What to do in Sapporo

Activities, attractions and tours
Sapporo TV Tower which includes night scenes, a city and landscape views

Sapporo Attractions

Sapporo is the largest city and the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Before it became the capital of Hokkaido, the Sapporo area was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. Sapporo came into being at the beginning of the Meiji Period when Hokkaido began to undergo large-scale development, and today is a popular destination for domestic tourism due to its natural beauty, impeccable cuisine, and cultural significance. The city is famous as the site of the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, as well as the Sapporo Snow Festival—the largest in Japan. Discover a multitude of things to do in Sapporo, from sampling your way through miso ramen and Sapporo beer to roaming its many parks and enjoying the colors of the seasons.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Sapporo

As Japan's fifth largest city and one of its youngest major metropolises, Sapporo has much to explore. The city is home to many parks, including the Makomanai Park where the 1972 Winter Olympics were held, and its roads are laid to a grid plan, which is a less common trait for Japanese cities.

Odori Park - Odori Park was originally established as a main street in Sapporo (Odori meaning "large street") that divides the city into north and south sections. After a flower garden was planted in one of the street's 13 blocks in 1876, the area became a park, stretching nearly a mile (1.5 km) from the Sapporo TV Tower to the Sapporo City Archive Museum. The park is the main site of the Sapporo Snow Festival in February, and hosts the Sapporo Lilac Festival in May.

Moerenuma Park - One of Sapporo's largest parks, Moerenuma Park was designed by artist Isamu Noguchi. The art park, which was transformed from a waste disposal site over 23 years, enables visitors to enjoy unique scenery depending on the time of day and season. Landmarks within the park include the perfectly triangular Mount Moere, the Hidamari glass pyramid, and the Sea Fountain, which spouts ocean water 82 feet (25 m) in the air. The park also features playground and recreational opportunities, making it ideal for families.

Historical Village of Hokkaido - The Historical Village of Hokkaido is an open-air museum that shows Hokkaido as it was during the Meiji and Taisho eras, when it was undergoing development on a large scale. The village, which features 60 historic buildings, is divided into 4 sections: a town, fishing village, farming village, and mountain village. The Historical Village is located in the Nopporo Forest Park just outside central Sapporo, and is close to the Hokkaido Museum, which documents the heritage of the prefecture, including Ainu culture and wildlife.

What to See in Sapporo

Mount Moiwa, located in the middle of the city, offers panoramic views over all of relatively flat Sapporo and the Ishikari Bay in the Sea of Japan. Climb the mountain by foot, or take the Mount Moiwa Ropeway partway up the slopes, and then board a unique mini cable car that brings you to the observation deck at the mountain's summit. Mount Moiwa is also home to a Peace Pagoda commemorating peace after World War II, and its stupa can be seen from just about anywhere in the city. For another look over Sapporo, visit the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower, which stands 297 feet (90 m) over Odori Park. On the ground, the historic Sapporo Clock Tower and Sapporo City Archive Museum—housed in the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, or Red Brick Office—are examples of prominent landmarks in the city.

Sightseeing in Sapporo

Sapporo is famous for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri), which takes place over 1 week in February. Enormous and elaborate snow sculptures are exhibited throughout Odori Park, which also hosts concerts and live events during the festival. Also visit the Susukino entertainment district to see nearly 100 illuminated ice sculptures, and the Sapporo Tsudome (Sapporo Community Dome) to enjoy family-oriented activities like snow slides and snowrafting. The Sapporo Lilac Festival, held in May, brings life to the city after a long winter as lilac trees in Odori Park and the lilac forest of Kawashimo Park bloom with color. Musical events, stamp rallies, and regional foods celebrate the lilac—the official tree of Sapporo—during the festival.

In addition to the Snow Festival, Sapporo is well known for its food and drink. Sapporo Beer, Japan's oldest beer brand, was started in the city, and the Sapporo Beer Museum explores the history of Sapporo Brewery Inc. and its predecessor, DaiNippon Beer Company. Sapporo is also the birthplace of miso ramen, which gives the noodle dish a new and mouthwatering twist. The best place to grab a bowl is the Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, a street in the Susukino district packed with ramen shops. Fresh seafood, especially crab and sea urchin, is another specialty of Sapporo, along with soup curry and jingisukan, a Mongolian barbecue dish named after Genghis Kahn.

As the capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo also serves as a gateway to the rest of the prefecture. Common day and weekend trips out of Sapporo include the hot springs resort of Noboribetsu, the romantic harbor city of Otaru, and Biei, famous for its Blue Pond.

Sapporo Attractions

Sapporo is the largest city and the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Before it became the capital of Hokkaido, the Sapporo area was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. Sapporo came into being at the beginning of the Meiji Period when Hokkaido began to undergo large-scale development, and today is a popular destination for domestic tourism due to its natural beauty, impeccable cuisine, and cultural significance. The city is famous as the site of the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, as well as the Sapporo Snow Festival—the largest in Japan. Discover a multitude of things to do in Sapporo, from sampling your way through miso ramen and Sapporo beer to roaming its many parks and enjoying the colors of the seasons.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Sapporo

As Japan's fifth largest city and one of its youngest major metropolises, Sapporo has much to explore. The city is home to many parks, including the Makomanai Park where the 1972 Winter Olympics were held, and its roads are laid to a grid plan, which is a less common trait for Japanese cities.

Odori Park - Odori Park was originally established as a main street in Sapporo (Odori meaning "large street") that divides the city into north and south sections. After a flower garden was planted in one of the street's 13 blocks in 1876, the area became a park, stretching nearly a mile (1.5 km) from the Sapporo TV Tower to the Sapporo City Archive Museum. The park is the main site of the Sapporo Snow Festival in February, and hosts the Sapporo Lilac Festival in May.

Moerenuma Park - One of Sapporo's largest parks, Moerenuma Park was designed by artist Isamu Noguchi. The art park, which was transformed from a waste disposal site over 23 years, enables visitors to enjoy unique scenery depending on the time of day and season. Landmarks within the park include the perfectly triangular Mount Moere, the Hidamari glass pyramid, and the Sea Fountain, which spouts ocean water 82 feet (25 m) in the air. The park also features playground and recreational opportunities, making it ideal for families.

Historical Village of Hokkaido - The Historical Village of Hokkaido is an open-air museum that shows Hokkaido as it was during the Meiji and Taisho eras, when it was undergoing development on a large scale. The village, which features 60 historic buildings, is divided into 4 sections: a town, fishing village, farming village, and mountain village. The Historical Village is located in the Nopporo Forest Park just outside central Sapporo, and is close to the Hokkaido Museum, which documents the heritage of the prefecture, including Ainu culture and wildlife.

What to See in Sapporo

Mount Moiwa, located in the middle of the city, offers panoramic views over all of relatively flat Sapporo and the Ishikari Bay in the Sea of Japan. Climb the mountain by foot, or take the Mount Moiwa Ropeway partway up the slopes, and then board a unique mini cable car that brings you to the observation deck at the mountain's summit. Mount Moiwa is also home to a Peace Pagoda commemorating peace after World War II, and its stupa can be seen from just about anywhere in the city. For another look over Sapporo, visit the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower, which stands 297 feet (90 m) over Odori Park. On the ground, the historic Sapporo Clock Tower and Sapporo City Archive Museum—housed in the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, or Red Brick Office—are examples of prominent landmarks in the city.

Sightseeing in Sapporo

Sapporo is famous for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri), which takes place over 1 week in February. Enormous and elaborate snow sculptures are exhibited throughout Odori Park, which also hosts concerts and live events during the festival. Also visit the Susukino entertainment district to see nearly 100 illuminated ice sculptures, and the Sapporo Tsudome (Sapporo Community Dome) to enjoy family-oriented activities like snow slides and snowrafting. The Sapporo Lilac Festival, held in May, brings life to the city after a long winter as lilac trees in Odori Park and the lilac forest of Kawashimo Park bloom with color. Musical events, stamp rallies, and regional foods celebrate the lilac—the official tree of Sapporo—during the festival.

In addition to the Snow Festival, Sapporo is well known for its food and drink. Sapporo Beer, Japan's oldest beer brand, was started in the city, and the Sapporo Beer Museum explores the history of Sapporo Brewery Inc. and its predecessor, DaiNippon Beer Company. Sapporo is also the birthplace of miso ramen, which gives the noodle dish a new and mouthwatering twist. The best place to grab a bowl is the Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, a street in the Susukino district packed with ramen shops. Fresh seafood, especially crab and sea urchin, is another specialty of Sapporo, along with soup curry and jingisukan, a Mongolian barbecue dish named after Genghis Kahn.

As the capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo also serves as a gateway to the rest of the prefecture. Common day and weekend trips out of Sapporo include the hot springs resort of Noboribetsu, the romantic harbor city of Otaru, and Biei, famous for its Blue Pond.


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Sapporo must see attractions

1. Odori Park

On an action-packed visit to Sapporo, Odori Park is both a destination and a space for relaxation. Stretched out over 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) or 12 city blocks down the center of the city, the park separates the northern administrative districts from the southern, residential and commercial districts. Stop here for a picnic lunch amid its 92 types of trees while visiting the city or come for one of the many festivals that set up on the plazas any time of the year. The famous Sapporo Snow Festival is one popular example.
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Odori Park

2. Hokkaido University

Go on a self-guided tour of Hokkaido University and glimpse the daily activities of the city’s higher education students. Hokkaido University is famous for its leafy gardens and buildings that showcase varying architectural styles. Visit the campus museum to see collections that honor everything from a university founder, to Nobel laureates and natural science exhibits.
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Hokkaido University featuring street scenes and heritage elements as well as a small group of people

3. Sapporo Dome

Though the Sapporo Dome is best known as the home ground of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and the soccer team Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, it is a tourist destination in its own right. Perfect for sports fans of all kinds and featuring the world’s first “hovering” soccer field, it is full of activities even on days when concerts or sports games are not taking place. Take a tour of the stadium, jog through the nearby grounds or go up to the observation deck and look out onto the rolling nearby hills.
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Sapporo Dome featuring modern architecture

4. Nakajima Park

Like Hokkaido itself, Nakajima Park changes with the seasons but is lovely year round. This 52-acre (21-hectare) urban oasis gathers a charming collection of natural features and cultural institutions in a picturesque setting beneath Mount Moiwa. Come see why the city park, created on the site of an abandoned lumberyard, has become a favorite for locals and visitors.
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Nakajima Park

5. Sapporo Clock Tower

The Sapporo Clock Tower (Tokeidai) dates back almost as far as the city itself. The wooden building was constructed as a college less than 10 years after Sapporo was established as Hokkaido’s capital in 1869. Although this building looks dwarfed compared to the skyscrapers that surround it today, its historical significance and charm continues to make it one of Sapporo’s most-visited attractions.
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Clock Tower

What to do in Sapporo

Free Things to Do in Sapporo

A vacation in Sapporo doesn't have to cost a lot. You won't even need your wallet if you go to:

Hokkaido University Museum - Check if there are any special displays, exhibits or guided tours on at this popular museum.

Former Hokkaido Government Office Building - Amble around this historic place and discover some secrets from times past.

JR Sapporo Hospital - Strike up a conversation with a few locals and discover why many travelers swing by this place.

Toyokawa Inari Sapporo Betsuin - Whatever your beliefs, this place will invoke a sense of reverence in you.

Mount Moiwa - You'll be treated to vistas that'll amaze you at this natural landscape.

Soseigawa Park - Grab your picnic blanket, pack some food and find a comfortable spot to relish nature.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Sapporo

As Japan's fifth largest city and one of its youngest major metropolises, Sapporo has much to explore. The city is home to many parks, including the Makomanai Park where the 1972 Winter Olympics were held, and its roads are laid to a grid plan, which is a less common trait for Japanese cities.

Odori Park - Odori Park was originally established as a main street in Sapporo (Odori meaning "large street") that divides the city into north and south sections. After a flower garden was planted in one of the street's 13 blocks in 1876, the area became a park, stretching nearly a mile (1.5 km) from the Sapporo TV Tower to the Sapporo City Archive Museum. The park is the main site of the Sapporo Snow Festival in February, and hosts the Sapporo Lilac Festival in May.

Moerenuma Park - One of Sapporo's largest parks, Moerenuma Park was designed by artist Isamu Noguchi. The art park, which was transformed from a waste disposal site over 23 years, enables visitors to enjoy unique scenery depending on the time of day and season. Landmarks within the park include the perfectly triangular Mount Moere, the Hidamari glass pyramid, and the Sea Fountain, which spouts ocean water 82 feet (25 m) in the air. The park also features playground and recreational opportunities, making it ideal for families.

Historical Village of Hokkaido - The Historical Village of Hokkaido is an open-air museum that shows Hokkaido as it was during the Meiji and Taisho eras, when it was undergoing development on a large scale. The village, which features 60 historic buildings, is divided into 4 sections: a town, fishing village, farming village, and mountain village. The Historical Village is located in the Nopporo Forest Park just outside central Sapporo, and is close to the Hokkaido Museum, which documents the heritage of the prefecture, including Ainu culture and wildlife.

What to See in Sapporo

Mount Moiwa, located in the middle of the city, offers panoramic views over all of relatively flat Sapporo and the Ishikari Bay in the Sea of Japan. Climb the mountain by foot, or take the Mount Moiwa Ropeway partway up the slopes, and then board a unique mini cable car that brings you to the observation deck at the mountain's summit. Mount Moiwa is also home to a Peace Pagoda commemorating peace after World War II, and its stupa can be seen from just about anywhere in the city. For another look over Sapporo, visit the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower, which stands 297 feet (90 m) over Odori Park. On the ground, the historic Sapporo Clock Tower and Sapporo City Archive Museum—housed in the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, or Red Brick Office—are examples of prominent landmarks in the city.

Sightseeing in Sapporo

Sapporo is famous for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri), which takes place over 1 week in February. Enormous and elaborate snow sculptures are exhibited throughout Odori Park, which also hosts concerts and live events during the festival. Also visit the Susukino entertainment district to see nearly 100 illuminated ice sculptures, and the Sapporo Tsudome (Sapporo Community Dome) to enjoy family-oriented activities like snow slides and snowrafting. The Sapporo Lilac Festival, held in May, brings life to the city after a long winter as lilac trees in Odori Park and the lilac forest of Kawashimo Park bloom with color. Musical events, stamp rallies, and regional foods celebrate the lilac—the official tree of Sapporo—during the festival.

In addition to the Snow Festival, Sapporo is well known for its food and drink. Sapporo Beer, Japan's oldest beer brand, was started in the city, and the Sapporo Beer Museum explores the history of Sapporo Brewery Inc. and its predecessor, DaiNippon Beer Company. Sapporo is also the birthplace of miso ramen, which gives the noodle dish a new and mouthwatering twist. The best place to grab a bowl is the Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, a street in the Susukino district packed with ramen shops. Fresh seafood, especially crab and sea urchin, is another specialty of Sapporo, along with soup curry and jingisukan, a Mongolian barbecue dish named after Genghis Kahn.

As the capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo also serves as a gateway to the rest of the prefecture. Common day and weekend trips out of Sapporo include the hot springs resort of Noboribetsu, the romantic harbor city of Otaru, and Biei, famous for its Blue Pond.


 

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Frequently asked questions

What to do in Sapporo on a sunny day?
These fun activities are a perfect excuse to get outside and make the most of the sunshine:


What is Sapporo famous for?
Decisions, decisions — there are plenty to make in Sapporo, such as which of these iconic attractions to discover first:

  • Sapporo JR Tower
  • Sapporo Beer Museum
  • Hokkaido Museum

What should I not miss in Sapporo?
Don’t return home without ticking off the following inspiring attractions:

  • Odori Park
  • Sapporo Dome
  • Hokkaido University
  • Sapporo Clock Tower

Are there cheap things to do in Sapporo?
Browse these entertaining experiences that won’t burn a hole in your credit card:


What can you do in Sapporo for free?
You could even leave your credit card in the hotel safe for the day, because these cool attractions won’t cost you a cent:

  • Odori Park
  • Former Hokkaido Government Office Building
  • Moerenuma Park
  • Tanukikoji Shopping Street


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