Sapporo - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist


Japan's northernmost metropolis and home to the annual Snow Festival.

About Sapporo
Sapporo is the snowy capital of Japan's northern island, Hokkaido. The city is reminiscent of Stockholm, both in terms of climate and size. It was founded in 1868 and its structure is taken directly from the American town planning manual: a street network on a grid in the style of New York that is incredibly easy to navigate.

Snow Festival, nightlife and delicious food
The TV Tower in Odori Park is the centrepiece. All streets have names according to how far they are from the tower, so for example "North 2 East 5" means two streets north and five streets east of the TV tower. If you know where the TV tower is, you can't get lost since it’s 147m tall: easy to keep an eye on! Odori Park is a beautiful attraction, almost 1½km long and a green oasis in the middle of the big city. In February the world-famous Snow Festival takes place here and the whole park is filled with one amazing ice sculpture after another. The Susukino amusement area is perhaps Japan's largest. It is one of the best places to experience the unique Japanese nightlife, where ordinary restaurants and bars lie side by side with more shabby places. Things may get a little untamed here, but you never feel in danger. The food is also something very special. Hokkaido is Japan's breadbasket, and here you get fantastic freshly caught fish and the local speciality, jingiskan - lamb grilled at the table. Of course, it tastes best with a Sapporo beer.

Other attractions in Sapporo
The town is lovely all year round. In winter, the surrounding mountains are a skiing paradise, especially the nearby Niseko Resort. In summer, the area invites you to take day trips or longer mountain walks in the countless nature parks. If you travel approx. 30 minutes by local train, you reach the old fishing village of Otaru, a great place for a day trip. The city's well-preserved canal area is nice to stroll through, and there are many well-preserved old storehouses and office buildings. A little outside the city is the so-called "Herring Mansion", where you can see how the richest fishermen lived. Japan's oldest whiskey distillery, Nikka Whiskey, is not far either, located in the nearby town of Yoichi.

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