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Sapporo is the fifth-largest city in Japan by population, and the largest city on the island of Hokkaido.It is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, located in Ishikari Subprefecture, and an ordinance-designated city of Japan.Sapporo is known outside Japan for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics,the first ever held in Asia, and for the annual Yuki Matsuri in the city, internationally referred to as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world.The city is also home to Sapporo Brewery and the famous white chocolate biscuits "White Lovers"exclusively sold in Hokkaido.

In 2001 the construction of the Sapporo Dome was completed,and in 2002 the Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Germany vs Saudi Arabia, Argentina vs England and Italy vs Ecuador,all of which were in the first round.The present mayor of Sapporo, Fumio Ueda, was elected as the mayor for the first time in 2003.Sapporo became the home to a Nippon Professional Baseball team,Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in 2004, which won the 2006 Japan Series,and the victory parade was held on Ekimae-Dori (a street in front of Sapporo Station) in February 2007.

The 34th G8 summit took place in Toyako in 2008, and a number of people including anti-globalisation activists and marched in the heart of the city to protest.Police officers were gathered in Sapporo from all over Japan, and the news reported that four people were arrested in the demonstrations.The Hokkaido Shinkansen line, which is currently under construction to Hakodate through the Seikan Tunnel, is planned to link to Sapporo.

Sapporo is a city located in the southwest part of Ishikari Plain and the alluvial fan of the Toyohira River, a tributary stream of the Ishikari River.Roadways in the urban district are laid to make grid plan road.The western and southern part of Sapporo are occupied by a number of mountains including Mount Teine, Maruyama, and Mount Moiwa, as well as a lot of rivers including the Ishikari River, Toyohira River, and Sousei River.

Sapporo has many parks, including Odori Park which is located in the heart of the city and hosts a number of annual events and festivals throughout the year.Moerenuma Park is also one of the largest parks in Sapporo, and was constructed under the plan of Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist and landscape architect.Neighbouring cities are Ishikari, Ebetsu, Kitahiroshima, Eniwa, Chitose, Otaru, Date, and towns are Tobetsu, Kimobetsu, Kyogoku.

Sapporo is one of the popular tourist attractions in Japan, and as of 2006, the annual number of tourists had reached 14,104,000, which was an increase of 5.9% over the previous year (13,323,000 in 2005).2006 was also the first year for Sapporo when the number of tourists exceeded 14 million, in its history of tourism.Soup curry, a liquid curry with vegetables and rice, is also one of the specialties in Sapporo, and currently plenty of soup curry restaurants are located in the cities and towns in Hokkaido.Sapporo Sweets, a confectionery using many ingredients from Hokkaido, is also popular, and the Sapporo Sweets Competition is held annually.

How to Reach

By Air

The Sapporo area is served by two airports: Okadama Airport, which serves regional flights within Hokkaido, and New Chitose Airport, a larger, international airport located in the city of Chitose.An airport shuttle bus servicing all hotels in Sapporo operates 365 days a year.Skybus was founded in 2005 and also provides transport to and from various ski resorts throughout Hokkaido, including Niseko.

By Train

Sapporo has one streetcar line, three JR Hokkaido lines, three subway lines and JR-bus, Chuo-bus and other bus lines.Sapporo Subway trains have rubber-tyred wheels.JR Sapporo Station is the main train station for Sapporo.Perhaps the most popular way to reach Sapporo by train is on the various overnight sleeper services.These are popular, so book in advance. Note that for sleeper trains, the Japan Rail Pass only covers the basic fare.Pass holders are responsible for paying for the room and other surcharges.A B2 room for two people on the Hokutosei costs ¥12,600, with up to ¥8,000 in surcharges.

By Bus

Express buses connect to most points in Hokkaido.The main terminal is next to the Bus Center-Mae station of the subway Nanboku line and Toho line.

By ferries

Although Sapporo is located inland, there are two major ferry ports nearby: Otaru and Tomakomai. Both have scheduled car and passenger ferry service to points outside Hokkaido.

Key places to visit
Sapporo Beer Museum, Hokkaido Shrine, Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, Moerenuma Park, Sapporo TV Tower, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Sapporo Factory, Sapporo Clock Tower


Places to Visit

Sapporo Beer Museum

Is a museum located in the Sapporo Garden Park in Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Registered as one of the Hokkaido Heritage sites in 2004, the museum is the only beer museum in Japan.The red-brick building was erected originally as a factory of the Sapporo Sugar Company in 1890, and later opened as a museum in July 1987.The building also houses the Sapporo Beer Garden in the south wing.

Hokkaido Shrine

Is a Shinto shrine located in Sapporo, Japan. Sited in Maruyama Park, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, the Hokkaido Shrine enshrines four kami including the soul of the Emperor Meiji.A number of contributors of the Exploration in Hokkaido such as Mamiya Rinzo are also enshrined.The area of the Hokkaido Shrine is 180,000 m2,and is adjacent to Maruyama Park.During the season which cherry blossoms in the area bloom, the shrine is crowded with people enjoying Hanami. \Many people also visit the shrine during Japanese New Year to go Hatsumode.From June 14 to 16 in every year, the Main festival of Hokkaido Shrine, also called "Sapporo Festival" (Sapporo Matsuri), is held, and the line of people bearing Mikoshi parades down the street which leads to the shrine. It also manages a Scouting activities.

Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

Is the scenic spot located in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.The bronze statue of Dr. William S. Clark, which stands on the hill, is well-known as the symbol of frontier spirit of Hokkaido.The statue of Dr. Clark is famous for the symbol of Hokkaido's frontier spirit.Lots of tourists take pictures of themselves with the statue in the background.Hitsujigaoka observation hill is the gentle hill which commands a panoramic view of Sapporo and Ishikari plain.In the foreground of panorama a flock of sheep are grazing, which creates a pastoral scenery.

Moerenuma Park

Is a municipal park located in Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Japan.The park has some playground equipment, outdoor sports fields, and objects which are designed by Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese American artist.Visitors can enter the park and use the parking lot for free.Construction of the park was begun in 1988, and opened in 2005.The park won a number of awards including the Good Design Award in 2002.

Sapporo TV Tower

Is a 147.2 metre high TV Tower with an observation deck at a height of 90.38 metres.Located on the ground of Odori Park, in the northern city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, the tower is open to tourists. Tourists can take panoramic pictures of Sapporo and Odori Park.The lift to the observation deck at 90 metres high locates on the third floor, and visitors are required to buy tickets at the shop on the ground floor.From the observation deck, the entire view of the Odori Park, Mount Okura, and Maruyama are seen.Having the height of 147.2 metres, the Sapporo TV Tower used to be the most prominent figure in Sapporo, but recently many high-rise buildings have been constructed around the Odori Park, making the Tower less prominent.

Sapporo Symphony Orchestra

Is a professional orchestra based in Sapporo, Japan.The Orchestra has its nickname “Sakkyo” and is a full member of “Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras.”The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra is the only professional orchestra in Hokkaido.Its subscription concerts take place regularly at the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara and the office is also located in Kitara.With 77 orchestra players, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra performs more than 120 concerts per year, with 2 subscription concerts for each program during every month between September to June.

Sapporo Factory

Is a complex that includes a shopping mall, office, multiplex movie theaters, and museum, located in Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.The building was formerly a brewery that belonged to the Kaitakushi, the old government of Hokkaido prefecture, and later owned by the Sapporo Beer Company, the predecessor of the Sapporo Brewery.Currently, the Sapporo Factory is run by the Yebisu Garden Place, a subsidiary of Sapporo Holdings Ltd., and a real estate company.The original brewery building was built in 1876, and after the brewery ceased to function in beer production, the operations were moved to a new location in Eniwa, in 1993.

Right Time to Visit

February - July
August - December


February - June -> 28(°C) - Summer
October - December -> 14(°C) - Winter


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