Sapporo Travel Guide
Some Westerners may think that Sapporo is a beer but in fact it is one of Japan’s youngest and most pleasant cities. Since the late 1800s, its expansion has been rapid and it is now the country’s fifth-largest city. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards make it a refreshing place for modern exploration.
The Clock Tower is famed not for any striking architectural features, but simply because it is the city’s oldest structure. In fact, the monument has been rated by some as Japan’s most disappointing tourist attraction. A heaving nightlife and close proximity to great ski resorts more than makes up for this, as does Sapporo’s largest event - the Snow Festival. Held at the beginning of February, it draws visitors from around the world, particularly for the renowned ice sculpture competition.
No trip to Sapporo would be complete without a visit to the Beer Museum; that is providing you are of a suitable age. Sapporo was home to the first brewery in Japan and this museum offers a history of Japanese beer making. The Botanical Gardens are perfect for a leisurely activity, with some of its most interesting offerings being the Alpine Garden and the Museum of the Ainu People, a Japanese ethnic minority. The main shopping district is located along the Namboku metro line, while Suskino is the largest entertainment area with everything from bars and restaurants to nightclubs.
Ishiya Chocolate Factory: some may consider it tacky, but it is a fun day out with toy stores and of course, lots of chocolate.
Sapporo TV Tower: this replica of the Eiffel Tower has an observation deck with amazing views of the city.
Moiwayama: a cable car ride to the top of this mountain offers stunning views of Sapporo and is a great place to observe the sparkling lights of the city at night.
Teinyeyama: mountain ski resort is easily accessible from the city and offers a mix of slopes suitable for beginners up to advanced skiers.
Snow Festival: this is one of Japan’s largest festivals, held in February each year and attracting tourists from all over Asia and indeed the world. Don’t miss the spectacular building-sized ice sculptures on display.
Sapporo Beer Museum: gives an interesting insight into the history of beer production in Japan.