino, there are 17 different shops you can choose from, with many ramen options. One amazing choice is miso ramen, a style originating from Hokkaido made from miso, or soybean paste. This alley is known to be where the miso flavor originated from, so try visiting to see where it all started. With many styles and topping choices in each place, this is a fantastic place to stop for a meal.


Sapporo is a beautiful place where you can experience both nature and many interesting festivals in the city. As a part of Hokkaido, there are amazing options of seafood and many different local dishes to try. This is a great place to visit with many things to do and see in all seasons.

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