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Sapporo travel guide

Sapporo tourism | Sapporo guide

You're Going to Love Sapporo

The capital of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Sapporo has the lot: great museums, wonderful shopping markets and streets, sporting attractions, fine food, and some of the country's best beer too.

It's also an all-year-round destination. Being so far north, Sapporo gets plenty of snow. The mountains that ring the city (and hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics) become a playground for skiers and snowboarders, while the Sapporo Snow Festival in February is a visual spectacular.

Come summer, when the city heats up, you'll find food and drink festivals, open air music, enchanting Japanese gardens, and an easily walkable city center. There's not much more to ask for from an Asian vacation destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Sapporo

When to Visit Sapporo

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Sapporo doesn't really have an "off" switch. It just keeps on celebrating, shopping, and dining all year round. Obviously, if you are interested in hitting the slopes, you'll need snow, so visiting between December and March makes sense. Otherwise, festival season kicks off in May, and the weather warms up nicely after that. Any time between May and October will be ideal for sightseeing.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Sapporo

How to Get to Sapporo

Airports near Sapporo

Airlines serving Sapporo

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Where to Stay in Sapporo

Sapporo is dotted with superb hotels, in almost every neighborhood. The most visually impressive (from the outside at least) is definitely the 1930s Sapporo Grand Hotel, but Sapporo Park Hotel, Cross Hotel Sapporo, and the New Otani Inn are all just as comfortable, offering fine food, plenty of amenities, and central locations. If you need a ski resort nearby, try the Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort, which is a few miles west of the city.

Popular Neighborhoods in Sapporo

Where to stay in popular areas of Sapporo

Most booked hotels in Sapporo

How to Get Around Sapporo

The Cost of Living in Sapporo

Shopping Streets

Shopping is a civic obsession in Sapporo, and everywhere you go, you'll find malls, underground shopping centers, and atmospheric alleyways full of craft stores. The best areas to go include Stellar Place (next to JR Sapporo Station), which hosts hundreds of fashion stores, cosmetics outlets, and restaurants. Sapporo Factory, near the Beer Museum, is also a fabulous shopping mall. If you want to buy an authentic kimono, head to Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade, where you'll find innumerable boutiques offering traditional and contemporary prints.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in Sapporo include Aeon (the most common store across the city) and many independent grocery stores. Don't expect rock bottom prices though, with a gallon of milk coming to around ¥820 and 12 eggs costing ¥200.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Sapporo

The food in Sapporo is the envy of many Japanese cities, and in a country as obsessed by high-quality cuisine as Japan, that's high praise indeed. Great restaurants abound, but some of the finest options include Hanamaru (an exceptional sushi restaurant), Nishitondendori (which specializes in curry soups), and the seafood experts Sapporo Kani-Honke. There are also excellent vegan-friendly places like Aoi Sora and barbecue restaurants like Jingisukan Daruma Rokuyon; don't miss the BBQ mutton with bell peppers, leeks, and onions. Meals won't cost the earth, either, with a sit down dinner coming to around ¥3,000-6,000.