Sapporo, the largest city on Japan’s northern part is well worth the visit to escape the busy metropolitan life you have. It became popular as a tourist attraction only after the Winter Olympics of 1972 but it has a long history, rich culture and is famous for one of the nicest festivals in the world, the Sapporo Snow Festival. A visit to Sapporo is suitable for all kinds of travellers as well. So, book your tickets today through Cathay Pacific and explore this island city at your own pace. Here is a list of top 10 attractions to visit in Sapporo.
Odori Park, located in the heart of Sapporo is the place where you must begin the tour of exploring the city. It is located near the Odori Subway Station. Odori translates to ‘large street’ because it stretches about one and half a kilometre over twelve city blocks. Therefore, it is the perfect way to start your morning especially if you have kids. It has many green spaces, artistic sculptures and connects you to the other top attractions like Sapporo TV Tower. It is also the place where the Sapporo Snow Festival is hosted.
Sapporo TV Tower
The Sapporo TV Tower, which was modelled like the Eiffel Tower of France is one of the most iconic structures in the city. It was built in 1957 by the Japanese architect Tachū Naitō, the same person who designed the Tokyo Tower. This stands to a height of 147 meters and dominates the city’s skyline. It has an observation deck at 90 meters. Visitors are offered with views of the Odori Park, Maruyama Mount at a distance. You can also learn more about the history of the tower at the exhibition on the ground floor.
Hokkaidō Shrine is the most visited religious site in Sapporo and therefore, no trip to the city would be complete if you miss this. It is located close to Maruyama Park. Hokkaido Shrine was built in 1869 under the supervision of Emperor Meiji, he enshrined three deities to protect the city known as Ōkunitama, Ōkuninushi, and Sukunahikona. Later a fourth deity, Emperor Meiji itself was added to the shrine in 1964. There is a massive gate at the entrance to the temple building. But make sure to avoid entering through the centre and the same rule applies for photographing in the centre because it is known as the causeway of gods, a religious symbol in Sapporo.
Although Japan is full of cherry trees, Maruyama Park is the most popular destination people head to when they want to spend the day among the cherry blossoms. Yes, you heard it right! There are over 1500 cherry trees in Maruyama Park that fully blooms in the spring. You can see seating areas for people to be seated while viewing cherry trees. In autumn, the maple trees turn their colours to yellow and orange giving a gloomy yet a different vibe.
Hokkaido Museum Of Modern Art
Are you an art lover in Sapporo searching for art exhibitions? Then head to the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art which is easily accessible from the Sapporo Station. This museum was opened in 1977 and there are more than 4500 artwork, both local and international ones! The highlights are the artwork done by Jules Pascin and the École de Paris. There are permanent exhibitions as well in the first and second floors. You can also see modern Japanese art in the museum. Make sure to check out the restaurant on the second floor, it serves delicious and healthy dishes grown from local vegetables.
Ishiya Chocolate Factory
Ishiya Chocolate Factory is the place to be if you have a dream to visit a chocolate factory like in the movie ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. The signature chocolate produced here is a white chocolate cookie named Shiroi Koibito- this cookie is made of two thin cookies and in between, there is a layer of white chocolate. Shiroi Koibito is a great souvenir to take back to your loved ones from Sapporo. You can have a guided tour in the Ishiya Chocolate Factory and learn more about the production process of chocolate. You can also try making cookies with your recipes at the factory.
Jozankei Onsen is the most popular hot springs in Japan. It is located less than an hour’s drive from the city centre of Sapporo and makes a great half trip for those who are interested in getting away from the busy life of Sapporo. There is a long history to the hot springs in this area; it was discovered by a monk in 1866 and he had decided to make it a healing spa. As of now, more than 50 hot springs are rising to the surface with a water temperature of 60 to 80°C. You can also have a lovely spa experience with the sodium chloride water that is believed to be healing the entire body. Make sure to visit the Jozankei Onsen Hot Springs in the winter or summer to get the best experience.
Sapporo Clock Tower
The Sapporo Clock Tower is another iconic structure in the city of Sapporo, located just one block away from Odori Park. It was built in 1878 and that makes it the oldest building in the city. Therefore, this clock tower is also considered as the symbol of the birth of Sapporo city. The architectural design is unique because of the American nature. Today, you can see a museum here that shows you the history of this structure and if you are not interested in museums, you can just view it from the outside/ take photographs as it is an extremely photogenic location.
Sapporo Beer Museum
Sapporo Beer Museum is the go-to place if you want to learn about the history of beer production in Japan. This is because Sapporo is the place where beer culture originated in Japan! This city has also produced one of the most popular beer brands in the world, Sapporo Beer since 1877. Sapporo Beer Museum was opened in 1987 and today, you can get all the information about the beer-making process and also if you are interested you can end the tour by tasting beer samples.
Sapporo Science Center
Sapporo Science Center is a good place to be if you are travelling here with kids, especially with those who are curious-minded. They have about 200 exhibits, and most of these exhibits are interactive. This gives your kid more space to learn and try new things. The highlight of the Sapporo Science Center is undoubtedly its planetarium because it displays the planets and about 100 million stars in outer space. These programs go on 30-50 minutes with detailed explanations in Japanese.