Top 10 Things to Do in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Sapporo is such a sleepy town. When it snows, imagine how deserted the streets are. But can you guess where the people have been going? These Top 10 things to Do in Sapporo list will reveal Sapporo’s interesting colors all year round and guarantee to pump your wanderlust. There’s more to snow and ice at Sapporo.
1. Ski Jump at Mt. Okura Observatory
Location: Address: 1274 Miyanomori, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0958
Official Website: http://okura.sapporo-dc.co.jp/
It’s like jumping from the Macau Tower but deadlier. Watch daredevils ski jump from Mount Okura’s Okurayama Observatory, and feel your bones chilled at the sight of this ultimate plunge.
2. Shop at the Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space
Location: Odori Station Underground
When you’re freezing at -16 degrees Celcius, there’s only one place to walk around without slipping against a sheet of ice. The Sapporo Underground Pedestrian Space is filled with shops and restaurants where you can cure your shopaholic tendencies. While the Sapporo Factory mall ranks high on Google, Daimaru and Tokyu Department Store are shopping malls near the area that deserve your attention better ~ and more populated than the former.
3. Indulge in sweets at the Ishiya Chocolate Factory in Shiroi Koibito Park
Location: Miyanosawa Station, 2-2, Nishi-ku, Sapporo
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm Daily
Official Website: http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/english/
You can’t miss a side trip to Shiroi Koibito Park, its Ishiya Chocolate Factory reminiscent of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory in San Francisco. Literally meaning “White Lover” and an ode to the famous white chocolate cookie of Hokkaido, the factory is great for anyone with a sweet tooth. Drink the sweetest, warmest hot chocolate and indulge in some Ishiya Mifuyo chocolates while going on a tour inside the shops. At night, Shiroi Koibito Park is a sight not to be missed.
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4. Eat the freshest seafood at Nijo Ichiba 二条市場
Location: Odori Station, 1 Chome Minami 3 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 060-0053, Japan
Opening Hours: 5:00am – 3:00pm Daily
When in Hokkaido, you can’t pass the opportunity of eating the freshest seafood including the majestic Hokkaido King Crab. Scallops hail from the island of Hakodate, a place no better, and the sweetest melons from the area of Yubari. At no specific season of the year, Niji Ichiba’s oceanic spread of seafood is the ultimate gastronomic heaven for foodies.
5. Take a day trip to the village of Otaru
Location: JR Otaru Station
There is no other word to describe to Otaru but stunning. This small harbour city northwest of Sapporo offers as the Venice of Japan, its own beautifully preserved canals remarkable for anyone who wants to go outdoors and ride a boat. Otaru is best known for its sake distilleries and glasswork commodities. Don’t forget to pass by Sakaimachi Street for again, the best seafood Hokkaido has to offer.
6. Hoard the best Hokkaido Butter at depachika’s
Location: Daimaru depachika, JR Sapporo Station, New Chitose International Airport
I fell in love with Hokkaido’s butter. It doesn’t melt easily but melts effortlessly when you spread on bread. If you can’t go to Furano’s milk factories, Sapporo’s commodities are enough to bewitch you from Yotsuba Butter to Matsumura Farm Butter. Throw in some cheese and you’re in dairy fantasy.
Tip: If you want to buy butter without risking melted butter by the time you reach home, some shops sell butter at the New Chitose International or Domestic Airport. You can opt to buy there and pack in your luggage before checking them in.
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7. Visit the Sapporo Snow Festival at Odori Park
Location: Odori Station
Aside from the Sapporo TV Tower and the Sapporo Clock Tower which are near the area, the Odori Park is one of the top places to go in Sapporo, especially during the Sapporo Snow Festival where ice sculptures take centerstage in this winter wonderland. When the ice sculptures are not there to entertain you, the Odori Park is your escape from the hustle and bustle of the JR Sapporo Station.
8. Take a time warp at the Historic Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku no Mura)
Location: 50-1 Atsubetsucho, Konopporo, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 004-0006
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm Daily
Official Website: http://www.kaitaku.or.jp
If you want to feel what Hokkaido was like during the Edo era, the prefecture of “Ezo” (former name of Hokkaido), can be experienced at the Historic Village of Hokkaido. Everything in the area, from horsedrawn carriages to the farm and fishing villages are entirely simulations but hardly artificial.
9. Warm your tummies with Sapporo Ramen at Susukino district
Location: Susukino Station
Sapporo is the birthplace of miso ramen, that milky, creamy broth topped with corn and Hokkaido butter. This bowl of gastronomic attack is best eaten at the Susukino district, just before you grab a drink or two. Hokkaido’s own version of Shinjuku comes alive and this entertainment and music district emits the feel of Tokyo you will surely enjoy.
10. Drink to your heart’s content at the Sapporo Beer Museum
Location: JR Sapporo Station, Kita 7-Jo Higashi 9-chome Higashi-ku, Sapporo
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 6:30pm Daily
Official Website: http://www.sapporoholdings.jp/english/guide/sapporo/
While it’s not the ultimate Oktoberfest, the Sapporo Beer Museum doesn’t disappoint in the birthplace of Japan’s beer. Sapporo Breweries opened the Meiji Era-originated Sapporo Beer Museum in 1987 to educate visitors about its production process. The Sapporo Biergarten has two restaurant halls including one that serves Genghis Khan-style grilled meat, the perfect accompaniment to Sapporo Beer.
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