Hokkaido island’s largest city, Sapporo, is a dynamic metropolis that was once an undisturbed town with a population of merely seven people. It rose to prominence for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1972 and continues to be a crowd-puller with its annual Sapporo Snow Festival. Like most cities in Japan, Sapporo also buzzes with neon-lit streets, quirky eateries serving ramen, scenic natural backdrops and shopping arcades.
The city packs in a variety of travel experiences, taking you from the historic Hokkaido Shrine to the observation deck of the Sapporo TV Tower. On your Sapporo holiday, you can tour the Sapporo Beer Museum and enjoy some local beer tasting. Winters call for a skiing experience down the snowy trails at Sapporo Teine, whereas summers see the serene Odori Park transform into a beer garden and venue for the Sapporo Summer Festival.
If you’re looking for respite from the teeming markets in the city, you can unwind in some of its idyllic parks. Explore the Japanese garden and tea house or walk through the avenue of indigenous trees at Nakajima Park towards the south of Sapporo Station. You can watch nature and architecture come together at the Moerenuma Park or admire the panoramic views of the city from Asahiyama Memorial Park. You can also take a day-trip from Sapporo to Shikotsu-Toya National Park, hiking through rugged trails, kayaking along its caldera lake or taking a dip in its soothing onsen (hot springs).