The capital of Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, Sapporo is famous for its beer, skiing and annual Sapporo Snow Festival in February featuring enormous ice sculptures (which I’m SO sad we missed by just a few weeks). We only had about 12 hours in Sapporo, sadly, but here are the highlights!
When To Go…
Flower Fields in June-August, Sapporo Snow Festival in early February, Snowsports from Late November to Early May
How To Get Around…
From Niseko (Kutchan) to Sapporo, it’s a comfy 2 hour train ride (slow moving) through the mountains and snowy hills. It’s on the JR line, which is great!
Times from Kutchan to Sapporo leave at 5:20am, 6:20am, 6:58am, 8:04am, 9:38am and 11:42am, so keep that in mind when booking your flight.
Do note that you have to change trains at Oatru for Sapporo.
From Sapporo Station to Sapporo (New Chitose) Airport, it’s about one hour on the JR line.
Where To Stay…
MyStays Sapporo Station
Hotel MyStays Sapporo Station is a 5 minute walk from Sapporo Train Station, which was super convenient in the cold weather. There is a sister hotel just opposite, called Mystays Sapporo Aspen (more expensive), so be sure to check your reservation. $72USD/night
What To Do…
Sapporo Beer Museum
Sapporo Beer Museum is a $10USD cab ride from Sapporo station. For $6, you can enjoy a sampler of 3 different types of beer! It’s a MUST SEE!
Not only is Sapporo Station the main station for railway in town, but it doubles as a very large shopping mall with endless restaurants. It’s fun to roam around the many halls and explore/eat. The station has a lively pub scene!
Where To Eat…
Hanamara Sushi in Paseo (Sapporo Station):
We loved the sushi so much here, we ate here twice in the short time we were in Sapporo. The service is great and the prices are reasonable!
Hanamara Sushi in JR Tower Stellar Place (Sapporo Station):
This is another conveyor belt sushi that came highly recommend, although we never dined there.
A lane packed with shops and countless ramen restaurants with budget-friendly prices! Teshikaga Ramen came highly recommended!
Things To Note…
Small Bills are a MUST! Be sure to always have notes of $1,000 Yen or less.
Wifi isn’t easy to get around the city, so be sure to reserve an accommodation that provides pocket wifi.
Many of the train stations don’t have lifts (elevators), so if you have heavy luggage, it’s a LONG journey up/down multiple flights of stairs. Pack light!
When making payment anywhere in Japan, never hand your money directly to the cashier, as there are trays provided for handling these items so hands are not touched between cashier and payee.
Sapporo became famous in 1972 when the Winter Olympic Games were held there.
The cities nickname is ‘The City of Ramen.’
Sapporo is the most popular Asian beer sold in the USA, since 1986.
The star logo of Sapporo is in reference to the North Star, a pioneer’s symbol for the pioneers of Japanese beer.