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Sapporo is a bustling city in Japan. It's the fifth largest metropolitan area in Japan, and is often referred to as the most northern part of the country. Despite Sapporo's rather large population of 1.938 million people, spacious parks and beautiful coastlines make it a great place for tourists to visit. There's plenty to see and do in the area, but here are the top recommendations.
13 Best Things To Do In Sapporo
Sapporo is a city where the past meets the future. As this city has a highly developed urban area, there are many attractions you won't miss if you visit Sapporo. Today, let's look at a few of the most interesting places in Sapporo that are guaranteed to expand your knowledge of Japan and its people.
Sapporo Private Full-Day Tour
If you would like a private tour of Sapporo, please book this Sapporo Private Full-Day Tour. You will be accompanied by an English or Mandarin-speaking licensed guide who will show you all the sights. The tour includes transportation to and from your hotel, entrance to a variety of attractions and local taxes. The attractions are free but there may be an additional fee for parking and lunch.
Sapporo, Japan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And there's no better way to experience it than by visiting Moerenuma Park.
Moerenuma Park was designed by sculptor Isamu Noguchi and completed in 2005. It's a fantastic place to spend a day, but if you're short on time, then at least be sure to visit the Glass Pyramid, which houses an incredible museum. The museum is designed for children, with its quirky exhibits and hands-on activities that make learning about art fun. But probably your favorite thing will be taking pictures of all of Moerenuma Park's unique sculptural pieces and landmarks. When you visit this place, you'll feel like you're walking through a dream!
Historical Village of Hokkaido
Looking for something different to do in Sapporo, Japan? The Historical Village of Hokkaido is a great place to start. While you're probably familiar with Japan's iconic Edo period, the Historical Village of Hokkaido transports you back to a time before the Meiji Restoration. Sapporo was a mere village back then, and it had a very different feel.
After seeing how that period shaped the city of Sapporo as we know it today, don't forget to stop by the Old Hokkaido Government Office for another look at the region's rich history. The old red brick building is a must-see for any visitor to Sapporo, as it offers a glimpse into what life was like during Japanese rule in the late 1800s.
If you're visiting Sapporo, Japan, you won't want to miss out on a trip to Lake Shikotsu. This alpine lake is the second deepest lake in Japan, and it's home to tons of great activities.
The first thing to do is go for a swim! While this lake may be cold and deep, it's also got super clear water that will make your jump in all the more enjoyable. Just be sure to get out of the water before you get too chilled.
Next up? Hiking! There are a bunch of trails surrounding Lake Shikotsu that will lead you up into the mountains above the lake. It's hard to beat the views from up there. At the top, try eating one of Hokkaido's famous potatoes for some extra fuel for your descent.
Finally, if you want even more adventure, there are tons of boating and fishing opportunities on Lake Shikotsu as well. You can hire someone to take you out in a boat or rent one yourself so long as you have some experience operating them. As with any fishing excursion, make sure you know what kind of license or permit you need before casting your line!
Botanic Garden Hokkaidō University
The Botanic Garden Hokkaidō University is a botanical garden in Sapporo, Japan. It was opened in 1886 and has been a member of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International since 2009. The garden is located on the campus of Hokkaido University in northern Sapporo and features a variety of flora from around the world, including plants from the Arctic, alpine regions, and wetlands. Highlighted areas include:
Alpine Garden Tree Collection Wetland Area
JR Tower Observatory T38
Sapporo, Japan is home to the JR Tower Observatory T38, an observatory that lets you see a view of Sapporo like no other.
The JR Tower Observatory T38 is located on the 38th floor of the JR Tower, which stands at 147 meters (or 482 feet) tall. Customers can take an elevator to the highest viewpoint in all of Hokkaido.
Upon reaching the 38th floor, there is a 360-degree panoramic view of Sapporo. This view not only includes the city skyline, but also a look at Mount Moiwa and Mount Teine.
The JR Tower Observatory T38 also offers several dining options. There are two restaurants—the Sky Grill, which offers a full course dinner or lunch overlooking Sapporo; and the Sky Bar Cocktail Lounge, which offers drinks and light snacks while enjoying a view of the city.
Tanukikoji Shopping Street
For a shopping experience unlike any other, you need to hit up the Tanukikoji Shopping Street in Sapporo, Japan! This is one of the oldest shopping streets in Sapporo, with over 200 years of history. It's filled with shops selling everything from souvenirs to local food to clothing, and even has a couple of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite or take a break. It's also open year-round.
If you're looking for someplace that lets you slow down and enjoy yourself, this is the place to be. The street is covered in an old-fashioned style of Japanese architecture that makes it feel like you've stepped into another time period. Bask in the nostalgia while you shop!
Otaru is a port city located just west of Sapporo, and it's the perfect place to spend a day or two relaxing. The city has a rich history with incredible architecture—you'll find everything from perfectly preserved old-fashioned glassworks to charming old canal buildings that have been beautifully restored.
We always recommend taking a stroll through the Otaru Canal area—it's so beautiful at night with all of the colorful lights reflecting off the water, and it makes for some great photos. In addition to having fun walking around the canal area, there are plenty of delicious restaurants, shops, and museums to explore as well.
Takino Suzuran Hillside Park
Takino Suzuran Hillside Park is a stunning park in Sapporo, Japan. It has great trails for hiking and biking, and it's breathtakingly beautiful!
The park offers colorful flowers, a gorgeous view of the city, picnic areas, and a few shops for snacks and souvenirs. There are some pretty small waterfalls you can visit too—one of them is called Takino Waterfall. It's open year-round, but it's best in the summer and fall. You can enjoy the whole place by foot or by bike—and if you're in Sapporo during the spring, you might see some cherry blossoms!
Sapporo Teine (Highland Ski Center) is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan. It is located on the outskirts of Sapporo, which is one of the largest cities in Japan and offers a variety of winter activities. The resort has both beginner and intermediate areas, as well as a snow park for those looking to have fun on the snow.
The resort has its own gondola system, which allows visitors to get up the hill easily. This makes it possible for people who do not want to ski to still enjoy the resort. At the top of the mountain there are several restaurants and shops, as well as a hotel that can be booked through their website. The resort is open all year round, but during winter it gets very cold so you should dress accordingly.
Sapporo Clock Tower
The Sapporo Clock Tower is a pretty popular tourist attraction in Sapporo, Japan. It was built in 1878 as part of the old Hokkaido Government Office building. It was constructed by foreign settlers and is one of the oldest Western-style buildings in Japan.
Nowadays, it houses a museum where visitors can learn about the history of the Japanese government and Hokkaido's development through exhibits. There's also a clock that chimes every 15 minutes. You can visit the tower for free, and you can even climb up to the top if you want to see some panoramic views of Sapporo.
In the city of Sapporo, there's a place where beer lovers from all over the world come together to celebrate one of Japan's greatest exports.
The Sapporo Beer Museum is a wonderland for people who love beer (but also for people who don't really like drinking it). It's huge, and it's got every element of beer-soaked history you could ever want to see: the facility houses several old-timey machines used in the production of Sapporo beer, it has a shop with souvenirs and snacks and memorabilia, and includes a restaurant that serves up everything from classic beer to seasonal varieties.
Here's the best part: admission is free! That means you can walk around and enjoy yourself without feeling like you need to buy something in order to justify your entry fee.
Sapporo Odori Park
Sapporo Odori Park is a beautiful place to spend a few hours in the city of Sapporo, Japan. The park is over one kilometer long and has been a popular destination for locals and visitors alike for centuries.
The park is best known for its cherry blossoms, which bloom in springtime and attract thousands of visitors from across Japan. This is also when the Sapporo Snow Festival takes place, with animated sculptures made entirely out of snow. There are many walking trails throughout the park that feature these sculptures, so visitors can spend an entire day wandering around the park admiring the scenery.
While there are a lot of places to explore in Sapporo, Japan, consider Mt. Moiwa. This sight is a little bit out of the way, but well worth the trip. While you're there, take the cable car from Susukino to the top of the mountain and experience the incredible views from their observation deck. You can also check out some of their amazing restaurants and enjoy a meal. If you don't feel like walking back down, you can take the cable car back, or if you want to save some cash and work off all those delicious meals, you can just walk back down! Either way, Mt. Moiwa will be a highlight of your time in Sapporo, Japan.
10 Restaurants To Try In Sapporo
Sapporo is a great city with a lot to offer. If you are visiting Sapporo we recommend trying one of the restaurants listed above. Here is a complete list of restaurants you don't want to miss in Sapporo, Japan.
Sapporo Bar Hopping Food Tour
This food tour will take you to 3 different bars in Sapporo, Japan. You'll enjoy a local guide who will tell you about the bars and their food, and you'll get to eat and drink at each bar.
When you're in Sapporo, Japan, there's one thing you just have to do: set aside an evening to enjoy a hearty meal at Sapporo Genghis Khan.
Sapporo Genghis Khan is the leading restaurant in the city for mutton barbecue. They serve up fresh lamb that's grilled to perfection, giving it a crispy outer layer and a juicy, tender interior. You can choose how much spice you want on your meat, and they even offer some vegetarian dishes if you're not in the mood for barbecue. The restaurant has a cozy vibe, with friendly staff and a welcoming ambience.
When you're in Japan, but you're craving French food, there's only one place to go: Mikuni Sapporo, located in the heart of Sapporo.
Mikuni Sapporo is a Michelin-starred French restaurant that specializes in Japanese beef known as "Abe" beef. Abe beef is regarded by many as the best beef available. It is produced by cows that are fed forage and rice straw, resulting in a uniquely rich, creamy flavor that has earned it recognition as one of the top three beefs in Japan.
Jyoti The Door to India
If you're looking for authentic Indian food in Sapporo, Jyoti the Door to India is your place to be! Jyoti The Door to India is a restaurant that features traditional Indian cuisine, with a menu that includes such dishes as chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo.
Jyoti The Door to India offers a wide selection of Indian dishes with all of your favorite flavors, including curry, cumin, coriander, and so much more. The menu also includes a few Japanese specialties such as curry rice, a Japanese-style curry dish that is served over steamed white rice.
Araki Tempura Restaurant
After a long day of exploring the city, Araki Tempura Restaurant is the perfect place to unwind. This restaurant has two Michelin stars and serves the best tempura in all of Sapporo. Araki tempura is known for its lightest batter and is fried brilliantly! It's a must if you're looking to try some delicious Japanese food!
If you're planning a trip to Sapporo, Japan and you don't know where to eat, consider Umi Hachikyo. It's a traditional Japanese restaurant with a modern twist. You'll find sushi in all of its forms, including rolls and nigiri, as well as more inventive dishes like their Salmon roe and rice dish called Tsukko meshi. You'll also find plenty of classic Japanese dishes like teriyaki chicken and tempura shrimp.
If you're looking for some of the best miso ramen in Sapporo, make sure to check out Ramen Shingen, a small chain with a few locations in Sapporo. Their specialty is their miso ramen that has just the right balance of savory and salty flavors. The noodles are hand-made daily and are always incredibly fresh, which is one of the things that makes their soup so amazing. If you're worried about getting full on one serving, don't be—the portions are quite large, so it's easy to share your bowl!
Sushi Miyakawa is a three-star Michelin restaurant in Sapporo, Japan. They serve omakase-style sushi experiences, meaning that the chef chooses what you'll eat. They craft their sushi using fresh fish from Hokkaido and other parts of Japan. If you want to visit, get reservations in advance!
Teshikaga Ramen Yokocho
If you're looking for great ramen in Sapporo, look no further than Teshikaga Ramen Yokocho. Located along the Nanae River, this delicious restaurant is housed in an old building that will draw you in with its unique style and charm. The building features a hipped roof, a symmetrical façade, and a white exterior that is accented by an orange door and window frames. Inside, you'll find a cozy atmosphere with traditional Japanese decor elements like tatami floors and Japanese-style tables.
The water used at Teshikaga Ramen Yokocho comes from Lake Mashu, one of Japan's three great lakes. This water is known for its silky smooth texture and soothing effects on the body and mind. The ramen offered at this restaurant is made with this special water, as well as fresh ingredients from the region. If you are visiting Sapporo, be sure to stop by Teshikaga Ramen Yokocho for a taste of some of the best ramen in Japan!
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
When it comes to a great dining experience, size isn't everything. Just ask the diner at Gotsubo Oyster Bar in Sapporo, Japan. The tiny restaurant is perfectly formed and perfectly equipped to create a unique atmosphere and an unforgettable meal.
The restaurant seats only 5 people at a time—yet, even if you're one of the lucky few who get to dine, you'll still have to wait up to an hour. Those who do make it in are treated to the freshest oysters and other seafood as well as warm sake and elegant desserts.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy the best of both worlds—a tasty buffet and stunning cityscapes—Sky J is the place to go. You can enjoy the very best of what Sapporo has to offer: international cuisine, sophisticated ambiance, and jaw-dropping views from above.
But it gets better! It's also located at one of the top hotels in Sapporo, so you're sure to feel like royalty while you're there. And if that's not enough to convince you, just check out their amazing reviews on other sites!
4 Hotel Ideas For Staying In Sapporo, Japan
Visiting Sapporo, Japan? Here is a list of hotels and some quick info on each one. We hope it helps with your search for lodging in Sapporo Japan!
Hotel Mystays Premier Sapporo Park - $34/ per night
Hotel Mystays Premier Sapporo Park is your one-stop shop for getting your whole body relaxed in an affordable, accessible way. From the spa area with its communal sauna to the ski runs and mountain trails, there's something for everyone here. When you've worked up a sweat (literally or figuratively), you can head out to the Susukino nightlife scene or slurp some noodles at Ramen Alley without ever leaving the hotel! The hotel is also only a three-minute walk away from Nakajimakoen metro station, making getting around Sapporo easy-peasy.
So whether you're looking to relax in a high-rise hotel with wood furnishings and geothermal water or hit up the slopes before hitting up Ramen Alley, Hotel Mystays Premier Sapporo Park has got you covered!
Hotel Monterey Sapporo $45/per night
When people think of Japan, they think of hotels like the Grand. And don't get us wrong—that's a fine hotel. But if you want to treat yourself and your loved ones to something a little more special than the typical Japanese hotel experience, then go stay at Monterey. This is a regency-style building with a high glass ceiling. You can walk through the courtyard with colorful flower beds, or sit under the stars in the glass-floored chapel. They have a classic restaurant offering regional cuisine and French cuisine, if that's what you're looking for.
Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo $45/per night
At Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo, you'll feel like you've just stepped into a whole new world. This hotel boasts 4-star accommodations, and is located across the street from the Hokkaidō University Botanical Gardens. If you're looking to relax and pamper yourself, this hotel has got you covered—and then some.
The high-rise hotel has 8 restaurants, including 3 high-end rooftop restaurants, a bar and shopping. If you're looking for some relaxation, head to the indoor pool or spa area with a sauna. You'll love staying at this hotel—it's truly out of this world!
JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo - $140/ per night
The JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo, located in the heart of Sapporo, Japan, offers stunning views of Ishikari Bay and is an excellent location for your next vacation. This upscale hotel is located in a modern high-rise building and is 1.5 km from Odori Park.
The suites at the JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo include living rooms, hot spring water, saunas, and more—all for just $140 USD per night! Not only does this hotel have superior accommodations, it also has three restaurants and a bar with incredible city views.
Whether you're going on a vacation to Japan soon or not, you can always make a difference in the world. Pencils of Promise does things differently—they build schools and train educators. No matter how small the donation, every bit counts. There are so many ways that you can support this organization and positively impact students all over the world! So if you're ever in the position to give money, Pencils Of Promise appreciates your donations.