Hokkaido is home to many sightseeing and tourist activities, beautiful landscapes, lush farmlands and spectacular food. Literally translated as the “Northern Sea Circuit,” Hokkaido is the well paired cabernet after that big, juicy bite of “Honshu” that any hungry traveler craves. This sip takes you to Hokkaido’s mountainous capital, Sapporo.
Sapporo is well-known for its delicious brewed beer. The Sapporo Beer Museum gives you a tour of Sapporo’s brewing, shipping and marketing history. At the end of the tour, visitors are welcome to beer tastings where they can indulge in special edition Sapporo beer brewed and served only in Hokkaido. In the summer, Sapporo holds a beer festival right in the heart of the city, Odori Park, with the Sapporo Beer Garden being the main attraction. Several micro-breweries also participate in the festivities and are eager to share the taste of liquid gold with travelers and citizens alike.
During the cold season, Sapporo transforms into a winter wonderland, not just because of the glittering snowfall, but what its residents craft with the snow. The Sapporo Snow Festival is home to the most epic creation of snow sculptures in Japan. The festival and sculptures litter Odori Park all the way to the foot of Sapporo’s famous TV Tower. Sculptors from around the globe, and especially from the sister city of Munich, come to express and showcase their talents as visitors are left in awe, marveling at the dynamic and intricate works of art that tower over them.
About a ten minute walk from the festival you can also find the Susukino Ice Festival, located on the main street of the red light district in Sapporo. Visitors can see the beautifully lighted and extravagant ice sculptures whilst enjoying some Japanese whiskey at several ice bars and warm up with some of Sapporo’s famous miso ramen, which makes this part of the festival a perfect place to spend the evening.
Mount Tarumae, Mount Yotei, and Mount Niseko are a few volcanoes that comprise the majestic mountain range directly West of the city and are a stunning sight from Sapporo’s TV Tower. In the winter, Skiing is a must as these mountains were home to the 1972 Winter Olympics and house world renowned ski resorts. In the summer, breathtaking views and rare vegetation make these mountains a hiker’s dream.
Considering Hokkaido is the second largest island of Japan, know that there is a vast amount of amazing adventures that lie beyond the city. So if the excitement of flashing lights, pachinko slots, big screens, and heavy crowds of Tokyo become exhausting; take a trip to the chill capital of the north and enjoy Sapporo.
Outdoor Recreation offers skiing and snowboarding trips to Sapporo during the winter season. However, if snow adventures and festivals are not your thing, ITT can help you book your own trip during any time of the year. Stop by Yokota’s Information Tickets & Travel to get help with your reservations and find out more about the city.
Outdoor Recreation: 225-4552
Information, Tickets & Travel: 227-7083
Photography credit: Adrian Uribe