If you’re keen to visit Japan, but not yet familiar with the country, then your first instinct may be to visit tourist meccas such as Tokyo or Kyoto. They are indeed fine destinations, but there is one more city that those in the know will strongly recommend, which is Sapporo.
Why You’ll Love Sapporo City
If you are a connoisseur of world beers, then you have likely heard of Sapporo Beer, which was named after Sapporo City. Located in the northernmost region of the Japanese archipelago on the prefecture of Hokkaido. It is the fifth-largest city of Japan and the capital of Hokkaido.
The Japanese hold a special place in their hearts for Hokkaido. The prefecture is known for its stunning natural beauty, big skies, clean air, and the resulting top-quality agricultural produce. Thus, whenever Japanese from other parts of the nation get a chance to visit Sapporo, they leap at the chance because of the gourmet delights that await.
But, Sapporo City is so much more than a gastronomic heaven. As a modern city, it is loved for its livability including wide boulevards, beautiful parks, and modern amenities. However, where it really shines is its abundance of historical monuments and opportunities to experience traditional Japanese culture.
Recommended Sapporo Sightseeing Destinations
The great appeal of Sapporo is that, although it is a sizable international city, you can relax and won’t feel harried. If you can manage it, two weeks is an ideal timeframe to spend exploring Sapporo, taking some basic Japanese classes, and engaging in cultural immersion activities where you’ll make new friends.
However, while Sapporo combines the best of what Japan has to offer, it can be a little overwhelming to plan your own itinerary. Therefore, below are a few suggestions to get you started. It won’t be long after you return from your trip to Sapporo that you’ll be planning your next visit!
During the development of the Sapporo City, Odori Park was originally designated to be a street but ended up being turned into a park. Located in the heart of the Sapporo, it attracts tourists and locals alike.
The park hosts events and ceremonies year-round including the Sapporo Lilac Festival and the Sapporo Snow Festival. Local landmarks including the Sapporo TV Tower and the Sapporo City Archive Museum are located within its boundaries.
Love shopping and want to see what’s hot in Japan? You’re in the right place because Odori Park is surrounded by some of the nation’s finest shops, department stores, and restaurants.
The Sapporo Beer Museum
As the name indicates, Sapporo City has a museum dedicated to preserving the rich history of beer. Visitors to the Sapporo Beer Museum will have the pleasure of savoring freshly-brewed beer shipped directly from the company’s local breweries. You can try a variety of brews including the Hokkaido exclusive Sapporo Classic, the Sapporo Draft Kuro Label, and the Kaitakushi Beer.
The museum houses a state-of-the-art 6K video theater that provides a dramatic retelling of the venerable company’s history. Within the complex are, as you would expect, several beer halls and, for the warmer months, a beer garden.
Moiwayama (Mount Moiwa) is located just outside Sapporo and its panoramic view of the city is regarded as an essential part of any itinerary. The Mt. Moiwa Ropeway climbs Mount Moiwa, bringing visitors to the observatory for a panoramic view of the city. It is particularly popular as a nighttime destination for seeing the city twinkling lights. Book your ticket in advance to save time and take in the stunning views as the ropeway takes you almost 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above Sapporo City.
More in Sapporo
We’ve shared with you what most people regard to be the top three sightseeing destinations in Sapporo. However, if you are up for it, we highly recommend the following also.
- Sapporo Clock Tower: This American style wooden clock tower, houses a museum introducing the history of the Agricultural College and the development of Sapporo. It is a favorite photo spot for locals and visitors alike, as evidenced by the many happy snaps visible on Instagram.
- Jozankei Onsen: A prominent hot spring resort known as “Sapporo’s relaxation getaway.” Located within the gorgeous Shikotsu-Toya National Park, where one can experience the beauty of each season. Jozankei boasts an impressive collection of accommodations from large-scale hotels to cozy, traditional inns. The area is also popular as a spot for various outdoor leisure activities.
- Moerenuma Park: A landscape sculpture Mecca designed by Isamu Noguchi offering distinctive expressions of the four seasons. Visitors can enjoy different scenery depending on the time of the day and season. You’ll feel like you are inside a huge sculpture.
Learning Japanese in Sapporo
Our Hokkaido Japanese Language School, Hokkaido JaLS, specializes in short term Japanese language study. We have won numerous awards since our establishment in 2012, combining professional Japanese tuition and our ethos that each student should have the most valuable experience possible whilst studying in Japan.
Below are six reasons why you’ll love studying Japanese with us in Sapporo:
Our curriculum is uniquely designed to offer the maximum benefit to short-term learners, all our teachers hold a professional Japanese teaching license, and we are continually recognized as one of the top language schools in the world by our professional partners.
Everyone is welcome in our warm and supportive global community. Every year, we welcome students from over 30 different countries, and every year, many students return to our school to reconnect with us and continue their studies.
Our school is committed to keeping courses and class sizes small, intimate and flexible. You can study at Sapporo JaLS for a minimum of 1 week. Classes are a maximum of 8 students, and an average of 5, which means that every student here receives detailed personal attention and care.
Immersive cultural lessons and activities will give you precious memories (and great photos!). Offered year-round, our activities provide chances to refine your language skills and cultural understanding during your time in Japan.
Our school is located less than a 1-minute walk from train stations in the city center. We are surrounded by restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions. Our state of the art facility includes a large café, bookshop, and study center, open into the night each day, where you can make the most of your study-time in Sapporo.
Our wider company also runs an English and Asian Languages school for local Japanese people from the same facility. In addition to your regular classes, you will have many opportunities to meet Japanese people informally.
Book Your Trip & Choose Your Course
Being a major draw for tourists from around the world, there is a lot of information about Sapporo online. However, having so many options can be a little overwhelming. Let us simplify things for you.
- Accommodation: We offer various short-term accommodation options in Sapporo.
- Language Course: Once you have decided on your dates, please contact us so that we can arrange a course to fit your schedule and needs.
- Guidance: Don’t feel that you need to research and plan a detailed itinerary before you arrive. Once you’re here, you can use our school as a base, and our friendly staff is always available to recommend destinations and guide you on how to get there.
We’re looking forward to meeting you in Sapporo and helping you enjoy your stay to the fullest!